Astoundingly, still no new conspiracy theory online at Algeria-Watch after military strongman gen. maj. Smaïn Lamari died of an unexpected ... heart attack. Who will be the first to claim he was murdered? Well, perhaps everyone is too busy speculating about the health of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Just the other day, his prime minister, the hapless FLN stooge Abdelaziz Belkhadem, held a press conference denouncing all speculation about the president's health, saying he's just fine.
Seeing as how that evidently didn't help, he sent his brother to visit the sheikh. That immediately started a rumour about the president being absent because he was in a critical condition. Out of other options, and with people for some reason reluctant to trust prime minister Belkhadem, Boutef was finally forced to show up in person at the hospital, to look alive in front of the cameras. (And Qaradawi also got up and wandered about.)
It's all very touching. But that's the great thing about being an aging dictator in a system known to eat its own, with a famously frail health, and a myriad of clawing military competitors who are just waiting for the great sucking sound of your death to be heard -- people care a lot about your health. And you don't even have to care about theirs!