- The Washington Times - Monday, September 3, 2001

Artificial insemination produces killer whale

SAN DIEGO — An orca at SeaWorld in San Diego has given birth to the first killer whale conceived through artificial insemination, park officials said yesterday.

A 25-year-old orca named Kasatka gave birth to the healthy calf at 8:50 p.m. Saturday, SeaWorld spokeswoman Darla Davis said.

The whale of a baby weighs between 300 and 350 pounds and measures between 6 and 7 feet in length.

Kasatka gave birth to the calf after a 17-month pregnancy that ended with four hours of labor at Shamu Stadium's main show pool.

FBI raid pharmacy in cancer drug case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — FBI agents raided one of two pharmacies owned by a Kansas City pharmacist accused of repeatedly diluting chemotherapy drugs, an FBI spokesman said yesterday.

Spokesman Jeff Lanza said he could not detail the reason for the raid on Saturday, or what was sought by the 25 law enforcement officers who spent four hours at the pharmacy owned by Robert Courtney.

Mr. Courtney, 48, is awaiting trial Oct. 1 on 20 felony counts of product tampering, drug alteration and drug misbranding. At a court hearing last week, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Hundreds of cancer patients who relied on the chemotherapy treatments for their survival may have been harmed as a result of the dilution of the drugs, the FBI said.

At least one patient who received the diluted drugs has died, and Mr. Courtney and drug manufacturer Eli Lilly & Co. are defendants in several lawsuits.

Bush moves to give states more power

The White House is moving to give states a greater say in public policy with an executive order that essentially will reverse a Clinton-era policy of making it easier for federal officials to overrule state decisions.

The order, expected later this year from President Bush, will reflect "a very different philosophy" on upholding the rights of state and local agencies, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said yesterday. He declined to disclose details.

"It will reflect that state and local governments are closer to the people and are often better able to solve problems than just the federal government," Mr. Fleischer said.

State officials have complained that the Bush White House was slow to fulfill its promises to shift more power to them.

Researchers get images of rogue proteins

CLEVELAND — Researchers have captured the first images of a type of human protein called prions, paired up in a way that might lead to mad cow and other diseases.

The proteins are molecules that scientists had thought normally exist alone. Pictures taken by Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University scientists show a pair of prions linked.

Several research teams worldwide have been trying to figure out how normal, harmless prions change into the deadly mad cow variety, which destroys brain tissue, and how they accumulate in clumps.

The prion-to-prion link, which the Cleveland researchers pictured, may be an intermediate step in the processes.

"This is the first time anyone's seen an in-between" stage, said Vivien Yee of the Cleveland Clinic.

Police investigate racial attack

TEXARKANA, Texas — Police are investigating charges by a black woman who says two white men assaulted her and carved the letters KKK on her chest.

The 32-year-old woman was hospitalized on Thursday for a bump on her head, cuts and bruises.

"We are looking into an incident that happened earlier this week where a woman was abducted and assaulted," said Cass County Chief Deputy Ronnie Fincher.

When contacted yesterday, police said they would have no further comment on the case until tomorrow.

The woman's name was being withheld to protect her family.

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