October-30th-2004, 09:11 AM
From top of http://www.cnn.com, the news is:
BREAKING NEWS Yasser Arafat's doctors say he likely has leukemia. Palestinian sources say Arafat's era as a leader is over. Details soon
edited to change title of thread
October-30th-2004, 09:24 AM
Leukemia Specialists Examine Ailing Arafat
54 minutes ago Middle East - AP
By LARA SUKHTIAN, Associated Press Writer
PARIS - Leukemia specialists examined ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (news - web sites) at a French military hospital to determine whether he suffers from the blood cancer, Palestinian officials said Saturday. Early test results were expected by Saturday evening. "Within 24 to 48 hours, we should know what he's facing," said top Arafat aide Nabil Abu Rdeneh.
The 75-year-old Arafat has been sick for two weeks and blood tests have revealed he has a low platelet count — a possible symptom of leukemia, other cancers or a number of other maladies.
Arafat received a transfusion of platelets shortly after being rushed Friday from his headquarters in Ramallah to France for treatment at the Hopital d'Instruction des Armees de Percy, a military teaching hospital southwest of Paris that specializes in blood disorders and trauma care.
A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was a strong possibility that Arafat was suffering from leukemia and that a team of French physicians specializing in the disorder had examined the Palestinian leader on Friday.
"It looks like it's leukemia," the official told The Associated Press. "They are trying to find out if in fact it is leukemia, and if so, what type. They are trying to see what is the best way to treat it."
Platelets are blood components that aid in clotting. A low count can be caused by many medical problems, including bleeding ulcers, colitis, leukemia and lymphoma, liver disease, lupus and chickenpox.
Arafat — who had not left his sandbagged Ramallah compound in nearly three years — could remain in France for four to five weeks, said the official, who was the first Palestinian to confirm that leukemia was suspected. Another Palestinian official said Arafat had undergone a CT scan and that the results were negative.
Arafat was sleeping most of the time when he was not undergoing tests, said another Palestinian official. A core team of about nine doctors was working on the Palestinian leader, the official said, also on condition of anonymity.
"His condition is worrisome," said the official.
Arafat's platelet count went up after his transfusion but his physicians did not know whether that improvement was permanent, the official added.
Leila Shahid, the Palestinian envoy to France, and Nasser al-Kidwa, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations (news - web sites) who is Arafat's nephew, were among the few who visited Arafat on Saturday. Admirers gathering outside the hospital wished Arafat well.
"Our presence here is in solidarity with the president," said Jihad Al-Qura, 52, who said he was exiled by Israel in 1989. Arafat is "the symbol of the struggle of the Palestinian people."
A contingent of around 18 Palestinian officials flew in with Arafat from the West Bank on Friday, including Mohammed Rashid, his financial adviser; Mohammed Dahlan, the former security chief in Gaza; chief of staff Ramzi Khoury and top aide Nabil Abu Rdeneh.
Arafat was rushed to France after he took a turn for the worse Wednesday night, collapsing and briefly losing consciousness — and doctors in Ramallah admitted they didn't know the cause of the low platelet count.
The ailing leader arrived on a French military jet at an airfield southwest of Paris Friday and was taken by helicopter to the hospital. His wife, Suha, was at his side.
Palestinians were beginning to consider how their world would look without Arafat, the only leader they have known for nearly four decades.
Anxious to maintain an air of normalcy, the top committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (news - web sites) held its regularly weekly meeting in the Ramallah compound, leaving the iconic leader's chair at the head of the conference table empty.
Mahmoud Abbas, the secretary-general of the PLO executive committee, chaired the meeting — remaining in his usual seat to Arafat's right. Officials cautioned against seeing the meeting as a signal Abbas is ready to take over from Arafat.
"This is a normal meeting about the situation and about an action plan," said Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian legislator. "I don't think we will have a political vacuum."
On Sunday, Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia was to convene the National Security Council, in charge of all the security forces in the West Bank and Gaza. Arafat normally chairs the NSC, but instructed Qureia to convene the council as usual in his absence, officials said.
About 1,000 Palestinian students rallied Saturday at Nablus University in the West Bank, many of them carrying Arafat's portrait. "I can't even imagine another Palestinian leader other than Arafat," said Naheb Mustapha, 20, a student of English dressed in a full-length black robe and veil. "I pray that Allah will take care of him," she said.
In public appearances and radio messages, Palestinian leaders took pains to assure the people it was business-as-usual in Arafat's absence.
But fears of instability were rife. Arafat never groomed a successor, and always ensured the removal of anyone who appeared to be gaining too much power.
Abbas, the No. 2 in the PLO hierarchy, was seen by some as the most likely to step into Arafat's position, at least for a transition period.
"It's obvious that Abu Mazen is the name which is mentioned everywhere by everybody and I think nobody is challenging this until now," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a former Cabinet minister and Arafat confident, referring to Abbas by his nom de guerre.
October-30th-2004, 10:23 AM
October-30th-2004, 12:34 PM
You know what? I'm a pretty sympathetic person, especially when it comes to cancer because of my family history, even to people who probably don't deserve sympathy.
But in this case, I only have one thing to say: Good. He deserves that and more.
Ghost of Nibbs McPimpin
October-30th-2004, 02:08 PM
Notice how evil men with lots of power never friggin die early?! Seriously, why can't an Arafat or Stalin or Pol Pot ever get cancer AND die BEFORE they really "get into" their evil.
It's like Louis Farrakhan. Malcolm X had changed his life around and dropped the racism and he gets killed(by Farrakhan? hmm) but Farrakhan makes it through friggin some abdominal cancer.
October-30th-2004, 02:23 PM
Hopefully, when this man does kick, it will be somebody who truly desires peace that becomes the Palestinian leader...and not the other way around.
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