Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Obama is on track to perform at a historically low level among white voters, and he needs to compensate by attracting overwhelming support from minorities, along with a big turnout by them
The story is the same no matter which poll is your personal favorite. Pew, one of the most respected in the business, showed Obama winning only 37% of likely white voters. The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed Obama stuck at 36%. Gallup’s weekly tracking found his approval rating among whites at 38%. Even Public Policy Polling, a Democratic robo-polling firm skewered by the Right, finds Obama’s job approval at 39% in its tracking. If Obama can’t hit 40%, he badly needs to maximize the minority and youth turnout that comprise his base. There’s plenty of evidence that, given Obama’s struggles with white working-class voters, he could face some unexpected headwinds in states that have been in the Democratic column during presidential years since at least 1988.
Pastor Joseph Lowery, a black civil rights movement hero who delivered the benediction at Obama’s inauguration, said that he is shocked that any black Americans would stay home with Obama on the ballot and suggested that all or most white people would go to hell
Lowery said that when he was a young militant, he used to say all white folks were going to hell. Then he "mellowed" and just said that most of them were. Now, he said, he is back to where he was. The 91-year-old Lowery worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and played a key role in various important moments in the civil rights movement, such as the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Lowery was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 2009 by Obama and was elected earlier in 2012 to lead the state’s delegation to the Democratic national convention.
Ashkenazi Jews descend from approximately 25,000 ancestors who survived plagues and massacres in the 12th and 13th centuries
Successful Jews tend to be closely related to other successful Jews.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) rates Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) teacher preparation programs as some the weakest in the country as measured by how well graduates perform on teacher certification exams
HBCUs produce approximately half of all African-American teachers. Over half of all HBCUs have graduation rates at 33% or lower. Approximately 42% of African Americans require remediation after graduating from high school.
No Democratic nominee has won a majority of white voters since Lyndon Johnson overwhelmed Republican challenger Barry Goldwater in his 1964 landslide
If Romney wins the election it will be because the Democrats have a history of alienating white voters. Obama's support has declined most dramatically among white men, among whites without college degrees, and among white independents.
Black women have a 47% higher rate of death during the first three years after being diagnosed with breast cancer
At seven years after the initial diagnosis, black women had a 48% higher risk for breast cancer death in the first three years after diagnosis compared with non-Hispanic white women. After three years, non-Hispanic black women had a 34% increased risk for breast cancer-specific mortality. Black women were more likely to die from estrogen receptor-positive tumors. Estrogen receptor-positive tumors are the most treatable form of breast cancer that has the greatest potential for recovery overall.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Racial prejudice in the United States is more widespread now than when Barack Obama became the country's first black president in a historic 2008 vote, a new survey claims
In a poll of racial attitudes, researchers found that more Americans have attitudes that are both implicit and explicitly racist than when the same survey was conducted four years ago. In all, 51% of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48% four years ago, the study showed. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56%, up from 49% during the last presidential election. A majority of Americans expressed anti-Hispanic sentiments, too. In a survey done in 2011, 52% of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes. That figure had risen to 57% in the implicit test in 2012. The survey also found that some 79% of Republicans expressed explicit racial prejudice compared to 32% of Democrats. The implicit test too showed that 64% of Republicans had racial prejudice compared to 55% of Democrats, while independents came in at 49%. The Pew Charitable Trust showed that some 68% of middle class black Americans are predicted to see their economic status decline in the next generation. The National Urban League civil rights group also showed from 2009 to 2012 median annual household income for blacks dropped by 11.1%, compared to a drop of just 5.2% for whites and 4.1% for Hispanics. The current black unemployment rate of 14% is roughly twice that of the white jobless rate. Racial segregation between white and black men is increasing in one-in-six industries.
Friday, October 26, 2012
A large international study has identified three new gene variants associated with body mass index (BMI) levels in adults
Scientists uncovered three novel signals, from the genes TOMM40-APOE-APOC1, SREBF2 and NTRK2) that were significantly associated with BMI in adults. All had previously been linked to other important disorders. The APOE locus is well known to be involved in blood lipid regulation and circulation, and plays an important role in Alzheimer's disease. The SREBF2 gene is in the same family as SREBF1, linked to type 2 diabetes in another CardioChip study. Finally, NTRK2 codes for a receptor of the BDNF protein, which is known to be related to BMI and is associated with the eating disorder anorexia. The team was able to test for conditional associations within genes - independent signals from within the same gene locus. In particular, the researchers discovered that two genes, BDNF and MC4R, each harbor two independent signals for BMI. Both genes were among eight genes previously associated with BMI that the current study was able to replicate, including FTO, SH2B1 and COL4A3BP-HMGCR.
A mother returned to her luxurious Manhattan apartment to find her two-year-old son and six-year-old daughter had been stabbed to death in the bathtub by their Latina nanny, who then slit her own throat in a failed suicide attempt. Marina Krim arrived at the family's apartment on the Upper West Side with her other daughter, three-year-old Nessie, to find son Leo and daughter Lulu lying in a pool of blood each with multiple stab wounds. The Hispanic nanny, 50-year-old Yoselyn Ortega, survived her suicide attempt and is in police custody.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
A record number of nearly 200,000 babies were born to immigrant mothers in Britain. The five countries from which the greatest numbers of foreign-born mothers came were Poland, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nigeria. The increase in the proportion of births to non-British mothers living in Britain illustrates how the demographic make-up of Britain is changing.
But older adults who approach life with a positive outlook can reverse the negative health issues associated with a lonely life.
Research: 74% of the relationship between major depression and life satisfaction could be explained by genes
It is largely genes that explain why we differ in our tendency to be satisfied and content with our lives. The stable tendency to see the bright side of life is associated with lower risk of major depression because some genetic factors influence both conditions. Genes involved in satisfaction and positivity thus give protection against major depression.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
A poll reveals that nearly eight in ten former Labor voters support drastic curbs on migrant numbers. It also shows huge support for sharp cuts in arrivals among those who have remained with the party. In 1997, some 13.5 million voted for Labor, but by the 2010 election that had fallen to 8.6 million. Analysis of the views of some of the five million "lost" Labor voters by YouGov shows 78% want net migration cut to zero. Pollsters also found that two-thirds of Labor party loyalists backed zero net migration. Labor’s open-door migration policy led to the largest population explosion in Britain since the Saxon invasion. Between 1997 and 2010 the foreign-born population of Britain increased by three million, while nearly a million British citizens left the country.
Scientists sought to assess potential mechanisms underlying the observation that minority ethnic groups experience an increased risk of psychosis when living in neighborhoods of lower own-group density. The researchers found that for every ten percentage point reduction in own-group density, the relative odds of reporting psychotic experiences increased 1.07 times for the total minority ethnic sample. In general, people living in areas of lower own-group density experienced greater social adversity that was in turn associated with reporting psychotic experiences. People resident in neighborhoods of higher own-group density experience "buffering" effects from the social risk factors for psychosis.
These near poor, often defined as having incomes of up to 1.5 times the poverty threshold, were supporting a family of four on no more than $34,500 in 2011. They are more likely to be white than those in poverty. They are more likely to be elderly. They are more than three times as likely to work full-time, year- round. And they are more likely not to receive help from the government. People just above the poverty line are just one paycheck or health disaster away from poverty. The near poor have grown by about 10% in number over the past five years, as the Great Recession sent many people falling down the income ladder. The ranks of those in poverty, on the other hand, swelled 24% in the same period. Half of the near poor are white, compared to just over two in five of those in poverty, according to Census figures. And only 16.7% are black, compared to 23.6% of those in poverty. The share of Latinos who are near poor is 27.8%, only slightly smaller than the share in poverty. The fact that there are more blacks in poverty than among the near poor likely stems from the fact that the unemployment rate among blacks is nearly double that of whites. And blacks have much higher rates of single motherhood. Whites, on the other hand, likely have enough earnings to put them just above the poverty line. Another large group among the ranks of the near-poor are senior citizens. Nearly 17% of the near poor are elderly, while only 7.8% of those in poverty are. Social Security keeps many of the elderly, particularly white seniors, above the poverty line ... but barely. So it's not surprising that nearly 40% of the near poor who didn't work are retired, but only 6% say they couldn't find a job. On the flip side, 46% are employed and nearly half are working full-time. Some of the near poor are eligible for income-based government assistance since certain programs allow those just above the poverty line to enroll. The food stamps program, for instance, is open to those who earn 130% of the poverty line, while Medicaid and child care subsidies let some of the near poor enroll, depending on the state. But many are left on their own. Only 57% of the near poor receive public aid, excluding school lunches, compared with 70.3% of those in poverty. They are more likely to rely on churches or social service agencies for help. There are still a very large number of working families who are struggling and all but poor.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
A black man police suspected of killing three and wounding four by opening fire at a tranquil day spa has been found dead following a six-hour manhunt that locked down a shopping center, country club and hospital in suburban Milwaukee
Authorities said that they believed the shooting was related to a domestic dispute. The black man they identified as the suspect, Radcliffe Franklin Haughton, 45, of Brown Deer, had a restraining order against him.
Boys in the United States are beginning to see the first signs of puberty from six months to two years earlier than previously observed
The difference appears most pronounced in African-American boys, who are starting to see the first signs of puberty at 9.1 years. The average for Hispanic boys is 10 and 10.1 years for white boys.
An African-American or Mexican-American senior living in a community where many neighbors share their background is less likely to have cancer or heart disease than their counterpart in a more mixed neighborhood
Counter to prevailing notions, researchers found that living in the barrio or ethnically dense communities isn't always bad for your health. For older minority adults, it's actually the reverse: living in an ethnically dense neighborhood is beneficial when it comes to heart disease and cancer which are the two most common chronic conditions and causes of death among minority older adults. Among African-Americans, those living in a county with an ethnic density of 50% or more (that is, where half or more of the population shared the same background) were 46% less likely to report doctor-diagnosed heart disease and 77% less likely to report cancer than those who lived in an ethnic density of less than 25%. Mexican Americans living in a county with an ethnic density of 50% or more were 33% and 62% less likely to report heart disease and cancer, respectively, than those who lived in an ethnic density of less than 25%. Ethnic density was significantly more protective for heart disease in African-Americans than Mexican-Americans; the association between ethnic density and cancer was equally strong for both groups.
Not only is the U.S. economy in shambles, violent crime is at an all-time high and new federal statistics show that 2011 saw the biggest increase in criminal activity in nearly two decades with a large boost in the rate of violent victimizations for whites
The rate of violent crime increased by a whopping 17% in 2011, according to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), marking the biggest jump since 1993. According to the DOJ’s new crime report, there has been a large increase in the rate of violent victimizations for whites, Hispanics and younger people. That means white non-Hispanics and Hispanics experienced an increase in violent victimization rates, while the rate for black non-Hispanics was stable.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Around 30,000 years ago, not long after entering Europe, the ancestors of today’s Europeans and East Asians lightened in skin color through a new allele at the KITLG gene. But the real whitening came much later, between 19,000 and 11,000 years ago among ancestral Europeans only, through new alleles at TYRP1, SLC24A5, and SLC45A2.
Friday, October 19, 2012
South Africa, though still a treasure trove of minerals with the most sophisticated economy in Africa, is on the slide both economically and politically
According to the World Economic Forum, South Africa ranks 132nd out of 144 countries for its primary education and 143rd in science and math. The unemployment rate, officially 25%, is probably nearer 40%; half of South Africans under 24 looking for work have none. Of those who have jobs, a third earn less than $2 a day. Inequality has grown since apartheid, and the gap between rich and poor is now among the world’s largest. The main causes of South Africa’s sad decline are the ruling African National Congress' incompetence and outright corruption. The ANC has sought to undermine the independence of the courts, the police, the prosecuting authorities and the press.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Sexual violence in Haiti: 14% of households reported that at least one member of the household had been a victim of sexual violence since the earthquake of 2010
And 70% of households surveyed said that they were now more worried about sexual violence. Even before the quake, Haiti was the most dangerous place to be pregnant in the Western Hemisphere: the lifetime risk of dying during childbirth there is 1 in 47.
So much for that 7.8% unemployment rate.
That’s like a family that makes $70,000 a year — and is already knee-deep in debt — blowing nearly $110,000 a year. In fiscal year 2012 (which ended on September 30), the federal government acquired $2.449 trillion in tax revenue and other receipts. It spent $3.538 trillion — 44% more than it had available to spend. The resulting deficit was $1.089 trillion. In fiscal year 2011, the federal government acquired $2.303 trillion in tax revenues and other receipts. It spent $3.603 trillion — 56% more than it had available to spend. The resulting deficit was $1.3 trillion. In fiscal year 2010, the federal government acquired $2.163 trillion in tax revenues and other receipts. It spent $3.456 trillion — 60% more than it had available to spend. The resulting deficit was $1.293 trillion. In fiscal year 2009 — which was, for the most part, Bush’s fiscal year (his final one) — Obama’s economic “stimulus” added $183 billion to the deficit (it would add far more in future years), on top of the deficit that we were already running that year under Bush. So in all, under Obama, the federal government has acquired $6.846 trillion in tax revenues and other receipts, and it has spent $10.711 trillion — 56% more than it has had available to spend. Moreover, Obama has amassed this historic record of fiscal profligacy even before his centerpiece legislation has really taken effect. If it’s not repealed first, the colossally expensive Obamacare is poised to present grave new challenges to our fiscal solvency once it would become a reality in early 2014. With one fiscal year of this presidency still to come (regardless of the outcome on Election Day, fiscal year 2013 will belong to Obama) — and with the specter of Obamacare looming — our national debt is now over $16 trillion. That’s more than $6 trillion higher than it was during the first presidential debate of 2008, when Obama bemoaned what he called the “orgy of spending and enormous deficits” under Bush.
Welfare spending has grown substantially over the past four years, reaching $746 billion in 2011 — or more than Social Security, basic defense spending or any other single chunk of the federal government — according to a new memo by the Congressional Research Service
The steady rise in welfare spending, which covers more than 80 programs primarily designed to help low-income Americans, got a big boost from the 2009 stimulus and has grown, albeit somewhat more slowly, in 2010 and 2011. One reason is that more people are qualifying in the weak economy, but the federal government also has broadened eligibility so that more people qualify for programs. Overall, welfare spending as measured by obligations has grown from $563 billion in fiscal 2008 to $746 billion in fiscal 2011, or a jump of 32%. The CRS numbers tell a complex story of American taxpayers’ generosity in supporting a varied social safety net, ranging from food stamps to support for low-income AIDS patients to child-care payments to direct cash going from taxpayers to the poor. By far the biggest item on the list is Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor, which at $296 billion in federal spending made up 40% of all low-income assistance in 2011. That total was up $82 billion from 2008. Beyond that, the next big program is food stamps, at $75 billion in 2011, or 10% of welfare spending. It’s nearly twice the size it was in 2008 and accounts for a staggering 20% of the total welfare spending increase over those four years. Several programs to funnel cash to the poor also ranked high. Led by the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Supplemental Security Income and the Additional Child Tax Credit (CTC), direct cash aid accounts for about a fifth of all welfare.
A new Gallup survey, touted as the largest of its kind, estimates that 3.4% of American adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
The findings were based on interviews with more than 121,000 people. Gallup said that it is the largest study ever aimed at calculating the nation's LGBT population. The report's lead author, demographer Gary Gates of the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute, said that he hoped the findings would help puncture some stereotypes about gays and lesbians while illustrating the diversity of their community. "Contemporary media often think of LGBT people as disproportionately white, male, urban and pretty wealthy," he said. "But this data reveal that relative to the general population, the LGBT population has a larger proportion of non-white people and clearly is not overly wealthy." According to the survey, which was conducted between June and September 2012, 4.6% of African-Americans identify as LGBT, 4% of Hispanics, 4.3% of Asians and 3.2% of whites. Overall, a third of those identifying as LGBT are non-white, the report said. In contrast to some previous, smaller studies, the Gallup survey found that identification as LGBT is highest among Americans with the lowest levels of education. Among those with a high school education or less, 3.5% identify as LGBT, compared with 2.8% of those with a college degree and 3.2% of those with postgraduate education. A similar pattern was found regarding income groups. More than 5% of those with annual incomes of less than $24,000 identify as LGBT, compared to 2.8% of those making more than $60,000 a year. Among those who report income, about 16% of LGBT individuals have incomes above $90,000 per year, compared with 21% of the overall adult population, the Gallup survey found. It said that 35% of those who identify as LGBT report incomes of less than $24,000 a year, compared to 24% for the population in general. Gates said that he was struck by the geographical spread of the LGBT population - pegged at 3.7% in the East, 3.6% in the West, 3.4% in the Midwest and 3.2% in the South. The overall 3.4% figure is similar to a 3.8% estimate made previously by Gates after averaging a group of smaller U.S. surveys conducted from 2004 to 2008.
Fazil Say appeared in a cramped courtroom charged with “insulting religious values” in Twitter posts, accusations he rejected. The musician, who has performed with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebow in the Netherlands, faces up to 18 months in jail if convicted. The case has drawn particular attention amid continuing debate, notably among Turkey’s traditional elites, over the impact on the country of 10 years of rule by the Justice and Development party, or AKP, which has Islamist roots. Liberals also express concern about the number of journalists in prison, now thought to be about 75, and other pressures on the media. “Fazil Say’s trial is another example of Turkey’s terrible record on freedom of expression,” said Ezgi Basaran, a Turkish columnist. “His tweets about Islam might have offended some people but not to get offended is not a human right.”
Afghanistan: A young woman had her head chopped off for refusing to prostitute herself - and one of the killers was her mother-in-law
The other was the mother-in-law's cousin. And both admit it, according to Afghan police. To most people, the slaying of 20-year-old Mah Gul is unimaginable. But it's just "one more incident that highlights the violent atmosphere that women and girls face in Afghanistan and the region," Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said. The killing happened in Herat province, in southwest Afghanistan along the Iranian border. Gul's husband is a baker. When he left home for work, his mother and her cousin tried to force the young wife into prostitution, said Noorthan Mikvad, spokesman for Herat police. When she wouldn't do it, they beheaded her, he said. In a statement, Nossel said that women and girls in the region "are raped, killed, forced into marriage in childhood, prevented from obtaining an education and denied their sexual and reproductive rights. Until basic human rights are guaranteed ... these horrible abuses will continue to be committed." The U.S. State Department says that some "Afghan women and girls are subjected to forced prostitution, forced marriages – including through forced marriages in which husbands force their wives into prostitution, and where they are given by their families to settle debts or disputes." Some families even knowingly sell their children into forced prostitution, the State Department said, "including for bacha baazi – where wealthy men use groups of young boys for social and sexual entertainment." In Afghanistan, a nation where under Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, women were banned from classrooms, politics or employment. Women who wanted to leave home had to be escorted by a male relative and were forced to wear burqas. Those who disobeyed were publicly beaten. In some parts of Afghanistan in the late 1990s, locals were encouraged to blacken the windows on their homes so women inside could not be seen. Girls are in extraordinary danger in parts of Afghanistan. They are terrorized walking to school. In 2009 in Peshawar, Pakistan, near Afghanistan, the Taliban issued an official edict mandating that no more girls should be able to go to school. That was after the Taliban had regained their stake in the control in the region after the 2001 invasion. Girls and women's families sometimes abuse and kill them. In July 2012, the Taliban executed a woman in public, justifying the killing by saying she had committed adultery. In 2011, people around the world were appalled to learn about a then-13-year-old named Sahar Gul who had been married off to a member of the Afghan Army. Sahar said that her husband raped her, and enraged that she didn't immediately conceive, her in-laws locked her in a basement for months. They tortured Sahar with hot pokers and ripped out her nails. Ultimately, she said, they wanted to force her into prostitution as punishment for failing her obligation as a woman. Young Aesha had her nose and ears hacked off for running away from her husband's house. Aesha was brought to the United States. Her life continues to be hugely challenging as she's forever emotionally scared by the abuse she suffered.
A staggering one in four people have HIV/AIDS in Swaziland. According to the African Development Bank, youth unemployment in Swaziland is currently over 50%. Critics of King Mswati believe that he and his array of wives have contributed to the financial demise of this small landlocked kingdom. There are reports of shopping trips to Europe, a private jet from a private sponsor and plans for a second international airport for a country with just over one million people.
U.S. unemployment officially fell to 7.8% in September 2012 - but that doesn't mean the other 92.2% of adults are working
The unemployment rate only measures people who have searched for jobs in the last four weeks, while millions of other out-of-work Americans aren't included. But some economists think there's a better way to measure the health of the job market. Along with the official unemployment rate, the Department of Labor also calculates something called the employment-population ratio, which measures the percent of the U.S. adult population that has a job. The rate currently stands at 58.7%. While it jumps around slightly from month to month, it has essentially been stuck there for three years - close to the lowest level since the 1980s. That paints a much bleaker picture of the job market than the unemployment rate, which has fallen considerably in the last year. "The employment-to-population ratio is the best measure of labor market conditions and it currently shows that there has been almost no improvement whatsoever over the past three years," Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist for Capital Economics said in a note to clients. The ratio is also telling because it means that 41% of working-age Americans are out of a job for one reason or another.
A voodoo-practicing, drug-smuggling baggage handler will spend life in prison as a federal judge hit him with three life sentences for turning American Airlines into his own personal narcotics shuttle service
Former American Airlines baggage handler Victor Bourne, 37, was found guilty in 2011 of charges he used his access at John F. Kennedy International Airport to smuggle more than 330 pounds of cocaine from 2000 to 2009. He is a black man from Barbados. Bourne’s mother, Maria Alleyne, 52, stayed outside the courtroom, waiting in a vestibule as the sentence was announced. Alleyne had traveled to Africa before the trial began and and hired a witch doctor to put a curse on the prosecutors, according to court documents.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Young black women are the next most likely to be out of work (17%), followed by white and Asian men (both 16%) in Britain. Men are more likely to be unemployed than women amongst all ethnic groups, though the gender divide is starkest among white and black youngsters.
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21-year-old man, has been arrested on suspicion of planning to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
He will be charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda.
A new study from Washington University in St. Louis finds that under Obama, many black Americans feel less free than whites when it comes to political participation
From 2005 to 2011, only 45% of blacks said that they believed the government would allow them to make a public speech, while 67% of whites believed that they could, the study found. The study found that while the election of Obama initially boosted feelings of political empowerment among black Americans, those sentiments significantly faded in the years that followed—especially among conservative and religious blacks. These two groups make up a large segment of the black population, with 56% of blacks identifying as "born again," and 39% of blacks as "somewhat conservative," according to the study. "First we saw the 'empowerment effect,' the boost that happens when a member of your group gets elected to an important political position," says study author James L. Gibson, a professor of government and African-American studies at Washington University. Gibson's findings are based on national surveys conducted between 2005 and 2011. In 2009, the year after Obama was elected, 71% of blacks reported feeling as free to speak one's mind as they used to. "But then perceptions of political freedom deteriorated among conservative and religious blacks," says Gibson. By 2011, the percentage of blacks who felt as free to speak their mind had dropped to 56%, back to pre-Obama levels. (White Americans also reported feeling less free to speak one's mind under Obama, but the decline was far less than among blacks).
Monday, October 15, 2012
Africa: Mauritania's president was flown to France for medical treatment after the Western ally against al Qaeda was shot by his own soldiers in what he said was an accident
The shooting set the coup-prone northwest African country on edge and President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz appealed to Mauritanians to keep calm in a televised message from his hospital bed. Although Mauritania has been stable politically since Abdel Aziz seized power in 2008, it lies on the fringes of the Sahara Desert where Islamist gunmen hold increasing sway. "I want to reassure everyone about my state of health after this incident committed by error," Abdel Aziz said from his bed. "Thanks to God, I am doing well." He was covered in a sheet up to his neck and the extent of his wounds was not clear. Medical sources said that he had been shot in the abdomen, though the government announced he had been "lightly wounded." The president was flown to former colonial power France after undergoing an initial operation in a military hospital in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott. Abdel Aziz was wounded when soldiers opened fire on his car about 25 miles from Nouakchott, the government said. He was driving through the town of Toueila, in an area where he owns a ranch. Officials did not say what had happened to the soldiers who had opened fire on the convoy. Abdel Aziz was elected in 2009 after seizing power a year earlier in a coup that cut short the rule of Mauritania's first democratically elected president. Split between black and Arab Africa, Mauritania is bigger than Turkey but has only 3.5 million people. The largely desert country produces oil from wells offshore. Its other main export industries are mining and fishing.
Will South Asian men stop preying on young white girls in Britain? Probably not.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
A former Indiana surgeon arrested on a snowy Italian mountainside after five years on the run was handed a stiff prison term for billing insurers and patients for procedures he didn’t perform, with the federal judge saying that he used patients like an ATM machine. Mark Weinberger was given a seven-year prison term, nearly double the recommendation under federal sentencing guidelines. US District Judge Philip Simon said that the more severe sentence was necessary because Weinberger — who disappeared just before he was charged — left a web of lawsuits, 401(k) problems for his 40 employees and health issues for patients at his nose and sinus clinic. “The fallout from this is enormous,” the judge said, noting that hundreds of patients couldn’t access their medical records after Weinberger fled while vacationing in Greece. “I am very certain he knew at the time his world was collapsing around him,” Simon said. “Instead of addressing this collapsing, he fled from it.” Simon also said that Weinberger ran his medical office like a “factory,” saying that he moved patients through in volume so he could earn more than $30 million in the three years before he fled. The judge sentenced Weinberger nearly 18 months after rejecting a plea deal that called for a four-year prison sentence, saying that he wasn’t confident it took into account the magnitude of the crimes. Weinberger pleaded guilty in July 2012 to 22 counts of health care fraud under a plea deal that called for no more than of 10 years in prison. However, normal recommended sentencing guidelines called for between three and four years in prison. Weinberger has already spent nearly three years behind bars. He was arrested in December 2009 in Italy on a snowy mountainside, where authorities said he had been living in a tent. He stabbed himself in the neck while being taken into custody and spent time recovering in a hospital before being returned to the United States.
The wife of Israeli kabbalist Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto tried to commit suicide as her husband was being questioned by police
The rabbi’s wife, Rivka, was rushed to a Tel Aviv hospital after overdosing on pills. The couple were arrested and released to home detention after attempting to bribe a police officer to get information about an investigation into money laundering by the couple. A former aide to Pinto, Ofer Biton, was jailed recently in the United States over immigration violations. US officials have been scrutinizing Biton’s fundraising activities for a US congressman, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.). Biton had a falling-out with Pinto, whose supporters have accused Biton of embezzling funds from Pinto’s organizations.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
A Nebraska town with only 11 residents sells more than 4 million cans of beer every year - because it's next to a Native American reservation
An American Indian tribe is considering taking its case to state court after its lawsuit against four beer stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska was thrown out by a federal judge. The Oglala Sioux Tribe governs the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, just over the state line from Whiteclay. In 2011, the four beer stores named in the suit sold the equivalent of 4.3 million 12-ounce beer cans even though according to the latest census, Whiteclay has only 11 residents. Alcohol is banned on the reservation and the tribe has accused the nearby stores as well as manufacturers: Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors Brewing Company, MillerCoors LLC and Pabst Brewing Company of illegally selling millions of cans of beer to members of the tribe. Alcohol is a very serious problem for the Oglala Sioux Tribe. One in four children born on the reservation suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and the average life expectancy is estimated between 45 and 52 years - the shortest in the Northern Hemisphere except for Haiti. The average American life expectancy is 77.5 years.
In South Africa, 75% of whites will complete their education at high school level compared to just 29% of blacks
Even in Africa, blacks find it difficult to succeed. The ANC's Secretary General has bemoaned South Africa's "Irish coffee society" where there is a "concentration of black at the bottom and the white cream on top with a sprinkling of chocolate."
Is Britain as "racist" as the United States or could the problem be the behavior of young black men themselves?
A Paris court has fined Jean-François Dérec, a Jewish comedian and promoter of anti-racism campaigns, for using racial slurs against a black man
Dérec, a television celebrity and stand-up comedian, used a pejorative word in addressing a black security guard in Paris, whom he also called “dirty.” The Paris correctional court fined Derec $2,500. Derec, an Ashkenazi Jew, got into an argument with the black security guard after the guard would not let Derec into a building in Paris. The black security guard filed a complaint against Derec two days later.
A prominent rabbi who is a figure in the federal inquiry into the campaign of Representative Michael G. Grimm of Staten Island has been put under house arrest in Israel in a bribery and money-laundering investigation there, the Israeli police have said
The rabbi, Yoshiyahu Pinto, an Israeli citizen, also has a following in New York. A spokesman for the Israeli police, Micky Rosenfeld, said in a statement, “The rabbi and his wife were questioned by police officers yesterday for several hours on suspicion of attempting to bribe a high-ranked officer from the investigations department and get hold of sensitive documents.” Rabbi Pinto, who has not been charged with a crime, will be under house arrest for two weeks; he surrendered his passport. His lawyer in Israel, Yaron Lipshes, said he was confident the rabbi would be cleared. Grimm, a first-term Republican, met the rabbi during the run-up to his successful 2010 campaign. Rabbi Pinto’s followers subsequently donated more than $500,000 to Grimm’s campaign, according to interviews and campaign records. Some of the rabbi’s followers later said that Grimm and a campaign fund-raiser, Ofer Biton, told them that the campaign would accept donations over the legal limit, given in cash or made by foreigners without green cards. The United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn is looking into the improper donations. Biton was arrested in August 2012 on immigration charges and may face others. He had been an aide to Rabbi Pinto for much of the Grimm campaign. Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the United States attorney’s office, declined to comment on the effects the Israeli investigation might have on his efforts.
When prisoners are included, the employment rate for young black men who have dropped out of school sinks from an already low 42% to 26%. Government estimates suggest that eventually one in three of all black male adults will spend some time in prison if current trends continue. In the 1930s, blacks were three times more likely to be incarcerated than whites, but the figure now is seven times more likely. The National Urban League civil rights group showed that from 2005 to 2009 the average black household's wealth fell by more than half. From 2009 to 2012, median annual household income for blacks fell by 11.1%, compared with a drop of 5.2% for whites and 4.1% for Hispanics. The current black unemployment rate of 14% is roughly double that of the white jobless.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Texas: A Hispanic mother who super-glued her 2-year-old daughter's hands to a wall and beat her over potty training problems has been sentenced to 99 years in prison
Elizabeth Escalona, 23, will be eligible to ask for parole in 30 years. She pleaded guilty in July 2012 to a charge of first-degree injury to a child, a crime punishable by anywhere between probation and life in prison. "This mom was pure evil, and her children are better off without her," prosecutor Eren Price said after a judge delivered the sentence. "Her five kids now have a chance to lead a productive life." Escalona's daughter Jocelyn Cedillo was less than two months shy of her 3rd birthday in September 2011 when Escalona used a powerful adhesive to glue her hands to a wall and beat her because of potty training troubles, authorities said. Three other children belonging to Escalona, who was pregnant at the time, witnessed the abuse, according to Dallas County district attorney's office spokeswoman Debbie Denmon. The child urinated on herself during the ordeal, during which she was hit in head and kicked in the groin, among other forms of abuse, Denmon said. Oefelia Escalona, the defendant's mother, testified during her daughter's sentencing hearing that she found the girl and took her to a hospital. Once Jocelyn was there, medical authorities noticed severe bruises to her face and head, as well as a severe brain injury that led to her temporarily being in a coma. At the sentencing hearing, prosecutors showed pictures of Jocelyn's hands and bruised body and forehead. "The entire picture was very shocking," said Dr. Amy Barton, then a child abuse pediatrician at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, choking back tears on the stand. "I see a lot of children, and this was one of the most shocking cases that I have seen." Escalona asked for leniency during her sentencing hearing, saying that she behaved like a monster but deserved a second chance. Her mother asked the judge to sentence Elizabeth to probation. Price initially offered a plea bargain of 45 years in prison, but Escalona turned it down, the district attorney's office said. Price said that the judge, after learning more about Escalona during the hearing, was justified in sentencing her to more time. "Elizabeth Escalona wasn't sorry for what she did to 2-year-old Jocelyn. Elizabeth Escalona felt sorry for herself," Price said. "Those tears on the stand were for her and not for the toddler she tortured." Before this incident, Escalona had been investigated by Texas Child Protective Services but never arrested or charged, Denmon said. The child welfare agency put all of her children in foster care after Jocelyn was taken to the hospital. All five of them, including Jocelyn, are now in the custody of their grandmother, Oefelia Escalona.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
In Swat, a province of Pakistan near the northwest frontier with Afghanistan, Taliban gunmen opened fire on a school bus, attempting to kill a 14-year-old girl who had become a prominent advocate for women’s rights
The girl, Malala Yousafzai, was hit with a bullet in her neck, and is now undergoing treatment, from which it appears she’ll recover. A Pakistani Taliban spokesman said that they carried out the attack. Ehsanullah Ehsan said that they attacked her because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared.
Seven torah scrolls were stolen from a synagogue and replaced with rolls of paper and cardboard — by the congregation’s rabbi, police say – during Simchat Torah celebrations
The incident happened in the small Negev town of Moshav Brosh. According to police, as revelers danced with Torah scrolls during the customary celebrations of the Simchat Torah festival, thieves made off with several of the precious parchments, estimated to be worth about NIS 500,000 ($129,523). The robbers used rolls of paper with the same shape as Torah scrolls as decoys while they escaped. Ofakim police arrested the synagogue’s rabbi, after worshipers confronted him about the deception.
In the final, horrifying moments of his life, a popular soccer coach from England desperately fought his Hispanic killer on a Manhattan sidewalk, slamming the knife-wielding Latino attacker into a wall while being stabbed repeatedly
Surveillance cameras captured Michael Jones’ battle to the death, then filmed his cold-blooded attacker casually slinking off into the darkness, leaving the 25-year-old victim to die in a pool of blood on West 14th Street. A manhunt continues for the pony-tailed killer, who butchered the New York Red Bulls’ youth soccer coach by slashing his throat and severing his ear.
Monday, October 8, 2012
Girls should marry while they are children to avoid being raped, Indian caste elders declared after a 16 year girl killed herself following a gang-rape
Caste councils, known as Khap Panchayats, called for children to be allowed to marry lawfully as soon as they reach puberty and said that they believe it would halt the increase in rape cases which has caused alarm throughout Northern India. Their call came following an outcry over the gang-rape and subsequent suicide of a 16 year old girl, Sharmila, in Sacchakhera village, Haryana, close to the capital New Delhi. According to relatives, she was gang-raped by neighbors, while members of a neighbor's family watched, including a local policeman. Several of them have been arrested but the policeman has been reported missing. Shortly after the attack, the girl poured kerosene on her body and set fire to herself. She was taken to a local hospital which declined to treat her, and died shortly after reaching another. The attack was the 12th rape in the state in the last four weeks.
That 52-point gap was the largest the polling outfit has ever seen, topping even Bill Clinton's 42-point margin over George H. W. Bush in 1992. Romney nearly earned a clean sweep among self-identified Republicans, 97% to 2%, and likewise posted a strong showing among independents, 70% to 19%. Things were relatively tighter among Democrats, but the GOP hopeful still managed a 10-point win with Obama's own party, 49% to 39%.
Romney also holds a significant 49% to 41% advantage on improving the job situation. Swing voters favor Romney on the deficit by a two-to-one (41% vs. 20%) margin. Among swing voters, 54% now say that they agree with the statement “Obama doesn’t know how to turn the economy around” versus just 39% who disagree.
Since the recession and slow recovery, the black middle class has suffered massive decreases in wealth and high rates of home foreclosures
The Pew Charitable Trusts' Economic Mobility Project recently released a report projecting that 68% of African-Americans reared in the middle of the wealth ladder will not do as well as the previous generation. In August 2012, the National Urban League's State of Black America 2012 report found that nearly all the economic gains that the black middle class made during the last 30 years have been wiped out by the economic downturn. "This is a very dire situation," said Valerie Rawlston Wilson, an economist with the National Urban League Policy Institute. "Even for blacks who have college degrees, we've seen a doubling of their unemployment (rate) between 2007 and 2010." From 2005 to 2009, the average black household's wealth fell by more than half, to $5,677, while white household wealth fell 16% to $113,149, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2009, 24% of black households had no major assets other than a vehicle, compared with 6% of their white counterparts. "For every $20 whites have in wealth, blacks have just $1," said Paul Taylor, director of Pew's Social and Demographic Trends project. Mary Pattillo, a Northwestern University professor and expert on the black middle class, said that this segment of the population is so fragile because it's disproportionately lower middle class. "It includes workers, such as the administrative assistant and the lower-level salesperson, who make about $30,000 a year and whose job doesn't require a college degree," Pattillo said. The median annual household income for blacks declined by 11.1% (from $36,567 to $32,498) from June 2009 to June 2012, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by Sentier Research. The decline for whites was 5.2% and for Hispanics 4.1%. Both groups started with higher incomes than blacks. Historically, many blacks have made it into the middle class via public-sector and union jobs. But since 2008, the public sector has shed about 600,000 positions. The 2009 recovery is the first in nearly 40 years that has not been accompanied by an expansion in the public sector. "In every recovery since the 1970s - in 1975, 1982, 1991 and 2001 - we've seen the government sector grow," said Adriana Kugler, chief economist for the U.S. Labor Department. "The reason there hasn't been growth is, unlike the federal government, city and state budgets can't operate on deficits." But the other reason is the property tax base of many local governments is being whittled away by the home foreclosure crisis. After the housing bubble burst in 2006, everyone was affected, but blacks were hit particularly hard. About one-quarter of blacks have lost their homes or are seriously delinquent and at risk of losing them, according to the North Carolina-based Center for Responsible Lending. The Woodstock Institute, a Chicago-based nonprofit research group focused on fair lending issues, has found that although 25% of homes in the Chicago area were underwater, about 40% of homes in predominantly black neighborhoods were. The average equity for mortgaged properties in communities that are more than 90% white is about $108,000. In communities that are 80% or more black, the average is $6,800. Home values and equity are a huge deal because homes account for about 60% of black wealth.
Mayor Dave Bing announced at a press conference that Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee submitted a sudden letter of retirement following claims that the city’s police chief was involved in a relationship with a subordinate. Bing made it clear that Godbee wasn’t fired, saying leaving was his own decision. But he did support Godbee’s decision. Bing added that Godbee apologized for letting him down. “I got to know Chief Godbee well over his tenure and respected him as a person who was very involved in our community, respected in our community,” Bing said. “It bothers me, it hurts me a great deal that it has come to this. I worry about him as a person and hope that he is able to get on with his life.” In his retirement letter, Godbee touted his 25-year career, never mentioning the scandal that ensnared him at the end. Bing suspended Godbee for 30 days from his $140,400-a-year post after a lawyer for internal affairs officer Angelica Robinson revealed that the two had been involved in a sexual relationship. Angelica Robinson’s attorney, David Robinson, stated that his client was trying to cut off the relationship and that Godbee “didn’t like that.” David Robinson said that Godbee had other officers locate 37-year-old Angelica Robinson and put her under surveillance after she posted a photo on Twitter that showed her with her service weapon in her mouth. Angelica Robinson, who is married, allegedly took the photo after becoming irate when Godbee, who is currently in the process of divorcing his wife, went to a police conference in California with another woman. The mayor hired Godbee two years ago after firing his predecessor Warren Evans, in part because of similar charges involving a subordinate, Lt. Monique Patterson. Godbee also had a romantic relationship with Patterson before she began dating Evans and when she was Godbee’s subordinate. The relationship between Godbee and Patterson was made public after Godbee was named interim chief. Bing subsequently issued a statement insisting he wouldn’t fire Godbee for having an affair with a subordinate.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
An update to an election forecasting model announced by two University of Colorado professors in August continues to project that Mitt Romney will win the 2012 presidential election
According to their updated analysis, Romney is projected to receive 330 of the total 538 Electoral College votes. Barack Obama is expected to receive 208 votes - down five votes from their initial prediction - and short of the 270 needed to win. While many election forecast models are based on the popular vote, this model is based on the Electoral College and is the only one of its type to include more than one state-level measure of economic conditions. The professors included economic data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Of the 13 battleground states identified in the model, the only one to change in the update was New Mexico - now seen as a narrow victory for Romney. The model foresees Romney carrying New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. Obama is predicted to win Michigan and Nevada. In Colorado, which Obama won in 2008, the model predicts that Romney will receive 53.3% of the vote to Obama’s 46.7%, with only the two major parties considered.
Almost 200 foreign criminal suspects were arrested every day by Britain’s largest police force in 2011
Just over 72,500 – a third of the total arrested – were held by the Metropolitan Police and questioned about crimes including murder, rape, robbery and fraud. The figure is up almost a quarter on two years ago when 58,870 non-British suspects were arrested in London. The rising trend is mirrored elsewhere, with Britain’s second largest force, West Midlands Police, arresting 11,801 between April 2011 and March 2012. That is an increase of more than half on the previous 12 months when 7,716 foreign suspects were held. Meanwhile, the number of foreign criminals who were convicted and deported countrywide fell from 5,342 in 2010 to 4,649 in 2011.
Rather than pale and interesting, women prefer their men to be rosy and glowing, research has found. In a study, women were asked to manipulate pictures of men’s faces to make them more attractive. The first thing they did was make their skin tone redder. It is thought that rosy cheeks are a sign of good circulation and therefore an indication of good health. The researchers showed 45 women computerized photographs of 21 young men and asked them to manipulate their complexions to make them more attractive. The women, who had the choice of adding red or yellow tones, tended to plump for a degree of pinkness. They added even more red when asked to make the men look as dominant as possible. The study also found that the women associated very red faces with aggression. The researchers have shown that increased redness enhances the appearance of dominance, aggression and attractiveness in men’s faces viewed by women.
According to a recent Rutgers University report, more than half of those who have received a college degree since 2006 cannot find full-time jobs
At 15.1% — some 46 million people — the proportion of Americans in poverty is now at its highest level since 1993. The Commerce Department just reported that GDP grew at an annual rate of only 1.3% in the second quarter of 2012. When one counts all those looking for full-time jobs and unable to get them, the true unemployment rate is close to 17%. The reason that the economic recovery is coinciding with middle class decline is increasingly clear. America is creating jobs, but they are bad jobs: retailing, food preparation, and table waiting, for example — in other words, jobs that don’t pay much. Most of the job losses from 2008 to early 2010 were in the middle-income category, jobs that pay from roughly $14 to $21 an hour. What is disturbing is that in the job turnaround since then, only one in five such jobs came back. Instead, very low-end jobs, paying $7.70 to $13.80 an hour, accounted for most new employment.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
New research suggests that a mother's high blood pressure during pregnancy may have an effect on her child's thinking skills all the way into old age
"High blood pressure and related conditions such as preeclampsia complicate about 10% of all pregnancies and can affect a baby's environment in the womb," said Katri Räikönen, PhD, with the University of Helsinki in Finland. "Our study suggests that even declines in thinking abilities in old age could have originated during the prenatal period when the majority of the development of brain structure and function occurs." Researchers looked at medical records for the mother's blood pressure in pregnancy for 398 men who were born between 1934 and 1944. The men's thinking abilities were tested at age 20 and then again at an average age of 69. Tests measured language skills, math reasoning and visual and spatial relationships. The study found that men whose mothers had high blood pressure while pregnant scored 4.36 points lower on thinking ability tests at age 69 compared to men whose mothers did not have high blood pressure. The group also scored lower at the age of 20 and had a greater decline in their scores over the decades than those whose mothers did not have problems with blood pressure. The finding was strongest for math-related reasoning. The researchers also looked at whether premature birth affected these findings and found no change. Whether the baby's father was a manual laborer or an office worker also did not change the results. Blacks tend to suffer from high blood pressure. Could this at least partially explain their lower IQs?
The increase in anal cancer incidence in the United States between 1980 and 2005 was greatly influenced by HIV infections in males, but not females
Anal cancer in the United States is rare, with an estimated 6,230 cases in 2012, but incidence has been steadily increasing in the general population since 1940. HIV infection is significantly associated with an increase in anal cancer risk, and anal cancer is the fourth most common cancer found in HIV-infected people. However, it has been unclear the degree to which anal cancer cases occurring among people with HIV has affected anal cancer incidence in the general population. Researchers have found that of the 20,533 anal cancer cases between 1980 and 2005, an estimated 1,665 individuals were infected with HIV. In 2001-2005, the most recent time period examined, 1.2% of women with anal cancer and 28.4% of men with anal cancer were HIV-positive. During 1980-2005, HIV infection did not have an impact on the increasing anal cancer incidence rates among women, but HIV had a strong impact on the increasing anal cancer incidence rates among men.
Portuguese gay male model Renato Seabra cut off lover’s testicles and wore them on his wrists, his lawyer says
Renato Seabra, a gay Portuguese model, is on trial on charges that he castrated and killed Portuguese TV personality Carlos Castro. He used his lover's testicles as a talisman. Renato Seabra, a gay Portuguese male model, said that he was so tortured by his May-December romance with Carlos Castro that he beat him to death, castrated him with a corkscrew, then wore the dead man's manhood on his arms to harness what he believed was its healing powers, his defense lawyer said at the opening of the murder trial. “He put one on each wrist," said lawyer Rubin Sinins said. "He did this for his protection. He could also harness the power. He wandered the streets of Manhattan, touching people, because he had the power to cure people from AIDS, because he had the power to cure them." Seabra, 21, killed his 65-year-old lover — a noted Portuguese society journalist and gay activist — in a sudden psychotic onset, said the lawyer. "He willingly told police. He wanted to explain why he killed Mr. Castro, because he thought what he had done was right." Sinins asked the jury to return a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, with the possibility of being committed to a psychiatric facility.
Single women overwhelmingly support Obama.
From January 2009 to September 2012, foreign-born employment rose 1.496 million, or by 6.9% while native-born employment fell by 0.743 million, or by -0.6%. Since Obama took office, native-born job losses are about half the immigrant job gains. Put differently, during the Obama era one native worker has been displaced per every two foreign-born workers added to the U.S. workforce. Over the past 12 months, the foreign-born population of working age rose more than three-times faster than the corresponding native-born population — 3.9% versus 1.1%. That’s consistent with the notion that Obama’s Administrative Amnesty is beginning to intensify competition faced by American workers — functioning like an inverted immigration moratorium, exactly the opposite of what public policy should be doing.
French police traded gunfire in a Strasbourg apartment building with the top suspect in a September 2012 supermarket bombing, leaving the 33-year-old Muslim man dead and one police officer wounded, prosecutors said
The incident was part of a far-reaching, coordinated counter-terrorism operation targeting radical Islamists that led to 10 arrests, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said. A chief focus of the sweep was Jeremy Sidney, a 33-year-old former convict who at one point converted to radical Islam, Molins said. The prosecutor said that Sidney's DNA was found on a small explosive device thrown September 19, 2012 into a kosher supermarket in Sarcelles, outside Paris, wounding one customer. Police officers had gone to an apartment building in Strasbourg, in eastern France, that was home to one of Sidney's two religious wives, said Molins. According to preliminary reports, Sidney shot at police as soon as they opened the door - firing six shots and emptying his .357 Magnum revolver before being killed in an exchange of gunfire. A police officer who was shot in the thorax is expected to survive, said Molins. He credits the officers' bulletproof vests and helmets with preventing more injuries. Inside the man's apartment, police found a female companion with a 6-year-old child and a 1-month-old infant, according to Strasbourg prosecutor Patrick Poirret. The woman was taken into custody as part of the terrorism case, Poirret said. Child welfare workers took custody of the 6-year-old, but the infant was allowed to remain with the woman because she is breastfeeding, Poirret said. Sidney - who was born in Melun, France - was sentenced to two years in prison in 2008 after being convicted of drug trafficking, said Molins. French intelligence operatives had been monitoring him since spring - well before the Sarcelles' attack - but he had not been questioned by authorities. "He appeared (to be) a delinquent converted to radical Islam," said Molins, who later added that Sidney never trained to fight abroad. A total of 10 people were arrested in a single day across France, as part of the law enforcement operation. One man who was arrested on top of a building in Torcy, about 16 miles east of Paris, was armed with a loaded. 22 caliber pistol, Molins said. All 10 people are being held on suspicion of having links to terrorism, manufacturing deadly explosives, illegal possession of weapons and attempted homicide of police officers. Three of them have criminal records for drug trafficking, theft or violence, according to Molins. "They are common criminals who started to be radicalized to become radical Islamists and jihadists," he said. Police seized a number of items such as ammunition, a list of "Israelite" organizations in and around Paris, a publication produced by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, wills, computer equipment and 27,000 euros ($35,000) in cash, the prosecutor added.
Primitive Africa: An estimated 600 elderly African women were killed in 2011 due to the suspicion that they were witches, according to the Legal and Human Rights Center in Tanzania
Sixty percent of Tanzanians believe that sacrifices to ancestors or spirits can protect them from harm and many African Christians and Muslims incorporate elements of traditional African beliefs into their daily lives. Dark arts flourished in Tanzania partly because, compared to its neighbors, it was less colonized by European powers. For centuries, witchcraft has served to explain anything inexplicable, in rural Tanzanian villages like a severely sick child or strange illness.
Researchers have found that eliminating affirmative action would reduce the number of black students by about 60%, and the number of Hispanic students by about one-third, at selective private schools. Most of those spots would likely go to whites who are not eligible for affirmative action.
Friday, October 5, 2012
Scientists have found that despite equal access to care, African American diabetic patients experienced higher rates of end-stage renal failure, but lower rates of coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke than did white diabetic patients
The researchers also found that female diabetic patients had lower rates of the four complications than did male diabetic patients.
FW de Klerk, the president who led South Africa out of apartheid, said excessive positive discrimination towards black students applying for university was in danger of depriving the country of the talent it needed to prosper
In remarks likely to antagonize elements in the ruling African National Congress, de Klerk warned that “there is too much prescriptiveness on admissions policy” and that “universities are under great pressure to discriminate on the basis of race and color”. de Klerk, 76, said that he supported affirmative action “in all walks of life in order to rectify the wrongs of the past”, but he should not be carried but by clearly defined quotas. The “previously disadvantaged” concept that guides affirmative action policy was irrelevant, he said, to children of middle class black families “who have grown up in a well to do home”. “It is not only black south Africans who are disadvantaged now. There are disadvantaged people in all racial groups,” de Klerk said. de Klerk, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela for ending apartheid has previously accused the ANC under President Jacob Zuma of exacerbating racial tensions by blaming the country’s whites for continuing poverty and inequality. He said that the country was now at a “tipping point on unbalanced affirmative action” and could go the wrong way if Zuma’s brand of populism prevailed.
The Center for Immigration Studies projects that the Hispanic share of the nation's electorate will increase by 1.5 percentage points, from 7.4% in 2008 to 8.9% in the 2012 election
The CIS also found that Hispanics will be a somewhat smaller share of voters in battleground states than of the overall electorate. In 2012, non-Hispanic whites are expected to be 73.4% of the national vote and non-Hispanic blacks are expected to be 12.2%. To place the Hispanic share of the electorate into perspective, eight percentage points of the Hispanic vote nationally equals slightly less than one percentage point of the non-Hispanic white vote.
Fifty-seven percent of Americans ages 18 to 25 are opposed to racial preferences playing a role in college admissions or hiring decisions, according to a recent poll of members of the Millennial Generation
Less than one-in-five (19%) of white Millennials favor programs designed to help blacks and other minorities get ahead, while nearly two-thirds (66%) are opposed. In contrast, three-quarters (75%) of black Millennials and more than six-in-ten (63%) Hispanic Millennials favor such programs
At the same time, the unemployment rate for Latinos in the same age group was 12.1%.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
A devastating Salmonella epidemic is ravaging parts of sub-Saharan Africa right now — and it appears that HIV gave this rapidly evolving form of Salmonella a major boost
According to a new study, the African HIV epidemic appears to have provided this strain of Salmonella with a large number of humans with weakened immune systems, giving it a place to evolve, and to spread rapidly. The new, improved strain of Salmonella doesn't respond to the first set of antibiotics, meaning that doctors have to use more expensive drugs instead. Called non-Typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS), the relatively new disease was generated by a new form of the bacteria Salmonella typhimurium that spread from Southern and Central Africa. iNTS is a blood-borne infection that kills 25% to 45% of Sub-Saharan Africans who contract it. In other parts of the world, NTS is fatal in less than 1% of people infected. The disease appears to be more severe in Africa, on account of such factors as malnutrition, co-infection with malaria or HIV — and possibly also, the new mutated version of the Salmonella bacteria.
Even though blacks are more likely to enter college than are whites with similar backgrounds, they usually get much lower grades, rank toward the bottom of the class, and far more often drop out
Black college freshmen are more likely to aspire to science or engineering careers than are white freshmen, but blacks abandon these fields at twice the rate of whites. Blacks who start college interested in pursuing a doctorate and an academic career are twice as likely to be derailed from this path if they attend a school where they are mismatched. About half of black college students rank in the bottom 20% of their classes (and the bottom 10% in law school). Black law school graduates are four times as likely to fail bar exams as are whites. Interracial friendships are more likely to form among students with relatively similar levels of academic preparation; thus, blacks and Hispanics are more socially integrated on campuses where they are less academically mismatched.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Immigrant job-seekers have gained far more in Barack Obama’s weak economy than have native-born Americans, according to government data
Since Obama’s inauguration, employers have fired and hired millions of workers during the bust and slow recovery. The net result is that they employed more than 1.7 million more immigrants — but only 418,000 more native-born Americans — in August 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey.