Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Students Lose Security Check

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Students Lose Security Check

Article excerpt

JACKSON, Miss. -- Despite dozens of allegations of neglect and sexual abuse over the years, the U.S. State Department abandoned a plan to require FBI-based fingerprint searches for people hosting foreign high school exchange students, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The federal agency in recent years considered but dropped a plan to require FBI background checks similar to what are used by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts because it wasn't "feasible," according to the State Department documents.

The agency was taking a serious look at requiring the checks as far back as 2010 and identified a dozen private companies that are authorized to use the FBI's database, according to the documents. The State Department later settled on a pilot program with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, but that ended in March 2011 because Congress didn't reauthorize the program and due to budget shortfalls.

The State Department didn't enact a different method to require the fingerprint checks that provide an in-depth, nationwide look at criminal records. The agency requires third-party companies that place students with host families to conduct background checks, but advocates say the system is problematic because it leaves the vetting in the hands of the companies.

Tot fatally shoots self

SEATTLE -- A 3-year-old scrambled out of his child seat after his parents stopped for gasoline early Wednesday, found a gun that police say was left in the car by his father and fatally shot himself in the head.

The accidental shooting in Tacoma marks the third in three weeks in Washington involving young children, and the second death. The spate of gun violence is raising questions about the effectiveness of the state's gun laws and community awareness of firearm safety.

5 win lottery suit

ELIZABETH, N.J. -- A New Jersey jury awarded five construction workers $4 million each Wednesday, concluding that a co-worker cheated them out of their share of a lottery jackpot, their lawyer said. …

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