Thursday, December 30, 2010

Black mother charged in son's oil-and-vinegar death

A black mother who thought her son was possessed by a demon forced him to ingest oil and vinegar three times, then held his mouth shut for 10 minutes. Latisha Lawson says that by then 3-year-old Jezaih King had stopped struggling. Lawson also allegedly forced her daughter Kierra King, 10, to drink the mixture, but the little girl vomited. After Jezaih’s death in November 2009, Lawson, 31, had her daughter pray over his body, then allegedly wrapped it in a blanket and put it in a closet for nearly a year. Police made the gruesome discovery in December 2010.

A Tel Aviv district court has found former Israeli president Moshe Katsav guilty of multiple charges of rape and sexual harassment

The case involved three women - two in the president's office and one in the tourism ministry. In total, the three-judge panel found Katsav guilty of two charges of rape, two charges of forceful sexual harassment and one charge of sexual harassment. Katsav had agreed in 2007 to plead guilty to lesser charges and pay a fine to avoid jail time, but pulled out of the deal when it came time to enter his plea. The plea bargain caused a public storm in Israel, mainly because it did not include charges of rape, contrary to what had been suggested in a draft indictment. Katsav, of the center-right Likud Party, was president of Israel from 2000 to 2007. He was minister of tourism before that. The charges stem from allegations made against him in both jobs. He resigned the presidency in June 2007 because of the sexual assault allegations.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More than half of family households in parts of the District of Columbia and Prince George's County are run by single parents

The section of D.C. across the Anacostia River is home to the biggest percentage of single-parent households, with 65% of family households run by women and 9% run by men. The remaining one-quarter of the roughly 32,000 family households are run by married couples, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. A family household is one in which the head of the house is caring for another family member or adopted member. Experts say in most cases that family member is a child. Other areas in which more than half of families are run by single parents include the remainder of Southeast D.C. and most of Northeast D.C. and areas in Prince George's near the Capital Beltway. That these areas have a high minority population, particularly among blacks and Hispanics, is not a coincidence, said Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "About 70% of black kids are born outside marriage, and then you have those born in a marriage, about half of them end in divorce," he said. "And first-generation Hispanics have a relatively low divorce rate ... but once you get into the second generation that disappears."

Black man confesses to killing woman found in suitcase, authorities say

A black man arrested in connection with the death of 28-year-old Betty Williams, whose body was found in a suitcase, has confessed to bludgeoning her with a frying pan and strangling her with an electrical cord, authorities said. Hassan Malik, 55, was arraigned on one count of second-degree murder, according to Manhattan District Attorney spokeswoman Joan Vollero. Shortly after Williams' body was discovered, police released a surveillance video that showed a man dressed in a dark knit hat and leather jacket, pulling a suitcase that contained Williams' body near a stoop in East Harlem, New York. Malik originally told police that he found Williams dead inside his apartment, but later he recanted the statement and confessed, according to the criminal complaint. The New York Medical Examiner's office said Williams had suffered, among other injuries, blunt force trauma to her head and asphyxiation, the complaint said. Malik was being held on $100,000 bail and could face 25 years to life in prison.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

According to a CNN poll, six in ten oppose the requirement that all Americans get health insurance, with 38% saying they favor the provision

Among Democrats, 54% favor the insurance requirement, but more than six in ten Independents and Republicans oppose it. Women are more likely than men to support that provision, but even among women, 53% oppose it.

A poll shows 44% of Jewish Israelis support rabbis' calls to refrain from renting apartments to Arabs in Safed

Less than half - 48% - of Jews in Israel oppose these calls. The survey shows that 40% of Israel's Jewish population supports a law that would enable small communities to reject new candidates for admission on the grounds of cultural-social "lack of suitability." Again, less than half of Jewish respondents, 48%, oppose such exclusion. A majority of Jews in the country, 55%, support a law that would require people seeking Israeli citizenship to vow loyalty to the Jewish, democratic state; just 27% of Jewish respondents oppose this law.

Asthma severity in black patients is tightly linked to family history and presence of atopy unlike that in white patients

Biologic factors are already known to play a role in asthma severity, and black patients are known to have a greater severity of asthma than white patients, with a four times higher risk for hospitalization and a five times increased risk of mortality. Immunoglobulin (Ig) E levels were associated with asthma severity in black, but not white, subjects. Having two or more family members with asthma more than doubled the likelihood of severe asthma in black patients, while it almost halved the likelihood in whites. Atopy was significantly associated with severe asthma in black, but not white, patients. Conversely, the presence of comorbidities was associated with severe asthma only in white patients.

A letter urging Jewish women not to date non-Jewish men has been published by a group of rabbis' wives

The letter comes on the heels of a rabbis' letter published previously urging Jews not to sell or rent properties to non-Jews. The new letter, signed by 30 rabbis' wives, says, "For your sake, for the sake of future generations, and so you don't undergo horrible suffering, we turn to you with a request, a plea, a prayer. Don't date non-Jews, don't work at places that non-Jews frequent, and don't do national service with non-Jews." The letter was organized by the organization Lehava, which claims to "save daughters of Israel" from what it calls assimilation. Lehava also took part in the recent demonstrations against selling or renting homes to non-Jews. The group operates a shelter for women who leave their Arab partners and educate the public on what it calls the dangers that arise from contact between Jews and Arabs. The organization also called for the boycott of the Gush Etzion branch of the supermarket Rami Levi, where Arab and Jewish workers are on shift side-by-side. Recently, Bentzi Gopstein of Kiryat Arba, the director of Lehava, convinced the wives of important rabbis in the religious Zionist movement to sign on to the letter. Among the signatories were Netzhiya Yosef, wife of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, Esther Lior, wife of Rabbi Dov Lior, Shulamit Melamed of Beit Alon and Starna Druckman of Kiryat Motzkin. The rabbis' wives letter claims to alert its readers to the phenomenon of Arabs who go by Jewish nicknames, claiming that they are kind and gentle until they can isolate a Jewish woman, whereupon they beat and humiliate her and do not allow her to escape. In its attempt to appeal to Jewish women, the letter states that they descend from a noble race of kings, and that dating a non-Jew would thereby cut her off from her Jewish family.

The Mexican border town of Guadalupe has been left with no police force after the last officer was kidnapped

Erika Gandara's house was set on fire by unidentified gunmen before she was abducted, according to the state prosecutor's office. All her colleagues had resigned or were killed in the region's drug war. More than 30,000 people have died in drug-related violence since 2006. Gandara, 28, had patrolled the town of 9,000 inhabitants on her own since June 2010. Guadalupe is about 3 miles from the US border.


Mexico drug cartels increasingly turn to youths to do bloody work

A black female pastor was caught breaking into the home of one of her parishioners on Christmas Eve

A black female pastor in Texas was caught breaking into a parishioner's home and hauling away thousands of dollars worth of luxury goods and electronics. Sandy McGriff, a pastor at the Church of the Living God in Dallas, was arrested after police caught her loading her black Jaguar with $10,000 worth of fur coats, purses and laptop equipment from Serita Agnew's home on Christmas Eve. Agnew, who was not at home, told police that McGriff called her before the break-in, and a short time later, a neighbor spotted the 52-year-old preacher break a window at Agnew's house and climb in using a 5-gallon bucket as a boost. Police arrived at the house with guns drawn and arrested McGriff, who resisted arrest and gave them a phony name, Kathy Robinson. Cops said she wasn't sober. The pastor acknowledged the name was a fake one she used during her troubled past, which included a stint working as a prostitute in the 1970s.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Politically correct stupidity in British Columbia

A Canadian judge has thrown out the evidence against an Asian man stopped with 57 marijuana plants in his trunk after ruling he had been a victim of racial profiling. Zai Chong Huang was pulled over in January 2009 as he traveled along a road in 100 Mile House, B.C., about 430 kilometers northeast of Vancouver. A search of his truck turned up the potted plants, a timer, a bottle of liquid fertilizer and 150 empty plant pots, and Huang was charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. The officer, identified in court documents only as Const. Berze, said he'd pulled Huang over for swerving twice in his own lane. However, after reviewing circumstantial evidence, Provincial Court Judge Elizabeth Bayliff decided Berze did so only because of his own prejudice against Asian people. Around the same time Berze pulled Huang over, Berze's colleague, Const. Manseau, stopped another Asian man, whose vehicle also contained marijuana plants, a few kilometers behind. That man turned out to be Huang's twin brother, Zai Qing.

Residents of majority-black Prince George's County are much more likely to be saddled with high-interest home loans

This places them at greater risk of financial distress and foreclosure. About 43% of Prince George's County residents who refinanced their homes in 2005 received high-cost loans, compared with 24% of homeowners region-wide, according to Federal Reserve data. Similarly, 43% of people buying homes in the county in 2005 financed their purchases with high-cost loans, compared with 20% regionally. People pay more for loans if they have poor credit, large student loans or want to make a lower down payment. Overspending or paying bills late can also hurt people's credit. Prince George's County has the highest foreclosure levels in Maryland. In addition, Prince George's public schools remain among the worst-performing in Maryland, and the number of homicides, robberies and car thefts rank near the top in the state.

Poll shows that 60% of likely voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the national health care law

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 49% strongly favor repeal of the plan. Thirty-eight percent (38%) oppose the law’s repeal, including 29% who strongly oppose repeal. Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters now say the law will be bad for the country. Thirty-six percent (36%) say the plan will be good for the country. Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters nationwide believe the law will cause health care costs to go up. Only 17% now expect costs to go down while the same number (17%) says costs will stay about the same. Just over half (53%) say the quality of health care will decrease under the new law. Twenty-two percent (22%) expect health care quality to increase under the law, while 21% say it will stay about the same. Fifty-seven percent (57%) say the law will increase the federal deficit, while only 17% expect the plan to reduce the deficit. Another 16% says it will have no impact.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Black man tries to rob a restaurant with an iPhone

Police said Jerome Taylor, 20, wore a mask as he entered the Northern Indian restaurant. He pulled what the cooks thought was a gun and demanded money, according to police. But the cooks grabbed knives and said they weren't handing anything over. At that point, Taylor became apologetic and told the cooks he was only kidding and that he needed money for his child, police said. Taylor was gone by the time police arrived, but they caught up with him a short time later. Officers said Taylor confessed to the crime, but told them he didn't have a gun, but used an iPhone. The police arrested Taylor and charged him with attempted robbery and interfering with an officer. Taylor told police a relative was looking after the child. Officers were checking up on his story to make sure the child wasn't in danger.

A young, female suicide bomber was behind a blast in Pakistan that killed at least 46 people and injured 105 others at a food distribution point

Zakir Hussain Afridi, the top government official in Bajaur Agency, Pakistan, said that the preliminary investigation into the explosion shows that a woman between the ages of 16 and 18 blew herself up. The determination was made from remains of the bomber that were recovered. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the Christmas day blast in that Asian nation's tribal region. Azam Tariq, the central spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said that it targeted people who had formed what he called a pro-government and anti-Taliban group. The blast took place about 600 meters from a U.N. World Food Program distribution point at a security checkpoint in Khar, according to Amjad Jamal, a spokesman for the agency. He said that more than 300 people were going through a security screening to get food and other items at the time of the explosion. The suicide bomber was in a burqa, a traditional full-body covering worn by some Muslim women. She was stopped for a security check at a checkpoint, where she detonated herself.

The war against Christmas in Israel

Kevin MacDonald writes about a group of rabbis who are openly hostile to all things Christian in Israel.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Vitamin D metabolism differs by ethnicity

For risk of atherosclerosis, the optimal range is lower among African Americans than among European Americans. A sample of African Americans showed a positive correlation between calcified plaque formation and blood levels of vitamin D (25(OH)D), despite a negative correlation among European Americans over the same range. Another study of African Americans found that blood levels of 25(OH)D decreased linearly with increasing African ancestry, the decrease being 2.5-2.75 nmol/L per 10% increase in African ancestry. Sunlight and diet were 46% less effective in raising these levels among subjects with high African ancestry than among those with low/medium African ancestry.

Dutch authorities have arrested 12 Muslim men of Somali origin they believe were about to carry out a terrorist attack

The country's intelligence service provided information that led to the arrests in Rotterdam, Public Prosecution Service spokesman Wim de Bruin said. "The attack was said to be imminent so the national police started an investigation which led to the arrest of 12 Somalis later on Friday in Rotterdam," de Bruin said. The men, between ages 19 and 48, were arrested in various locations. Police have searched a pawn shop, four homes and two hotel rooms, de Bruin said. Six of the suspects live in Rotterdam and one is from Denmark. Some are Dutch citizens. They all are of Somali origin, de Bruin said. War-torn Somalia has a virtually powerless central government and is home to several militant groups, including Al-Shabaab, which controls much of the country. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including a series of bombs that tore through an Ethiopian restaurant and a rugby center in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. Officials said the July 11 2010 blasts, which killed 79 people, were probably set off by suicide bombers. The United States in 2010 charged several people with trying to funnel money or otherwise assist Somali extremists. Al-Shabaab has been linked to al Qaeda. The Netherlands is concerned about Islamic terrorist threats to Western countries such as the recent suicide bombing in Stockholm, Sweden. The Netherlands is seeing more jihadist threats from Somalia and Yemen. There are several cases of Dutch citizens trying to travel to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab, including four arrested in 2009 in Kenya. The arrests in the Netherlands followed an unrelated sweep recently in Britain. An operation led by the British intelligence service, MI5, resulted in arrests of 12 South Asian suspects ranging in age from 17 to 28 in the cities of London, Stoke and Birmingham, England, as well as Cardiff, Wales.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

1 in 3 British Muslim students back killing for Islam and 40% want Sharia law

Around a third of young British Muslims favor killing in the name of Islam, according to a survey revealed by the WikiLeaks' publication of U.S. diplomatic cables. A survey of 600 Muslim students at 30 universities throughout Britain found that 32% of Muslim respondents believed killing in the name of religion is justified. A U.S. diplomatic cable from January 2009 quoted a poll by the Center for Social Cohesion as saying 54% wanted a Muslim party to represent their world view in Parliament and 40% want Muslims in Britain to be under Sharia law. The survey results, revealed by WikiLeaks' release of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, suggests increasing radicalization among Britain's young Muslims. The Muslim community in Britain has grown to more than 2 million and unemployment rates are higher among Muslim men and women than in any other religion. Muslims were also found to have the highest disability rates - with 24% of men and 21% of women claiming a disability - while the cable also cited statistics claiming Muslims were also the most likely group in Britain to be unavailable for work or not actively seeking employment.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Black people with early stage liver cancer are more likely than white patients to die from their disease

Five years after diagnosis, 18% of white liver cancer patients were alive but only 15% of Hispanic patients and 12% of black patients were. Median survival times ranged from 10 months for whites and Hispanics to 8 months for blacks.

Black 17 year olds are on average four years behind white 17 year olds in reading ability and math ability

This means that the average black 17 year old reads and does math as well as the average white 13 year old.

Angry Haitian mobs have lynched at least 45 people recently accusing them of spreading a cholera outbreak that has killed over 2,500 people

The number included at least 14 suspected sorcerers previously known to have been lynched in the far southwestern region of Grand'Anse as local people feared they were spreading cholera with a magical substance. "We have counted 40 people dead in Grand'Anse department alone, where people are attacking natural healers they accuse of cholera-linked witchcraft," said communications ministry official Moise Fritz Evens. Five other people were killed in similar circumstances elsewhere in the country. "The victims - most of them voodoo priests - were stoned or hacked with machetes before being burned in the street," added the official, who was presenting the results of an investigation conducted in Grand'Anse earlier in December 2010. The first lynching cases date back to late November 2010, when mobs hacked or stoned to death their victims. About half of Haiti's population is believed to practice the voodoo religion in some form, though many are thought to also follow other religious beliefs at the same time. Sorcery and spiritual magic have been incorporated into some of the beliefs. Voodoo evolved out of the beliefs that slaves from West Africa brought with them to Haiti. It is now deeply rooted in Haitian culture.

Rape victims fear being jailed in the African Muslim nation of Mauritania

There is no law in Mauritania that defines rape. According to a local U.N.-funded group working with the victims, the law criminalizes the women instead of their rapists - and society ostracizes the women. Mauritanian laws are based on Sharia law and the penal code forbids relationships between both sexes outside marriage. That includes a consensual relationship between a boyfriend and girlfriend but can also criminalize a woman who is forced to have sex. Sidi Athman Ould Sidi Salem, a law specialist and legal adviser to the government, said: "If raped women don't bring strong evidence, which is not easy, they would be accused of Zina - an Arabic word meaning sex out of marriage - and end up in jail. It's because the victims of rape are always accused of a Zina which make a lot of problems."

Blacks have bad credit histories

The Obama administration accuses employers who use credit histories in their hiring practices of discriminating against black job applicants.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam

A report by The Education Trust found that 23% of recent high school graduates don't get the minimum score needed on the enlistment test to join any branch of the military. The military exam results are also worrisome because the test is given to a limited pool of people: Pentagon data shows that 75% of those aged 17 to 24 don't even qualify to take the test because they are physically unfit, have a criminal record or didn't graduate high school. The study shows wide disparities in scores among white and minority students, similar to racial gaps on other standardized tests. Nearly 40% of black students and 30% of Hispanics don't pass, compared with 16% of whites. The average score for blacks is 38 and for Hispanics is 44, compared to whites' average score of 55.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Harry Potter star was beaten and threatened with death after she met a young man who was not a Muslim

Victim Afshan Azad, 22, played Padma Patil, a classmate of the teenage wizard, in the Hollywood films based on the children's books by JK Rowling. She was assaulted and branded a "prostitute" after meeting a young Hindu man, a relationship which brought anger from her father, Abul Azad, 53, and brother, Ashraf, 28, Manchester Crown Court heard. The frightened actress later fled through her bedroom window after threats were made to kill her. But despite attempts to get her to come to court for the trial of her father and brother, Miss Azad would not attend voluntarily, the court was told. Both men were charged with making threats to kill her and her brother was also charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm on his sister. Instead of both going on trial, the prosecution decided to accept a guilty plea of assault by her brother, and both men were formally found not guilty of making threats to kill. Her father accepted to be bound over to keep the peace for 12 months. Richard Vardon QC, prosecuting, told the court: "The incident took place on Saturday 21st of May at the home address of the family on Beresford Road in Longsight, Manchester. The prosecution allegation in essence is she was the victim of a wholly unnecessary and unpleasant assault by her brother. The reason for the assault, apparently her association with a Hindu young man, that apparently being disapproved of by her family who are Muslim. Specifically she spoke not only of assault but also threats to kill, made jointly by her father and brother."


Harry Potter Muslim Actress Beaten By Brother; Flees Home After Family Threatens to Kill Her For Dating Hindu Boy

Two people have been arrested after the death of a Bangladeshi woman who was publicly caned for allegedly having an affair with her stepson, police say

A group of village elders and clerics sentenced Sufia Begum under Sharia law to 40 lashes for adultery. The 40-year-old died of her injuries almost a month after the beating in Rajshahi district, her family says. Two people, including a woman who allegedly took part in the beating, have been arrested. Police say they are looking for four others. "According to the information we've received, village elders tied 10 canes together and beat her four times," Masud Parvez, an investigating police officer, said. Begum was admitted to a hospital in Rajshahi, a city in the district of the same name, with severe injuries a week after the beating, which took place in November 2010 in a village in the north-west of the country. Nearly 90% of Bangladesh's estimated 160 million population are Muslims.

Some 200 people held a demonstration in central Bat Yam against relationships between local Jewish women and Arab men

One of the protesters called out, "Any Jewish woman who goes with an Arab should be killed; any Jew who sells his home to an Arab should be killed." During the rally, held under the banner, "We Want a Jewish Bat-Yam", demonstrators also insulted the prophet Muhammad and made racist remarks against Arabs and their saints. Police did not act when the demonstrators made racist remarks. "We are not racist, we are just Jews. The Arabs are coming and taking our daughters. We will not allow it," one of the speakers said. Moshe Ben-Zikri of Eilat said the "struggle" began in Givat Ze'ev. "There were 330 Arab families there, and the Jewish women would walk around with them freely. We vowed this would not happen again. Just like we triumphed there, we will triumph in Bat Yam as well. We are not afraid of the police, the media or the Arabs – we only fear God," he said. One of the event's organizers, Bentzi Gupstein said, "So many Arabs are dating Jewish women, and the public is fed up with it."


Right-wing activists rally to 'keep Bat Yam Jewish' by kicking Arabs out

PISA reading scores for 2009

Every three years, the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] announces the results of its Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). These are tests of school achievement for 15-year-olds in the 34 OECD countries, plus 31 other countries or regions. In 2009, in reading, out of a total of 600, Asian-Americans scored 541, white Americans scored 525, Hispanic-Americans scored 466 and African-Americans scored 441.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On the day of the funeral of a prominent social activist in Chihuahua, Mexico, a business she had ties with was burned down by a group of armed men

A four-alarm fire was reported at the lumber yard belonging to the boyfriend of activist Marisela Escobedo in Ciudad Juarez. Witnesses said gunmen doused the building with gasoline minutes before the blaze started. Escobedo was killed outside of the state capitol in Chihuahua City while trying to collect signatures, said Carlos Gonzalez, spokesman for the Chihuahua state attorney general's office. Manuel Monge, Escobedo's boyfriend, was at the funeral at the time of the incident, but his 37-year-old brother, who was at the business, was kidnapped, witnesses said. Like many businesses, the lumber yard was the victim of extortion and when he failed to pay, it was burned, Gonzalez said. Local activists say criminals are targeting the Escobedo family - and activists like her - for spending the past two years seeking justice for the killing of their daughter.

Islamic religious ritual believed to be behind death of girl who was found with her heart cut out and other organs strewn round home

Neighbors of a mother arrested after her four-year-old daughter was killed as an apparent religious offering told how they heard screams from the family's flat. Nusayba Bharuchi's corpse was found stabbed to death in the kitchen with her heart and other organs cut out and strewn around her home and lying next to her mother, Shayna. The 35-year-old woman was allegedly chanting verses of the Koran as her daughter's disemboweled corpse lay next to her in the home in Clapton, East London. The woman, believed to be from Somalia, had her MP3 on full blast as she listened to the Muslim holy book.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Hispanic couple schemed to kill a mother and her steal baby

A California county sheriff said a couple executed a cold, calculating plan to lure a mother to their home, strangle her and then run off with her baby. Merced County sheriff's deputies have arrested Teresa Ceja Robles, 33, and her husband, Jose Augustine Velarde, 37, and charged them with murder in the killing of Ana Lila Diaz DeCeja inside their Planada house. The victim's infant boy was reunited with his surviving family members including his father and grandmother - nine days after being abandoned in frigid conditions on a stranger's front stoop. Sheriff Mark Pazin said that the pair killed the 26-year-old woman because they wanted to have her 2-month-old boy, a desire that began after Diaz let Robles hold the baby in a medical clinic shortly after his birth. Pazin said Robles and Velarde got Diaz to come over to their house, where the mother was "immediately attacked by the husband, savagely strangled ... and lit on fire to hide the evidence." A charred body, identified using dental records as that of Diaz, was found later that day in an almond orchard in Snelling, less than a 30-mile drive to the north.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Mexican woman who was campaigning for justice for her murdered teenage daughter has herself been killed

Marisela Escobedo was shot dead by masked gunmen outside the state governor's office in Chihuahua in northern Mexico, prosecutors said. She had been protesting against the release of the man accused of murdering her daughter in Ciudad Juarez in 2008. Governor Cesar Duarte said he had no doubt the killing was an act of revenge by the alleged murderer. He said he would seek to have the judges who released him removed from their posts. Escobedo, 52, was shot in the head at close range by one of three masked men who approached her as she was protesting. She died in hospital. She had protested in Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez since April 2010, when judges released the man suspected of killing her 17-year-old daughter Rubi, saying there was not enough evidence to convict him. Rubi's dismembered and burned body was found dumped in Ciudad Juarez in 2008. The suspect, her boyfriend, joined the Zetas drug cartel after his release, Escobeda alleged in a newspaper interview. Chihuahua state governor Cesar Duarte said the case filled him with "indignation". "He confessed, he accepted guilt, and he revealed where the remains of Marisela's daughter's body could be found," the governor said. "That's why nobody can understand the irresponsibility of these judges who gave freedom to someone who is such a danger to society." The governor said he would ask the state congress to sack the judges concerned. Ciudad Juarez is Mexico's most violent city with more than 3,000 killings so far in 2010 most of them linked to drug-trafficking gangs. The city is also notorious for the murder of hundreds of women over the past two decades. Most of the victims were young and poor, and many were sexually assaulted before they were killed. Few of the killers have ever been brought to justice.

Indian actor Shelley Malil has been convicted for repeatedly stabbing his former girlfriend

San Diego, California, County Superior Court Judge Harry Elias sentenced Malil to life in prison with the possibility of parole. He was charged in August 2008 in North County, California, with repeatedly stabbing Kendra Beebe. Two years later, a California jury found Malil guilty of premeditated attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He was found not guilty of burglary. The victim urged the judge to prosecute Malil to the fullest extent, saying she was fortunate to have survived his attack. "I stand before the defendant today alive, despite plunging a butcher knife into my body 23 times in an attempt to murder me. I am here," Kendra Beebe said.

A black woman who falsely accused 3 Duke University lacrosse players of rape has been found guilty of child abuse and damaging property

A Durham County jury has convicted 32-year-old Crystal Mangum of contributing to child abuse or neglect, injury to personal property, and resisting a public officer stemming from a confrontation with her live-in boyfriend. Mangum was sentenced to time already served before she was released on bail earlier in 2010. The jury deadlocked 9-3 on a felony arson charge, and Superior Court Judge Abraham Jones declared a mistrial. Police said Mangum piled her boyfriend's clothing into a bathtub and set it on fire while her three children and two police officers were inside the apartment.

In the April-May-June 2010 quarter, foreign-born workers in the United States gained 656,000 jobs while native-born Americans lost 1.2 million

From July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010, foreign-born Hispanics gained 98,000 construction jobs. Native-born Hispanics lost 133,000. Black and white U.S. construction workers lost 511,000 jobs. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, from Jan. 1, 2000, to Jan. 1, 2010, 13.1 million immigrants, legal and illegal, entered the United States, a decade in which America lost 1 million jobs. From 2008 and 2009, the figures are startling. In 24 months, 2.4 million immigrants, legal and illegal, arrived, as U.S. citizens were losing 8.6 million jobs. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, each year between 300,000 and 400,000 "anchor babies" are born to illegal aliens. These newborns are entitled to citizenship, free health care and education, welfare and food stamps. Their parents — almost all are poor or working class — rarely pay any state or federal income tax. Again, according to the Pew Center, the number of anchor babies here now is about 4 million. Add to that 3 million to 4 million born each decade, and it will not be long before Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and Texas resemble California, which is on the brink of default.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Most voters don’t believe Barack Obama will win reelection, or that he deserves to, according to a new poll

Just 29% of the registered voters surveyed by Fox News and Opinion Dynamics said they believed Obama would win in 2012; 64% said they expected him to lose. Views of Obama’s ability to get reelected broke down along party lines, with 49% of Democrats and 10% of Republicans saying Obama would win.


Right Direction or Wrong Track: 23% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Anti-Catholicism at the New York Times

The Jewish newspaper likes to blame Catholics as much as possible.


Wish ACLU-TN’s Christmas-wrecking Hedy Weinberg Happy…Something

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 81% of illegal immigrants come from Latin America with another 4% from Africa

Just 4% are from Europe or Canada - and not all of those are white. Researchers at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania who have been studying the achievement of minority students at 28 selective colleges and universities (including theirs, as well as Yale, Columbia, Duke and the University of California at Berkeley), found that 41% of the black students identified themselves as immigrants, as children of immigrants or as mixed race.

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has made history as its homicide rate reached 3,000 deaths for 2010

The year 2010 is now the deadliest that Juarez has ever seen, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state attorney general's office said.

A new ABC-Washington Post poll shows that ObamaCare has fallen to its lowest popularity yet

Overall, 52% of those polled oppose the radical changes to the health care system, while only 43% are supportive of those changes. Among the general public, the poll found that 68% were supportive of a repeal of the individual mandate. The poll also showed that 70% held an unfavorable view of the requirement that everyone carry insurance, including 52% who had strongly unfavorable opinions.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Israel has deported 150 Sudanese migrants who entered the country illegally in search of work

They were flown out and were returning home via a third country, an Israeli official said. The UN refugee agency has confirmed the operation. Israel recently stepped up efforts to stop Africans from entering illegally across its southern border with Egypt. The Israeli official said some 200 Sudanese had been flown out of the country in recent months. The official said no further details were being given because of concern about the migrants' safety once they returned to Sudan. The Israeli government estimates that over the past five years, more than 30,000 Africans have entered illegally via the country's southern border. Israel says the migrants - from Sudan, Eritrea and other countries - come mainly in search of work, and are threatening local jobs. The government has been building a barrier along the Egyptian border to try to stop people from crossing it illegally, and it has also approved plans to set up a special facility to house those who are detained.

Sudan police arrest women protesting at flogging video

Sudanese police arrested dozens of women protesting against laws they say humiliate women after a video of a woman being flogged in public appeared on the Internet. Floggings carried out under Islamic law are almost a daily punishment in Sudan for crimes ranging from drinking alcohol to adultery. But vague laws on women's dress and behavior are implemented inconsistently. One case sparked international furor when Lubna Hussein, a Sudanese U.N. official, invited journalists to her public flogging for wearing trousers. The video, which was removed by YouTube, showed a crying Sudanese woman being lashed by two policemen in front of onlookers in a public place. She was made to kneel and the police laughed during the punishment.

Why did no one at his mosque in Britain tell the police before the Iraqi Muslim suicide bomber traveled to Yemen and then Sweden?

Astonishingly, despite alarming fellow mosque-goers in Luton with calls for suicide bombings and Islamic revolution, Iraq-born Taimour Abdulwahab Al-Abdaly seems not to have been reported to British police. Some worshipers even appeared to know that he had traveled to Yemen, a center for Al Qaeda training which has been at the root of two of the terror group’s most recent attempt to strike at the West – the printer bomb plot in October 2010 and the Christmas 2009 underpants bomber. Abdulwahab was a member of a Facebook "Islamic Day of Judgment" group which has as its logo an image of London being devastated by nuclear explosions. In a busy shopping area of Stockholm he first set off a bomb in his newly bought Audi, packed with gas cylinders, then set off a pipe bomb minutes later, killing himself and injuring two bystanders. Five further bombs strapped to his body and in a rucksack failed to go off. He also had a container full of shrapnel with him.


How I was reviled for warning that Britain is a hotbed of Islamic terrorism

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Iranian man has been sentenced to have drops of acid poured onto his face for blinding his lover's husband

Iran’s Islamic code allows for "an eye-for-an-eye, a tooth-for-a-tooth" retribution - known as qisas - in cases of violent crime. The convict, named only as Mojtaba, threw acid in the face of his rival Alireza, a taxi driver, after an illicit affair with the victim’s wife, Mojdeh. All three are 25 and live in Qom, Iran’s clerical nerve center 60 miles south of the capital, Tehran. The grotesque penalty was passed by a lower court and upheld by Iran’s supreme court, a government daily, Iran, has reported. The Qom prosecutor, Mostafa Barzegar Ganji, said the victim had used his right to qisas.

The family of the Stockholm suicide bomber is blaming Britain for his transformation into an al-Qaeda Islamic terrorist

Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, an Iraqi immigrant, showed little interest in religion as he was growing up in Sweden, but after he began attending Bedfordshire University in Luton he became a strict Muslim with increasingly extremist views, even naming his baby son Osama in honor of the al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden. His life ended when he blew himself up in a street full of Christmas shoppers in Sweden’s first suicide attack, after recording a message which promised to kill “your children, daughters, brothers and sisters”. Abdulwahab’s radicalization during his time in Luton once again raises questions over whether British universities are doing enough to stamp out Islamic extremism on campus. There are fears that Abdulwahab, 28, could have radicalized dozens of students after it was claimed that he preached at his old university in 2007. Iraqi-born Abdulwahab, who killed himself the day before his 29th birthday, grew up in the small town of Tranas, south of Stockholm. Abdulwahab graduated from Bedfordshire University with a physical therapy degree in 2004, the same year that he got married. He worked in a shop in Luton and began preaching his Islamist extremist views at the Luton Islamic Center, also known as the Al Ghurabaa mosque. Even though Muslims at the mosque knew about his Islamic extremist views they did not pass on their concerns about Abdulwahab to the police. A couple of years ago the Center for Social Cohesion think tank warned in a report called Islam on Campus that radical Islam was increasingly taking hold in British universities, with a third of Muslim students who were questioned saying killing in the name of religion was justified. Police and the security services have been concerned for years that British universities have become a breeding ground for Islamic terrorists. Abdulwahab travelled to Syria a couple of years ago, where it is believed he was trained in explosive techniques. He told his family he had travelled to the Middle East to find work. Prosecutors in Sweden believe his bombs – which injured two bystanders – detonated prematurely, saving Stockholm shoppers from the carnage he intended.


Does polygamy raise or lower IQ?

In Spain, most illegal immigrants come from Morocco

The distance between Spain and Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar is less than 12 miles. But the disparity between incomes in the two countries is huge. Spain’s per capita income is $31,870. In Morocco, it is only $2,790.

A black man who claims to be a rape crisis counselor and an ordained minister has been charged with rape

Detectives have arrested 57-year-old Edwin Rosette, Sr. He is being held in the Newport News City Jail without bond. According to police, the victim who is now 19 years old, told investigators she was sexually assaulted by Rosette from the time she was 11 until she was 18 years old. The victim also told investigators that the rapes occurred almost every day. The affidavit states that Rosette dated the alleged victim's mother. The victim also claims Rosette videotaped her. Newport News Detective J.K. Hinton said there could be other victims given the various jobs Rosette claims to do. Police said he worked at Hampton Mental Health Associates off Executive Drive. Hinton said parents need to look for a change in behavior or a change in sleeping or eating patterns, or withdrawal from favorite activities. The investigation is ongoing. Rosette could face additional charges, police said.

Celebrity interracial marriage fails

Elizabeth Hurley's three-year marriage to Indian businessman and textile heir Arun Nayar is on the rocks amid a tabloid report she cheated. The British model, actress and designer, 45, Tweeted the news: "Not a great day. For the record, my husband Arun and I separated a few months ago. Our close family & friends were aware of this." Hurley's announcement coincided with a report in Britain's News of the World claiming her alleged affair with cricketer Shane Warne. The tabloid has pictures and video of the couple kissing, and says that they spent the night together at London's Bentley Hotel. Hurley and Nayar began dating in 2003 and married in March 2007 at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, where they exchanged vows in an Anglican ceremony before 300 guests. Days after the British ceremony they threw a sumptuous week-long celebration at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India, capped by a Hindu wedding ceremony. Hurley has an 8-year-old son, Damian, with her ex Stephen Bing. She previously dated actor Hugh Grant for 13 years before the pair called it quits in 2000.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit challenging California’s voter-approved ban on affirmative action in public university admissions

U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Conti ruled against the challenge to Proposition 209, which banned the consideration of race and ethnicity in public education, employment and contracting. The lawsuit was filed by several pro-affirmative action groups who argued that the law violated the civil rights of black, Latino and Native American students who feel that they are underrepresented at the state’s most prestigious campuses. The ruling follows a similar decision in August 2010 by the California Supreme Court which also upheld the 14-year-old law.

Skin pigmentation visibly differs between men and women

This sexual dimorphism reflects differences in both constitutive pigmentation (untanned skin) and facultative pigmentation (tanning capacity). In comparison to women, men have higher concentrations of melanin and hemoglobin in their skin and lower concentrations of carotene. Men also tan more readily than women do for equal exposure times.

Scores more Israeli rabbis have added their names to a document calling on Jews to avoid renting or selling property to gentiles

Some 300 religious figures have signed the public statement, which warns that "it is forbidden in the Torah to sell a house or a field in the land of Israel to a foreigner." The statement calls for those who rent or sell property to non-Jews to be ostracized by the larger community. "After someone sells or rents just one flat, the value of all the neighboring flats drops ... He who sells or rents (to non-Jews) causes his neighbors a big loss and his sin is great," it says. "Anyone who sells (property to a non-Jew) must be cut off!!" The manifesto quotes extensively from Jewish writings, including from the Bible. It cites Exodus 23:33, which reads: "Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you." The document initially garnered the signatures of some 50 rabbis, most of them employed by the state and minister to Jewish communities across Israel. That number has now grown to more than 300. Menachem Friedman, a specialist on the Jewish world at Bar Ilan university, said there was widespread support for the views in the letter. "They are expressing the fears of the whole population, particularly those in the poorest sectors of society," he said. "The threats that Israel faces comes from Islamism, and the hostile positions the state takes towards the Arab minority contributes to fear and creates a ghetto mentality among the Jews, even though they are the majority in Israel." Historian Ilan Greilsammer agreed, saying the sentiments expressed in the letter were merely a reflection of what people were actually thinking. "The rabbis are saying above what the people are thinking below. What's new is that they are expressing it publicly." Israel has 1.3 million Arab citizens - Palestinians who remained in the country after the creation of the Jewish state in 1948 and their descendants.

Black handyman admits to killing at least 8 women in Massachusetts

He's killed more people than the Son of Sam, but there are no made-for-TV movies about Alfred Gaynor. The African-American handyman did not even pick up a macabre nickname as he attacked and strangled at least eight women in his hometown of Springfield in the 1990s, becoming one of his state's most prolific serial killers. The scale of his killing spree only recently became clear when Gaynor, imprisoned on four murder convictions, confessed to four other unsolved slayings in which he'd been a longtime suspect. Charges are possible in two more deaths for which he's confessed: a 20-year-old mother and her toddler daughter in 1996. The deaths terrorized this western Massachusetts city as the women's bodies were discovered in alleys, vehicles and their own homes between 1995 and 1998. His new confessions came as part of a convoluted plea deal for his imprisoned nephew, who'd been convicted in another murder for which Gaynor, 44, now claims responsibility. Gaynor remains relatively unknown beyond Springfield, where he met several of his victims in their mutual search for crack cocaine. Others were low-income single mothers, often acquaintances, whom he robbed for drug money. Gaynor was no stranger to police. The burly black 6-footer worked occasional odd jobs in the 1990s, but mostly moved from one crack fix to the next, according to court testimony and files. He had also been tried and acquitted of a rape charge in 1997. In the eight murders, his calling card was brutality: Authorities say several of the women were tightly bound, some had socks or other objects jammed in their throats, and the rapes involved violence that went beyond sexual gratification. In three cases, the women's bodies were found by their children. Gaynor blames his actions on the crack cocaine he once told police was his "first and last love." He says he killed his first victim in April 1995 when 45-year-old Vera Hallums let him sleep on her floor. He beat her with a kitchen pot and bound her with electrical cords. He said he had planned to rape her, but that she strangled first on the cords. Massachusetts has no death penalty. Gaynor is serving his eight life sentences in a maximum-security prison.

People from South Asian and black communities in Scotland are being encouraged to join the NHS Organ Donor Register

Currently, patients from black and minority ethnic backgrounds wait, on average, twice as long for kidney transplants, compared with patients from the white population because of the shortage of suitable organs. It's a stark reality that more than a quarter of the people waiting for a transplant are from black and minority ethnic communities. A transplant is much more likely to be successful if the donor and recipient have the same ethnic origin, but less than 5% of organ donors are from these communities. The shortage of suitable organs means that waiting times for black, South Asian, Chinese and other groups are much longer than those for the general population. Asians wait three times as long for a transplant due to shortages and are also more likely to need an organ transplant. There are 2,726 black and minority ethnic (BME) people waiting for a transplant in Britain. BME people are three times more likely to need a transplant than the rest of the population because of the higher incidence of diabetes and high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney failure, and heart disease.

10 people were killed and 18 injured in clashes between criminal gangs in a southwestern Mexican town, Mexico's federal government has said

Mexico's interior ministry issued a statement blasting what it called reprehensible acts that it said contributed to the deaths, which occurred in Tecalitlan in the state of Jalisco. Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora contacted Jalisco Gov. Emilio Gonzalez Marquez to offer the federal government's help in improving safety and security in the town, the statement said. Federal authorities also offered help tracking down the criminals responsible. The violence came one day after federal troops gunned down an alleged drug cartel boss in the state of Michoacan, which neighbors Jalisco. The death of Nazario Moreno Gonzalez and two other Familia Michoacana members came during a joint operation involving members of Mexico's federal police, army, air force and navy. At least five federal police officers and three civilians died in that operation, officials said.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

How do you improve America's schools?

By having as many white and/or Asian students as possible with few or no black and Hispanic ones.

Black men have reached a record-high life expectancy of 70.2 years in 2008, up by 0.2 years compared to 2007

They were still the shortest-lived Americans, though, with life spans around 10 years less than white women, who have the highest life expectancy, followed by black women and white men. The pattern of white women enjoying the longest lives and black men the shortest has held true for nearly three decades, but life expectancy for all groups has generally increased over those 30 years.

Israel gets $3-4 billion in economic and military aid each year, even when it does things that the United States opposes, like building settlements

Can you imagine how many jobs that money could create in the United States if we weren't sending it off to Israel?

Overall, just 42% of registered voters approve of how Obama is doing his job, while 50% disapprove

Obama’s standing among Democrats has dropped with his approval rating falling to 74% from 83%, and his disapproval rating almost doubling, from 11% to 21%. Among liberals, his approval rating dropped from 78% to 69% and his disapproval rating jumped from 14% to 22%.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Redheads, anesthesia and hernias

Operating room doctors have long reported that redheads appear to need more anesthesia than others. A new study suggests that that observation is an accurate one — mostly. Those with the MC1R mutation are more sensitive to opiate pain killers – which means they'd actually need less — but less sensitive to other types, most notably, lidocaine injections. One study which used heat-related pain as its litmus of overall sensitivity showed that redheads indeed felt things more acutely and unpleasantly, probably because the MC1R mutation releases a hormone that stimulates a brain receptor associated with pain regulation. Redheads are also said to be more susceptible to hernias. The study did not establish that conclusively, but it did find a tangential link between chromosome 16 and a condition called brittle cornea syndrome, the sufferers of which have a slightly elevated hernia risk.

A Muslim who abducted and raped a blind woman walking with a white cane on her first solo shopping outing will spend at least 11 years behind bars

Yaser El-Waly, 31, was linked to the terrifying attack on July 20, 2006, by DNA matched to an interstate police database. El-Waly's 20-year-old victim, who is legally blind, was on her first ever solo outing to the supermarket when he spotted her from his car as he drove along Cheltenham Rd in Keysborough. County Court Judge Gerard Mullaly said El-Waly drove down the wrong side of a service road to catch up with her and then pretended to be from a nearby care facility to gain her trust. El-Waly bundled the woman into the car and took her to a deserted housing estate where he raped her. Judge Mullaly said it was impossible to imagine the fear of the blind woman as she was bundled into the car unable to see the stranger abducting then attacking her. After the attack, the victim, who has partial sight in one eye, led police to the site, where they found El-Waly's DNA, later matched with a sample on the WA police database. El-Waly had previously been convicted of indecent assault in WA in 2002, Judge Mullaly said. In her victim impact statement, the woman said she was traumatized, paranoid and suicidal from the attack. Judge Mullaly said El-Waly had told a police officer he had gone out on the day of the attack looking to have sex with someone. "There can be no doubt that your crimes have devastated her," he said. Judge Mullaly said El-Waly's offending was very serious and the courts had a responsibility to protect the public by removing him from the community for some time. El-Waly was found guilty by a jury of the rape and abduction of his victim. Judge Mullaly sentenced him to a maximum of 13 years and six months in jail, with a period of 11 years to be served before he is eligible for parole.

Jewish professor is charged with incest

A Columbia professor has been charged with incest - accused of a sick sexual relationship with a female relative, prosecutors said. Political science Prof. David Epstein, 46, bedded the young woman over a three-year period ending in 2009, according to court papers. He was arraigned before a Manhattan judge on a single felony incest count. University spokesman Robert Hornsby said that Epstein "is now on administrative leave and will not be teaching students." Epstein, who specializes in American politics and voting rights, has taught at Harvard and Stanford and often is quoted by news organizations. He also has blogged on The Huffington Post. Epstein faces up to four years behind bars if convicted. He was released on his own recognizance.


Professor David Epstein charged with incest with his daughter

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A former Quebec director of B’nai Brith has received the minimum 45-day jail term after pleading guilty to a child pornography charge

Bill Surkis will serve the time on weekends. A judge ruled in Montreal that Surkis must also do 240 hours of community service and be on probation for three years. The Crown and defense both agreed the 71-year-old Surkis should receive the minimum sentence allowed by law. The former Jewish community leader pleaded guilty in May 2010 to possessing child pornography. Police found 21 videos on his computer, with some depicting girls between the ages of six and 14 engaging in sex with adults. The Crown wanted to have Surkis declared a registered sex offender, but the judge decided not to put him on the national registry and also did not order a DNA sample to be taken.

The racial gap that has long been seen in pregnancy-related deaths shows no signs of narrowing

Between 1998 and 2005, the death rate among black women was 37.5 per 100,000 live births, versus 10.2 per 100,000 among white women and 13.4 per 100,000 for all other racial groups combined.

The world is a more corrupt place now than it was three years ago, a poll suggests

Some 56% of people interviewed by Transparency International said their country had become more corrupt. In Afghanistan, Nigeria, Iraq and India more than 50% of people said they had paid a bribe in the past year - many of them paying off the police. While people from Cambodia (84%) and Liberia (89%) were the most likely to have to pay a bribe, the Danish respondents reported no bribery. By region, people in sub-Saharan Africa were the most likely to have paid a bribe (56%). Bribe-taking was least common in EU countries and North America (both 5%).

The South African honeymoon murder inquiry was embroiled in a race row after a top black policeman branded the victim’s South Asian millionaire husband a monkey

The extraordinary twist came as national police ­commissioner General Bheki Cele claimed Shrien Dewani arranged the hit on his bride two weeks into their marriage. He said: "A monkey came all the way from London to have his wife ­murdered here. Shrien thought we South ­Africans were stupid when he came all the way to kill his wife in our country. He lied to himself." There is fear that the words of General Cele, who is black, will fuel tensions between black South Africans and the country’s large South Asian community, which plays a key role in the nation’s economy. A friend of Dewani said the outburst showed there was little hope the 30-year-old care home owner would get a fair trial in South Africa. Dewani, from Bristol, is fighting extradition to South Africa after being accused of paying two hitmen to kill his wife Anni while the couple toured a township near Cape Town in a taxi. Zola Tongo, the taxi driver Dewani allegedly hired to organize his bride’s death, has been jailed for 18 years, reduced from 25 years after he implicated the Briton in the murder. Two other men, Xolile Mngeni, 23, and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, 25, face charges of murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping.

More than 50% of Americans say they are worse off now than they were two years ago when Barack Obama took office

A Bloomberg National Poll shows that 51% of respondents think their situation has deteriorated, compared with 35% who say they’re doing better. Americans have grown more downbeat about the country’s future in just the last couple of months, the poll shows. The pessimism cuts across political parties and age groups, and is common to both sexes. The negative sentiment may cast a pall over the holiday shopping season, according to the poll. A plurality of those surveyed - 46% - expects to spend less in 2010 than they did in 2009; only 12% anticipate spending more. In addition, 66% say the nation is headed in the wrong direction. That’s up from 62% who felt that way in an October 2010 poll and is the worst reading since the Bloomberg National Poll began in September 2009. Unemployment and jobs are the most important issue facing the country now with 50% of those surveyed identifying joblessness as their top concern. Joblessness rose to a seven-month high of 9.8% in November 2010, significantly above the 7.4% that prevailed in December 2008, the month before Obama was inaugurated.

More than a third of California's African American public high school students dropped out before graduation day, a startling number and one that's on the rise

The 37% African American dropout rate, up three percentage points from 2008, was far above that of any other ethnic subgroup. Hispanic students had the second highest rate at 27%. Locally, San Francisco cautiously celebrated a 9% overall dropout rate, a stark contrast to Oakland's 40%, numbers still under review for accuracy. The statewide statistics highlight a pervasive achievement gap in test scores and graduation rates that persists despite focused efforts to boost the academic performance of black, Hispanic and low-income students, state education officials said. Overall, 22% of state students dropped out of high school, according to the 2009 data, up from 19% in 2008.

Jewish publicist killed by black ex-con

Hollywood's whodunit about the wealthy publicist gunned down driving home from a movie premiere now appears to be more of a garden-variety crime gone wrong. Police said preliminary ballistics tests showed the gun a man used to kill himself as officers went to talk to him about Ronni Chasen's killing was the same weapon that was used to kill her. Harold Martin Smith, 43, a down-on-his-luck ex-convict with a rap sheet spanning at least 25 years, had apparently ridden his bicycle to a dark intersection on Sunset Boulevard then attempted to rob Chasen. "This was a random act of violence. With Mr. Smith's background, we believe that it was most likely a robbery gone bad," Beverly Hills police Sgt. Mike Publicker said. "Through the interviews and the information we received, that leads us to believe that he was at a desperate point in his life, and was reaching out and doing desperate measures." Smith committed suicide Dec. 1, 2010 as police, acting on an anonymous tip left with the TV show "America's Most Wanted," went to speak with him at a seedy Hollywood apartment building from which he had recently been evicted. Before police could talk to him, he pulled out a revolver and shot himself in the head.

Three Mexican police officers were killed in an ambush-style attack

In what authorities described as an ambush-style attack by armed gunmen, three police officers were killed in downtown Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, while patrolling outside an elementary school, a municipal police spokesman said. "Unfortunately, there was an attack and three of our colleagues were killed," Municipal Police spokesman Adrian Sanchez Contreras said. "There were two men and two women. One of the women lured the police vehicle onto the school grounds and that's when the attack occurred," Sanchez added. The suspects were in at least two vehicles when the attack occurred, according to Sanchez. The victims were a 24-year-old female officer and two male officers, one 26 and the other 33 years old. Since October 14, 2010 when Juarez Mayor Hector "Teto" Murguia began his term as the city's new mayor, 25 police officers have been assassinated, Sanchez said - an average of almost an officer killed every other day since Murguia has been in office. Recently, a group of armed men ambushed a police car and killed four municipal officers inside. Also, two armed attackers burst into a kindergarten and set fire to the school building in the violence-plagued border city of Juarez, state media reported.Police say the suspects left a message saying the school had not paid a protection fee, which they had demanded from teachers to prevent attacks against the children, the state-run Notimex news agency said.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Race, sports and graduation rates

The disparity between graduation rates for white and black players at schools headed to bowl games grew again in 2010 even as overall academic progress increased for both, a new study has found. The annual report by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport found that the graduation success rate is increasing at a higher rate for white players than black players. Richard Lapchick, the primary author of the study, said it's a "disturbing" gap that has continued to widen. "The growing gap is and has been my biggest concern with graduations rates for some time," he said. "It's like in the economy if income for Latinos and African-American grows at 2% but increases 3% for whites. Yes, it's getting better. But it's still not great for everybody." The graduation success rate for black players went from 58% to 60% in 2010 among the 70 bowl teams. But for white players, the graduation rates increased from 77% in 2009 to 80% in 2010.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Of the 2.3 million people in American jails, 806,000 are black males

African-Americans - males and females - make up 0.6% of the entire world's population, but African-American males - alone - make up 8% of the entire world's prison population.

Dozens of top Israeli rabbis sign ruling to forbid rental of homes to Arabs

Dozens of Israel's municipal chief rabbis have signed on to a new religious ruling that would forbid the rental of homes to gentiles in a move particularly aimed against Arabs. The religious ruling comes just months after a group of 18 prominent rabbis, including the chief rabbi of Safed, signed a call urging Jews to refrain from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews. Most of the signatories to the letter are from Safed, a city that has seen an increase in its Arab student population that is enrolled at the town's local college. Safed chief rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who has been criticized in the past for incendiary remarks against Arabs, is the most prominent figure to sign the letter. The group to sign on to the religious ruling includes the chief rabbis of Ramat Hasharon, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, Rishon Letzion, Carmiel, Gadera, Afula, Nahariya, Herzliya, Nahariya and Pardes Hannah, among a number of other cities.


Giving Up On Israel?

University officials in Bangladesh have ordered a major rat extermination drive after rodent meat found its way into chicken curry served to students

The incident happened at Rajshahi University in western Bangladesh. "One student detected the head of the rat while eating his lunch. That student instantly suffered a stomach upset," a spokesman said. Soon after the incident hundreds of angry students staged a demonstration demanding action against the chef. The chef has now been suspended and handed over to police who have been called in to investigate the incident. "I told the students to stop eating in the dining hall of the university for two days. A drive to kill the rats in the dining hall is going on," university proctor Chowdhury Mohammad Zakaria said. It was not immediately clear whether the rat meat was mixed with chicken curry intentionally. In September 2009, a farmer was crowned Bangladesh's champion rat catcher after leading a team which he said killed more than 80,000 rodents in a month. Mokhairul Islam was awarded a color television at a ceremony attended by 500 farmers and officials in Dhaka. The University of Rajshahi is one of the largest universities in the country and the largest in the northern region of Bangladesh.

About 85% of Pakistani Muslims said they would support a law segregating men and women in the workplace

According to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria would favor changing current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion.

Israeli Chabad emissary nabbed in Madrid with 4kg of cocaine

A Chabad emissary from Safed was arrested in the Madrid airport after being found in possession of four kilograms of cocaine. Eliyahu Hecht, 57, a father of six who works for the global charity organization Kollel Chabad, was returning to Israel from Costa Rica, where he was fund-raising for a soup kitchen operated by Kollel Chabad in Safed. He was arrested during a stopover in Madrid.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Medieval England was wealthier than many modern African nations

New research shows that medieval England boasted an average income that would be more than double the average per capita income of the world's poorest nations today such as Zaire, Burundi, Niger, Central African Republic, Comoro Islands, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Chad, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.

Israel fears flood of African migrants

In recent years, tens of thousands of Africans have entered the country through its long desert border with Egypt, turning Israel, like parts of Europe, into a magnet for asylum seekers, and even more, for migrants desperate for jobs in the industrialized world. Their arrivals are hardly being welcomed. Facing a public furor, the government is scrambling to erect a fence along the 130-mile Egyptian border and a massive detention center in the remote southern desert. Many Israelis fear that the African influx will make the country less Jewish. In a speech to parliament, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a flood of illegal migrants. "It is threatening the jobs of Israelis, and it is threatening the Jewish and democratic character of the state of Israel," he said. Israel would seem to be an unlikely destination for African migrants, who have few ties to the Jewish state. Egypt, however, has a large population of migrants — and after Egypt violently quashed a 2005 protest by a group of Sudanese refugees, they began trickling north into Israel. Approximately 35,000 have entered Israel since, with the number surging to 1,500 arrivals every month, according to government figures. Some cities have been transformed. Some 10% of the population of the Red Sea resort town of Eilat are African migrants, and an entire neighborhood in south Tel Aviv is known as "Little Africa," where ethnic food shops and phone card stalls line the streets.

Unidentified attackers have set fire to a kindergarten in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, apparently after its owners refused to pay extortion money

A message was sprayed on the walls of the kindergarten urging the owners to pay up. The fire happened overnight, so no children were injured, the nursery has been closed down indefinitely. Ciudad Juarez is the most violent city in Mexico, with an average of eight murders a day. The nursery's owners had been approached by unidentified men who demanded an undisclosed sum in exchange for "protection", which was not paid, police told local media. Some teachers in the city have reported being threatened with attacks unless they hand over half their Christmas bonuses. Also armed men attacked two drug rehabilitation centers in the city killing four of the patients. Attacks on drug rehabilitation centers in Mexico are increasingly common. Police say the facilities are often used to recruit young men to work in the drugs trade, making them a target for rival drug gangs. Nine people were killed in an attack on a drug clinic in June 2010 in Durango state and 13 were shot dead in October 2010 in Tijuana, another city on the US-Mexico border. More than 30,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence over the past four years, since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the country's drug cartels.

Bush's job approval rating is higher than Obama's

George W. Bush’s job approval rating as president has spiked to 47%, according to a new Gallup poll. That’s 1 point higher than Barack Obama’s job approval rating. Bush’s 47% approval rating raises serious questions about the wisdom of the White House’s decision to relentlessly attack him in the months before the Democrats’ historic losses in the midterm elections. Obama had kept warning a House Republican majority would return to Bush-era policies. But Obama’s message did little to galvanize the liberal base, and independents flocked to the GOP on Election Day.

Black principal repeatedly raped African student while threatening her with deportation

A black college principal, who repeatedly raped one of his African students while threatening her with deportation if she resisted, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. James Safo, 62, "controlled, degraded and systematically sexually abused the victim", Croydon Crown Court was told. Judge Simon Pratt said the attacks constituted a grave "abuse of power" and was one of the most serious cases of rape that he had ever dealt with. The court heard that the trained nurse left his 30-year-old victim haunted "day and night" by her ordeal. Ghana-born Safo was the principal and owner of The Secretary College, Croydon, and also owned four care homes. His victim was studying at the college which offers courses in health-care. She was also employed at one of Safo’s care homes and lived as a tenant in one of his houses. Safo was convicted after a six-week trial on four counts of rape, one attempted rape and one sexual assault between June 2007 and December 2008. His victim was pregnant during one of the rapes and later suffered a miscarriage.

Since the official end of the recession in June 2009, non-Hispanics have lost 1.3 million jobs — while Hispanic employment is up by 247,000

For every 1,000 Hispanics employed in June 2009 there were 1,015 employed in November 2010 and for every 1,000 non-Hispanics employed in June 2009 there were 988 employed in November 2010. From November 2009 - November 2010, the immigrant labor force (people working or looking for work) increased by 1.8% while the native labor force declined by 0.2%. At the same time foreign-born employment rose 1.3% while native employment was virtually unchanged. The unemployment rate for natives fell mainly because nearly 1.9 million natives left the labor force – too discouraged to look for work.


No end in sight to U.S. economic crisis as 'scariest jobs chart ever' shows post-recession unemployment is at its worst since World War Two

The latest NYPD crime statistics shows that drugs are a factor in at least half of New York City homicides - and two out of three victims are black

Statistics reveal that 49% of all murder victims in New York City are involved with drug use and/or drug sales. The figure is 53% for murder suspects. The numbers say that 67% of murder victims are African-American, with 25% Hispanic and just 4% white. In 12% of city slayings, drugs are the exclusive motive. Police say that figure is much higher when other factors such as previous disputes and criminal histories of victims and suspects are included. The statistics show that 65% of killings occur outdoors; only 10% of murder suspects were women, and 77% of victims knew their killers.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Haitian mobs fearing a cholera epidemic have killed people whom they had accused of trying to spread the disease through witchcraft, police say

Six people were hacked or stoned to death in the town of Chambellan and five others in Marfranc and Dame Marie, officials said. At least three people were killed by mobs in the city of Jeremie, while several others were killed under similar circumstances in surrounding villages. About half of Haiti's population is believed to practice the voodoo religion in some form, although many are thought to also follow other religious beliefs at the same time.

Gunmen killed at least 10 people in two separate attacks in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, state media said

A group of armed men ambushed a police car and killed four municipal officers inside, the state-run Notimex news agency reported. The officers had no chance to draw their weapons to defend themselves, the local public safety secretary said. A child was among two wounded civilians caught in the crossfire. There are no suspects yet but authorities continue to look for leads. Six people at a local metal works shop were also killed when a group of gunmen burst into a barbecue there. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's most violent city, shares a border with El Paso, Texas. Nationwide, more than 28,000 people have died in drug violence since December 2006, when Mexican President Felipe Calderon took office and started his stepped-up campaign against organized crime.


Mexican police bust drug ring to Japan

'I slit their throats,' accused teen hit man says

A Pakistani Islamic cleric is offering a bounty for the killing of a Christian woman who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy

A Pakistani cleric is offering a nearly $6,000 bounty for the killing of a Christian woman whose death sentence for blasphemy is being challenged by Pakistan's government. Moulana Yousaf Qureshi made his announcement in the northwestern city of Peshawar. He condemned any effort by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to pardon or release Asia Bibi and said he and his followers will call on millions to protest if Pakistan's blasphemy laws are amended. "I will pay 500,000 rupees for the loyal follower of Muhammad who beheads Asia Bibi," Qureshi told a crowd of several hundred people. The amount is equivalent to about $5,800, or more than six times the country's average annual wage. In November 2010, a Pakistani court found the 45-year-old Bibi guilty of defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed during a 2009 argument with Muslim fellow field workers. The offense is punishable by death or life imprisonment, according to Pakistan's penal code, and Bibi was sentenced to death. But an investigation by a Pakistani government ministry found the charges stemmed from "religious and personal enmity" and recommended Bibi's release. Zardari has said he would pardon Bibi, but a court has ruled that the president can't act until the sentence is confirmed by a higher court - a process her lawyer says could take two to three years. About 2 million Christians live in Pakistan, making up slightly over 1% of the officially Islamic nation's population of about 170 million, according to government statistics.

Going into 2011, the statistical landscape of blacks contracting AIDS is expected to only get worse, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Every nine-and-a-half minutes, a person in the United States becomes infected with HIV and the African-American community accounts for nearly half of those infected. While blacks represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, they account for 46% (506,000) of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, as well as 45% (25,335) of the 56,300 new infections every year. Approximately one in 16 black men will be diagnosed with HIV, as will one in 30 black women. The rate of new HIV infections for African-American men is about six times as high as that of white men, nearly three times that of Hispanic men, and more than twice that of African-American women. The HIV incidence rate for black women is nearly 15 times as high as that of white women, and nearly four times that of Hispanic women. AIDS is the third leading cause of death among black women aged 25 to 34 and black men aged 35 to 44 while 38% of blacks aged 13 to 29 account for nearly 25,000 infections estimated to occur on an annual basis. “We need to get off the mindset that AIDS is a gay disease. It is 2010 and we still believe that it is a gay disease. We need to stop blaming each other and learn to work together to stop the spread of AIDS, because AIDS has hit the African American community harder than any other community,” said Hydeia Broadbent, 26, who was born HIV positive. Broadbent contracted the immune system-destroying disease from her drug addicted biological mother. Marvelyn Brown, who lives in New York City, contracted HIV at the age of 19 from an ex-boyfriend. Before that she only considered it a “White gay man's disease.”

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Roma gypsy who stole at least £113,000 in benefits to fund a life of luxury has been jailed for three years in Britain

Illie Schian, 47, bought sports cars, motorcycles, quad bikes and electrical goods with money he received from British hand-outs. Using taxpayers’ cash, he even built his family a nine-bedroom mansion in Romania, complete with marbled floors, a spa bath, servants’ quarters and two kitchens filled with modern appliances. He is also accused of involvement in a people-smuggling ring that sent around 180 children to Britain to beg and steal. The fraudster amassed a £20,000 nest egg in a Romanian bank account before he was finally caught by police. Schian, from Enfield, North London, applied for political asylum under an assumed name when he arrived in Britain 11 years ago, claiming he had been persecuted in Romania because he is a gypsy. He was granted indefinite leave to remain in the country, but he proceeded to fleece British taxpayers out of tens of thousands in job seekers’ allowance, child benefit and housing benefit before he was arrested in July 2010. The Roma gypsy was jailed for three years after he admitted a string of fraud charges at Southwark Crown Court. The judge recommended Schian should be deported after serving his sentence.

Hanukkah was invented in Cincinnati around 1870

Hanukkah only began to be an important Jewish holiday in the second half of the 19th century when two rabbis in Cincinnati noticed their Jewish children didn’t have much connection to the synagogue. The rabbis developed a new celebration for children during Hanukkah that was held in the synagogue and included giving presents. National newspapers publicized the new celebration, and it was soon being celebrated all around the country.

The alma mater of journalist Helen Thomas will not bestow an award that had been given in her name

The decision was made after the 90-year-old scribe made more controversial comments about Jewish people. Wayne State University, which Thomas graduated from in 1942, said in a statement that the school will no longer give out the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in the Media Award. "Wayne State encourages free speech and open dialogue, and respects diverse viewpoints," the school's statement said. "However, the university strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas during a conference yesterday." Thomas abruptly retired earlier in 2010 from her position as a White House columnist for the Hearst media chain after she told a rabbi that Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine." She also said Jewish people should leave Israel and go home to "Poland, Germany ... and America and everywhere else." Then, at a diversity conference in Dearborn, Michigan, Thomas voiced her opinion on Jewish people in the United States. According to the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News, she said, "Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question." Zionist is a term used to describe those who pushed for the creation - and today champion the current state and future existence - of modern-day Israel. As Thomas' comments circulated, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement urging all schools and groups to take back any honors they've given to Thomas, saying she "clearly, unequivocally revealed herself as a vulgar anti-Semite." The Detroit native, who is of Lebanese descent, was long known for her strong opinions and was seen as a pioneer for female journalists.

In the animal world, incest helps put an end to sexual violence

That's the conclusion of a modelling study of species in which males harm their mating partners. In some species, competition between males can mean that females are harmed during copulation. Male cowpea weevils, for instance, have spiky penises that puncture the female's insides and are thought to help anchor the male inside her, ensuring that he delivers his sperm and outcompetes other males. But another evolutionary pressure comes into play: closely related individuals share many of the same genes, so if a male harms a relative, fewer copies of its genes survive. Daniel Rankin of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, wondered what happened when the competitive and family forces conflict. He set up a computer model in which males were more or less aggressive towards females, and males and females were more or less related to each other. The experiment found that in populations of closely related individuals, males that harmed females less were more successful at spreading their genes. In the long run, this could influence the evolution of the community. In a group where animals are closely related, evolution will push males to be less aggressive towards females, says Rankin.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Brooklyn rabbi has been charged in the contract killing of a former suburban police officer and his nephew, authorities said

Rabbi Victor Koltun, 41 - whose rap sheet includes mortgage-fraud allegations - is accused of hiring two ex-cons to kill Frank Piscopo, 49, and Gerald Piscopo, 28, in Newburgh, Orange County. Both Piscopos were found dead Nov. 4, 2010. Frank had been a police sergeant in the Ulster County town of Lloyd before he quit in 1990 amid allegations he stole items from the department. He had a criminal record that included arrests for theft and drug selling. Gerald had been deep in credit-card debt and emerged from personal bankruptcy in March 2010. He had spent 2½ years in state prison from 2003 to 2005 on burglary charges. Rabbi Koltun, of Sheepshead Bay, already faces a possible 15-year prison term on separate charges that he pocketed proceeds of a $225,000 mortgage on several Brooklyn houses he did not own. Newburgh cops also busted Frank Lewis, 56, of Manhattan, and Craig Fennell, 51, of Brooklyn, for allegedly carrying out the killings. Both Lewis and Fennell are parolees with convictions for violent crimes. All three suspects were arraigned in Newburgh city court and ordered jailed without bail.

A Hasidic rabbi and three of his sons are suspected of sexually abusing at least four female relatives

The abuse became known after the rabbi's eldest victim - his daughter - confided in a co-worker at a Jewish school, police said. The 58-year-old father and his 21-year-old son fled to Israel and are wanted for questioning in the case, police said. They were apparently driven to the airport by the mother. Two other sons, a 24-year-old and a 15-year-old, were arrested on sexual abuse and rape charges. Police say the abuse came to light after the oldest victim, now 20, who worked as a teacher's aide at a yeshiva, a Jewish religious school, in Brooklyn, told a teacher there she had been abused. Authorities believe she was assaulted by her father repeatedly for 15 years. The other victims range in age from 8 to 19, and investigators believe the abuse was also repeated. Police say the father is suspected of abusing at least two of his daughters. The brothers were accused of rape and other crimes for abusing their sisters. The youngest suspect was accused of sexually assaulting the 8-year-old. The father and mother, who are first cousins, had 14 children, police said. All but two live in the home. The 24-year-old suspect was married and lived elsewhere, as did the oldest child. There are seven girls and seven boys in the family. New York Police Department chief department spokesman Paul Browne said the investigation was ongoing and it's possible there could be additional victims. The father was a teacher at a yeshiva until recently, when he resigned for unknown reasons. Critics have said sex abuse claims are sometimes handled quietly in Orthodox rabbinical courts, rather than being reported to authorities.

The Kenyan government has said it could be losing nearly one-third of the national budget to corruption

Finance ministry officials told a parliamentary committee the losses could be nearly $4bn a year. They said individuals were taking huge sums meant for development projects. Analysts say many Kenyans will be surprised not by the news of the losses, but by the fact the admission has come from such senior officials. Kitu kidogo - the Swahili for "something small" - is how the kickbacks are commonly described in Kenya. Taking 10% of an awarded tender or inflating project costs are said to be the commonest means of dipping into government coffers. Corruption has been the Achilles heel of successive Kenyan regimes.

A woman and her three children have been arrested for participating in kidnappings in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

The woman, Victoria Galindo Odilon, and her children were identified by a kidnapping victim who said they were all present when she was recently kidnapped and later released for an unknown amount of money, said Carlos Gonzalez, spokesman for the attorney general. "The suspect identified as Victoria Galindo Odilon is the sister of a well-known delinquent who was recently captured and was killed in prison by one of his accomplices," Gonzalez said. "They were all part of a well-known band of kidnappers in the city." Galindo Odilon and one son, Miguel Angel Salcido Galindo, are charged with kidnapping, while the attorney general's office is recommending the other sons, ages 17 and 15, be processed by a special tribunal for minors. Local newspaper El Diario de Juarez reported that investigators say the family of four also participated in the kidnapping of a 33-year-old businessman in Juarez who they later released on October 31, 2010 for about $21,000.

An accused teen hit man has been detained in Mexico, authorities have said

Authorities detained 14-year-old Edgar Jimenez on suspicion of working as a drug-cartel hit man, a spokeswoman for the Mexican attorney general's office said. An official at the Mexican Secretary of National Defense also confirmed the arrest but would say little more. Soldiers detained the teenager and two of his sisters at an airport about 10 miles south of the capital of the state of Morelos, in central Mexico, the newspaper El Universal reported.


Mexico arrests 14-year-old 'drug hitman'

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Birds are being turned gay because there is too much mercury in their diet, scientists have revealed

Researchers studied the effect of the metal in white ibises' diets to find out why breeding was down. They found the higher the dose of mercury in the wading birds' food pellets, the more likely a male bird was to pair with another male. Dr Peter Frederick from the University of Florida, who led the study, said: "We knew mercury could depress their testosterone levels but we didn't expect this. We're seeing very large reproductive effects at very low concentrations of mercury so we really need to be paying more attention to this." The team fed the birds on food pellets which contained concentrations of mercury equivalent to those in the shrimp and crayfish that make up their wetland diet. The males with the higher mercury doses performed far fewer courtship displays, so were more likely to be ignored by females.

When is a concentration camp not a concentration camp?

When it is in Israel!

A new survey has found that Germans are considerably more negative in their views about Muslims and Jews than their European neighbors

Germans view Muslims and their religion, as well as Jews, more negatively than their European neighbors, according to sociologist Detlef Pollack, who led a study on religious tolerance by the University of Muenster in north-western Germany. "Compared to France, the Netherlands and Denmark, there is a more rigid and intolerant understanding of extrinsic religions in Germany," Pollack said. Most Germans entirely disagree with a recent statement by President Christian Wulff that Islam "belongs to Germany," he added. The study also revealed a more prevalent anti-Jewish undercurrent in Germany than in other western European countries. A little more than 28% of West Germans and 29% of East Germans had negative attitudes about Jews, the survey found. This compared to about 10% in the Netherlands, 12% in Denmark, and nearly 21% in France. The figures and comparisons were also similar for other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. The representative survey, which polled 1,000 people in each of the four countries mentioned, found that fewer than 5% of Germans thought Islam was a tolerant religion, compared to roughly 20% for the Danes, Dutch and French. While 50% of Danes and two-thirds of the French and Dutch respondents approved of the building of mosques, fewer than 30% of Germans said they did. In Denmark, France and the Netherlands, a clear majority of respondents viewed Muslims positively. In Germany, however, only 34% of those surveyed in the west of the country and 26% in eastern Germany had a positive view of Muslims. When asked what they associated with Islam, more than 80% said discrimination of women, 60% said fanaticism, and only 8% of West Germans and 5% of East Germans said that Islam was peaceful.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The key to predicting a man's risk of prostate cancer could lie in his index finger

Researchers compared the hands of 1,500 prostate cancer patients and 3,000 healthy men, and found that those whose index fingers were longer than their ring fingers were 33% less likely to develop the disease. That is probably because longer index fingers indicate less testosterone, a hormone that's associated with the cancer. Previous studies have found that men with naturally high testosterone levels have a heightened risk of prostate cancer.

The hoes of Africa

Steve Sailer looks at an interesting theory about why civilization flourished in Europe and Asia but not sub-Saharan Africa.

People's predilections for promiscuity lie partially in their DNA

A particular version of a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4 is linked to people's tendency toward both infidelity and uncommitted one-night stands. The same gene has already been linked to alcoholism and gambling addiction, as well as less destructive thrills like a love of horror films. One study linked the gene to an openness to new social situations, which in turn correlated with political liberalism.

Jewish atheist puts up billboard attacking Christmas

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, has put up a billboard attacking Christmas as a myth and hopes that it will stay up until after Christmas. He has not put up one attacking Hanukkah.