Monday, October 20, 2014

According to a Justice Department study, 47% of murder victims between 1980 and 2008 were black, and 93% of black victims were killed by other blacks

And yet many blacks foolishly believe that white police officers are their biggest problem.

Black males who were bitter at losing a game of beer pong at a house party opened fire on partygoers, striking one, police have said

Decoris 'Red' Rucker Jr., 24, and Chris 'Crazy Chris' Hackett played the drinking game with three other men in the backyard of a home in Ames, Texas when an argument erupted. The men pulled out guns and started running through the home firing wildly at party-goers, witnesses told Liberty County Sheriff Deputy Stephanie Walden. "Several witnesses told Deputy Walden that five men from the Cleveland area... became upset about losing at a game," Captain Ken DeFoore of Liberty County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Vegetarians and vegans may be harming their chance of having children after a study found that men who do not eat meat have significantly reduced sperm counts

Although a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables can protect against many illnesses and can prolong life, it appears that it may also harm fertility. Researchers at Loma Linda University Medical School, in southern California, embarked on a four-year project to find out how diets affect sperm. The region has a high population of Seventh-Day Adventist Christians who believe that meat is impure and so are strict vegetarians. Seventh-day Adventists live an average of 10 years longer than the American life expectancy of about 79 years and the researchers wanted to find out if their astonishing longevity might be linked to sperm quality. However they found the opposite. Vegetarians and vegans had significantly lower sperm counts compared with meat eaters, 50 million sperm per ml compared with 70 million per ml. They also had lower average sperm motility – the number of sperm which are active. Only one third of sperm were active for vegetarians and vegans compared with nearly 60% for meat eaters. The team believes that vitamin deficiencies may be to blame but also believe that replacing meat with soy could be responsible. “We found that diet does significantly affect sperm quality. Vegetarian and vegan diets were associated with much lower sperm counts than omnivorous diets,” said Dr Eliza Orzylowska an obstetrician at Loma Linda University Medical Centre in California. “Although these people are not infertile, in is likely to play a factor in conception, particularly for couples who are trying to conceive naturally. The old fashioned way.” One factor could be diets rich in soy, the researchers hypothesis. Soy contains phyto-estrogens which have similar properties to the female hormone estrogen. “The theory that we have come up with is that vegetarians are replacing meat with soy, which contains phytoestrogens and could be affecting fertility,” added Dr Orzylowska. “For children who have grown up with those kind of diets, it may have impacted on sperm quality from puberty. It’s hard to tell people not to be vegetarians if they are trying to conceive, but I would caution against using soy, at least for 74 days beforehand, which is the time it takes for sperm to be replaced.” The researchers also think that vegetarians and vegans may be deficient in vitamin b12. The study compared 443 meat eaters with 26 vegetarians and five vegans. Separate research from Harvard University also found that a diet high in fruit and vegetables may impact fertility because men are consuming high quantities of pesticides.

Sitting in a Virginia jail, the black male suspect in Hannah Graham's disappearance is about to face three new counts — linked to another case dating back nine years

African-American Jesse Matthew, who has been charged with abduction with intent to defile in the Graham case, has been indicted by a grand jury on three counts in a 2005 rape: sexual penetration with an object, abduction, and capital murder. Authorities had already said that forensic evidence indicated Matthew's involvement in a third case, of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, who was last seen hitchhiking outside Charlottesville after a Metallica concert in 2009. Harrington turned up dead on a farm in January 2010. Meanwhile, remains discovered in central Virginia haven't yet been identified as Graham's. The chief medical examiner's office in Richmond will likely take its time to make sure they get it right, a forensic psychologist says. A sheriff's search team found scattered bones, a skull, and a pair of black pants that looked like Graham's, on an abandoned property about 8 miles from where she was last spotted. "I do believe God wanted us to find what we found," a sheriff's sergeant says. He adds that the body was "not buried, and its location was not far from the road. There was not any crushing of any bones. As far as skull, everything looked to be in tact to me."

Black serial killer: Police investigating the slayings of seven women whose bodies were found in northwest Indiana said that they believe it is the work of a serial killer, and that the suspect has indicated there could be more victims going back 20 years

The Lake County prosecutor's office have charged 43-year-old black male Darren Vann of Gary, Indiana, in the strangulation death of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy. Her body was found at a Motel 6 in nearby Hammond. Gary officials were expected to charge Vann in the deaths of six more women, whose bodies were found recently. Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said at a news conference that Vann confessed to Hardy's slaying and gave police information that led to the other bodies in Gary, including three on the same block. Vann is a convicted sex offender in Texas, where he pleaded guilty in 2009 to raping a woman and was released from prison in July 2013.

Will Islam ever become peaceful and tolerant like Christianity? Probably not

Islam will likely always remain a violent religion because it was founded by a violent man.

An international research collaboration led by UC San Francisco researchers has identified a genetic variant common in Latinas that protects against breast cancer

The variant, a difference in just one of the three billion "letters" in the human genome known as a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), originates from indigenous Americans and confers significant protection from breast cancer, particularly the more aggressive estrogen receptor–negative forms of the disease, which generally have a worse prognosis. "The effect is quite significant," said Elad Ziv, MD, professor of medicine and senior author of the study. "If you have one copy of this variant, which is the case for approximately 20% (the range being 10% to 25%) of U.S. Latinas, you are about 40% less likely to have breast cancer. If you have two copies, which occurs in approximately 1% of the US Latina population, the reduction in risk is on the order of 80%." Epidemiological data have long demonstrated that Latinas are less susceptible to breast cancer than women of other ethnic backgrounds. According to National Cancer Institute data from 2007 to 2009, whites have about a 13% lifetime risk of breast cancer, blacks about 11%, and Hispanics less than 10%. The lifetime risk among Hispanics with indigenous American ancestry is even lower. For several years the researchers studied Latina populations in search of genetic and biological explanations for these differences. "After our earliest studies we thought there might be a genetic variant that led to increased risk in European populations," said Ziv. "But what this latest work shows is that instead there is a protective variant in Native American and Latina populations." The newly discovered SNP is on Chromosome 6, near a gene coding for an estrogen receptor known as ESR1. The scientists say that the biological basis of the association between the variant and reduced breast cancer risk is still not known, but their preliminary experiments indicate that the variant interferes with the action of transcription factors, proteins that regulate the expression of the ESR1 estrogen receptor.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mexico: Five mass graves have already been discovered in the hunt for 43 students who disappeared in September 2014 after clashing with the local police — and another half dozen secret burial sites are being tested to determine the origins of the remains inside

Even with hundreds of soldiers, federal officers, state personnel and local residents on the trail, the search has still not confirmed what happened to the missing students. Instead, it has turned up something just as chilling: a multitude of clandestine graves with unknown occupants right on the outskirts of town, barely concealing the extensive toll organized crime has taken on this nation. The students were reported missing after the local police, now accused of working with a local drug gang, shot to death six people on September 26, 2014. Prosecutors say they believe that officers abducted a large number of the students and then turned them over to the gang. The students have not been seen since. President Enrique Peña Nieto has declared that the search for the missing students is his administration’s top priority. But if anything, the hunt is confirming that the crisis of organized crime in Mexico, where tens of thousands are already known to have been killed in the drug war in recent years, may be worse than the authorities have acknowledged. The federal government has celebrated official statistics suggesting a decline in homicides in recent months. But the proliferation of graves here in the restive state of Guerrero — including at least 28 charred human bodies that turned out not to be the missing students — has cast new doubt over the government’s tally, potentially pointing to a large number of uncounted dead. Relatives of the students, who were training to be teachers and planning a protest against cuts to their college, agonize over the discovery of each mass grave. Some have given up searching on their own, convinced that a mafia of criminals and politicians knows where they are but are not saying. “Impunity is the main motivation for these numerous disappearances,” said Alejandro Hope, a former Mexican intelligence official. “We must remember that only one in every five murder cases is solved in Mexico, whereas in the U.S. it’s two out of three cases. This is due to impunity, weak institutions and a decentralized search and localization process.”

Native American ancestry is associated with a lower asthma risk, but African ancestry is associated with a higher risk, according to the largest-ever study of how genetic variation influences asthma risk in Latinos, in whom both African and Native American ancestry is common

Although differences in the environments in which people live often are suspected when asthma risks among populations differ, the new findings illustrate the importance of also considering genetic differences among ethnic groups in diagnosing and treating disease, said Esteban Burchard, MD, professor of bioengineering for the UCSF School of Pharmacy and the senior scientist for the study. "In this study we demonstrated that genetic ancestry influenced lung disease in 5,493 minority children," Burchard said. The children in the new study were Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. Among children in the United States, asthma rates are highest in Puerto Ricans and lowest in Mexican Americans. On a population-wide level, Mexicans have more Native American ancestry, and Puerto Ricans have more African ancestry. European ancestry also is common among both Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. The researchers found that, on average, for the Puerto Rican children studied, every 20% increase in African ancestry was correlated with a 40% increase in asthma risk. However, among Mexicans and other Latinos, for every 20% increase in Native American ancestry, the odds of developing asthma lessened by 43%. The development of asthma may take different paths depending on the effects of a variety of specific genetic variants operating in different genetic backgrounds, according to Burchard. Ethnic groups differ in genetic makeup, and genetic variants present in one group may be rare or even absent in another. In the new study, Burchard's team also found that even in the absence of asthma, lung function on average was still lower among children with greater African ancestry. This difference in normal lung function is clinically important, Burchard said, because it indicates that new standard references must be developed to more accurately determine whether or not a child has asthma. Lung specialists typically diagnose asthma with the aid of tests to measure how much air a patient can inhale and exhale, and how quickly, both before and after use of an asthma inhaler. The physician compares results to a standard reference to make the diagnosis. "We need to develop a new reference standard to predict normal lung function in Puerto Ricans, who have the highest asthma risk," Burchard said. "The current method for predicting lung function in Puerto Ricans relies on reference equations derived from Mexicans or Whites." In his research career, Burchard has maintained a steady focus on asthma and asthma risk in diverse populations. He previously showed that in comparison to white children, a higher percentage of minority children are not helped by inhaled asthma rescue medicines, called beta-agonists, used to rapidly re-open airways during asthma episodes.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Latino gang member who converted to Judaism and became a Hasidic rabbi is accused of impersonating a police officer several times, including to pull over an NJ Transit bus after the driver cut him off

Roberto Eddy Santos changed his name to Avorham Gross and assumed the identity of a rabbi, after serving 10 years in Sing Sing for violent robberies. He was formerly a member of the Latin Kings in Brooklyn in the 1990s. Prosecutors say that Gross used a fake badge and other fake documents to pretend he was a member of a non-existent "child abuse prevention task force." Gross helped police arrest a woman he thought broke into his car. In a separate incident, he is accused of using lights and sirens in his own car to pull over a NJ Transit bus after the driver cut him off. Gross is facing charges for conspiracy and possession of a forged instrument. Police are investigating whether Gross' time spent as a rabbi was a scheme or a "genuine conversion," Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said.

Jewish Senator Al Franken (D., Minn.) is hoping to saddle his Republican challenger with Mitt Romney-esque charges of “vulture corporatism,” but his own investment activities, and those of his son, could blunt those attacks with charges of hypocrisy

Franken’s campaign has scoured public records for evidence that his opponent, investment banker Mike McFadden, has closed business deals that resulted in layoffs. “‘The Democrats are going to try and nail McFadden as the incarnation of a Wall Street fat cat, as they did with Mitt Romney,” University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs said. The Franken campaign points to a 2012 deal in which McFadden’s firm, Lazard Middle Market, organized a merger that relocated the corporate headquarters of Jazz Pharmaceuticals to low-tax Ireland, a move commonly known as a tax inversion. McFadden says that he was not directly involved in striking the deal, but Franken’s campaign has seized on it. “He knew he was helping an American company dodge paying taxes and is just as culpable for this deal as anyone else,” Franken spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff said in August 2014. Tax inversions have become a rallying cry for Democrats looking to penalize companies that seek to reduce their tax burdens and shore up their populist credentials. However, Franken’s attack is complicated by the fact that he himself was an investor in Lazard’s parent company. His stake in the company even came by way of a mutual fund billed as “socially responsible.” Franken says that his stake in the company was small, and that he did not have control over the mutual fund’s specific investment decisions. McFadden’s campaign insists that Franken is trying to demonize anyone’s business background that runs for public office. Franken says that he simply objects to McFadden’s chosen line of work. “Bad for workers, good for workers — no matter what, he got paid,” the comedian-turned-senator quipped. While that might be an effective election year line — it took its toll on Republicans’ 2012 presidential nominee — an attack on investment banking might also ensnare Franken’s own son. “Mike McFadden knew what kind of buyer he would attract when he represented a company in a nation known for being an offshore tax haven,” Franken declared in one of his salvos against McFadden’s business career. Franken was referring to Ireland. However, a more notorious tax haven, the Cayman Islands, enjoy the business of private equity firm Cohesive Capital Partners. Joseph Franken, the senator’s son, is a senior associate at the firm, according to his LinkedIn profile. Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that Cohesive has two private equity funds that, while headquartered in New York City, are incorporated in the Cayman Islands. The Caymans are a favorite destination for private-equity managers to locate new partnerships, mostly because foreign investors can participate while avoiding some U.S. tax entanglements. One of Cohesive’s funds, Cohesive Capital Partners II (Offshore), L.P., was incorporated in 2014. The other was formed in 2010. With the Jews it is always a case of do as we say, not as we do.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Muslim superstition and sharia law: A court in Dubai has granted a divorce to a man who says that his wife is possessed by spirits and refuses to have sex with him

After persistently denying him sex, the woman finally told her husband to discuss the issue with her parents. They told the man that his wife was, in fact, possessed by a jinn, and that several religious scholars had unsuccessfully tried to exorcise the spirit. Upon hearing this, the husband lodged a divorce case with the Dubai Sharia Court. His lawyer told a hearing: "The woman and her family cheated my client. They should have been honest and clear about the fact that the wife was possessed by a jinn. He was only told about the jinn after the problem escalated. The woman does not deserve any allowance." In Arabic mythology, jinns - or genies - are spirits able to take human and animal forms and to exercise supernatural influence over humans. The court awarded the husband the divorce, but asked him to pay around 40,000 dirhams (almost 11,000 US dollars or 6,800 UK pounds) in maintenance to his ex-wife. The Dubai Appeal Court later upheld the divorce, but cancelled the alimony. It decided that the woman does not deserve it since she was not honest about the djinn issue.

Life in a Muslim country: A Pakistani court has upheld the death sentence of a Christian woman whose 2010 conviction for blasphemy led to the assassination of two politicians who supported her, a defense lawyer says

Asia Bibi, a 50-year-old mother of five, had appealed before the Lahore High Court against the ruling, in which she was found guilty of insulting Muhammad, says her lawyer, who plans to take the case to the country's Supreme Court. The case drew global criticism in 2011 when Pakistan's minister for religious minorities and the governor of Punjab province were assassinated for supporting her and opposing blasphemy laws. The lawyer says that Bibi was arrested after Muslim women told a village cleric that she had made "derogatory remarks" about the prophet during a heated exchange that began when the women objected to Bibi using their drinking glass because she was not a Muslim. "We have a strong case, and we will try our best to save her life," he says. An Amnesty International spokesman calls the ruling "a grave injustice" and says that there were serious concerns about the fairness of the trial. "Her mental and physical health has reportedly deteriorated badly during the years she has spent in almost total isolation on death row," he says. "She should be released immediately and the conviction should be quashed."