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Fears grow for Arafat's health.

Lawyers defending Sir Mark Thatcher against charges he helped finance a coup attempt in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea yesterday challenged the legality of a South African government subpoena to question the former prime minister's son.

Thatcher, a 51-year-old businessman who inherited his title when his father died, was subpoenaed after the South African government granted an Equatorial Guinea request to question him about the allegations.

His lawyers argued in a Cape Town court, however, that it was unconstitutional to subpoena him to respond to those questions while he has related South African charges pending.

FEARS for Yasser Arafat's health grew yesterday after a hospital admitted his illness was more than just flu and Israeli officials speculated he has cancer.

The 75-year-old Palestinian leader, already suspected of suffering from Parkinson's disease, has a large gallstone, a Palestinian hospital official said.

He insisted the condition is not life threatening and can be easily treated.

But the illness forced the weakened Arafat to break his Ramadan fast and he underwent more medical tests at the urging of his doctors.

Doctors recommended Arafat undergo minor surgery to remove the stone, but he has not yet responded, the source said.

A NEW YORK plane crash, which killed 265 people, was caused by the co-pilot who was trying to recover from a turbulent take-off, investigators say.

American Airlines Flight 587 plunged on to the suburb of Queens in November 2001 killing everybody on board and five on the ground.

Coming just weeks after September 11, the disaster initially raised fears of another terrorist attack, although that was quickly discounted.

Yesterday investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board said the crash was caused by co-pilot Sten Molin's 'unnecessary and aggressive' response to turbulence immediately after take-off.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 27, 2004
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