Illness Forces Mubarak Offstage During Speech
Sneezing and coughing, Egypt’s 75-year-old President Hosni Mubarak abruptly left the stage for more than 30 minutes in the middle of a nationally televised speech. He was described by aides as having a slight dip in blood pressure and a cold aggravated by medication and fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“The president has suffered a health crisis,” a state television announcer said. The opening of parliament had been delayed four days because of his illness.