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Americans score high in literacy

The US ranks among the most literate nations in the Western world, surpassed only by three Scandinavian countries, Canada, and the Netherlands, according to a four-year US Department of Education study of 22 countries. But the report also revealed that 20 percent of Americans between ages 45 and 65 cannot read the instructions on a medicine bottle. By comparison, 12 percent of Swedes lack those skills, as do 69 percent of Chileans. In overall literacy, the US led many countries including Germany, Denmark, and Australia. Finland, Norway, and Sweden were ranked the most literate, while Poland, Chile, and Portugal landed at the bottom. The survey's author attributed the high showing in the US to the comparative quality of American high schools and colleges.

Southern sorority accused of racism

ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia last week suspended an all-white sorority accused of rejecting a black woman because of race. A member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority told university officials that a black student was denied admission during recruitment this season because of her race, said a vice president for student affairs. The sorority member said she expected retaliation from the campus chapter and withdrew from the school. Under the suspension, the sorority cannot conduct social or recruitment activities. While no rule bars blacks from the traditionally white Greek systems, some minorities maintain parallel Greek systems of their own.

Confederate shirts banned from school

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. - A teenage honor student was told he could be suspended if he wears a T-shirt depicting Confederate heroes and a rebel flag to school, The Miami Herald reported. Officials at Central High School gave Joel Roberts a discipline notice for wearing a "Legends of the Confederacy" T-shirt he bought at a Civil War memorabilia sale. They said such shirts are "potentially disruptive" and could cause racial tension. Delana Roberts said her son will abide by the decision, though she believes it violates the right to free speech. She said her son has friends of many racial backgrounds. He is petitioning to change the school's rule.

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