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Lesotho Times - - International -

WASH­ING­TON — Hil­lary Clin­ton looks ahead to 2016 as the year Amer­i­cans may fi­nally elect their first-ever fe­male pres­i­dent, but her past is freighted with blem­ishes and gaffes that could com­pro­mise if not sink her cam­paign.

Ms Clin­ton in­tends to draw on her wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence as first lady, US se­na­tor and globe-trot­ting sec­re­tary of state to con­vince vot­ers she is the best per­son for the job.but the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee is al­ready la­belling her past as a “decades-long record of se­crecy and scan­dal.” Here’s a look:

The Lewin­sky af­fair Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s sex­ual in­dis­cre­tions have long dogged the su­per­star Demo­cratic cou­ple.arkansas em­ployee Paula Jones sued Clin­ton for sex­ual ha­rass­ment. The pres­i­dent tes­ti­fied in 1998 that he had in­ti­mate re­la­tions with for­mer re­porter Gen­nifer Flow­ers.years ear­lier, he had sat next to Hil­lary and in­sisted on CBS’S “60 Min­utes” that ac­cu­sa­tions of a Clin­ton-flow­ers af­fair were false.

But the truly ex­plo­sive scan­dal was the re­la­tion­ship Bill had with White House in­tern Mon­ica Lewin­sky, and the sub­se­quent De­cem­ber 1998 im­peach­ment of Clin­ton by the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives for per­jury and ob­struct­ing a fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

He was ac­quit­ted by the Se­nate, but the episode is a scab that might be peeled back over the next 18 months.

“It’s not Hil­lary’s fault,” Repub­li­can Se­na­tor Rand Paul, him­self a likely pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, said last year about Bill’s trysts.

But Paul said the af­fair should now be fair game, and warned of the dam­age of send­ing a phi­lan­derer back to 1600 Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue as first hus­band.

White­wa­ter Arkansas was a mixed bless­ing for the Clin- TEHRAN — Ira­nian state tele­vi­sion is re­port­ing that the Is­lamic Repub­lic has suspended all mi­nor hajj trips to Saudi Ara­bia amid grow­ing diplo­matic ten­sions be­tween the two coun­tries.

The re­port Mon­day said Iran’s Cul­ture Min­istry made the de­ci­sion over al­leged abuse suf­fered by two male Ira­nian pil­grims trav­el­ling through Saudi’s Jed­dah air­port in March.the al­leged abuse, the de­tails of which au­thor­i­ties have not pub­licly dis­cussed, has sparked unau­tho­rised protests at the Saudi Em­bassy in Tehran.

Some 500 000 Ira­ni­ans visit Saudi Ara­bia each year for the mi­nor hajj, which in­volves pil­grims vis­it­ing Mecca and Me­d­ina, two of Is­lam’s holi­est sites.ten­sions be­tween Shi’ite power Iran and the Sunni king­dom of Saudi Ara­bia have been strained amid Saudi-led airstrikes in Ye­men tar­get­ing Shi’ite rebels known as Houthis there. — AP

tons. They launched their po­lit­i­cal dy­nasty there, but it was also scene of a land-devel­op­ment scan­dal in­volv­ing the Clin­tons while Bill was gover­nor.

He and Hil­lary teamed up with White­wa­ter Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion part­ners Jim and Su­san Mcdou­gal on a busi­ness ven­ture that soured in the 1980s. Amid dis­putes over loans, shady deals and charges of fraud, the Mc­dougals went to jail.the Clin­tons were never pros­e­cuted, but the name White­wa­ter could serve as a dog whis­tle for con­ser­va­tives ea­ger to dredge up the 1990s con­tro­ver­sies in Clin­ton­land.

Rich woman, poor woman The Clin­tons are wealthy by any mea­sure, but that has not al­ways been the case. In Arkansas they lived in rel­a­tive mod­esty.although that changed in Wash­ing­ton, Clin­ton blurted out to ABC tele­vi­sion last year that the Clin­tons were “dead broke” when they left the White House.

They were in­deed sad­dled with Bill Clin­ton’s huge legal fees from the Lewin­sky scan­dal. But they nonethe­less pur­chased a re­ported $1.7 mil­lion home in Chap­paqua, New York in 1999, and a seven-bed­room manor in Wash­ing­ton a year later for $2.85 mil­lion.

They both have made mil­lions in speak­ing fees since, and Hil­lary quickly clar­i­fied later that she has had “ter­rific” op­por­tu­ni­ties in ISTANBUL — Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Ah­met Davu­to­glu said the pope’s re­marks de­scrib­ing Ar­me­ni­ans as the vic­tims of “the first geno­cide of the 20th cen­tury” are wrong and en­cour­age racism in Europe.

Pope Fran­cis made the com­ments at a spe­cial re­mem­brance mass in St Peter’s Basil­ica on Sun­day.

Turkey im­me­di­ately re­called its am­bas­sador to the Vat­i­can for con­sul­ta­tions in Ankara.

Turkey de­nies that the mass de­por­ta­tion and killing of Ar­me­ni­ans in the Ot­toman Em­pire dur­ing World War I was geno­cide. Ar­me­ni­ans say up to 1.5 mil­lion peo­ple were killed.

The pope’s re­marks were “false and non­sen­si­cal” and would “con­trib­ute to ris­ing racism in Europe,” Davu­to­glu said late on Sun­day, also ac­cus­ing the Catholic leader of fo­cus­ing only one side’s suf­fer­ing. dpa

life.but Repub­li­cans could still aim to paint her as out of touch.

Benghazi Per­haps Ms Clin­ton’s chief fail­ure while top diplo­mat was the re­sponse to the at­tacks on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya on Septem­ber 11 2012. Repub­li­cans ham­mer her for not do­ing enough, and ac­cuse the ad­min­is­tra­tion of chang­ing the “talk­ing points” is­sued by the CIA into down­play­ing the as­sault.but what might live on through the 2016 cam­paign is Ms Clin­ton’s ex­as­per­ated re­sponse when ques­tioned by Repub­li­cans over what prompted the as­sault that killed four Amer­i­cans.

“What dif­fer­ence, at this point does it make?” Ms Clin­ton boomed in a 2013 Se­nate hear­ing, in com­ments that quickly went vi­ral.

Com­pli­cat­ing the never-end­ing Benghazi probe, the House com­mit­tee in­ves­ti­gat­ing the attack learned in March that Ms Clin­ton con­tra­vened gov­ern­ment rules by ex­clu­sively us­ing a pri­vate email ac­count dur­ing her four years at the State Depart­ment.

Those emails were kept on her pri­vate com­puter server. And while Clin­ton in­sisted she gave all of­fi­cial emails to State, she has re­fused to turn over the server to a neu­tral party as re­quested by the House com­mit­tee’s chair­per­son. — AFP

For­mer US Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton ( left) and for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary rod­ham Clin­ton.

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