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Nation in brief

Ex-Helmsley worker wins gay bias case

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 5, 2003

NEW YORK -- A jury awarded more than $11-million to a former hotel manager Tuesday after concluding he was fired by hotelier Leona Helmsley because he is gay.

The jury found that Charles Bell had endured a "hostile and abusive work environment" while running Helmsley's Park Lane Hotel. He was awarded $10-million in punitive damages and $1.2-million in compensatory damages.

State Supreme Court Justice Walter Tolub had told the jurors to take into account the defendant's financial condition and said Helmsley's net worth is estimated at $3.2-billion to $4-billion.

Six news media reach deal for 2004 exit surveys

NEW YORK -- The six news organizations that disbanded Voter News Service last month signed a contract Tuesday with two veteran polling experts to conduct exit surveys of voters during the 2004 presidential election.

ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and the Associated Press announced they had reached an agreement with Warren Mitofsky of Mitofsky International and Joseph Lenski of Edison Media Research. Terms were not disclosed. The new consortium will be called the National Elections Pool.

Also . . .

TEXAS EXECUTION: A man convicted of beating a woman to death with a motorcycle chain after raping her while he was free on probation for another killing was executed Tuesday by injection. John Elliott, 42, had maintained his innocence in the 1986 attack.

GUILTY PLEA IN BOMB CASE: A member of the Jewish Defense League pleaded guilty Tuesday in Los Angeles to conspiring to bomb a mosque and the office of a Lebanese-American congressman. According to the agreement, Earl Krugel said he and Irv Rubin, the late leader of the militant group, discussed bombing Arab institutions in the Los Angeles area.

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From the Times wire desk

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