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Senator diagnosed with multiple sclerosis



Published: Mon, February 25, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Senator diagnosedwith multiple sclerosis

ST. PAUL -- For years, people have asked Sen. Paul Wellstone why he limps.

"I have always said in the past 'I'm fine. I have an athletic injury from wrestling' -- which is what I thought. But now, I know better," the 57-year-old Democrat said Sunday in announcing that he has multiple sclerosis.

Wellstone's doctor diagnosed him with a mild form of the disease a month ago and said the senator probably had been living with it for about 15 years.

Wellstone doesn't plan to let it slow him down now, especially in his bid for a third term.

"For me, no stress would be stress," he said, laughing. "The stress of this campaign is what I want to do, to be perfectly honest. And the stress of being a senator is what I want to do."

The chronic, sometimes disabling disease of the nervous system affects only Wellstone's right leg. His neurologist, J.D. Bartleson of the Mayo Clinic, said Wellstone would not need medication and that the stress of a campaign shouldn't pose a problem.

Wellstone faces a strong challenge in November from former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, a Republican. A recent poll showed the candidates in a dead-heat.

Soldier killed in caseof mistaken identity

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A rural road became the scene of a deadly confrontation when a deputy sheriff mistakenly opened fire on two plain-clothed Army soldiers out on a training exercise, officials said.

Deputy Sheriff Randall Butler killed one soldier and wounded another during a traffic stop when the soldiers apparently tried to disarm him after assuming he was taking part in their exercise, officials said.

A release from the Army said the shooting "resulted from an unfortunate case of mistaken identity and a breakdown of communications between the individuals involved."

The soldiers were taking part Saturday in a role-playing exercise that is part of the Army's Special Forces Qualification Course.

While the Moore County sheriff's office was told a training exercise was under way, Special Operations spokesman Maj. Gary Kolb said the Army did not coordinate specifically with the sheriff's office and Butler was likely unaware of it.

"In this instance, they were not informed about this, because the scenario itself was not intended to draw attention of the local authorities," Kolb said.

No charges had been filed Sunday. Butler was placed on administrative leave with pay.

Searchers discovermore corpses in Ga.

NOBLE, Ga. -- Searchers discovered a new pit containing five corpses and investigators said there is no end in sight to their gruesome task of finding discarded bodies on the grounds of a Georgia crematory.

"The magnitude of the situation has not yet been totally determined, and will not be for some time," said David Ashburn, the Walker County emergency management director.

Searchers found the new pit Sunday as they worked to clear trash, brush and timber from grounds near Tri-State Crematory. They found bones scattered near the surface, then dug by hand and came upon five corpses.

The bodies brought the total to 306.

Sixty-five had been identified, and authorities hoped DNA collected from families would help identify more. Already, more than 3,500 families have provided information to investigators, Ashburn said.

Treasure ship foundin Mediterranean Sea?

LONDON -- Evidence from a hulking wreck on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea seems to indicate it is the remains of a 17th-century British warship that went down with a vast load of treasure, the Ministry of Defense said Sunday.

Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc., based in Tampa, Fla., found and identified the wreck, which appears to be the H.M.S. Sussex, lost in 1694, said Paul Sykes, a ministry spokesman.

He said Odyssey is seeking permission from British defense officials to bring up the remains of the warship, which lies half a mile deep near the Strait of Gibraltar.

"Archeologically, it's a very good thing if we can salvage parts that go to help the historical analysis of that period," he said.

The gold and silver coins in the ship's hold could be worth hundreds of millions dollars today -- if they're still there.

The valuable cargo was meant to secure the loyalty of the Duke of Savoy, who Britain hoped would help thwart the military ambitions of France's King Louis XIV. The ship sank in heavy seas and the duke declined to help Britain and its allies.

Associated Press




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