Milestones Oct. 28, 1996

APPOINTED. MARJORIE SCARDINO, 49, head of the firm that publishes the Economist; as CEO of the media conglomerate Pearson; in London. She is American and the first woman to lead a major British public company. STEPPING DOWN. DAVID BRINKLEY, 76, acerbic network-news fixture; as host of ABC's This Week with David Brinkley; on Nov. 10; in Washington.

CONVICTED. JUAN GARCIA ABREGO, 52, reputed head of Mexico's Gulf cartel; on federal drug-trafficking charges; in Houston. He could get a life sentence.

AILING. MERV GRIFFIN, 71, show-biz magnate and ex-talk show host; from prostate cancer; in Los Angeles.

RECOVERING. EARL SCRUGGS, 72, bluegrass...

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