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Gay Nebraska Woman Reports Hate Crime Attack

Five diversity items for July 24: Truck smuggling illegal immigrants crashes and kills 14 people; advocacy group says a Virginia magnet school is shutting out blacks and Latinos and more.

Gay Nebraska Woman Reports Hate Crime Attack

LGBT advocates are demanding justice in what they call a hate crime on a Nebraska woman who was attacked in her home and had homophobic slurs carved into her body. The woman, who is gay, reported that three men broke into her home, bound her with zip ties and cut into her skin and then attempted to light her house on fire. Local police say the incident is still under investigation and have no released their account of what happened. More than 500 people gathered in a vigil at the State Capitol in honor of the woman on Sunday.

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Truck Smuggling Illegal Immigrants Crashes, Kills 14

A pickup truck filled with 23 illegal immigrants crashed into a tree in South Texas, killing 14 people, authorities from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported Monday. Public safety officials are still investigating what caused the crash, which occurred about 150 miles from the Mexican border. ICE officials are working to determine and identify the immigrants in the truck.

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Advocacy Group: Virginia Magnet School Shuts Out Blacks, Latinos

Black, Latino and disabled students are being shut out of a prestigious Fairfax County, Va., high school because of an institutional oversight that fails to appropriately identify such students for gifted-education programs, according to a complaint filed by the Coalition of The Silence with the Department of Education. The advocacy group says they are not seeking immediate remedies, but are trying to bring attention to the underlying issue, which they say won’t necessarily be fixed with an overhaul of the admissions process at the high school level. Fairfax County school officials have not responded, saying they have not had a chance to read the complaint.

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Study: Young Gay Black Men Contracting HIV at a Faster Rate than Whites

Young black men who have sex with other men are more at risk for contracting HIV than any other cohort, and if conditions do not improve, more than half of all such men will have the virus, according to a report presented Monday at the International AIDS Conference. Gay and bixsexual black men contract the virus at a rate of 2.8 percent per year--close to 50 percent higher than their white counterparts.

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Shorter Nights in the Arctic Presents Dilemma for Fasting Muslims

Muslims celebrating the holy month of Ramadan in the northernmost part of Europe are faced with a conundrum: The observers must fast from dusk to dawn in observance of the holiday, but in a part of the world where the sun doesn’t set for nearly 20 hours--they must find other ways to cope. There is no consensus, but some Muslims use the hours from nearby Turkey as well as Mecca to guide their prayer and fasting schedules.

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