The Wall Street Journal - 13.08.2019

(Ann) #1

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. **** Tuesday, August 13, 2019 |A

Changes to what constitutes
a critical habitat were at the
top of the list of their requests,
with developers saying past
administrations had intro-
duced overbroad definitions
that led to protections for hun-
dreds or even thousands of
miles of major rivers.

“Today’s announcement is
an important step toward mod-
ernizing endangered species
protection, including making
permitting for infrastructure
more efficient while protecting
our nation’s threatened and
endangered species,” Jim
Matheson, CEO of the National

Animal kingdom

















Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Elbert Wang, Alberto Cervantes/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL



99 2 ’9 ’





Number of species

and threatened
species by

mit they do this for a living.”
To try to spot students who
turn in someone else’s work,
some high-school teachers are
requiring multiple drafts of
writing assignments—since
students aren’t likely to pay
someone for multiple drafts.
Some are also simply having
students do more work in
“When it comes to grades,
it has to be something they’re
doing in your presence, not on
their own,” said Dallas public
high-school teacher Kristen
Cayla Yates, who is home-
schooled, was bombarded with
responses from contract-work
sites after joking on Twitter
about needing help with an es-
say. “In five minutes, I heard
from all these people wanting
to write my essay,” said the
17-year-old from West Palm

Beach, Fla. “I did eventually
write it myself.”
A Wall Street Journal re-
view of 100 websites offering
tutoring help or writing ser-
vices, or both, found they
promise custom high-school
and college work. Some web-
sites offer to run work
through antiplagiarism pro-
grams to prove it is original.
“It’s really not just cheating
on your sleeve anymore, it’s a
very different world,” said
Brian Pittman, an administra-
tor in the Wake County Public
School System in Cary, N.C.
The district has a new honor
code that warns against pay-
ing for work, making it a
higher-level infraction than
some other cheating methods,
up to and including suspen-
Seventeen states outlaw
selling written work to an-

other for academic credit, said
Dr. Bertram Gallant, a board
member of the International
Center for Academic Integrity,
a consortium of academic in-
stitutions and individuals fo-
cused on integrity in academic
communities. But enforcement
is difficult since the location
of the sites can be hard to de-
termine, she said.
Several sites reviewed by
the Journal let students put
the work out for bid. “Often,
customers may have two or
more writers bidding on their
project, so before selecting a
writer, customers can check
the different writers’ ratings
and reviews,” said Avery Mor-
gan, spokesman for a site
called EduBirdie that launched
in 2015 and specializes in es-
say writing.
“We encourage our custom-
ers to use the work we pro-

As the school year starts
off, colleges and high schools
are increasing steps to spot
and fight a persistent form of
cheating in which students
find someone online to do
their homework.
Hundreds of websites offer
the service, with costs ranging
from $15 for quick math as-
signments to a few hundred
dollars to complete entire on-
line courses. The websites of-
ten advertise their services as
David Roth operates out
of his home in Tulsa, Okla. Mr.
Roth, 52 years old, specializes
in math, chemistry and phys-
ics, and charges about $20 to
$30 an hour on average. His
website carries a disclaimer,
like other sites, that says his
work shouldn’t be used for a
“I know many of them are
cheating, and that’s just kind
of the way life is,” he said of
his customers.
The practice, sometimes
called contract cheating by ed-
ucators, was initially targeted
at students in college but has
since spread to include high-
school students, according to
a review of websites offering
the service.
“We as a society have let
this get out of control,” said
Tricia Bertram Gallant, direc-
tor of the Academic Integrity
Office at the University of Cal-
ifornia, San Diego, which han-
dles reports of cheating and
trains faculty in reducing it.
“We’ve reached a new level
when people are willing to ad-


Rural Electric Cooperative As-
sociation, said in a statement.
The new rules would priori-
tize protecting areas where
threatened and endangered
species now live over areas
where they don’t live but may
potentially thrive.
Environmentalists say over-
looking areas endangered spe-
cies have vacated may wipe out
the type of habitat they need to
expand back into to recover.
“These regulations are in
fact a very serious threat to
how endangered species are
protected and conserved, at a
time when the world is facing
an extinction crisis and should
be committing to redoubled ef-
forts to conserve imperiled
wildlife,” said Bob Dreher, se-
nior vice president for conser-
vation programs of Defenders
of Wildlife.
Interior Secretary David
Bernhardt and Commerce Sec-
retary Wilbur Ross signed the
new regulations on Monday.
They will go into effect 30 days
after they are published in the
federal register, likely within
the next two weeks, an Interior
spokeswoman said.
The revisions are the latest
move by the Trump adminis-
tration to curb the way gov-
ernment agencies and environ-
mentalists can use decades-old
environmental laws.
While scientists and envi-
ronmentalists have warned of
the need to address increasing
threats to the planet’s climate
and its biodiversity, the admin-
istration and allies in business
say their efforts amount to
government expansion and a

barrier to economic progress.
The Endangered Species Act
has been credited for reviving
iconic animals such as the bald
eagle and the humpback whale.
As several hundred species
have been added to the list, fo-
cus has shifted to small fish
and insects.
Scientists and environmen-
talists warn that the decline of
such animals can foreshadow
doom for entire ecosystems.
Farmers and oil producers
have argued against decisions
that cordon off thousands of
miles of water and land they
want for irrigating crops or for
finding oil and gas.
The Trump administration
already has made changes in
how it handles the program.
The Obama administration
added roughly 49 species a
year to the lists of the threat-
ened and endangered. The
Trump administration has
never added more than 11 in
one year, and just one in 2019,
the trispot darter, a type of
perch from the southeast listed
as threatened in late January.
Mr. Becerra and Massachu-
setts Attorney General Maura
Healey repeatedly cited findings
from a United Nations group
this spring that showed the rate
of extinctions is accelerating to
unprecedented levels, with
about one million plant and an-
imal species now at risk of dy-
ing out during the next few de-
cades. Humans depend on many
species for their food and liveli-
hoods, so animal and plant di-
versity also could have conse-
quences for people around the
globe, the group said.

administration is easing sev-
eral Endangered Species Act
regulations, responding to
complaints from developers
and other business interests
who say the landmark 1973 law
designed to protect wildlife has
become too onerous.
The changes announced
Monday won’t apply to species
now considered threatened or
endangered, such as grizzly
bears. But they will put new
restrictions on how future as-
sessments are made, which en-
vironmentalists say are likely
to limit how much the risks of
climate change can be consid-
ered and how many species
end up listed as threatened and
The revisions also end a pol-
icy that automatically gave the
highest level of protection to
species listed as threatened
even before they were listed as
endangered, and they place
more restrictions on which ar-
eas can be designated as criti-
cal habitat.
“The Endangered Species
Act has led to important con-
servation efforts that have
brought species back from the
brink of extinction,” said Mar-
garet Everson, acting director
of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service. “However, there are
improvements we can make.”
As part of the changes, the
government can also start pre-
senting the economic costs of
listing new species as threat-
ened or endangered. Adminis-
tration officials say this infor-
mation won’t be used in
decision-making, but environ-
mentalists say the policy opens
the door to that eventually, or
to using costs to build public
pressure against a threatened
or endangered designation.
California and several other
states are planning lawsuits to
block the changes.
The Endangered Species Act
is there “not just so that our
kids can go up to see a condor
or grizzly bear, it’s about what
it means to have those species
in our ecosystems,” California
Attorney General Xavier Bec-
erra said in a call with report-
ers. “And today our ecosystems
are facing an unprecedented
Trade groups cheered Mon-
day’s announcement. Several of
them, representing a broad
portion of the U.S. business
community, including power-
plant owners, manufacturers
and pipeline companies, had
pushed for an overhaul.


Endangered Species Act Protections Eased

New rules announced by the Trump administration would apply to species added to the list of threatened and endangered species,
which already includes animals such as the leatherback sea turtle, like this one being helped into the water in Isle of Palms, S.C., in 2015.



vide as a guide,” Mr. Morgan
said. “From our perspective,
not only would passing off
other work go against most
school/college policies, but it
would also be unfair to the
Dave Tomar, a Rutgers Uni-
versity graduate, said he used
to earn $60,000 a year work-
ing for contract cheating web-
sites, over a decade ended in

  1. He is now an editor for
    an online magazine for the
    school-ranking website, The-, and has writ-
    ten a memoir and articles
    about contract cheating for
    his company and other publi-
    New software from TurnI-
    tIn, a cheating-detection com-
    pany that he has consulted for,
    collates students’ past assign-
    ments to identify outliers. But
    some students are repeat
    cheaters, possibly hobbling
    the method’s effectiveness.
    “I would take students
    through entire semesters,” Mr.
    Tomar said of his old work in
    the business.
    The Journal recently noti-
    fied Kenneth Summers, an ad-
    junct professor at Loyola
    Marymount University in Los
    Angeles, that one of his stu-
    dents was seeking online
    homework help for an assign-
    ment in his technology in or-
    ganizations class. A course
    code on the assignment iden-
    tified the class and school. Mr.
    Summers tracked down the
    student, whom he declined to
    identify, and said he gave the
    student a lower grade on the
    project and in the class.
    “I was astounded that the
    contracted price was only
    $20,” said Mr. Summers. “The
    student not only regretted his
    action but claimed the quality
    of the contracted work was
    terrible, had to rewrite most
    of it anyway, and was trying
    to claim a refund.”

Schools Go After Online Cheating

Some students get
homework help from
websites and pass off
the work as their own

Dave Tomar, top, says he used to earn $60,000 a year at websites that some students use to cheat.
David Roth, who also provides homework help online, says his website warns clients not to use his work
to cheat but that he realizes some do. Cayla Yates received many responses from websites offering to
write her essay after she joked on Twitter that she needed help with it. She wrote the paper herself.


Federal prosecutors in
Ohio allege a friend of Con-
nor Betts purchased body ar-
mor and gun accessories that
were used in the mass shoot-
ing that killed nine people
this month in Dayton.
Ethan Kollie, 24 years old,
was charged Monday with ly-
ing on federal firearms forms
as well as possessing a fire-
arm and controlled sub-
stances at the same time,
also a federal offense.
U.S. Attorney for the
Southern District of Ohio
Benjamin Glassman said Mr.
Kollie falsely stated on the
form—required before pur-
chasing of a pistol on May
9—that he wasn’t a user of
controlled substances.
Investigators have found
no evidence that Mr. Kollie
helped plan the mass shoot-
ing, according to Mr. Glass-
Mr. Kollie also allegedly
stored the pistol used in the
crime and the other equip-
ment at his Kettering, Ohio,
apartment so that Betts
could hide them from his
The federal complaint, in
addition, said Mr. Kollie
watched Betts assemble the
AR-15 style pistol used in the
crime at the Kettering apart-
ment, about nine weeks be-
fore the crime. Betts took
possession of all the equip-
ment about six weeks before
the Aug. 4 mass shooting,
the complaint added.
“There is no evidence and
no allegation in this criminal
complaint that Kollie inten-
tionally participated in the
planning of Betts’ Aug. 4
shooting,” Mr. Glassman said.
Investigators looking into
the shooting found marijuana
and drug paraphernalia in
Mr. Kollie’s home, and Mr.
Kollie admitted that he used
marijuana daily, Mr. Glass-
man said. Mr. Kollie also said
he used drugs, including
marijuana, with Betts four to
five times a week from 2014
to 2015, according to the
prosecutor. Investigators also
found pistols and ammuni-
tion in the apartment.
Mr. Kollie was arrested
Friday and faces a total of up
to 15 years in prison on the
two charges, according to
Mr. Glassman. An attorney
for Mr. Kollie declined to
Betts killed nine people,
including his own 22-year-
old sister, and injured more
than two dozen in a popular
Dayton neighborhood lined

with bars known as the Ore-
gon District.
He was killed by police 30
seconds after he started fir-
ing the pistol.
The Federal Bureau of In-
vestigation is investigating
the shooting, along with the
Dayton police. Todd Wicker-
ham, special agent for the
FBI’s Cincinnati branch, has
said the bureau found evi-
dence that Betts was “explor-
ing violent ideologies,” which
prompted federal authorities
to join the investigation.
On Monday, Mr. Wicker-
ham said investigators are
currently reviewing the con-
tents of the cellphone Betts
was carrying when he carried
out the attack.






His Armor

There is no evidence
Ethan Kollie helped
plan the shooting, a
prosecutor said.


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