- - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CALIFORNIA

Study: Mammograms offer modest benefit

LOS ANGELES — Mammograms don’t help women over 50 as much as has been thought, new research suggests.

Only a third of the reduced risk of death credited to breast cancer screening is actually deserved - the rest is due to better treatment and greater awareness of the disease, a large study in Norway found.

The research, published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine, is the latest to show that the benefits of mammography are limited.

Last year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that women at average risk for breast cancer don’t need mammograms in their 40s and should get one just every two years starting at 50.

The World Health Organization estimates that mammograms reduce the breast-cancer death rate by 25 percent in women over 50. Other groups put the figure at 15 percent to 23 percent.

GEORGIA

Megachurch pastor denies sex with young men

ATLANTA — The prominent pastor of a 25,000-member megachurch near Atlanta denies allegations in a lawsuit that he coerced three young men from the congregation into a sexual relationship, his attorney said.

Lawyers for two of the men, now 20 and 21, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in DeKalb County Court against Bishop Eddie Long. The third lawsuit was filed Wednesday.

President George W. Bush and three former presidents visited the sprawling New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in the Atlanta suburb of Lithonia for the 2006 funeral of Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King. Mr. Long introduced the speakers and the Rev. Bernice King, the Kings’ younger daughter, delivered the eulogy. She is also a pastor there.

The men who sued were 17- and 18-year-old members of the church when they say Mr. Long abused his spiritual authority to seduce them with cars, money, clothes, jewelry, international trips and access to celebrities.

NEW YORK

59 cabbies accused of doubling proper fare

NEW YORK — Dozens of New York City taxi drivers have been arrested on charges of quietly doubling the rates that thousands of passengers should have paid. Officials say tourists and residents unsuspectingly overpaid hundreds of thousands of dollars in all.

City officials said Wednesday that the 59 drivers were among far more who bumped up their meters to a higher suburban rate when they were in the city.

Prosecutors say the cabbies stole a total of more than $235,000 during about 77,000 cab trips.

Some 45 drivers were arraigned on charges of scheming to defraud. Another 14 face petty larceny charges.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Police: Student planted pipe bombs at school

COLUMBIA — Authorities disarmed and removed several pipe bombs they found in a high school after a freshman confronted an on-campus officer and fired a gun before being taken into custody, police said.

About 1,400 students at Socastee High School were evacuated to a football field after the confrontation Tuesday. Students returned to school Wednesday after walking through metal detectors.

The incident began when school resource Officer Erik Karney encountered the freshman and the two got into a struggle, Horry County Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Kegler said.

During the fight, the student shot at Officer Karney, and while the bullet missed him, the officer was injured after it struck a wall, Sgt. Kegler said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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