FRANCE: Taking Pompidou's Pulse

French President Georges Pompidou recently confided to a friend that "when people shake my hand these days, I get the impression they are really taking my pulse." With some reason.

Public worry over the President's health has mounted from the whispered rumor stage to front-page news. During the past year, Pompidou, now 61, has gained at least 20 Ibs., ballooning from bourgeois rotundity to sickly flabbiness. His complexion has become blotchy, and he has begun to walk stiffly and clumsily. Descending from his jet to meet with President Nixon in Iceland late last...

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