Briefs

By Ap Compiled From News Services Reuters | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), December 24, 1996 | Go to article overview

Briefs


Ap Compiled From News Services Reuters, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


NATION

FBI Spy Suspect Is Held Without Bail

A veteran FBI agent charged with selling secrets to Russia was ordered held without bail Monday. Earl Edwin Pitts, 43, was arrested lWednesday following an undercover investigation and charged with selling secrets to Russia for more than $224,000. In denying bail, U.S. District Judge Thomas Rawles Jones said: "This is one of the most serious charges that can be brought. The weight of the evidence is certainly substantial." The 13-year bureau veteran is the second FBI agent ever charged with spying. At the time of Pitts' arrest, FBI Director Louis Freeh said that in the spring of 1993, information from defectors and the failure of some counterintelligence operations in New York led the bureau to suspect it had been penetrated by Russian agents. AP ARKANSAS Vandals Hit Clinton Family Grave Site Vandals toppled a marble monument at the graves of President Bill Clinton's father, mother and grandparents, and broke a marble urn. Police Officer Jimmy Witherspoon said youngsters were probably responsible for the damage, discovered Monday at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Hope. Four tombstones at other nearby grave sites were also knocked over. The polished 3-foot gray monument, bearing the name "Blythe," was knocked off its base and a marble urn for flowers was broken. Artificial flowers placed at the site by the Hempstead County Democratic Women's Club were strewn over the plot. Buried at the site are Clinton's mother, Viriginia Clinton Kelley; his father, William Jefferson Blythe; and his maternal grandparents. Their small gravestones were not damaged. AP FDA Drug Wins OK For MS Treatment A drug manufactured in Israel has become the third drug in three years approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The Food and Drug Administration said Monday it had approved the sale of an injectable drug called glatiramer acetate, or copolymer-1, for the treatment of relapsing, remitting multiple sclerosis. The drug is manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. It will be marketed in the United States under the brand name Copaxone by Teva Marion Partners of Kansas City, a partnership firm established by Teva and Hoechst Marion Roussell Inc. Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the body attacks itself. It is most often diagnosed in patients who are in their 20s or 30s, and about 300,000 Americans have the disease. MS is caused when the body's immune system attacks and damages myelin, the insulating substance on the outside of nerve tissue. In relapsing, remitting MS, patients have sieges of the disease, followed by periods of remission. AP ATLANTA Charity Executive Kept Proceeds A businessman who sprinkled the nation with gum and candy machines that raised money for the March of Dimes was allowed to keep $2 million that should have gone to the charity after he suffered financial problems in 1991. Michael L. Curtis agreed to repay the money - due from 1991 candy and gumball sales - over 20 years but has made only one payment so far, the charity says. Last year, the agency revoked his license to use the March of Dimes name and symbol. Because Curtis also served on the charity's board of trustees while still owing the money, a watchdog group said Monday that it was taking a close look at the arrangement. Curtis has since resigned. AP (begin THREE STAR text) SIERRA NEVADA Area Digs Out After Big Snowstorm Residents of the Sierra Nevada began to dig out Monday from a powerful storm that dumped near-record snowfall, stranding thousands of travelers and knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes.

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