- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 2, 2002

Study: Progestin helps pills block cancer

It is the hormone progestin in oral contraceptive pills that provides the highest level of protection against ovarian cancer, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center in Durham, N.C., found that ovarian cancer risk was cut by about 50 percent in all women taking contraceptive pills containing the hormones estrogen and progestin.

But for women taking pills that had high levels of progestin, the risk was reduced an additional 50 percent, said Patricia G. Moorman, a Duke University Medical Center researcher and the co-author of a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"The take-home message from this study is that oral contraceptives are protective against ovarian cancer, and our finding that the high progestin potency effect is a scientific [result] that might lead to new protective" drugs against ovarian cancer, said Miss Moorman.

Award-winning actress dead at 82

HARTFORD, Conn. Eileen Heckart, the lanky, gravel-voiced actress whose skill with comedy and drama won her an Oscar for "Butterflies Are Free," three Emmys and a special Tony for career excellence, has died. She was 82.

Mrs. Heckart, who had been battling cancer for three years, died Monday at her home in Norwalk, her son, Mark Yankee, said.

"She was one of the great ladies of stage, TV and movies," he said yesterday. "She was just as wonderful a mother, grandmother as an actress and an all-around wonderful woman."

Abducted 5-year-old boy escapes trash bin

CLEARWATER, Fla. A 5-year-old Florida boy abducted outside his home on New Year's Eve crawled free of the trash bin he was dumped in and flagged down a passing motorist for help, police said yesterday.

The boy was apparently kidnapped Monday by a stranger in the parking lot of the apartment complex where his family lived, Clearwater police spokesman Doug Griffith said. Witnesses, including playmates, said they saw the suspect driving a white pickup truck with ice cream symbols.

The boy was left in a trash bin behind a closed restaurant in Sumter County about 4 a.m. yesterday, said Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the Sumter County Sheriff's Office.

Rapper charged in bank robbery

ST. PAUL, Minn. Andre R. Locke, a rapper who went by the name Li'l Buddy and had a nationally televised music video, has been charged with bank robbery.

Mr. Locke appeared in federal court Monday on charges that he entered Vermillion State Bank in Rosemount, Minn., on Friday, wearing a ski mask, carrying a handgun and demanding money from the tellers.

Rosemount Police Chief Gary Kalstabakken said Mr. Locke drove away in a stolen blue Audi. Police spotted the car minutes later, and a chase ended when Mr. Locke crashed the car into a tree, authorities said. He was treated for minor injuries before being sent to jail, police said.

His arrest left his family, friends and fans wondering what happened.

"He's been working for his dream for a long time," said Nicole Gray, Mr. Locke's younger sister. "In order for him to do something like this, he had to have hit rock bottom."

Survey: September 11 didn't alter holiday plans

Few Americans dramatically changed their holiday routines because of fears of terrorism, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

While Americans turned out in droves to contribute to victims of the September 11 attacks this holiday season, about 8 percent canceled holiday trips because of terrorism concerns. And while 11 percent avoided malls or other big stores that they might have typically visited during the holidays, most said their decisions to do so had nothing to do with terrorism.

About 9 percent of Internet users shopped online rather than visiting malls during the holidays. But rather than citing fears of terrorism, most said they shopped online because they preferred the convenience.

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