US & Canada

Hillary Clinton returns to work at US state department

Hillary Clinton holds a football helmet with the seal of the State Department 7 January 2013 Image copyright State Department
Image caption Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returned to work amid a standing ovation and tongue-in-cheek gifts by staff

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has returned to work after spending a month recuperating from a series of ailments.

Mrs Clinton was discharged from a New York hospital on Wednesday, where she had been treated for a blood clot between the skull and the brain.

In December she fell and suffered a concussion after she became dehydrated as a result of a stomach virus.

Mrs Clinton, 65, is due to stand down before President Barack Obama formally begins his second term on 20 January.

Cheers

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has been nominated to replace her as America's top diplomat.

A crowd of state department officials greeted Mrs Clinton with a standing ovation as she returned to work on Monday.

She was also presented by her staff with a tongue-in-cheek gift of protective headgear in the shape of a football helmet emblazoned with her department's seal.

Mrs Clinton convened a meeting of senior staff, the first such gathering since last month, when she fell ill after a trip to Europe and had to cancel a planned visit to North Africa and the Middle East.

Appointed secretary of state at the start of Mr Obama's first term, in January 2009, Mrs Clinton's health has been under intense scrutiny because she is considered a strong candidate for the Democratic nomination for president should she decide to run in 2016.

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