The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 44.0°F | Overcast

News Briefs

Ukraine Faulted in Probe Of Radar Sale to Iraq


A report released Monday by the State Department disclosed details of U.S. suspicions that Ukraine sold aircraft tracking equipment to Iraq and reported that an Iraqi delegation last summer visited the Ukrainian city where the radar equipment is manufactured.

The report by a team of U.S. and British experts also said a Ukrainian contract to sell the highly sophisticated equipment to China may have been altered to allow its resale to a third country.

The experts who visited Ukraine last month ruled out a direct transfer of the Kolchuga systems to Iraq. But they left open the question of whether Ukraine covertly sold the equipment to Baghdad, saying Ukrainian officials were uncooperative and evasive.

“Frequently Ukrainian officials refused point blank to answer specific questions central to the team’s work, especially when questions touched on the role of senior Ukrainian figures,” the 15-page report said.

Last spring the U.S. and British governments began investigating whether Ukraine had sold Iraq the equipment in violation of international sanctions. The questions were raised after a former presidential bodyguard released a tape recording of a July 2000 conversation between Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and Valeri Malev, then head of the state-owned arms sales company. The tape purported to show that Kuchma approved a $100 million sale of four Kolchuga systems to Iraq through a Jordanian intermediary.

SAT Firm Probes Cheating


The company that administers the SAT is conducting a widespread investigation into allegations of cheating after eight boys at the Landon School in Bethesda, Md., admitted to copying and sharing answers to boost their scores.

Although they declined to comment on the specifics of their investigation, officials with the Educational Testing Service said Monday that they are reviewing not only the tests taken by the eight Landon seniors but also those of every student in the room at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, where the college entrance exam was administered Oct. 12.

On that day, students from a number of area schools, including Holton-Arms and Georgetown Preparatory School, were in the testing room. Sources familiar with what happened said the room was poorly proctored, opening an opportunity for sharing and copying.

“Some chitchatting started, and the next thing, kids were exchanging information,” said Rob Bordley, coach of Landon’s top-ranked lacrosse team, some of whose players admitted cheating.

ETS opens an investigation if a student’s combined math and verbal SAT scores rise 350 points from one administration of the exam to the next. The New Jersey-based company also looks into irregularities when contacted by schools or test centers.