Berlusconi falls ill during political speech

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi slumped at the podium during a speech to political supporters in northern Italy Sunday, and supporters said he had fallen ill because of the strong emotion of the speech. After some 40 minutes of railing against Premier Romano Prodi's center-left government, Berlusconi suddenly looked weak and aides rushed to his side to prop him up as he gripped the podium, live television footage showed. Fellow conservative politician Marcello Dell'Utri told the crowd to stay calm and wait until Berlusconi returned to speak, while another supporter, former Chamber of Deputies speaker Irene Pivetti, told the crowd that Berlusconi had "fallen ill because the tension, because of the emotion" of the speech.