- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Clinton to travel to Northern Ireland

President Clinton will make a farewell visit to Northern Ireland and Britain Dec. 12-14 in a bid to overcome difficulties in the Irish peace process, the White House announced yesterday.

White House spokesman Jake Siewert noted that Mr. Clinton's decision to go was in response to invitations from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, and the two men who lead Northern Ireland's power-sharing government Protestant First Minister David Trimble and Roman Catholic Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon.

Scientists find brain's 'funny bone'

CHICAGO The brain may have a "funny bone," scientists reported yesterday, a finding that may explain why some stroke victims lose their sense of humor.

"A small part of the frontal lobes appears critical to our ability to recognize a joke," said Dean Shibata of the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

Mr. Shibata and colleagues released a report at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America that was based on the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging to map activity in the brains of 13 persons exposed to humor in four different tests.

Court says cop wrongfully let go

NEW YORK A federal judge ruled yesterday that New York wrongfully fired a black police woman in retaliation for her public accusations that racially biased policies led police to kill an unarmed Guinean immigrant.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said the city violated Yvette Walton's free-speech rights because it fired her after she publicly accused the police department's Street Crime Unit of discriminatory practices.

Miss Walton, a 12-year police department veteran, had been a member of the elite group that came under harsh criticism in 1999 when four of its white officers killed immigrant Amadou Diallo while searching for a rape suspect.

Lasers shrink uterine fibroids

CHICAGO Experimental technology that uses lasers to heat, liquefy and shrink uterine fibroids is showing promise in helping women avoid hysterectomies or other surgery, doctors reported yesterday.

The technique, studied by radiologist Dr. Wladyslaw M. Gedroyc of St. Mary's Hospital in London, successfully shrank fibroids in 35 of the 40 women. At a six-month follow-up, fibroids had shrunk an average of 37 percent.

Daredevil Blaine enters ice block

NEW YORK Illusionist and daredevil David Blaine, who last year spent seven days buried in a glass-topped coffin, was encased in a six-ton block of ice yesterday at the start of a three-day stunt in Times Square.

Hooked up to monitors gauging his vital signs and wearing only pants, a knit cap and boots, Mr. Blaine made like a human Popsicle as curious New Yorkers and tourists alike shuffled by to gawk, wave or touch the ice block to make sure it was real.

A tube running through the ice block provides Mr. Blaine, billed as a latter-day Houdini, with air and water. The 8-foot by 6-foot by 6-foot block of 30-degree ice was composed of two sections, with Mr. Blaine's contour carved into the middle, allowing for space between his body and the ice.

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