DOES ARAFAT HAVE AIDS?
Yes of course he does, they're the ones who get him coffee in the morning. Boom boom. The suggestion has been circulating for years that Arafat has been an active bisexual, since at least the late 70s if this report is accurate:
Ion Pacepa, who was deputy chief of Romanian foreign intelligence under the Ceaucescu regime and who defected to the West in 1978, says in his memoirs that the Romania government bugged Arafat and had recordings of the Arab leader in orgies with his body guards.
Recent reports that doctors have had difficulty diagnosing his illness would add to the credibility of the AIDS story. It is heard to believe that Arafat might have a 'mystery illness', more likely he has an illness that has been diagnosed, but the nature of it might be seen to reflect badly on him, eg AIDS. The fine folks at 365gay (personally, my favourite news source for the ins and outs on the Middle East) have taken up the story.
IS ARAFAT ALREADY DEAD?
This one has been going around for a couple of days, but now it is starting to reach respectable circles. The logic is that Arafat died some time last week, and that the announcement is being delayed until his minders can get him buried as requested in Jerusalem, and also until a desirable successor can rise above the fray and take over from Arafat. This would be a conspiracy of monumental size, particularly given the need for the French Department of Defence to be complicit - he's being treated at the Hopital d'Instruction des Armees de Percy, where, incidentally, France's best HIV specialists practice - as well as the stream of people who have been in contact with him.
A few outlets have toyed with the story, but so far no one has the Smoking Gun, or is that the rotting corpse, to run with it with confidence.