Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fully 54% of Israelis say the right to vote should be conditioned on a pledge of allegiance to Israel as a democratic, Jewish and Zionist state

Among Jewish Israelis, the rate rises to 62%. Asked which part of the state's self-definition as "Jewish and democratic" is more important to them, 43% of Israelis said both were equally important, 31% chose "Jewish" and 20% chose "democratic." The breakdown among Jews was similar: 48%, 32% and 17%, respectively. Plus, 33% of Jews said that in the event of war or any other severe crisis, Israel should treat its Arab citizens the way America treated its Japanese citizens during World War II - by putting them in internment camps. Some 70% opposed appointing more Arabs to senior civil service positions and 67% opposed allowing first-degree relatives of Israeli Arabs to immigrate for the sake of family unification. Moreover, 50% of all respondents agreed with the statement that human rights organizations "damage the country."

The Jerusalem District Court has convicted a self-declared rabbi for abusing the eight children of the woman with whom he lived

Recently, four of Rabbi Elior Chen's followers were sentenced to lengthy prison on similar child abuse charges. The child abuse affair was uncovered when one of the children was taken to the hospital unconscious. Once the story became public, Chen fled to Brazil, which extradited him back to Israel. Chen, who called himself a rabbi, told his disciples the abuse was necessary to "purify" the children, all members of one family. As a result, the children were severely beaten, burned, locked in suitcases and forced to eat their own feces, among other acts; one child remains in a coma to this day as a result. One follower, Mascalchi, 25, was convicted of burning the fingers of one child, taping his mouth shut, stuffing him into a suitcase and leaving him there for some time. Another follower, Kugman, 24, was convicted of tying up the children and then beating them. He also held one child to an electric heater, causing burns so severe that the child needed a skin transplant. The mother of the eight children, who remains unnamed, was sentenced in May 2010 to five years in prison after pleading guilty to shaking, burning and tying up her children.

Approximately 86% of Israeli Jews believe any final Knesset decision regarding the country's future political arrangement must be approved by a Jewish majority

More than 62% of Israeli Jewish respondents also said that as long as conflict with the Palestinians continued, the state should not take into account Israeli Arab opinions regarding foreign policy. The study also found that 53% of Israeli Jews believe the state has the right to encourage Arab citizens to emigrate, while 55% said Jewish cities should receive more government resources than Arab communities. The study also revealed that almost half of the Jewish Israelis polled would be bothered to have an Arab neighbor.

Researchers say they may have an explanation as to why African Americans are at an increased risk for heart attacks compared to Caucasians

The answer may be increased levels of non-calcified plaque which consists of buildups of soft deposits deep in the walls of the arteries that are not detected by some cardiac tests. Non-calcified plaque is more vulnerable to rupturing and causing a blood clot, which could lead to a heart attack or other cardiovascular event. "The African Americans and Caucasians we studied had approximately the same amount of plaque in their arteries, but different kinds of plaque," said John W. Nance Jr., M.D., researcher in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences at MUSC. Calcium scoring revealed that calcified plaque was much more prevalent in the coronary arteries of Caucasian patients than in the African Americans (45% vs 26%). Compared with Caucasians, African American patients had a significantly higher prevalence of non-calcified plaque (64% vs 41%), and more of it. The median volume of non-calcified plaque among the African American patients was 2.2 milliliters (mL), compared with 1.4 mL among Caucasians. "This study confirms that the coronary artery disease pathways that lead to acute cardiovascular events are different for Caucasians and African Americans," explained U. Joseph Schoepf, M.D., professor of radiology and medicine and director of cardiovascular imaging at MUSC.

The deindustrialization of Africa

Alex Kurtagic says that Africa needs to be allowed to deindustrialize and to regress to pre-colonial conditions. The nation states created there by the European powers must be allowed to disintegrate, and Africa as a whole must be allowed to re-organize along traditional, tribal lines.

A gay rights activist has criticized Kenya's prime minister for threatening a crackdown on homosexual people

David Kuria from the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya said that Raila Odinga's comments would encourage people to extort money from gay and lesbian people. Recently, Odinga warned that men or women found engaging in homosexual acts would be arrested. He later said he was only saying the constitution bans same-sex weddings. Odinga was heavily involved in campaigning for the new constitution which was passed in a referendum in August 2010. He said rival political leaders had said the new document allowed gay marriages. Homosexual acts are illegal and can be punished by up to 14 years in prison. An MP in neighboring Uganda in 2009 tried to introduce the death penalty for some homosexual acts. In February 2010, five people were arrested near the resort of Mombasa after reports that they were trying to organize a gay wedding.

Just a few years ago, Monterrey was dubbed the safest city in Latin America and the commercial hub of Mexico

Now, it's fallen victim to the lawlessness and violence spreading throughout the country - a cartel battleground where grenade attacks, shootouts and kidnappings dominate headlines. At the prestigious Tecnológico de Monterrey, the escalating violence has led to an exodus of students. Many of the nation's wealthy send their children to the school. They now fear the cartels and other common street thugs will increasingly prey on their children. Two graduate students were killed in March 2010 when they got caught in the crossfire of a shootout between cartels and police just outside the university's gates. Recently, three cartel gunmen were killed when their car exploded after crashing just 200 yards from university dorms. The school has added enhanced security measures, from armed police to cameras. The campus is completely gated, and anyone entering or leaving needs an ID. Alberto Bustani Adem, a top school official, says the university is cognizant of the dangers and understands the fears of parents and students. The university is not sure how many students have been kidnapped in recent months. Parents are scared to talk to the media for fear of reprisals. More than 100 exchange students from the United States have left this semester, Adem says. In September 2010, the State Department issued a travel warning for Monterrey and advised that "the immediate, practical and reliable way to reduce the security risks for all children is to remove them from Monterrey." Adem says the warning had a huge impact. "We practically didn't receive any Americans."

One of a small number of women who have filled a void by becoming police chiefs in violence-torn Mexico has been gunned down

Hermila Garcia, 38, became the top cop in the town of Meoqui only a couple of months ago. Gunmen attacked her as she drove to work by herself, authorities said. Garcia was one of a handful of women who have taken leadership roles in police departments in cities and towns where men have stayed away because of fear. One of the most high-profile women to take such an assignment is 20-year-old Marisol Valles Garcia, a student who became police chief of Praxedis G. Guerrero, also in the state of Chihuahua. Hermila Garcia was a lawyer by profession and was single with no children. Violence in Chihuahua is due to struggles between rival drug cartels over lucrative smuggling routes.

Authorities in the Mexican state of Chihuahua are investigating the discovery of a mass grave holding 18 bodies

The discovery was made after the Mexican military spoke with five men detained for marijuana possession. The men were in possession of 176 kilos (about 387 pounds) of marijuana, authorities said. In the process of the interrogation the army was informed about possible "narco graves" on a ranch in Capricho, about eight kilometers (nearly five miles) south of Palomas, which is across the border from Columbus, New Mexico. The military informed the federal attorney general's office, which was being assisted at the scene by forensic investigators and the Chihuahua state attorney general's office. Authorities are working to determine identities of the bodies and causes of the deaths.


Juarez gang leader admits killings

Monday, November 29, 2010

White Afrikaner novelist's comments about black people spark furious debate in South Africa

An award-winning writer has provoked fierce debate in South Africa after candidly saying that she does not like black people. Annelie Botes, a leading Afrikaner novelist, said she would invite a white, colored (mixed race) or an Indian man in for a drink, but would "feel threatened by a black man". The comments, quoted in South African newspapers, have caused a storm in a country still sensitive about race relations 16 years after the end of apartheid. Botes claims she has received 1,000 supportive emails but there was also widespread condemnation of her views. The row began when Rapport, an Afrikaans paper, asked her to name people she does not like. Her reply: "Black people." Soon after, she was sacked as a columnist for another newspaper. Then South Africa's Mail & Guardian contacted the author, whom it says is probably the most popular contemporary female writer in Afrikaans, the language of the descendants of Dutch and other European settler farmers. Botes recently won the Afrikaans category of the K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary award for her novel, Thula-thula, which tackles child abuse and incest. The 53-year-old stood by her original comments. "I'm scared," she told the paper. "In my daily life there's no one else that I feel threatened by except black people. If a courier comes to my door and he's white, colored or Indian, I'd have no problem inviting him in for a glass of water. But I would feel threatened by a black man." She added that two years ago her laptop, containing a manuscript, was stolen while she was asleep and a neighbor was murdered. "You tell me what the face of crime is in South Africa. If you hear the window shatter and confront the perpetrator, who do you expect that crook to be?" Asked about challenging racial stereotypes, she replied: "I don't have the means to get my head around that of a black man. I can't understand that. As a writer, I write what I see, what I experience and put it into context. It isn't my job to be politically correct."

In 8th grade, only 8% of black males living in large cities performed at or above the proficient level in reading, compared with 33% of white males nationwide

Black males’ SAT reading scores are over 100 points lower than those of white males’.

Israel to crack down on illegal migrant workers

Israel has approved a plan to hold and deport thousands of illegal migrant workers whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as a "threat to the character of the country". In remarks to the cabinet, Netanyahu said thousands of migrants who have entered Israel mainly through Egypt in past years would be housed at a special holding facility, due to built in Israel's southern Negev desert. "We must stop the mass entry of illegal migrant workers because of the very serious threat to the character and future to the state of Israel," he said, adding Israelis who gave them work would face severe fines to make their employment unviable. Established as a Jewish state in 1948, Israel welcomes Jewish newcomers, most of whom receive automatic citizenship, but policies toward non-Jewish migrants are more restrictive. The cabinet approved the plan under which the state would control the migrants' movement until they are deported. Israeli officials have insisted on setting up the camp despite sensitivities over comparisons with Nazi concentration camps where Jews were held and killed. Recently, Israel began work to construct a barrier to seal off part of the border with Egypt's Sinai desert from where many of the migrants enter the Jewish state. The project that includes both a physical barrier and electronic surveillance to secure 140 km of the 250 km border should take over a year to complete at a cost of 1.35 billion shekels (about $370 million), the Defense Ministry said.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

69% of adults prefer that stores use signs that say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”

Only 24% of adults prefer “Happy Holidays” instead. The pro-Christmas preference is especially pronounced amongst 18-29 year olds (71%) and women (71%).

Switzerland voted in a referendum to automatically expel foreigners convicted of crimes

The measure, which was approved by 53% of those voting, highlighted a growing unease with the number of immigrants in Western Europe who arrive from poor countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East to take advantage of the continent's peace, prosperity and generous social protections. The European Union's border patrol force, Frontex, recently deployed international armed guards along a stretch of the Greek-Turkish border that has become a major entry point for illegal Afghan, Iraqi, Iranian and North African immigrants. The richest European countries have large populations of legal and illegal immigrants, more than 20% in Switzerland's case. In another signal of the souring atmosphere, France, host to a large immigrant population that has helped give it Western Europe's largest Muslim community, toughened its laws recently to make it easier to expel illegal arrivals and strip French nationality from recently naturalized citizens convicted of killing a policeman or government official. Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the EU's executive commission in Brussels, said that Europe is facing a populist surge in reaction to the influx of foreigners who are causing rising crime rates and growing burdens on social benefits such as health insurance and education. The referendum in Switzerland was held on an initiative from the ultra-nationalist Swiss People's Party, which also sponsored a vote in 2009 that banned construction of minarets beside mosques. Both proposals were opposed by elected officials in the federal government in Berne but were endorsed by a majority of those voting in the binding referendums.


Claire Berlinski: Ban The Burqa

Male candidates who appear more approachable and female candidates who appear more attractive are more likely to win votes

In particular, men are more likely to vote for attractive female candidates whereas women are more likely to vote for approachable male candidates.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Race and type 1 diabetes

24% of Caucasians die early because of diabetes type 1 long-term complications, compared to 50.6% of African-Americans.

White liberals are crazy

A white liberal has been arrested for saying that he wanted to shoot Obama because “he is not doing enough to help African Americans.”

Ireland and the euro

How the Euro zone caused the Irish financial crisis.


But Who Caused Irish Financial Crisis?

In 2010, there have been 28 gun murders in Toronto - 25 of the victims were black males

In addition, 10 of the 28 victims were still teens. It’s also worth noting that only five of those gun killings have led to charges. There have been 12 arrests in those cases, all black males, many just teenage boys. Part of the problem is that there are so-called role models within the black community telling kids not to snitch.

Somali accused of plotting to bomb Oregon tree-lighting event

A 19-year-old has been arrested in connection with a plot to detonate a vehicle bomb at an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, the Justice Department has announced. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He is a resident of Corvallis, Oregon, and a student at Oregon State University, according to the FBI. Mohamud was arrested by the FBI and Portland Police Bureau after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van that was parked near the tree-lighting ceremony in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square. The arrest was the culmination of a long-term undercover operation during which Mohamud had been monitored closely as his alleged bomb plot developed. According to an arrest warrant affidavit written by an FBI special agent, Mohamud was in e-mail communication in August 2009 with a person believed to be involved in terrorist activities. In December, that person was located in the northwest frontier province of Pakistan. The two communicated regularly, the affidavit states, and using coded language, they discussed the possibility of Mohamud traveling to Pakistan to prepare for violent jihad. Mohamud allegedly told undercover FBI operatives he had been thinking of committing violent jihad since the age of 15. Mohamud also said that he had written articles that were published in Jihad Recollections, an online magazine that advocated violent jihad.


Somali Immigrant in Bomb Plot – Oath Of Citizenship Didn’t Make Him Stop Being A Muslim

Friday, November 26, 2010

New research suggests that criminal behavior could be genetic

A study of young men and women who had been adopted as children found they were up to four and a half more times to have been in trouble with the police if one of their natural parents had a criminal record. The fact that their natural parents are having such a huge effect on their behavior despite having little or no input in their upbringing clearly shows the influence of genetics. The intriguing finding comes from a large-scale study of adoptees. More than 250 young men and women were first questioned when in high school and then periodically interviewed for the next 13 years. When they reached their mid-20s and early-30s, they were asked if their natural parents had any sort of criminal record and if they had ever been in trouble with the law themselves. Young men and women who had a biological parent who had been arrested at some point were up to 4.5 times more likely to have been arrested themselves than those whose natural parents were law-abiding, the Florida State University study found. The influence of genetics did not end there. A jailed biological parent also dramatically raised the risk of the child having spent time in prison or a young offenders institution and the more times the biological parent was in trouble with the law, the more problematic the child was likely to be. Genes implicated in violence anti-social behavior include one called MAO-A which makes an enzyme which breaks down chemicals in the brain linked to aggression. Rogue versions of MAO-A and other similar genes have previously been found to have the strongest effect when paired with a problematic upbringing. Genes are thought to be responsible for 50% to 80% of a person’s propensity towards anti-social behavior.

One in three South African men admit to rape, survey finds

More than one in three South African men questioned in a survey admitted to rape, the latest evidence of South Africa's violent culture. Researchers found that more than three in four men said they had perpetrated violence against women. Nearly nine in 10 men believe that a woman should obey her husband – and almost six in 10 women also agreed with the statement. South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world. In 2009, a survey by the Medical Research Council (MRC) found that 28% of men in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces said they had raped a woman or girl. A new MRC study in Gauteng, the country's wealthiest province, found that 37.4% of men admitted having committed a rape, while 25.3% of women said they had been raped. The survey questioned 511 women and 487 men, of whom 90% were black and 10% white. Some 53.9% of men and 29.8% of women agreed that "a man should have the final say in all family matters", while 37.3% of men and 23.2% of women supported the view that "a woman needs her husband's permission to do paid work". Asked about sexual entitlement in marriage, only 55% of both men and women said they thought "it is possible for a woman to be raped by her husband". Some 38.7% of men and 29.3% of women thought that "a woman cannot refuse to have sex with her husband" and 22.3% of men and 8.8% of women felt that "if a wife does something wrong, her husband has the right to punish her". The survey also found that 32% of men and women agreed that "in any rape case, one would have to question whether the victim is promiscuous", while 20.1% of men and 15.6% of women said that "in some rape cases, women want it to happen".

A 72-year-old African woman in Ghana has been burned to death for being a witch

The woman, who lived in the port city of Tema, near Accra, was set on fire by a group of five adults. Belief in witches is common among both educated and uneducated Ghanaians. Three women and two men have been arrested, aged between 37 and 55. Police say the suspects tortured the woman, Ama Hemmah, until she confessed to being a witch, before dousing her with kerosene and setting her on fire. She died from her injuries the following day. The suspects say that they poured anointing oil on the woman which caught fire as they were trying to drive out an evil spirit. The incident has been condemned by human rights and women's activists. There have been other cases of violence against women accused of being witches, and a government-backed commission has urged religious and civil society groups to help tackle the problem.

A series of recent graffiti messages on school walls in Mexico's most violent city threaten attacks if teachers don't hand over their Christmas bonuses

The ominous warnings have sent a new wave of fear through Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where groups of concerned parents have pulled their children out of class, some schools have been evacuated and authorities say they are stepping up security. Chihuahua state Gov. Cesar Duarte traveled to Juarez to speak out against the threats. Prosecutors have not captured whoever is responsible for the messages. Authorities have created a special team to investigate extortion in Ciudad Juarez, located across the border from El Paso, Texas. But some parents say that does little to calm their fears.

South Asian gang of predators abused and raped up to 100 girls as young as 12

A South Asian gang of sexual predators cruised city streets for girls as young as 12 - usually white - who were then plied with drink and drugs and raped or abused. Up to 100 vulnerable girls may have been groomed, abused or supplied cocaine by married fathers Abid ­Saddique and Mohammed Liaqat, and their friends. A court heard the pair used Liaqat’s BMW saloon to trawl for victims, pulling up alongside girls outside shops or schools and chatting them up before a campaign of calls and texts to groom them. Saddique, 27, and Liaqat, 28, plied the ­victims - most from broken homes - with vodka and cocaine before taking them to ‘parties’ in hotels or flats with other gang members to rape or degrade them. When girls refused their advances they were threatened with hammers or thrown out of cars. Saddique and Liaqat, each British-born and of Pakistani origin with an arranged marriage, face years behind bars after being found guilty of a catalog of ­sexual abuse over an 18-month period. Seven other guilty members of the gang have already been jailed. The inquiry began in late 2008 when Saddique and Liaqat, both fathers-of-one, were arrested for shoplifting and two young girls were discovered with alcohol in their car. The inquiry, called Operation Retriever, is the biggest child sex investigation ever conducted by Derbyshire Police. A total of 75 charges were brought against 13 suspects - all from Derby. Saddique, from Normanton, Derby, was convicted of four rapes, two false imprisonment charges, aiding and abetting rape, three counts of sexual activity with a child, two sexual assaults, being involved with child pornography and attempting to pervert the course of justice. Unemployed Liaqat, of Sinfin, Derby, was convicted of rape, aiding and abetting rape, being involved with child pornography, two sexual assaults, four counts of sexual activity with a child, and affray. Of the other defendants, Akshay Kumar, 38, Faisal Mehmood, 24, Mohamed Imran Rehman, 26, Ziafat Yasin, 31, and Graham Blackham, 26 - a convicted sex offender who was the only non-Asian member of the gang to face a judge - have already been jailed after being convicted of a string of sex or drug offenses. Liaqat’s brother, Naweed, 33, and Farooq Amed, 28, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and were both jailed for 18 months.

A blogger has been released from an Egyptian jail after four years

A blogger who endured a four-year stint in an Egyptian prison for his writings has been released, saying he was jailed for defying convention. Abdel Kareem Nabil - known by his blogger name, Kareem Amer - is a self-proclaimed secularist who was convicted and imprisoned by Egypt for "spreading information disruptive of public order and damaging to the country's reputation," "incitement to hate Islam" and "defaming the president of the republic," according to a statement from the Committee to Protect Journalists. The former law student at Cairo's Al-Azhar University is a critic of conservative Muslims and has accused his school of promoting extremist ideas, calling Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak a "dictator," it said. Nabil was released from prison November 16, 2010. The now famous blogger said he was jailed because he challenged tradition. Nabil had at times been kept in solitary confinement, largely prohibited from communicating with his lawyers until late January 2010, according to an Amnesty International statement. His time in prison has rendered him a cause celebre among bloggers and other advocates of free expression. But the former law student is not the only blogger to be arrested for expressing controversial views in Egypt. In January 2010, police detained Al-Jazeera producer Howayda Taha Matwali after her work on a documentary that examined alleged torture in Egyptian police stations, the statement said. An Egyptian court found Matwali guilty of "harming Egypt's national interest" and "falsely depicting events," sentencing her in absentia to six months in prison, it said. Others, like Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas, say they have faced cyber attacks from state security for years. Abbas blames the Egyptian government for "trying to hack your website, trying to block it, trying to disable your account by sending fake reports that you're posting inappropriate material like they did with my you-tube, with my email, with my facebook." While the internet is among few spaces where Egyptians can express themselves freely, it is far from risk-free. Upon his release, Nabil told reporters that police officers beat him just before he left prison, sending him off with a warning not to blog again.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A mosque and other structures were demolished by bulldozers in a Palestinian village in the West Bank

The Israeli Civil Administration said the demolished structures did not have "the required permits in a fire area, risking the lives of the population." Residents of the village of Khirbet Yarza said they awoke to the sounds of bulldozers as Israeli personnel moved into the area. A mosque, seven metal structures, a tent and three animal sheds were demolished, residents said. The village is home to some 200 Palestinians who largely depend on livestock and farming for their livings. Fathi Khidrat, coordinator of the Jordan Valley solidarity campaign, said that 68 residents in the village were displaced by the demolitions. Israeli authorities also destroyed houses and animal structures in the Palestinian Bedouin village of Abu Al-Ajaj in the Jordan Valley, village residents said.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

African-Americans and young adults disproportionately smoke menthol cigarettes and are less successful when they try to quit

Surveys show that 80% of African-American smokers favor menthols, compared with 22% of whites and 30% of Hispanics.

Mexican convicted of luring women into sex slavery

A Mexican faces life in prison after being convicted of luring 10 women to the US state of Georgia and forcing them into sexual slavery. A federal jury in Atlanta found Amador Cortes-Meza, 36, guilty of 19 counts of sex trafficking and human smuggling. Prosecutors said he had enticed young women and girls to Atlanta from Mexico by promising them jobs and romance. Victims testified he had isolated them from their families, beaten them and threatened to kill relatives in Mexico. Prosecutors said Cortes-Meza would hand the women and girls over to drivers who would transport them throughout the Atlanta area in Georgia, where they would be forced to have sex with often dozens of customers a night. He could face life in prison when he is sentenced.

A Muslim woman has lodged an appeal after she was sentenced to six months in prison for falsely accusing a police officer of forcibly removing her veil

Carnita Matthews, a 46-year-old mother of seven, broke down in tears as Magistrate Robert Rabbidge described her crime as deliberate, malicious and ruthless. "There is not a shadow of doubt in my mind, beyond a reasonable doubt, that she knew that the complaint she was making was false," he told Campbelltown Local Court. "The system would collapse, of course, if people are making false and wrong complaints to authorities." Matthews was charged with one count of making a false complaint against police in August 2010, after signing a statutory declaration claiming an officer forced her to remove her hijab, or face veil. It was made three days after she was pulled over by Senior Constable Paul Fogarty at Woodbine, in Sydney's southwest, for a random breath test on June 7, 2010. A video of the incident, which was played to the court, shows Matthews accusing the officer of being a racist after he handed her a fine for not displaying green P-plates properly. "You look at me and see me wearing this and you couldn't handle it. All cops are racist," she says. The Magistrate said highway patrol police faced an onerous duty in issuing fines to irate members of the public, adding an allegation of racism was serious and could jeopardize a career.

Research shows Latinos tend to get Alzheimer's almost seven years earlier than white Americans

The Alzheimer's Association calls the situation "a looming but unrecognized public health crisis" and predicts that Alzheimer's and related dementias could afflict 1.3 million older Latinos by 2050, up from about 200,000 currently.

Is United State's most influential advocate for Israel about to implode?

A former foreign policy chief for the largest Israeli lobby in the United States is threatening to provide evidence members of the organization regularly trafficked in classified US government information. The claim comes in the midst of an increasingly ugly lawsuit in which parties have alleged or admitted to mass viewing of pornography among senior staffers at AIPAC as well as extra-marital affairs. Steve Rosen, who was in charge of foreign policy issues at AIPAC until 2005, is suing his former employer for $20 million, alleging that AIPAC defamed him when they fired him. Lawyers for AIPAC got Rosen to admit he viewed pornography on work computers, but Rosen has countered that the head of AIPAC and his closest colleagues openly watched porn at work. The former lobbyist also said he had heard from directors at AIPAC about their visits to prostitutes. The lawsuit could well destroy the lobby without ever making its way on to the front page. AIPAC is under siege, and is spending millions to stay alive.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

South Africa’s ruling party intends to pass a draconian media law to bar journalists from reporting on governmental corruption

The ANC has dismissed opposition to the bill as racist, accusing opponents of attempting to advance a “white agenda.” Auguring particularly ill for the future is the fact that ANC’s Youth League is one of the most illiberal bodies in the party. Aside from being among the most enthusiastic supporters of the move to end press freedom, the Youth League is also one of the primary forces driving foreign investors away from the country. Its leader Julius Malema’s signature policy is his demand to nationalize the country’s mines. According to the UN, South Africa has the second highest per capita murder rate in the world. South African sources place the annual murder rate at 23,000. South Africa is the rape capital of the world. In a 1998-2000 UN survey, one in three women said they had been raped in the past year. One in four men admitted that he was a rapist. Carjackings are commonplace. Even more devastating is South Africa’s AIDS epidemic. Nearly 20% of South Africans are infected with the HIV virus. Unprotected by the government, refugees are victimized by xenophobic violence. Countrywide xenophobic riots in 2008 in which some 62 people were reported killed and thousands injured have been followed by sporadic, often murderous violence against foreign refugees. Rather than protect the refugees, the ANC just announced a new visa policy that will likely see the deportation of millions of them.

Police in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro have launched a major operation to try to stop a wave of violence by criminal gangs

For days, suspected gang members have been blocking roads, burning cars and shooting at police stations. Military police have been deployed in 17 different slum districts. Rio's governor says the violence is retaliation by drugs gangs who have been driven out of some areas by a police pacification program. More than 1,000 officers have been taken away from desk jobs to join the surge on the streets, the military police said, and 300 extra motorcycle police are on patrol. Rio de Janeiro's state governor Sergio Cabral has also asked the central government for police reinforcements from outside Rio to keep the main highways open. At least one suspected gang member has been shot dead. More than eight others have been arrested, including four suspects who were found with petrol bombs in the Copacabana beach neighborhood. Armed men have been blocking some of the main roads leading out of Rio, robbing motorists and setting their vehicles on fire. The authorities are convinced that the attacks are being orchestrated by drugs gangs in retaliation for being forced out of their traditional strongholds in some slum districts by police pacification units.

Obama job approval sinks to 39%

Obama's job approval rating as calculated by the Zogby Poll has now sunk to 39%, a new low for his 22-month presidency that began with so much hope and excitement and poll numbers up around 70. A whopping 60% now disapprove of his job. Obama began losing the support of independents in the summer of 2009, as he responded to polls showing voter concerns focused on the economy by staging 59 town hall meetings on health-care. Independents were a crucial part of his coalition win in 2008 but his approval rating with them has now dwindled to 39%. Only 42% of younger voters now approve of Obama. Nearly 7 in 10 likely voters say the country is on the wrong track, rarely a good sign for incumbents.

A Haitian-American actor murdered his mother with a samurai sword

Police say an "Ugly Betty" actor held his mother hostage and then murdered her with a samurai sword while screaming Bible passages in Brooklyn. Neighbors identified the suspect as Haitian-American actor Michael L. Brea, who has had roles on the TV series "Ugly Betty" and movie "Step-Up 3-D." He was also the face of a campaign for the energy drink Coca-Cola: Full Throttle, according to Haiti Internet movie database website BelFim.com. When responding officers arrived, they encountered the mentally disturbed 31-year-old Brea. He was very combative toward the first responders, who had to taser the man in order to subdue him. Brea was transported to Kings County Hospital with a police guard assigned to him. Officers described the crime scene as "extremely bloody" where the victim was discovered and immediately pronounced dead. She was identified as 55-year-old Yannick Brea. Sources close to the investigation said that Brea used a samurai sword to attack his mother, whose body was found badly hacked, decapitated and stabbed multiple times in another room.

Pregnant again, the black mother with five children in care who vows to keep having babies until she gets a council house in Britain

An unemployed black benefits claimant whose five children were all taken into care has vowed to continue having babies until she is granted a council house. Lavine Samma, 27, is now pregnant with her sixth child and fully expects the baby to be taken from her by social services at birth, just like the last three infants. Since 2002, the feckless mother has given birth to three boys and two girls by three different men and doesn't even know who the father is of one. She does not work and rakes in around £600 a month in benefits. But Miss Samma claimed that it was her 'human right as a woman to have children' and vowed to continue falling pregnant until the local authority moved her from her 16th floor inner-city council flat to a 'proper council house'. Samma, who lives in a tower block in Newtown, Birmingham, with Jamaican asylum-seeker boyfriend Damien Sewell, lost her first two children - a girl and a boy - in March 2006, when social services were tipped off that she had been neglecting the elder child, then aged three and a half. Bruises and scratches were discovered on the girl's back and the following year the mother was found guilty of neglect. She was jailed for a year and released on license after six months.

Black, Asian, and Native American children are more likely than white and Hispanic children to die after being treated for neuroblastoma

A new study, of more than 3,500 patients with the pediatric cancer, is the largest ever to look at racial disparities in risk and survival for the most common solid cancer found in young children. The study also found that black and Native American children are more likely to have the high-risk form of the disease and show signs of resistance to modern treatment. Those biological characteristics suggest that genetic factors contribute to the outcome disparities found for neuroblastoma. While 75% of white and Hispanic patients survived five years after diagnosis, only 67% of black patients, 63% of Asian patients, and 39% of Native American patients survived to that point. Black children in the study had a higher prevalence of high-risk disease (57%) compared to white children (44%). Black patients also more frequently displayed individual predictors of high-risk disease, such as older age at diagnosis, stage 4 disease, and unfavorable histology. After two event-free years following diagnosis, black patients with high-risk disease were significantly more likely to suffer a "late-occurring" event than white patients. This observation suggests black patients are more likely to have residual cancer after therapy. Follow-up studies are underway to look for genetic factors that may predispose black children to high-risk forms of neuroblastoma and chemotherapy resistance.

Rape suspects are most frequently black (54.9%) or Hispanic (31.3%) in New York City

White suspects account for (7.4%) of all rape suspects while Asian/Pacific Islanders accounted for (6.3%) of the known rape suspects. Rape arrestees are most frequently black (48.9%) and Hispanic (38.2%). White arrestees (6.8%) and Asian/Pacific Islander arrestees (5.8%) account for the remaining portions of the rape arrestee population. Rape victims are most frequently black (46.0%) or Hispanic (34.2%). White victims account for (15.1%) of all rape victims while Asian/Pacific Islanders account for (4.7%) of all rape victims. So blacks and Hispanics account for about 87% of those arrested for rape; whites about 7%. These data mean that almost all inter-racial rape is black-on-white or Hispanic-on-white. In the United States in 2005, 37,460 white females were sexually assaulted or raped by a black man, while between zero and ten black females were sexually assaulted or raped by a white man. What this means is that every day in the United States, over one hundred white women are raped or sexually assaulted by a black man.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Genes and kidney disease in African-Americans

In African Americans with kidney disease related to hypertension (high blood pressure), a common gene variant is associated with a sharply increased risk of progressive kidney disease. End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) associated with hypertension occurs in the African American population at a rate 13.1 times greater than that of their white counterparts. "We found that individuals with the common genotype were approximately 1.5 times more likely to have progressive kidney disease than those with other genotypes," comments Brad C. Astor, PhD (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore). The variant gene - found in more than half of patients in the study - could contribute to the high rate of ESRD among African Americans. The researchers performed genetic studies to identify variant forms of the gene MYH9 in 706 African Americans with kidney disease related to high blood pressure (hypertensive nephrosclerosis). The patients were drawn from a larger study, the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK). "African Americans are at much higher risk of ESRD compared to white Americans, but the reasons for this discrepancy are unknown," Astor explains. "A genetic variation of the MYH9 gene, common in African Americans, was recently found to be associated with ESRD in individuals without diabetes. We examined the association between this genetic variation and progression of kidney disease in African Americans with hypertensive nephrosclerosis." In the AASK patients, several MYH9 gene variants were related to the risk of decreased kidney function or ESRD. Participants with one MYH9 variant were likely to have other variants as well. The same MYH9 gene variant previously linked to nondiabetic ESRD was also associated with an increased risk of progressive kidney disease in the AASK patients. The risk of death, ESRD, or a significant drop in kidney function was 50% higher than in those without the variant gene. The variant MYH9 gene was very common, present in 55% of the AASK study participants. Its association with progressive kidney disease was independent of age, sex, or treatment for high blood pressure. The same variants are present in many African Americans without kidney disease, however. The results add new evidence linking MYH9 variants to racial differences in kidney disease rates and outcomes.

Gunmen have killed the former governor of the Mexican state of Colima

Silverio Cavazos Ceballos, 41, died in hospital after being shot on the steps of his house in the state capital. Prosecutors are investigating the motive for the attack on Cavazos. Regional politicians, including mayors and governors, are increasingly being targeted by Mexico's drug gangs. A candidate for governor in the north-eastern state of Tamaulipas was killed in June 2010 as he campaigned for election. More than a dozen mayors and mayors-elect have also been murdered in 2010. Cavazos, from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Pri), was hit as he and his wife were leaving their home in the city of Colima. He suffered fatal injuries, while she was also wounded. He had been state governor from 2005 until November 2009.

The Mexican government has advised migrants driving home from the United States for the winter holidays to form convoys for their own protection inside Mexico

They have also been asked to travel only during daylight hours. The interior ministry said the Mexican army could provide escorts to protect convoys from attack by criminal gangs. Mexico's northern border states are experiencing high levels of drug-related violence, making it dangerous to travel on some major highways. Migrants returning from the United States have in the past been targeted for robbery and extortion because they often bring back new cars, cash and other goods. An estimated 12 million Mexicans live in the United States, and the money they send home is Mexico's second-highest source of foreign income after oil exports. The US State Department has also warned its citizens of the danger of attack while driving in northern Mexico.

Mosque developer wants 9/11 money

The developer behind the controversial Islamic community center and mosque planned for Lower Manhattan has requested federal funding through the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to support the project known as Park51. The funding would come from money the Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated to help rebuild the neighborhood after the 9/11 attacks. "Park51 has applied for a Lower Manhattan Development Corporation grant," said Sharif El-Gamal, CEO of SOHO Properties, the developer behind the Islamic center. In a statement, El-Gamal said the money would "in part fund social service programs such as domestic violence programs, Arabic and other foreign language classes, programs and services for homeless veterans, two multi-cultural art exhibits and immigration services." The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation received more than 265 applications seeking more than $175 million for community and cultural programs, though the LMDC has only $17 million of federal funding to allocate.

A Quinnipiac University poll says that American voters by 49% to 43% do not think Obama has earned a second four-year term

The poll found only 39% of men, 34% of whites, 35% of political independents and 38% of those over age 35 think Obama deserves re-election.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The police unit dedicated to investigating violent crime in London's black communities is at risk of being disbanded because of government cuts

Operation Trident, set up to tackle a rise in gun attacks among London's African-Caribbean community, may be merged with other Metropolitan police crime squads following the comprehensive spending review. A high-ranking officer raised that possibility at a meeting of Trident's independent advisory group, a senior police source said. Operation Trident was set up in 1998 in response to the murders of Avril Johnson, a DJ from south London, and Michelle Carby, from east London, who were gunned down in their homes. The killings came amid fears of a wave of gang-related violence linked to crack cocaine trafficking and a more aggressive gun culture. Officers were finding the cases difficult to investigate as fear of reprisals meant witnesses were afraid to come forward, and there was a general distrust of the police. The unit, the first of its kind in Britain, was established to help officers in local police stations investigate shootings and collate intelligence from across the capital on suspected gunmen, firearms suppliers and gun converters. It now has 350 investigative officers and 98 support staff. Since April 2010, it has investigated 224 shootings, including 12 murders. Over the past 12 years, the unit has conducted more than 300 successful investigations, including the conviction in 2004 of Owen Clark, aka Father Fowl – a drug kingpin whose operation, involving crack cocaine and gun crime, stretched from north-west London to the Caribbean. Tactics used by the unit have been reportedly transferred to other cities including Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Liverpool. All police forces are facing a 20% cut in funding following the spending review.

Children in Britain are being taught brutal Sharia law punishments, including how to hack off a criminal’s hand or foot

Isn't diversity great? Wherever Muslims go they always manage to bring their violent ways with them.

James Carville thinks it is great that the United States is becoming less white

He pretty much admits that the only way the Democrats can benefit in future elections is by turning the United States of America into a Third World country.

Black clergyman admits to threesome with his wife and and a male church assistant

A pastor who said Facebook was a 'portal to infidelity' has admitted to having threesome sex with his wife and a male church assistant. The Rev. Cedric Miller's secret past was exposed after he ordered church leaders to delete their Facebook accounts or resign. He blamed the social networking website for causing married couples to have illicit affairs and igniting 'old passions'. The 48-year-old African-American leader of the Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune, New Jersey, confirmed the sex games he played with his wife Kim after his testimony in a court case was revealed. The liaisons often took place at his home during Thursday Bible study meetings and Sundays after church. 'It has come to my attention that a very painful part of my past has resurfaced,' Miller wrote in an e-mail. Miller described the sexual relationship in his evidence at the 2003 criminal trial of his assistant which was eventually dismissed. Miller said his wife had an extramarital affair with a church assistant and that he was present at many of their meetings. And sometimes the assistant's wife was there too, he claimed. Pressed by a defence lawyer to give more detail Miller added: 'We had crossed the line many times, I mean between the four of us. It was just, I mean there was touching, there was … it was crazy, it was as wrong as wrong could get. Yes.' The lawyer asked: 'Okay, it was sex, correct?' 'Yes,'' Miller said. But the minister said the encounters 'came to a crashing halt' when several women in the church accused the assistant of having sex with them. The names of the assistant and his wife were not disclosed, and Miller said that he was concerned that revisiting the incident would 'irreparably' hurt some people. The pastor sparked controversy when he ordered about 50 married church officials to delete their Facebook accounts or quit their leadership positions. He had previously asked married worshippers to share their login information with their spouses - as he does - and said he would leave the site.

An Afghan Christian, detained for months for converting to Christianity from Islam, could face trial and a potential death penalty

Said Musa was arrested by Afghan Interior Ministry intelligence authorities near the German Embassy in Kabul because of the allegations, said Qamaruddin Shenwari, director of the Kabul courts' north zone. The case against Musa has not yet been finalized, said Mohammad Najim Hamidi, director of public security at Zone 3 of the Kabul courts. The Afghan Constitution does not mention converting from one religion to another, so the judge will take Islamic law into account, officials said. "According to Afghanistan's constitution, if there is no clear verdict as to whether an act is criminal or not in the penal code of the Afghan Constitution, then it would be referred to sharia law where the judge has an open hand in reaching a verdict," Shenwari said. Under sharia law, converting from Islam to Christianity is punishable by death.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blacks are about 39 times more likely to attack whites than the reverse

Violent white offenders chose black targets 3% of the time, while violent black offenders chose whites 45% of the time.

The civil war at AIPAC

The Jewish group that likes to undermine the United States in order to help Israel is now at war with itself:
It's getting extremely ugly between AIPAC and AIPAC's former guru, Steve Rosen. Rosen is now suing the organization for terminating him after he was allegedly reviewing classified Pentagon documents, an activity he claims was "common practice at the organization."


It's That Time Again: Free Pollard!

Jewish lawyer admits that Judaism is sexist

Jews like to celebrate the birth of their sons but not their daughters:
And on the topic of having to ask a noted female judge for time off to celebrate the birth of a boy, but not a girl, Epstein minced no words:

“Look, the Jewish religion is sexist. It just is. But I didn’t make the rules!”

Black males and the NAEP

Barely 12% of black male fourth graders nationally and 11% of those living in large central cities performed at or above proficient levels in reading on the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). This is compared with 38% of white males in that grade nationwide, according to a report from the Council of the Great City Schools, a coalition of the nation’s urban school districts. The study also reveals that among eighth graders, only 12% of black males across the country and 10% living in large cities performed at or above proficient in math, compared with 44% of white males in that grade nationwide. The study also states that school-age black males are also more likely to be suspended, be held back a grade, and drop out of school than their white peers. As a study this summer by the Schott Foundation for Public Education pointed out, fewer than half of black males graduate from high school on time — if they graduate at all.


National Crisis: Black Boys Failing

Connecticut and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

In Connecticut, Hispanic students scored 132 on a 300-point scale on the NAEP math test, compared with 165 for white students. That 33 point gap was significantly larger than the national gap of 23 points. The mathematics gap for the state's black 12th-graders, however, was similar to the national gap. In reading, Connecticut's black high school seniors scored 265 on a 500-point scale, 36 points lower than the 301 score for white seniors, a significantly greater margin than the national black-white reading gap of 27 points. The state's Hispanic-white reading gap was about equal to the national gap. In Connecticut, 38% of Asian 12th-graders reported taking calculus, the highest proportion of any ethnic or racial group. They were followed by white students at 21%, blacks 9% and Hispanics 6%.

Reading and diversity

Jake Jacobsen points out that as the number of Latinos in an area increases the number of bookstores tends to go into a decline.

African Americans along with some groups of Hispanics have faster rates of decline in kidney function compared to white Americans

Based on a large nationwide study of heart disease risk factors, researchers analyzed data on nearly 5,200 U.S. adults, all with initially normal kidney function. Two different generalized estimating equations were used to assess changes in kidney function, based on five-year follow-up data. The study compared white, black, Hispanic, and Chinese Americans to look for possible racial/ethnic differences in the aging-related rate of kidney function decline. African Americans demonstrated a faster annual rate of decline. By one equation, decline was about 60% faster for African American versus white participants. Kidney function also declined faster in Hispanic participants, but the effect varied by country of origin. Dominicans had the fastest rate of decline, followed by Puerto Ricans. All other Hispanic subgroups, as well as Chinese Americans, demonstrated a rate of decline in kidney function similar to that of whites. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) disproportionately affects African-Americans and Hispanics.

According to the Office of National Statistics in Britain, 35% of Muslim households have no adult in employment, more than twice the national average

I guess that this is one of the benefits of diversity that liberals are always going on about.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

South African rights groups have expressed shock at a decision to charge a 15-year-old alleged gang-rape victim with having underage sex

The girl was charged with statutory rape along with her alleged rapists, who are aged 14 and 16. The alleged rape happened in a school east of Johannesburg in front of other pupils who filmed the incident on their phones. Prosecutors said rape charges were dropped because of a lack of evidence. However, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it had decided all three could be charged under South Africa's Sexual Offenses Act, which outlaws consensual sex with a minor. The Children's Right Project, a legal advice group at the Western Cape University, said taking the matter to trial would not serve the girl's interests. "There are other ways to handle to matter, the prosecutors are sending a horrific and harmful message to other rape survivors. That causes great concern," the group's Lorenzo Wakefield said. Other groups have accused the NPA of failing the 15-year-old school girl, who was reported to have been drugged with a spiked drink before the alleged rape. South Africa has one of the highest incidences of rape in the world. One woman is raped every 17 seconds, child rights groups say. South Africa has the highest incidence of rape amongst Interpol states with 1 in 4 men admitting to rape and nearly 150 women are raped every day. More than 54,000 cases of rape were reported in 2006.

Race and high school seniors

A national education assessment just released shows that high school seniors have made some improvement in reading, but remain below the achievement levels reached nearly two decades ago. The scores also show that a stubborn achievement gap remains across racial and ethnic groups. There was no significant change in the score or gap in reading for black and or Hispanic students since 1992. White and Asian students both scored higher than they did in 2005. Asian students scored an average of 298 points in reading in 2009, higher than any other group. It was the first time since at least 1992 that a minority group outperformed white students on the test.

More data on race and IQ

New research shows, once again, that Asians have the highest intelligence in the world while sub-Saharan Africans have the lowest:
The highest values for the smart fractions are found in East Asia (1. Singapore IQ 127, 2. South Korea IQ 125, 3. Japan IQ 124, 5. Taiwan IQ 123, 9. Hong Kong IQ 122). A similar result was found in psychometric (average) intelligence or in student assessment studies (see Rindermann, 2007a). Different from the SAS, Scandinavia reaches in the cognitive elite not such a good rank (11. Finland IQ 121, 12. Estonia IQ 121 [the Baltics are added here], 16. Sweden IQ 120, 25. Denmark IQ 118, 34. Latvia IQ 117, 38. Lithuania IQ 116, 39. Iceland IQ 116, 41. Norway IQ 116). Maybe a homogenizing educational policy furthering weaker but disadvantaging high ability pupils leads to a smaller standard deviation and lower values for a gifted subgroup. Better are the traditional Commonwealth countries (5. New Zealand IQ 123, 7. Australia IQ 122 and 8. United Kingdom with IQ 122). They are followed by Western and Eastern European and North American countries, by South European countries, Arab or Muslim and Latin American countries and finally by sub-Saharan countries.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Latinos are genetically predisposed to have increased liver fat when they eat sugar

Research shows that 49% of Latinos have a genetic variation that makes it harder for their livers to break down fat especially when they eat a lot of sugar. When researchers tested more than 300 Latino youths aged 8 to 18 years in the East and Central Los Angeles area they found that a third of the youth had fatty livers. More than 40% of the sugar in the Latino children's diets comes from sugary drinks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tel Aviv rabbinical judge signs anti-foreigner letter

Rabbi Dov Domb, a dayan on the Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court, is one of seven rabbis who signed a letter urging action against people who rent apartments to migrant workers in Bnei Brak's Pardes Katz neighborhood. Unlike civil court judges, the code of ethics for dayanim allows them to speak out on nonlegal issues. The letter urged apartment owners not to rent to foreigners lest they "take upon themselves all the spiritual calamities that will follow." Later, the Bnei Brak municipality announced various measures aimed at getting foreign refugees and labor migrants out of Pardes Katz. Domb was also involved in a case now being investigated by the police in which a developmentally disabled woman was apparently divorced without her knowledge or consent. Judicial ombudsman Tova Strasberg-Cohen, who first examined the case, found that the woman signed the forms she was given without knowing she was signing her own divorce decree, but Domb and the other dayanim on the panel nevertheless approved the divorce that same day. Domb is just one of a long line of rabbis on the state's payroll who have recently made very controversial public statements. Recently, for instance, the chief municipal rabbi of Safed, Shmuel Eliyahu, and 17 other rabbis publicly urged Safed residents not to rent apartments to Arabs. The municipal rabbi of Kiryat Motzkin, David Meir Druckman, also raised a storm when he told a conference of rabbis and right-wing activists at a synagogue in Upper Nazareth, "We need to intimidate the Arabs, so they will flee Upper Nazareth. ... The Arabs must feel as if the Jews have gone mad and it's impossible to live with them. ... The Arabs should be afraid of us, not the reverse." And police are now investigating two other rabbis, Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur, for incitement to racism over their book "Torat Hamelech," which discusses situations in which religious law ostensibly allows the killing of non-Jews.

Only 26% of the public believes Obama will be reelected as president in 2012

Those who say that Obama will not be reelected see the country as headed in the wrong direction by 82%, see the economy as headed in the wrong direction by 81% and overwhelmingly want repeal of the health care law at the top of the agenda.


The Wages of Spin

Palin–”We Know That Obama Wasn’t Vetted…”

Race and prostate cancer

The causes of prostate cancer are not known, and various factors are likely to play a role. Known risk factors include age, ethnic group and family history, with prostate cancer being more common in older men, men from Afro-Caribbean and African descent, and men with a family history of the disease.

82% of drug-zone defendants are black

Of the 551 prosecutions launched under Tennessee's Drug-Free School Zone Act, or DFSZA, since the formation of a joint initiative by the Knoxville Police Department and the Knox County District Attorney General's Office to target repeat offenders, 82% have involved black defendants.

Black Democrat and pornography

Failed South Carolina Senate Democratic candidate Alvin Greene wants a jury to decide whether he is guilty of showing pornographic images to a college student. Greene's lawyer informed the prosecutor his client would not accept a plea deal previously offered, Assistant Solicitor Andrew Rogers said. Greene is facing a felony charge of disseminating obscene images and a misdemeanor count of communicating obscene messages from an incident in 2009 in which he allegedly showed such images to a University of South Carolina student in a dorm's computer lab. Prosecutors had anticipated Greene would accept the deal which would involve him pleading guilty to the misdemeanor charge, which can carry a sentence of 0-3 years, and the felony county would be dropped. Greene shocked the South Carolina political world when he captured the Democratic nomination to run against incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint. He immediately drew criticism from Democrats in the state because the unemployed African-American did not have the apparent financial means to afford the filing fee, and many party veterans in the state questioned whether the political novice was qualified. Right after capturing the nomination the existence of the criminal charges against him emerged prompting state party activists to press him to withdraw from the race. But he refused. Also raising questions were his often meandering answers in several interviews and how he hardly campaigned during the election.

According to a new poll, one third of all Americans have a favorable opinion of Nancy Pelosi, with 52% saying they hold an unfavorable opinion, and 15% unsure

In addition, only 45% of Democrats questioned in the survey say they would prefer Pelosi to serve as House minority leader, with 47% saying they would prefer another Democratic member in the House.


Congressional black caucus withholds support for Pelosi

Monday, November 15, 2010

Low levels of vitamin D doubles the risk of stroke in whites, but not in blacks

African Americans suffer from higher rates of stroke than whites but this apparently has nothing to do with vitamin D.

The majority of Jews are leftists

Anti-Semitism is the result of a combination of biological and political factors.

90.2% of those arrested for murder and 96.7% of those arrested for shooting someone in New York City are black and Hispanic

Black arrestees (53.8%) and Hispanic arrestees (36.4%) account for the majority of murder and non-negligent manslaughter arrestees while white arrestees (7.1%) and Asian/Pacific Islander (2.2%) arrestees account for the remaining portions of the murder and non-negligent manslaughter arrest population. Black arrestees (70.9%) and Hispanic arrestees (25.8%) account for the majority of shooting arrests. White arrestees (2.5%) and Asian/Pacific Islander (0.9%) account for the remaining portion of the shooting arrest population.

Race and American politics

In the South Carolina U.S. Senate race, Democratic candidate Alvin Greene, an unemployed black man who has been living with his father since being kicked out of the military, carried the black vote 80-9.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunscreen and rickets

Middle class children in the south of England are suffering from the '17th century disease' rickets as parents cover them in sunscreen and limit time outside in the sunshine. The disease, caused by low levels of vitamin D generated in the body from sunshine and certain foods, had died out around 80 years ago but is now coming back. Cases of rickets in children have occurred in northern England and Scotland where there are fewer months of the year with sufficient sunshine to obtain enough vitamin D but now doctors are seeing it on the South coast as well. It is thought extensive use of sunscreen, children playing more time on computer games and TV rather than playing outside and a poor diet are to blame. Vitamin D is found in oily fish and eggs, cereals and milk can be fortified with it. The vitamin is vital for the absorption of calcium needed for strong bones and teeth.

A woman from Britain has been killed on honeymoon in South Africa

Police in South Africa have begun a murder hunt after a honeymoon couple from Britain were attacked in a carjacking incident. The couple had apparently been returning from dinner when two armed men stopped their shuttle-service car, forced the driver out and abducted them. An hour later, the 31-year-old husband, a British national, was left unharmed in a township, but the men sped off with his 28-year-old wife – a foreign national living in Britain. Her body was later found on the back seat of the hijacked Volkswagen Sharan in another part of the township. There were unconfirmed reports that she had been shot. The couple, who were married recently, have not been named. South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world, with an average of 46 murders a day.

Nelson Mandela's fugitive son-in-law still wanted for rape

Isaac Kwame Amuah, who is wanted on rape and assault charges in Hartford, Connecticut, has evaded US law enforcement authorities for 17 years. One of his companies, ORS Holdings, is central in a consortium that bought a coal mine in Swaziland from mining giant Xstrata Alloys, in a R500-million deal. Chancellor House is also a member of the consortium, which plans to supply coal to several power plants - placing the ANC as a major player in Eskom's R485-billion expansion program to meet rising demand for electricity. In a previous, controversial deal, Chancellor House invested in Hitachi Power Africa, which won a R38.5-billion contract to supply boilers for Eskom's two new coal-fired power stations. Opposition parties have said that Amuah's political connections and business dealings with the ANC have managed to keep him from being arrested and extradited to the United States. US authorities have issued an extradition request through their embassy in Pretoria. The South African Police Service is aware of the warrant.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Latinos now make up a majority of California's public school students, cracking the 50% barrier for the first time in the state's history

Almost 50.4% of the state's students in the 2009-10 school year identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino, up 1.36% from the previous year. In comparison, 27% of California's 6.2 million students identified themselves as white, 9% as Asian and 7% as black. Students calling themselves Filipino, Pacific Islander, Native American or other total almost 7%. While the result was no surprise to educators, experts say the shift underscores the huge impact Latinos already have on California's politics, economy and school system.

Black politician and his wife have been charged with witness tampering

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson and his wife Leslie have been charged with tampering with a witness in connection with a criminal offense and destruction of evidence in a federal investigation. Each offense carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.


Name That Party: Arrested Prince George’s County Political Couple Rarely ID’d as Dems

Name That Party: Another Criminal Democrat Goes Unidentified by Old Media

Polygyny is highest in the agricultural societies of sub-Saharan Africa and Papua-New Guinea

Peter Frost notes that high-polygyny societies remain simple in large part because intense sexual competition keeps them from evolving into more complex entities. The surplus males stir up endless conflict, if only because war provides them with access to women, i.e., through rape and abduction. There can never be pacification and, therefore, the formation of larger, more advanced societies.

Up to 70% of Amazonian cultures may have believed in the principle of multiple paternity

In these cultures, if the mother had sexual relations with multiple men, people believed that each of the men was, in part, the child's biological father. It was socially acceptable for children to have multiple fathers, and secondary fathers often contributed to their children's upbringing. Sexual promiscuity was normal and acceptable in many traditional South American societies. Married couples typically lived with the wife's family, which increased their sexual freedom. In some Amazonian cultures, it was bad manners for a husband to be jealous of his wife's extramarital partners. It was also considered strange if you did not have multiple sexual partners. Cousins were often preferred partners, so it was especially rude to shun their advances. Women believed that by having multiple sexual partners they gained the benefit of larger gene pools for their children. Women benefited from the system because secondary fathers gave gifts and helped support the child, which has been shown to increase child survival rates. In addition, brutal warfare was common in ancient Amazonia, and should the mother become a widow, her child would still have a father figure.

No Democratic presidential contender has carried a majority of white American voters since LBJ in 1964

Mark Cromer points out that Democrats have lost the white vote throughout the country and only survive because they do so well amongst blacks and Latinos. He also points out that if the GOP wants to survive then they will have to stop the United States from turning into a white-minority nation because of Hispanic immigration. If the United States does not do something about the Third World immigrants coming from Latin America then this country will become like California - a failing state that’s bankrupted itself even as the Democrats successfully groomed an ethnic demographic succored on public programs in a self-perpetuating culture of tax-supported entitlements.

Liberal journalists say that Obama should not seek reelection in 2012

Washington Post writers, Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell, say that Obama should announce immediately that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2012 because he has lost the consent of the governed with the midterm elections being effectively a referendum on the Obama presidency.


The WaPo Shivs The One

Joe Scarborough: Top Senate Dems have told me privately that Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing

Friday, November 12, 2010

White women may be quicker to develop wrinkles after menopause than black women

This may give lighter skinned women yet more reason to protect their skin from sun damage, since that may be a culprit in the earlier signs of aging among white women. It has long been thought that darker skin is likely to be more resistant to the signs of aging than lighter skin, as the melanin in dark skin offers some natural protection against sun damage. But there has been little research into whether there are actual objective racial differences in skin aging. In addition, while skin cells have receptors for estrogen, the extent to which estrogen loss after menopause may contribute to skin aging remains unclear. In a new study, researchers assessed facial wrinkles and skin elasticity in 106 women in their 50s who had gone through menopause within the past few years. The group included 65 white women and 21 African Americans. Wrinkle scores - bestowed by a dermatologist using a standard visual scoring system - were higher among white women, whose average score was nearly double that of black women. In general, however, the women had only mild wrinkling. The researchers also found that among white women, the extent of wrinkling varied with age, but not with time passed since menopause. This, they say, suggests that aging, rather than waning estrogen levels, may be the prime culprit in wrinkle development soon after menopause.

African Americans are more likely to have mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease than Caucasians

Possible reasons for this increased risk are genetic differences as well as higher incidences of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Could the same set of genes that explains why chimpanzees are protected from some diseases also explain why humans have big brains?

The genes in question control a type of white blood cell known as natural killer cells, or NK cells. Humans aren't the only primate with NK cells. Chimpanzees have them as well. But Peter Parham, a professor of cell biology at Stanford University, realized that there must be some key differences between the ways NK cells in chimps and humans behave. "There are a number of fairly major infections that infect humans but don't infect chimpanzees," he says. "HIV is one, malaria seems to be another." Not only do natural killer cells play an important role in preventing disease, they also play a role in controlling blood flow between a mother and her developing fetus. As a pregnancy progresses, blood flow becomes more critical. But there seems to be a trade-off. The kind of NK cells that are good for getting lots of blood to the developing fetus are not as good for dealing with infection, and vice versa. Parham looked closely at the kinds of NK cells most common in humans, and compared them with the NK cells most common among chimpanzees. The chimpanzee system seems to be much more optimized for dealing with infection. The human system, on the other hand, seems to be optimized for getting lots of blood to the developing fetus so our big brains can grow the way they're supposed to. That may have something to do with why we are smarter than chimpanzees. I wonder if differences in NK cells may also explain the variation in human intelligence? In general, tropical populations tend to be less intelligent than non-tropical ones but also seem to be better protected against diseases such as malaria.


"Parasite prevalence and the worldwide distribution of cognitive ability"

Guardian: Lower IQs found in disease-rife countries, scientists claim

Winters Are Good For Your Genes: Lynn Book Finds World Average IQ 90, Declining From North To South

Genes hold key to how well coalitions work

Researchers found that how successfully an individual operates in a group is as much down to having the right genetic make-up as it is to having common cultural ties with fellow group members. After assessing nearly 1000 pairs of adult twins, researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that strong genetic influences have a major influence on how loyal a person feels to their social group. It also has a significant impact on how flexibly they can adapt group membership. Family ties were less influential. Instead factors outside the family such as ethnicity and religion seem to account for the environmental influences that determine how successfully a group will operate. To assess the influence of genetics, scientists asked the twins a series of questions about how important it was for them that people with whom they are affiliated share their religion, ethnicity or race. They found that identical twins – who share all their genes – gave very similar responses, whereas non-identical twins were much more likely to differ in their answers. Interestingly, they found that being part of a strong religious group made subjects less likely to emphasize ethnic and racial influence when deciding with which coalitions they become involved, regardless of genetics. Professor Timothy Bates, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, who led the research, said: "The success of a coalition reflects the genetic make-up of the group members as well as cultural factors such as shared goals, beliefs, and traditions."

A prominent Orthodox rabbi has been convicted of trying to extort millions of dollars from a giant hedge fund

The rabbi, Milton Balkany, known for his access to senators and representatives, was accused of trying to persuade the hedge fund, SAC Capital, into paying to keep information that he said was damaging secret. According to prosecutors, Rabbi Balkany, 64, had been acting as a spiritual adviser to an inmate at the Otisville Federal Correctional Institution in Orange County, N.Y., who told him that SAC Capital, in Connecticut, had used inside information to profit from a series of stock trades. Rabbi Balkany told the firm he would keep the inmate from sharing details of the supposed insider trades with the authorities if the firm handed over $4 million, half of which would go to a Jewish day school he founded in Brooklyn, Bais Yaakov, prosecutors said. Rabbi Balkany was arrested in February 2010, hours after he tried to deposit two checks from the hedge fund, which had been secretly working with the authorities. Rabbi Balkany was found guilty, after a seven-day trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan, of extortion, blackmail, wire fraud and making false statements. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on the wire fraud count alone when he is sentenced on Feb. 18, 2011.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jews will be Jews

FBI investigators have arrested 17 people in New York in connection with a $42.5 million organized fraud against a compensation fund for Holocaust victims. The U.S. Attorney's Office is charging the 17, who include six current and former staff members of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany Claims Conference, which issues payments to Jewish Holocaust victims, with making false financial claims using false documents. The scheme was discovered late in 2009 when Conference officials noticed that several claimants had falsified information to receive pensions from the Hardship Fund, set up by the German government to make one-time payments of $3,600 to Jewish victims of Nazism who emigrated from Soviet bloc countries. In July 2010, the Claims Conference suspended 202 pensions with a total value of $7 million. Since then, it has uncovered suspected fraud in another 456 pensions worth an additional $24.5 million. It also suspects false claims in 4,957 one-time payments under the Hardship Fund, with a total value of $18 million.

Black judge blocks Oklahoma’s sharia ban

Black judges apparently believe that their job is to thwart white voters.

The promiscuous African

In rural Senegal, 48% of men over 40 are polygynous.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Election 2010: Among voters who care about illegal immigration the most, Republicans won 69%-26%

Both John McCain and Christine O'Donnell won the white votes in their states but lost the minority votes.

The failure of a South African school to respond to an alleged gang-rape of a pupil on school grounds has angered rights groups and ministers

The alleged attack, during school hours, was reportedly filmed by three teenage boys on their phones. The Commission for Gender Equality said the school was more worried about upsetting the boys during exams than the rights of the alleged victim. Earlier, the children's minister said she was shocked by the inaction. "The Children's Act requires all people in positions of authority who suspect that child abuse may be taking place to report such incidents, and this includes teachers," Lulu Xingwana, minister for women, children and persons with disabilities, said. South Africa has one of the highest incidences of rape in the world. The alleged attack happened in a school east of Johannesburg. The school girl was allegedly drugged with a spiked drink before the rape. The failure of the school authorities to respond to the allegations was widely reported in the media and has sparked outrage. "The three boys were not arrested as they alleged that they did not want to traumatize the school during the exams," CGE spokesman Javu Baloyi said in a statement. He said the clip of the rape was shown to teachers, who reportedly found it "hilarious". Police said two boys aged 14 and 16 have been arrested in connection with the incident.

A Christian woman has been sentenced to hang in Pakistan after being convicted of blasphemy

Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother-of-five, denies blasphemy and told investigators that she was being persecuted for her faith in a country where Christians face routine harassment and discrimination. Christian groups and human rights campaigners condemned the verdict and called for the blasphemy laws to be repealed. Her supporters say she will now appeal against the sentence handed down in a local court in the town of Sheikhupura, near Lahore, Pakistan.

Only 12% of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38% of white boys

At the same time, only 12% of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44% of white boys. Poverty alone does not seem to explain the differences: poor white boys do just as well as African-American boys who do not live in poverty. A new report shows that black boys on average fall behind from their earliest years. Black mothers have a higher infant mortality rate and black children are twice as likely as whites to live in a home where no parent has a job. In high school, African-American boys drop out at nearly twice the rate of white boys, and their SAT scores are on average 104 points lower. In college, black men represented just 5% of students in 2008. The analysis of results on national tests found that math scores in 2009 for black boys were not much different than those for black girls in Grades 4 and 8, but black boys lagged behind Hispanics of both sexes, and they fell behind white boys by at least 30 points, a gap sometimes interpreted as three academic grades.


Can anyone at the NY Times do math?

A black serial rapist who attacked two women just months after being released from prison has been jailed for life in Britain

Cyril Donovan Brown, 44, was told by Judge Barbara Mensah at Luton Crown Court that he was a dangerous predator. Brown raped two women in August 2010 months after finishing a six-year sentence for another rape. Judge Mensah said he would serve a minimum of 24 years in prison. Prosecutor Isabel Delamere said Brown was violent towards women with whom he formed controlling relationships. He raped them when they did not want to have sex with him, she said. He also had a previous conviction for assaulting another woman who refused to have sex with him. Brown, who claimed he was having affairs with 15 women at the same time, was convicted of eight rapes and three assaults. Judge Mensah said she was passing a life sentence to ensure he would be on license for the rest of his life. She said the earliest he would be able to apply for parole would be after serving 12 years of his sentence.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Six ultra-Orthodox religious leaders sign halachic ruling forbidding locals to rent apartments to Africans in Bnei Brak, Israel

One rabbi describes Sudanese refugees as a "spiritual danger" and that Yeshiva students are afraid to walk in the streets at night.

Islamic death lists in Britain

An Islamic website which influenced a young Muslim to stab a British MP has posted dozens more MPs’ names on a death list with an exhortation to Muslims to follow her example. Revolutionmuslim.com was named by Roshonara Choudhry in her police interviews as one of the sites which radicalized her. Choudhry was sentenced to life imprisonment for attempting to murder the former Labour minister Stephen Timms. The site praises her as a “mujaahidah,” or holy warrior, saying: “We ask Allah to keep her safe and secure, to hasten her release and to reward this heroine immensely.” It published a list of all the MPs who voted for the Iraq war together with an instruction to Muslims to try to kill them, saying: “We ask Allah for her action to inspire Muslims to raise the knife of Jihad against those who voted for the countless rapes, murders, pillages, and torture of Muslim civilians as a direct consequence of their vote.” It also appears to incite further attacks on Timms, publishing details of his constituency surgery times and venues, and even a link which shows readers where they can buy a £15 kitchen knife, similar to the one used by Choudhry, from Tesco Direct. The website adds: “If you want to track an MP, you can find out their personal website after typing their name in this website. In their personal website, you can usually find the time and location of their surgeries where you can encounter them in person.” The site then lists the 139 Conservative MPs that voted for the war and the 244 Labour MPs. It said that no Liberal Democrats voted for the war but added: “They have now formed a coalition government with the Conservatives.” Accompanying the statement is a prayer in Arabic to “destroy your enemy and the enemies of Islam” naming Timms and the judge in the Choudhry case, Jeremy Cooke. The website is hosted in the United States, where the White House has been urged by British ministers to take urgent action against similar sites. Choudhry stabbed Timms twice at one of his surgeries in Beckton, east London, saying she had done so to punish him for voting for the Iraq war.

A gang of South Asian sexual predators have been jailed for abusing white girls as young as 12 in Britain

The five South Asians preyed on their victims over several months and threatened them with violence if they refused their advances. One of the men branded his victim a ‘white bitch’ when she resisted, while a second smirked: ‘I’ve used you and abused you.' The men, all British-born Pakistanis, attacked the four girls in play areas, parks and in the back of their cars, Sheffield Crown Court heard. The girls were abused so frequently that after many months it ‘became a way of life’. The girls, who were being monitored by social services, were eventually rescued by police and removed from their homes amid growing concerns for their safety. Two of the men wept in the dock as they were jailed. The five, Umar Razaq, 24, Razwan Razaq, 30, Zafran Ramzan, 21, Adil Hussain, 20, and Mohsin Khan, 21, were found guilty of a string of sexually related offences against the girls, one aged 12, two aged 13 and one aged 16. Ramzan was found guilty of raping the 16-year-old girl in her own home, and the other four were found guilty of sexual activity with a child. Umar Razaq was jailed for four and a half years, while the judge gave Razwan Razaq 11 years. Ramzan was jailed for nine years, and Hussain and Khan both received four years. All five were placed on the sex offenders register. The attacks took place in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, during 2008, the court was told. Khan, a mortgage adviser who owned a BMW, described his victim as a ‘little stick’ who looked as if she had not reached puberty. During the seven-week trial the jury were told how the men drove around the streets looking for girls. On one occasion Umar Razaq tried to pull the clothes off one of the 13-year-olds. When she resisted he pulled her hair and called her a ‘white bitch’. On another occasion Umar introduced the girl to his brother Razwan who had sex with her in his car. Afterwards he told her: ‘I’ve used you and abused you.’

Somali gangs and prostitution in Minnesota

Twenty-nine people have been indicted in a sex trafficking ring in which Somali gangs in Minneapolis and St. Paul allegedly forced girls under age 14 into prostitution in Minnesota, Tennessee and Ohio, according to a recently unsealed indictment. The 24-count indictment, unsealed in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Tennessee, said one of the gangs' goals was recruiting females under age 18, including some under age 14, and forcing them into prostitution so the defendants could get money, marijuana or liquor. The indictment details several instances in which young Somali or African American girls were taken from place to place and forced to engage in sex acts with multiple people. One girl was under 13 when she was first prostituted. Another girl was 18 when she was raped by multiple men in a hotel room, the indictment said. The indictment claims the ring involved three Minneapolis-based gangs - the Somali Outlaws, the Somali Mafia and the Lady Outlaws - and that all three gangs are connected. The men and women charged were either gang members or associates of the gangs, the indictment said. They range in age from 19 to 38. The indictment says the sex trafficking ring operated for 10 years, with the defendants recruiting young girls to engage in sex acts. Jerry Martin, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, said the defendants traveled back and forth easily between Nashville and St. Paul, and some may have been related. Both cities, as well as Columbus, have large Somali refugee populations. Along with sex trafficking, the indictment charges some of the defendants with conspiring to obstruct the investigation by lying to a federal grand jury. It also alleges some stole a motor vehicle, committed burglaries, and engaged in credit card fraud - causing one credit card company to lose $231,000 over a one-year period.

Black teen beaten to death by other black teens

An 18-year-old beaten and stomped to death at a house party simply walked by his attackers at the wrong time, Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller said. Bobby Tillman, of Douglasville, died before he could be transported to the hospital, Miller said. Four people have been arrested in connection with the teen's death. The four arrested were identified as Quantez Devonta Mallory, Horace Damon Coleman, Emmanuel Benjamin Boykins and Tracen Lamar Franklin. What started out as a small party at a home on Independence Drive ended up with between 60 and 80 people, Miller said. The parents asked the party-goers to leave, and a fight began between two girls outside the home, Miller said. One of the females hit a male, who said he wouldn't hit a girl but would hit the next male that walked by, Miller said. The 5-feet-6 inch, 124 pound Tillman was the next male. Tillman was still breathing as deputies arrived at the scene, Miller said. Deputies administered CPR to the teen, who did not survive.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Supreme Court in Israel backs Jews-only housing in Jaffa neighborhood

The Supreme Court of Israel rejected an appeal opposing the leasing of land in Jaffa's Ajami neighborhood for the exclusive use of members of the religious Zionist community. The appeal was brought by Jaffa residents along with human rights groups, in an effort to challenge a decision by the Israel Lands Administration and the Tel Aviv municipality to lease the land in question to B'Emuna, a company specializing in housing complexes for the religious Zionist community. The Tel Aviv District Court rejected the same appeal earlier in 2010. The petitioners said the decision was discriminatory, because it would exclude anyone other than members of the religious Zionist community from purchasing an apartment in the complex, which is situated in a neighborhood where a majority of the residents are Arab.

Diabetics of Haitian descent may have a tougher time controlling their blood sugar than their African-American and white counterparts

A study looked at blood-sugar control among more than 2,600 diabetes patients who received primary-care treatment. Researchers found that the 715 patients of Haitian descent generally had less control over their blood-sugar levels, as reflected by measurement of a substance in the blood called hemoglobin A1C. Hemoglobin A1C levels are linked with a person's average blood sugar levels over the previous two to three months. On average, Haitian patients' A1C was 8.2%, versus 7.7% among African American patients, and 7.5% among white patients. In general, people with diabetes are advised to keep their A1C levels at or below 7%. Blood-sugar control is key to lowering the risk of long-term diabetes complications like heart disease, kidney failure, vision loss and nerve damage throughout the body. Moreover, nearly 25% of Haitians had an A1C level above 9%, which is considered poor blood-sugar control. That compared with 18% of African Americans and 15% of whites. When the researchers accounted for factors like insurance coverage, doctor visits in the past two years and whether patients spoke English, Haitian patients were still much more likely than African Americans and whites to have an A1C level above 9%.

Researchers found that one in four people carry a gene which appears to predispose them to parsimony

The gene - called COMT - comes in two variants, an 'A' version and a 'G' one. Volunteers for the study were asked to gamble on a computer game in which they could donate their winnings to poor children in Peru. They were then shown an image of a girl called Lina and a bracelet which she had made. The scientists found that the people with the G version gave away all their winnings while those with the A type - dubbed the "mean gene" - gave less than half.

Why do people so often have trouble telling those of a different race apart?

Now psychologists have identified the brain mechanism responsible for this other-race effect. Previous studies have identified the brain region responsible for the phenomenon, but the mechanisms underlying it have been unclear. So researchers showed 24 Caucasian and East Asian volunteers pairs of photos, one after the other. The pictures were either of two different people of the same racial group – either Caucasian or East Asian – or the same person with different facial expressions. At the same time they recorded the volunteers' brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG), which measures electrical activity produced by the firing of neurons in the brain. Normally, showing someone the same face twice generates a similar EEG pattern each time, although the activity levels is lower the second time. Different faces spark different activity patterns. When the volunteers were shown faces of people of a different race to their own, their neurons responded as if they were the same person, whether they were or not. The results were the same whether Caucasian volunteers were looking at East Asian faces or vice versa.