Kuwait's emir falls ill, is flown to London hospital

KUWAIT -- The emir of Kuwait suffered a brain hemorrhage Friday and was flown to London for treatment. While the illness struck at a crucial time, his Persian Gulf nation's support for the United States in building a coalition against terrorism seemed sure to stand.

Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah, 75, arrived at London's Heathrow airport in a Kuwaiti plane shortly after 9:30 p.m. Kuwaiti officials there said he would be treated at Cromwell Hospital. He was reported in a stable condition.

The emir did not lose consciousness "at any stage," said Health Minister Mohammed al-Jarrallah,

In visits to Washington and New York since the Sept. 11 attacks, Sheik Sabah has repeatedly stressed his support for the United States, insisting Kuwait will not turn its back on the country that liberated it in the 1991 Gulf War.

Mugabe: White farmers provoked violence

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Under pressure from fellow Africans to stop land seizures, President Robert Mugabe accused white farmers Friday of provoking violence to resist redistributing property to landless blacks.

Ruling party militants have occupied 1,700 white-owned farms since March 2000, and the government has earmarked 4,500 white-owned farms to be seized and given to landless blacks. At least nine white farmers have died in violence since June.

In an agreement signed in September in Abuja, Nigeria, Zimbabwe pledged an immediate end to violence and farm invasions in return for British funding for orderly land reform.

Mugabe told his ruling party's 135-member central committee on Friday that the government was to launch a campaign across the country to explain the deal brokered to end the 18 months of violence on farms.

Ex-communist surprise winner in Estonian vote

TALLINN, Estonia -- Ex-communist Arnold Ruutel, a leading figure in this former Soviet republic's drive for independence, was chosen as Estonia's president by a special government assembly on Friday.

Ruutel, 73, will replace popular President Lennart Meri, who is barred by the constitution from seeking a third term. He edged out Parliament Speaker Toomas Savi of the center-right Reform Party, who had been favored to win.

A former chairman of the Soviet-era legislature who renounced communism, Ruutel remains a controversial figure because of his past.

Estonia's president isn't involved in the day-to-day running of the country; the prime minister handles that. But he's the commander of the military, helps form governments and is an important foreign envoy.

Japan confirms Asia's first mad cow case

TOKYO -- A test has shown that a Japanese animal slaughtered in August carried the mad cow disease, the Ministry of Agriculture said Saturday, confirming the first known case of the deadly brain-wasting illness in Asia.

The Japanese government had announced last week that the 5-year-old dairy cow in central Japan might have suffered from the sickness and sent a tissue sample to experts in Britain for a conclusive diagnosis. The results came back late Friday, the ministry said.

Officials have been scrambling to reassure Japanese consumers and persuade other countries, including the United States and several Asian nations, to drop bans imposed on Japanese meat after last week's announcement.

Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is believed to spread by recycling meat and bones from infected animals back into cattle feed.

-- From wire reports

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