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Hillary Clinton recovering from concussion

(Agencies) Updated: 2012-12-16 03:57

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who canceled a planned overseas trip last weekend because of illness, is recovering at home after fainting due to dehydration and sustaining a concussion, a State Department spokesman said on Saturday.

"While suffering from a stomach virus, Secretary Clinton became dehydrated and fainted, sustaining a concussion," Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said in a statement.

"She has been recovering at home and will continue to be monitored regularly by her doctors. At their recommendation, she will continue to work from home next week, staying in regular contact with department and other officials. She is looking forward to being back in the office soon," Reines added.

Clinton fell ill with a stomach virus last weekend and was forced to cancel a planned trip to the Middle East and North Africa. The virus also hit other members of her staff, who were returning with her from a European trip, and was described as uncomfortable, but not medically serious.

Clinton, 65, has often been cited as a potential candidate for the US presidency in 2016 and frequently refers to her general good health, saying in an interview with ABC broadcast that she has "incredible stamina and energy."

She has maintained a punishing schedule in her final weeks as the top US diplomat, a position she intends to leave toward the end of January when US President Barack Obama is sworn in for a second term.

Benghazi testimony next week

Clinton has been expected to testify on December 20 before the House of Representatives and Senate foreign affairs committees on a report on the deadly attack on the US diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans and raised questions about security at far-flung posts..

Republicans have criticized the Democratic Obama administration for its early public explanations of the attack.

Much of the criticism focused on US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who on Thursday said she was withdrawing her name from consideration to replace Clinton as secretary of state to avoid a potentially disruptive confirmation process..

Clinton has appointed a special panel known as an accountability review board to assess both the incident and the official response to it.

The board's report, which will contain both classified and unclassified sections, is expected to be complete next week and Clinton has promised to be as transparent as possible with Congress in sharing its findings.

Clinton, whose husband, Bill Clinton, was president from 1993 to 2001 and who herself came tantalizingly close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination four years ago, has used her star power to promote US interests around the world since Obama named her to lead the State Department in 2009.

She has consistently been rated as the most popular member of Obama's cabinet, leading to speculation she might mount another White House bid in 2016, although she herself has played down suggestions that she still hopes to become president.

"I've said I really don't believe that that's something I will do again. I am so grateful I had the experience of doing it before," Clinton told ABC's Barbara Walters in the interview broadcast this week.

"I just want to see what else is out there. I've been doing ... this incredibly important and ... satisfying work here in Washington, as I say, for 20 years. I want to get out and spend some time looking at what else I can do to contribute."

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