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Hillary in Japan… follow her photo journey…

In Asia Tour, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, WordPress Political Bloggers alliance, WordPress Political Blogs on February 17, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Madame Secretary renewing old friendships, as with the Empress of Japan whom she met years ago when First Lady of the United States.

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Empress Michiko of Japan greeted visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo with a hug and a peck on each cheek, an unusually warm welcome in Japanese culture. Clinton started her first foreign tour as U.S. Secretary in Japan, but her warm reception was due to her past role as First Lady.

To start the day, Clinton participated in a purification rite and welcoming ceremony at a Shinto shrine to the father of modern Japan, Emperor Meiji. She said its message of ‘balance and harmony’ would set the tone for the Obama administration’s foreign policy, especially in tough economic times.

Hillary Clinton visits Meiji Shrine

In the several public appearances she made today, Hillary repeatedly stressed the importance of America’s relationship with Japan. She also announced that Taro Aso would be going to Washington next week, making him the first foreign leader to visit and meet with Obama since the new president took office .

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) is welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso prior to their talks at Aso’s official residence in Tokyo February 17, 2009. Clinton is visiting Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China this week on her first foreign trip as U.S. Secretary of State.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enters a town-hall meeting with students from Tokyo University in Tokyo February 17, 2009.


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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a town-hall meeting to  students from Tokyo University in Tokyo February 17, 2009

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japan’s Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone attend at their joint news conference at the Iikura Guest House in Tokyo February 17, 2009.

Hillary illicits ‘STARPOWER’ upon her arrival in Japan…

In Asia Tour, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, WordPress Political Blogs on February 16, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Raw video of Hillary’s arrival in Japan sees her warmly received by high level officials. The press are going wild flashing pictures of the former First Lady, the “Face of America”.

(AP) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in Tokyo to begin her first trip abroad as President Barack Obama’s chief diplomat.. seen on the tarmack getting into her car with an aide and whisked away….(Feb. 16)

Video Secretary Clinton at the Asia Society

In foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, United States, WordPress Political Blogs, WordPress.com Political Bloggers Alliance on February 15, 2009 at 5:01 am

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“In her first trip abroad since taking office, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Asia, departing Washington, DC on February 15. Secretary Clinton will visit Japan (February 16-18), Indonesia (February 18-19), the Republic of Korea (February 19-20), and China (February 20-22).

“In all capitals, Secretary Clinton will be discussing common approaches to the challenges facing the international community, including the financial markets turmoil, humanitarian issues, security and climate change.”

(ht/AFH)

UPdated: Live Video Webcast: The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton

In Asia Tour, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, Rise Hillary Rise, United States, WordPress Political Blogs, WordPress.com Political Bloggers Alliance on February 13, 2009 at 9:35 am

Special Event:


Live Video Webcast: The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State

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Date: February 13th

Time: 1:00 pm EST
Location: New York ,

Asia Society and Museum,

725 Park Avenue, New York

Cost: Please note: this is an invitation-only event.

Web: http://www.asiasociety.org/

Watch Asia Society’s live video webcast of The Honorable Hillary Clinton’s first major foreign policy speech on the eve of her upcoming trip to Asia. Vishakha N. Desai, President of the Asia Society, will be presiding.

Tune in to the free live webcast on the home page of AsiaSociety.org (www.asiasociety.org) just before 1:00 pm EST, on Friday, Feb. 13.

Click the WATCH LIVE ONLINE link.

Webcast viewers are encouraged to submit questions prior to or during the program to <moderator@asiasociety.org>.

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UPComing Live Webcast Events:

Panel Discussion:

The Global Food Crisis – Time for Another Green Revolution?

(with live webcast) Co-organized by Oxfam America global_food_crisis
Date: Februaury 20th

Time: 8:00 – 8:30 am, registration & breakfast; 8:30 – 9:30 am, program

Location: New York

Asia Society and Museum, 8th Floor, 725 Park Avenue, New York

Cost: $12 student w/ID; $12 members; $15 nonmembers
Buy Tickets Online
Phone: 212-517-ASIA

Speakers:


– Kevin L. Eblen, Vice President, Public Policy and Sustainability Lead, Monsanto
– Rajiv Shah, Director, Agricultural Development, Gates Foundation (invited)
– Dr. Robert Zeigler, Director General, International Rice Research Institute
– Raymond C. Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America (Moderator)

Please join us at Asia Society’s New York Headquarters, or online via free live video webcast, for the second program in Asia Society and Oxfam America’s Food Crisis Series. Webcast viewers can submit questions and offer comments by email during the webcast. Please send questions to moderator@asiasociety.org.

* * *
Policy programs at the Asia Society are generously supported by the Nicholas Platt Endowment for Public Policy.

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“The First Lady of the Press”, Helen Thomas…

In fabulous women, First Lady of the Press Corp, Helen Thomas, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, United States, Washington, WordPress Political Bloggers alliance, WordPress Political Blogs on February 10, 2009 at 2:04 pm

A legend in political reporting, Helen Thomas has covered every president since John F. Kennedy, earning the nickname “First Lady of the Press.” Now in her 80s, the venerable journalist Helen Thomas (born August 4, 1920) is an American news service reporter, a Hearst Newspapers columnist, and member of the White House Press Corps. She served for fifty-seven years as a correspondent and, later, White House bureau chief for United Press International (UPI). Thomas has covered every president since John F. Kennedy.

She was the first female officer of the National Press Club,

the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents Association, and

the first female member of the Gridiron Club.

She has written four books; her latest is Watchdogs of Democracy?: The Waning Washington Press Corps and How It Has Failed the Public. Thomas joined United Press International in 1943 and reported on women’s topics for their radio wire service. Later in the decade she wrote their “Names in the News” column, and after 1955 she covered federal agencies such as the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Thomas served as president of the Women’s National Press Club from 1959–60.

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I say all this because it was noted, Helen Thomas visited my Blog, “Pumas Unleashed” yesterday. And I did say just the other day, whenever there is a woman who is first in her accomplishments, I will definitely find a place for her at our site dedicated to the new Madame Secretary, Hillary R. Clinton. It must of been fate, because there you were and I am honored to note your accomplishments and your career full of firsts.

Early life and career

Thomas was born in Winchester, Kentucky, to Lebanese Christian immigrants[1] from Tripoli, Lebanon, which at the time was part of Syria.[2] She was reared in Detroit, Michigan and attended Wayne University (now Wayne State University), graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1942. Thomas’ first job in journalism was as a copygirl for the now-defunct Washington Daily News, but shortly after she was promoted to cub reporter she was laid off as part of massive cutbacks at the paper.

Presidential correspondent

In November 1960, Thomas began covering then President-elect John F. Kennedy, following him to the White House in January 1961 as a UPI correspondent. Thomas became known as the “Sitting Buddha“, and it was during Kennedy’s administration that she began the tradition of ending all presidential press conferences with a signature “Thank you, Mr. President”.

Thomas was the only female print journalist to travel with President Richard Nixon to China during his historic trip in 1972. She has traveled around the world several times with Presidents Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush,

Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, and has covered every Economic Summit since 1975, working up to the position of UPI’s White House Bureau Chief, a post she would hold for over twenty-five years. While serving as White House Bureau Chief, she authored a regular column for UPI, “Backstairs at the White House,” which provided an insider’s view of various presidential administrations.

Traditionally, Thomas sat in the front row and asked the first question during White House press conferences, but according to Thomas in a 2006 Daily Show interview, this ended because she no longer represents a wire service. During the Bush administration, Thomas had been moved to the back row during press conferences, although she still sat in the front row during press briefings. She was called upon at briefings on a daily basis but no longer ended Presidential news conferences saying “Thank you, Mr. President”. When asked why she was seated in the back row, she said, “Because they don’t like me… I ask too many questions.”[5]

On March 21, 2006, Thomas was called upon directly by President Bush for the first time in three years. Thomas asked Bush about the war in Iraq: If you want to read the response you can go HERE

I will try to keep up with Helen on “Pumas Unleashed” for her latest take on the new President. I have the feeling it’s going to be a ‘wild and bumpy ride’, Helen. I think your up for it and there may be time for another book from you… the evolution of the presidency as seen from the front and the back rows of the press corp!

A Star rising from the Atlantic… Fabulous Women

In fabulous women, news, official announcement, United States, WordPress Political Blogs, WordPress.com Political Bloggers Alliance on February 8, 2009 at 11:40 am

A 56 yr old petite woman swims the Atlantic. From the western coast of Africa to a sandy beach in Trinidad, Jennifer Figge became the first woman of record to swim the 1200 mi trip across the Atlantic.

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DETAILS OF JENNIFER’S AMAZING FEAT:

From time to time, I will digress from the serious business conducted by Madame Secretary to herald a new Champion who represents women accomplishing amazing feats never done before .

A FIRST in our Special Edition of  “First Time Ever”  for Fabulous Women.

A dream she’d had since the early 1960s, when a stormy trans-Atlantic flight got her thinking she could don a life vest and swim the rest of the way if needed.

The 56-year-old left the Cape Verde Islands off Africa’s western coast on Jan. 12, battling waves of up to 30 feet (9 meters) and strong winds.

David Higdon, a friend of Figge who kept in touch with her via satellite phone, said she had originally planned to swim to the Bahamas, but inclement weather forced her to veer 1,000 miles (1,610 kms) off course to Trinidad, where she arrived on Feb. 5.

Figge plans to continue her odyssey, swimming from Trinidad to the British Virgin Islands, where she expects to arrive in late February. The crew won’t compute the total distance Figge swam until after she completes the journey, Higdon said.

Then it’s home to Aspen, Colo. — where she trained for months in an outdoor pool amid snowy blizzards — to reunite with her Alaskan Malamute.

“My dog doesn’t know where I am,” she told The Associated Press on Saturday by phone. “It’s time for me to get back home to Hank.”

The dog swirled in her thoughts, as did family and friends, as Figge stroked through the chilly Atlantic waters escorted by a sailboat. She saw a pod of pilot whales, several turtles, dozens of dolphins, plenty of Portuguese man-of-war — but no sharks.

“I was never scared,” Figge said. “Looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can always swim in a pool.”

Her journey comes a decade after French swimmer Benoit Lecomte made the first known solo trans-Atlantic swim, covering nearly 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) from Massachusetts to France in 73 days. No woman on record has made the crossing.

Figge woke most days around 7 a.m., eating pasta and baked potatoes while she and the crew assessed the weather. Her longest stint in the water was about eight hours, and her shortest was 21 minutes. Crew members would throw bottles of energy drinks as she swam; if the seas were too rough, divers would deliver them in person. At night she ate meat, fish and peanut butter, replenishing the estimated 8,000 calories she burned a day.

Figge wore a red cap and wet suit, with her only good-luck charm underneath: an old, red shirt to guard against chafing, signed by friends, relatives and her father, who recently died.

The other cherished possession she kept onboard was a picture of Gertrude Ederle, an American who became the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

“We have a few things in common,” Figge said. “She wore a red hat and she was of German descent. We both talk to the sea, and neither one of us wanted to get out.”

Figge arrived on Trinidad’s Chacachacare Island, an abandoned leper colony, at 5:20 p.m. She plans to leave Trinidad on Monday night. During this brief respite, she has avoided the hotel pool and nearby ocean, opting instead for the treadmill.


…LINK…

Remarks with President Arroyo of the Philippines

In Asia Tour, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Smart Power, Uncategorized, Washington, WordPress Political Blogs on February 6, 2009 at 11:57 pm

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The Philippines: A Close and Important U.S. Ally

Secretary Clinton (Feb. 6): “I am so delighted to welcome the president of the Philippines to the State Department. As you know, the Philippines is one of our closest and most important allies, not just in Asia, but on so many issues around the world. And we are very proud of the role and contributions that Filipino Americans have played in the United States over many years.”

Full Text

Secretary Clinton and Excellency Bernard Koucher

In Afghanistan, economy, foreign policy, French Minister Koucher, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, Washington, WordPress Political Bloggers alliance, WordPress Political Blogs on February 6, 2009 at 11:51 pm

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The United States and France Pledge Continued Transatlantic Alliance
February 05, 2009
Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State:

Remarks With French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner After Their Meeting
Treaty Room, Washington, DC

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon.

FOREIGN MINISTER KOUCHNER: Good afternoon.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I was –

FOREIGN MINISTER KOUCHNER: (In French.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: We’ll do the translation. I was delighted to welcome Foreign Minister Kouchner here today. We’ve had a very useful and productive discussion on a wide range of topics, first over a private lunch, and then with our various aides.

I just want to reiterate that the United States is committed to our transatlantic alliance. This is an alliance that is one of the oldest and closest that the United States has in the world. We appreciate France’s leadership, especially during its recent EU presidency. And I want to publicly thank President Sarkozy for his leadership working with the United States to achieve a ceasefire in Georgia. And I thank you as well, Mr. Minister, for the very broad-based efforts that France has undertaken to address the global financial challenges. Our alliance is rooted in common values, and we have put that alliance to work in support of security, justice, and opportunity.

We discussed a number of the difficult situations that confront us in the world. We will continue to coordinate closely in the Middle East and cooperate on Gaza, humanitarian aid, and the never-ending pursuit of a just and secure peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

You know, the United States is also very proud and grateful to have France as a coalition partner in our efforts to strengthen the Afghan people’s efforts to build a better future. The minister is very familiar with Afghanistan, and we spoke of his longstanding work in that country, going back many years, on behalf of the people. And I was particularly impressed with his description of the hospital that the French have built in Kabul, which is now being run by the Afghan people themselves.

We’ll continue to work closely as we close the Guantanamo detention center. And on behalf of our mutual concerns regarding Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, we’re going to use smart diplomacy together to engage the international community. And we will do so, including Russia as a cooperative partner, because we intend to forge a more constructive relationship.

So, Mr. Minister, there is much ahead of us on global financial reform, on making sure that we forge an even closer working relationship. And I, on a personal level, look forward to working with you and advancing our shared objectives of liberty, peace, and prosperity around the world.

FOREIGN MINISTER KOUCHNER: (Via interpreter.) Madame Secretary, I am very happy and honored to see you here today, to see you again here today in your new position, which, of course, makes the two of you – the two of us colleagues.

Of course, we saluted the election of President Obama, and although we are not always a hundred percent in agreement, our friendship, friendship between our two countries, is a very sound friendship. It’s an old friendship and it’s a friendship that has a lot of future to it.

(In English.) So we talk about a lot of subjects. We were (inaudible) the world with some consideration, but mainly on Middle East – pardon. (Laughter.)

So on Middle East, we are really very anxious about the situation of the people of Gaza, and we were in agreement together with Madame Secretary of State to make pressure on both side to open the crossing. The Gaza people, they need so-called humanitarian assistance. And we’ll do it together another time, even if this is difficult, because we are facing – all of us – the electoral process in Israel and the idea – very important idea of Abu Mazen, the president of the PLO, the Palestinian Authority, to set up – to try to set up a government of national unity. And we are, of course, supporting Abu Mazen, and we must strengthen him, but it will take some times.

Meanwhile, we must access to the people – we must accede to the people – sorry. For the rest, we were at complete agreement to support the Egyptian initiative, and you know that some talks are now – have been developed in Cairo in between the Hamas delegation, the PLO delegation, and we are waiting for the result of that with a very great support to the Egyptian. And there is a meeting in the – I think the – yes, the 2nd day of February, yes, in Cairo, and I hope we’ll get better support to Gaza people before this date.

We were talking about Afghanistan. We are talking about Darfur. We are talking about Guantanamo, and thank you for having closed this – I don’t know how to use – prison of Guantanamo. And with our friends of the European Union, we accept the idea of having a common position, if it is possible, European position, because you know that with Schengen, if one country accept one of the prisoner, he would be able to travel all – in all the places, in 22 countries – or 24 countries in Europe.

Afghanistan, it is a burden for us, but we need to succeed. We have to succeed in Afghanistan in offering support to the democratic elected government and to develop the access to the people. Afghanization is the word. For that, we need to secure the places, and with Madame Clinton we were talking a lot about that.

No, I know that I have to speak French. (Via interpreter) I’ll answer questions in French.

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Madame Secretary and President René Préval

In foreign policy, Haiti, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, President Préval, Washington, WordPress Political Blogs on February 6, 2009 at 11:41 pm

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Committed to Building a Vibrant Democracy and Economy in Haiti

February 05, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m very pleased to welcome President Préval, a longtime friend, to the State Department. We’re going to be discussing ways that, along with the international community, we can help support Haiti and the Haitian people. We want to be working with them as they continue to build a vibrant democracy and a growing economy. And I know that President Obama shares my commitment to helping you, Mr. President, work on behalf of your people. Welcome.

PRESIDENT PRÉVAL: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you all.

PRESIDENT PRÉVAL: Thank you.

Hillary and Tony Blair

In economy, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, New York Senate Seat, news, Politics, Secretary of State, United Kingdom, WordPress Political Blogs, WordPress.com Political Bloggers Alliance on February 4, 2009 at 11:32 pm

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Secretary Clinton Hosts Tony Blair

Feb. 4, 2009

Secretary Clinton meets with Tony Blair, Quartet Envoy at the State Department.