Kuwait's ailing emir abdicates after agreement

Kuwait's ailing emir, Sheik Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, has abdicated following an agreement within the ruling family, a lawmaker said Monday. The abdication paves the way for the prime minister and longtime de facto ruler, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, to become the country's new emir, and ends an unprecedented public quarrel inside the ruling family. He said the two struggling camps of the family met Monday evening in order to reach a compromise before a parliament session Tuesday that was to debate Cabinet demands that the ailing new emir be ousted in favor of the Sheik Sabah. A swearing-in ceremony for Sheik Saad had been planned for Tuesday evening. It was not yet known when Sheik Sabah would take the oath as emir. Both Sheik Saad and Sheik Sabah are in their mid-70s - their exact ages are not known - but Sheik Sabah is the more fit of the two. He had a heart pacemaker implanted but otherwise is said to be in good health