- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Giuliani honored with knighthood

NEW YORK Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani received an honorary knighthood yesterday from Queen Elizabeth II for his "outstanding help and support to the bereaved British families in New York."

The queen also conferred honorary titles Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on the city's police and fire commissioners.

The titles were announced during a City Hall visit by the queen's son, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

Mr. Giuliani, who was named Knight Commander of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, does not get the right to call himself "Sir Rudolph." But he can put the initials "K.B.E." after his name.

Adoption group awarded $6.1 million

The National Council for Adoption, a Washington-based trade group for adoption agencies, has been awarded $6.1 million to train health care workers about discussing adoption with pregnant women, the Department of Health and Human Services said yesterday. Another $2.5 million was given to three other groups for the same purpose.

"Women should know that adoption often makes sense both for themselves and for their unborn children," HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said.

Judge rejects delay in Nichols hearing

OKLAHOMA CITY A judge yesterday rejected a bid to delay the preliminary hearing in the state murder case against Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols.

District Judge Ray Dean Linder said the hearing will be held as scheduled Nov. 5. Defense attorneys had sought a delay while the state Supreme Court considered a dispute about their fees.

Nichols, 46, was convicted of federal conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter charges for the deaths of eight federal agents. He is serving a life sentence for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building that killed 168 persons.

Smokers' risk reduced by antidepressants

DALLAS Smokers who take certain antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft run a dramatically lower risk of a first heart attack, a study suggests.

The study found that smokers who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, reduced their chances of a heart attack by 65 percent, compared with smokers who didn't.

Dr. Stephen Kimmel, an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, said one potential explanation is that the drugs act like a blood thinner, reducing the risk of clots that cause heart attacks. But he said more research is needed.

California's Gray signs domestic-partners bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. In a last minute bill-signing flurry, Gov. Gray Davis approved measures to expand the rights of domestic partners and tighten requirements to purchase handguns.

He also vetoed dozens of bills, including one that called for an increase in workers' compensation benefits, citing the state's growing budget crunch.

The governor spent Sunday considering more than 200 bills, racing toward a midnight deadline. Most take effect Jan. 1.

Doctor sentenced in fraud case

NEW YORK A Park Avenue fertility doctor whose patients have included singer Celine Dion and actress Liv Ullmann was sentenced to more than seven years in prison yesterday for tricking insurance companies into paying for procedures that were not covered.

Niels Lauersen, 64, also was ordered to pay $3.2 million in restitution and $17,500 in fines.

Tearful former patients called out to Lauersen and wished him well as the man dubbed the "Dyno Gyno" by the tabloids was led away.

Lauersen was convicted in January. According to prosecutors, he helped women get pregnant by providing fertility treatments not covered by insurance. Then, he submitted bills for reimbursement for various covered treatments.

The case was closely watched by other doctors. Some said that what Lauersen did was a common, unspoken practice among many doctors.

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