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MAY 8, 2000 VOL. 155 NO. 18

Milestones
BY PENNY CAMPBELL

DIED. MASATO SHINOHARA, 40, from radiation sickness, bringing to two the number of deaths following a leak at a uranium-processing plant in Tokaimura, Japan last September; in Tokyo. During the leak--the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl--Shinohara was one of three workers exposed to massive doses of radiation. The spill raised questions about the cozy relationship between nuclear regulators and power-plant officials, which may have led to weak safety precautions.

DIED. ANDRE JARROT, 90, French resistance hero who helped thousands of Allied airmen escape from occupied France during World War II; in Burgundy. After being arrested by the Gestapo, Jarrot escaped to Britain and subsequently took part in some of the war's most successful sabotage missions. After the fighting he returned to France and married a fellow resistance veteran. He went on to a thriving political career, becoming a mayor, a minister and a member of the French Senate, celebrating his retirement at age 86 with a parachute drop.

DIED. DAVID MERRICK, 88, legendary Broadway producer whose showmanship and flair for publicity helped create hits like Hello, Dolly! and 42nd Street; in London. Merrick's more than 80 shows won numerous Tony Awards, and during the producer's heyday in the late 1950s and 1960s, earned a reported $20 million annually, from which he took a cut of 10%. Married six times, Merrick had been confined to a wheelchair since suffering a stroke in 1983.

RETIREMENT ANNOUNCED. Of GEORGE HABASH, 73, charismatic and controversial Palestinian politician, as leader of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; in Damascus. One of the three main factions within the p.l.o., the front was involved in a spate of aircraft hijackings in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Habash fiercely opposed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's policy of compromise and the 1993 Oslo peace deal with Israel.

ARRESTED. MARCIO AMARO DE OLIVEIRA, 30, one of Brazil's most wanted drug lords; in Rio de Janeiro. De Oliveira escaped from a maximum security prison five years ago while serving a 20-year sentence. Operating a powerful drug-trafficking operation from a southern Rio slum, he shot to fame in 1996 when he reportedly forced producers of a Michael Jackson video to pay him for filming in his territory.

ARRESTED. CHENG KEJIE, 66, disgraced former vice chairman of China's National People's Congress, on corruption charges; in Beijing. Cheng, whose arrest had been anticipated, is one of the most senior officials to face graft charges in the government's ongoing anti-corruption drive. He is suspected of taking $4.6 million in bribes and kickbacks while governor of the impoverished southwestern province of Guangxi. If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.


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