Cancer Institute director may quit SO From Wire Reports


Dr. Samuel Broder is expected to announce his departure today as director of the beleaguered National Cancer Institute, leaving behind an agency demoralized by investigations of its AIDS research and under fire over its handling of a breast cancer scandal earlier this year.

Sources close to Dr. Broder, 49, said he will join a Florida pharmaceutical company in April, giving President Clinton four months to choose his successor as head of the federal agency.

Dr. Broder lately has become unpopular within the scientific community for forcing the removal of Dr. Bernard Fisher as head of the nation's oldest and largest breast cancer research group in the wake of revelations that one of the group's researchers had falsified patient data.

Economy grows

The ecomony grew at a robust 4 percent annual rate in the third quarter and is on a pace for its best performance in at least six years.

Despite rising interest rates intended to slow growth, the Commerce Department reported today that consumer spending remains strong. Personal spending combined with business investment and government outlays to lead the surge in the July-September quarter. The gross domestic product, which measures goods and services produced in the nation, was revised upward from 3.9 percent.

D.C. cuts

The District of Columbia Council is ordering $278 million in spending cuts and eliminating 2,500 jobs to resolve a growing financial crisis and avoid a congressional takeover of city finances.

Slashing everything from transportation to police to schools, the D.C. Council passed a $3.4 billion 1995 supplemental budget yesterday that represents the largest budget reduction in the capital's 20-year history of home rule. Mayor-elect Marion Barry agreed to find an additional $122 million in cuts after his administration takes office on Jan. 2. He already has met with some city union leaders to urge them to accept employee pay cuts or furloughs.

Methadone endorsed

The government should relax restrictions on the heroin substitute methadone because the chemical reduces drug abuse, AIDS and crime, a panel of drug specialists recommends.

Methadone is a Food and Drug Administration-approved chemical given to wean addicts off heroin because it weakly imitates the illegal drug. But fear that methadone, itself an opiate, would be abused led the government to restrict its use to specially licensed doctors in special clinics. States then added more restrictions -- some even banning methadone. The Institute of Medicine concluded that federal and state restrictions should be eased.

Hair warning

The Food and Drug Administration says people should not use "Rio" hair relaxer products because they may cause their hair to turn green or fall out.

The FDA said yesterday it has received nearly 100 reports since last month of reactions to "Rio Hair Naturalizer Systems," a product imported from Brazil and sold through television "infomercials." The reports range from hair and hands turning green to bald patches, including a few people who claim the product left them completely bald. The FDA urged consumers who have experienced problems with Rio to notify their local FDA office, local health department or the company at 1-800-543-3002.

Purloined pager

Police in Ogden, Utah, looking for the suspect who stole a pager decided to try beeping it. The ploy worked.

The pager was among the loot stolen from two cars during the weekend. Police activated the pager's number Monday, then sat back and waited. An hour later, their page was answered and the call was traced to a motel room, where officers arrested a 13-year-old boy. The boy was referred to juvenile court on six charges, including theft of a firearm and criminal mischief.

For the record

An American Airlines flight in Palm Springs, Calif., was halted after a passenger noticed fuel leaking from the wing as the plane approached the runway. . . . The lost jet fighter flown by Navy Lt. Kara Hultgreen, who was killed when the plane went down in October, was dragged from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean early yesterday.

Train-truck collision

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