Cain defends joking about endorsement by Anita Hill

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who faces allegations of sexual harassment, is defending a joke he made about Anita Hill.

Cain said he was approached at a recent event by a supporter who said Hill was trying to contact him.

Cain responded by asking whether Hill was going to endorse him. Hill famously accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.

In an appearance Friday on Fox News Channel, Cain called the supporter’s comment “hilarious” and said his own reply was meant to be funny.

Four women have said Cain sexually harassed them when he led the National Restaurant Association more than a decade ago.

Some Cain backers have compared the Georgia businessman’s treatment to that of Thomas, another high-profile black conservative.


Scientists work to protect collection of whale fossils

Scientists from Chile and the Smithsonian Institution have been working to protect a huge collection of whale fossils found in the Atacama desert.

Those involved in the project say about 80 whales have been preserved in sedimentary rock, and that many of the fossils are completely preserved, including a family group that appears to be a mother, father and baby whale.

The area outside the town of Bahia Inglesa has long been called “Whale Hill” by locals, and was about to be paved over in a coastal highway expansion until paleontologist Mario Suarez persuaded his government to recover the bones first.

McALLEN, Texas

Texas family law judge gets visits with daughter limited

A Texas family law judge seen beating his older daughter in a video she posted on YouTube is having visits with his younger daughter limited.

The limits on Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams include an order not to take his 10-year-old daughter from her mother, disparage her mother or drink within 24 hours of seeing his child. Another judge issued the temporary restraining order late Thursday after Adams’ ex-wife filed an affidavit claiming there was conflict after their 2007 divorce.

A hearing was scheduled for Nov. 21 to decide on Hallie Adams’ request to have William Adams’ visitation denied or require that it be supervised.

William Adams has not held court since his 23-year-old daughter, Hillary Adams, released a secretly-recorded 2004 video of him beating her with a belt.


Key figure in drug battle killed in helicopter crash

The country’s top Cabinet secretary, Francisco Blake Mora, a key figure in Mexico’s battle with drug cartels, died Friday in a helicopter crash that President Felipe Calderon said was probably an accident.

Calderon said the helicopter was flying in fog when it went down in a remote area southeast of Mexico City, but that all possible causes were under investigation.

“Mexico has lost a great patriot … and I lost a dear friend,” said Calderon, visibly struggling to maintain composure during an address to the country. “He was not only an exemplary minister, he was an exemplary Mexican.”

Authorities said the undersecretary for human rights, Felipe Zamora, was among the seven others also killed, including the pilot.

Calderon appointed Blake Mora as interior secretary in July 2010. That put him in charge of coordinating domestic policies including security, human rights, migration and the president’s relation with the legislature and opposition parties.

Calderon appeared to try to quell any suggestions of sabotage, saying Blake Mora’s helicopter “was always under guard” in the hangar of Mexico’s equivalent of the Secret Service and that it had recently undergone maintenance.