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Nelson Mandela and the hourly health report

Over the past few weeks, I've started to wonder about the nearly daily updates on Nelson Mandela's health. When he first became ill, there were reports and I heard them, thought "that's too bad, I hope he's OK", then went on with my day. As the weeks have gone on, I've started to wonder why there are now constant reports on his health. Now, I totally understand why he is a major world figure, but there are many major world figures out there. I don't remember once hearing a retired leaders health being treated as front page, top of the hour news in countries where he or she was not even the leader. What is going on here? Just let me know when he's either A) out of the hospital or B) (god forbid) dead. Otherwise, it isn't news.

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