Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Black-on-white crime: The great-granddaughter of General Foods founder and heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post has been found slain at her luxury spa resort on the Caribbean island of Roatan, Honduras police have said
Roatan police chief Alex Madrid said that Nedenia Post Dye, 46, was found stabbed in her room on December 22. He said that police had arrested a local singer whom Dye was helping quit drugs. The black suspect, Lenin Roberto Arana, 25, told police that he and Dye had been romantically involved, Madrid said. Madrid said that Arana had been captured wearing blood-soaked clothing as he tried to flee in Dye's car. Police said that Dye appeared to have been stabbed many times in the back. Madrid said that Dye was murdered by Lenin Roberto Arana Carlos, also known as the musician Canario, with whom she was in a romantic relationship. Police believe that she was a victim of domestic violence. The black man killed her because he wanted to get crack cocaine. He has been charged with her murder.
Monday, December 30, 2013
Pittsburgh: An orthodox Jewish rabbi is being sued for accidentally severing a baby's penis during a traditional bris ceremony
Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg botched the bris earlier in 2013, forcing the baby to be hospitalized for almost two months and undergo six blood transfusions. But doctors say that the penis was successfully reattached. "It doesn't always work," said a surgeon who wasn't involved in the case. Even after successful "microsurgery", "sometimes the nerves don’t heal well beyond where you reattached it." Rabbi Rosenberg says on his website that he is a "certified mohel" and notes that a doctor's medical circumcision "is not considered valid according to Jewish law." However, attorney David Llewellyn says that the training of mohels is dangerously unregulated: "I think the government probably should require some sort of training if this is going to be done," he said. But Rosenberg said that he is "trained in this" and called the incident a "horrible situation" and a "tragic accident." He has continued to perform circumcisions.
Friday, December 27, 2013
France is considering banning performances by a black comedian whose shows have repeatedly insulted the memory of Holocaust victims and could threaten public order, Interior Minister Manuel Valls has said
He said that his ministry is studying legal ways to ban shows by Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, a comedian repeatedly fined for hate speech who ran in the 2009 European Parliament elections at the head of an "Anti-Zionist List" including far-right activists. Valls announced the move after Jewish groups complained to President Francois Hollande about Dieudonne's trademark straight-arm gesture, which they call a "Nazi salute in reverse" and link to a growing frequency of anti-Semitic remarks and acts in France. "Dieudonne M'bala M'bala doesn't seem to recognize any limits any more," Valls said in a statement announcing the legal review aimed at banning his public appearances. "From one comment to the next, as he has shown in several television shows, he attacks the memory of Holocaust victims in an obvious and unbearable way," he said. France has Europe's largest Jewish minority, estimated at about 600,000, but also sees a steady emigration to Israel of Jews who say that they no longer feel safe there. In the worst recent anti-Semitic incident, a French Islamist killed a rabbi and three pupils at a Jewish school in the southwestern French city of Toulouse. Dieudonne, as he is known on stage, has responded to the criticism from prominent Jewish figures by threatening to sue them for linking his gesture - a downward straight arm touched at the shoulder by the opposite hand - to the Hitler salute. He calls the gesture "la quenelle" - the word for an elongated creamed fish dumpling - and says that it stands for his anti-Zionist and anti-establishment views, not anti-Semitism. The gesture has gone viral on social media recently, with mostly young fans displaying it at parties and sports events. Some do it while in the audience at live television shows. Two soldiers were sanctioned by the army in September 2013 for making the gesture in uniform in front of a Paris synagogue. "It's the Nazi salute in reverse," Roger Cukierman, head of the CRIF umbrella group of Jewish organizations, said after complaining about it to Hollande. "Very clearly, Mr Dieudonne is developing a nearly professional anti-Semitism under the cover of telling jokes." Dieudonne, 46, Paris-born son of a Cameroonian father and French mother, began his comedy career with a Jewish sidekick in the early 1990s and appeared in several films. Originally active with anti-racist left-wing groups, he began openly criticizing Jews and Israel in 2002 and ran in the European elections two years later with a pro-Palestinian party. He has been fined several times in France for defaming Jews. Police broke up his one-man-show in a Brussels theatre for suspected anti-Semitic hate speech, but he was not convicted. When Radio France's Patrick Cohen asked on air if the media should pay so much attention to him, Dieudonne suggested that the journalist should get ready to emigrate. "When I hear Patrick Cohen speaking, I say to myself, you see, the gas chambers ... too bad," he said.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
The Office for National Statistics has disclosed that in 2012 more than 80% of babies born in three London boroughs had either one or both parents born outside of Britain
Across London, nearly seven in 10 babies had at least one non-British father or mother, while across England and Wales the figure was one in three. Almost nine in 10 babies born in parts of Britain have at least one foreign-born parent, official figures have revealed for the first time. The biggest migrant group in Britain is those born in India, which accounts for 694,000 people in England and Wales. Pakistan has 482,000 immigrants living in England and Wales.
A gene variant that seems to increase the risk of diabetes in Latin Americans appears to have been inherited from Neanderthals
Modern humans interbred with a population of Neanderthals shortly after leaving Africa 60,000-70,000 years ago. This means that Neanderthal genes are now scattered across the genomes of all non-Africans living today. The gene variant was detected in a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) of more than 8,000 Mexicans and other Latin Americans. The GWAS approach looks at many genes in different individuals, to see whether they are linked with a particular trait. People who carry the higher risk version of the gene are 25% more likely to have diabetes than those who do not, and people who inherited copies from both parents are 50% more likely to have diabetes. The higher risk form of the gene - named SLC16A11 - has been found in up to half of people with recent Native American ancestry, including Latin Americans. The variant is found in about 20% of East Asians and is rare in populations from Europe and Africa. The elevated frequency of this variant in Latin Americans could account for as much as 20% of these populations' increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes - the origins of which are complex and poorly understood. "To date, genetic studies have largely used samples from people of European or Asian ancestry, which makes it possible to miss culprit genes that are altered at different frequencies in other populations," said co-author Jose Florez, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts. "By expanding our search to include samples from Mexico and Latin America, we've found one of the strongest genetic risk factors discovered to date, which could illuminate new pathways to target with drugs and a deeper understanding of the disease." The researchers discovered that the SLC16A11 sequence associated with risk of type 2 diabetes is found in a newly sequenced Neanderthal genome from Denisova Cave in Siberia. Analyses indicate that the higher risk version of SLC16A11 was introduced into modern humans through interbreeding between early modern humans and Neanderthals. It is not unusual to find Neanderthal genes. About 2% of the genomes of present-day non-Africans were inherited from this distinctive human group, which lived across Europe and western Asia from about 400,000-300,000 years ago until 30,000 years ago. But scientists are only just beginning to understand the functional implications of this Neanderthal inheritance. "One of the most exciting aspects of this work is that we've uncovered a new clue about the biology of diabetes," said co-author David Altshuler, who is based at the Broad Institute in Massachusetts. SLC16A11 is part of a family of genes that code for proteins that transport metabolites - molecules involved in the body's various chemical reactions. Altering the levels of the SLC16A11 protein can change the amount of a type of fat that has been implicated in the risk of diabetes. These findings suggest that SLC16A11 could be involved in the transport of an unknown metabolite that affects fat levels in cells and thereby increases risk of type 2 diabetes.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Black women in the United States are much more likely to have high blood pressure than black men or white women and white men, according to a new study
The researchers also found that blacks are twice as likely as whites to have undiagnosed and untreated high blood pressure. "For many years, the focus for high blood pressure was on middle-aged men who smoked. Now we know better," said study author Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson, an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. For the study, researchers examined data from 70,000 people in 12 southeastern states known as the "stroke belt." This region has higher rates of stroke than anywhere else in the United States. High blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke, the researchers said. The overall rate of high blood pressure among the people in the study was 57%, but was higher in blacks (59%) than whites (52%). The rate among black women was 64%, compared with 52% in white women and 51% in both black and white men. Among the study participants with high blood pressure, 31% of black men were undiagnosed, along with 28% of black women, 27% of white men and 17% of white women. Blacks were twice as likely as whites to have uncontrolled high blood pressure, and men were more likely than women to have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
An Orthodox Jewish drug kingpin under house arrest in Staten Island has been granted permission to join his fiancé in a visit to the tomb of the late Lubavitcher rebbe Menachem Schneerson so the couple can prepare for their marriage
Jonathan Braun, who impregnated his fiancé during his term of house arrest, is facing more than 20 years in prison, but convinced Federal Judge Sandra Townes that he wants to make his lady, who is five weeks pregnant, his wife. Braun, who is an Orthodox Jew, will be allowed to visit his future in-laws to make the official announcement of their nuptials, and also leave his home to shop for a wedding ring, get fitted for a tuxedo and accompany the unidentified fiancé to doctor visits, according to papers filed in Brooklyn Federal Court. Townes will also allow Braun to attend an engagement party and a seven-night ceremony called “‘Sheva Brachot’ in which close family members gather at a home or restaurant and recite blessings for the newly married couple,” court papers say. Thousands of visitors make the pilgrimage to the rebbe’s resting place in Queens for “blessing, encouragement, or advice,” according to the Ohel Chabad-Lubavitch Center web site. Federal prosecutors had opposed Braun’s release on $8 million bail, but apparently took no position on whether he should be allowed to leave his home to make ready for his wedding. He pleaded guilty earlier in 2013 to supervising a massive marijuana ring that conspired to distribute 10,000 kilos of weed from Canada into the United States between 2007 and 2010. He admitted using encrypted BlackBerry devices to communicate with his underlings. “At its height ... Braun’s organization raked in more than $6 million per week,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Tiscione stated in court papers. Braun also reputedly had ties to the Hells Angels and Canada’s West End gang while deploying a small army of boatmen and drivers who used vehicles with hidden compartments to transport pot from Canada through the Akwesasne Native American reservations to New York, court papers say.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Black women will lose less weight than white women even if they follow the exact same exercise and diet regimen
The reason behind this finding is that black women's metabolisms run more slowly, which decreases their daily energy burn, said study author James DeLany, an associate professor in the division of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "African-American women have a lower energy expenditure. They're going to have to eat fewer calories than they would if they were Caucasian, and/or increase their physical activity more," said DeLany. DeLany and his colleagues reached this conclusion during a weight-loss study involving severely obese white and black women. Previous studies have shown that black women lose less weight, and the researchers set out to verify those findings, DeLany said. The research included 66 white and 69 black women, who were placed on the same calorie-restricted diet of an average of 1,800 calories a day for six months. They also were assigned the same exercise schedule. The black women lost about 8 pounds less, on average, than the white women, the researchers found. The explanation can't be that black women didn't adhere to the diet and exercise plan, DeLany said. The researchers closely tracked the calories each woman ate and the calories they burned through exercise, and found that black and white women stuck to the program equally. "We found the African-American women and the Caucasian women were both eating nearly identical amounts of calories," DeLany said. "They were as adherent in physical activity as well." That leaves variations in biology and metabolism to explain the difference in weight-loss success, the study authors said. "The African-American women are [equally] as adherent to the behavioral intervention," DeLany said. "It's just that the weight-loss prescription is wrong because it's based on the assumption that the requirements are the same." The difference in weight-loss success between black and white women has been known for some time, said Dr. Mitch Roslin, chief of bariatric surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "There are racial and genetic differences in obesity," Roslin said. "These things are real." One reason for the difference might be that European foods prevail in America, and form the basis of the modern diet, Roslin said. These foods might not burn as efficiently in the descendants of people from Africa, Asia and other parts of the world. "People of Western European or Eastern European descent have evolved greater mechanisms to withstand the pressures of the modern diet," Roslin said. He said studies have found that Asians subjected to a Western diet are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and diabetes at a much lower body-mass index (BMI) than whites. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. Weight-loss doctors will need to keep these biological differences in mind when prescribing diet and exercise regimens for black women, DeLany said.
Just 33% of Hispanic students are proficient in reading in third grade, compared with 64% of white students. By high school, one in four Hispanic 10th graders in California cannot pass the high school math exit exam, compared with 1 out of 10 white students. Nationally, an achievement gap is also showing up as Latino enrollment has soared from one out of 20 U.S. students in 1970 to nearly one out of four, and white students account for just 52% of U.S. first graders.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Four blacks are in custody after the senseless carjack killing of 30-year-old Dustin Friedland, a lawyer who was shot in the parking lot of an upscale New Jersey mall in front of his horrified wife
The names of the four black suspects who have been arrested are: Hanif Thompson, 29; Karif Ford, 31; Basim Henry, 32; Kevin Roberts, 33. All four blacks were hit with a slew of charges, including murder, carjacking and conspiracy.
Friday, December 20, 2013
The unobservable factors that underpin the infant mortality gap between blacks and whites have persisted for more than 20 years and now appear to play a larger role than the observable factors, according to a new study by Michigan State University researchers
The study is the first to investigate long-term changes in both sets of factors, providing vital context of the scope of the problem as medical experts around the world try to solve the mystery behind the gap. "What's surprising about our findings is that when we take out all the factors we can observe - including mother's age, education level, marital status and state of residence - the difference in the rate in which black and white infants die remained absolutely stable for two decades," said Steven Haider, professor of economics. "We made no progress in shrinking that part of the gap." Haider and fellow economists Todd Elder and John Goddeeris and epidemiologist Nigel Paneth analyzed the birth certificate data from about 50 million births in the United States between 1983 and 2004. The factors they used to predict mortality differences were then drawn from the information available on the birth certificates. For blacks, the rate of deaths within the first year of life dropped from 18.6 per 100,000 live births in 1983 to 12.3 per 100,000 in 2004. The rate of white infant deaths dropped from 9 to 5.3. Overall, the infant mortality rate gap between the races declined by 2.6 deaths per 100,000 live births. While U.S. health officials have said the narrowing of the gap is encouraging, they still point to the fact that the difference remains large and difficult to shrink significantly. The study separated the gap into the part that could be predicted by differences in observable factors and the part that remained after taking those factors into account. The researchers found that the part of the gap that could not be predicted remained remarkably constant over the two decades. By 2004, about 74% of the black-white infant mortality gap was not accounted for by differences in these observable factors. In other words, even if policymakers could wave a magic wand and eliminate disparities in education, marital status and all the other factors the researchers accounted for, it would only reduce the gap by one quarter, Haider said. While the MSU study doesn't explore what the remaining factors may be, it does, for the first time, establish how large and long-standing the problem is.
Gays and black Africans: Ugandan lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved what would be one of the harshest anti-gay laws in the world
Homosexual acts were already illegal in Uganda, but now anyone caught committing this crime twice will be imprisoned for life. The first draft of the law called for the death penalty in such cases, but it was shelved for years amidst international outrage. The bill also makes not reporting homosexuals a crime you could go to jail for. It essentially outlaws gay rights groups as well, making it illegal to promote homosexuality - though many groups were already specifically banned. "This is a victory for Uganda," the lawmaker behind the bill said. "I am glad the parliament has voted against evil." Activists are naturally despairing. "I am officially illegal," one said following the vote.
The share of black immigrants among the black population in the United States has increased from 1% in the 1970s to 11% in 2011
In the United States, black immigrants are much more likely than native blacks to be employed, married, highly educated and not incarcerated. First generation black immigrants undoubtedly have better labor market outcomes than black natives. They directly pass on some characteristics such as high human capital investments to the next generation. The transmission of labor force attachment seems to be weaker, suggesting that the second generation is converging to natives. Black immigrants do not only converge to black natives across generations but also within a generation. Convergence across generations is mostly driven by low-educated second generation blacks that drop out of the labor force in greater numbers than low-educated first generation immigrants do. Similarly, convergence within a generation is driven by the fact that black first generation immigrants who arrive at an early age have a weaker labor force attachment than immigrants who arrive in the United States when they are older.
Nearly 200 African asylum seekers who entered Israel illegally demonstrated in Jerusalem against being housed at a new open facility they walked out of two days earlier
The men had left the Holot facility in southern Israel and made their way to the city on foot and by bus. Holding banners reading "we are refugees not criminals" and "walk for freedom and humanity," they marched from the prime minister's office to the nearby parliament, accompanied by dozens of Israeli human rights activists. The demonstrators, who would be allowed to work and have social benefits if they held refugee status, accused the government of racism. "Many people are suffering from the racism of the right(-wing) government of Israel," Walidin Sleiman, from Sudan, said. Sleiman added that if Israel did not want to give them rights then they should be allowed to go somewhere else. Michal Roisin, a lawmaker from the left-wing Meretz party, said "as long as there is no place that can receive them - they can't go back to their homelands - we must ensure their rights." Activist Moran Mekamel, of the "Students for Refugees" group, said each case should be examined to determine "whether they qualify as asylum seekers," adding that "the facility they've been kept in is nothing short of a prison." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told parliament that "the infiltrators who were transferred to the special facility can be in it, or return to their countries." Police broke up the protest outside parliament, a spokesman said, noting that "some 180 people were transferred to buses awaiting them after an illegal protest." Police used force to disperse the demonstrators, at least two of whom needed medical care. The sprawling detention facility only began operating recently, when 484 illegal immigrants from Africa were taken there, the Israel Prisons Service said. It is open during the day but inmates must return for a night lockdown. Under legislation passed on December 10, 2013 illegal immigrants entering Israel can be held for up to a year without trail. It was the latest in a series of measures aimed at cracking down on close to 60,000 illegal immigrants from Africa, whom Israel says pose a threat to the state's Jewish character. The construction of a high-tech fence along the border with Egypt was recently completed.
The performance gap between Chicago’s black and white students — and between its poorest students and their wealthier classmates — continues to widen, newly released data show
Black Chicago Public Schools students fell further behind whites in three of four key measures, according to the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called the Nation’s Report Card. And students who qualify for free school lunches — traditionally a measure of poverty — also fell behind in three of the four tests of grade- and middle-school kids’ ability in reading and math. CPS has identified four priority groups that have become the focus for improvement: blacks, Latinos, students learning English and those with disabilities. The report shows that despite steady improvements over the last decade, Chicago still lags behind most major U.S. cities in math and reading at the fourth- and eighth-grade levels. The gap in fourth-grade math test scores between black and white students in Chicago widened to 40 points — the largest gap since the national study began in 2003, and significantly wider than the 31-point gap in the average major U.S. city. Though the average white student was graded as “proficient” with “solid academic performance” in fourth-grade math, the average black student was just over the threshold for “basic” understanding, or a “partial mastery” at that stage, according to the report. About 8,000 CPS students participated in the test, which is administered every two years.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Scientists present evidence for the accumulation of a Neanderthal DNA region found on chromosome 3 that contains 18 genes, with several related to UV-light adaptation, including the Hyal2 gene
This region was positively selected and enriched in East Asians, ranging from up to 49% in Japanese to 66% in Southern Chinese. The geographic distribution of the Neanderthal genomic region suggests that UV-light mutations were shown to be lost during the exodus of modern human from Africa, and reintroduced to Eurasians from Neanderthals. From 45,000 years to 5,000 years before present, effective population sizes of the Neanderthal region increased at a steady rate. Notably, the growth rate of the effective population size increased at around 5,000 to 3,500 years before present, which suggests a population expansion event. This Asian-specific Neanderthal evolutionary event is also consistent with previous reports of higher levels of Neanderthal ancestry in East Asians than in Europeans.
An Israeli woman has appealed to the Supreme Court against a rabbinical ruling that ordered her to circumcise her one-year-old son, the Justice Ministry said
There is no law in Israel making circumcision obligatory for Jews, but a rabbinical court that was presiding over the woman's divorce case has ruled that she must fulfill her husband's wish in the matter. It fined her 500 shekels ($142) a day until she did so. Rabbinical courts in Israel have jurisdiction over matters of marriage and divorce and operate under the Justice Ministry. In their ruling, the presiding rabbis said that the woman was using her refusal to circumcise her son as leverage against her husband.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Blumenthal paints a portrait of a society living in a bubble, with the Israeli Ashkenazi aristocracy on top, the Mizrahi drone-workers charged with police work and other non-elite tasks near the bottom, and the Palestinian helots on the lowest rung, eking out a problematic existence with all the legal and economic factors pointing to their eventual expulsion from Israeli society.
Australian police have questioned the former principal of a fervently Orthodox Jewish boys’ school in Melbourne over allegations of decades-old child sex abuse
Rabbi Avrohom Glick, 67, a senior official inside the Chabad-Lubavitch community, made a voluntary statement to police and was released, his lawyer said. The allegations of repeated rape inside the synagogue adjacent to the college are understood to date back to the 1970s. Rabbi Glick was immediately stood down from his position as head of Jewish studies at the boys’ high school, its principal confirmed in a letter to parents. “Notwithstanding that Rabbi Glick is a highly respected staff member and community figure, in accordance with our policy and procedure, he was immediately stood down from his position at Yeshivah,” Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler wrote. “We will continue his suspension from duties and all contact with the students of the school until the outcome of the inquiry is known.”
Differences in children's exam results owe more to genetics than to teachers, schools or the family environment
In the subjects of English, maths and science, genetics accounted for on average 58% of the differences in scores that children achieved. Grades in the sciences, such as physics, biology and chemistry, were more heritable than those in humanities subjects, such as art and music, at 58% and 42% respectively.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
The AIDS epidemic in America is rapidly becoming concentrated among poor, young black and Hispanic men who have sex with men
Despite years of progress in preventing and treating H.I.V. in the middle class, the number of new infections nationwide remains stubbornly stuck at 50,000 a year — more and more of them in these men, who make up less than 1% of the population. The affected group includes men who are openly gay, secretly gay or bisexual, and those who consider themselves heterosexual but have had sex with men, willingly or unwillingly, in shelters or prison or for money. Nationally, 25% of new infections are in black and Hispanic men, and in New York City it is 45%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the city’s health department. Nationally, when only men under 25 infected through gay sex are counted, 80% are black or Hispanic. According to a major C.D.C.-led study, a male-male sex act for a young black American is eight times as likely to end in H.I.V. infection as it is for his white peers. The crucial factor was that more of their partners were older black men, who are much more likely to have untreated H.I.V. than older white men. According to the C.D.C., 79% of H.I.V.-infected black men who have sex with men and 74% of Hispanics are not “virally suppressed,” meaning that they can transmit the infection, either because they are not yet on antiretroviral drugs or are not taking them daily.
Anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu was burgled while he was paying tribute at Nelson Mandela's memorial service
The thieves apparently targeted his home in the suburbs of Cape Town in the knowledge that he was more than 800 miles away at the ceremony in Johannesburg. It is the second time in four months that the former Archbishop of Cape Town has been the victim of burglars. Burglaries are fairly common in South Africa.
The black man who faked sign interpretation while standing alongside world leaders like Barack Obama at Nelson Mandela's memorial service said he hallucinated that angels were entering the stadium, has schizophrenia and has been violent in the past
Thamsanqa Jantjie said that his hallucinations began while he was interpreting and that he tried not to panic because there were "armed policemen around me." He added that he was once hospitalized in a mental health facility for more than one year. A South African deputy Cabinet minister, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, later held a news conference to announce that "a mistake happened" in the hiring of Jantjie. However, many questions remain, including who in the government hired the company that contracted Jantjie, how much money the government paid the company and Jantjie's own involvement with the company — and even whether it really exists.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Among African-American women with breast cancer, increased levels of the protein HSET are associated with worse breast cancer outcomes
African-American women are often diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age than non-Hispanic white women and are more likely to have cancers that spread, recur, or result in death. Prior research has linked HSET overexpression to lung cancer metastasis to the brain, and has shown that HSET is upregulated in a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer that most commonly occurs in African-American women, triple-negative breast cancer.
Diabetes is associated with an increased risk for developing a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma, and this association is highest for Latinos, followed by Hawaiians, African-Americans and Japanese-Americans
The number of new cases of hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States tripled in the past three decades, with Latinos and African-Americans experiencing the largest increase in incidence. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, Latinos have 2.77 times the risk for being diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma, the highest risk identified. Native Hawaiians have 2.48 times the risk; African-Americans, 2.16; and Japanese-Americans, 2.07.
In 2012, according to NYPD figures, blacks in New York City committed over 78% of all shootings, though they are only 23% of the city’s population
Whites committed 2.4% of all shootings, though they are nearly 35% of the city’s population. At the same time, blacks were 74% of all shooting victims; whites just under 3%.
A Latino acquitted of attempted murder after shooting four members of a Borough Park community-watch group in self-defense says that his attackers were yelling, “Kill him, he’s a f–king Muslim!” “I hope you die, you son of a bitch!" one of the Brooklyn men hissed at David Flores, 37, before shooting him, Flores said. Flores — who is Christian but thinks the Jewish vigilantes from the Boro Park Shomrim mistook his religion because he was wearing a small woven cap — took a bullet to his left arm. Flores, a Brooklyn native who now lives in Pennsylvania, said that he was simply driving from his childhood home to a nearby bakery to buy pastries on Sept. 2, 2010, when a van stopped short in front of him. A mob of about 20 Hasidic men quickly surrounded his car and began banging on his windows and kicking his doors — with one Shomrim member brandishing a black gun, Flores said. The Shomrim members allegedly thought that he had been masturbating in his car. “They say, ‘Get him out of the car, he’s a f–king Muslim!’ ” Flores said. “They had this look that was just complete rage. They wanted my blood.” Flores said that when he opened the door to try to escape, he was yanked out. “They’re punching me and kicking me, and I’m being tossed like a rag doll,” said Flores, who had a small .22-caliber handgun in his pocket. “I took the safety off [the gun] and began firing,” Flores said. “I wanted it to stop. I never wanted to hurt anybody.” Prosecutors argued at his Brooklyn Supreme Court trial that the Shomrim members jumped Flores — who has a long rap sheet — only after he pulled his gun. Flores didn’t testify. “He came out from his car shooting. Once he started shooting, he was jumped,” maintained Boro Park Shomrim coordinator Jacob Daskal, who insisted nobody yelled anything at Flores. Flores was convicted on an illegal-gun charge, for which he could still face up to 15 years behind bars. “Though he was rightly convicted of carrying a weapon, the jury agreed that the weapon was used to protect his life,” said his lawyer, Doug Appel. Flores’ past criminal record includes 20 arrests for everything from burglary to assault.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Saturday, December 7, 2013
White House officials have abruptly changed their story about whether Obama had ever met his father’s half brother, an African living in Boston who faced deportation to Kenya after a drunk-driving arrest in 2011
A couple of years ago, White House officials said that Barack Obama had never met Onyango Obama, known as Omar, Obama’s uncle. But Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, now says that the 2011 statement was incorrect. In fact, the two men lived together briefly while Barack Obama was a student at Harvard Law, Carney said. A judge in Boston has ruled that Omar Obama could stay in the United States and apply for eventual citizenship after he testified that he had lived in the country for 50 years, paid income tax and been arrested only once.
Not good: 40% of American children are born out of wedlock, but for Hispanics it is 53% and for African-Americans it is 73%
Hispanic and African-Americans are more than 30% of the U.S. population and 35% of those in our public schools. Looking at the recent PISA test scores, other than East Asia - China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam - hardly any other nation of Southeast or South Asia, the Arab or Muslim world, Africa or Latin America, is in the top forty in academic performance. And, in these test scores from a diverse world, we can see mirrored the academic performance within our own diverse nation. Just as East Asians and Europeans excel in the PISA tests, so, too, do Americans of East Asian and European descent dominate test scores and excel in educational achievement, while our Hispanic and African-American students trail.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The knockout attacks on Jewish residents of Crown Heights may stem from ongoing racial tension between the neighborhood's black and Jewish communities, a newly-elected Brooklyn politician has said
Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo, who was elected to represent Crown Heights starting in January 2014, has released an open letter saying that many of her black constituents told her they feel threatened by the growth of the neighborhood's Jewish community — and she fears that the tension could be spiking the recent violence. "Many African American/Caribbean residents expressed a genuine concern that as the Jewish community continues to grow, they would be pushed out by their Jewish landlords or by Jewish families looking to purchase homes," Cumbo wrote in the 1,200-word letter, which was emailed to supporters and posted on her Facebook page.
Julius Nyang'oro, the former chair and former professor of African studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been indicted on a felony charge of accepting $12,000 for a course that he did not teach
The indictment is another milestone in a scandal about no-show courses - many of them taken by athletes. Nyang'oro left his faculty position as the university stepped up its investigation into the classes.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Based on health data for 500 unrelated black men over age 20 enrolled in the Howard University Family Study, researchers found that those who had lived with one parent rather than two as children had higher average blood pressure readings
The men who had grown up in single-parent households also had a 46% greater risk of developing high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Puerto Rico: The economy has been in recession for nearly eight years, crimping tax revenue and pushing the jobless rate to nearly 15%
Meanwhile, the government is burdened by staggering debt, spawning comparisons to bankrupt Detroit and forcing lawmakers to severely slash pensions, cut government jobs and raise taxes in a furious effort to avert default. The implications are serious for Americans outside Puerto Rico both because a taxpayer bailout would be expensive and a default would be far more disruptive than Detroit’s record bankruptcy filing in July 2013. Officials in San Juan and Washington are adamant that a federal bailout is not on the table, but the situation is being closely monitored by the White House, which recently named an advisory team to help Puerto Rican officials navigate the crisis. The island’s problems have ignited an exodus not seen here since the 1950s, when 500,000 people left for jobs in the United States. Now Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens, are again leaving in droves. They are choosing the uncertainty of the job market in Orlando or New York City or Philadelphia over what they view as the certainty that their dreams would be crushed by the U.S. territory’s grinding economic problems. Puerto Rico lost 54,000 residents — 1.5% of its population — between 2010 and 2012 alone. Since recession struck in 2006, the population has shrunk by more than 138,000 to 3.7 million, with the vast majority of the outflow headed to the United States. The brutal combination of a long recession, a shrinking population and overwhelming debt has left Puerto Rico’s political leaders struggling to manage a conundrum: How do they tame at least $70 billion in debt while marshaling the resources to grow a shrinking economy and battle corrosive social problems, including a homicide rate that is nearly six times the U.S. average? And while government workers make up about a quarter of the commonwealth’s workforce — much higher than the U.S. average of 16% — their ranks are shrinking as the pervasive debt and economic problems careen toward a reckoning. Now, just over 41% of working-age Puerto Ricans are in a job or even looking for one. As work has disappeared, more Puerto Ricans have relied on the government to survive: About a third of the commonwealth’s population relies on food stamps, and residents of the island are twice as likely as those in the United States to receive Social Security disability benefits, according to researchers.
“If Jewish kids started fighting back, they wouldn’t get picked on so much,” said Gary Moskowitz, a seventh-degree karate black belt. “I’m just trying to encourage the Jewish community to do that.” Of course, if a Christian clergyman ever tried to train white gentile children to defend themselves he would be denounced as a racist.