Congressman: Enron tapeconflicts with testimony
WASHINGTON -- A videotape of a meeting at Enron shows company executives urging employees to invest all their retirement money in Enron stock, a Democratic congressman said. Rep. Henry Waxman said a video from 1999 seems to conflict with recent Senate testimony by Enron executive Cindy Olson. She testified Feb. 5 that the company would like to have given investment advice telling employees to diversify their holdings but was legally prohibited from doing so.
In a letter Thursday to Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Waxman said a woman identified only as "Cindy" on the video responds "absolutely" when asked by an employee, "Should we invest all of our 401K in Enron stock?" Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling nodded in agreement to the word "absolutely," according to Waxman. The California Democrat said Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay, chief operating officer Skilling and vice chairman Joseph Sutton were at the podium when the question was asked and answered.
Panel reaffirms womenneed mammograms
WASHINGTON -- In the seesawing debate over mammograms, the government issued an affirmation Thursday: Women age 40 and older should get one every year or two. An international uproar has arisen over whether routine mammograms really save lives. Danish scientists analyzed three decades' worth of mammography studies last fall and concluded they're so flawed, it's impossible to tell whether the X-rays help.
An independent panel assigned by the U.S. government to investigate concluded Thursday there is "fair evidence" that getting one regularly can reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by about 20 percent. That evidence is strongest for women over 50, but mammograms likely will benefit 40-somethings, too, concluded the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
"Our bottom line is that mammography reduces deaths," said task force vice chair Janet Allan. But there's no firm age at which to start getting them. Discuss that with your doctor based on your individual risk of cancer, she advised. Risks include having a mother or sister with breast cancer, a first child after age 30 or a previous biopsy that found unusual cell growth. Nor is there proof that an annual mammogram is better than one every other year.
Former priest sentenced
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- A former priest at the center of a sex-abuse scandal was described by a judge as a sexual predator who refused to admit he needed help as she sentenced him to nine to 10 years in prison for groping a youngster in a swimming pool. Judge Sandra Hamlin said 66-year-old John Geoghan "hid behind his collar" as he preyed on his victims.
"This court has no doubt he's dangerous," Hamlin said Thursday. "He engaged in what this court can only characterize as reprehensible and depraved behavior." Geoghan was sentenced to the maximum penalty for his conviction on indecent assault and battery charges but will serve six years behind bars; the rest will be suspended based on a sentencing law in effect at the time of the crime in 1991.
The victim, now a 20-year-old college junior, said in a statement before the sentencing that he was sickened by Geoghan's apparent lack of remorse. The victim testified during the trial that Geoghan approached him at the Waltham Boys and Girls Club and offered to teach him how to dive. After coaching him verbally for 10 or 15 minutes, the priest stuck his hand under the boy's shorts and squeezed his buttocks, the young man testified.
Geoghan's lawyer said his client was stunned by his prison sentence. "I think he's a very hopeful and optimistic man," said Geoffrey Packard after Geoghan was sentenced Thursday.