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Mubarak sparks health scare

Cairo, Nov. 19 (Reuters): Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak halted a broadcast speech for about 45 minutes today, raising some concern in Egypt about the 75-year-old leader’s health and who might succeed him.

Mubarak originally delayed the speech to parliament from Sunday because of a cold. Today his voice faded as he wiped his nose, at which point the broadcast stopped.

Information minister Safwat el-Sherif told state television the incident was caused by a mixture of fasting during Ramazan and medicines for his cold. “What happened to the President resulted from fasting and antibiotics. The President insisted on attending the session today, against the advice of physicians,” Sherif said before Mubarak returned, adding: “The President is well, thank God.”

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