Copyright 2000 The Baltimore Sun Company
The Baltimore Sun
December 14, 2000 Thursday FINAL EDITION
SECTION: TELEGRAPH, Pg. 2A NATIONAL DIGEST
LENGTH: 827 words
EEOC: Contraceptives belong in health plans
like other preventives
It's against federal law for employers to exclude
contraceptives from their health insurance
plans when they cover other preventive treatments, the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission said yesterday.
The decision directly affects
only two women who complained to the commission, but it has implications for
millions of others whose health insurance plans exclude birth
control pills, diaphragms and other forms of prescription
The debate over
contraceptive coverage burst into public when the male
impotence drug Viagra came onto the market in April 1998. Women's groups argued
that it was unfair that many insurance companies covered Viagra
and did not cover birth control since both allow for sexual activity, albeit in
different ways. In the Nation
NEAR's orbit brought within 22 miles of
A 90-second engine firing yesterday afternoon successfully lowered
NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft into an orbit just 22 miles
above the surface of the asteroid Eros.
Mission controllers at the Johns
Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab said more orbit changes in January and
February will bring the spacecraft to within two miles of Eros' surface in
preparation for data-gathering at just 1,640 feet on Feb. 12, followed by a
"The next two months will be the most challenging time of the
entire mission," said mission director Robert W. Farquhar. NEAR was built at APL
and launched in 1996. It has been orbiting Eros since February 2000.
Pushing man at train gets homeless man 25 years
NEW YORK - A
homeless New Yorker convicted of pushing another man in front of a New York City
subway train was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in prison.
44, was found guilty of attempted murder and assault in the April 28, 1999,
incident that caused victim Edgar Rivera to lose both of his legs.
Perez, who has a long history of mental illness, had pleaded not guilty
"by reason of mental disease or defect." But the jury in October rejected his
claim and convicted him instead.
Hitting woman with brick to cost addict
NEW YORK - A crack addict with a long criminal record was
sentenced to the maximum of 25 years in prison yesterday for bashing a woman in
the head with a 6-pound paving brick.
Paris Drake, 37, was convicted
last month of assault and criminal possession of a weapon for the attack on
Nicole Barrett, 28, near Grand Central Terminal.
Barrett, who was on her
way to a temporary job when attacked in 1999, has moved back to Texas. Bad
weather kept her from attending Drake's sentencing, but in a statement she told
her attacker that he was lucky she didn't die.
'Very dangerous' seven
escape from Texas jail
KENEDY, Texas - Seven prisoners described as
"armed and very dangerous" were on the loose yesterday after they escaped from a
South Texas jail in a prison pickup truck, a Texas Department of Criminal
Justice spokesman said.
The inmates were working on a maintenance crew
when they overpowered several civilian workers and a guard, stole their clothes
and weapons, then hopped in the truck and took off, the spokesman said.
The pickup truck was found abandoned in nearby Kenedy, about 50 miles
southeast of San Antonio. Police were using dogs to search for the escapees.
Philadelphia reporters fined for withholding notes
- A judge yesterday began fining reporters for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the
Philadelphia Tribune $100 per minute until they turn over their
notes from an interview with a murder suspect or the prosecution rests its case.
The newspapers said they would pick up the tab for the two staffers and
refused to release the notes. When the trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. today, each
reporter will owe $129,000.
Common Pleas Judge Jane
Cutler Greenspan ordered the fines to begin at noon yesterday. "I don't think
even $10,000 a minute is going to get their compliance," she
said. "I think it's a nominal fine for the newspaper, but it indicates that the
court believes you should be complying."
'Worthless' Titanic pass brings
a court award
TACOMA, Wash. - A man who sold a Titanic boarding pass he
inherited to an antique dealer for $1,000, then saw it bring
$100,000 at auction, has been awarded $18,700
from the profits.
A Pierce County Superior Court jury returned the
verdict Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by Vern Westby, 72, of Parkland, against
Alan Gorsuch of Sanford & Son Antiques in Tacoma. Gorsuch was ordered to pay
a share of the auction profits to Westby.
Michael Schwartz, Westby's
lawyer, said Gorsuch told Westby the pass was worthless and that it wouldn't
bring in as much as $ 500. But Gorsuch, who said he planned to
appeal, testified that it was Westby who set the $1,000 price
and that he knew little about the value of Titanic memorabilia at the time.
LOAD-DATE: December 14, 2000