Thursday, November 04, 2004

I wish they wouldn't get my hopes up like this...

Arafat is brain dead (no, really, not just stupid, his brain stopped working...NO! I mean in the medical sense).

PARIS (Reuters) - Yasser Arafat was critically ill in a French military hospital on Friday after falling into a coma, and a senior official said some of the Palestinian president's powers had been handed to his prime minister.

Aides said the condition of the 75-year-old leader, a decades-old symbol of the Palestinian struggle against Israel for a state, deteriorated on Thursday.

But the aides and a hospital spokesman denied reports he was dead. They also dismissed reports he was brain dead, although the exact nature of his illness remained unclear.

"President Arafat is in a very serious condition," said one senior Palestinian official, declining to be named. "He is still in a coma. The sense people are getting is that they are increasingly pessimistic."

Dozens of Arafat supporters gathered in front of the hospital in the southwest Paris surburb of Clamart, waving flags and holding up pictures of the Palestinian leader. French President Jacques Chirac visited Arafat on Thursday afternoon.