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Bill Clinton on Haiti: ‘My job is to keep the work going”

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Haitian President Rene Preval (C) and former US president Bill Clinton (L), who heads UN efforts to rebuild Haiti, make their way to a remembrance ceremony on July 12 2010 on the grounds of the destroyed presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, on the six-month anniversary of the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Getty)

July 13, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (KATAKAMI / BOSTON HERALD) — Six months after the Jan. 12 earthquake, Haiti is still hobbling to get back on its feet.

But former President Bill Clinton, now U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti and co-chairman of Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC), remains optimistic the country can recover despite the enormous challenges _ enough rubble to fill five Superdomes and a lack of land to shelter 1.5 million displaced.

Clinton, who has committed the next three years to helping Haiti become economically competitive, discussed the progress and priorities in an exclusive interview with The Miami Herald’s Jacqueline Charles.

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Former US president Bill Clinton (L), who heads UN efforts to rebuild Haiti, shakes hands with Haitian Himmeler Rebu after he received a medal during a remembrance ceremony on July 12 2010 on the grounds of the destroyed presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, on the six-month anniversary of the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Getty)

Q: It’s been six months since the catastrophic quake. What do you see as progress and challenges?

A: The progress is that people are settled; we’ve moved a lot of people out of the most dangerous areas. Food is being distributed. Water is being distributed. We’re beginning to get new investments. The resumption of NGO activities on rebuilding schools. I think that’s good. Having set up the (Interim Haiti Reconstruction) commission and the U.N. is better coordinated.

(Deputy U.N. Special Envoy) Paul Farmer, for example, has agreed to oversee the building of a genuine national health system for the first time so that when all of these NGOs come in and other people come in wanting to build hospitals or wanting to do other things in health care, he can make sure that whatever they do is consistent with where we want to be three years from now.

I feel good about the economic efforts being undertaken by the group that grew out of the Clinton Global Initiative, headed by (Digicel founder and Chairman) Denis O’Brien and others coming in.

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Former US president Bill Clinton (L), who heads UN efforts to rebuild Haiti, shakes hands with US actor Sean Penn after he received a medal during a remembrance ceremony on July 12 2010 on the grounds of the destroyed presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, on the six-month anniversary of the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Getty)

Q: And the ongoing challenges?

A: The pace of the debris removal is not nearly rapid enough. We need more heavy equipment as well as more people in the Cash-for-Work, working in it. We need a plan for breaking it down, either giving the things that can be recycled to people for recycling or setting up direct recycling.

I’ve asked the U.N. to work on a plan that will allow us, instead of moving everything to a central location, to clear a five-block area and store all of the rubble in one or two places so every place else can start to rebuild. We’ve got to accelerate that.

Q: Even before the earthquake, you spoke of the need for energy independence in Haiti where less than 30 percent of the population has access to power.

A: I think we’re doing pretty good in energy and communications planning. The commission will make a decision to make Haiti as energy independent as possible. We’ve got 20-megawatt windmills going up just across the Haitian border in the Dominican Republic, which is going to be dedicated to Haiti and will be part of a larger effort to deal with the island’s future challenges. All we need is $14 million to interconnect the two grids and the two countries will have a totally interconnected, seamless grid system, which I think is going to be a really important thing.

We’ll be able to do great things with solar, wind and solid waste. We still have a ways to go to get clearer commitments to build up the airport and port capacities and make the cost of operating them competitive so that we can get even more investments, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

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Former US president Bill Clinton (L), who heads UN efforts to rebuild Haiti, attends a remembrance ceremony on July 12 2010 on the grounds of the destroyed presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, on the six-month anniversary of the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Getty)


Q: And the biggest problem in Haiti with this disaster?

A: It’s the biggest problem in every disaster area I’ve ever worked in, including the United States. It’s the housing issue. It’s complicated in Haiti by the fact that most of the people who lost their primary residences were renters. And so just like in relocating these big settlements, the government has to either condemn land or make deals with land owners.

We’re talking about what kinds of arrangements might be made with the people who own property in the larger Port-au-Prince area and who are renting out to people. We’ve got a lot of those buildings that have been certified as safe to move in or could be safe to move in just by clearing rubble or fixing them up. That is, they are not structurally unsound.

But it’s quite complex and it’s the one area that President (Rene) Preval has wanted to keep the Haitian government directly in charge of because of all of the legal issues involved. It looks to me like what we are going to have to do is almost work this out building by building, block by block, although we had discussed whether we can make a deal with the biggest of the landlords. The rubble and the housing are big problems.

Q: Are there things you now want to do in addition as part of the rebuilding effort?

A: We are trying to figure out a much more complete sanitation system in larger Port-au-Prince. It will reduce pollution, public health problems and other things. We want to make sure they’ve got a strategy so that everybody can light their homes at night whether through the LED solar flashlights, which only costs $20 a piece and are very useful, or through low-cost solar reflectors on the roof. We want to do a lot of things that were never done before.

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Former U.S. President and U.N. special envoy for Haiti, Bill Clinton, center, greets workers in charge of the reconstruction during a memorial ceremony for the six-month anniversary of the Jan. 12 earthquake inPort-au-Prince, Monday, July12, 2010. (Getty)


Q: We see a number of schools going up, or desire to build schools. What are your concerns?

A: What I am trying to do is to work with McKinsey (& Company, a global management consulting firm) and others to accelerate the process for a plan that will actually give them a sustainable school system that can enroll all of the children in Haiti where the poor kids won’t have to pay. I figure, if we can do this for five or seven years, then by that time the growth of the economy in Haiti will be such that they will be able to take it over and operate it.

It doesn’t mean the private schools shouldn’t stay there, and shouldn’t continue to educate the kids they are educating. But if you really look at it, there has never really been a time when more than half the kids were in school.

If we can get 100 percent of them in school and the poorest families didn’t have to pay the way they had to do in Mexico and Brazil, I believe that would eliminate 80 to 90 percent of the restavek (child slavery) problem because if you look at these families’ stories, most of these kids are in essence, put in bondage to other families only so the parents can feed the kids that are left at home.

That’s a big challenge, but all of these are by way of making things better.

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A boy points in a camp set up by relief agencies for victims affected by the January 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince July 10, 2010. Haiti is commemorating on Monday the six-month anniversary of the disaster that killed more than 300,000 people. (Getty)


Q: How is the effort to build communal shelters to help Haitians cope with the current hurricane season?

A: We’ve made some progress in building communal shelters, or rebuilding them in the case of Leogane so that if a storm comes up this season between now and the end of the year, the people in tents and tarps can go some place and not be hurt. I want to speed that up.

Q: What are your main priorities at the moment?

A: My big priorities are speeding up the housing, doing the communal shelters and getting at least a schedule of when the donors are going to give their money.

Q: Only 10 percent of the more than $5 billion pledged at the donors’ conference has been disbursed. Where is the money?

A: I can understand why in this budget climate people want to hold onto their money until the end. We are looking at things like having the commission go ahead and approve projects and go raise the money for them.

To be fair, there has been some rather spirited discussions with the World Bank about what their role is, and what the costs are going to be for small projects, which have been both sources of friction and has slowed us up some.

I think that we can do more planning, if the donors … they may not all want to do what Brazil has done and just go ahead and send ($55 million) to us, but at least if they can tell us when we can look forward to receiving money, we can approve all of these projects and fund them, and they can send the money in on time and we can match it and get the job done.

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Residents are seen sleeping outside of their tent in a makeshift camp for victims affected by the January 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince July 10, 2010. Haiti is commemorating on Monday the six-month anniversary of the disaster that killed more than 300,000 people. (Getty)


Q: Still, with only 10 percent of the funds some are wondering if the Clinton magic has vanished in your ability to get donors to pay up.

A: A lot of these donors want to know what their money is going to go for. One of the things I intend to do this week, I just got back from my annual trip to Africa and I’ve been working on my projects there, we’re going to have a meeting with Prime Minister (Jean-Max) Bellerive to see where we are with the commission. And then I am going to call a number of the donors and try to get those that have expressed a willingness and can legally give direct budget support to the government.

I am going to try and deal with the budget support piece this coming week, call the donors and see what we can do with that. I think a lot of these donors will come across once they see what we are going to do. The great benefit of this (reconstruction) commission is that all of the big donors are represented on the commission, so they’re there with the Haitians and I expect that to pick up pretty briskly. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t.

Q: With legislative and presidential elections set for Nov. 28, to what extent are you concerned that it will hamper or overshadow reconstruction?

A: No, not if it works the way it should. President Preval can’t succeed himself. The government should be free to focus, once they set up a system for the elections and others start to campaign for office. Everybody else in the government ought to be working full time on this.

It might overshadow reconstruction in terms of what’s in the headlines. But my job is to keep the work going day after day.

You know, when you’ve got something like this, you’ve just got to put one foot in front of another. But I’m far more concerned about being slowed down by the rubble problem. There’s just so much of it. Even in (Indonesia), which was devastated, you didn’t have anything like this volume of rubble because you didn’t have 3 million people concentrated in an urban area, that was basically self-enclosed without an easy way to get all of the rubble collected and moved out somewhere. That and the other more emergency matters concerned me more. …

I expect the elections to come off, and what I think is important is neither the IHRC nor the government itself and their ministers be distracted from the urgent work before us because the best way to ensure that it’ll be continued after the next elections and it will be a seamless transition no matter who wins the elections or what their politics are, is to prove that it is working now.

The looming election should actually intensify the determination of the government to get as much done as possible before its mandate runs out. That’s what normally happens all over the world; people try to get as much done before they leave and there is no significant political impediment in the parliament here unlike many places in the world. I’ve been impressed by the extent to which the parliamentary leaders have been willing to work directly with us, and they have been consulted with and involved in, every step of the way and I will continue to do that.

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A woman prays in a cemetery affected by the January 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince July 10, 2010. Haiti is commemorating on Monday the six-month anniversary of the disaster that killed more than 300,000 people. (Getty)

Q: You have been pushing the private NGOs to contribute to the public sector. The American Red Cross announced a few days ago that it was giving $7.9 million for health programs, which includes a $3.8 million agreement with Paul Farmer’s Partners In Health to pay the salaries of more than 1,800 Haitian doctors and health care professionals at the state-owned General Hospital. Why is this contribution significant?

A: I believe this is a new direction for them and I’m very grateful they are doing it. I think the Red Cross and Partners In Health have the most cash, and we know that Partners In Health will put all of their money back into Haiti. This is a good deal, and the fact that they’re willing to register their donations on our website and then have them track is a very good deal.

With the smaller NGOs, the ones that don’t have this much money, what I really want them to do, the ones that don’t have a lot of cash amassed as a result of the earthquake, is to make sure that if they want to build a new clinic, they want to build a new hospital, they integrate it as far as possible into the national plan; they work with Paul Farmer, give us advanced notice and that where ever possible, we use people on the ground in Haiti who are part of the public health system and make sure they’re paid.  (*)

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Medals for Haiti recovery, little for homeless

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Former US president Bill Clinton (L), who heads UN efforts to rebuild Haiti, speaks at a remembrance ceremony on July 12 2010, while Haitian President Rene Preval (C) and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive (R) listen, on the grounds of the destroyed presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, on the six-month anniversary of the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Getty)

July 13, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (KATAKAMI / AP) – Haiti’s president handed out medals to celebrities, aid-group directors and politicians for post-earthquake work Monday in a ceremony designed to beat back criticism of an uneven recovery that has left 1.6 million people homeless and destitute six months to the day since the disaster.

Just out of sight, baking in the oppressive noonday sun, were the fraying tarps of tens of thousands of homeless who live on the Champ de Mars, once a grassy promenade surrounding the government complex.

“That is just a way to put the people to sleep. But the people are suffering,” Edouard James, a 32-year-old vendor said when he was told of the ceremony. Unable to find a job with his degree in diplomacy, he sells pirated DVDs in a tarp-covered booth.

“We are tired of the NGOs … saying we will have a better life and better conditions, and then nothing happens,” he said.

Twenty-three honorees — including actor Sean Penn, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and the head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission — crossed a podium in front of the crushed, unrepaired national palace to steady applause. Some smiling, some solemn, each received medals and certificates deeming them Knights of the National Order of Honor and Merit.

President Rene Preval, whose successor is to be elected in November, defended the response to the quake. He said in two speeches during the ceremony that hard-to-see successes — like the avoidance of massive disease outbreaks and violence — obviates the perception that not enough has been done.

“There are people who did not see all the big efforts that were deployed during the emergency stage: distributing tents, water, food, installing latrines, providing health care during the six months that have just gone by,” Preval said. “It is a major, major task.”

The ceremony was resolutely upbeat. The focus was on successes past and plans going forward, with little talk of the 230,000 to 300,000 people killed in the magnitude-7 temblor.

The president and prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, both used the occasion to announce that a six-month emergency phase has ended and that reconstruction has begun.

The distinction was lost on some Haitians.

“I don’t know if I’m mad or happy,” Anne Bernard, a 24-year-old mother of two living in a metal shack a few hundred yards from the national palace. “All I know is they haven’t done anything.”

The most visible early-emergency programs like massive food distributions have stopped, and there still are few tangible effects of $3.1 billion in humanitarian aid for all but a handful of those left homeless by the quake, who rely on plastic tarps for shelter.

Tarp-and-tent camps are growing instead of shrinking. Just 5,657 transitional shelters have been built of a promised 125,000, which even if completed would not be nearly enough for everyone.

When building materials finally get through customs, there is nowhere to put them. Fights over land rights, customs delays and systemically slow coordination between aid groups and the government have hampered nearly everything. The Associated Press reported Sunday that the location of the largest of two relocation camps provided by the government was the result of an inside deal.

Shortly after the ceremony ended, that camp flooded in a sudden summer squal, with 94 deluxe tents collapsing in the wind and rain.

Compounding the problem in the city is that almost no rubble has been cleared. Preval said Monday it would take $1.5 billion to remove all of it.

Meanwhile donors have met 10 percent of a promised $5.3 billion in reconstruction aid — separate from the humanitarian aid — mostly by forgiving debts, not providing cash.

Clinton, who also received a medal, said it will be his mission in coming weeks to make sure donors meet their pledges. He acknowledged that more could have been done, but that recovery has so far been faster than the rebuilding of coastal Indonesia following the 2004 tsunami.

“To those who say we have not done enough, I think all of us who are working in this area agree this is a harder job (than the tsunami),” Clinton said. “Viewed comparatively I think the Haitian government and the people who are working here have done well in the last six months.”

CNN’s Cooper, who spent parts of January and February in Haiti following the quake and had not returned since, said he found out about the award while getting ready to board his plane to Haiti on Sunday.

“I thought a long time about not accepting it. We finally came to the opinion that it was recognition by the country for all journalists,” he told resident reporters after the ceremony. “I don’t think this in any way impacts the desire or willingness to be critical of the government.” (*)

Reporter Laura Ling names baby after Bill Clinton

Laura Ling, an American journalist arrested in ...

Laura Ling, an American journalist arrested in March after allegedly crossing into North Korea from China, gets emotional as she reads a statement after she and fellow journalist Euna Lee arrived at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif., Aug. 5, 2009. Former President Bill Clinton listens.

 

June 3, 2010

[Yahoo]  Bill Clinton’s redemption is complete. Nearly a year after the former president negotiated the release of two Current TV reporters in North Korea, one of them, Laura Ling, has honored Clinton by naming her new baby after him.

According to People’s Cynthia Wang, Ling gave birth to a girl, Li Jefferson Clayton, on Wednesday night in Burbank, Calif. (The father is Ling’s husband, financial analyst Iain Clayton.) The baby’s first name, Li, is a nod to Ling’s sister Lisa, a former co-host of “The View,” and Jefferson is Clinton’s middle name.

Ling, along with her colleague Euna Lee, was detained for five months last year after the North Korean military arrested them as they were reporting along the country’s border with China. Accused of spying and illegally crossing the border, the women were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in a government detention camp, but last August, Clinton negotiated their release.

ing is still tight with the former prez, telling People that Clinton had followed up with her. “He has checked in on me several times to see how I’m doing and has been so concerned and caring, ” Ling said. “He’s such a wonderful human being.”

Photo : President Clinton In Haiti

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON : I met this young boy while I was touring a Haitian hospital last July. President Préval and I had been working together and were checking in on a number of projects, and this beautiful little guy was just one of the many children receiving medical attention because of partnerships between international donors and Haitians.

Just a few weeks ago, we were on a good path in Haiti. The Government and people there were building a stable and promising future for children like this boy — children who one day will support families of their own.

This is what keeps me going. Decades ago, I made a commitment to the people of Haiti, because I believed in their potential to rise above their long history of neglect. I still believe in that, and I will not give up on them. They’re the reason I was in Haiti before the quake, and they’re the reason I’m here now, helping them stand on their feet again.

Bill Clinton: ‘I have to keep working’

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New York (KATAKAMI / CNN) — On the same day he was released from a hospital after undergoing a heart procedure, former President Clinton told reporters he has no plans to slow down.

“I have to keep working — that’s what my life is for,” he said outside his home in Chappaqua, New York, on Friday. “You know I was given a good mind, a strong body, a wonderful life and it would be wrong for me not to work.”

“I even did a couple of miles [walking] on the treadmill today,” he said.

On Thursday, Clinton, 63, underwent a procedure at New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Columbia campus to implant two stents in a clogged coronary artery.

Clinton has “no evidence of heart attack or damage to his heart,” and his prognosis is excellent after undergoing the procedure, according to Dr. Allan Schwartz, the hospital’s chief of cardiology.

Schwartz said the procedure was “part of the natural history” of Clinton’s treatment after his 2004 quadruple bypass surgery and “not a result of either his lifestyle or diet, both of which have been excellent.”

Clinton called the procedure “kind of a repair job” and said he’s “actually doing very well.” He said he began feeling tired around Christmas and traveled several times in recent weeks to Europe and Haiti.

“I didn’t really notice it until about four days ago when I felt a little bit of pain in my chest, and I thought I had to check it out,” he said.

Earlier Friday, Clinton, the U.N. special envoy for Haiti, issued a statement marking the passing of one month since a massive earthquake devastated the impoverished nation. He also has visited the island nation twice since the earthquake, a fact he noted on Friday.

“I will continue to work with the Haitian government and people, international donors and multilateral organizations, the Haitian Diaspora, NGOs [nongovernmental organizations], and the international business community to fulfill unmet needs,” Clinton said in the statement, released Friday.

“Haiti still has a chance to escape the chains of the past and the ruins of the earthquake,” he said. “But we all will have to do what we can today.”

Clinton said he had helped collect 200,000 donations for Haiti through his partnership with former President George W. Bush — the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund — and through the Clinton Foundation Haiti Relief Fund, calling those efforts “especially impressive.” He said he has helped allocate $7 million in relief.

The 7.0-magnitude quake of January 12 leveled most of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, killing more than 212,000 people and injuring 300,000, according to Haitian government estimates. It left more than a million homeless.

Clinton underwent a procedure called angioplasty, the hospital said, in which a balloon catheter is threaded through an artery to the blocked vessel in the heart. When inflated, the balloon opens the vessel and restores blood flow. Many times, a scaffolding-like structure called a stent is left in place to keep the artery open.

How stents open arteries

President Obama called Clinton on Thursday evening and wished him a speedy recovery so he can continue his work on Haiti and other humanitarian efforts, a senior administration official said.

Schwartz said Clinton began experiencing “pressure or constriction” in his chest several days ago, episodes he described as “brief in nature but repetitive.”

An initial electrocardiogram and blood test showed no evidence of heart attack, Schwartz said. Subsequent pictures of Clinton’s arteries revealed that one of the bypass grafts from his 2004 surgery was “completely blocked,” prompting the stent procedure, which took about an hour, Schwartz said.

Schwartz said Clinton was up and walking about two hours after the surgery.

Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, and his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were with him at the hospital Thursday night, Schwartz said.

Hillary Clinton was scheduled to leave Friday on a planned trip to the Middle East, but her departure has been delayed until Saturday, a senior U.S. official said.

Bill Clinton has maintained an active schedule since leaving the White House in 2001, devoting much of his time to global philanthropic interests and speeches.

Friends have expressed concerns that his “frenetic pace” was taking a toll on his health, sources told CNN.

Clinton maintained that frenetic schedule all the way up to the surgery, said Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton friend and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

In fact, as doctors were wheeling Clinton into the operating room, Clinton’s phone had to be taken out of his hand, said McAuliffe.

“He was on a conference call dealing with Haiti,” McAuliffe told CNN Friday morning. “And I guarantee as soon as he gets back today he’s going to be back on the phone. He’s passionate about helping the folks down there.”

In addition to his trips to Haiti, Clinton attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January.

David Gergen, CNN senior political analyst, said Clinton was exhausted and had a cold after returning from his second trip to Haiti earlier this month.

But Schwartz stressed Thursday that Clinton’s lifestyle has nothing to do with his hospitalization.

“He has really toed the line in terms of both diet and exercise,” Schwartz said, adding that he told Clinton he could be back in the office Monday.

Dr. Spencer King, who has not treated Clinton, rejected as outdated suggestions that the former president needs to slow down.

“This is kind of a ’50s concept,” he said Thursday. “Now we’ve got a lot of fantastic ways to prevent progression of heart disease — medications, things that can be done. The outlook for people is totally different.”

“If he slows down, he slows down,” said King, president of St. Joseph’s Heart and Vascular Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. But he added, “It would be very hard to show any data that would tell you he’ll have more trouble if he hangs it up.”

Clinton’s 2004 surgery was performed at the same hospital where he was admitted Thursday. Doctors in 2005 operated again on Clinton to remove scar tissue and fluid that had built up after his bypass surgery.

Schwartz said Thursday that the type of bypass graft used in Clinton’s 2004 surgery “has a 10 [percent] to 20 percent failure rate after five or six years.”

King said Thursday’s stent procedure may not be the end of Clinton’s heart woes.

“The problem there is that that vein graft is developing disease, and sometimes it goes on and develops more,” he said. “There’s a substantial chance over the next three, four, five years that it could close up again.”

(ms)

Bill Clinton Undergoes a New Heart Procedure

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(KATAKAMI / THE NEW YORK TIMES) Former President Bill Clinton was taken to a New York hospital today after experiencing chest pains, and underwent a heart procedure, his office said.

Doctors inserted two stents into his native coronary artery after one of the bypass grafts from an operation five years ago became obstructed.

“President Clinton is in good spirits and will continue to focus on the work of his foundation and Haiti’s relief and long-term recovery efforts,” his counselor, Douglas J. Band, said in a statement released by the former president’s office.

Mr. Clinton, who serves as the United Nations special envoy to Haiti, has been spending much of his time in recent weeks trying to coordinate relief and recovery efforts for the Caribbean island after a devastating earthquake claimed more than 200,000 lives. Mr. Clinton just returned a few days ago from his second trip there since the earthquake.

Mr. Clinton, 63, has a history of heart trouble. He had quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery in 2004 and later developed rare complications affecting his lungs that required another operation six months later. He was taken Thursday to the Columbia campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility where he was treated six years ago.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton learned of her husband’s condition after she concluded a meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office.

An associate of Mrs. Clinton’s said she was in Washington, but making plans to head to New York City late this afternoon.

Mr. Clinton’s health has been a concern ever since the 2004 heart operation. By his own account, he had never been entirely the same. “It changed me,” he told The New York Times last year. “One of the things I noticed is that on normal days ever since I had that heart surgery, I’m a lot more laid back and a lot more relaxed and a lot more healthy.

“But I also noticed since I had the surgery – and this is what you picked up in the campaign – that if I’m really tired, it’s more difficult for me than it was when I was back in politics before I had the heart problem. I have no explanation for why that is. I’m just observing it. It’s neither an excuse for any mistake I made or anything else. I’m just explaining. It’s something I’ve noticed. My life has changed.”

Facebook : Former President Bill Clinton admitted to hospital

(KATAKAMI / FACEBOOK) Today President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest.

Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries.

President Clinton is in good spirits, and will continue to focus on the work of his Foundation and Haiti’s relief and long-term recovery efforts.

(MS)

Bill Clinton hospitalized in New York, sources say

(KATAKAMI / CNN) — Former President Bill Clinton was hospitalized in New York on Thursday after experiencing chest pain, two sources told CNN.

The sources did not know whether it was a “full heart attack.”

The White House was told of the situation, a source close to the former president told CNN.

Clinton, 63, underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Doctors in 2005 removed scar tissue and fluid that had built up after that surgery.

A spokeswoman for that hospital said she had not heard anything about the report.

In recent weeks, Clinton was overseeing the United Nations aid mission in Haiti after a January 12 earthquake struck there.

(MS)