Milestones Nov. 18, 1996

DIED. VLADIMIR NECHAI, 60, head of one of Russia's top nuclear-weapons research centers; by apparent suicide; in his office at Snezhinsk. Nechai is said to have been despondent over his money-strapped nation's neglect of the once indispensable facility. Workers there have not been paid in months.

DIED. BERNARD LAFFERTY, 51, the reportedly hard-drinking and spendthrift butler who won the trust of tobacco heiress Doris Duke; of yet-to-be-determined causes; in Los Angeles. After prosecutors cleared him of allegations that he had conspired to hasten Duke's death, he resigned his lucrative position as co-executor of her $1.2 billion estate and settled for $4.5...

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