Monday, May 20, 2013
White Americans are more likely to see anger in the facial expressions of Barack Obama than non-white Americans are, according to a study from the University of Arkansas
The study showed more than 100 participants – who identified as white, black, native American and Asian – a silent video of Obama's 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner speech and asked them to describe how they thought Obama was feeling based on his facial expressions. White participants were slightly more likely to assign anger to Obama, rating both his smiles and neutral displays as seven points higher on average than non-white participants out of a potential 100 points. University of Arkansas assistant professor Patrick Stewart, who co-authored the study, says that the findings weren't surprising to him. "One of the things that literature out there suggests is we are much better at decoding people within our own ethnicity and their facial displays," he says. "I wouldn't use a term like racism because all groups are 'ingroup focused,'" meaning that they favor the social group with which they identify.
Anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic sentiments are growing in many countries around the world, according to a new US State Department report
Venezuela, Egypt and Iran in particular are singled out for anti-Semitism — the report says that the Egyptian media engages in Holocaust denial and glorification, while the Iranian government regularly denounces Judaism. "Even well into the 21st Century, traditional forms of anti-Semitism, such as conspiracy theories, use of the discredited myth of 'blood libel' and cartoons demonizing Jews continued to flourish," the report says. And across Europe and Asia, discrimination against Muslims is also up, including restrictions on headscarves in schools in India and Belgium, as well as the discrimination of smaller Muslim groups by larger Islamic majorities, such as violence against Shia and Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan.
In New Orleans, 73% of victims had a criminal history. In addition, 46% of the victims had “no gainful employment,” while 30% were of unknown employment, according to a DOJ report. Half of homicide victims were under the age of 27. Of known homicide offenders, 97% are black, and 56% were not employed, with 27% of unknown employment. Also, 83% of known suspects had criminal histories. Whites are 31% and blacks are 66% of New Orleans' population. Some sections of New Orleans have the same life expectancy as that found in sub-Saharan African nations such as Cameroon and Angola.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
In South Africa you are twice as likely to be murdered if you are a white farmer than if you are a police officer - and the police here have a particularly dangerous life
Even the BBC is beginning to notice how brutal life in post-Apartheid South Africa is for many whites.
A gay black man was gunned down in Greenwich Village by an armed Latino who hurled homophobic slurs at him
Marc Carson, 32, was walking with a friend on Sixth Avenue near West Eighth Street about midnight when they were approached by Elliot Morales, 33 and two other Hispanic males, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. One man snarled homophobic slurs at the men and asked them if they were “gay wrestlers,” Kelly said. The men continued moving and made a right onto West Eighth Street. One of the Hispanic men left and Morales and his buddy continued to follow the victim and another man. Morales pulled out a .38-caliber revolver and shot Carson once in the cheek. Carson died shortly after at Beth Israel Hospital. Morales has been charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon after being questioned by police at the Sixth Precinct. Police said that Morales, who was in possession of a fake ID, was uncooperative and refused to identify himself and refused to be fingerprinted. Morales appeared crazed and confessed to the shooting after he was arrested, a police source said. Morales had been arrested for attempted murder in 1998.
A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in the United States, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes
And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than their parents. The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life. Therefore, if you really care about immigrants, you should be against immigration.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Jewish crime: With other accusers stepping forward, a former yeshiva teacher has changed pleas in the middle of his trial, admitting that he sexually abused a boy he met while working as a camp counselor
Rabbi Yoself Kolko, 36, shifted uncomfortably on the stand as he pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sex assault, sexual assault and child endangerment. The abuse occurred from August 2008 to February 2009. It ranged from fondling to oral sex and stopped when the boy told his father, who confronted Kolko. The change in plea came after the prosecutor's office was contacted by a representative for a woman who said that she had been a victim of Kolko and a man who said that he had been a victim, Senior Assistant Prosecutor Laura Pierro said. The case may be a watershed for the prosecutor's office and the Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood, which has in the past been reluctant to bring criminal matters to civil authorities, preferring instead to handle them through rabbinical courts and senior rabbis. Kolko's bail was revoked, and he was ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation before sentencing. The plea came after only three of the prosecution's eight witnesses testified. The senior rabbi the father approached was due to testify, as were other members of the insular community who were expected to shed light on internal workings of Lakewood's Orthodox Jewish population and how such allegations were handled inside it. Prosecutors had said that the boy's family was ostracized by the Orthodox Jewish community for pursuing the case in state court. The boy's father, a prominent rabbi, lost his job and the family moved to Michigan. The boy, who was 11 and 12 when the abuse took place, in his testimony described a series of encounters with the rabbi, including molestation and oral sex. Kolko faced a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison and a $650,000 fine, but the judge said that he will likely cap one count at 15 years and run sentences on any other counts concurrently.
The black gunman who fatally shot a 21-year-old Hofstra University student, Andrea Rebello, has been identified by police as Dalton Smith, 30, of Hempstead - a known criminal who was wanted for absconding parole for robbery
Police also revealed that a warrant was put out for his arrest on April 25, 2013. He had been found guilty of robbery in the 1st degree and had an extensive criminal background going back to 1999 with multiple convictions for theft and assault. He also spent time in prison and was convicted again for handling contraband goods while behind bars. He was shot by police in an attempted robbery on Rebello, her twin and their friends. The black man shot Andrea Rebello as she pleaded for her life. The 30-year-old followed the sisters, Jessica and Andrea, Jessica's boyfriend John Kourtessiss and another student called Shannon Thomas back to the girls' California Avenue sorority house from the popular student bar McHebes. The black gunman targeted the students after seeing them spending large amounts of money in the drinking spot to celebrate the end of the school term.
The data shows that self-identified African Americans are characterized by some African ancestry, but over 90% are more than half African in ancestry.
Brazil's border is pretty mammoth, and a growing economy has made illegal activities (chief among them illegal immigration) an equally growing concern. But the country has a plan: a 10,000-mile fence, except that this one is virtual. For reference, America's southern border is only about 20% as long. The Sistema Integrado de Monitoramento de Fronteiras (aka Sisfron) will take a decade and some $13 billion to erect, and it will be a mix of satellites, drones, electromagnetic signaling, and an increased army presence. The country's border touches that of 10 other countries. The portion touching Bolivia (a major cocaine producer) and Paraguay (which attracts black market items) will be tackled first.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Minnesota: A federal court has sentenced two Muslim women to lengthy prison sentences for soliciting donations in the name of charity, then funneling the funds to Somali Islamic militants
The two Muslim women went door-to-door in Somali neighborhoods in the United States and Canada, seeking contributions. Amina Farah Ali, 36, got two decades in prison on 13 terror-related counts that include providing material support to Al-Shabaab. Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 66, got half of that on one count of conspiracy to support a terror group and lying to authorities. Both women, naturalized U.S. citizens from Somalia, were convicted in October 2011. They have now been sentenced in Minneapolis. Evidence presented at their trial showed that they supported the Islamic terror group between 2008 and 2009, according to B. Todd Jones, a United States Attorney. "Ali communicated by telephone with Somalia-based members of Al-Shabaab who requested financial assistance on behalf of the group," Jones said in a statement. "Ali often sought the money under false pretenses, contending that it was to help the poor." In both years, she hosted teleconferences and urged listeners to give money to the terror group instead of the poor. In one instance, she recorded $2,100 in pledges at the conclusion of that teleconference. She would then funnel the funds to the Islamic terror group using various remittance companies under false names. Ali has maintained that the funds were for the poor, but monitored phone calls reveal otherwise. "On July 14, 2009, the day after the FBI executed a search warrant at Ali's home, she telephoned her primary Al-Shabaab contact, saying, "I was questioned by the enemy here . . . they took all my stuff and are investigating it . . . do not accept calls from anyone." Hassan, on the other hand, made false statements when questioned by federal agents about international terrorism. The sentencing is the latest in federal investigation in Minneapolis - home to the nation's largest Somali population. The Muslim women were among a group sentenced recently in the federal government's probe focusing on Al-Shabaab, which recruits young men in the Minneapolis area. The United States has designated it a terrorist group, pointing out that it has ties to al Qaeda. In recent years, about 20 Somali-American men have traveled from the area to Somalia to train with the Islamic terror group, and some have gone on to fight with the militants.
In a remarkable new study, Dr. Andrew McIntosh and his colleagues at the University of Edinburgh provide new evidence that the genetic risk for schizophrenia is associated with lower IQ among people who do not develop this disorder
The authors analyzed data from 937 individuals in Scotland who first completed IQ testing in 1947, at age 11. Around age 70, they were retested and their DNA was analyzed to estimate their genetic risk for schizophrenia. The researchers found that individuals with a higher genetic risk for schizophrenia had a lower IQ at age 70 but not at age 11. Having more schizophrenia risk-related gene variants was also associated with a greater decline in lifelong cognitive ability. "If nature has loaded a person's genes towards schizophrenia, then there is a slight but detectable worsening in cognitive function between childhood and old age. With further research into how these genes affect the brain, it could become possible to understand how genes linked to schizophrenia affect people's cognitive function," said McIntosh. These findings suggest that common genetic variants may underlie both cognitive aging and risk of schizophrenia.
According to the 2011 Global Study on Homicide by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Iceland's homicide rate between 1999-2009 never went above 1.8 per 100,000 population on any given year. On the other hand, the United States had homicide rates between 5.0 and 5.8 per 100,000 population during that same stretch. Could the difference in homicides rates be due to Iceland's lack of diversity?
Survey: India, Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong are less racially tolerant than the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand
In only three of 81 surveyed countries, more than 40% of respondents said that they would not want a neighbor of a different race. This included 43.5% of Indians, 51.4% of Jordanians and an astonishingly high 71.8% of Hong Kongers and 71.7% of Bangladeshis. Nations such as Indonesia and the Philippines, where many racial groups often jockey for influence and have complicated histories with one another, were also skeptical of diversity. This was also true, to a lesser extent, in China and Kyrgyzstan. There were similar trends in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, more than one in three South Koreans said that they do not want a neighbor of a different race.
Men who are strong are more likely to take a right-wing stance, while weaker men support the welfare state, researchers report
Their study discovered a link between a man’s upper-body strength and his political views. Scientists from Aarhus University in Denmark collected data on bicep size, socio-economic status and support for economic redistribution from hundreds in the United States, Argentina and Denmark. The figures revealed that men with higher upper-body strength were less likely to support left-wing policies on the redistribution of wealth. But men with low upper-body strength were more likely to put their own self-interest aside and support a welfare state. The researchers found no link between upper-body strength and redistribution opinions among women.