Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Three Orthodox Jewish rabbis have been convicted in New Jersey of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in a scheme to force men to grant divorces to their unhappy wives under Jewish law

Two of the rabbis were convicted as well of attempted kidnapping in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, according to the office of Paul Fishman, U.S. attorney for New Jersey. The case before U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson hinged in part on the testimony of an undercover FBI agent who posed as an Orthodox Jewish wife seeking a divorce. An Orthodox Jewish woman cannot get a religious divorce unless her husband consents through a document known as a "get." Prosecutors said that the rabbis operated a ring that kidnapped or tried to kidnap men and tortured them with beatings and stun guns until they agreed to divorce. Undercover agents recorded meetings in which arrangements were made for the ring to kidnap one husband at a New Jersey warehouse for $60,000, prosecutors said. Rabbis Mendel Epstein, Jay Goldstein and Binyamin Stimler were found guilty of conspiracy to commit kidnapping. The conspiracy charge carries the possible sentence of life in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. Sentencing has been set for July 15, 2015. Goldstein and Stimler also were convicted of attempted kidnapping. The ring operated from 2009 to 2013, prosecutors said. Although a wife can skip seeking a get and settle for a civil divorce, the separation without the husband's consent can result in her being cast out of family and social circles. Experts say such kidnapping schemes are responses to so-called get abuse, in which husbands demand an unreasonably large share of the couple's communal property before granting the divorce. The convictions come about three months after another rabbi, 56-year-old Martin Wolmark, pleaded guilty in the same case to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce to commit extortion. Eight other people also have pleaded guilty in connection to the case, prosecutors said.

African American married men have lower odds of meeting federal physical activity guidelines than white married men, according to a new study

“Other studies indicate African American men are less physically active than white men,” so finding that the difference persists within the bounds of marriage is interesting, but not surprising, said Steven Hooker, who studies physical activity interventions for men in midlife at Arizona State University in Phoenix. For the new study, researchers used data collected from 1999 to 2006 for national health surveys. They divided male respondents into married and unmarried categories and compared the number of minutes per week the men reported doing moderate to vigorous physical activity, household or yard work, and walking or biking for transportation. Of more than 7,000 men surveyed, 71% were white and 29% were African American. Black men were less likely to be physically active than white men, regardless of marital status, write the researchers from Emory University in Atlanta and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. After accounting for age, income, education and other health factors, the researchers found that African American married men were about half as likely to meet the federal guideline of at least 150 minutes of activity per week as were white married men. Unmarried African American men were about 40% less likely to meet the guideline. African American men were more likely to earn less that $35,000 per year and to have a 12th grade or lower education level. The African American men were also 14 years younger than the white men in the study, on average. Married and unmarried white men in the study had similar activity levels, which suggests marriage is not strongly related to activity for men, said Robert W. Jeffery, a professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Boston has the highest percentage of Hispanic children living in very low opportunity neighborhoods of any US metropolitan area, researchers at Brandeis University and Ohio State University found

The area ranked sixth-worst in neighborhood opportunity for African-American children. Nearly six in 10 African-American and Hispanic children in the Boston metropolitan area lived in neighborhoods with very low access to healthy development resources, such as access to health care or a licensed preschool, in 2010. By contrast, fewer than 1 in 10 white children lived in this type of neighborhood, ranking Boston 41st of the studied 71 metros. Opportunity levels for Hispanic and African-American children in the Boston area are akin to Milwaukee and Youngstown, Ohio, metros where higher percentages of children live in poverty, the data showed. For children, Boston is one of the most segregated metros in the country. About 72% of African-American children and 66% of Hispanic children would need to relocate to another neighborhood for their current home to reflect the racial makeup of the larger metro area. “It’s not that these inequities don’t exist in other metros, but one of the places that they are the most dramatic is Boston,” said Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, lead researcher at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Areas with low opportunity scores are peppered throughout the larger Boston metro area, concentrated in the city of Boston, but also in smaller urban communities like Chelsea, Lawrence, and Brockton. Many of these communities are densely populated with African-American and Hispanic children.

Black and Hispanic working families are twice as likely as those headed by whites and Asians to be poor or low-income — a gap that has widened since the recession

Nearly one-third of all working families are either in poverty or earn no more than twice the poverty rate, which is $40,180 a year for a family of three. But 55% of Hispanic families and 49% of black families fall into that category, in part because they have lower levels of educational attainment than whites and Asians, who have just under 1 in 4 working families that are low-income. Nearly half of all low-income working families — and nearly 3 out of 4 low-income black working families — are headed by single parents. Also, more than half of low-income Hispanic families had at least one parent who did not complete high school. By contrast, just 16% of white workers were high school dropouts. Out of the 584,829 working families in New York that were considered low income in 2013, 381,000 (65%) were ethnic minorities. Only 35% (203,000) were white. Black and Hispanic working families in New York share a greater percentage of the low-income working families among minorities. In New York, 51% of the 197,000 Hispanic working families and 39% of the 278,000 black working families have incomes less than 200% of the poverty rate compared with 19% of the 1.08 million white working families. Nationwide, among the 10.6 million low-income working families in America, racial and ethnic minorities constitute 58%, even though they made up only 40% of all working families in the country. Also, 14 million of the 24 million children who live in low-income working families belong to racial or ethnic minorities. Latinos are at risk economically more than others because many of their low-income working families include at least one immigrant parent.

Black gang leader Donald "Amen" Raynor has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for the June 2007 murder of rival gang member Delano Gray

Superior Court Judge Hunchu Kwak called Raynor — a two-time convicted felon with a list of pending serious criminal charges — a "very violent and dangerous man who poses a danger to society," before sentencing him to the maximum term. Raynor's sentencing was the latest chapter in a homicide case that went unsolved for six years before a tip from a prison inmate led to a suspect and the prosecution of others tied to Raynor and the gang's criminal acts. Jurors in March 2015 found Raynor guilty of the June 18, 2007, murder of Gray, 22, during a drive-by shooting on Enfield Street. An earlier trial for Gray's murder ended with a hung jury in September 2014. Gray's case was featured in the state's cold-case playing card project, in which decks of cards are sold to prison inmates with information about unsolved homicides and missing persons cases printed on each card. Raynor was arrested in 2013 after an inmate gave police information about Gray's murder. The investigation of Gray's murder also led to more than a dozen arrests in a drug sweep that targeted a crack cocaine and heroin distribution network involving the Money Green Bedroc gang in Hartford's North End. Police said that Raynor was a leader in the gang. Gray was a member of The Avenue gang, which is also known as The Ave., police said. The gang is based in the Albany Avenue area. Both groups fought over drug turf in the city. Supervisory Assistant State's Attorney Patrick Griffin said that Raynor was both "vicious and cowardly" the day he was out to shoot a rival gang member at random on June 18, 2007, with a .223-caliber Kel-Tec firearm. Raynor was lying down in the back seat of a vehicle when he spotted Gray and fired multiple shots in his direction, Griffin said. Gray tried to run away and was shot in the back. Griffin said that investigators found 15 shell casings from the weapon in the street. Bullets also struck three homes, piercing the back of a sofa in a living room of one home and putting a hole in the wall of a dining room closet in another house on the street. Jose Rivera, Raynor's accomplice in the shooting of Gray, is serving a 42-year prison sentence for a 2011 murder. Eight months later, Griffin said that the same firearm was used in a shooting in Hartford in which multiple shots were fired and another home was struck. Raynor also faces charges in connection with the gang-related shootings of five other people in the city in 2007 and 2008. Court records said that the shootings were in retaliation for the slaying of Raynor's friend, Ezekiel Roberts, at the West Indian Day parade in August 2008. Roberts, who police said was a high-ranking member of the Money Green Bedroc gang, was killed during a violent clash between the feuding gangs at the parade. Four teens and two children under the age of 10 were wounded by the gunfire at the parade.

Immigrant gang crime in Canada

The family of Arun Bains — the first person killed in a recent spate of gun violence in Surrey believed to be linked to gangs — says that he was not a criminal. "Arun was not a criminal. He was not a gang member. He was loved by everyone who knew him," the family said in an emailed statement. "This is an extraordinarily painful time. Arun was the heart of our family." The family described Bains as a "fine young man" who had a "bright future ahead of him." He was the nephew of MLA Harry Bains. Surrey RCMP, however, said that the 22-year-old was known to police. He was shot just before 3 a.m. PT Sunday at 126 Street and 88A Avenue in Surrey. Bains is the first fatality out of 23 gang-related shootings in past six weeks. The RCMP has not confirmed whether this latest shooting is connected to a recent escalation in violence between rival gangs of Somali and South Asian descent in the area, but they did say that they believed this was a targeted shooting. Sue Hammell, the NDP MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, said that Surrey is simply not safe and people living in the areas plagued by recent gunfire are worried and frightened. "You can't have in a community, bullets flying around, and not inevitably have someone killed or hurt that is an innocent bystander," Hammell said.

The Hispanic accused of murdering a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model” was already a known gang member when he was approved for Obama’s amnesty for so-called Dreamers, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has revealed

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency charged with approving amnesty applications, admitted that it broke its own rules in approving the gang member for tentative legal status, agency chief Leon Rodriguez said in a letter to Sen. Charles E. Grassley. “Based on standard procedures and processes in place at the time, the [deferred action] request and related employment authorization should not have been approved,” Rodriguez said in admitting his agency’s catastrophic error in approving Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez. Rodriguez said that Rangel’s immigrant’s status was revoked March 5, 2015 — but that was a month after he’d already been arrested by police and accused of killing Mirjana Puhar, a contestant on the “Top Model” program, and three others. The admissions are a serious black eye for Obama’s amnesty program, which he has insisted would allow generally law-abiding illegal immigrants to live and work without fear, while weeding out serious criminals. USCIS admitted in its letter to Grassley that another 20 immigrants with potential gang ties have also been approved, and officers are now going back and trying to figure out whether rules were broken in those cases as well. Rodriguez said that his officers will also face retraining so they know which applications to deny. But Grassley said that the approvals exposed the holes with the amnesty, which Obama announced in 2012 and which has approved more than 600,000 Dreamers for tentative legal status under his program, officially known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. “It’s no secret that USCIS staff is under intense pressure to approve every DACA application that comes across their desk, and based on this information, it’s clear that adequate protocols are not in place to protect public safety,” Grassley said. “The fact is that this tragedy could have been avoided if the agency had a zero tolerance policy with regard to criminal aliens and gang members.” Puhar, the model contestant that Rangel is accused of killing, was an immigrant herself, having been born in Serbia but fleeing with her family at age 5 after the Kosovo war.

Monday, April 20, 2015

What is Israel's duty to migrants?

The Jewish-owned New York Times is calling on Europe to take in hundreds of thousands of black African immigrants, but it is not calling on Israel to take in any. Why is this? Don't the good Jewish people of Israel have a responsibility to help the poor people of Africa?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Poorer outcomes for African-American women with estrogen-receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer, compared with European-American patients, appears to be due, in part, to a strong survival mechanism within the cancer cells

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center investigators report that breast tumors from African-American patients show reduced sensitivity to tamoxifen, a leading treatment for ER+ breast cancer, caused by increased activation of the "unfolded protein response," or UPR. If UPR is activated due to stress within a cancer cell from anti-cancer treatment, "it can switch on a pro-survival pathway, allowing tumor cells to hunker down and wait out the attack," says the study's lead investigator, Ayesha Shajahan-Haq, PhD, an oncology research assistant professor. "From our gene analyses, we found increased activation of the UPR pro-survival pathway in African-American patients, compared with other patients, along with increased activity of a number of genes associated with that pathway," says Shajahan-Haq. "This can lead to increased resistance to common therapies." About 70% of all breast cancers are ER+, which means that they depend on estrogen to grow. In many of these cancers, treatment involves preventing estrogen from reaching the cancer cell. However, about 50% of treated tumors develop treatment resistance. African-American women with this breast cancer subtype, treated the same way as European-American women, have worse progression-free and overall survival - for reasons that have not been understood. "Our findings offer a partial understanding of racial differences within ER+ breast cancers," Shajahan-Haq says. "We demonstrate both increased resistance to anti-cancer therapy in African-American patients as well as the reason that resistance occurs."

Why is Cystic Fibrosis so common in northwestern Europe?

One possible explanation is that it may have evolved as a response to arsenic and lead poisoning of Iron Age metal workers.

Black-on-black violence: Black South Africans are savagely attacking and threatening black immigrants from other parts of Africa

Liberals will probably just blame this on apartheid like they do with everything else that goes wrong in South Africa.