Monday, June 26, 2017
Authorities say that eight people, including a New Jersey rabbi, have been charged in a conspiracy to defraud Medicaid and other public assistance programs of more than $1 million
Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin of Congregation Lutzk in Lakewood and his wife, along with several other couples, were taken into custody during early morning raids at four homes. Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said that more arrests are expected as a result of the investigation. The rabbi and his wife, Tzipporah, were charged with collecting more than $338,000 in benefits that prosecutors said they weren't entitled to. They were charged in state court along with Mordechai and Jocheved Breskin, who prosecutors said collected more than $585,000 in benefits. Zalmen Sorotzkin's brother, Mordechai, and his wife, Rachel, were charged in a federal complaint along with another married couple with conspiring to fraudulently obtain Medicaid benefits, Section 8 housing benefits and food assistance benefits. Mordechai and Rachel Sorotzkin allegedly made more than $1 million in 2012 and in 2013, yet the couple used Medicaid to pay for about $22,000 in medical expenses when their sixth child was born in November 2013, the complaint alleges. According to the federal complaint, Yocheved and Shimon Nussbaum hid their income by creating companies that they controlled, but were run by relatives. The couple made approximately $265,000 in 2011 -- more than double the maximum amount that one is allowed to receive Medicaid benefits for, and more than triple the maximum for Section 8 benefits, according to the complaint.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
The Hispanic, Darwin Martinez Torres, who was charged with murder in the death of Nabra Hassanen, 17, is believed to be from El Salvador, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said. According to the police, Darwin Martinez Torres had a dispute with a member of a group of Muslim teenagers whom Hassanen was walking with on their way back from suhoor (an Islamic term referring to the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting, sawm, before dawn during or outside the Islamic month of Ramadan) at IHOP around 4 a.m. Torres then followed the group, first in his car and then on foot, striking Hassanen with a metal baseball bat and taking her with him when he left the scene. An hour later, he was arrested. The young woman’s lifeless body was found in a nearby pond.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
The world's population is going to boom over the next 30 years, growing by a billion in just 15 years and 2 billion by 2050, according to a UN report
More than half of the projected population growth over the next 30 years will occur in Africa. Between now and 2050, Africa is expected to add 1.3 billion people. Nigeria, currently the seventh-largest country in the world, is growing the most rapidly among the countries on the top-10 list. The population of Nigeria is expected to pass that of the United States by 2050, making it the third largest country in the world. By 2050, seven of the world's 20 most populous nations will be in Africa.
According to the Social Progress Index (SPI), Denmark is the best nation in the world based on the quality of life it offers
Produced annually by the non-profit organization Social Progress Imperative, the SPI ranked Denmark first out of 128 nations based on scores in 50 indicators within three categories. It was all Africa and the Middle East at the bottom, however. Central African Republic finished rock bottom, followed by Afghanistan, Chad, Angola, Niger, Guinea and Yemen.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Avisus Sedale Davis of Ocala, Florida, denied knowing the victim or her sister, who called the 28-year-old asking for a ride home from school in January 2016. But the victim gave birth to a baby, and a paternity test showed that Davis was the father of the child, according to the arrest report. The victim's sister had asked Davis to give them a ride home from school in January 2016. He stopped at his home saying that he needed to get money for gas, and the sister went to a store nearby. Davis said that he would stay behind with the victim, who needed to use the bathroom, since the lock often got stuck. When the victim was finished, Davis raped her, punching her in the face when she tried to resist, according to the arrest report. Davis has been arrested on charges of sexual assault of a victim under 18 years old, cruelty toward child - impregnate child under 16, possession of marijuana and two probation violations.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Monday, June 12, 2017
Norway is proposing a ban on the Muslim full face veil and other face-covering clothing because it says that it hinders communication between pupils and teachers
The ban, the first in Scandinavia, targets the niqab as well as burqas, balaclavas and masks, and would apply in nurseries, schools and universities. However headscarves, hats and caps could continue to be worn. Most parties support the bill, which is expected to pass in 2018. "These clothes prevent good communication, which is important for students to receive a good education," Minister of Education and Research Torbjorn Roe Isaksen said in a statement. Interim Minister of Immigration and Integration Per Sandberg said that being able to communicate with one another was a "fundamental value". Local authorities in Norway can already ban the full-face veil in schools but there is no national policy.
Friday, June 9, 2017
A European Parliament member and prominent intellectuals protested the omission of anti-Semitism from a draft indictment of a Muslim for the murder of his Jewish neighbor
Frédérique Ries, a lawmaker from Belgium, has criticized French authorities’ handling of the investigation into the April 4, 2017 incident, in which Sarah Halimi was tortured and thrown out of her third-story apartment to her death, allegedly by Kobili Traore, who lived in her building. “French authorities have treated her murder with icy silence,” Ries, who is Jewish, said in reference to the fact that Traore, who had no history of mental illness, was placed at a psychiatric institution and has not been charged with a hate crime despite evidence suggesting that he killed Halimi because she was Jewish. In a voice recording of the incident, Traore is heard shouting “Allahu akbar,” calling Sarah “Satan” and calmly praying after her killing, according to reports. Recently, 17 French intellectuals published a scathing criticism of the handling of the incident by authorities and the media. “Everything about this crime suggests there is an ongoing denial of reality” by authorities, the intellectuals wrote, citing also testimonies of neighbors who said that Traore had called Halimi a “dirty Jew” to her face and called her relatives “dirty Jews” as well in the past. Many Jews believe that authorities covered up Halimi’s alleged murder to prevent it from becoming fodder for the racially and religiously divisive French presidential campaign.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Primitive Africa: Police in Mozambique have warned that bald people could be the targets of ritual attacks, after the brutal killing of two men whose body parts were to be used in witchcraft
The two bald men, one of whom was found with his head cut off and organs removed, were killed in a part of the country already notorious for the persecution of albinos. "Last month, the murders of two bald people led to the arrest of two suspects," national police spokesman Inacio Dina told a news conference in the capital Maputo. "Their motivations come from superstition and culture: the local community thinks bald individuals are rich," he said. The killings took place in Milange, in the center of the southern African country, a few kilometers from the border with Malawi. The local police said that the two victims were aged over 40. "One of them was found with his head cut off and his organs removed," said Miguel Caetano, spokesman for the security forces in the central province of Zambezia. The suspects arrested are two Mozambicans around 20 years old. According to their statements, the organs were to be used by healers in rituals to promote the fortunes of clients in Tanzania and Malawi, he said. In Maputo, the national police spokesman likened the attacks to those on albinos, whose body parts are used in witchcraft rituals. According to the UN, more than a hundred attacks against albinos - who have white skin because of a hereditary condition that causes an absence of pigmentation - have been registered in Mozambique since 2014, mainly in the center and the north of the country.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
The HIV rate in gay and bisexual black men in America is higher than that of any country in the world
Swaziland has the highest HIV rate in the world at 28.8%. The HIV rate in the United States is 9.1%. But according to the CDC, if current trends hold, the HIV rate for gay and bisexual black men in America will reach 50%. The problem is worst in the South. Already in Jackson, Mississippi, the HIV rate among gay and bisexual men is 40%.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
A graduation celebration for a group of kindergartners in Pennsylvania turned into a deadly shooting — all because of a dispute between two young boys. Devon Brown, 29, was fatally shot in the head by 27-year-old Tremaine Jamison at the Marion Terrace Apartment Complex in Hanover Township. The two men were at a party Brown had thrown for his 6-year-old son and a few other kids. Witnesses said that the drama started after two boys, both 6, got into a fight. Brown's little boy was accused of punching Jamison's son, leaving with him a black eye. The two fathers and several other adults started arguing — and that's when things escalated. One adult pulled out a pocketknife and Brown went inside his house to grab a blade of his own. Jamison grabbed a handgun and fired a single shot at Brown's head. Brown was pronounced dead and Jamison, from Harlem, fled.
Eleven of the 50 richest people in the world are Jewish, according to the 30th annual Forbes billionaires list
The list features five Jews in the top 15 and seven in the top 25 spots. Mark Zuckerberg is the sixth richest person in the world and the richest Jew.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
The first ever full-genome analysis of Ancient Egyptians shows that they were more Turkish and European than African
Scientists analyzed ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies dating from 1400 BC to 400 AD and discovered that they shared genes with people from the Mediterranean. They found that ancient Egyptians were closely related to ancient populations in the Levant - now modern day Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon. They were also genetically similar to Neolithic populations from the Anatolian Peninsula and Europe. The study found that modern Egyptians share more ancestry with Sub-Saharan Africans than ancient Egyptians did. The data shows that modern Egyptians share approximately 8% more ancestry on the nuclear level with Sub-Saharan African populations than with ancient Egyptians. In the last 1,500 years, Egypt became more genetically African, whereas the ancient Egyptians showed almost no sub-Saharan African ancestry and had a high affinity to ancient Near Eastern and European populations.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
A Jewish teenager from Britain says that he feared for his life at a top Berlin school because of violent bullying by Muslim classmates
“I was terrified and just went to the ground” when the bullies pulled a fake gun and threatened to kill him, the 14-year-old boy said. “Everyone burst into laughter and called me gay,” the Jewish teen — who is the grandson of Holocaust survivors — said of his classmates at the Friedenau Gemeinschaftsschule. The Jewish teen said that he suffered daily taunts and frequent painful kicking and punching attacks by students of Middle Eastern and Turkish origin. The bullying continued even after Ferdinand’s grandparents gave a speech at the school describing how they survived the Holocaust. The boy has since been moved to a new school and prosecutors are investigating.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
The majority of Britons believe that ethnic minorities living in Britain are a threat to their culture
Up to a quarter of the population thinks that immigrants are stealing jobs, while just over a third (34%) believe that they take more from the nation than they contribute, according to the latest Aurora Humanitarian Index survey. The study also found that respondents believe Brexit will have an impact on Britain’s ability to deal with the flood of refugees flowing into Europe from war-torn areas. A large number of people lack confidence in world leaders to tackle the refugee crisis, the survey found, and when it comes to Prime Minister Theresa May only a minority (15%) think that she is the best figure to resolve the issue. Announcing their general election manifesto in Halifax recently, the Tories renewed their pledge to cut net migration to the tens of thousands, a commitment first made by former Prime Minister David Cameron back in 2010. Net migration levels in 2016, however, stood at 248,000, leading many opposition figures to question the viability of the Tory pledge. The 2017 Aurora Humanitarian Index surveyed 6,500 people from 12 countries. In Britain specifically, it found that 56% of UK nationals believe that “Britishness” is at stake because of ethnic minorities. Although the survey was taken prior to the recent suicide bomb attack in Manchester which took the lives of 22 people and injured up to 64, it found that two-thirds of respondents believe terrorism is currently one of the biggest global challenges.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Two men in Indonesia's Aceh province have been publicly caned dozens of times for consensual gay sex, a punishment that rights advocates denounced as "medieval torture" and that has escalated an anti-gay backlash
Hundreds packed the courtyard of a mosque to witness the caning of the men for homosexuality. The caning took place in Aceh, a province in Indonesia that practices Shariah law. The men, aged 20 and 23, were arrested in March 2017 after vigilantes broke into their rented room to catch them having sex. A Shariah court sentenced each man to 85 lashes. Indonesia's LGBT community has been under siege in the past year. Prejudice has been fanned by stridently anti-gay comments from politicians and Islamic hard-liners.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Report: Black men with a bachelor’s degree are more than twice as likely as black women to intermarry
Black men and Asian women are more likely to marry someone of a different race. Asians are most likely to intermarry, with 29% of newlywed Asians married to someone of a different race or ethnicity, followed by Hispanics at 27%, blacks at 18% and whites at 11%. While about one-fourth of recently married black men (24%) have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, this share is 12% among recently married black women. And the difference between black men and women regarding intermarriage also increases with education. For those with a high school diploma or less, 17% of men vs. 10% of women are intermarried, while among those with a bachelor’s degree, black men are more than twice as likely as black women to intermarry (30% vs. 13%). A large percentage of black women with college degrees remain unmarried because they seek to only wed a black, college-educated man. Married Black women who are college graduates are much more likely to have a husband with a lower level of education (58%), compared to whites of a similar background (48%). Asian women are far more likely to intermarry than Asian men. In 2015, just over one-third (36%) of newlywed Asian women had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, while 21% of newlywed Asian men had a spouse of a different race. About half (49%) of Democrats and Independents who lean toward the Democratic Party say that the growing number of people of different races marrying each other is a good thing for society. Only 28% of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents share that view. The most common intermarriages were between a Hispanic and white spouse, at 42%. The next most common was between a white and Asian spouse at 15%, followed by a multiracial and white spouse at 12%.
Authorities in Bangladesh have arrested 27 men in a crackdown on homosexuality, a criminal offense in the Muslim-majority country, and plan to charge them with drug possession
A commander of the elite police unit that made the arrests says the suspects, mostly students aged 20-30 years, had traveled from across the country and were picked up in a raid on a community center at Keraniganj, outside the nation's capital. Zahangir Hossain Matobbar says that they recovered illegal drugs and condoms in their possession and plan to charge them with drug offenses and not homosexuality because they were detained before they engaged in sex. "We've arrested 27 people for homosexuality," one major is quoted as saying. The agency also arrested the owner of the community center where the suspects used to gather every two months and stay overnight for partying. Homosexuality is a crime in Bangladesh. In 2016, suspected militants killed a leading LGBT activist and his friend in Dhaka. The 35-year-old Xulhaz Mannan, a USAID official, was hacked to death at his home. He had founded the country's only LGBT magazine and was a leading organizer of gays. Since then, many gays and lesbians have left the country after they received death threats.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
A black man is accused of luring an 8-year-old girl into his home and sexually battering her, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office
Sydney Allan Markland, 68, told deputies that the child was "wearing provocative clothing" during the July 2016 assault. The victim told authorities that she knew Markland in passing because they live in the same neighborhood, so when he appeared injured and asked her if she would help him carry some fried chicken into the house, she agreed, deputies said. Markland, who goes by the nickname "Dread," sexually battered the victim and told her not to tell anyone. The girl told a parent, who called law enforcement. DNA samples were collected from the victim's and after several months, they proved to be a match with Markland. Detectives wrote in their report that the girl told them Markland "told her not to tell anyone, kissed her on the cheek and read from the Bible" after the assault. Deputies said Markland told them that in his culture his actions are considered acceptable. He also said that the child's clothing and "actions" suggested consent, officials said. "She was wearing provocative clothing," Markland said during his confession, according to what detectives wrote in their report. "Her actions suggested that she was consenting to sexual contact." After his arrest Friday, Markland admitted to detectives that he sexually battered the girl after eating chicken wings and praying with her, detectives said.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
White working-class voters who favored deporting immigrants living in the United States illegally were 3.3 times more likely to express a preference for Trump than those who did not
In addition, based on surveys conducted before and after the 2016 election, white working-class voters who say that they often feel like a stranger in their own land and who believe that the United States needs protecting against foreign influence were 3.5 times more likely to favor Trump than those who did not share these concerns.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Jakarta's Christian governor has been jailed for two years after being found guilty of committing blasphemy, capping a saga seen as a test of religious tolerance in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation
Presiding judge Dwiarso Budi Santiarto told the Jakarta court that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was "convincingly guilty of committing blasphemy and is sentenced to two years in prison". He ordered Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, to be detained. Purnama said: "We will file an appeal." Islamic hardliners outside the court cheered as news of verdict emerged and shouted "God is greatest". Purnama was hauled into court to face trial for allegedly insulting Islam while campaigning for re-election in a case that critics said was politically motivated. The trial came after a series of major protests against the capital's leader that drew hundreds of thousands onto the streets. His once unassailable opinion poll lead shrank amid the controversy and he lost the race to lead Jakarta to a Muslim challenger, a result that fueled fears of Indonesia's moderate brand of Islam coming under threat from increasingly influential radicals.
A video of an imam appearing to call for the murder of Jews in a sermon during Friday prayers at a Copenhagen mosque has caused outrage in Denmark
Mundhir Abdallah was reported to police after being filmed citing in Arabic a hadith - a teaching of the Prophet Muhammad - considered anti-Semitic. The hadith says that the Day of Judgment "will not come unless the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them". A Jewish community leader said that his words were a "thinly-veiled" threat. Videos of the sermon were posted on YouTube and Facebook by the Al-Faruq Mosque. A part of the 30-minute address was later translated by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri). In the video, Abdallah is seen standing in front of a black flag with the Shahadah written on it, similar to those used by jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda. He declares there will soon be a "caliphate" - a state governed in accordance with Islamic law, or Sharia - that will wage jihad to unite the Muslim community and liberate the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem "from the filth of the Zionists". Then, he says, "the words of the Prophet Muhammad will be fulfilled" and cites the hadith. Jewish community leader Dan Rosenberg said: "We are concerned weak and impressionable people may perceive this kind of preaching as a clear call to violence and terror against Jews." Immigration and Integration Minister Inger Stojberg also expressed outrage. "This is completely preposterous, undemocratic and awful," the center-right Venstre politician wrote on Facebook. "But it also shows why we need to lead a harsh and consistent policy. We cannot and should not accept this!"
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Researchers have found that there are race differences in ethnocentrism and that Europeans are uniquely low in it
Scientists have found that ethnocentric groups will usually dominate and displace less ethnocentric groups.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
The more dramatically Eastern European Jews progress socio-economically, the more strenuously they identify with “marginalized groups” and seek to undermine the white Christian majority population
Paul Gottfried reviews David R. Verbeeten’s The Politics of Non-Assimilation: Three Generations of Eastern European Jews in the United States in the Twentieth Century. According to Gottfried, Verbeeten's book is a goldmine of sociological evidence about the Eastern European Jews who migrated to America at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Ukip candidate standing against Andy Burnham in mayoral election is a bible-burning Orthodox Jewish rabbi
An Orthodox Jewish rabbi who is standing for Ukip in a mayoral election burned a bible and posted the pictures on social media. Shneur Odze, who is standing against former Health Secretary Andy Burnham in Manchester, reacted with fury when he found a religious tract in his synagogue which purported to be a Jewish bible. Odze took the book – which he believes was placed there by a proselytizing religious sect – out into the street and set fire to it. He then put pictures of the event on Twitter under the comment: "Grateful to whoever put a missionary bible amongst our synagogue’s books. Was wondering what I’d burn my Chametz [food forbidden at Passover] with." Odze explained that his actions were in line with Orthodox tradition because it was a Hebrew new testament purporting to be a Jewish bible, produced by "an extreme proselytizing Christian sect of former Jews trying to convert practicing Jews to a belief in Christ as the prophesied Messiah."
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Two studies by researchers at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto and their collaborators from the United States, Britain, France and China, show that six- to nine-month-old infants demonstrate racial bias in favor of members of their own race and racial bias against those of other races
In the first study, “Older but not younger infants associate own-race faces with happy music and other-race faces with sad music”, results showed that after six months of age, infants begin to associate own-race faces with happy music and other-race faces with sad music. In the second study, “Infants rely more on gaze cues from own-race than other-race adults for learning under uncertainty”, researchers found that six- to eight-month-old infants were more inclined to learn information from an adult of his or her own race than from an adult of a different race. “The findings of these studies are significant for many reasons,” said Dr. Kang Lee, professor at OISE’s Jackman Institute of Child Study, a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair and lead author of the studies. “The results show that race-based bias already exists around the second half of a child’s first year. This challenges the popular view that race-based bias first emerges only during the preschool years.” Researchers say that these findings are also important because they offer a new perspective on the cause of race-based bias. “When we consider why someone has a racial bias, we often think of negative experiences he or she may have had with other-race individuals. But, these findings suggest that a race-based bias emerges without experience with other-race individuals,” said Dr. Naiqi (Gabriel) Xiao, first author of the two papers and postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Islamic terrorism: A bomb exploded in a church north of Cairo that was packed with Palm Sunday worshippers, killing at least 25 people and wounding 71 others
The attack in the Nile Delta town of Tanta was the latest in a series of assaults on Egypt's Christian minority, which makes up around 10% of the population and has been repeatedly targeted by Islamic extremists. It comes just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit Egypt. A local Islamic State affiliate claimed a suicide bombing at a church in Cairo in December 2016 that killed around 30 people, mostly women, as well as a string of killings in the restive Sinai Peninsula that caused hundreds of Christians to flee to safer areas of the country.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Donald Trump’s son-in-law was accepted into the Ivy League university in the wake of a $2.5m pledge made by his parents. New Jersey real estate developer Charles Kushner had pledged $2.5m to Harvard University not long before his son Jared was admitted to the prestigious Ivy League school. Administrators at Jared’s high school described him as a less-than-stellar student and expressed dismay at Harvard’s decision. “There was no way anybody in the administrative office of the school thought he would on the merits get into Harvard,’’ a former official at the Frisch school in Paramus, New Jersey, said. “His GPA [grade point average] did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it. We thought, for sure, there was no way this was going to happen. Then, lo and behold, Jared was accepted. It was a little bit disappointing because there were at the time other kids we thought should really get in on the merits, and they did not." Charles Kushner has a criminal record. Five years after Jared entered Harvard, the elder Kushner pleaded guilty in 2004 to tax violations, illegal campaign donations and retaliating against a witness. Charles Kushner had hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, who was cooperating with federal authorities. Kushner then had a videotape of the tryst sent to his sister. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Envoys from African nations in the Indian capital, Delhi, have condemned the handling of recent attacks on Nigerian students in the city
In a statement, the African Heads of Mission said that the attacks were "xenophobic and racial". Indian authorities had failed to "sufficiently condemn" the attacks or take "visible deterring measures", the envoys added. The students were attacked recently in Greater Noida, close to Delhi. Five Nigerian students were attacked by crowds, while another was beaten by a mob inside a shopping mall. The violence was prompted by the death of a local teenager due to a drug overdose. His parents blame Nigerian students for giving him the drugs. In May 2016 a Congolese man was beaten to death in Delhi after an argument over an auto-rickshaw. Three months before that, a Tanzanian student was assaulted and partially stripped by a mob in the southern city of Bangalore. A Nigerian man living in Goa was stabbed to death in 2013. Meanwhile, police say that a Kenyan woman accused of faking a race attack in Greater Noida will be deported. The woman said that she had been dragged out of a taxi by five men two days after the mob violence, but police said their investigation and the taxi's GPS tracker proved her story wrong. Her visa had expired, they added.
Researchers from King's College London have used a genetic scoring technique to predict reading performance throughout school years from DNA alone
The study shows that a genetic score comprising around 20,000 of DNA variants explains 5% of the differences between children's reading performance. Students with the highest and lowest genetic scores differed by a whole two years in their reading performance. These findings highlight the potential of using genetic scores to predict strengths and weaknesses in children's learning abilities. According to the study authors, these scores could one day be used to identify and tackle reading difficulties early, rather than waiting until children develop these problems at school.
Monday, April 3, 2017
The Israeli prosecution seems oddly reluctant to move against Rabbi Yosef Elitzur of Yitzhar, one of the authors “The King’s Torah,” a controversial tome offering halakhic conditions under which it is permissible to kill non-Jews
Elitzur has failed to respond to letters summoning him to a hearing ahead of possible legal proceedings against him. The first such letter was sent in December 2016, after Attorney-General Avichai Mendelblit announced intentions to indict, subject to a hearing for Elitzur. Under the law, the prosecution must wait at least a month between sending a summons to a hearing and putting the defendant on trial without hearing his side first. That 30-day hiatus ended in January 2017, yet no indictments have been served. A three-month delay in filing charges after sending a letter on a hearing is highly unusual and unreasonable, especially after the delays in the case already. Elitzur is one of the leaders of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva. Back in 2009, in an op-ed that may be used in his prosecution, he called for violence against Arabs, writing: “If the Arabs win because of violence against Jews, the Jews can also win through violence against Arabs. The strength of women, children and the old can be utilized to block a given road and during that time, a harsher action can be taken against hostile elements down that same road.” In another article, Elitzur praised perpetrators of anti-Arab hate crimes known as “price tag” attacks, and said that “while no one wants to live in a state of anarchy, there are times when we must live by the rules of the jungle and show evil gentiles that Jews can also play that game.”
Marvel’s vice president of sales has blamed declining comic-book sales on the studio’s efforts to increase diversity and female characters, saying that readers “were turning their noses up” at diversity and “didn’t want female characters out there”. Over recent years, Marvel has made efforts to include more diverse and more female characters, introducing new iterations of fan favorites including a female Thor; Riri Williams, a black teenager who took over the Iron Man storyline as Ironheart; Miles Morales, a biracial Spider-Man and Kamala Khan, a Muslim teenage girl who is the current Ms Marvel. But speaking at the Marvel retailer summit about the studio’s falling comic sales, David Gabriel said retailers had told him that fans were sticking to old favorites. “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” he said. “They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not.” He added: “I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales … Any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up.”
Sunday, April 2, 2017
A Mexican newspaper in the border city of Juarez says that it is closing due to the climate of insecurity and impunity for killings of journalists in one of the world's deadliest countries for media workers
Norte executive Oscar Cantu Murguia informs readers of his decision in a farewell letter titled "Adios!" Cantu cites the recent murder of journalist Miroslava Breach in the city of Chihuahua, which like Juarez is in Chihuahua state. Breach was a reporter for La Jornada and had also collaborated with Norte. She was the third Mexican journalist killed in March 2017, notes the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. Cantu writes that he is not prepared for any more of his journalists to pay the price of insecurity. At least 38 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 1992 for motives related to their work, according the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Israeli police have arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers and other institutions in the United States, marking a potential breakthrough in the case after an international manhunt with the FBI
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld described the suspect as a hacker, but said that his motives were still unclear. Police banned publication of his name, but said that he was an American-Israeli dual citizen.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
A new study of hundreds of human genomes has revealed that groups in various regions of the world have evolved for diets with different amounts of meat and vegetables
People from Europe, particularly its southern regions, are optimized for a high-plant diet. But people from other areas, such as the Inuit of Greenland, have a biochemistry that is better able to process lots of meat fat. UC Berkeley integrative biology professor Rasmus Nielsen and his colleagues had access not only to hundreds of genome sequences from humans today, but also to sequences from 101 people who lived in Europe 5,000 years ago during the Bronze Age. By comparing these genomes, they found that two particular regions of DNA were under intense selection over the past several thousand years and changed rapidly in response to evolutionary pressures. These DNA regions contain two genes called "fatty acid desaturase 1 and 2," or FADS1 and 2 for short. The FADS genes regulate how the human body converts short-chain poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) into long-chain PUFAs for the health of many tissues, including muscles and the brain. In Europeans dating back to the Bronze Age, the FADS genes have undergone mutations to produce more long-chain PUFAs. This suggests a diet higher in vegetables and grains, which produce short-chain PUFAs. Meat produces long-chain PUFAs. The Inuit group's FADS genes are primed to produce fewer long-chain PUFAs, likely because the Inuit diet is so high in animal fats from ocean mammals. Nielsen and his colleagues believe that the European variant of the FADS genes likely are the result of agricultural lifestyles, leading to diets rich in wheat and vegetables. When people in Europe and the Middle East began to practice farming over 10,000 years ago, suddenly they were ingesting far more of those short-chain PUFAs. People who could convert short-chain PUFAs into long-chain PUFAs efficiently were more likely to survive, and so their FADS genes were passed on. It's also likely that the FADS genes have been changing rapidly for tens of thousands of years, as humans found new environmental niches across the planet. This puts them in stark contrast with genes that allow for lactose tolerance, which are clearly linked to a rise in dairy production on farms in the West. "The selection associated with lactase persistence (avoidance of lactose intolerance) seems to have been stronger in Northern Europe," Nielsen explained. "However, we don't see the same geographic patterns for the FADS genes. If anything, selection that would be driven by a more vegetarian diet might have been stronger in Southern Europe. Selection associated with the FADS genes might also be older than the selection affecting lactase." So there is little overlap between people with veggie-friendly FADS genes and people with genes for lactase persistence.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Poll: Nearly half of Canadians want to deport people who are illegally crossing into Canada from the United States, and a similar number disapprove of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the influx
A significant minority, four out of 10 respondents, said that the border crossers could make Canada "less safe," underlining the potential political risk for Trudeau's Liberal government. The increasing flow of hundreds of asylum-seekers of African and Middle Eastern origin from the United States in recent months has become a contentious issue in Canada. There has been broad bipartisan support for high levels of legal immigration for decades in Canada. But Trudeau has come under pressure over the flow of the illegal migrants. He is questioned about it every time he appears in parliament, from opponents on the left, who want more asylum-seekers to be allowed in, and critics on the right, who say that the migrants pose a potential security risk. Canadians appeared to be just as concerned about illegal immigration as their American neighbors. Some 48% of Canadians said that they supported “increasing the deportation of people living in Canada illegally.” When asked specifically about the recent border crossings from the United States, the same number - 48% - said that Canada should "send these migrants back to the U.S." In the United States, where President Donald Trump was elected partly on his promise to boost deportations, 50% of adults supported “increasing the deportation of illegal immigrants.”
Norway is the happiest place on Earth, according to a United Nations agency report - toppling neighbor Denmark from the number one position
The World Happiness Report measures subjective well-being - how happy the people are, and why. Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland round out the top five, while the Central African Republic came last. Western Europe and North America dominated the top of the table, with the United States and Britain at 14th and 19th, respectively. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and those hit by conflict have predictably low scores. Syria placed 152 of 155 countries - Yemen and South Sudan, which are facing impending famine, came in at 146 and 147.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Election 2016: Married women were considerably more likely - by a margin of 9 points - to vote for Trump than were unmarried men
They were even marginally more likely to vote for him than were married men! While only 3% of unmarried black women voted for Trump, more than 1-in-4 married black men did. Married Hispanics were marginally more likely to vote for Trump than unmarried whites were. Marrieds were more likely to support Trump than singles in every category examined. Among those of family formation age, Trump wins by 6 points among those with children while losing among those without kids by 12 points.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
A black man in Florida is facing charges that he raped a 13-year-old girl while she was attending a funeral at a church, according to an arrest report
Andre Brown, of Pahokee, is being held without bond at the Palm Beach County Jail and is facing one count of sexual assault on a victim between 12 and 18 years old. The alleged rape took place on April 30, 2016, but the girl did not tell anyone about the assault, because she was scared of being blamed for the attack, the report said. The girl, who was familiar with Brown, told Palm Beach County sheriff’s detectives that Brown, 26, grabbed her by the arm, walked her into the women’s restroom at the church — then locked the door. Brown allegedly took the girl into a stall for handicapped users and raped her, the report said. In July 2016, the girl was taken to a doctor by an unidentified person because “she was not acting right,” the report said. A day later, a doctor revealed that the girl was pregnant. The girl then admitted she was raped by Brown. Brown denied having sex with the girl, but a DNA test showed that he impregnated the victim.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Researchers have found a genetic variation unique to some people of African descent that can add about six pounds of extra weight
About 1 percent of people of African heritage carry the genetic variation, the team at the National Institutes of Health reported. And those who have it are more likely to be obese: more than 55% of people with the mutation were obese, compared to 23% of those who don't have it. People of purely European descent don't have this variation. "By studying people of West Africa, the ancestral home of most African-Americans, and replicating our results in a large group of African-Americans, we are providing new insights into biological pathways for obesity that have not been previously explored," said Ayo Doumatey of the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the NIH. The team started with 1,500 people taking part in a diabetes study in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. They did what's called a genome-wide association study, sequencing all their DNA. They found the mutation in a gene called SEMA4D. It's associated with inflammation and while most people in the world don't have mutations in the gene, 1% of the West Africans did. "We replicated this finding in 1,411 West African samples and 9,020 African American samples," they wrote. Studies looking for obesity genes in other countries hadn't found this mutation, probably because they hardly ever include many African-American or African volunteers. "We wanted to close this unacceptable gap in genomics research," said NHGRI's Charles Rotimi, who led the work. It's important: More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese but rates are even higher among African-Americans. Nearly 48% of African-Americans are overweight or obese. Researchers know that genetics plays a large role in this.
New York education officials are poised to scrap a test designed to measure the reading and writing skills of people trying to become teachers, in part because an outsized percentage of black and Hispanic candidates were failing it
The state Board of Regents is expected to adopt a task force’s recommendation of eliminating the literacy exam, known as the Academic Literacy Skills Test. Backers of the test say that eliminating it could put weak teachers in classrooms. But the literacy test raised alarms from the beginning because just 46% of Hispanic test takers and 41% of black test takers passed it on the first try, compared with 64% of white candidates. A federal judge ruled in 2015 that the test was not discriminatory, but faculty members at education schools say a test that screens out so many minorities is problematic.
Monday, March 13, 2017
The head of a national inquiry into Indigenous incarceration has said that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people might need to be treated differently by the justice system in order to achieve equity under the law. Federal court judge Matthew Myers said that Indigenous incarceration statistics had become “so bad” that it was difficult to argue some laws did not disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and that those laws might need to be changed to address the problem. One common reason for Aboriginal imprisonment is wife-bashing. For Myers' rule to work, an Aboriginal man should be no more likely to go to jail than a white. But for that to occur, an Aboriginal wife-beater should be no more likely than an white wife-beater to go to jail. Given that the rate of domestic violence in Aboriginal communities is so much higher than everywhere else, Myers' rule means a judge must treat Aboriginal wife-beaters unequally, by sparing them the jail they'd give a white. Aboriginal women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalized as a result of domestic violence than women in the rest of the community. In practice, Myers' rule means this: bashing an Aboriginal woman should not be considered as bad as bashing a white one, as long as the basher is an Aboriginal man. The Aboriginal wife-basher should not be punished as much as a white wife-basher. In fact, on these figures, an Aboriginal man should be 34 times less likely to be jailed for bashing his wife than a white man for bashing his. Only in that way do the imprisonment rates for each race match up. Great for men. Not so great for Aboriginal women.
An analysis of ancient Egyptian mummy genomes reveal that ancient Egyptians shared more Near Eastern ancestry than present-day Egyptians, who received additional Sub-Saharan admixture in more recent times.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
ICE officials have confirmed that a North Carolina teen who has been charged with chopping off his mother's head with a butcher knife is in the United States illegally
Oliver Funes-Machado, 18, is originally from Honduras and is accused of repeatedly stabbing his 35-year-old mother in their Zebulon home. He allegedly beheaded her and then walked outside, holding her head in one hand and the knife in the other as he waited for Franklin County deputies to arrive. He was the one who called 911. Sheriff Ken Winstead released a statement, saying that two siblings, a 4-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother, were in the home at the time of the attack.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
For its annual Best Countries list, US News & World Report surveyed more than 21,000 people from 36 countries around the world. Factors such as the economy and quality of life were taken into account. Overall, here are the top 10: Switzerland, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Sweden, United States, Australia, France and Norway.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Police in the south Indian state of Karnataka have arrested three people in connection with the "human sacrifice" of a 10-year-old girl
Police said that the child was killed on the instructions of a "sorcerer" to "cure" a paralyzed man. The man's brother and sister have been arrested on charges of abducting and murdering the girl. The alleged sorcerer told them that it was the only way to undo "black magic" affecting their sibling, police said. A 17-year-old boy has also been arrested for helping to abduct the girl, police said. "There are a few more people who have abetted the crime. We are investigating it from all angles. So more arrests cannot be ruled out," senior police officer B Ramesh said. The murder was discovered after residents discovered the body of the girl inside a bag. They also found materials which police believe were used to conduct "black magic" rituals. As news about the incident spread, a mob gathered outside the brother and sister's home and began throwing stones. Police had to use force to disperse the gathering.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
A snowshoe racer from India whose entry into the United States to compete was made possible by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is being held in a New York jail on a sex charge
The U.S. embassy in New Delhi had rejected Tanveer Hussain’s application for a visa so he could compete in the World Snowshoe Championship in upstate New York. Local officials then intervened on Hussain’s behalf, appealing for help to the offices of Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. Their offices reached out to the New Delhi embassy, which allowed Hussain to reapply for a visa and granted that visa. Saranac Lake Police Chief Charles Potthast said that the charges, one of first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and another of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, stem from Hussain “engaging in a passionate kiss” with a 12-year-old girl, and accusations of the athlete touching her over her clothing in an “intimate area.” Hussain was arrested after Saranac Lake Village police received a report of the alleged incident. Hussain, who was being held on a $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond, has a preliminary hearing at St. Armand Town Court in St. Armand, New York. Schumer’s office said that he often intervenes to facilitate international competition.
President Jacob Zuma has called on parliament to change South Africa’s constitution to allow the expropriation of white owned land without compensation
Zuma, 74, who made the remarks in a speech, said that he wanted to establish a “pre-colonial land audit of land use and occupation patterns” before changing the law. “We need to accept the reality that those who are in parliament where laws are made, particularly the black parties, should unite because we need a two-thirds majority to effect changes in the constitution,” he said. Zuma, who has lurched from one scandal to another since being elected to office in 2009, has adopted a more populist tone since his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party suffered its worst election result in August 2016 since the end of apartheid in 1994. The ANC is also under pressure from the radical Economic Freedom Fighters, led by Julius Malema. Malema has been travelling the country urging black South Africans to take land from white invaders and “Dutch thugs”. He told parliament recently that his party wanted to “unite black people in South Africa” to expropriate land without compensation. “People of South Africa, where you see a beautiful land, take it, it belongs to you,” he said.
Friday, March 3, 2017
A 24-year-old woman from India who was cremated on a funeral pyre may have been alive when the cremation took place
Student Rachna Sisodia had been declared dead at Sharda hospital in Greater Noida, in northern India's Uttar Pradesh state, on February 25, 2017. The cause of her death was given as a lung infection. Her body was released to her husband Devesh Chaudhary, 23, who drove it to a funeral pyre location two hours away, where he and some companions began the cremation. Police then arrived on the scene and pulled the woman from the fire, believing that she was still alive. A subsequent post-mortem later concluded that Rachna had died from "shock caused by being burnt alive," after post-mortem found ash was found in her respiratory tract. A hospital spokesperson said: “This happens when someone is burnt alive. The particles go inside with the breath. If a person is dead, such particles cannot reach the lungs and windpipe. So the doctors concluded that the woman was burnt alive on the pyre.”
Disgraced black journalist Juan Thompson arrested for anti-Semitic bomb threats in revenge plot to frame ex-girlfriend
A spurned black man, in a bizarre campaign to destroy his ex-girlfriend, made bomb threats to at least eight Jewish community centers in 25 terrifying days. Juan Thompson, 31, of St. Louis, was arrested in connection with the menacing messages sent by phone or email to Jewish organizations from coast to coast. He invoked his girlfriend’s name in making four of the bomb threats, the FBI said in court papers. “Thompson appears to have made some of the ... threats as part of a sustained campaign to harass and intimidate” the former girlfriend, according to an FBI complaint. Thompson, arrested at his grandmother’s house in St. Louis, was held without bail after a Federal Court appearance on charges of cyberstalking. Thompson, in a blue collarless shirt, khaki pants and handcuffs, politely answered questions before he was led away. The threats by Thompson “not only involved the defamation of his female victim, but ... intimidated an entire community,” said William Sweeney, head of the New York FBI office. His arrest followed a massive investigation involving multiple law enforcement groups. The harassment started when the Brooklyn woman dumped Thompson in July 2016, and included emails to her employer claiming that she was an anti-Semite suffering from a sexually-transmitted disease. Her name was also sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children with a message claiming the woman kept child pornography photos on her phone. Thompson turned his attention to the Jewish centers in 2017, making the threats between January 28 and February 21. Thompson targeted Jewish groups in Manhattan, Dallas, San Diego and Farmington Hills, Michigan, with half the threats made using his ex-girlfriend’s name and the other half made in his name, according to an FBI complaint. The girlfriend “hates Jewish people (and) is the head of a ring and put a bomb in (the San Diego) center to kill as many Jews asap,” read one of the emails. He tried to pin the threats that used his name on the former paramour, insisting that she was actually trying to undermine him, the FBI charged. Thompson — a disgraced journalist who made headlines in February 2016 when he was fired for using bogus quotes in his stories — even called her out via Twitter. “Know any good lawyers?” he tweeted on February 24, 2017. “Need to stop this nasty/racist #whitegirl I dated who sent a bomb threat in my name & wants me to be raped in jail.” The Intercept, a news website focused on national security, issued a statement distancing itself from the dismissed black ex-employee. The black reporter was fired after claiming that he interviewed a nonexistent cousin of Charleston, South Carolina, church massacre shooter Dylann Roof. Thompson worked at The Intercept between November 2014-January 2016. “We were horrified to learn this morning that Juan Thompson has been arrested,” read the statement. “These actions are heinous and should be fully investigated and prosecuted.” Two of the threats targeted the ADL offices in Manhattan, officials said. The non-profit group, which combats anti-Semitism, reports at least 90 bomb threats to Jewish institutions in 12 states since the beginning of 2017. The arrest was the result of a collaborative investigation between the FBI, NYPD detectives and prosecutors from around the country.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
A Muslim teenager who attacked a Jewish teacher in France with a machete has been sentenced to seven years in jail by a French juvenile court
The 17-year-old was convicted at a closed-doors trial for wounding the teacher who was wearing a traditional Jewish skullcap, or yarmulke, while walking to school in January 2016 in the southern city of Marseille. Prosecutor Brice Robin said shortly after the attack that the teenager, who has not been identified because of his age, said he had acted in the name of the Islamic State militant group. The Muslim teenager, a Turkish citizen of Kurdish origin, was 15 at the time of the attack. He was charged with attempted murder in connection with a terrorist attack, with the aggravating factor of anti-Semitism. France is home to both the largest Jewish and the largest Muslim populations in Europe. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a number of large-scale attacks in France, including a truck attack that killed 86 people in the Riviera resort of Nice in July 2016 and a coordinated series of attacks in Paris in November 2015 in which 130 people were killed.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
South Africa has deported 97 Nigerians for various offences following a series of raids, Nigerian officials said, amid heightened bilateral tensions over anti-immigrant violence in South Africa
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, senior special assistant to Nigeria's president on diaspora matters, said that the deported Nigerians had arrived home. "Some of them claimed they were returned for irregular migration offences when the South Africa authority withdrew their voluntary work permits that it had hitherto given to African migrants, and made ... work permits more difficult to get," she said. "They (Nigerians) have been arbitrarily raided ... More (deportations) will likely follow," said Dabiri-Erewa, adding that drug offenders among those sent back had been handed over to the Nigerian police. Uche Ajulu-Okeke, Nigeria's consul-general to South Africa, confirmed the deportations in a text message, saying they were due to a "lack of documentation". Some had said their documents were destroyed in anti-immigrant violence, so they were no longer able to prove they had legal documents, she said. "I know, coming in the wake of xenophobia, that it (the deportation) was not a very sensitive act," she said. Anti-immigrant sentiment in South Africa flared up in late February 2017 against a background of near-record unemployment, with foreigners being accused of taking jobs from locals and getting involved in crime. In retaliation, protesters in Nigeria vandalized the head office of South African mobile phone company MTN in the capital Abuja. Some Nigerians have demanded that South Africans leave their country. Asked about the deportations, Mayihlome Tshwete, a spokesman for South Africa's home affairs ministry, said that his country deported people of different nationalities "on a day-to-day basis". "Deportation is a 90-day process and it happens on an ongoing basis, so I won't get into a singling out of Nigerians," he said, when asked for details about the Nigerians deported. Nigeria's parliament have selected a team of 12 lawmakers to travel to South Africa, along with foreign ministry officials, to hold talks with the South African government, parliamentarians and the Nigerian community. No time was given for when the delegation would leave.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Latino students in kindergarten trail their white peers in math by approximately three months’ worth of learning, a new study by Child Trends Hispanic Institute has found
And while students’ family incomes, parent education levels, primary languages, and quantity of books in the home all accounted for differences in math skills among Latino students, the achievement gap between Latino and white students is still evident after accounting for these background differences.
Friday, February 24, 2017
A Muslim preschool teacher in Texas has been fired after her “kill some Jews!” tweet from 2013 surfaced, along with other anti-Semitic tweets
Nancy Salem, who said that she’s a Muslim American of Palestinian heritage, was fired from The Children’s Courtyard in Arlington. Salem in 2013 retweeted, “How many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough!” Another of her tweets said, “Gassed a Jew. I’m sweating. Heil.”
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
A poll conducted by Harvard-Harris has found that 80% of Americans believe local law enforcement should be required to turn over illegal immigrants they arrest to the federal government so they can be deported
The survey indicates widespread support for President Donald Trump's directive to federal agencies to cut off funding for sanctuary cities across America, except when the money is for crime fighting. Conservatives have been on the warpath with sanctuary cities since the July 2015 death of San Francisco resident Kate Steinle, who was struck by a bullet that came from a gun shot by an illegal immigrant. Some large cities shield illegal immigrants but do not call themselves sanctuary cities such as Salt Lake City, San Diego, Los Angeles and Boston. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center says that at least 39 cities provide some form of sanctuary protection. Fearful for their county's own federal funds, Miami-Dade commissioners have voted to comply with federal immigration laws, ending sanctuary in the Florida county with a large immigrant population. In the Harvard-Harris poll, 75% of respondents said that they were in favor of ICE hiring more border patrol agents, another mandate of Trump's.
A new study, looking at the sex-specifically inherited X chromosome of prehistoric human remains, shows that hardly any women took part in the extensive migration from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe approximately 5,000 years ago
The great migration that brought farming practices to Europe 4,000 years earlier, on the other hand, consisted of both women and men. The difference in sex bias suggests that different social and cultural processes drove the two migrations. Genetic data suggest that modern European ancestry represents a mosaic of ancestral contributions from multiple waves of prehistoric migration events. Recent studies of genomic variation in prehistoric human remains have demonstrated that two mass migration events are particularly important to understanding European prehistory: the Neolithic spread of agriculture from Anatolia starting around 9,000 years ago, and migration from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe around 5,000 years ago. These migrations are coincident with large social, cultural, and linguistic changes, and each has been inferred to have replaced more than half of the contemporaneous gene pool of resident Central Europeans. Dramatic events in human prehistory can be investigated using patterns of genetic variation among the people that lived in those times. In particular, studies of differing female and male demographic histories on the basis of ancient genomes can provide information about complexities of social structures and cultural interactions in prehistoric populations. Researchers from Uppsala and Stanford University investigated the genetic ancestry on the sex-specifically inherited X chromosome and the autosomes in 20 early Neolithic and 16 Late Neolithic/Bronze Age human remains. Contrary to previous hypotheses suggesting patrilocality (social system in which a family resides near the man's parents) of many agricultural populations, they found no evidence of sex-biased admixture during the migration that spread farming across Europe during the early Neolithic. For later migrations from the Pontic steppe during the early Bronze Age, however, we find a dramatic male bias. There are simply too few X-chromosomes from the migrants, which points to around ten migrating males for every migrating female, says Mattias Jakobsson, professor of Genetics at the Department of Organismal Biology, Uppsala University. The research group found evidence of ongoing, primarily male, migration from the steppe to central Europe over a period of multiple generations, with a level of sex bias that excludes a pulse migration during a single generation. The contrasting patterns of sex-specific migration during these two migrations suggest a view of differing cultural histories in which the Neolithic transition was driven by mass migration of both males and females in roughly equal numbers — perhaps whole families — whereas the later Bronze Age migration and cultural shift were instead driven by male migration.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Sweden: Foreign-born people account for about 17% of the population, and second-generation immigrants, for an additional 5%
Despite this, foreign-born people make up 53% of those with long prison terms, 54% of the unemployed and they receive 60% of paid social benefits. In addition, 71% of the country’s child poverty is in households with a foreign background, while 76% of the members of criminal gangs have immigrant backgrounds.
This is how Philip Weiss sees it:
The Israeli interference in our politics is the conspiracy in plain sight that no one in the media talks about because they’re too implicated themselves. The two top executives at the largest media company, Comcast, are pro-Israel; one of them, David Cohen, raised money for the Israeli army. Netanyahu’s speeches to Congress were written by Gary Ginsberg, an executive at another media company, Time Warner, but hey, that’s not an issue. Four New York Times reporters have had children serve in the Israeli army. One of them is columnist David Brooks, who says that he gets gooey-eyed when he visits Israel. He is one of several Zionists with columns at the Times. Tom Friedman justified the Iraq War because suicide bombers were going into Tel Aviv pizza parlors. (Huh?) Yesterday Martin Indyk said on National Public Radio that Jared Kushner’s strong Jewish background was an asset for his being a Middle East mediator, a job that Aaron David Miller, who also has a strong Jewish background, defined as being Israel’s lawyer. Indyk, himself a mediator, started a pro-Israel thinktank with Haim Saban, an Israeli-American who was Clinton’s biggest funder and who lately smeared Keith Ellison at a giant gathering at Brookings, which he also helps fund, as “clearly an anti-semite” and “anti-Israel;” and Jake Tapper of CNN moved on to the next question, presumably because smearing a public official in that manner is not news. Saban is also chummy with Jeffrey Goldberg, one of whose qualifications for being the best journalist in his generation, according to the Atlantic’s publisher, is that he served in the Israeli Defense Forces, because he felt that America was unsafe for Jews. One of Goldberg’s first hires as editor at the Atlantic is Julia Ioffe, who hates Russia, and who told a synagogue audience last year after she was attacked as a Jew by Trump supporters: “Personally I was kind of glad to see the outpouring of antisemitism” because people had forgotten that Jews and Israel are the “underdog.” At another NY synagogue, believing that he was speaking off the record, Dennis Ross, the longtime White House “mediator” of the peace process, said that American Jews must be “advocates” for Israel, not for Palestinians. Again, not a scandal. But when Rashid Khalidi, who wrote a book about the U.S. being imbalanced in the peace process, warned that neoconservatives would “infest” the Trump administration, he was smeared up and down as an anti-semite.
Having high levels of a certain biomarker is linked to poor prognosis in African-American patients with triple-negative breast cancer, while the same biomarker doesn't influence disease outcomes in white patients, according to a new study
Racial disparities in disease, particularly breast cancer, continue to pose a major challenge in healthcare. African-American breast cancer patients are more likely to suffer from a more aggressive course of disease and higher mortality compared to other racial groups. In particular, African-American patients with triple-negative breast cancer have a dismal prognosis. The dire outcome of this group could indicate that high-risk, African-American breast cancer patients are not being identified as such using standard clinical prognostic tools and aren't being prescribed sufficiently aggressive treatment. Therefore, it's critical to find novel biomarkers that could identify differences in tumor biology between racial groups and serve as risk predictors to help alleviate health disparity in disease outcomes. In this study, a research team led by Georgia State University examined whether a biomarker called nuclear KIFC1, which has been associated with worse outcomes in breast cancer, can predict risk in triple-negative breast cancer, a subtype that disproportionately affects African-American women. The researchers assessed the nuclear KIFC1 biomarker in triple-negative breast cancer tissue samples from 163 African-American patients and 144 white patients who were treated between the years 2003-2008 at Grady Memorial and Emory University hospitals, 2005-2013 at Northside Hospital and 2001-2012 at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center. Race information in medical records was self-declared by patients. "We looked at the levels of nuclear KIFC1 in their tumors, and interestingly, we found that African-American women had slightly higher levels, but it was only within African-American patients that the levels mattered for their outcome," said Angela Ogden, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Ritu Aneja's laboratory in Georgia State's Biology Department. "African-American women with high nuclear KIFC1 levels tended to do poorly, whereas in white women, it didn't matter if they had high or low levels. It had no effect on their outcomes." The researchers further investigated why the biomarker only seems to matter in African-American patients by studying triple-negative breast tumor cells from African-American and white patients. "We found that if we silence the KIFC1 gene, it had a greater impact on the migration of the African-American cells than it did on the white cells," Ogden said. "It may be that for whatever reason, in African-American breast cancer tumors, KIFC1 helps the cells to migrate and spread to other parts of the body. And for reasons that we currently don't know, that's not the case in white tumors. Ultimately, it may even be that African-American patients could potentially be treated with a KIFC1 inhibitor to help prevent metastasis, but that's for future studies." The study is multi-institutional with tumor samples from breast cancer patients treated at four different hospitals, so the results can likely be generalized. To ensure certain factors didn't confound the results, the researchers adjusted for tumor stage, age at diagnosis, receipt of chemotherapy and the hospital where patients received chemotherapy. They found that nuclear KIFC1 had a significant effect on outcomes in African-American patients, even after adjusting for these factors. Biomarkers of relevance to specific racial groups are starting to be explored more in scientific studies, Ogden said. "The approach of treating all patients the same, regardless of their racial or ethnic background, may not be the best approach as genetic ancestry matters," she said. "There may be biomarkers and treatments that work better for people of a certain ancestry, race or ethnicity, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach."
Superstition and barbarism in Africa: In Malawi, like other countries in the region, people with albinism are hunted down because of the belief that potions made from their body parts can bring good luck and wealth
In 2016, a UN expert warned that Malawi's estimated 10,000 albinos face "extinction" if they continue to be murdered for their body parts. Since November 2014, 19 albinos have been killed and there have been more than 100 cases of attempted kidnapping and disappearances. Graves of albinos are also targeted by criminals who remove bones in order to sell them. Amnesty International says that police lack investigative skills and the majority of cases remain unresolved. Activists say poverty contributes to the suspicion surrounding albinos and the belief that their body parts can be sold for large sums of money.
A zoo in northern Japan has culled 57 of its snow monkeys by lethal injection after discovering that they carried the genes of an "invasive alien species"
Takagoyama Nature Zoo in Chiba said that DNA testing showed the monkeys had been crossbred with the rhesus macaque. The non-indigenous rhesus macaque is banned under Japanese law. A local official said that they had to be killed in order to protect the native environment. The zoo's operator held a memorial service for the snow monkeys' souls at a nearby Buddhist temple. Japanese macaques, commonly known as snow monkeys, are native to Japan and are one of the country's major tourist attractions. Japan prohibits the possession and transport of invasive species, including crossbreeds. An official from the Office for Alien Species Management, part of the country's environment ministry, said that the culling was unavoidable because there were fears they might escape and reproduce in the wild. Junkichi Mima, a spokesman for conservation group WWF Japan said that invasive species cause problems "because they get mixed in with indigenous animals and threaten the natural environment and ecosystem". Apparently racial purity and segregation are alright for animals but not for humans.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Victor Davis Hanson says that class is finally reemerging as a better barometer of privilege than is race. The children of Barack Obama, for example, have far more privilege than do the sons of Appalachian coal miners — and many Asian groups already exceed American per capita income averages. When activist Michael Eric Dyson calls for blanket reparations for slavery, his argument does not resonate with an unemployed working-class youth from Kentucky, who was born more than 30 years after the emergence of affirmative action — and enjoys a fraction of Dyson’s own income, net worth, and cultural opportunities.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
A strong majority of Americans say Democrats should look to cooperate with President Trump to strike deals, according to the inaugural Harvard-Harris poll
The survey found that 73% of voters want to see Democrats work with Trump, against only 27% who said Democrats should resist Trump’s every move. The findings are significant as Democratic leaders in Congress are under growing pressure by their liberal base to obstruct the president’s agenda. The poll shows that the party is divided on how to deal with Trump: 52% of Democrats polled say they should cooperate with him on areas of agreement and 48% saying that they shouldn’t.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
The wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe — who will soon be 93 — says that he should still run for president even if he dies before the next election
"If God decides to take him, then we would rather field him as a corpse," Grace Mugabe, 51, said during a recent rally. She said that Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, should run for president as a dead man to "prove that people love him." Mugabe has said that he wants to live to 100 and plans to rule for life. His wife apparently has bigger plans. In 2016, Grace Mugabe told supporters that her husband will be their leader ever after he's "in the grave."
Friday, February 17, 2017
A large number of non-citizen Hispanics, as many as 2 million, were illegally registered to vote in the United States, according to a nationwide poll
The National Hispanic Survey provides additional evidence for use by anti-voter fraud conservatives and bolsters an analysis by professors at Old Dominion University who say that non-citizens registered and voted in potentially large numbers. President Trump has announced that he will appoint a task force on voter fraud headed by Vice President Mike Pence. He says that he wants the investigation to focus on inaccurate voter registration rolls, which are maintained by the states and the District of Columbia. “It is a fact and you will not deny it, that there are massive numbers of non-citizens in this country who are registered to vote,” White House adviser Stephen Miller said. “That is a scandal. We should stop the presses.”
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
South Africa: A white woman was ambushed in her own home, stabbed 21 times, had her eyes gouged out before her naked body was discovered by her son who arrived home from school
Tanya Wiers, 44, was discovered by her son Rolf lying in her daughter's bedroom after suffering the gruesome attack. The brutal slaying has been described by police as the worst they have ever witnessed. The mother-of-three was attacked at her home in Polokwane, about 150 miles north of Pretoria. Police have arrested 25-year-old suspect Frans Maela, a black African, in connection with the killing. Maela has been remanded in custody after appearing before Polokwane Magistrates' Court. Police discovered that Wiers suffered extensive defense wounds to her arms and hands before she succumbed to the attack.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
According to a new study from public policy organization Demos, two-parent black households had approximately $16,000 in median wealth in 2013, while two-parent Latino households had $18,800 in wealth. Those numbers are trumped, however, by the median wealth of a single-parent white household: $35,800. That means that a white single parent still has 2.2 times more wealth than a two-parent black household and 1.9 times more wealth than a two-parent Latino family. The amount of wealth for a median two-parent white family is much higher than all of these at $161,300.
Monday, February 13, 2017
A Black Lives Matter leader has come under fire after arguing on social media that white people are “sub-human” and suffer from “recessive genetic defects,” and musing about how the race could be wiped out
In a Facebook post, Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Yusra Khogali went on a rant, arguing that black people are the superior race because white people posses “genetic defects” that make them lesser humans. “Whiteness is not humxness, in fact, white skin is sub-humxn,” she wrote. “All phenotypes exist within the black family and white ppl are a genetic defect of blackness.” She continued explaining her theory, claiming white people are lesser because “[they] have a higher concentration of enzyme inhibitors that suppress melanin production. They are genetically deficient because melanin is present at the inception of life. Melanin enables black skin to capture light and hold it in its memory mode which reveals that blackness converts light into knowledge. Melanin directly communicates with cosmic energy,” she added. Khogali then proclaimed: “White ppl are recessive genetic defects. This is factual.” The Black Lives Matter leader then wondered how the white race could be wiped out. According to her, “Black ppl simply through their dominant genes can literally wipe out the white race if we had the power to. Do you ever wonder how black ppl after centuries of colonial violence, genocide and destruction—no matter what systems created to make us extinct… How we keep coming back? It is because we are superhumxns,” she added. This isn’t the first time the firebrand BLM Toronto chapter co-founder got into hot water. Recently, Khogali gave a speech during a protest in Toronto, where she accused Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of being a “white supremacist terrorist” for welcoming refugees to the country. During the protest, she was seen shouting: “When Justin Trudeau says that he is a liar! He’s a hypocrite! He is a white supremacist terrorist! That is what he is,” she said. “Do not be fooled by his liberal bullshit. Do not be fooled.” In 2016, she also caused a controversy after tweeting: “Plz Allah give me strength to not cuss/kill these men and white folks out here today. Plz plz plz.”
Sunday, February 12, 2017
In a recent study conducted by the University of Glasgow, 99 school inspection reports between 2012 and 2014 were examined. Of these, 51% of Catholic schools received “very good” or “excellent” marks compared with 30% in non-denominational schools.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
An African migrant has been accused of beheading his girlfriend in a ritualistic killing after stabbing her 30 times
The Congolese refugee had applied for asylum in Berlin, Germany, where he is alleged to have carried out the brutal killing. The man – identified by authorities as Yve M – is accused of stabbing his girlfriend 30 times in the stomach and chest before beheading the corpse. Prosecutors claim that he then cut off her little finger from her right hand and her left arm before decorating her body. Police entered the apartment after neighbors claimed that there was a rancid stench coming from the property. Police found the victim – named as Tunay G – after her body had already begun to decay. Her body had also been decorated with stones, string and feathers in what investigators believe was a “ritual killing”. Authorities said that the victim had died of blood loss and no murder weapon has been recovered. The killing happened sometime on May 15 or 16 2016, but the body was not discovered until June 10, 2016. The 39-year-old African migrant was arrested on June 11, 2016 for the killing of his girlfriend, also 39. In 2016, a teenage Afghan asylum seeker admitted killing Maria Ladenburger – the daughter of an EU official.
A Chinese immigrant who stabbed, beheaded, and partially cannibalized a fellow Greyhound bus passenger in a terrifying random attack in 2008 has been granted an absolute discharge by authorities in Canada, meaning that he will no longer be subject to any court-ordered monitoring
That includes monitoring to check whether he is taking his daily medication to treat schizophrenia. Matt Baker, an immigrant from China who changed his name from Vince Li after the attack, was found not criminally responsible for the killing in 2009 and spent seven years in a psychiatric hospital before he was allowed to live independently in Winnipeg recently. Baker has said that he thought he heard the voice of God ordering him to kill 22-year-old carnival worker Tim McLean. McLean's mother has argued against granting Baker a total discharge, saying that he might stop taking his medication. "I have no words," she said after the ruling. I am beginning to think that we may need to build two border walls.
Some sanity in Europe: An Italian judge has ruled that soccer fans chanting a slogan featuring the word “Jews” was not hate speech
The ruling, of course, sparked an angry response from the Jewish community. In a letter to Italy’s justice minister, Andrea Orlando, the president of the Rome Jewish community, Ruth Dureghello called the ruling “undoubtedly an alarming precedent for justice” in Italy that “in essence legitimizes the use of the adjective Jew in a derogatory and racist form and in any case a tool of derision during sporting events.” Orlando said that he would look into the matter. The president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Noemi Di Segni, issued a separate protest to soccer authorities. The case dates back to March 2013, when two fans of the Lazio soccer team were caught on camera during a match between Lazio and Catania chanting “giallorosso ebreo,” Italian for “yellow-red Jew” — apparently directed against the Catania team. The chant refers to Lazio’s archrival, Roma, whose team colors are yellow and red. In his ruling, Judge Ezio Damizia acquitted the pair of incitement and racial hatred, saying the term “giallorosso ebreo” was aimed simply at “ridiculing the opposing team” and fell within the scope of the long “sporting rivalry” between Lazio and Roma. Nice to see someone with enough guts to stand up to the Jews.
Hispanic immigrant and African American men have highest rate of workplace injury, according to a new study of workplace injuries and disability
For the study, USC researchers found that men ages 18 to 64 who are Hispanic immigrants have the highest average workplace injury rate at 13.7 per 1,000 workers, followed by African American men (more than 12), and U.S.-born Hispanic men (nearly 12), white men (11.8), and Asian Americans (nearly 10). Other ethnicities have a rate of around 11 per 1,000 workers. Could IQ differences be at least partially responsible for this situation?
New research indicates that Baltic hunter-gatherers were not swamped by migrations of early agriculturalists from the Middle East, as was the case for the rest of central and western Europe
Instead, these people probably acquired knowledge of farming and ceramics by sharing cultures and ideas - rather than genes - with outside communities. Scientists extracted ancient DNA from a number of archaeological remains discovered in Latvia and the Ukraine, which were between 5,000 and 8,000 years old. These samples spanned the Neolithic period, which was the dawn of agriculture in Europe, when people moved from a mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a settled way of life based on food production. We know through previous research that large numbers of early farmers from the Levant (the Near East) - driven by the success of their technological innovations such as crops and pottery - had expanded to the peripheral parts of Europe by the end of the Neolithic and largely replaced hunter-gatherer populations. However, the new study shows that the Levantine farmers did not contribute to hunter-gatherers in the Baltic as they did in Central and Western Europe. The research team, which includes scientists from Trinity College Dublin, the University of Cambridge, and University College Dublin, says their findings instead suggest that the Baltic hunter-gatherers learned these skills through communication and cultural exchange with outsiders. The findings feed into debates around the 'Neolithic package,' - the cluster of technologies such as domesticated livestock, cultivated cereals and ceramics, which revolutionized human existence across Europe during the late Stone Age. Advances in ancient DNA work have revealed that this 'package' was spread through Central and Western Europe by migration and interbreeding: the Levant and later Anatolian farmers mixing with and essentially replacing the hunter-gatherers. But the new work suggests migration was not a 'universal driver' across Europe for this way of life. In the Baltic region, archaeology shows that the technologies of the 'package' did develop - albeit less rapidly - even though the analyses show that the genetics of these populations remained the same as those of the hunter-gatherers throughout the Neolithic. Andrea Manica, one of the study's senior authors from the University of Cambridge, said: "Almost all ancient DNA research up to now has suggested that technologies such as agriculture spread through people migrating and settling in new areas. However, in the Baltic, we find a very different picture, as there are no genetic traces of the farmers from the Levant and Anatolia who transmitted agriculture across the rest of Europe. The findings suggest that indigenous hunter-gatherers adopted Neolithic ways of life through trade and contact, rather than being settled by external communities. Migrations are not the only model for technology acquisition in European prehistory." While the sequenced genomes showed no trace of the Levant farmer influence, one of the Latvian samples did reveal genetic influence from a different external source - one that the scientists say could be a migration from the Pontic Steppe in the east. The timing (5-7,000 years ago) fits with previous research estimating the earliest Slavic languages. Researcher Eppie Jones, from Trinity College Dublin and the University of Cambridge, was the lead author of the study. She said: "There are two major theories on the spread of Indo-European languages, the most widely spoken language family in the world. One is that they came from the Anatolia with the agriculturalists; another that they developed in the Steppes and spread at the start of the Bronze Age. That we see no farmer-related genetic input, yet we do find this Steppe-related component, suggests that at least the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family originated in the Steppe grasslands of the East, which would bring later migrations of Bronze Age horse riders." The researchers point out that the time scales seen in Baltic archaeology are also very distinct to the rest of Europe, with a much more drawn-out and piecemeal uptake of Neolithic technologies, rather than the complete 'package' that arrives with migrations to take most of Europe by storm. Andrea Manica added: "Our evidence of genetic continuity in the Baltic, coupled with the archaeological record showing a prolonged adoption of Neolithic technologies, would suggest the existence of trade networks with farming communities largely independent of interbreeding. It seems the hunter-gatherers of the Baltic likely acquired bits of the Neolithic package slowly over time through a 'cultural diffusion' of communication and trade, as there is no sign of the migratory wave that brought farming to the rest of Europe during this time. "The Baltic hunter-gatherer genome remains remarkably untouched until the great migrations of the Bronze Age sweep in from the East." The researchers analysed eight ancient genomes - six from Latvia and two from Ukraine - that spanned a time-frame of three and a half thousand years (between 8,300 and 4,800 years ago). This enabled them to start plotting the genetic history of Baltic inhabitants during the Neolithic. DNA was extracted from the petrous area of skulls that had been recovered by archaeologists from some of the region's richest Stone Age cemeteries. The petrous, at the base of the skull, is one of the densest bones in the body, and a prime location for DNA that has suffered the least contamination over millennia.
Friday, February 10, 2017
A Mexican national who has lived in Urbana since 2005, using a stolen identity, has been arraigned on seven federal counts, including four related to voting by an illegal immigrant
Miguel Valencia-Sandoval, 33, who had been using the identity of a Texas man named Ramiro G. Vasquez, pleaded not guilty to the charges before Magistrate Eric Long at U.S. District Court in Urbana. An affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint said that authorities were tipped off to Valencia-Sandoval's real identity in August 2017 when the Piatt County sheriff's office was informed that he had been living under Vasquez's name for about 11 years. Valencia-Sandoval most recently has worked for an Urbana drywall contractor. Recently, Valencia-Sandoval was arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border in Laredo, Texas, when he attempted to re-enter the country with a Texas birth certificate and state of Illinois ID card bearing the name of Ramiro Guerrora Vasquez. During an interview with agents on January 7, 2017 Valencia-Sandoval admitted, according to a federal affidavit, that he was not the true owner of the birth certificate and that in March 2005 he had purchased it from Oscar Guerrero-Vasquez — Ramiro Guerrero-Vasquez's brother — for $50,000. Valencia-Sandoval, also admitted that he did not have Ramiro Guerrero-Vasquez's permission to use his identity; had used the identity to live in Illinois since March 2005; had obtained driver's licenses, bank accounts and loans for vehicles; had opened two restaurants that have since been sold; and had obtained a lawful permanent resident card for his wife. He also acknowledged, the affidavit said, that he is a citizen of Mexico present in the United States without having been legally admitted or paroled. The affidavit also noted that "fingerprint queries" showed that Valencia-Sandoval had twice before been "encountered" by authorities — it didn't say where or when — without having been arrested. The indictment alleges that Valencia-Sandoval made a false statement of U.S. citizenship on a passport application in April 2012. Another charge alleges that he made a false claim of citizenship in order to vote in an election. Two felony charges of aggravated identity theft, one for using Vasquez's identity to get a passport and another for using the identity to vote in an election, were part of the indictment. Lastly, he was charged with three misdemeanor counts of voting in an election by an illegal immigrant, for having voted in general elections in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Asked whether Valencia-Sandoval could be deported, Sharon Paul, the public information officer for the U.S. Attorney's office said, "That's a question for immigration." Valencia-Sandoval faces prison terms of between 10 years and one year for each of the counts, plus fines. Also , a separate indictment charged Salvador Garcia-Lund, 27, with making a false statement of U.S. citizenship and aggravated identity theft in March 2016 on a passport application. He also is charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, an illegal immigrant, on January 4, 2017.
A Mexican woman has been convicted of voter fraud by a Texas jury who also sentenced her to eight years in prison
Prosecutors say that the reason officials at the elections department in Dallas didn’t stop the voter fraud from happening is because Rosa Ortega claimed she was a citizen on her application. Now the Tarrant County D.A.’s office is calling for those claims to be verified before handing out registration cards. Ortega’s attorney said that the mother of four will undoubtedly be deported. Her attorney said that she has a learning disability and was confused about the difference between being a citizen and a legal resident, so she thought she was allowed to vote. “The jury didn’t believe that story. They believed that the defendant knew exactly what she was doing, and they responded accordingly,” Prosecutor Jonathan White said. Prosecutors said whether this case prompts elections officials to verify citizenship is an issue for the legislature. The jury also gave Ortega a $5,000 fine.
A textbook has sparked outrage in India for instructing fourth-graders to suffocate a kitten to show how living beings need air
The experiment described in the environmental science textbook for 9-year-olds tells the students to place two kittens in separate boxes, one of them without air holes, and wait to see the result. The textbook, titled Our Green World, was published by PP Publications, a New Delhi-based publisher of school textbooks. It had been used in hundreds of schools in the Indian capital and the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana since April 2016. The first chapter, titled "Living Things Breathe," reads: "No living thing can live without air for more than a few minutes. You can do an experiment." That experiment? "Take two wooden boxes," the text continues. "Make holes on the lid of one box. Put a small kitten in each box. Close the boxes. After some time open the boxes. What do you see? The kitten inside the box without holes has died."
Thursday, February 9, 2017
The emergence of Irish Travelers as a distinct group occurred long before the Great Famine, a genetic analysis shows. The DNA study also indicates that while Travelers originally descended from the general Irish population, they are now very distinct from it. The findings provide strong evidence that Travelers should receive some form of ethnic status, said Prof Gianpiero Cavalleri, who conducted the study with colleagues at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the University of Edinburgh. “We think this is a nice piece of evidence for that complex debate,” he said. The research group “would be supportive of some form of ethnic status”. Travelers are now as genetically different from the settled Irish as are the Spanish, he said. And if the small Traveler population is taken into account, they are still as different from the Irish as are the Scots. “Travelers cluster with the Irish but they are very definitely distinct from the Irish. There is a considerable genetic distance between them.” The far-reaching study sought to understand the genetic connections between Travelers, the settled Irish and people further afield. It involved looking at the DNA of more than 11,000 people including Travelers, Roma Gypsies, settled Irish, British, Continental Europeans and individuals from the rest of the world. It also sought to set a time for when the Traveler community began to form as a distinct and separate population. Today there are between 29,000 and 40,000 Travelers in Ireland, representing 0.6% of the total population. The DNA analysis allowed the researchers to track when and how quickly Travelers arose. This occurred between eight and 14 generations ago, with the best fit suggesting 12 generations or 360 years ago, said Prof Gianpiero, professor of genetics in the department of molecular and cellular therapeutics. The 12 generations would push the emergence of Travelers back to 1657. This significantly predates the Great Famine of 1845-52, an event long thought to have caused the formation of a migratory community that became the Travelers. The research suggests that Traveler origins may in fact date as far back as 420 years to 1597. The Plantation of Ulster began around that time, with native Irish displaced from the land, perhaps to form a nomadic population. The researchers did not try to connect the emergence of Travelers with any one historical event. “We tried to avoid speculating. You could point to Cromwellian times but it is speculation,” Prof Gianpiero said. They did not however have to speculate about the genetics including an important analysis of the interrelatedness of Travelers, something the researchers say could have implications for disease mapping within Ireland. It is common practice for Travelers to marry first and second cousins, leading to a situation where they have some of the highest rates of duplicated DNA in the world. “The isolation and consanguinity (marrying cousins) have in turn led to an increased prevalence of recessive diseases,” the author’s said. The DNA analysis also revealed that there are four “genetic clusters” or subdivisions within the Traveler community. These in turn tend to match up with their social grouping and use of language. One cluster is associated with the “Rathkeale group” of Travelers. Two other clusters are linked to whether the Traveler speaks the Cant or Gammon dialects of the Traveler language Shelta. The study clearly showed that there was no significant genetic contribution made by Roma Gypsies to Traveler DNA. This disproves a view held by some that the two groups were genetically related. Traveler origins have long been a “source of considerable debate” the authors write. There is also a lack of documentary evidence that reveals the history of the Irish Traveler population.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
A wide-ranging conversation with Charles Murray took an awkward turn when Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol shared his view that white, working-class Americans should be replaced by immigrants. The conversation took place at an American Enterprise Institute event called “It Came Apart: What’s Next for a Fractured Culture,” at which the pundits discussed how Donald Trump’s rise relates to the white working class’s record low levels of labor-force participation, religiosity, and family formation, which Dr. Murray described in his 2012 book Coming Apart: The State of White America. At one point, Dr. Murray explained how, though he never warmed to Donald Trump, the 2016 election did lead him to adopt a restrictionist position on low-skilled immigration. Dr. Kristol replied that he’d “actually sort of gone the opposite way on immigration.” He explained: "Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in?"
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Britain: Almost half of new homes built in the next five years will go to migrants, government figures have revealed
Soaring immigration means that Britain will need to accommodate as many as 243,000 new households each year for the next 22 years, the Department for Communities and Local Government has said. It is been estimated that an extra 5.3 million new properties could be needed to meet the growth in population, and an extra 2.4 million of the new homes will be needed for migrants alone. This means that one new home needs to be built every five minutes to house Britain's burgeoning migrant population.
Monday, February 6, 2017
The U.S. ended 2016 on a familiar trajectory of roughly 2% economic growth, the lackluster trend that has prevailed through most of the current expansion
Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the economy, expanded at an inflation and seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.9% in the fourth quarter. That has made this the slowest expansion since World War II. Growth for all of 2016 clocked in at 1.6%, the slowest since 2011 and down from 2.6% in 2015. That marks the 11th consecutive year that GDP growth failed to reach 3%, the longest period since the Bureau of Economic Analysis began reporting the figure. The fourth quarter also rings out the Obama era with an average annual growth rate of 1.8%, which is right down there with George W. Bush for the lowest among modern Presidents.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
In 2016, African Americans accounted for 30% of the overall organ donation waitlist, and 33% of the kidney list, despite being only 13% of the US population
A black organ recipient doesn't have to have a black donor. But they would be more likely to have successful match - based on certain genetic markers and antibodies - if more black donors were available. The percentage of black Americans who donate organs has risen since 1988, but there is still an outsized need.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Argentina is so used to celebrating immigration as a cornerstone of society that a 19th-century saying — to govern is to populate — remains in use to this day. But in an abrupt shift coinciding with the immigration restrictions put in place by the Trump administration, President Mauricio Macri has issued a decree curbing immigration to Argentina, with his government declaring that newcomers from poorer countries in Latin America bring crime. The measures announced by Macri in recent days made it much easier to deport immigrants and restrict their entry, prompting irate comparisons to President Trump and igniting a fierce debate over immigration. But opinion polls in Argentina showed widespread support for limiting immigration, and some say that the new decree does not go far enough.
Race gaps on the SATs are especially pronounced at the tails of the distribution.among top scorers — those scoring between a 750 and 800 — 60% are Asian and 33% are white, compared to 5% Latino and 2% black
Meanwhile, among those scoring between 300 and 350, 37% are Latino, 35% are black, 21% are white, and 6% are Asian. There are some limitations to the data which may mean that, if anything, the race gap is being understated. The ceiling on the SAT score may, for example, understate Asian achievement. A standardized test with a wider range of scores, the LSAT, offers some evidence on this front. An analysis of the 2013-2014 LSAT finds an average black score of 142 compared to an average white score of 153. This amounts to a black-white achievement gap of 1.06 standard deviations, even higher than that on the SAT. A 2015 research paper from the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley shows that between 1994 and 2011, race has grown more important than class in predicting SAT scores for UC applicants. While it is difficult to extrapolate from such findings to the broader population of SAT test-takers, it is unlikely that the racial achievement gap can be explained away by class differences across race.