Students' Failures Made
Public by Kansas School
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- More than 100 students who failed classes at the University of Kansas last semester found out which classmates performed similarly.
The school's Office of Student Financial Aid sent an e-mail to 119 students Monday notifying them that they were in jeopardy of having their aid revoked. But the names of the students were included on the e-mail address list -- meaning everyone who got the e-mail could see the names of the other recipients.
"It was a completely inadvertent, unintentional mistake," university spokesman Todd Cohen said Thursday. "It was our error, our mistake, and we deeply regret it."
Nancy George, a student on the list, said the mistake was tantamount to releasing the grades of students without their permission, which the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits.
Minister Suspended for
Officiating Lesbian Vows
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Leaders of the Reformed Church in America suspended a New Jersey minister Friday night, ruling that he violated the denomination's teachings by officiating at his lesbian daughter's wedding.
A majority of delegates voted to suspend the Rev. Norman J. Kansfield from the ministry until he changes his views to fall in line with church doctrine. They also stripped him of his standing as a professor of theology in the church.
Kansfield, 65, performed his daughter's wedding last June in Massachusetts, soon after it became the first state to allow same-sex marriages. Kansfield was dismissed in January from his presidency of one of the church's two seminaries.
W.Va. Awards Custody to
Dead Lesbian's Partner
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The state's highest court gave custody of a 5-year-old boy to his dead mother's lesbian partner, despite the protests of the woman's blood relatives.
Tina Burch had appealed to the West Virginia Supreme Court for custody of the son of her partner, Christina Smarr, who died in a 2002 car accident. Within hours of her death, Smarr's relatives had given the child to his grandparents.
A family court gave custody to Burch, but a circuit court ruled that she did not have legal rights to her partner's child.
Jim Douglas, Burch's attorney, argued that the boy's biological father, who was not involved in the child's life, supported Burch having custody.
The American Civil Liberties Union praised the ruling, saying it is the first time the court has recognized a gay person's right to be declared a "psychological parent."
Army Captain Won't Be
Charged in Iraqi Deaths
FORT WORTH -- An Army captain investigated for allegedly ordering his troops to kill suspected Iraqi insurgents in retaliation for a deadly attack on a U.S. base will not be prosecuted, Army officials said Friday.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Withington, a 4th Infantry Division spokesman, said the case against Capt. Matthew Cunningham "lost prosecutorial merit" after Staff Sgt. Shane Werst, one of Cunningham's subordinates who shot an Iraqi during a raid, was acquitted of murder.
Cunningham, 31, left the Army on Friday after his case was closed.
In January 2004, the day after Capt. Eric T. Paliwoda was killed in a mortar attack on a U.S. base in Balad, Iraq, Cunningham was accused of giving soldiers a list of suspected Iraqi insurgents who "were not to come back alive" if they were found during raids, prosecutors said. About a dozen Iraqis were detained that night. Two were killed -- including one by Werst, who testified that he shot the Iraqi as he tried to grab another soldier's gun.
Cunningham was one of three officers reprimanded last year for trying to cover up another incident in which armed U.S. soldiers forced two Iraqi curfew violators into the Tigris River.
A manslaughter charge against 1st Lt. Jack Saville was dropped after he pleaded guilty to lesser charges in connection with the incident. Saville, who was sentenced to 45 days in prison, agreed to testify against Cunningham.
* NEW YORK -- A former Taliban official pleaded guilty Friday to a count of tax fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Noorullah Zadran, 53, of Huntington Station, N.Y., faces as many as eight months in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 18 after pleading guilty to filing a 2000 tax return that failed to include the $1,541 in income he received from the Taliban.
* DES MOINES -- Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) said he will sign an order restoring the voting rights of convicted felons who have served their sentences. Currently, felons can apply for the right to vote, but it must be approved in a lengthy process by the state's parole board and the governor. Vilsack said only four other states prohibit felons from voting after completing their sentences: Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and Virginia.
-- From News Services