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Of Human Interest: News lite

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International   |   March 20, 2003 at 4:30 AM   |   Comments

COUGHING UP A MILLIONAIRE

College lecturer Tecwen Whittock is on trial for allegedly using coughs as coded signals to help a contestant cheat at and win British television's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire."

The British Broadcasting Corp. reports sound expert John French testified 36 coughs -- he described them as persistent -- were made by one person during an episode allegedly won using the coded signals. He traced the coughs to the "Fastest Finger First" row of contestants, which included Whittock.

French said a total 192 coughs were recorded during the contested episode but most came from elsewhere in the audience, the BBC says.

Whittock admits at least 19 of the coughs might have been his but denies there was any conspiracy to get Maj. Charles Ingram the jackpot. Prosecutors claim Whittock used particular coughs to guide Ingram to most of the correct answers.


FROM SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE TO BUNDLE OF JOY

New York police officer Christopher Gabrielsen was on terrorism patrol when he came upon the suspicious package.

The New York Post reports, however, the cop said he "didn't mind" because it turned out to be a bundle of joy. The Operation Atlas officer and colleagues took a short break to deliver a baby right at their checkpoint.

Lingmao Lin, 26, of Queens, and her husband were heading for the hospital in a cab when they got caught in an Atlas traffic jam on the ramp from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the Williamsburg Bridge.

Gabrielsen told the Post the driver pulled up, "said 'hospital,' then pointed to the back of the cab and said 'baby.'"

"I was just looking for trucks and bombs. It was a very nice surprise," Gabrielsen said. Mom and new daughter are doing fine.


DAILY COCKTAIL LOWERS DEMENTIA RISK

Adults over age 65 who have from one to six alcoholic beverages each week have a lower risk of dementia than either seniors who do not drink or those who are heavier drinkers.

The study, found in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows abstainers had odds of dementia that were about twice as high as the odds of moderate drinkers, says lead author Dr. Kenneth Mukamal of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Those who drank 14 or more drinks per week also had a higher risk of dementia than the moderate drinkers.

One theory is alcohol may be protecting against dementia by guarding against the development of cerebral arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.


WATCHING OVER BABY

Detroit-area human services official Susan Cuevas saw the infant sleeping on her tummy -- rather than her back -- and had to make sure the baby was turned to protect the child from sudden death or suffocation.

The Detroit Free Press says it didn't matter the baby in this case was a comic strip character, Meredith Anne Patterson.

Cuevas e-mailed "For Better or For Worse" artist Lynn Johnston pointing out politely that in such a position, baby Merie could suffocate, the paper writes. An infant's proper sleeping position is facing up, Cuevas noted.

The Free Press reports Johnston responded, first by e-mail, then in her comic strip, where the baby quickly was sleeping soundly in her crib, on her back.

Cuevas wasn't the only person who was concerned -- more than 200 people nationwide wrote or called, said a spokeswoman for the Canadian artist.

© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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