Anyone who's seen Bill Clinton in the past few months — speaking at the White House ceremony when his portrait was unveiled in May, delivering a ringing speech in support of John Kerry at the Democratic National Convention in July, signing copies of his book all over the world this summer — couldn't help noticing that he was full of energy and looking mighty svelte.
The ex-President was thin — not just for the famously chubby Clinton — but thin by anyone's standard. How did he do it? He had been on the South Beach diet, he told friends, and was getting plenty of exercise. "I'm eating better and working out hard," he said, reports Time.
According to the Australian, former US president Bill Clinton has been inundated with greetings from well-wishers around the world as he awaits heart bypass surgery this week.
A family statement issued on the Clinton Foundation website today said Mr Clinton, wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea felt "so blessed and grateful for the thousands of prayers and messages of goodwill we have received".
"We are also thankful for the excellent care provided by the doctors, nurses and the staff of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Centre.
"While bypass surgery certainly isn't something to look forward to, we are very lucky that the condition was detected in time to have this procedure before something more serious occurred.
"It is a reminder that, while diet and exercise are important, nothing substitutes for regular checkups and talking to your doctor whenever you have questions about any serious pains or discomfort you are experiencing."
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Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987