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Increase of foreign students in U.S. slows

Published Sep. 2, 2005

A new study says the number of foreign students attending U.S. colleges increased by less than 1 percent in 2002-03, the lowest growth rate in seven years.

The Institute of International Education said tightened visa procedures enacted after the 2001 terrorist attacks, which have delayed the entry of many foreigners into the United States, contributed to the low growth rate.

The IIE said in its annual "Open Doors" report, to be released today, that foreign enrollment increased by 0.6 percent last year. In each of the two previous academic years, foreign enrollment had increased by 6.4 percent.

"It's not just the policies themselves, but the understanding and perception of the policies that have really affected the numbers," said Peggy Blumenthal, the IIE's vice president of educational services.

No federal charges in Bush speech security breach

JACKSON, Miss. _ Federal officials said Sunday a woman who rammed her car into an arena where President Bush had just given a speech had no intention of harming the president and no federal charges are pending against her.

But Betina Mixon, 29, of Horn Lake faces a state charge of aggravated assault on a police officer after she crashed into a wall of the DeSoto County Civic Center on Saturday with her three children in the car. She will be arraigned today or Tuesday.

Ann Roman of the Secret Service said the agency is reviewing how Mixon penetrated a security perimeter.

Edwards wants to bolster preschool programs

DES MOINES, Iowa _ Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards is suggesting a $3-billion package aimed at bolstering preschool programs.

Features of the package Edwards introduced Sunday include bringing children younger than 4 into the preschool system, bolstering nutrition and parent education programs and expanding health care for youngsters in low-income families. When fully implemented it would bring 1-million more children annually into preschool, said the senator from North Carolina.

The program would be financed through Edwards' proposal to eliminate the portion of President Bush's tax packages that go to taxpayers making $200,000 a year or more.

Suspect in power line tower damage arrested

SAN FRANCISCO _ A man sought by the FBI for allegedly loosening bolts on a high voltage power line tower in Northern California was arrested Sunday when he walked into a California Highway Patrol office looking for directions.

Michael Devlyn Poulin said his action was intended to highlight domestic insecurity, and that he had been trying to surrender.