Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime friend of Hillary Clinton gave her advice on issues ranging from British politics to Afghanistan and Iran while she was secretary of state even though he was not employed by the US government, according to emails released on Tuesday.

    The emails from 2009 show informal adviser Blumenthal, whose ties to the Clinton family date back to former President Bill Clinton's White House years, actively trying to shape the early months of Hillary Clinton's time as America's top diplomat.

    Clinton's close links to Blumenthal could rebound on her as she runs for the Democratic nomination for the 2016 presidential election.

    Republicans in Congress have sought to put a spotlight on his influence over Clinton on Libya as it descended into chaos in 2011. A former journalist, Blumenthal sent her lengthy memos about the north African country, many of them containing intelligence reports from a former Central Intelligence Agency officer.

    The emails released by the state department showed that the issues on which Blumenthal gave advice went far beyond Libya. He gave Clinton information on other sensitive issues as early as 2009.

    He seemed to be a middle-man between Clinton and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the Northern Ireland peace process, according to an email he sent on June 14 that year.

    "Gordon Brown called me today to convey his very best to you," Blumenthal wrote to Clinton. He mentioned her possible involvement in a meeting between Brown, Irish Republican leader Martin McGuinness and a man named Shaun, who appears to be Britain's former Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward.

    "I said that he and Gordon should let me know before Wednesday whether your involvement is essential and what they request. That is fine with them and Shaun will get back to me," Blumenthal wrote.

    Controversy over Clinton's emails has dogged the start of her campaign for the White House in November, 2016 after she acknowledged using a personal email account rather than a government one for State Department business.

    The emails released on Tuesday are among some 30,000 work emails that she handed over to the State Department in December that a judge has ordered to be released in batches.

    Blumenthal was barred from a job at the state department by aides to President Barack Obama because of lingering distrust over his role advising Clinton's run against Obama in the acrimonious 2008 Democratic primary, according to The New York Times.

    Blunt advice

    But in July 2009, he gave the former first lady blunt instructions ahead of a speech she gave at the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank in Washington.

    "For most policy speeches a generic tone and workmanlike prose are acceptable. But for this one it's not. This speech can't afford to be lackluster," he said in an email, offering her a possible draft copy of the speech.

    On June 23, Blumenthal emailed Clinton around 10pm with the subject line, "Hillary: if you're up, give me a call. Sid." In the preceding days, he had sent her detailed memos on Iran's 2009 election crisis with media clips.

    Later that year, Blumenthal wrote to Clinton that delay in announcing a strategy for US forces in Afghanistan was putting serious strains on Washington's relations with close ally Britain.

    "Consensus across the board in Britain - center, right, left- is that the Atlantic alliance - the special relationship -the historic bond since World War II - is shattered," he wrote.

Akshay Kumar to set new record with next film Special Chabbis

  • Akshay Kumar

    Akshay Kumar has traversed a long way from Khiladi to Rowdy Rathore. The actor did some Hera Pheri too and got away successfully. On the ...

  • Bhool Bhulaiyaa

    Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007): Akshay Kumar plays a psychiatrist called Dr Aditya Shrivastav in this Vidya Balan starrer.

  • Hera Pheri

    Hera Pheri (2000): Starring Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Sunil Shetty and Tabu, the film is one of Bollywood's best ever comedy movies.

  • Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi

    Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996): The fourth film in the Khiladi series was the sixth highest grossing movie of the year.

  • Khiladi

    Khiladi (1992): Directed by Abbas Mustan, the film paired Akshay with Ayesha Jhulka. The film was Akshay Kumar's breakthrough role.  Khiladi was the first in ...

  • Main Khiladi Tu Anari

    Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994): Akshay Kumar plays inspector Karan in the film. The film also has Saif Ali Khan and Shilpa Shetty.

  • Singh Is Kinng

    Singh Is Kinng (2008): Directed by Anees Bazmee, the film was a huge success at the box office and broke the first-week worldwide record of ...

  • Mohra

    Mohra (1994): The film pairs Akshay Kumar opposite Raveena Tandon.

  • Akki

    Housefull (2010): Akshay paired up with Deepika Padukone in Sajid Khan's Housefull.

  • Housefull 2

    Housefull 2 (2012): After the failure of Desi Boyz, Akshay Kumar was back with a bang with Housefull 2. He starred opposite Asin in the ...

Akshay Kumar recently created a record with his five releases doing a collective business of over 400 crores just in India. However, this isn't the last of the records that he has created. Come February and he would be setting a new record for the maximum number of releases that a top actor has seen in a span of 12 months.

"With the release of Special Chabbis confirmed for February next year, Akshay would now have six releases in 10 months. This is a new record and no other superstar has come even close to such a feat during last one decade at least. Yes, such phenomenon was quite prominent during 70s, 80s and to an extent even 90s when stars used to work in multiple films. However, with most top league stars opting for one, or at maximum two releases a year, Akshay has been an exception", comments an observer.

AkshayStarting from Housefull 2 in April this year, Akshay has released Rowdy Rathore (June), Joker (August), OMG Oh My God (September) and Khiladi 786 (December).

"Over and above this, he also has Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2, Boss and Thuppakki lined up in 2013. This makes it nine releases in two years, a feat that none of the three Khans or other superstars like Ajay Devgn or Hrithik has enjoyed", informs a source.

In that context, he is pretty much competing with his own record that was set around two decades ago. Way back in 1994, he had an astonishing 11 releases in a single year with Elaan, Yeh Dillagi, Jai Kishan, Mohra, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Ikke Pe Ikka, Amaanat, Suhaag, Zakhmi Dil, Zaalim and Hum Hain Bemisaal releasing month after month.


BO Report: Akshay Kumar's Khiladi 786 passes the test
Akshay Kumar returned back to his action roots with the latest in the Khiladi series Khiladi 786. last Friday. With record breaking collections in single screens and slow but steadily growing collections in multiplexes, seems like Khiladi 786 has passed its test. READ MORE

Akshay Kumar to return as Khatron Ke Khiladi host
Bollywood's 'khiladi' Akshay Kumar will return as the host of action-adventure show Fear Factor - Khatron Ke Khiladi, according to reliable sources. READ

I just work and entertain: Akshay Kumar
With two of his films - Housefull 2 and Rowdy Rathore - having made it to the Rs. 100 crore club, Akshay Kumar has been tagged as one of Bollywood's most bankable actor. Though the actor feels the pressure of success, he says once a film releases, he doesn't dwell too much upon its box-office performance. AKKI SPEAK

Khatron Ke Khiladi 5: Ajay Devgn may replace Akshay Kumar
Fans of Akshay Kumar’s daredevil stunts are in for a disappointment. The actor, who recently did five death-defying stunts, including jumping off an airplane and swimming with sharks in his superhit film, Rowdy Rathore, will not host the fifth season of the popular action-reality show, Khatron Ke Khiladi, the desi version of Fear Factor. KKK5

KhiladiAkshay Kumar to produce a Punjabi film
Earlier this year, Akshay Kumar and Ashvini Yardi announced a Marathi film, 72 Miles Ek Prabhat, under their production company Grazing Goat Pictures. Now, they have plans for another regional project - a Punjabi film, Paaji In Trouble.

"Regional cinema is a powerful medium as it engages with audiences on a real, grassroots level. At the same time, it's an unsung hero and has just become a phenomenon in mainstream cinema..." PRODUCER AKSHAY

Khiladi 786 will be a Rs. 100 cr hit: Himesh Reshammiya
Singer-composer Himesh Reshammiya, who has co-produced Khiladi 786 with Akshay Kumar, is sure the film will be a Rs. 100-crore film.

“As far as Rs. 100 crore is concerned, I am 100% sure and pray that the record Akshay Kumar has set with Rowdy Rathore and OMG Oh My God! this year, in Khiladi 786, we will surely cross that figure,” the 39-year-old was quoted as saying. SUPERHIT KHILADI

Akshay Kumar to make India’s first martial arts film
Akshay Kumar, who has been promoting martial arts in the country for some time now, is set to take his passion a step further. The actor now plans to produce a full-fledged movie based on the arts. It will be the first of its kind in India.

However, he is unlikely to act in the film that his company Hari Om Entertainment will produce next year. FULL STORY

Akshay Kumar to con again for next
Tees Maar Khan ( 2010) was a debacle for Akshay Kumar. Although the film managed to make its share of money, it was openly thrashed by most critics. However, looks like Akshay is not done with playing the role of a conman yet. Reports suggest that the actor will be donning a similar avatar in Neeraj Pandey’s next directorial venture, Special Chabbis. READ MORE

CRITICS REPORT: Akshay Kumar's Khiladi 786 gets mixed reviews

After hits like Housefull 2, Rowdy Rathore and OMG: Oh My God! this year, Akshay Kumar is back with Khiladi 786. While some critics call it a mindless entertainer, others have tagged it as a wannabe funny movie.

Will this be Akshay's fourth hit of 2012, or will it have the same fate as his another 2012 release Joker. Time will tell!

KhiladiMeanwhile, here's what the critics have to say: CRITICS VERDICT

Akshay Kumar to break his own record with Khiladi 786

In a year that has seen a record number of 100 crore hits being dished out by Bollywood, everyone from Salman Khan and Aamir Khan to Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Ranbir Kapoor has consolidated his place in the exclusive club. While quite a few records have been made and broken, the year was particularly special for Akshay Kumar who managed to bring on two such films in his kitty. FULL STORY

Anupama Chopra's review: Khiladi 786
I’ve long maintained that Bollywood and Punjabi-ness are a perfect fit. Hindi films are designed to be larger-than-life,
robust, brash.

The best are imbued with an inherent ‘masti’ or intoxication. In other words, Punjabi. But after watching Khiladi 786 – close on the heels of that other mind-numbing action-comedy, Son of Sardaar – I think it’s time for Bollywood to give Punjab a little rest. HT REVIEW

(With additional inputs)


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