Sunday, July 31, 2016
A Muslim preacher suspected of radicalizing three British jihadis told teenage disciples that it is permissible under Islam to have sex slaves
Ali Hammuda, an Imam at a Cardiff mosque where three young jihadis from the city worshiped before travelling to Syria to join Islamic State, also told the group of boys as young as 13 that the day of judgment is close – a key part of IS’s warped propaganda. The revelations come amid heightened fears over the Islamist terror threat in Britain in the wake of the bloody attacks in France. Hammuda is still preaching at the same mosque, two years after the three jihadis – Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan, then 20, and Muthana’s younger brother Aseel, then 17 – left for Syria in 2014.
Police in northern India say that they have detained 15 suspects after a 35-year-old mother and her teenage daughter were gang-raped off a busy highway
Police say that the nearly three-hour attack took place near the town of Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh state after a gang of men threw an iron rod at the car they and four family members were traveling in. When the driver got out to check for damage, the men attacked, separating the woman and her daughter from their male relatives. After the attack, the men left the family with their car stranded in a swampy field. Senior local police official Daljeet Choudhary said that several police teams were at work to ensure that the attackers were identified quickly. The family was also robbed of money, jewelry, and their cellphones. The attack is the latest incident of sexual violence to shock India, a still-deeply Hindu nation of 1.3 billion people.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
The grieving husband of a British beauty therapist killed in Pakistan has vowed to fight for justice as police revealed that she was suffocated to death
Samia Shahid, 28, from Bradford, died while visiting relatives in northern Punjab recently. She was set to fly back to the home she shared with Syed Mukhtar Kazam in Dubai. He believes that she was tricked into visiting Pakistan by her family on the pretense that her father was gravely ill. He claims that she was murdered in an honor killing because her family disapproved of their marriage after she left her first husband and cousin, Mohammed Shakeel. His allegation came after photographs of Shahid's body emerged which showed a 7.5 inch red mark around her neck and saliva and blood oozing from her mouth and nostrils. A hushed-up post mortem confirmed that Shahid had a red gash around her throat after she died. A doctor who examined her body described it as a "horrible mark on the right side of the neck". Police initially decided that she had no suspicious injuries so allowed her family to bury her in Pandori, northern Punjab. But they have now launched a murder inquiry and are investigating claims that the family bribed officials to cover-up the post-mortem. Her family claims that she died of a heart attack. Her ex-husband and her father, Mohammed Shahid, have both been arrested on suspicion of murder. A cousin, Mobeen Mohammed, has also been arrested in Pakistan. All three have been bailed. Some 500 women are killed each year in Pakistan by relatives who feel their family has been shamed by a daughter or sister fraternizing with men.
A Pakistani man shot dead his own sisters the day before their weddings because they chose their own husbands
Nazir Hussaid, 35, from the central Punjab province, shot Kosar and Gulzar Bibi, 22 and 28, in the horrific double honor killing, and is now on the run. The two women were preparing to marry men they had chosen themselves, senior police officer Mehar Riaz said. Hussaid objected to the love matches and had wanted the women to marry someone within the extended family. Hundreds of women are murdered by relatives in the Muslim nation each year on the pretext of defending what is seen as family honor. Pakistan's law minister recently announced that bills aimed at tackling honor killings and boosting rape convictions would soon be voted on by parliament, after mounting pressure to tackle a pattern of crime that claims around 1,000 lives a year. The perpetrators of so-called honor killings - in which the victim, normally a woman, is killed by a relative - often walk free because they can seek forgiveness for the crime from another family member.
Crime and the black family: Former NFL linebacker Antonio Armstrong and his wife were shot and killed by their teenage son in their home in Houston
Police were called to the Armstrongs’ home in response to shots fired. Dawn Armstrong died at the scene and Antonio Armstrong died in the hospital a few hours later. The couple’s 16-year-old son has been charged with murder. One of the couple’s two other children was at home at the time but was not harmed. Antonio Armstrong was an All-American linebacker at Texas A&M and a sixth-round draft pick of the 49ers in 1995. He played briefly for the Dolphins and Rams and then spent four seasons in the Canadian Football League. In retirement he has worked as a personal trainer and was well known in his community as a volunteer youth coach.
More than 70% of Ulster want to become part of a unified Ireland following the Brexit vote, a new poll has found
The survey also discovered a huge appetite for a historic referendum on Irish unity, with just under three quarters in favor. Irish republicans have been calling for the reunification of Ireland after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Friday, July 29, 2016
The average Briton is 37% British - with the remainder of their genes coming from European ancestors from as far afield as Scandinavia, Spain and Greece
DNA testing has also revealed how the people of Yorkshire are officially the most British people in the land, with their genetic makeup containing an average 41% Anglo-Saxon stock. London, meanwhile, is the most ethnically diverse, while the people of Wales have the highest proportion of ancestry from Spain and Portugal. The analysis of the genetic history of two million people worldwide by family history website Ancestry was based on data collated from the AncestryDNA home DNA test that examines a person's entire genome via a simple saliva sample. Results reveal the genetic ethnic make-up of the average person in Britain and what countries and regions they can trace their ancestry back to over the past 500 years. They found that the average British resident is 36.94% Anglo-Saxon, 21.59% Irish (Celtic) and 19.91% Western European - the region covered today by France and Germany. The next three regional ethnicities in the average British resident are Scandinavia, which accounted for 9.20% of the genetic heritage, the Iberian Peninsula, with 3.05% of their gene coming from Spain or Portugal, and Italy and Greece, which accounted for 1.98%t of their DNA. Breakdowns of the data also reveal differences between residents of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and even within English regions. English people have significantly less Irish ancestry - just 20% of their genetic make-up - on average compared to people living in Scotland (43.84%), Wales (31.99%) and Northern Ireland (48.49%). But residents of England do have the highest amount of Scandinavian (9.39%) and French/German ancestry (20.45%). People living in Scotland have the highest amount of Finnish/Northwest Russian heritage (1.31%), which is perhaps explained by their geographic proximity. Welsh residents have the highest proportion of ancestry from the Iberian Peninsula (3%). Within England, London is the most ethnically diverse region, having the highest amount of heritage from 17 of the 26 regions analyzed. Yorkshire was found to have the highest percentage of Anglo-Saxon ancestry (41.17%), while the East Midlands has the most Scandinavian ancestry (10.37%) as well as the most Eastern European (2.47%). The East of England has the most Italian/Greek (2.53%) and French/German ancestry (22.52%), as well as the highest amount from the Iberian Peninsula (3.43%). Within England, the North East is home to people with the most Celtic ancestry (27.58%). Analysis of the data provides a prediction of the locations of ancestors from 26 separate worldwide populations including Great Britain and Ireland, Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and South and North Africa. In contrast to Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA tests, which only test the male or female lines of your family respectively, the AncestryDNA autosomal test targets the last few hundred or thousand years - enabling people to learn more about their more immediate ancestral history.
The Paddy Power/ Red C research has found that 65% would vote in favor, an increase from a similar poll conducted by Red C for the Sunday Times in 2010 that showed support at 57%. The result is significant in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. Voters in Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to reject the United Kingdom leaving the EU, something that has cast doubts over their future within the United Kingdom. Since the vote, both Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin have both flouted the possibility of supporting a united Ireland in recent weeks.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
White people are just as likely to be shot during a police stop as black drivers, a new study has found
New research reveals that while minorities are statistically far more likely to be stopped by cops, race has no impact on whether they will get shot or killed during the interaction. The findings come at a time of high tensions between police and black citizens in the wake of several high profile shootings.
A 9-year-old factory worker in Bangladesh was killed when other employees inserted an air compressor's nozzle into his rectum and turned it on
Police say senior employees were upset that Sagar Barman went into a restricted area of Zobeda Textile Mill in Dhaka. But Sagar's father, also a worker at Zobeda, said that his son was killed because he complained about the beatings they received from senior employees over small mistakes. An assistant administrative officer has been arrested in connection with Sagar's death, and police are looking for seven more employees said to have been involved. An administrative officer at Zobeda denies that Sagar was killed, saying that Sagar may have died when he tried to use the air compressor to clean his mouth. Despite child labor being illegal in Bangladesh, UNICEF estimates that there are 4.9 million children under the age of 14 working in factories and elsewhere. Sagar had been working at Zobeda for seven months when he was killed. “I thought, as we are poor, it will be helpful to run our family if my son Sagar can do some work in this factory,” his father said. Two-dozen child workers were sent home from Zobeda, which supplies yarn for Western clothing, when police came to investigate Sagar's death. It's believed that hundreds of children work there. Sagar is the second child worker in Bangladesh to be killed by having an air compressor inserted into his rectum in 2016. Two men were sentenced to death for doing the same thing to a 13-year-old boy in another town in August 2015.
The Normandy church targeted by two jihadists who killed its 84-year-old priest was one of several Catholic houses of worship on a hit list found on an ISIS terrorist
Authorities discovered the hit list on a 24-year-old Algerian IT student whom they arrested in Paris in April 2015 for killing a woman who was found dead in the passenger seat of her burning car. Dance instructor Aurelie Chatelain, 32, a mother of one, had just attended a Pilates class when she was shot three times in the head in what authorities believe may have been an attempt by Sid Ahmed Ghlam to hijack her vehicle. Ghlam, who called an ambulance after shooting himself in the leg, was found with Kalashnikov assault rifles, a police-issue pistol and several bullet-proof vests. Authorities also found documents about Al-Qaeda and ISIS in his apartment and on his computer and phone that suggested he was in touch with a French speaker in Syria who had ordered him to attack churches. The hit list included the famed Sacré-Coeur basilica in Paris and places of worship, such as the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray church, where the recent barbarism unfolded. Ghlam is being held in a high-security prison while waiting trial on murder, attempted murder and other charges connected to a terrorist organization.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Black tourists visiting China are apparently just as violent as blacks living in the United States.
The mayor of a town in one of Mexico's most violent drug corridors was shot to death, the second mayor killed in Mexico in two days
Ambrosio Soto was mayor of a township that includes Ciudad Altamirano, a known haven for drug traffickers in southern Guerrero state. A spokesman for southern Guerrero state said that gunmen blocked a highway just over the state line in neighboring Michoacan state with pickup trucks and opened fire on the mayor's vehicle. The spokesman said that two federal officers serving as Soto's bodyguards were wounded in the attack. Soto had received threats and was under protection from federal police. A local drug gang had reportedly threatened him because he refused to turn over part of the city budget as a protection payment. In recent years, business owners in Ciudad Altamirano say that they've been forced to pay extortion to the Knights Templar drug cartel. The leftist Democratic Revolution Party says that the mayor had taken "special protection measures after he dared to file complaints and complained that the security patrols had abandoned the area." The party said that 75 mayors have been killed in the last decade. Recently, a mayor and four others were shot to death in the town of San Juan Chamula in southern Chiapas state.
An Israeli woman was the victim of a gang rape in India while travelling through the northern state of Himachal Pradesh
The 25 year old woman was trying to get to the Spiti Valley. She was trying to find a taxi when a car with no license plates picked her up. There were six men in the car and two of them raped her before dropping her off in the town of Manali. A high ranking Indian police officer dealing with the issue reported that the police have arrested two suspects so far. The officer said that they are conducting a manhunt to search for the men who were in the car. The Israeli woman is currently undergoing treatment in the hospital.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
At least one person has been killed and 12 more are injured after a suicide bomb attack at a wine bar in Germany
The suspected bomber was a 27-year-old Syrian who had lived in Germany for two years but was denied asylum in the country in 2015, according to Bavaria's top security official. He blew himself up outside the wine bar in Ansbach, near Nuremburg, after being denied access to the nearby Ansbach Open music festival, according to Germany's interior minister Joachim Herrmann. Of the 12 people injured, three were critically injured in the blast in Ansbach, near Nuremburg, police said.
A Syrian man killed a woman with a machete and wounded two others outside a bus station in the southwestern German city of Reutlingen before being arrested
The woman who was killed in the attack was pregnant. Police spokesman Bjoern Reusch said that witnesses say the 21-year-old asylum-seeker was having an argument with the woman before attacking her. The suspect wounded another woman and a man as he fled. The woman worked at the kebab stand near where confrontation took place. The attack comes as Germany is on edge following a rampage at a Munich mall recently by an 18-year-old in which nine people were killed, and an ax attack on a train that left five wounded in southern Germany, for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility. Some Germans are also fearful of any signs of a rise in crime or lawlessness after the country registered some 1 million asylum-seekers in 2015.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
There were 5,700 new cases of female genital mutilation recorded in England in 2015-16, the first annual statistics show
The figures, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre and covering the period of April 2015 to March 2016, show that in 18 cases the practice had been undertaken in Britain. The age group for which FGM was most common was five- to nine-year-olds, accounting for 43% of the total number of cases where the age at the time of being cut was known. Women and girls born in Somalia accounted for 37% of all newly recorded cases of FGM with a known country of birth. Of the women and girls with a known country of birth, 90% were born in Africa. Of the total number of newly recorded cases, 43 involved women and girls who said they had been born in Britain.
A black police officer in California has been charged with raping five different women while he was on duty
A former northern California police officer was charged with raping five women while on duty. Police arrested Noah Winchester, 31, near his Stockton home after the local district attorney charged him with 22 counts of kidnapping, rape and related charges. He raped the women between July 2013 and October 2015 while he served with the San Mateo Police Department and as an officer for the Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento. Winchester quit the police department in February 2016 after he was put on leave in October 2015 when the criminal investigation was launched. Winchester has been jailed on $3.1 million bail. The Los Rios Community College said that Winchester worked for its police department from January 2009 until January 2015, when he accepted a position with the San Mateo police department. Winchester is accused of raping two women while on duty as a campus police officer and three women while in uniform with San Mateo.
Primitive Africa: In some remote southern regions of Malawi, it's traditional for girls to be made to have sex with a paid sex worker known as a "hyena" once they reach puberty
The act is not seen by village elders as rape, but as a form of ritual "cleansing". Unfortunately, it has the potential to be the opposite of cleansing - a way of spreading disease. Eric Aniva is by all accounts the pre-eminent "hyena" in his village. It's a traditional title given to a man hired by communities in several remote parts of southern Malawi to provide what's called sexual "cleansing". If a man dies, for example, his wife is required by tradition to sleep with Aniva before she can bury him. If a woman has an abortion, again sexual cleansing is required. And most shockingly, here in Nsanje, teenage girls, after their first menstruation, are made to have sex over a three-day period, to mark their passage from childhood to womanhood. Some girls are just 12 or 13 years old. If the girls refuse, it's believed, disease or some fatal misfortune could befall their families or the village as a whole. Aniva appears to be in his 40s and currently has two wives who are well aware of his work. He claims to have slept with 104 women and girls. Aniva has five children that he knows about - he's not sure how many of the women and girls he's made pregnant. He says that he's one of 10 hyenas in this community, and that every village in Nsanje district has them. They are paid from $4 to $7 each time. According to custom, sex with the hyena must never be protected with the use of condoms. It's clear, given the hyena's duties, that HIV is a huge risk to the community. The UN estimates that one in 10 of all Malawians carry the virus. Aniva is himself HIV-positive, but he doesn't mention this to a girl's parents when they hire him.
Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez, in an interview aired on Univision 19, injected race in explaining away President Barack Obama’s endorsement of U.S. Senate rival Kamala Harris, whose father is Jamaican. Sanchez was asked why the president had endorsed Harris in the unusual race between two Democrats. Speaking in Spanish, she noted that Obama and Harris are longtime friends, then added: “She is African American. He is, too.” Sanchez, in a statement after the interview aired, said that she in no way implied or intended to imply Obama endorsed Harris for racial reasons. “I was stating the fact that the endorsement was based on their long-term political relationship,” she said. Her remarks come days after she ripped Obama for endorsing Harris, arguing that he should be focused on helping Democrats win the presidential race rather than inserting himself in a contest between two party members. “California’s Senate seat does not belong to the political establishment – it belongs to the People of California,” Sanchez said, adding she believes that voters will make their own choice in November 2016. Anxieties between African Americans and Latinos have been an underlying, yet seldom discussed, issue in California politics. Sanchez has aggressively courted Latinos in her campaign to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. She has spoken about her Mexican American roots and her ability to speak Spanish. “I think we need a Latina in the U.S. Senate,” Sanchez said in January 2016. She also has tapped the support of Republicans who view Harris as too liberal. Harris, the state’s top law enforcement official and its highest-ranking black elected leader, has increasing waded into the complex tensions between police officers and people of color. Born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, Harris said after the shooting of five officers in Dallas that she doesn’t know a black man, be he a relative, a colleague or a friend, that has not been subjected to racial profiling or an unfair stop. She also has attributed the rise of hate crimes motivated by religion to a national ratcheting up of anger and division in political discourse. In response to Sanchez’s interview with Univision, Harris’ campaign manager Juan Rodriguez said, “At a time when there is so much divisive rhetoric flowing through our politics, it's especially disappointing to see a Democratic member of Congress make those comments.” Sanchez has been has been criticized for making comments about race and ethnicity in the past. In December 2015, Muslim and immigrant rights activists called on Sanchez to apologize after she said that between 5% and 20% of Muslims want to form a caliphate to target Western norms. The California Immigrant Policy Center accused Sanchez of being “wildly off-the-mark” and said that the claims were irresponsible and dangerous, when “Islamophobic rhetoric is spurring troubling incidents of hate.” Sanchez said that she based the figure on her experiences, talks with world leaders and thoughtful and scholarly discussion about extremist trends in books, articles and surveys. Earlier in 2016, at a political meeting with an Indian American group, Sanchez mimicked a racial stereotype of American Indians, putting her hand to her mouth and making an offensive whooping sound. In 2010, facing a challenge from Republican Van Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant, Sanchez said on Univision that “the Vietnamese and Republicans” were attempting “to take this seat from us … and give it to this Van Tran, who is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic.” Sanchez apologized for her “poor choice of words” after Tran called it a “racial rampage.” Still, she accused Tran of taking “a cheap political shot.” Obama’s endorsement, which he jointly made with Vice President Joe Biden, credited Harris as being a leading voice for criminal justice reform, challenging old dogma and insisting we be “smart on crime” by ending mass incarceration.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a furious backlash as the city of Munich mourns its dead in the wake of the horrific shootings by an Iranian Muslim
As the horrifying scenes from Germany's third largest city sparked outrage across the world many in Germany pinned the blame directly on the country's leading politician and her open door policy on migrants. Police revealed that the gunman who killed nine people and injured at least 20 others at a Munich shopping mall is an 18-year-old "German" of Iranian descent Ali Sonboly. Now furious Germans, and critics across Europe, are rounding on Angela Merkel and calling on the Chancellor to resign. Chancellor Merkel's ruling party suffered widespread losses to the anti-immigrant Alternative für Deutschland in the recent local elections. And as the nation gets set to go to vote in the national federal elections in 2017, polls are suggesting she could be ousted. Recently, Germany’s interior minister warned of the serious threat from lone wolf attacks in the country and across Europe, telling the public to expect further attacks. The stark assessment of Germany’s security situation follows a warning from the French Prime Minster that his country should learn to live with the threat from Islamist extremists. Speaking in Berlin, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said that the Afghan refugee who attacked train passengers with an ax in the southern state of Bavaria was now thought be from Pakistan. Responding to the incident, which was claimed by Islamic State, the senior German cabinet minster said that similar attacks were highly likely.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Fugitive Breslov rabbi Eliezer Berland, 79, has been successfully extradited from South Africa to Israel, with the Israeli police arresting him upon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on suspicion of various sex offenses
Berland has been wanted by the authorities since he fled Israel in February 2013, and was arrested in South Africa in April 2016, leading finally to his extradition back to Israel after a lengthy legal process. Upon his arrest, police took the rabbi for questioning. Depending on the developments of the interrogation, police will ask for court approval of an extension of Berland's custody. Berland, the leader of the Shuvu Banim community of the Breslov Hassidic sect, fled Israel after claims of sexual abuse were made against him by several women, including a 15-year-old girl. He has since resided in Florida, Switzerland, Morocco, Holland, and Zimbabwe along with a band of devoted followers in his efforts to escape extradition to Israel. The rabbi was arrested in Amsterdam in 2015, but escaped before he could be extradited, and made his way back to South Africa, having previously sought shelter there after being expelled from Zimbabwe in 2014. “The completion of the extradition process this morning is an additional expression of the determined and professional work of the Israel Police, the State Attorney’s Office, and the law enforcement agencies in Israel and the close cooperation with global law enforcement agencies, which are not limited by time or place,” the Israel Police said in a press statement following Berland’s arrest.
Why gays should not be allowed to become priests: Former “singing” priest Tony Walsh has been jailed for seven and half years for raping a boy three times, once with a crucifix
Anthony Walsh (62) committed the offence at a time when the maximum penalty for this offence, then legally termed indecent assault, was two years. But Judge Elma Sheahan used her discretion to impose consecutive sentences. The Criminal Law (Rape) Amendment 1990 increased the maximum penalty for sexually assaulting a child under 17 to 14 years. He forced the child to have sex twice, once in the parochial house in his parish and on another occasion in a tunnel under the Phoenix Park. He also used a crucifix to rape the boy. Walsh told the jury during the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that he never knew the boy and said that he never assaulted him. Walsh, formerly of North Circular Road, Dublin had pleaded not guilty to five counts of indecently assaulting the boy on dates between January 1980 and December 1982. The boy was aged between 10 and 13 years old at the time of the abuse. Following a three day trial the jury returned verdicts of guilty on all counts after approximately one hour of deliberations. Garda Tara Corrigan told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, at a sentence hearing earlier in July 2016, that Walsh has 17 previous convictions, from 1995 to 2015, for indecently assaulting young children. Walsh fought two trials and pleaded guilty to the other offences. He is currently serving a sentence and is not due for release until 2021. Judge Sheahan had adjourned the case having heard evidence. She said that the rape charges were the most grave and warranted the maximum penalty of two years. She imposed a further 15 months on the two remaining indecent assault charges and ordered that all of the sentences should run consecutively. Judge Sheahan said that she would reduce the total sentence of eight and half years by one year having taken into account the totality of the prison sentence served and to be served by Walsh. She backdated the sentence to Walsh’s recent conviction meaning that he is now due for release in June 2023. The judge said that Walsh’s abuse of the victim had long lasting consequences for the man in his childhood and into his adolescence and adulthood which had “plagued his life to date”. She said that the accused had violated his position of trust in a grievous way and it was difficult to find any mitigating factors considering that he ran “a full and complete defense of denial. There is no indication that he accepts the jury’s verdict and he has shown no expression of remorse,” Judge Sheahan said.
Scientists from King's College London have used a new genetic scoring technique to predict academic achievement from DNA alone
This is the strongest prediction from DNA of a behavioural measure to date. The research shows that a genetic score comprising 20,000 DNA variants explains almost 10% of the differences between children's educational attainment at the age of 16. DNA alone therefore provides a much better prediction of academic achievement than gender or even grit, a personality trait thought to measure perseverance and passion for long-term goals. These findings mark a tipping point in predicting academic achievement and could help with identifying children who are at greater risk of having learning difficulties. Previous research on twin studies has found that 60% of differences between individuals' educational achievement are due to differences in DNA. Whilst this may seem far from the 10% predicted in this study, the authors note that twin studies examine the sum total of all genetic effects, including common and rare variants, interactions between genes, and gene-environment interactions. Twin studies can therefore tell us the overall genetic influence on a trait in a population. Polygenic scores however estimate genetic influence from common variants only, which explains the discrepancy between these DNA-based studies and twin studies (10% vs 60%). As human traits are so complex and influenced by thousands of gene variants of very small effect, it is useful to consider the joint effects of all of these trait-associated variants - and this principle underlies the polygenic score method. The value of polygenic scores is that they allow us to estimate genetic effects for academic achievement, or any other trait, at an individual level, based on a person's DNA. Calculating an individual's polygenic score requires information from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) that finds specific genetic variants linked to particular traits, in this case academic achievement. Some of these genetic variants, known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), are more strongly associated with the trait, and some are less strongly associated. In a polygenic score, the effects of these SNPs are weighed by the strength of association and then summed to a score, so that people with many SNPs related to academic achievement will have a higher polygenic score and higher academic achievement, whereas people with fewer associated SNPs will have a lower score and lower levels of academic achievement. This new King's research is based on a recent GWAS that examined almost 10 million SNPs and identified 74 genetic variants that were significantly associated with years of completed education. Years of education was used as a proxy measure for education achievement and related traits. Using the GWAS to guide their selection of DNA variants, the researchers measured academic achievement in Mathematics and English at ages 7, 12 and 16 (GCSE), in a sample of 5,825 unrelated individuals from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS). Their findings show that what makes students achieve differently in their educational achievement is strongly affected by DNA differences; on average those with a higher polygenic score would obtain a grade between A and B, whereas those with a lower score obtained an entire grade below in terms of GCSE scores at age 16. As well as this, 65% of people in the higher polygenic group went on to do A-levels, whereas only 35% from the lower group did so. Saskia Selzam, first author from the MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre at King's College London, said: We believe that, very soon, polygenic scores will be used to identify individuals who are at greater risk of having learning difficulties. Through polygenic scoring, we found that almost 10 per cent of the differences between children's achievement is due to DNA alone. 10 per cent is a long way from 100 per cent but it is a lot better than we usually do in predicting behaviour. For instance, when we think about differences between boys and girls in maths, gender explains around one per cent of the variance. Another example is grit, which describes the perseverance of an individual, and only predicts around five per cent of the variance in educational achievement. Professor Robert Plomin, senior author of the study, also from the MRC SGDP Centre at King's College London, added: We are at a tipping point for predicting individuals' educational strengths and weaknesses from their DNA. Polygenic scores could be used to give us information about whether a child may develop learning problems later on, and these details could guide additional support that is tailored to a child's individual needs. We believe personalized support of this nature could help to prevent later developmental difficulties.
After his young daughter had been married off, 45-year-old Mohammad Azam struck a deal with his new in-laws: He'd marry the cousin of his daughter's husband. But the marriage deal went sour and Azam's pregnant 14-year-old daughter, Zarah, ended up paying the price, tortured and burned to death by her own in-laws in a so-called "honor killing". After Zarah's death, Azam made his way to Kabul to seek justice for his daughter because he's not hopeful he'll find it in Ghor province, where her immolation took place. "The culprits should be brought to justice, my daughter's blood must not go in vain," he said. Azam had been promised the cousin's hand in marriage as payment for construction work he had done. Zarah's in-laws then pulled back on the deal when another man offered more money for the cousin, but Azam eloped with her anyway, leading the in-laws to seek revenge.
Monday, July 18, 2016
A master's student at India's MD University in Rohtak was found in the bushes recently, her clothes torn and the victim of an apparent abduction and rape, cops say — and her attackers look to be the same five men who gang-raped her three years ago
Two of the accused had been arrested after the last rape in Bhiwani but were eventually let out on bail, while the other three were never arrested at all. Her family says that she was attacked again because they kept pursuing the case, seeking to have all five put behind bars despite offers to settle the case out of court for a relatively large sum of money. "We were getting constant threats from the accused to reach a compromise outside the court, but we remained firm," the brother of the woman, said to be either 20 or 21 years old, said. The case underscores ongoing struggles with the country's caste system, technically illegal for more than 60 years, but far from disappeared. The young woman is a Dalit, considered the lowest, "untouchable" caste, while at least three of the accused are said to be from an upper caste. The outcry against rape cases involving victims from lower castes is often "muted," and that the region where this most recent rape took place is still held in a patriarchal grip, where, "male-dominated village councils often mete out their brand of misogynistic justice with impunity." The woman's family had moved to Rohtak from Bhiwani after the last assault, fearing that she would be ostracized and because they feared the accused men, who are all in their late 20s. The victim was hospitalized and treated; the five men have yet to be arrested.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Pakistani fashion model Qandeel Baloch, who recently stirred controversy by posting pictures of herself with a Muslim cleric on social media, was strangled to death by her brother in a suspected "honor killing," police say
Her parents told police that one of her six brothers strangled her to death as she slept in the family's home in Multan, a police spokeswoman said. She says that police are searching for the suspect. Baloch, 26, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, recently offended many Muslims by posting pictures of herself with Mufti Qavi, a prominent cleric. She said that the two of them enjoyed soft drinks and cigarettes together during the daylight hours in the holy month of Ramadan, when practicing Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. The pictures and allegations caused a scandal in Islamic Pakistan, and the government removed Qavi from the official committee that determines when Ramadan starts and ends. Recently, Baloch sought protection from the government, saying that she was receiving anonymous death threats. Baloch — who became known nationally after this video of her asking "How em looking" went viral — was nicknamed "Pakistan's Kim Kardashian" and was frequently abused online for behavior deemed immodest and for her criticism of Pakistan's patriarchal society. In one of her final Facebook posts, she described herself as an "inspiration to those ladies who are treated badly and dominated by the society."
More than half of British people believe the United Kingdom will not exist in 10 years time, a new poll has found
The BBC/ComRes poll found that 53% of the 1,000 adults surveyed thought that the union would break up in the next ten years following the vote to leave the European Union. Nearly 72% of British adults do not trust their politicians do a good job in the Brexit negotiations - and 52% believe that civil servants can’t be trusted either. Some 52% expect immigration to fall after the UK leaves but 47% believe that the economy will be worse in two year’s time. Most Britons, 66%, believe that maintaining access to the single market is more important than restricting freedom of movement. But 31% still think that immigration is more important - and 45% said that they will be dissatisfied if the government does not guarantee it. It comes as the new prime minister, Theresa May, told foreign leaders that she will implement the will of the British people. In her conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Francois Hollande and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny she reiterated her earlier declaration that “Brexit means Brexit”.
ISIS killer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel sent his family £84,000 just days before his Bastille Day atrocity, his brother said
The Islamic fanatic persuaded friends to smuggle the bundles of cash back to his family in their hometown of Msaken, Tunisia. Although Bouhlel had been sending small sums of money to his family, his brother admitted that they were stunned by the size of the "fortune". "Mohamed sent the family 240,000 Tunisian Dinars (£84,000) in the last few days," Jaber Bouhlel said. "He used to send us small sums of money regularly like most Tunisians working abroad. But then he sent us all that money, it was fortune. He sent the money illegally. He gave cash to people he knew who were returning to our village and asked them to give it to the family."
Thursday, July 14, 2016
The father of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, slain by Israelis in 2014, says that Israel must demolish the homes of his Jewish murderers
Two years after his son's gruesome murder, Hussein Abu Khdeir is suing Israeli authorities to demand the demolition of the homes of his son's Jewish killers. If he succeeds, Abu Khdeir will force Israeli authorities to treat Jewish and Palestinian terrorists with the same measures. But experts say that his chances are slim. Mohammed was 16 when Jewish extremists abducted him in July 2014. The assailants, Yossef Haim Ben David and two minors, drove Abu Khdeir to a Jerusalem forest and burned him to death. For Hussein Abu Khdeir, it was the start of a saga that has thrust him onto the national stage. "I don't want another Palestinian child to burn like Mohammed," he said. Within days, Israeli authorities apprehended the three suspects. The Israelis were convicted, and they were sentenced to long jail terms in 2016. Days after the sentencing of the main suspect, Ben David, in May 2016, Abu Khdeir appealed to then-defense minister Moshe Yaalon to demand that the state demolish the homes of all three Israeli perpetrators "to reduce the phenomenon of terrorism against innocent citizens." The defense minister's office declined to demolish the homes of the Jewish assailants, saying the case of Jewish extremism was exceptional and did not enjoy support of Israeli society. By contrast, demolishing homes of Palestinian assailants served as a deterrent because terrorist acts are widely supported by Palestinian society, according to the office of the minister. Abu Khdeir's attorney Mohannad Gbara is now suing the defense minister in Israel's Supreme Court. He says that Jewish terrorism is on the rise and requires harsher tactics. Gbara named a 2015 attack by Jewish arsonists on a home in the Palestinian village of Duma, which killed a toddler and his parents. "I think if they don't destroy their houses, this is not a democratic state. It's a state of apartheid, a racist state you cannot live in," Abu Khdeir said.
Blacks, who make up 13% of the US population, commit around a quarter of its violent crimes, including more than half its murders
The group calling itself Black Lives Matter may end up helping Trump defeat Clinton if it keeps supporting violence against the police.
A young African-American man who committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in a public park has been identified as Michael George Smith Jnr. known to his friends as London Jermaine. London Jermaine identified as a gay man, who described members of his family, on his social media account, as despising gay people. The discovery of Smith’s body became a trending topic on Twitter after many believed that his hanging was a modern-day lynching. The Fulton Country Medical Examiner’s office confirmed that his death was caused by suicide with no defensive wounds or signs of struggle apparent on the 22-year-old’s body. Moments before he took his life, the student wrote a heartbreaking message on Facebook telling his friends and family that he’d see them “in the next life”. The Georgia Tech student had posted a message on the June 17, 2016 which accused his mother of teaching his siblings to “despise” gays. He wrote, “My mother is teaching my siblings to dispise Gays.. I’m done with Life. I’m Hurt To The Core.”
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
The Israeli military has appointed a controversial new chief rabbi who once appeared to suggest that it was acceptable for soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during war time to improve morale
The promotion of Colonel Eyal Karim to the top religious role in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) was met with a storm of criticism from women’s groups and female members of Israel’s parliament. The soldier-rabbi made the comments in 2002 after a reader on a religious website asked if a Torah verse meant that it was acceptable for modern soldiers to carry out sexual assaults during war. Rabbi Karim replied that in war time some Jewish laws could be relaxed, for example allowing soldiers to eat non-kosher food to keep up their strength. He also said that “war removes some of the prohibitions on sexual relations” between Jewish men and non-Jewish women “out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors”. “Since the success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge, under the conditions mentioned, for the purpose of the success of the whole,” he wrote.
Monday, July 11, 2016
Non-Europeans have a higher frequency of the gene variants that increase the risk of lupus as compared to the European population, a new study from researchers at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' and King's College London, has confirmed
The findings could lead to the development of tests to predict if an individual is more likely to develop lupus and may also contribute to the development of personalized treatments for the difficult to treat autoimmune condition that affects more than five million people worldwide. The study was led by Professor Tim Vyse, an expert in genetics and molecular medicine at King's College London and an honorary consultant rheumatologist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, who said: "Lupus is a very poorly understood condition. The confirmation that the condition's increased prevalence in non-Europeans has a genetic basis is an important step towards developing better predictive and diagnostic tools and may eventually help us to develop personalized treatments too." The research team searched genetic data gathered from 22,670 Europeans, 13,174 Chinese as well as data from South Asians, east Asians and Africans recorded in the 1000 genomes. Analysis of the data revealed that non-European populations have a higher number of the gene variants, known as alleles, which are thought to contribute to the risk of developing lupus, particularly amongst the Chinese population. While the study establishes that lupus is highly hereditary, researchers believe that there is still a large "environmental" component which plays a significant role. Dr David Morris, a researcher at King's College London and one of the study's co-authors, said: "For the first time we've shown that Chinese populations have a higher number of risk alleles than their European counterparts, but we don't understand why this susceptibility hasn't diminished over time for non-Europeans. When thinking about whether someone might develop lupus, we use evidence from Twins studies which has shown that genetic factors account for two-thirds of the picture and environmental factors make up the final third. Our study advances our understanding of the genetic component, but more work needs to be done to better understand the environmental factors." Further analysis of the data also uncovered 10 additional risk alleles associated with lupus, bringing the total of known lupus-related alleles to 88. Dr Morris said: "Identifying more lupus-related risk alleles gives us a clearer picture of the genetic triggers. It's possible that we may never identify all of these triggers, but we are moving closer to a threshold that when crossed will help us to more effectively predict and treat this debilitating and poorly understood condition."
A biracial man ended up dead after he tried to follow up a Facebook argument about Black Lives Matter with real-life violence
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says that an off-duty officer shot 20-year-old Tyler Gebhard dead after he threw a 50-pound concrete planter through the officer's window and forced his way into the home after the officer's wife refused to let him in. The officer's mother-in-law and two young children were also home at the time. "I don’t think the officer had a choice — I honestly don't," Belmar said after the evening shooting, which followed online threats. Gebhard, who was biracial, knew the officer through a church connection, according to Gebhard's uncle, Patrick Brogan. Brogan says that his nephew had struggled with bipolar disorder for years and his mental health went further downhill when he was at Southeast Missouri State University in 2015. He says that Gebhard didn't always take his medication. "He had a lot of mental problems the last few months," Brogan says.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
In 2014, blacks in Chicago made up 79% of all known nonfatal shooting suspects, 85% of all known robbery suspects, and 77% of all known murder suspects, according to police department data
Whites were 1% of known nonfatal shootings suspects in 2014, 2.5% of known robbery suspects, and 5% of known murder suspects, the latter number composed disproportionately of domestic homicides. In Chicago, blacks and whites each make up roughly 32% of the city’s populace.
A police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black than a cop killing an unarmed black person
According to the FBI, 40% of cop killers are black. This is in spite of the fact that blacks make up only about 13% of the general population of the United States.
The black assassin who targeted white police officers during a Black Lives Matter protest was sent home from Afghanistan after being accused of sexually harassing a female soldier
Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, who fatally shot five officers and wounded seven more before police killed him with a remote-controlled bomb in early hours of Friday, was described as a loner who followed black militant groups on social media. Johnson lived with family members in the blue-collar suburb of Mesquite, Texas, where he played basketball for hours at a time. But for six years starting in 2009, he served in the Army Reserve as a private first class with a specialty in carpentry and masonry, the military said. In May 2014, six months into his Afghanistan tour, he was accused of sexual harassment by a female soldier that involved him reportedly buying her underwear from Victoria's Secret.
The sole Ethiopia-born member of Israel’s parliament has said that he was left “disappointed” by Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the Horn of Africa country, after the Israeli prime minister failed to solidify plans to reunite 9,000 Ethiopian Jews with their families in Israel
Avraham Neguise, a member of the Israeli Knesset from Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, also said that he did not understand why the prime minister had not visited Jewish institutions or met with members of Ethiopia’s Jewish community, who are believed to have lived in the country for 3,000 years and are known as Beta Israel. Neguise had waited in the Israeli delegation’s hotel along with two local Jewish leaders in the hope of meeting Netanyahu, but the Israeli leader had already departed for talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and President Mulatu Teshome. The aliyah—emigration or return to Israel—of Ethiopian Jews was formally begun in 1991 with Israel’s Operation Solomon, which brought thousands of Jews to Israel in a matter of days as Ethiopia’s government was overthrown by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which has been in power ever since. Some 135,000 Ethiopian Jews now live in Israel, and Netanyahu’s government approved the immigration of 9,000 more in November 2015, who have been separated from their families by the previous waves of aliyah. Ethiopian Jews have complained of institutionalized discrimination in Israel. After stalling on the returns process, the government pledged to bring 1,300 Ethiopians to Israel by the end of 2016, partly as a result of pressure from Neguise and another Likud lawmaker, David Amsalem. But the process is yet to begin and Neguise, who came to Israel from Ethiopia in 1985, has urged Netanyahu to honor the commitment. “These people who are waiting here, 85% of them have first-degree family members in Israel… So why are they just neglecting the issue?” said Neguise. Netanyahu’s office has said that they are committed to the reunification process but refused to say why it has not begun.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Almost eight years after Barack Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president – an event that engendered a sense of optimism among many Americans about the future of race relations – a series of flashpoints around the United States has exposed deep racial divides and reignited a national conversation about race
A new Pew Research Center survey finds profound differences between black and white adults in their views on racial discrimination, barriers to black progress and the prospects for change. Blacks, far more than whites, say that black people are treated unfairly across different realms of life, from dealing with the police to applying for a loan or mortgage. And, for many blacks, racial equality remains an elusive goal. An overwhelming majority of blacks (88%) say that the country needs to continue making changes for blacks to have equal rights with whites, but 43% are skeptical that such changes will ever occur. An additional 42% of blacks believe that the country will eventually make the changes needed for blacks to have equal rights with whites, and just 8% say that the country has already made the necessary changes. A much lower share of whites (53%) say that the country still has work to do for blacks to achieve equal rights with whites, and only 11% express doubt that these changes will come. Four-in-ten whites believe that the country will eventually make the changes needed for blacks to have equal rights, and about the same share (38%) say that enough changes have already been made.
African Muslim crime: A former National Guard soldier in Virginia has been arrested and charged with attempting to plan a terrorist attack in the United States with the help of ISIS
The African Muslim, 26-year-old Mohamed Jalloh, a US citizen from Sierra Leone, joined the Army National Guard in 2009; he was honorably discharged in 2015. He quit after hearing a lecture from a radical Muslim cleric. The FBI believes that Jalloh first made contact with ISIS during a trip to West Africa in 2015. An investigation into Jalloh started in March 2016 after an ISIS member introduced Jalloh to a government informant posing as an ISIS operative. That ISIS member, now dead, was planning an attack in the United States and believed that Jalloh and the informant would help. In April 2016, Jalloh told the informant that he was thinking about conducting an attack similar to the one on Fort Hood in 2009, saying that he wanted to do a "Nidal Hasan type of thing." Officials say that same month he was asked by ISIS if he wanted to take part in an attack and responded, "I really want to." "Sometimes you just have to take action," Jalloh said during a recorded conversation. In May 2016, Jalloh told the informant that he wanted to plan an attack for Ramadan and tried to send $500 to ISIS. He was seen buying an assault rifle (the gun was disabled before it left the store). Jalloh's arrest was the culmination of a three-month sting. He's facing 20 years in prison if convicted.
A young left-wing German politician has admitted that she lied to police about the racial background of the three men who raped her in case it triggered reprisals against refugees in her country
Selin Gören, the national spokeswoman of the left-wing youth movement Solid, was attacked by three men in January 2016 in the city of Mannheim where she works as a refugee activist. The 24-year-old was ambushed late at night in a playground where she said she was forced to perform a sex act on her attackers. After the assault she went straight to the police - but she did not tell them the ethnic make-up of the men, that they were speaking Arabic or Farsi. Selin, aware of the backlash that migrants suffered after the events in Cologne on New Year's Eve - when hundreds of women were sexually assaulted and robbed by marauding gangs of immigrant youths - instead said that she was robbed and said her attackers spoke German. A group called Gesa in Kassel - Active Together Against Sexual Violence - says that sexual assaults by many male migrants have increased.