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New Zealand PM cleared for Antarctic journey after fainting in restaurant


11:07, January 18, 2013

WELLINGTON, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was declared fit to travel to Antarctica Friday after fainting in a restaurant in the South Island city of Christchurch late Thursday.

Key was taken to Christchurch hospital where he was assessed by three specialists, Radio New Zealand reported Friday.

He was discharged just after midnight after being found fit and healthy, said the report.

Key had been scheduled to depart on a three-day visit to Antarctica late Thursday, but the flight was delayed because of weather conditions on the frozen continent.

He is to visit New Zealand science and environmental management programs, view New Zealand conservation of huts associated with historic journeys on the frozen continent, and participate in a ceremony celebrating the installation of Maori artwork at New Zealand's Scott Base research center on Ross Island in the Ross Sea.

He will also visit U.S. bases at the South Pole and McMurdo Station to reaffirm the close relationship New Zealand and the United States shared on the ice.

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