Talabani to be treated in EU
President Jalal Talabani has left a Baghdad hospital and is being transferred to Germany for treatment after suffering a stroke earlier this week, his office said yesterday. The 79-year-old Kurdish statesman was admitted to hospital on Monday night. “Treatment has allowed suitable conditions for his excellency to be transferred outside the country,” the statement said, adding that Talabani’s health had improved. It was uncertain whether he would be able to return to his post and his potential exit from politics is raising concerns about what could be a messy succession battle.
Clinton still on sick leave
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the country’s most-traveled high-ranking diplomat ever, has had her wings clipped by ill health and will not be able to make any trips for several weeks, a top aide said on Wednesday. Clinton, 65, has been off work sick since early this month after she contracted a bad stomach virus during a five-day trip to Europe. She had to cancel a planned trip to North Africa and Abu Dhabi due to the illness. Her doctors at the weekend said she had become severely dehydrated due to the effects of the stomach bug and had fainted, suffering a concussion. They have recommended that she rest at home for a second week and stay off work.
WWII letters delivered
Letters written by German soldiers stationed on the Channel Island of Jersey have finally been delivered, 71 years after they were stolen in an act of resistance against the Nazi occupation. The 90 letters and cards were taken just before Christmas 1941 by a group of young men who “liberated” a German military post box in St Helier. They were passed to a friend for safekeeping. Five years ago, the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, handed them over to the Jersey Archive, where staff began the slow process of trying to get them to their original destination, a spokesman for the archive said. Jersey Post contacted its German counterpart, Deutsche Post, which found 10 families related to the original recipients who still live in the same places and finally delivered some of the messages.
Miss Universe crowned
The US’ Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe 2012 late on Wednesday, beating out beauties from around the world to claim the coveted title. The title of first runner-up went to the contestant from the Philippines, Janine Tugonon. Last year’s winner, Leila Lopes of Angola, crowned the jubilant 20-year-old Culpo to succeed her in a year-long reign. It is the first win for an American woman since 1997. Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, placed third in the contest. Fourth place went to Miss Australia, Renae Ayris, and fifth to Miss Brazil, Gabriela Markus.
Reagan-era judge dies
Robert Bork, former president Ronald Reagan’s famously rejected conservative Supreme Court nominee, died on Wednesday at age 85. Bork’s family confirmed his death to local media in Arlington, Virginia. Bork’s confirmation hearings in the Senate in 1987 were marked by a highly partisan and contentious debate that eventually gave rise to the term “borked” — used especially by the US right to mean an attack of a political figure based on his views. Democrats were strongly opposed to Bork’s stance on civil liberties and the rights of women and African Americans.