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Frederick Sanger, two-time Nobel winner, dies at 95

Frederick Sanger, a British biochemist whose discoveries about the chemistry of life led to the decoding of the human genome and to the development of new drugs like human growth hormone, earning him two Nobel Prizes, a distinction held by only three other scientists, died Tuesday in Cambridge, England. He was 95.

Sanger won his first Nobel Prize, in chemistry, in 1958 for showing how amino acids link together to form insulin. The discovery gave scientists the tools to analyze any protein in the body.

In 1980 he received his second Nobel, also in chemistry, for inventing a method of “reading” the molecular letters that make up the genetic code. This discovery was crucial to the development of biotechnology drugs and provided the basic tool kit for decoding the entire human genome two decades later.

—Denise Gellene, The New York Times

Congressman in cocaine case will take a leave of absence

WASHINGTON — Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., announced late Wednesday that he would take a leave of absence from office after pleading guilty earlier in the day to a misdemeanor charge stemming from his purchase of cocaine here last month.

He was sentenced to one year of probation.

Radel said his “team” in Washington and in his southwest Florida district would take care of his congressional business while he received what he called “intensive in-patient treatment.”

“I want to be a better man for southwest Florida,” Radel said in a 10:30 p.m. news conference in Florida. He added that he would donate his salary to charity while he was away.

—Michael S. Schmidt, The New York Times

British citizens said to be killed while fighting in Syria

LONDON — As evidence mounts that dozens of Americans have traveled or sought to travel to Syria to join rebel forces, the British Foreign Office said Thursday that it was investigating reports that several Britons had died there while fighting on the side of Islamic militants opposed to President Bashar Assad.

Asked to comment on the reports of casualties among them, a British official, speaking in return for anonymity under departmental rules, said authorities here had urged citizens to avoid all travel to Syria because of the “extreme risk” and believed that “moderate Syrians have been explicit that they want aid, not foreign fighters.”

The official said a report in The Times of London on Thursday that four Britons had been killed was being investigated.

—Alan Cowell, The New York Times

Vote fraud is claimed by Maoists in Nepal

NEW DELHI — In the face of an apparent electoral drubbing, the leader of Nepal’s largest Maoist party demanded a halt to the nation’s vote counting Thursday because of what he called widespread vote fraud.

“Serious national and international forces are behind this, and we demand a suspension to vote counting,” said the Maoist leader, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the head of the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

Dahal said that election workers had smashed ballot boxes and accepted false ballots. He called for an independent investigation and warned that his party might rejoin hard-line Maoists and refuse to participate in the Constituent Assembly if his demands were not met.

—Gardiner Harris, The New York Times