Hillary Clinton avoids email controversy at women’s event

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NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton steered clear Monday of a controversy involving her use of a private email account at the State Department, bringing attention instead to a new report on the progress of women and girls around the globe.

The potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate did not speak about questions over her use of a private email account as secretary of state during a two-hour event involving her No Ceilings project at the Clinton Foundation. The event highlighted a report released by Clinton and others on the economic and educational opportunities for women and girls.

“There has never been a better time in history to be born female,” Clinton said, but noted that many opportunity gaps remain around the world.

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Clinton has faced scrutiny over whether she fully complied with federal laws requiring government officials to preserve written communications involving official business. Democrats have defended her but Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., urged Clinton on Sunday to offer a more detailed explanation. “From this point on, the silence is going to hurt her,” Feinstein said.

Last week, Clinton said in a Twitter message that she wanted her emails released but she has not spoken publicly about the issue. The State Department is reviewing 55,000 pages of emails that she has already turned over and Republicans in Congress have said they plan to review her email practices.

Clinton, with her daughter, Chelsea, and philanthropist Melinda Gates, joined several panelists at a media event about the report compiled by Clinton’s project on the progress of women and girls around the globe.

It came nearly 20 years since her 1995 United Nations speech in Beijing, when she declared that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.”

JILL COLVIN AND KEN THOMAS, Associated Press

Thomas reported from Washington.

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