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News Briefs

Marie Curie Honored by French

Los Angeles Times

Marie Curie, who won two Nobel Prizes but battled discrimination in the male-dominated scientific community, was installed with her husband, Pierre, in the Pantheon Thursday, becoming the first woman, on her own merit, to be entombed with the "great men" of the French republic.

To the elegiac music of violins, the Curies' simple oak caskets were carried on the shoulders of young science students down a long, white carpet to the steps of the nation's most sanctified final resting place.

Pierre and Marie Curie, known for their pioneering work in radioactivity at the turn of the 20th century, were the 70th and 71st French luminaries to pass through the imposing columns of the Pantheon, beneath the inscription that still reads: "To the Great Men, a Grateful Nation."

President Franois Mitterrand praised the scientific accomplishments of the Curies in an emotional speech on the cold spring evening, addressing a crowd of about 1,000 that included 91-year-old Eve Curie, the couple's lone surviving daughter.

The president, who decided last year to transfer Madame Curie's remains to the Pantheon, praised "the exemplary battle of one woman who decided to fight in a society dominated by men."

"My hope is that equal rights for men and women will progress everywhere in the world," Mitterrand added, "because I find undignified, in a civilized society, the preference given to men for the last 30 centuries."

Criminologist Testifies in O.J. Case

Los Angeles Times

Three sheriff's deputies assigned to the O.J. Simpson jury were transferred Thursday, while in the courtroom a rookie Los Angeles Police Department criminalist took the witness stand to describe and defend her work collecting evidence from the scene of the grisly double homicide.

Andrea Mazzola, a criminalist who went to work for the Police Department in early 1994, had spent several days waiting in the wings to testify, her appearance delayed by the prolonged questioning of her supervisor, Dennis Fung, and by a hiatus called to allow Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito to interview each member of the jury panel.

All 18 jurors and alternates have been questioned, and sources say they reported no misconduct by their peers, though several lodged complaints about the sheriff's deputies.

Ito's investigation into the jury and the deputies monitoring it led to the Thursday's reassignment, and angered Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block, who called a news conference late it the day to denounce the judge's decision.