Sunday, November 30, 2014
Israel: Suspected Jewish extremists set fire to a classroom in an Arab-Jewish school in Jerusalem, police said
The premises were empty when a fire was started in a classroom of the Hand in Hand school, where Palestinian and Israeli children study together in Hebrew and Arabic. "Death to Arabs" had been scrawled on a schoolyard wall. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that the slogan pointed to "nationalist motives", a reference to suspected Jewish attackers. More than 600 pupils attend Hand in Hand, where its student population is divided equally between Jews and Arabs. There are four other such schools in the Hand to Hand network in Israel. Violence in Jerusalem and other areas of Israel and the Palestinian Territories has surged in the past few months. In July 2014, a Palestinian youth was burned to death by Jewish attackers, allegedly in revenge for the killing of three Israeli teens by Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank in June 2014. Attacks carried out by Palestinians have killed 11 Israelis, and 12 Palestinians have also been killed, including several of the assailants. At the school, Brian Callan, a father of one of the children whose class was burnt, accused the government of "encouraging, inciting and legitimizing this behavior through populist, racist legislation". Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticized for promoting a new bill that would decree Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people only, a step that critics say will further alienate the country's Arab minority.
Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus are urging the Obama administration to withhold federal recognition of a Virginia Indian tribe over its history banning intermarriage with African-Americans
In January 2014, the US Department of the Interior proposed recognizing the Pamunkey tribe in southeast Virginia, which would make members eligible to receive special benefits in education, housing, and medical care, as well as allow the tribe to pursue a casino. A decision on recognition, which would be the first for a Virginia tribe, is due by March 30, 2014. Congressional Black Caucus members urged interior secretary Sally Jewell and attorney general Eric Holder to hold off the decision until the Justice Department investigates any discriminatory practices by the tribe. Neither department has responded to the request, made in a September 23, 2014 letter, according to a spokeswoman for Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson, who signed the letter. The letter cited a report by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs that quoted tribal law: “No member of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe shall intermarry with anny [sic] Nation except White or Indian under penalty of forfeiting their rights in Town.” The bureau said that there was no indication the tribe had changed its ban, but Pamunkey chief Kevin Brown responded in a letter to the CBC that the ban had been repealed in 2012. The Bureau of Indian Affairs said that the significant number of Pamunkey-Pamunkey marriages and efforts to encourage them helped satisfy a criterion for federal recognition: that a predominant portion of the group comprises a distinct community and has existed as one from historical times to the present. The Congressional Black Caucus called the government findings disturbing. “The BIA seems to justify the discrimination and surprisingly cites this as a reason” [to recognize the tribe], their letter said. In addition to Thompson, the letter was signed by 10 other Democrats.
Black Muslim superstition: Emmanuel Adebayor's older brother Kola claims that the striker has been brainwashed by Islamic spiritual healers into thinking their mother used black magic to sabotage his form on the pitch
Kola, 42, a truck driver based in Bremen, Germany, said: "[Emmanuel] has been brainwashed by these Muslim alfas - spiritual men - who prophesise when he scores goals and why he is not playing well. They have convinced him his sister and mother put juju curses on him. My mother is very sad. Every day she is crying. I just talked to her on the phone and she was crying again." Adebayor was recently moved to deny accusations from his sister Maggie that he had kicked their mum Alice out of his house in Africa because he thought she had performed Juju curses on him. Maggie claimed on radio station Peace FM in neighboring Ghana that the Premier League striker was refusing to give his mother money and has not seen her in over a year. She said that their mother was selling polythene bags, padlocks and other things to provide for her family.
Paulo Pinheiro da Silva, 21, and Luan da Silva, 18, (no relation) and two others, also teenagers, were shot to death by police in September 2014. According to police, the four were killed in a shootout after being chased for more than 6 miles in a stolen car. Authorities haven't provided further details. Family and friends say that the youths were last seen at a party in the poor suburb where they grew up. Some witnesses say that they saw police detain them when they went for a walk outside. The next day, their desperate families learned that they could find them in the morgue. Tereza Pinheiro still keeps her son Paulo's clothes neatly folded in the bedroom the whole family shares. "I lost my son, I lost my son," she sobs. "All I know is the police were involved. They say there was a shootout, but where was the exchange of fire? The bullets were all going in one direction." The four young men died in September 2014, and their families still haven't received forensic reports. But at the funerals, friends and relatives say that they started to receive anonymous messages on their cell phones with gruesome photos of the crime scene and also of cadavers riddled with holes. Luan's brother, Alan da Silva, says that he thinks these were messages from the police. "The police were the only ones in a position to take those pictures," he says. "They wanted to intimidate us, intimidate the community and say, 'We're not fooling around.' " The families say that they believe the killings all point to torture. In the photos, there are 13 bullet wounds on Luan's body, some forming a ring around his neck, and what looked like a smiley face carved into his chest. Relatives say that some of the teeth were also pulled out at the root. "I don't know why they did it," says Luan's mother, Antonia Maria Miguel. "They were killed like animals." But her eldest son, Alan, says that police brutality is not uncommon in Brazil's poor shantytowns and suburbs. "It doesn't matter if you're white, black, blue or gray. If you were born in poverty, you were born guilty," he says. The Sao Paulo public defender's office agrees. "It's a serious case itself, but it's also representative of what happens in Brazil," Public Defender Samuel Friedman said. Recently his office sent an urgent appeal to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to investigate the case. Friedman says that "at the very least that the police used force illegally, but it also points that (the young men) might have been executed. It is likely they have been executed." Brazilian police killed more than 11,000 civilians from 2009 to 2013, according to a recent report by the Forum on Public Safety, a group that collects and disseminates government safety data. The report concludes there is an "abusive use of lethal force" in Brazil. By comparison, the reports says, police in the United States killed roughly the same number of people over 30 years - from 1983 to 2012. Alan da Silva says that he hopes the United Nations will intervene and find out what really happened to his brother. And also step up pressure so that nothing like it happens to the baby son he left behind.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
The number of people with Ebola in west Africa has risen above 16,000, with the death toll from the outbreak reaching almost 7,000, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says
The number of deaths is more than 1,000 higher than the figure issued by the WHO just two days earlier, but it is thought to include deaths that have gone unreported in the weeks or months since the outbreak began. Most of the new deaths were recorded in Liberia. The WHO has warned that its figures could be a significant underestimation of the number of infections and deaths. Data from the outbreak has been patchy and the totals often rise considerably when backlogs of information are cleared. The latest confirmed data shows that almost half those known to have been infected with Ebola have died. The outbreak has been centred on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. They account for the vast majority of the cases reported to date, with about three dozen cases elsewhere. Liberia has recorded the highest number of cases and deaths, but the rate of infection is slowing there. The disease is now spreading fastest in Sierra Leone. Mali has started recording infections after sick people crossed over from neighboring Guinea. It has reported two new cases recently. This outbreak has been the worst partly because it occurred in a highly mobile region, where Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone meet, and quickly spread to their respective capital cities. Another UN agency, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, warned that families in the three countries were at risk of both malnutrition and under-nutrition. Vincent Martin, of the FAO, said that 70% of people interviewed in Sierra Leone had been eating only one meal a day since the outbreak, rather than two or three. Restrictions on movement had led to panic buying, food shortages and severe price hikes, the agency said.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan vowed to track down the perpetrators of bomb blasts that killed more than 100 people at the central mosque in the city of Kano
Jonathan said that his government will "continue to take every step to put an end to the reprehensible acts of all groups and persons involved in acts of terrorism." More than 102 people were killed in the bomb explosions at the central mosque in Kano, said a hospital worker. The blasts injured more than 150. "Most of those receiving treatment ... are in dire need of blood, and we are appealing to people to come and donate their blood to rescue the victims," Dr. Usman Bashir said. Hundreds had gathered in the mosque for a sermon in a region terrorized by attacks by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. Witnesses said that heavy smoke could be seen billowing in the sky from a long distance away. Immediately after the blasts, hundreds of angry youths took to the streets in riots, throwing stones, brandishing sticks, and shouting at security officials. Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility, but the attack bears the hallmarks of the Islamic terrorist group that has carried out numerous such attacks in northern Nigeria, including in Kano. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the attack "horrific" and pledged UN support for Nigeria's fight against terrorism.
A clothing store in Beijing has provoked outrage after posting a sign in the window banning Chinese customers
The sign translated to: "Chinese not admitted, except for staff." A shop assistant explained that it was because Chinese customers are irritating. One employee at the shop on Yabaolu Street, a popular shopping destination, said that Chinese customers are too annoying and that Chinese women often try on lots of clothes but end up buying nothing. A reporter from the Beijing Youth Daily entered the store posing as a customer but was refused by staff, who said that they did not sell clothes to Chinese nationals. An employee said that the sign had been put after a Chinese customer stole a tourist's wallet and the owners of the shop were forced to pay $5000 in compensation. "We didn't mean to debase our nationals, but sometimes they have gone too far", one employee said. Li Xiandong, a professor from China University of Political Science and Law, said that although the sign is discriminatory, the owner hasn't broken any laws as racial discrimination is not illegal in China.
In a manifesto of his Yisrael Beitenu party, Avigdor Lieberman says that he favors ceding Arab majority areas in northern Israel to a future Palestinian state and providing economic incentives for Arab-Israelis — about 20% of Israel's population — to encourage them to emigrate. The manifesto does not set out positions on the most difficult issues in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, including the status of Jerusalem and Israel's borders. But it does acknowledge the necessity of territorial compromise in reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians, and also with moderate Arab countries. Once a close associate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lieberman is now seen as harboring prime ministerial ambitions himself.
Alaa Abdullah Esayed, 22, of Kennington, south London, will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on December 10, 2014. She has been charged with two offences under the Terrorism Act - encouraging terrorism, and the dissemination of terrorist publications and released on bail. Police said that one of the charges related to posts on Esayed's Twitter account, along with photographs and video links. The charge states that "she intended, or was reckless as to whether, members of the public would be directly or indirectly encouraged or otherwise induced by the statement to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism or convention offences". She is also accused of providing a service that enabled others "to obtain, read, listen to or look at a terrorist publication, by providing links to speeches and other propaganda, and at the time of doing so intended an effect of her conduct to be a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism".
Incensed that her boyfriend began eating their Thanksgiving dinner while she was asleep following a day of drinking, a black woman grabbed a knife and stabbed the man after chasing him around the dining room table
Jack-Lyn Blake, 47, has been locked up in the Luzerne County jail on an assortment of criminal charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, reckless endangerment, and making terroristic threats. According to Wilkes-Barre police, officers responded to Blake’s residence around 6:30 PM after receiving a 911 call about a stabbing. When they arrived at the home, Blake, who was exiting the residence, announced, “I stabbed him.” Further investigation revealed that Blake’s beau, Benjamin Smith, had been stabbed in the chest. Smith, who was pressing a towel to his wound when police arrived, was later treated at a local hospital for the injury. Smith, 45, told officers that he had argued earlier in the day with Blake, who was reportedly intoxicated and had gone upstairs to sleep. While Blake snoozed, Smith began Thanksgiving dinner without her. When Blake awoke to discover that the festivities had commenced in her absence, things got bloody. Police charge that she grabbed a knife and chased Smith around the dinner table. After dodging several stabbing attempts, Smith got knifed by Blake (who also threw the weapon at Smith, striking him in the face).
The weeks-long festival takes place every five years in the Nepalese village of Bariyapur. The killing takes place over just two days: Hindus armed with curved kukri knives kill mass quantities of animals — as varied as buffaloes, goats, and rats — in honor of Gadhimai, the goddess of power. As the centuries-old legend goes, she came to a prisoner in a dream and asked that he build a temple to her; he awoke to find himself no longer bound. As the story goes, he then built that temple, and sacrificed animals there. Today, worshipers believe that the sacrifice will bring them prosperity, and that eating the dead animals will keep evil at bay. The festival's last occurrence, in 2009, saw an estimated 300,000 animals killed, either by decapitation or by having their throats slit. That makes it the biggest mass killing of animals at a single site. The festival begins with the ritual killing of five animals: a goat, rat, chicken, pig, and pigeon; buffaloes are then slaughtered throughout the first day. It attracts a million worshipers, and in recent years, it's also attracted the scorn of animal-rights advocates, who say that the untrained butchers cause a great deal of suffering and see the piles of dead animals as a health concern. The director of the Indian branch of the Humane Society International describes the scene: "Pools of blood, animals bellowing in pain and panic, wide-eyed children looking on, devotees covered in animal blood, and some people even drinking blood from the headless but still warm carcasses."
Just 27% of white non-college graduates approve of Barack Obama's job performance, according to the latest Gallup survey
He does 14 percentage points better among white college graduates, with a 41% rating. The gap between the two white groups has never been this big since Obama took office. Support overall for Obama among whites has dropped steadily throughout his term. Level of education is key to Obama's popularity — or lack thereof — among whites. In 2009, Obama's approval gap between college-educated and non-college-educated whites was 6 points. It went to 10 points in 2010; 12 points in 2013, and now stands at 14 points. Differences of opinion about Obama are also evident along ethnic lines, with 32% of non-Hispanic whites approving his performance compared to 84% of blacks. Asians give him 64% support, compared to 53% among those of Hispanic heritage. With roughly 67% of adult whites not having completed college, the "sheer size" of "the working-class white population" makes this bloc "of keen importance to politicians and strategists on both sides of the aisle," according to Gallup. Obama does best among white female college graduates with 45% approval, followed by 37% among white male college graduates. He gets a 25% rating among white male non-college graduates and 29% among female non-college graduates. Political strategists have talked about whether Democrats can make inroads with white voters by appealing to their economic situations. The cultural positions taken by the party have pushed many working-class voters away, according to Gallup. "Working-class whites exhibit weak support for the Democrats and their president, and it's not clear how likely that is to change as time goes on," Gallup concluded.
This immigrant workforce is being legalized at a time of unusual economic distress for the working class. Well into the post-2008 recovery, the country suffers from rates of labor participation at a 36 year low. Many jobs that were once full-time are, in part due to the Affordable Care Act, now part-time, and thus unable to support families. Finally there are increasingly few well-paying positions — including in industry — that don’t require some sort of post-college accreditation. Sadly, the legalization of millions of new immigrants could make all these problems worse, particularly for Latinos already here and millions of African-Americans. African-American unemployment is now twice that of whites. The black middle class, understandably proud of Obama’s elevation, has been losing the economic gains made over the past thirty years.
The Jewish-owned rag continues its efforts to increase black violence against white gentiles.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Eleven partially burned bodies of young adults have been found in southwestern Mexico, just an hour's drive from where 43 missing college students went to school
Police haven't publicly identified the remains, and officials have not said whether there is any connection between the bodies and the September 2014 disappearances of the 43 students - a case that has led to unrest over allegations that police abducted them, on order of a mayor, and turned them over to a gang that killed them. The 11 bodies were discovered near Chilapa, about an hour's drive west of Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa, a small college devoted to training students to become teachers in Mexico's impoverished countryside. Some of the 11 bodies were decapitated, according to Guerrero state officials.
Like other Muslims, Somalis enjoy raping underage girls. Thirteen black African men have been convicted of running a sex ring that saw teenage girls abused, raped and prostituted. Victims were sexually abused and passed around the men's friends for money in Bristol, England. The gang, all of whom are of Somali origin, faced more than 40 charges involving 10 victims aged between 13 and 17, mostly over offences that happened from autumn 2012.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Under Obama’s new amnesty, businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare
Obama’s amnesty declares up to 5 million illegal immigrants to be lawfully in the country and eligible for work permits, but it still deems them ineligible for public benefits such as buying insurance on Obamacare’s health exchanges. Under the Affordable Care Act, that means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover. The loophole was confirmed by congressional aides and drew condemnation from those who said that it put illegal immigrants ahead of Americans in the job market. “If it is true that the president’s actions give employers a $3,000 incentive to hire those who came here illegally, he has added insult to injury,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican. “The president’s actions would have just moved those who came here illegally to the front of the line, ahead of unemployed and underemployed Americans.” A Department of Homeland Security official confirmed that the newly legalized immigrants won’t have access to Obamacare, which opens up the loophole for employers looking to avoid the penalty. Under Obamacare, businesses with 50 or more employees are supposed to provide insurance coverage to their full-time workers. If they refuse, they are assessed a penalty for every employee who receives subsidies to sign up for coverage on the health exchanges. But because the newly legalized illegal immigrants covered by Obama’s order can’t sign up for the exchanges or receive subsidies, employers aren’t penalized for hiring them.
A Pakistani court disliked a segment on a TV show so much that it sentenced a Bollywood actress, her husband, and two others to prison for 26 years for blasphemy
The trouble began when Veena Malik and her new husband appeared on a live daytime show on Geo TV in May 2014. Accounts differ about exactly what transpired, but they apparently re-enacted their wedding ceremony "while a group of Sufi musicians sang a devotional song about the wedding of the Prophet Mohammad’s daughter." Some viewers saw it as blasphemous, and the station apologized. But that wasn't enough to appease an anti-terrorism court in Gilgit-Baltisan, which sentenced the couple, the station's owner, and the host of the show to the lengthy prison terms. “Twenty-six years! Come on," says Malik, 30. "Twenty-six years is a lifetime." The judge also issued arrest warrants, but all four are reportedly out of the country.
Monday, November 24, 2014
A cesspool filled with excrement has exploded in central China, injuring 15 people and knocking down a building
The blast was apparently sparked by a local man burning waste close to the cesspool, igniting methane gas which was emanating from the pit, the Xinhua news agency has said. The incident in Zhangjiajie city, in the central province of Hunan, caused a residential building to collapse and three of the injured had to be hospitalized, Xinhua said. China's urban infrastructure has often been hastily built with little regard for safety as hundreds of millions of people have moved from the countryside to cities in recent decades. In another excrement-related incident, a man and his mother both died trying to retrieve his wife's new mobile phone - worth 2,000 yuan ($320) - from a toilet septic tank, reports said in May 2014. The man jumped in to try to locate the phone but was overcome by fumes and passed out, according to Dahe, a web portal run by the provincial government in central Henan province.
Americans are sharply divided along racial lines as to whether Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson should be charged with murder in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a new CNN/ORC poll has found
Fifty-four percent of nonwhites - including blacks, Latinos and Asians - say that Wilson should be charged with murder, while just 23% of whites agree. And 38% of whites say that Wilson should be charged with no crime at all, while just 15% of nonwhites hold that position. Only 19% of whites said that some or most police officers in their areas are prejudiced against blacks, while 33% of nonwhites held that opinion. Half of all whites say that "almost none" or "none" of the police in their areas are prejudiced against blacks. Only 35% of nonwhites agreed with that view.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
The city Department of Education has told principals that it plans in 2014-2015 to enroll 2,350 migrant children from Central America who crossed into the United States unaccompanied — with many more to come. “It is expected that children will continue to arrive in large numbers in the coming years,” says a DOE memo to principals. The notice comes as the city rolls out a $50 million red carpet for 1,662 minors who crossed the border in the summer of 2014 to escape violence and gangs in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In the “surge,” 5,000 of the 63,000 migrant kids caught trying to cross US borders — or who turned themselves in for refuge — have been released to relatives or other “sponsors” in New York state. Most live with other illegal immigrants. In the city, Queens has received the highest number of unaccompanied children, 732, followed by Brooklyn (434), The Bronx (433), Manhattan (63) and Staten Island (less than 50), federal reports show. The recent arrivals join an estimated 350,000 children of illegal immigrants already in New York state — about 12% of the public-school population. The DOE refused to discuss the exact numbers of recently enrolled children, claiming that it would violate student privacy. Officials ignored questions about the cost. The city’s per-pupil spending in the 2012-2013 academic year averaged $20,749, which would bring the total for the migrant kids to $48.7 million. But the costs could soar, because the youths — many of them victims of poverty and abuse — will need state-mandated English-language instruction, free or reduced-price lunch, and a range of other services, including psychological counseling, medical and dental. “The DOE believes that every child has a right to a great education, and we are committed to providing children who have escaped violence with the academic foundation and access to services that they need to establish a path to long-term achievement,” said DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye. But parent leaders worry the influx will strain school budgets. “Unless the mayor, governor or president announces that funds will be made available immediately, our already-struggling schools will have to provide more,” said Sam Pirozzolo, vice president of the New York City Parents Union. “NYC public schools are already failing to meet the needs of the students they have — 70% cannot read, write and do math at grade level. How can they handle thousands of new students competing for the same services without things getting worse?” Under US law, all children have a right to enroll in school and receive government services, regardless of immigration status. On Long Island and upstate, several school districts have been accused of blocking enrollment of migrant youths by demanding a birth certificate, proof of residency and education records from their home countries. DOE has instructed staff to register them without delay and follow up later on documentation. “In the city, they don’t tend to give you a problem,” said Manhattan-based immigration lawyer John Cavallo. DOE representatives even sit at a desk in Immigration Court downtown, where the migrant kids appear for hearings, to help them enroll in school and sign up for free health care. Children can stay in the country if they convince authorities that they faced harm or persecution in their native land. Judges may also grant “special immigrant juvenile” status to a child found abused, neglected or abandoned. The migrant kids are not directly affected by Obama’s recent executive orders to let 5 million illegal immigrants stay in the country. One order exempts from deportation the parents of permanent residents or anyone born in the United States. Another expands relief to “Dreamers” brought here illegally before age 16 — and before Jan. 1, 2010. The orders place “recent arrivals” in the same priority for deportation as suspected terrorists and felons. The feds are processing the recent flood of migrant kids more quickly, Cavallo said. “While others wait years for their hearings, the recent arrivals get scheduled within weeks or a few months at most,” he said. “The message is: You come now, you’re going to get arrested and deported right away.” But Obama vowed to deport “criminals, not children,” and critics contend his actions will encourage more kids to flee to the United States to get amnesty.
The Israeli cabinet has endorsed a controversial Bill enshrining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, despite criticism by Israel’s Arab minority who fear that the measure will leave them as second-class citizens
A divided cabinet voted 14-6 in favor of the Bill after a session that ministers described as a “shouting match”. Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly banged on the table and said “it cannot be that Arabs can live in Jewish towns, but Jews can’t live in Arab towns. A country within a country is developing.” He said that the law was needed because Palestinians refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and Israeli Arabs were seeking autonomy in the Galilee and the Negev. “Israel is a Jewish democratic state. There are those who want democracy to take precedence over Judaism, and those who want Judaism to take precedence over democracy. In the law that I am bringing, both principles are equal and must be given equal consideration.” Centrist ministers voted against and have threatened to do so again, when the Bill is due to be presented to the Knesset parliament for a preliminary vote. The divisions have further strained Netanyahu’s coalition and he may be forced to dismiss ministers who vote against the Bill, which could lead to early elections. Two versions of the Bill were approved by ministers and a Knesset committee will merge the two after the Knesset passes the first reading. Both reinforce Israel’s national anthem and state symbols, use of the Hebrew calendar and the law of return, which grants any Jew the automatic right to emigrate to Israel. Arab Knesset members described the Bill as racist, noting that one version would leave Hebrew as Israel’s only official language. In separate developments, Israeli troops have shot and killed a Gaza man – the first fatality since the end of the 50-day war in August 2014. Israel said that troops opened fire on two men close to the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip, after first firing warning shots. Relatives of the 32-year-old man said that he had been searching for song birds, which nest near the border and command high prices in Gaza markets. An Israeli border police officer has been charged with manslaughter in the killing of a Palestinian minor during protests at the Bitunya West Bank crossing in May 2014. State prosecutors believed the officer used live ammunition and not rubber bullets, in violation of the rules of engagement, and also lied to military and police investigators. A home in a West Bank Palestinian village has been set on fire in what appears to be another “price tag” attack by Jewish extremists. Hebrew graffiti was sprayed on the wall of the house reading “Death to the Arabs”.
Fifty years after the cataclysmic riots of the 1960s, rioting is still regarded as virtually a black entitlement
In 2013, there were 6,261 black homicide victims in the United States. The killers of those black homicide victims are overwhelmingly other blacks, resulting in a death rate in inner cities that is ten times higher for blacks than for whites. In 2013, 5,375 blacks were arrested for homicide, compared with 4,396 white and Hispanic homicide suspects combined. Blacks are only 13% of the national population.
In 2013, only 11% of black eighth-graders in California were proficient in math, compared with 42% of whites and 61% of Asians
In that same year, 15% of black eighth-graders were proficient at reading, compared with 44% of whites and 51% of Asians. Black elementary school students in California are chronically truant at nearly four times the state average.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Prosecutors have solved a more than three-decade-old homicide thanks to a DNA hit on an already imprisoned black rapist. Confronted with the fact that his DNA matched evidence found on the scene of the 1981 murder of Carol Novak, Eugene Booker confessed. Police found 35-year-old Novak dead and partially clothed in her living room at about 6:15 a.m. on October 2, 1981. Novak had been stabbed 50 times in her eye, back, abdomen and neck. There were trails of blood throughout the home, prosecutors said, and Novak's dog had been fatally stabbed in the head. Though police recovered a man's blood and semen on the scene, no one was ever charged and the case went cold. In 2013, detectives reopened the case by sending away evidence for DNA analysis. The evidence ended up being a positive match to now-59-year-old Booker, who's currently serving 80 years in prison for multiple sexual assaults and battery. When police interviewed Booker, he denied knowing the victim. Booker claimed that he wasn't familiar with the area where the victim lived and had never been inside the woman's home. But Booker quickly changed his story when police presented the DNA evidence. Booker has been charged with first-degree murder and ordered held without bail.
A top local police official in Mexico has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of 43 college students, authorities said
Investigators apprehended Cesar Nava Gonzalez, the former deputy director of the Cocula police department who had been on the run since the September 2014 disappearance of the students, the federal prosecutor's office said. Nava was called to the neighboring town of Iguala, in Guerrero state, and helped round up the 43 students and hand them over to a drug gang to be massacred, authorities said. The police chief of Iguala still has not been apprehended, authorities said. The Prosecutor General's office has informed families of the missing students about Nava's arrest after massive protests to denounce political corruption and impunity in the case. The 43 missing students went missing September 26, 2014 after they and others traveled in buses about 77 miles from their rural teachers college in Tixtla to Iguala. They went there to protest a speech by the mayor's wife. But a violent clash with police left six people dead, including three other students. Authorities believe that the 43 students were captured by Iguala police and turned over to a gang in cartel territory and then executed in Cocula, 14 miles away. The gang burned the bodies and dumped them in a river, but their corpses have yet to be found, authorities say. So far, authorities have also charged Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca as the "probable mastermind" in the 43 students' disappearance, and he has been charged with six counts of aggravated homicide and one count of attempted homicide, authorities said. In all, at least 75 people have been arrested in connection with the disappearances and the deaths, and the governor of Guerrero has taken a leave of absence amid scorching criticism that he responded too slowly to what's been called one of the most serious human rights abuses in recent Latin American history. Federal authorities say that they heard confessions from drug traffickers indicating that the college students were rounded up on the orders of the Iguala mayor and then delivered to the drug gang to be murdered.
A new study finds that having job authority increases symptoms of depression among women, but decreases them among men
"Women with job authority - the ability to hire, fire, and influence pay - have significantly more symptoms of depression than women without this power," said Tetyana Pudrovska, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and the lead author of the study. "In contrast, men with job authority have fewer symptoms of depression than men without such power." Titled, "Gender, Job Authority, and Depression," the study considers more than 1,300 middle-aged men and 1,500 middle-aged women, who graduated from high schools in Wisconsin. According to Pudrovska, who co-authored the study with Amelia Karraker, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University, women without job authority exhibit slightly more symptoms of depression on average than men without job authority. But among people with the ability to hire, fire, and influence pay, women typically exhibit many more symptoms of depression than men. "What's striking is that women with job authority in our study are advantaged in terms of most characteristics that are strong predictors of positive mental health," said Pudrovska. "These women have more education, higher incomes, more prestigious occupations, and higher levels of job satisfaction and autonomy than women without job authority. Yet, they have worse mental health than lower-status women."
It would seem so. When brain MRIs were done on 90 young adults from University College London, it was found that self-described liberals tended to have more grey matter in the anterior cingulate cortex, whereas self-described conservatives tended to have a larger right amygdala. These results were replicated in a second sample of young adults. The amygdala is used to recognize fearful facial expressions, whereas the anterior cingulate cortex serves to monitor uncertainty and conflict. A study on 82 young American adults came to a similar conclusion. Republicans showed more activity in the right amygdala, and Democrats more activity in the left insula. Unlike the English study, the anterior cingulate cortex didn't differ between the two groups. It would seem, then, that conservatives and liberals are neurologically different.
If it seems you are permanently single while everyone else around you is in a relationship, blame your DNA
Scientists have identified a singleton gene, and found that those who have it are 20% more likely to be single than others. It is thought that by lowering levels of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin, the gene makes people less comfortable in close relationships. This could make it harder to form them in the first place - or lead to break-up after break-up. The scientists from Peking University in Beijing tested hair samples from almost 600 Chinese university students to analyse a gene called 5-HTA1, which comes in two different versions. Those with the ‘G’ version were much more likely to be single than those with the ‘C’ version. Some 60% were not in a relationship - compared to 50% of those in the 'C' group. Importantly, the link couldn’t be explained by other factors that influence relationships, including appearance and wealth. The key to the findings seems to be the role of the 5-HTA1 gene in the brain. Those with the ‘G’, or singleton, version make less serotonin, a brain chemical involved in mood and happiness. It was already known that people with the ‘G’ allele, or version, find it more difficult to get close to others. Plus, they are more likely to be neurotic and to suffer from depression. The researchers said: "As pessimism and neuroticism are detrimental to the formation, quality and stability of relationships, this connection between the G allele and psychological disorders might decrease carriers’ dating opportunities or lead to romantic relationship failure."
Thursday, November 20, 2014
A new baby boom of Hispanic, Asian and black children is coming to America - and it will make whites a minority by 2050
The surge is not due to new immigrants coming to the United States - but instead stems from the immigrants who are already here having children, according to Brookings Institution demographer William Frey. His new book, Diversity Explosion, recounts how falling white birth rates and rising birth rates for minorities will change way the United States of America looks - and votes - forever. There are already nearly as many non-white babies being born as white children, according to Census Bureau statistics. It's only a matter of time before minorities children outnumber white ones. The result will be very similar to the Baby Boom after the Second World War - except that this time it will be minority children being born. Between 2000 and 2010, the population of Hispanics in suburbs grew by more than eight million. Major cities added just three million Hispanics. Even among black Americans, the population of suburban dwellers is growing. In the last decade, the population of suburban blacks grew by three million and the population of urban blacks shrank by several hundred thousand.
Wichita police say that a woman was sexually assaulted, hit on the head, and set on fire by a black man in Fairmount Park
According to police, the woman was on the ground, almost in a crawl, barely moving, and naked. The woman was helped by a neighbor – Johnnye Marshall woke up her boyfriend Deon McPherson when she heard somebody scream for help. “What if that was my daughter? I’d want somebody to go in and get her,” McPherson said. “Where there wasn’t blood, there was a burn.” The flames from the fire were about 2 to 4 feet high. McPherson stayed with the woman until firefighters arrived. According to Wichita police Captain Troy Livingston, the woman suffered burns on 55% of her body and is currently in critical condition but has slightly improved. Police are still trying to figure out if this was random or if the woman was targeted. Either way, Livingston called it a “disgusting crime.” Police are currently searching for a suspect but the only information that they have on him is that he is a black male.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
A new study at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, confirms that moderate alcohol consumption can protect against coronary heart disease - but only for the 15% of the population that have a particular genotype
The study included 618 Swedes with coronary heart disease and a control group of 3,000 healthy subjects. The subjects were assigned to various categories based on the amount of alcohol they consumed (ethanol intake). Meanwhile, they were tested in order to identify a particular genotype (CETP TaqIB) that previous studies had found to play a role in the health benefits of alcohol consumption. The results confirm the findings of the earlier studies. Moderate consumption of alcohol helps protect people with the genotype against coronary heart disease. "In other words, moderate drinking has a protective effect among only 15% of the general population," says Professor Dag Thelle, Professor Emeritus at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. Thus, the researchers believe that the advice frequently given about the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption is far too sweeping. "Moderate drinking alone does not have a strong protective effect," says Professor Lauren Lissner, who also participated in the study. "Nor does this particular genotype. But the combination of the two appears to significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease." The genotype codes for the Cholesterylester transfer protein (CETP), which affects the "good," cardio-protective HDL cholesterol that helps remove excess lipids from the blood vessels. One hypothesis is that alcohol somehow affects the CETP in a way that benefits HDL cholesterol. A second hypothesis is that alcohol contains healthy, protective antioxidants. The researchers believe that one or both of the hypotheses may prove correct, but the mechanisms by which HDL cholesterol or antioxidants might act remain unknown. "Our study represents a step in the right direction," Professor Thelle says, "but a lot more research is needed. Assuming that we are able to describe these mechanisms, it may be a simple matter one day to perform genetic testing and determine whether someone belongs to the lucky 15%. That would be useful to know when offering advice on healthy alcohol consumption. But the most important thing is to identify new means of using the body's resources to prevent coronary heart disease."
At least 70 police departments scattered from Connecticut to California arrested black people at a rate 10 times higher than people who are not black.
Jaris Hayden, 29, raped a pregnant inmate in his custody before allowing her to escape from the city jail. He has been charged with public servant acceding to corruption, two counts of sexual contact with an inmate, and permitting escape over the incident, which took place in October 2013. The woman, a nurse who was several months pregnant at the time, has filed a lawsuit against Hayden. According to the federal lawsuit, the woman was taken to Ferguson's jail after she was arrested for giving a fake name after being caught driving with expired plates. Hayden told her, "You smell good" before putting her in a cell. After she complained of pains, she was examined by paramedics, who told Hayden that it was his decision whether to release her into their custody. Instead, he raped her in a boiler room, according to the lawsuit, and then let her out of jail through a side door, telling her to run away and tell anybody who asked that police in an adjacent city had picked her up. The lawsuit says that before going to an emergency room, she ran to a restaurant across the street to get a plastic bag for pubic hairs she saved during the encounter, and DNA tests confirmed that they were Hayden's.
Iraq (6,362), Afghanistan (3,111), Pakistan (2,345), Nigeria (1,826), and Syria (1,078) account for more than 80% of terrorist deaths in 2013
The Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL), the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram are responsible for more than 66% of terrorist deaths. This is why it is not a good idea to live in a country with a large Muslim population.
Police have apprehended a black man wanted for questioning after the death of an Asian stranger who was shoved into the path of a train at a New York City subway station
Kevin Darden was picked up by detectives near his mother's home in the Bronx, according to police, who say that he is a suspect in a separate incident in which a man was pushed to the ground at another subway station and suffered minor injuries earlier in November 2014. Charges are pending in that case. Darden has more than 30 prior arrests, including a pick-pocketing bust earlier in November 2014.
A baby boy born with four arms and four legs has been nicknamed "God Boy" and drawn thousands of excited people to the city of Baruipur in eastern India
The boy's family is overjoyed because the birth defect makes him resemble a Hindu god. "The nurses said he was badly deformed, but I could see this was a sign from God," a relative said. "In fact, this is a miracle, it's God's baby. Indian gods have extra limbs just like this." A police officer struggling to control the curious crowds, however, says that it is "tragic" and that hundreds of people are praying and crying in the streets; some even believe that the birth is a sign of the end of the world. The boy's condition is believed to be the result of a "parasitic twin" attached to him in the womb. "With conjoined twins, you have two living fetuses that are attached either by the head, abdomen, or legs," the chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Hackensack University Medical Center said. But with a parasitic twin, "it's the same principle, except there is a malformation of one of those twins," he says. "As a result, the twin never fully develops and is then partially encased in the living fetus." An eight-limbed girl born in India in 2005 created a similar stir. After a 27-hour operation to sever the twin when she was 2, Lakshmi Tatma was able to walk.
Bad seed: An Indian man who recovered from Ebola back in September 2014 has been quarantined anyway, because though his blood tested negative for the virus, his semen tested positive
Ebola lingers in semen for months after a person has recovered, a Doctors Without Borders coordinator said, "because antibodies produced in the bloodstream don't reach the testicles." Male survivors are told to wear condoms for three months following their recovery; the CDC officially recommends that they abstain from sex for three months. But India will keep this man quarantined until his semen tests negative, according to a statement from the country's Ministry of Health. "This would rule out even the remote possibility of spread of this disease by the sexual route," says the statement. And though at least one virologist isn't aware of a case of Ebola being transmitted sexually, the Marburg virus, which is related to Ebola, was. In 1967, a German man was cured of Marburg and released from the hospital; four months later, he transmitted the virus to his wife. The 26-year-old in this case is India's first Ebola patient. Though he has a medical clearance certificate that would deem him free of the virus in the eyes of WHO and the CDC, the country is concerned that it won't be able to handle an outbreak considering its population density, overburdened government health services, and low hygiene standards.
The Bill Cosby train wreck continues: NBC has canceled plans for a new family comedy with its one-time African-American star
The move comes after yet another rape allegation, this one from actress Janice Dickinson. Cosby was expected to play another "family patriarch" type of role, one that revolved around three married daughters. An NBC spokesperson would say only that it's "no longer under development." The network's move follows a decision by Netflix to scrap its own Cosby project.
Hispanic crime: Police say that they've solved the murders of Miss Honduras and her sister, and the motive is a boyfriend's jealousy
Authorities say that the reigning beauty queen, Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister Sofia, 23, were shot to death by Sofia's boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, 26. Ruiz reportedly got angry when he saw Sofia dancing with another man at a party and shot her during the subsequent argument. He then killed Alvarado when she tried to flee the scene, says the director of the Honduras National Police. "They were not very astute about assessing the people around them," the women's mother said. "They were just friendly." The sisters were headed to London for the Miss World competition. Ruiz and a friend accused of helping him bury the bodies near a river have reportedly confessed and remain in custody.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Over 14 million adults and children are trapped in modern slavery in India, a report has revealed, the most of any country in the world
The 2014 Global Slavery Index collected data on 167 countries, each of which was cited as having some percentage of slavery affecting its population. In total, a staggering 35.8 million people are reportedly enslaved worldwide. The three countries with the highest levels of slavery when population is taken into account were Mauritania with 4%, just under 4% in Uzbekistan, and Haiti’s 2.3%. Qatar, currently set to host the World Cup in 2022, was fourth with 1.4% of its population considered as living in slavery. In sheer numbers, India’s 14.3 million reveals the prevalence of slavery in the country, making up nearly 40% of the number of people in slavery worldwide. The next highest modern slave populations were found in China with 3.2 million and Pakistan with 2.1 million. Europe was not omitted from the report, with the highest percentages of modern slavery being found in Moldova and Russia. Moldova was 15th when countries were ranking by percentage with 0.9%, while Russia reached 0.7%, translating to roughly one million people enslaved in the country. Published by Walk Free Foundation, a “global human rights organisation dedicated to ending modern slavery”, the 2014 Global Slavery Index defines enslaved and slavery by including the presence of human trafficking, debt bondage, forced labor, forced or servile marriage and commercial sexual exploitation. This is the second annual report produced by the foundation and has seen numbers increase by 20% on 2013. However, rather than an increase in the total number of enslaved people, the foundation puts the increase down to the amount of data that is becoming available for researchers, saying that the full extent of the problem is only now becoming apparent.
The European economy started to collapse 2,900 years ago, not because of dodgy banking practices but following the break-up of trade
Bronze went out of fashion in favor of iron and the business activity that had built up around the metal quickly fell apart, research from Irish archaeological sites has shown. Researchers have long pinned the blame for a huge pan-European population collapse after 900 BC on climate change. Irish site and climate records from peat bogs show, however, the colder, wetter weather didn’t arrive until at least two generations after the collapse had started. Ironically we have the Celtic tiger economy to thank for the information used to make these claims, said Dr Katharina Becker, a lecturer in the department of archaeology at University College Cork. The building boom opened up archaeological sites under pipelines, housing and roads. This was used in a study involving UCC, the universities of Bradford and Leeds, and Queen’s University Belfast. “Our evidence shows definitely that the population decline in this period cannot have been caused by climate change,” said lead author prof Ian Armit of the University of Bradford. The team found that the change in weather started about 750 BC. The population fall started after 900 BC and accelerated rapidly after 800 BC, the researchers found. The evidence also suggests that it was an economic collapse and not war, famine or disease that caused the fall in populations across Europe, including Ireland. The timing was right at the juncture when bronze metal began to fall out of use to be replaced by iron, Dr Becker said. Economic activity grew in support of the bronze trade as producers needed tin and copper. Things went bad however when iron arrived. “The basis of their power and wealth would have vanished,” Dr Becker said. “We believe this was a general economic crisis caused by the break-up or reduction in trade connections.” Conflict and social collapse would have followed, giving way to an impoverished early iron age. Large-scale construction also stopped, putting an end to the building of major ring forts such as Dún Aonghasa on the Aran islands.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Support for Obamacare continues to decline, with the law hitting a new low in approval, and a new high in disapproval, as the second enrollment period has opened for Americans, according to Gallup
Just 37% approve of the Affordable Care Act, 1 percentage point less than the previous low recorded in January 2014, Gallup found in a new survey. A majority of Americans disapprove of Obamacare, at 56% — a new high, Gallup said.
A University of Utah study of two African tribes found evidence that men evolved better navigation ability than women because men with better spatial skills - the ability to mentally manipulate objects - can roam farther and have children with more mates
By testing and interviewing dozens of members of the Twe and Tjimba tribes in northwest Namibia, the anthropologists showed that men who did better on a spatial task not only traveled farther than other men but also had children with more women, according to a new study. "It's the first time anybody has tried to draw a line between spatial ability, navigation, range size and reproductive success. Most of this chain has been assumed in the scientific literature," says Layne Vashro, the study's first author and a postdoctoral researcher in anthropology. Anthropology professor Elizabeth Cashdan, the study's senior author, says. "Among the most consistent sex differences found in the psychological literature are spatial ability and navigation ability, with men better at both," Vashro says. "In the anthropological literature, one of the most consistent behavioral differences between men and women is the distance they travel. This difference in traveling is assumed to explain the observed differences in spatial ability and navigation ability. Now, we've drawn a link between spatial ability and range size." There is a demonstrated relationship between sex differences in how far some mammals - including voles and deer mice - range or travel, and sex differences in their spatial and navigation abilities. But until now, little has been known about this relationship in humans, Vashro adds. Cashdan says that spatial skills include "being able to visualize spatial relationships and manipulate that image in your mind." Vashro says an example is to "visualize how you fit a bunch of things into the back of a truck, and how you could rotate them most efficiently to fit." Cashdan notes that relative to other cognitive differences between the sexes, such as cultural differences in math skills, the difference in spatial skills is large, and it is found across cultures and in some other species. "That's why we think it may have evolutionary roots," she says. "The argument in the literature is that you need good spatial ability to navigate successfully, and you need to navigate effectively to travel long distances in unfamiliar environments," Cashdan says. "That is the hypothesized link." The new study connected links in that chain. "These findings offer strong support for the relationship between sex differences in spatial ability and ranging behavior, and identify male mating competition as a possible selective pressure shaping this pattern," the researchers conclude in their paper. The study involved members of the Twe (pronounced tway) and Tjimba (pronounced chim-bah) tribes, which live in a mountainous, semiarid desert area. They have some goats and cows, and they collect berries, tubers and honey, and tend gardens with maize and some melons and pumpkin, Vashro says. They have dry season camps in the mountains, where they forage, and wet season camps near their gardens. The Twe and Tjimba were good subjects for the study because they travel over distances of 120 miles during a year, "navigating on foot in a wide-open natural environment like many of our ancestors," Vashro says. The tribes "have a comparatively open sexual culture," Vashro says. Cashdan adds, "They have a lot of affairs with people they're not married to, and this is accepted in the culture." Many men have children by women other than their wives. That also made the tribes good for the study, because "in a culture where you don't have mates outside of marriage, we're not going to expect as tight a relationship between range size and reproductive success," Cashdan says. How does mating pressure favor navigation skills? "Navigation ability facilitates traveling longer distances and exploring new environments," Vashro says. "And the farther you travel, the more likely you are to encounter new mating opportunities." During visits to Namibia's Kunene region during 2009-2011, Vashro had Twe and Tjimba participants perform different tasks. "Men traveled father than women and to more places than women," with both findings statistically significant, Cashdan says. On average, Vashro says, "men reported visiting 3.4 unique locations across 30 miles per location on average in a year, while women reported visiting only two locations across 20 miles." And in the key finding, men who did better on the mental rotation task reported traveling farther both during their lifetime and the past year, compared with men who didn't do as well on the mental rotation task. There was no difference in range size between women who did better and worse on the mental rotation task. "It looks like men who travel more in the past year also have children from more women - what you would expect if mating was the payoff for travel," Vashro says. "Why men should be better at mentally rotating objects is a weird thing," Cashdan says. "Some people think it is culturally constructed, but that doesn't explain why the pattern is shared so broadly across human societies and even in some other species. The question is why should men get better benefits from spatial ability than women? One hypothesis, which our data support, is that males, more than females, benefit reproductively from getting more mates, and ranging farther is one way they do this."
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Five black adults have been accused of perpetrating crimes against five children inside a house that are so heinous it's difficult to stomach
From shooting the kids with BB guns to forcing an adult woman to perform oral sex on a 2-year-old boy, the case is the stuff of nightmares - but police say that it was the reality in which these helpless children were forced to live. Shakia Jackson, 31; Daryl Carter, 24; Danielle Hammond, 22; William Wade, 23 and Mark Isom, 22, have all been arrested in connection with the case. Their offenses range from endangering the welfare of children to corruption of minors and from simple assault to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. The Delaware County District Attorney's Criminal Investigation Division began investigating the crimes occurring at the house on 7th Street near Cedar Avenue in June 2014. All of the adults charged in the case either lived at the house "or hung out at the residence," according to court documents. Jackson and Carter listed the residence as their address to police, while the other three defendants provided Philadelphia addresses, according to court paperwork. All of the five victims were under 12 years old, though their individual ages, aside from a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old, were not detailed in the affidavits. The 1-year-old is Hammond's child while the other four children are Jackson's kids, according to court documents. Police said that the physical abuse the children suffered ranged from punching and slapping to getting shot repeatedly with three different BB guns and being thrown over a banister. Jackson admitted shooting her children with BB guns, but she told police that "she and the other adults were only playing and the children wanted to be shot," according to court documents. The children also were forced to witness sex acts the adults performed on each other and in one incident, the three men accused in the case held down one of the accused women and forced the 2-year-old's genitals in her mouth, police said.
Bennett Greenspan, founder and president of Family Tree DNA, says that there is little doubt that modern Jews had their roots in the Middle East and this could be proven by simple DNA tests. "We’re not interlopers who came here from Eastern Europe, and we’re not Serbs or Kazars. You can use whatever polemic you want to discredit the Jews or discredit the nation, but saying that we weren’t here is a lie," Greenspan said. He referred to the controversial book written by Israeli historian Shlomo Sand, who claimed that the modern Jews did not originate in the Middle East but were descendants of people who had lived elsewhere in the world and had been converted to Judaism. Greenspan spoke at the Netanya Academic College on the DNA of the Jews. He said: “No less than 75% of Ashkenazi, Sephardic or Mizrahi Jews have ancestors from what we call the general Middle East” – an assessment which he said was based on his company’s database. Family Tree DNA, founded by Greenspan in 2000, was the first company in the world to offer commercial DNA test kits. One of his major discoveries through DNA testing in the United States, Greenspan said, was that Ashkenazi Jews bore genetic similarities to Hispanic Catholics living in New Mexico and Colorado. “In fact, there was evidence of Hispanic women in those places coming down with similar types of breast cancer as Ashkenazi Jews. What it means to me is that these Hispanics were actually the descendants of Anusim, or forced converts,” he said.
Robert Mugabe's wife seems to be even worse than he is.
A black deputy sheriff is out of a job after being charged with stealing a DVD while responding to a report of a convenience-store burglary
Polk County lawman Ernesto McCloud, 28, has been a deputy sheriff since May 2013 after three years as a detention deputy. He was helping respond to a call of a burglary at Mystic Convenience Store on U.S. Highway 17 on Thursday, November 6, 2014 when he was caught on security camera stealing the DVD. In the footage, McCould can be seen walking behind the store counter to pick things off the floor, then takes a DVD and slips it behind his notepad and tucked it into his shirt. "Ernesto McCloud said it best himself," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "He threw away a career for a $10 DVD." He has since been charged with petty theft and armed robbery as he was carrying his department firearm. When confronted by his fellow officers, he said that he took the disc because he hadn't seen the movie yet.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Black rapists, white victim: A woman has told of a horrifying rape ordeal that took place at the hands of former Oregon State University football players over 16 years ago - but no one believed her
Brenda Tracy, 40, from Oregon, has bravely come forward to detail a chilling account of how she reported the rape to police, saying that she was sexually assaulted in 1998 by four men, three of them college football players. She was gang raped, sodomized, robbed, and then re-victimized. But a college football coach only suspended two of the players for one game and was quoted as saying his players had made a bad choice. Tracy reported the gang rape to police in 1998. She'd told investigators that the men stood around, watching it happen and cheering the others on. At one point, she begged one of the black men to make it stop but they didn't. The black men, who were accused of her rape, were young at the time and one was a teenager. Two Oregon State football players, defensive back Calvin Carlyle, 18, and running back Jason Dandridge, then 20, were named as suspects in the report. The other suspects were Michael Ainsworth 18, a Southern California high school football recruit and Nakia ‘Ken’ Ware, a 23-year-old community college defensive back who was on probation. Tracy, a mother-of-two, said the ordeal was so harrowing that she wanted to commit suicide afterwards. She said: "I'd decided I was going to kill myself." Speaking through tears, she told how she underwent a rape examination at Salem Hospital. Jenenne Stanley, the on-duty emergency room nurse at Salem Hospital that day, told investigators, "By all indications this was a case of non-consensual sex." She was also humiliated into having to relay the details of the event to her boyfriend and mother. She has never before been identified as the victim and has never before talked publicly about it. In 1998, Brenda Tracy was 24 years old and working as a waitress. The petite blonde with shoulder-length hair, standing at 5 feet 10 inches and weighing only 140 lbs, was a single mother to two boys, ages 4 and 5. A 28-page report by Corvallis Police Department details the events of the early morning hours of June 24, 1998, when Brenda Tracy's life changed. The report outlined a weekday late-night excursion from Keizer to Corvallis by Tracy and her best friend, Karmen McFadden, who was supposed to meet up with her boyfriend and a group of friends. But instead of a fun get-together, the petite woman ended up naked, in various degrees of consciousness, on the living room floor with men taking turns raping her. Afterwards, none of the four suspects asked for legal representation. However, all were read their rights and each blamed the other. They also blamed alcohol for the night's events at Carlyle's No. 3 apartment on Northwest 20th Street for what happened to Tracy. The black suspects told police that the 24-year-old vomited in the restroom, asked to be left alone and said ‘No,’ at different points in the course of the seven-hour ordeal. Tracy recalls waking up with someone pouring alcohol down her throat and her clothes tossed around. She was assaulted with a flashlight and digitally penetrated, and someone put ice on her groin. Tracy told investigators that she woke up at another point and found Ainsworth on top of her having sex with her. The others, she said, were standing around the room, cheering. She told police she heard someone shout, "Yea dog!" All four suspects were arrested and booked into the Benton County Jail on charges of sodomy, unlawful sexual penetration and sex abuse. Ware and Ainsworth were also slapped with the additional accusation of rape. If convicted, they would have faced up to 16 years in prison, meaning that their release date would have been this year. At the time, District Attorney Pete Sandrock had a solid case on his hands with copious amounts of evidence, witnesses willing to testify and four suspects pointing fingers at one another, but what he did not have was Tracy's cooperation. Tracy was hesitant to set the rape case in motion, in part because her boyfriend was a former OSU football player who was afraid that the explosive allegations would caused embarrassment to the entire college community. To complicate things further, Tracy's friend Karmen McFadden was dating rape suspect Michael Ainsworth's older brother and believed that Tracy was not entirely blameless. "What happened to me was not my choice," Tracy said. "What they did to me was not my choice. They violated me. I was garbage to them. I'd made my mind up after talking to police that I was going to do the rape examination, then I was going to go kill myself. I was going to commit suicide. I was already dead." Looking back on her decision, Tracy said: "I wish I'd have pressed charges."
The black deadbeat who has fathered 26 children with 20 different women has again been ordered by a judge to make child support payments, this time for a two-year-old boy, court records show
Terry Turnage, a black 50-year-old Memphis resident, has been ordered to pay $60 per week to Miesha Davis, mother of the pair’s son Ja’Voin. The support order came as a result of a paternity complaint filed on Davis’s behalf by Arkansas’s Office of Child Support Enforcement. A Circuit Court judge also ordered Turnage to “maintain health care insurance” for the child “when reasonably available” through his employer, and pay $365 in court fees. In addition to Davis, two other Arkansas women have recently secured child support orders against Turnage, who has gained notoriety for impregnating assorted Tennessee women (many of whom also have secured child support orders to which Turnage has failed to adhere). According to Arkansas court records, state officials have filed income withholding notices with a Memphis company that operates a McDonald’s restaurant where Turnage has supposedly worked (and earned $247.28 weekly). However, it appears that Turnage has a stake in a Forrest City, Arkansas nightclub that lists its owner as Turnage’s son, Terry Jr.. The elder Turnage is a regular at Club Envy, where he recently hosted a two-day party celebrating his 50th birthday. The club’s address is listed as Turnage’s residence in some court papers. In addition to his assorted child support cases, Turnage is facing a felony charge of making terroristic threats. Turnage threatened a Forrest City businessman from whom he had purchased an automobile that did not run. In a June 2, 2014 written statement, the victim told police that Turnage warned that if he did not have the Chevrolet repaired and delivered to the Club Envy parking lot, “he would shoot me or my wife.” The man added that Turnage “led me to believe that he had a gun and that he was willing and able to carry through” on his repeated threats. Turnage, who is unwilling to support his offspring, paid the businessman $10,000 in cash for the 2005 Corvette. If convicted of the felony charge, Turnage faces a maximum of six years in state prison. He is being represented by a public defender after filing an “affidavit of indigency” in late-September 2014.
The co-author of a new study estimates that 25% of our planet's mammals practice infanticide — and she thinks she knows why
Elise Huchard and Dieter Lukas studied 260 species; in about 45% of them, babies are killed by male adults. And it all boils down to sex, says Huchard. In species where a few males tend to prevail over others as mates, adult males kill the babies — though not their own — so the mother is available for mating. In the case of Chacma baboons, for example, as many as half the infants are killed by adult males, notes Lukas. Infanticide is most commonly seen in species that live in groups, versus those that are solitary. Among its practitioners: mice, squirrels, lions, horses, hippos, and gorillas. But the mother has a trick up her sleeve. The females of some species, such as the mouse lemur, essentially sleep around. By mating with a lot of males in a short period, they breed confusion about the baby's paternity. After all, "males stop killing offspring if there is a risk that the offspring might be their own," Lukas says. Instead, males try to produce larger amounts of sperm to guarantee they reproduce; mouse lemur testicles can balloon to 10 times their normal size around breeding time. Another nuance: The researchers found that the practice wasn't observed in mammals that reproduced seasonally, as the males would need to hold off on mating until the breeding season arrived to mate. Females commit infanticide, too. Huchard and Lukas will be studying them next.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Jewish crime: An extended family and several business associates have been indicted on federal charges in a mortgage and welfare fraud scheme that authorities say netted more than $20 million
Federal agents arrested 13 people in pre-dawn raids in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Kiryas Joel and Monroe in Orange County, and Manhattan. Two more people indicted are expected to surrender, authorities said. "The defendants involved alternately played the parts of prince and pauper depending on which scam was being perpetrated," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said at a news conference in White Plains. "There's a lot of fraud here and shell games. ... The fraud was complex and they were fairly organized." He said that the investigation is continuing. Using falsified documents and concealed identities, the group obtained $20 million in mortgages and other loans from banks and financial institutions, according to the 21-count indictment. Bharara said that some of the defendants doubled dipped, claiming to be rich while obtaining million-dollar loans and mortgages and then pleading poverty — even homelessness — to get welfare payments and social services. They used the money to pay credit card debts, mortgages, and to enrich themselves and their families, authorities said. They also provided charity to residents of Brooklyn, Monroe and Kiryas Joel. FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos said that by fraudulently taking social service benefits, they also took money other people truly needed. The indictment includes charges of bank fraud, conspiracy to make false statements to lenders, aggravated identity theft, and theft of public money. Some 20 loans were identified as problematic; the majority of those went into default, Bharara said. The indictment names Yehuda Rubin, 29, as the scheme's organizer, accusing him of participating in 10 fraudulent loans. He acted as a borrower, the borrower's power of attorney, mortgage broker, distributor of the money and arranger of short sales. Rubin and his wife, Rachel, 29, of Monroe, claimed $180 a month and $360 bi-weekly from Rachel Rubin's work to qualify for Medicaid and food stamps, but also claimed a monthly income of $25,000 to get a loans from banks, Bharara said. The borrowers who fraudulently obtained loans included various family members and associates: Yehuda Rubin's father, Irving Rubin, 58, of Brooklyn; Irving Rubin's brothers Abraham Rubin, 51, Jacob Rubin, 41, and Samuel Rubin, 59, all of Brooklyn; another of Irving Rubin sons, Joel Rubin, 33, of Brooklyn; Irving Rubin's wife, Desiree Rubin, 57 of Brooklyn; and other relatives by marriage — Joel Koppel, 30, of Monroe, Rifka Rubin, 46, of Brooklyn, and Benzion Kraus, 29, of Brooklyn. Attorney Martin Kofman, 53, of Brooklyn, is accused of acting as the real estate lawyer on numerous transactions with fraudulent loans. Pinchus Glauber, 53, of Monsey, who provided faulty real estate appraisals, is accused of lying about the details of his review of a property as well as inflating their value. He also is among a number of the defendants accused of fraudulently obtaining public assistance — in his case, $60,400 in food stamps between 2009 and 2014.
Aggressive male chimps are more likely than timid members of the colonies to engage in frequent mating and father offspring, according to a new finding from Arizona State University
Male chimpanzees can frequently attack females during the mating process. Some of the injuries sustained during these rituals can be serious. Researchers studying the mating process of chimps in Kibale National Park in Uganda determined that the violent acts are a form of sexual coercion carried out by male chimpanzees on females. The behavior was particularly effective for high-ranking animals in the chimpanzee hierarchy. Those that continued to violently dominate females, even when they were not in the mating part of their cycle, mated more often. "This indicates that males, particularly those of high rank, successfully employ a strategy of long-term sexual intimidation," Ian Gilby, from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and Arizona State University, said. The study observed the primates over a course of 17 years. Parentage of the chimpanzees was determined by DNA analysis carried out on scat from the creatures. Aggressive male chimpanzees were not only more likely to mate with females than their mellower comrades, but the "bad boy" chimps were also selected by females in heat more frequently. During the mating process, males can viciously attack females, kicking their mates, ripping out their fur, and violently beating them. Some masculine chimps will kill offspring of females with whom they wish to mate, in order to reduce competition for the mother's time to raise his own youngster. Female chimpanzees combat this behavior by mating with most of the males in the group, confusing the males as to the paternity of their babies. However, females reserve the most fertile time of their reproductive cycle for mating with top-ranked males. Chimpanzees are the closest living relatives to human beings, as the two species separated just seven million years ago. This study is leading some people to question the impact this research could have for understanding human behavior.
Ebola is a plague sent to punish ungodly Africans and sinners who have angered God and their ancestors, according to an African government witch-doctor fueling the spread of the disease
In an astonishing video rant, the so-called holy man appointed as head of culture in Liberia's Bong County claims only prayer, herbs and tobacco can save the millions of people in danger from the deadly disease ravaging Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Waving a cow's tail, Joko Moses Kuyon, a high priest of the African Traditional Religion, shrieks that the virus is a curse that only traditional healers can lift. He shouts: "We have sinned against God and he has brought his wrath on us by bringing a plague. This is a plague and it has a spiritual connection. We have sinned against God and he has brought his wrath on us so we have asked the ancestors to appeal to God. We have the cellphone number for the ancestors and we dial the number and they relay the message to the almighty." The highly-respected government figure - who preaches to tens of thousands and is the head witch doctor in his region - is simply one among dozens driving the epidemic underground. Senior pastor Idris Wright Samura, who preaches to his large congregation in Monrovia that Ebola is a punishment from a God who is angry that Africans drink alcohol and don't go to church regularly enough. "Ebola is a plague and a plague can come upon the people as a result of sin," says Samura. "Liberians have not been living right which may have brought the plague upon our country. They have been drinking alcohol, not going to church, indulging in witchcraft and unfaithfulness. There are demonic powers. You must fight Ebola spiritually. God can heal any disease. Ebola can be healed by the word of God." Witch-doctors and preachers are increasingly being blamed for preventing ordinary Africans from complying with crucial hygiene methods. Recently a burial team was prevented from removing a contagious body in New Kru Town, a Monrovia slum, because local people wanted to perform traditional healing rituals for the dead. Unicef accuses these community leaders of being highly irresponsible - and claims by healers that they can make a direct cell phone call to ancestors to drive away Ebola are making it worse. The belief in God-sent plagues, witchcraft and the power of herbs goes right to the top of Liberian society. Kuyon is a high-ranking Liberian government official - the entirety of his region respects him and listens to what he says. Liberian society remains deeply traditional and an estimated 60% of the population belong to secret societies known as Poro and Sande whose practices have been blamed for helping to spread Ebola. They indulge in three day long rituals in the forests during which men and women are circumcised. The blood is used to make a stew. Members are also ritually scarred. All the practices involve close contact between members, exactly the sort of behavior blamed for spreading Ebola. Traditional burial rituals including the washing of the body and various magic rituals are among the most dangerous, because death is the point at which Ebola is most contagious. The Liberian government has ordered the suspension of the practices but it is believed that many continue. Ebola has claimed the lives of many traditional healers who thought they could fight the disease with herbs and by carrying out rituals which brought them into close contact with victims who in turn infected them and continued the spread of the disease.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Residents of a West Bank village have accused Jewish extremists of burning down a mosque, as tension remains high following a series of fatal attacks by Palestinians on Israelis in the past few weeks
Faraj al-Naasan, the mayor of the village of Mugheir, northeast of Ramallah, said that Jewish settlers started the pre-dawn fire that destroyed the mosque’s first floor. “Only Jewish settlers would do this,” he said, citing a previous settler attack against another mosque in the village a couple of years ago and frequent settler attacks against vehicles and olive groves. A woman who lives close to the mosque reported seeing two white vehicles speed away just before the blaze. However, Israeli police investigators said that it was too soon to say whether the fire was a revenge action by settlers in response to recent attacks by Palestinians against Israelis. The police said that Jewish extremists who had carried out similar attacks in the past, so-called “price-tag” actions, daubed anti-Arab graffiti in Hebrew on nearby walls. No graffiti was painted in the village after the recent fire. The Islamic Jihad said that it would respond at “any moment” to the blaze. “Those who encourage and allow attacks on mosques and against Palestinians should expect a response,” it said. In a separate incident, a petrol bomb was thrown at a synagogue in the Israeli Arab town of Shfaram, causing a small fire and minor damage to the structure. Firefighters, who were called to the scene by the Arab family charged with safeguarding the site, extinguished the blaze. Tension remains high with thousands of Israeli soldiers drafted to the West Bank and police reinforcements brought to Jerusalem. Palestinian security officials warned their Israeli counterparts that the Palestinian Authority will find it difficult to contain the violence if Israel carries out unilateral actions that alter the status quo. Despite what commentators are describing as a flammable atmosphere, the Israeli authorities have given preliminary approval for the construction of another 200 Jewish apartments in disputed east Jerusalem. “This is terrible – and in the middle of such a sensitive period,” said Peace Now spokesman Lior Amihai. A municipality official stressed that along with permission for the construction in the Jewish Ramot neighborhood, the green light was also given to build 174 new homes in a Palestinian neighborhood. Israel captured east Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community. In a separate development, Israeli police arrested two border policemen in connection with the killing of two Palestinians during protests several months ago at the Ramallah-area checkpoint of Beitunya.
Whites as a whole, who made up 75% of 2014’s electorate, voted for Republican House candidates by a 24-point margin, 62% - 38%
The opposition of whites to the Democratic Party is visible not only in voting behavior, but in general opposition to key Democratic policy initiatives, most tellingly in hostility toward the Affordable Care Act. A November 2013 National Journal poll found, for example, that 58% of whites said that Obamacare would make things worse for “people like you and your family,” more than double the 25% who said that Obamacare would make things better. Asked whether the Affordable Care Act would make things better or worse for the country at large, 60% of whites said worse and 35% of whites said better. Obamacare shifts health care benefits and tax burdens from upper-income Americans to lower-income Americans, and from largely white constituencies to beneficiaries disproportionately made up of racial and ethnic minorities. The program increases levies on the overwhelmingly white affluent by raising taxes on households making more than $250,000. To achieve its goals, Obamacare reduces by $500 billion, over 10 years, spending on Medicare, according to the Medicare board of trustees, which oversees the finances of the program. Medicare serves a population that is 77% white. Even as reductions in Medicare spending fall disproportionately on white voters, the savings are being used to finance Obamacare, which includes a substantial expansion of Medicaid. Medicaid recipients are overwhelmingly poor and, in 2013, were 41% white and 59% minority. In addition to expanding Medicaid, the overall goal of % percent white, and 53% black, Hispanic, Asian-American and other minorities. It’s not hard to see, then, why a majority of white midterm voters withheld support from Democrats and cast their votes for Republicans.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Living under harsh conditions like extreme weather or food scarcity? Then you're more likely to believe in powerful, judgmental gods, according to a new study
A group of researchers from various fields reached their conclusion after synthesizing historical data from 583 societies around the world. "When life is tough or when it's uncertain, people believe in big gods," says study co-author Russell Gray, who adds that religion may help people come together and beat the odds. If true, this could explain the rise of Christianity and Islam in regions plagued by famine and dire climatic changes. But there's more: The researchers also sought links between religion and other factors, like politics and farming. Sure enough, the study found that societies with political complexity (a hierarchy of figures outside the local community) and animal husbandry often believe in high gods who impose a moral code. In the end, researchers could match societies to their religious beliefs with 91% accuracy. The findings also overlap with research showing that religion brings people together after a disaster like an earthquake, or that societies facing dire threats tend to restrict people's behavior. But studies until now have tried explaining religion either by environmental or cultural factors — not both. Gray also separates himself from "evolutionists ... trying to bang religion on the head," he says. "I think the challenge is to explain it."
Steve Sailer explains why the Democrats did so badly in the 2014 elections.
Muslim immigrants and police corruption: Police in Rotherham, England tore up paperwork relating to one child sex abuse victim and stopped another from being medically examined
One woman said that a policeman called her a liar after she reported being abused aged 15, and the other said that police prevented her being examined after she was abused aged 13. South Yorkshire Police said that both cases were now with the police watchdog. A report in September 2014 by Prof Alexis Jay found that 1,400 children had been abused in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 by men of mainly Pakistani Muslim heritage. The abuse they suffered included beatings, rape and trafficking to various towns and cities in England. Two women said that police not only ignored, but actively obstructed investigations into their abuse. The two cases happened eight years apart. The women, given the pseudonyms Jenny and Carol, are part of a group of 32 preparing to sue South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Council. Their cases span nearly two decades from the 1990s until 2007. Carol was living in a children's home in the 1990s when she was taken on occasions by taxi to a South Asian restaurant in the town. In one incident she was subjected to a violent sexual assault by one of her abusers and was left bleeding. Carol said: "I told the staff at the children's home and my social worker and they said a police officer was going to to pick me up and take me to a unit. The officer that used to come to the children's home [regularly], he came and picked me up in a police car. He took me to a lay-by; kept calling me a liar, saying he'd read my files and that I was a liar and no-one was going to believe me, it was more trouble than it was worth and he ripped my paperwork up. He dropped me back at an Indian restaurant... back with my abuser." Lawyer David Greenwood, who is acting for the women in these historical cases, said: "The evidence that I've seen and the girls that I've spoken to, tell stories that suggest to me that there's something going on at a systematic level, where the police [were] actively preventing cases going forward against these perpetrators."
Monday, November 10, 2014
Since July 2014, foreign-born employment has increased by 1,028,000 while the number of U.S-born workers has fallen by 780,000
From January 2009 to October 2014, foreign-born employment rose by 3.227 million while U.S.-born employment rose by only 1.835 million. In other words, since Obama became president, most of the new jobs have gone to immigrants.
Latin American diseases: Over 300,000 Americans have already been infected with the potentially fatal kissing bug disease called Chagas but U.S. health-care workers lack of knowledge about the illness is letting many cases of the parasite go unnoticed
Some doctors are calling it the new AIDS because of its asymptomatic beginnings that can turn to a fatal end if the disease progresses. Researchers who gathered at the annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting in New Orleans said that if caught early the disease can be cured however sometimes the disease can be asymptomatic and there is a dearth in medication for the condition. The CDC reports that the initial symptoms of the disease - caused by a parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, which is spread through the feces of kissing bugs - includes fever, fatigue, body aches, rash, diarrhea and vomiting. One of the first visual signs can be a skin lesion or a purplish swelling of the lid of one eye. The disease can develop in the body causing eventual heart failure and other deadly complications that by the time they are realized cannot be helped with medicine. The CDC has said that they believe most of the people infected with Chagas got the parasite in Mexico or South America before coming to the United States.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
The startling discovery suggests that millions may be carrying a long-lasting infection which dulls the brain. Scientists found the virus living in the throats of 44% of patients tested in a small study. Those who were carrying the infection performed worse in intelligence tests, even when education and age were taken into account. The virus - called chlorovirus ATCV-1 - was previously only known to appear in green algae in freshwater lakes. The researchers, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the University of Nebraska, have not established how the virus comes to infect humans. It does not seem to have infected just swimmers or watersports fans, probably ruling out a link to algae itself. Instead it could be that humans have long carried the virus, but it had not previously been looked for by doctors. Study author Professor Robert Yolken, of Johns Hopkins medical school, said that the millions of viruses living in the human body are being investigated by experts for the first time. The research suggests that the ATCV-1 virus alters the genes in the brain. The team found the virus in throat swabs from 40 out of 92 volunteers, and discovered that those with the virus performed measurably worse in cognitive testing. They then confirmed their findings in tests on mice. Giving the virus to mice resulted in a decrease in recognition memory and other brain functions, they found. Tests showed that the virus had broken through the barrier between blood and tissue, altering the activity of genes in the brains of the mice. The genes affected including those producing dopamine - a vital hormone which influences memory, spatial awareness, emotion and pleasure.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
After many generations, rats bred for their bad attitude behave differently from those selected for a calm demeanor around humans
Researchers have identified gene regions that contribute to differences between nasty and nice rats in their behavior and the activity of genes in the brain. These results may provide important clues as to which genes make tame animals like dogs behave so differently from their wild ancestors. "Tameness is one trait that all domestic animals share. Whether it's pigs or cats or horses, domestication changed species that used to fear humans into animals that now tolerate and even trust us. This research is an important step in uncovering the genetic basis of such remarkable transformations," said co-author Henrike Heyne, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the University of Leipzig in Germany. The rats in the study are descendants of an experiment initiated more than forty years ago by Dmitry K. Belyaev, who is famous for his work on experimental domestication of foxes. Belyaev and his colleagues collected around 200 wild rats and divided them into two groups. In one group, the rats selected for breeding were the most aggressive of the bunch - those most likely to attack or show fear towards an approaching human hand. In the second group, only the tamest rats were bred. After repeating this process for more than sixty generations, rodents in the two groups reacted to humans very differently. "Rats from the tame group allow you to pick them up and will sometimes even approach your hand on their own. In contrast, the aggressive rats immediately attack you or try to escape," said co-author Frank Albert of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the University of California, Los Angeles. To find gene variants responsible for these heritable behavior differences, the researchers crossed rats from each of the two groups to create a population of hybrids. These hybrid animals showed a wide range of behaviors and inherited a random mix of genetic variants from the original tame and aggressive parent rats. By combining information on the genes and the behavior of each hybrid, the team identified eight regions of the genome that contributed to the variation in tameness. Within these broad regions, Heyne and colleagues looked for specific genes of interest by analyzing their activity in the brain. Eleven of the genes within these regions carried variants that made them more active in the brains of aggressive rats compared to tame rats, or vice versa. For five of these genes, the team found additional evidence that the variants regulating activity of the gene were the same variants that influenced behavior. These five genes may play key roles in shaping behavior in the two populations. Several of the genes are involved in nervous system development and one, Slc17a7, has previously been implicated in fear and stress behavior in mice. Further experiments will be required to determine which genes contribute significantly to tameness or aggression.