- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 17, 2005

Judge orders funds for teaching English

PHOENIX — A federal judge yesterday ordered the Legislature to spend more money on education for students learning English and said he will impose fines starting at $500,000 a day late next month if deadlines aren’t met.

U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins also ruled that the estimated 160,000 Arizona students learning English will be able to get high school diplomas without passing the state’s graduation test until they’ve had time to prepare in adequately funded programs.

Plaintiffs claim the state’s AIMS test is unfair to students learning English because of shortcomings in programs intended to improve their skills in the language. The state, however, said excluding them from the graduation requirement would be unfair to other students.

Ex-FBI informant pleads in spy case

BURBANK, Calif. — A former FBI informant who was arrested in 2003 and accused of being a double agent for China was sentenced to probation yesterday after pleading guilty to reduced charges.

In a low-key conclusion to a case that began as a secretive prosecution of a supposed spy, Katrina Leung admitted lying about an 18-year affair with her FBI handler and admitted she failed to report on her taxes $35,000 in FBI payments and $16,000 in rental income from a California property.

Leung, 51, was sentenced to three years of probation and agreed to debrief the FBI. She was barred from disclosing classified information.

Leung’s lover, former FBI agent James J. Smith, was sentenced in July to three months of home confinement after pleading guilty to lying to his superiors about their extramarital affair.

Board considers splitting up SAT

Facing complaints the SAT has grown too long, the College Board will consider allowing students to take the three parts of the newly expanded college entrance exam in separate sittings.

The statement comes as at least 200 high school counselors and a handful of college admissions officers across the country have signed a letter to the College Board, which owns the exam, expressing concerns the test’s length of three hours and 45 minutes has become a burden on students.

College Board spokeswoman Chiara Coletti said her organization already was aware through survey research that many thought the test was too long, and was examining whether it could be broken up. She said it also would consider other options, such as more breaks.

Possible changes will be discussed by the College Board’s SAT committee in May, and would have to go through several steps before final approval.

Death penalty eyed in shooting of parents

LANCASTER, Pa. — A prosecutor said yesterday he will seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing the parents of his 14-year-old girlfriend, and no criminal charges will be brought against the girl.

Lancaster County District Attorney Don Totaro said statements from the suspect, David Ludwig, have exonerated his girlfriend, Kara Beth Borden, and convinced investigators that she did not have any role in planning or carrying out the shooting deaths of her parents in November.

New charges involving a firearms violation and sexual assault also have been added against Mr. Ludwig, Mr. Totaro said.

Katrina death toll rises to 1,321

BATON ROUGE, La. —The body of another Hurricane Katrina victim was found this week, bringing the number of verified deaths caused by the storm to 1,321.

The body search in Louisiana, where 1,072 persons died because of Katrina, was called off Oct. 3, but emergency workers and residents returning to destroyed homes continue to find dead people.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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