DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The United Arab Emirates' long-ailing ruler and president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, died Friday at age 73.
Sheikh Khalifa oversaw much of the country's blistering economic growth and his name was immortalized on the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, after bailing out debt-crippled Dubai during its financial crisis over a decade ago. However, after suffering a stroke and undergoing emergency surgery in 2014, a decade after becoming president, he ceased having any involvement in the day-to-day affairs of ruling the country.
There was no immediate announcement on a successor, although Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed is anticipated to claim the presidency at a time of high oil prices, which boost the UAE's spending power.
Robert McFarlane, key Reagan aide
WASHINGTON – Former White House national security adviser Robert McFarlane, a top aide to President Ronald Reagan who pleaded guilty to charges for his role in an illegal arms-for-hostages deal known as the Iran-Contra affair, has died. He was 84.
McFarlane, a former Marine lieutenant colonel and Vietnam combat veteran, resigned his White House post in December 1985. He was later pressed into service by the administration as part of secret – and illegal – plan to sell arms to Iran in exchange for the freedom of Western hostages in the Middle East and pass along proceeds to the contra rebels in Nicaragua for their fight against the Marxist Sandinista government.
He pleaded guilty in March 1988 to four misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress. He was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush, along with five other figures from the scandal.
Veteran actor Fred Ward, 79
NEW YORK – Fred Ward, a veteran actor who brought a gruff tenderness to tough-guy roles in such films as “The Right Stuff,” “The Player” and “Tremors,” has died. He was 79. No cause or place of death was disclosed per the family's wishes.
Ward earned a Golden Globe and shared the Venice Film Festival ensemble prize for his performance in Robert Altman's “Short Cuts”.