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The Next America - Diversity in Brief 2012 / What You Missed

Battleground States Are Seeing More Registered Independents

July 12, 2012

Battleground States Are Seeing More Registered Independents

More voters in key states such as Colorado, Florida and New Hampshire are registering as independents, according to a study by Bloomberg Businessweek. About 443,000 new voters identified as independent, mostly cutting into the registration numbers for for Democrats. The Democrats lost about 480,000 voters since the 2008 elections, while the Republicans gained about 38,000 in their ranks.

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Texas Agricultural Department Sued by the Feds Over Pay Discrimination

The Justice Department has sued a Texas agency, alleging that the department was violating the civil rights of three female employees who were paid significantly less than their male counterparts. The three women, who worked for disaster recovery division within the now-defunct Texas Department of Rural Affairs, were discriminated against with their pay, the lawsuit claims, based on internal memos that showed the women making between $17,600 to $22,500 less than their male counterparts.

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State-by-State Look at the Poorest Cities in America

About 15 percent of the U.S. population lived in poverty in 2010,the most since 1993, according to an analysis of census data by MainStreet. Some cities were hit harder than others, including Wilcox, Ala., with a 39.6 percent poverty rate, Owsley, Ky., at 40.1 percent and Stewart, Ga., at 38.1 percent. See the list, state-by-state, of which towns and cities have the highest poverty rate.

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Legal Experts: Racial Profiling Lawsuits Are Tough to Win

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold most of the provisions within the Arizona immigration law left open the possibility for future lawsuits challenging possible racial profiling--which would then make the case for challenging the constitutionality of the provisions. But legal experts say it would be tough for people to prove that anyone is racially targeting suspects, as evident in the difficulty that the Justice Department has had proving Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been acting in such a manner.

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Grand Jury to Investigate Death of Illegal Immigrant

The 2010 death of illegal immigrant Anastasio Hernandez at the hands of U.S. border officials is being investigated by a grand jury, following two years of protests and outrage by critics over the circumstances of his death. Hernandez was killed by a stun gun as he was being returned to Tijuana, Mexico. Cellphone video footage of a man who is believed to be Hernandez pleading for help is at the center of the investigation over whether border authorities could be held criminally responsible.

Read more here.

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