- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 20, 2001

Mother not competent for drownings trial
HOUSTON Andrea Yates' mental state is improving but she is not yet well enough to go on trial in the drownings of her children, a defense psychologist testified yesterday.
"She is rapidly getting better," Dr. Gerald Harris, a clinical psychologist, testified at a competency hearing.
He has visited Mrs. Yates four times since June 20, when she summoned police to her southeast Houston home and officers found the bodies of her five children.
He said doctors were concerned that when Mrs. Yates in court hears details about the children in court, it might "trigger her back into a deep psychotic state." Mrs. Yates has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Agency to quickly process victims' benefits claims
The Social Security Administration has set up emergency handling procedures to quickly aid those injured in last week's terrorist attacks and the families of people who were killed.
Some family members could be eligible for survivor benefits if the deceased had enough work history to qualify.
The maximum needed is 10 years of work.
Disability benefits also are available to people with enough work history who have a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to prevent them from doing substantial work for a year or more.
People affected by the attacks will have their claims processed immediately. Social Security's toll-free number is 800/772-1213, and is being staffed from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. About 1,300 field offices throughout the country also can take claims or answer questions.

Fossils show whales related to hippos
New fossil discoveries add weight to the conclusion that whales are related to plant-eaters such as cows and hippopotamuses rather than to an extinct group of carnivores, two groups of researchers report.
Scientists have known that whales evolved from four-legged land animals million of years ago. However, which branch of the animal kingdom whales split from has been a matter of debate.
Immunological tests in the 1950s and recent DNA tests have shown a relationship to plant-eating artiodactyls hoofed mammals having an even number of toes, such as pigs, cows and hippopotamuses.
Those test findings had not been supported by fossil evidence, which pointed more to a link to carnivores.
Now, authors of two new studies say their fossil finds, in separate areas of Pakistan, have convinced them that the tests are correct.

Arabic speakers sought to aid in attacks probe
DEARBORN, Mich. FBI agents investigating the terrorist attacks have put out a call for people who speak Arabic and other Middle Eastern languages, and hundreds have responded to the appeal.
"The phones have just been ringing off the hook," Agent Dawn Clenney of the FBI office in Detroit said yesterday. Agent Clenney said several hundred people in the Detroit area alone have responded.
The bureau issued the nationwide request on its Web site Monday.
The FBI also is seeking people fluent in Farsi, which is spoken in Iran and parts of Afghanistan, and in Pashto, which is spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Hunter attacked by grizzly bear
BOZEMAN, Mont. A grizzly bear broke a hunter's leg, tore up his ear and ripped gashes in his thigh and shoulder, but the man hobbled to safety after the bear stopped the attack and fled.
"I consider myself to be quite lucky," Dr. Steve Chamberlain said Tuesday.
Dr. Chamberlain, 49, an orthopedic surgeon from Medford, Ore., and David Wood of Bozeman were bowhunting for elk Saturday near Big Sky in southwestern Montana. They were imitating the bugling call of a bull elk in mating season, and that apparently attracted the female grizzly, accompanied by two nearly grown cubs.

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