Friday, October 27, 2017

A new study reveals that we’re attracted to people who look like our parents

The research, conducted by scientists at Glasgow University, concluded that heterosexual men and lesbians looked for women with the same eye color as their mothers. Similarly, the scientists found that heterosexual women and gay men were attracted to men whose eyes were the same color as their father. The study correlates to a theory known as positive sexual imprinting, whereby birds and mammals choose their mates based on attributes exhibited by their parents.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Scientists have discovered a gene in African Americans that increases their risk of depression and alcoholism

Researchers have found that SEMA3A, a neurological gene previously associated with diseases such as Alzheimer's, was disrupted in African Americans with dependency problems, but not in European Americans. Researchers do not yet know what in the genetic code makes it so that this disruption only impacts African Americans. SEMA3A is a gene variant involved in brain development and neuron connectivity.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Leon Wieseltier, the influential Jewish scholar and magazine editor, has been fired from his latest venture following revelations of sexual harassment during his long tenure at the New Republic

“For my offenses against some of my colleagues in the past I offer a shaken apology and ask for their forgiveness,” Wieseltier said in a statement. “The women with whom I worked are smart and good people. I am ashamed to know that I made any of them feel demeaned and disrespected. I assure them that I will not waste this reckoning.” The first issue of Idea, the magazine he was to launch, appeared to be near completion, but its backer, Laurene Powell Jobs, decided to shelve the issue after the revelations and break up the publication. Jobs is the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Tales of Wieseltier’s sexual harassment were circulating among female journalists who have been compiling information about harassers in the profession since the explosion of such stories following the revelations of decades of sexual assault by Jewish movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Chris Hughes, who owned the New Republic for a short period, said in a statement that that he had investigated a harassment complaint from a woman who worked for the management company at the building where the magazine was housed. Wieseltier, who feuded with Hughes, led a walkout in 2014 while Hughes was the owner. Several women described unwanted kisses on the mouth from Wieseltier and sexualized comments about their clothing, among other offenses. Wieseltier, a member of the editorial board of the Jewish Review of Books, is a regular on the Jewish lecture circuit, speaking about Israel and Jewish belief systems. He won the 1998 Jewish Book Council Award for nonfiction for “Kaddish,” a study and memoir about the Jewish memorial prayer.

Monday, October 23, 2017

African Americans tend to have shorter lives than whites - largely due to higher rates of heart diseases and strokes, according to a statement from the American Heart Association

The average white American lives to 79 years old, compared to the average black American who is expected to reach 75.5 years at most. Experts warn that there is no clearer indication of health disparity than in cardiovascular health; heart diseases killed more than two million black Americans between 1999 and 2010. While African Americans are more likely to experience many cardiovascular diseases, in particular strokes and heart failure, they are also more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases. African Americans develop nearly all cardiovascular diseases - heart attack, stroke, and heart failure - at a relatively young age. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors - high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis - are more common and start at earlier ages among African Americans. Many of the differences arise from unhealthy behaviors, lower implementation of guidelines shown to improve cardiovascular health, ingrained cultural preferences and attitudes, and lack of persistence in following lifestyle changes that need to be lifelong. African Americans also have higher rates of certain health conditions that predispose to cardiovascular disease - such as chronic kidney disease, sickle cell disease/sickle cell trait, and HIV, for example.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

More than 30 women have come forward concerning sexual harassment that they received from Jewish Oscar-nominated writer-director James Toback

Of the 38 women, 31 agreed to be named and on-the-record about Toback’s behavior, dating back to the 1980s and as recently as 2008. Toback would approach young aspiring actresses and promise to make them “stars” if they held private meetings. At these meetings, the women said, Toback would grill them about their sexual histories before either dry-humping on them or masturbating in front of them. “It’s a common thread among many women I know … after someone mentions they were sexually abused by a creepy writer-director, the response is, ‘Oh, no. You got Toback-ed,’” actress and drama teacher Karen Sklaire said. She said that she had her own meeting with Toback in 1997, which ended with him grinding against her leg. Toback, who is Jewish, was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for “Bugsy,” a film about the Jewish mobster Bugsy Siegel.

A Scottish tourist says that he was just trying not to spill his drink while at a Dubai bar, and he'll spend time in jail for it

Jamie Harron, 27, was handed a 3-month sentence for touching a man's hip, something Harron says happened while he was walking with a drink in the crowded Rock Bottom Cafe on July 15, 2017; he says he put out his hand "to avoid impact" with a patron, but the incident led to a public indecency charge. The group Detained in Dubai has been championing Harron's cause and complaining about what it sees as deficiencies in his defense, including "key witnesses" who were not asked to testify. It says an appeal is planned, "though this will prolong his increasingly difficult circumstances in Dubai, and compound the enormous financial losses he has suffered as a consequence of the ongoing case." The group's CEO adds that his family hasn't been able to be by his side, as "they faced a very real risk of imprisonment themselves under the UAE's cybercrime laws which forbid criticism of the government." Harron, an electrician, stopped off in Dubai for a couple days en route to a job in Afghanistan.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

For many Democrats, borders are racist

Some common sense from Andrew Sullivan on the issue of immigration.

The World Health Organization has chosen a new "goodwill ambassador" whose human rights abuses have left him with very little goodwill internationally: Robert Mugabe

The 93-year-old president of Zimbabwe was chosen by new WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to help fight non-communicable diseases like strokes and asthma across Africa. The appointment has been condemned by multiple governments and human rights groups since health care in Zimbabwe has collapsed under Mugabe's regime. In addition, Mugabe has been regularly leaving Zimbabwe to seek medical treatment elsewhere. "The decision to appoint Robert Mugabe as a WHO goodwill ambassador is deeply disappointing and wrong," says Dr. Jeremy Farrar of the Wellcome Trust, a British charitable foundation. "Robert Mugabe fails in every way to represent the values WHO should stand for." A group of around two dozen other health organizations said that they were shocked and deeply concerned by the appointment. A spokesman for Zimbabwean opposition party MDC described the appointment as laughable. "Mugabe trashed our health delivery system," he said.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Black man who wielded flamethrower during white nationalist rally in Charlottesville has been arrested

Coorey Long, the black man who wielded an improvised flamethrower against white nationalists at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — an incident captured in a photo that went viral — has become the second black to be arrested recently in relation to the rally. Charlottesville police investigators arrested Long, 23, of Culpeper, Virginia on charges of assault and battery and disorderly conduct. Lt. Stephen Upman, a Charlottesville police spokesman, said that the disorderly conduct charge is related to the makeshift flamethrower and the assault and battery charge is related to a separate skirmish during the rally. Long, who was released on an unsecured bond after appearing before a magistrate, declined to comment after his arrest and referred all questions to his attorney, Malik Zulu Shabazz, national president of Black Lawyers for Justice and former national chairman of the New Black Panther Party. Shabazz, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a racist black nationalist, did not comment other than to say that he would be at Long’s court hearing.

Court records show that the man accused of spray-painting a swastika inside a residence hall at the University of Maryland is African American

University of Maryland police say that 52-year-old Ronald Alford Sr. has been served a criminal summons and faces several charges including destruction of property and disturbing the operations of a school. Alford will not be allowed back on campus.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Homicide is the largest contributor to potential years of life lost among black Americans

By contrast, homicide was the 12th highest contributor to potential years of life lost for white Americans. Potential years of lost life is the number of years a person would have lived had they not died of a particular cause. Heart disease is the leading cause of potential years of life lost among white Americans. The average age of a black American who died from a congenital abnormality was 15 years old, compared to 26 years old for a white American. And black Americans who commit suicide die, on average, 10 years earlier than white Americans who commit suicide (38 years old versus 48). The more than 2.7 million deaths in the United States in 2015 tallied up to nearly 21.4 million potential years of life lost. Black Americans accounted for 20% of these years despite representing only 13% of the U.S. population.

Nearly half of black Americans who borrowed from the federal government to attend college defaulted on their student loans — more than double the rate among white student debtors, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education

Some 48.6% of black student debtors defaulted on a federal loan, compared with 10.8% of Asians, 20.4% of whites, and 34.7% of Hispanics. Across all races, about 27% of all borrowers defaulted. Nearly two-thirds of black students who took out loans to attend for-profit colleges, or 65.7%, ended up in default, data show. But the racial disparity was particularly dramatic for those who attended nonprofit four-year colleges: They were four times as likely as their white peers to default on their loans. The typical white household led by someone without a bachelor's degree is wealthier than the typical black household led by someone with at least a bachelor's degree, according to figures from the Federal Reserve’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Six Egyptian men have been arrested for promoting sexual deviancy and debauchery on social media will be subjected to anal examinations ahead of their trial, Amnesty International has said

Their arrest is part of a wider crackdown against homosexuality that started when a group of people were seen raising a rainbow flag at a concert, a rare public show of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the Muslim country. At least 11 people have since been arrested, Amnesty said, and one man has been sentenced to six years in jail after local media launched a highly critical campaign against those who raised the rainbow flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert, a popular Lebanese alternative rock band whose lead singer is openly gay. Amnesty said the Forensic Medical Authority was due to subject the six men to anal examinations to determine whether they have had homosexual sex. Judicial sources said any defendant accused of debauchery or sexual deviancy, a euphemism for homosexuality in Egypt, is subjected to a medical examination based on an order from the Public Prosecutor. Amnesty said such examinations violate the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment under international law. “The fact that Egypt’s Public Prosecutor is prioritizing hunting down people based on their perceived sexual orientation is utterly deplorable. These men should be released immediately and unconditionally – not put on trial,” said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International. “Forced anal examinations are abhorrent and amount to torture. The Egyptian authorities have an appalling track record of using invasive physical tests which amount to torture against detainees in their custody. All plans to carry out such tests on these men must be stopped immediately.” Egypt’s Islamic religious establishment is voicing its support for the government’s moves against homosexuals. “Al Azhar will stand against calls for sexual perversion the same way it has stood against extremist groups,” a preacher at the 1,000-year-old seat of Sunni Muslim learning said in his Friday prayers sermon. Although homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt, discrimination is rife. Gay men are frequently arrested and typically charged with debauchery, immorality or blasphemy. The largest crackdown on homosexuals took place in 2001, when police raided a floating disco called the Queen Boat. Fifty-two men were tried in the case.