Monday, June 25, 2018

A Mexican political candidate has been murdered, and the suspects include the town's entire local police force

Federal police officers arrested all 27 police officers in Ocampo, Michoacan state, along with Oscar Gonzalez Garcia, the town's public security secretary. They are suspects in the murder of 64-year-old mayoral candidate Fernando Angeles Suarez, who was shot dead by unknown gunmen. Suarez — a local businessman whose friends say was running for office because he strongly opposed corruption — is among three political candidates killed in Michoacan and more than 120 killed across Mexico in the exceptionally violent run-up to the July 1, 2018 general elections. Suarez "couldn't stand seeing so much poverty, inequality, and corruption and so he decided to run," one of his friends said. After Suarez and his wife were shot dead outside a hotel, federal police tried to arrest Garcia, the public security secretary, but were blocked by the 27 officers under his command. They returned the next day with reinforcements to make the arrests. Few other arrests have been made in connection with the killing of other candidates.

Friday, June 22, 2018

A recent study by the Brazilian government spelled out the high cost of crime in the South American giant, placing a few of the country’s states on par with some of the world’s most murderous nations, including Honduras

In financial terms, record homicide levels have cost Brazil 450 billion reals ($120 billion) in lost productivity over two decades — a sum almost equal to the Marshall Plan, the U.S. World War II aid package for Europe. The report from Brazil’s presidency noted that the overall economic cost of crime between 1996 and 2015 jumped an equivalent of 4.4% of gross domestic product annually — about three times that of some European countries. “Violent crime has not eased in the interim: If anything, it worsened. It is very likely that the overall economic burden of criminal violence steadily increased,” says Robert Muggah, research director at the Igarapé Institute, a security think tank in Rio de Janeiro that contributed to the report. “Brazil is confronting a full-blown public security crisis, but spending on crime control has been both ineffective and inefficient.” The report was released days after government think tank IPEA and the Brazilian Forum on Public Security (FBSP) revealed in a study that the country’s homicide rate exceeded 30 per 100,000 in 2016, with 62,500 murders, the highest ever recorded, and about 30 times more than in Europe. Between 2006 and 2016, 553,000 people were killed in Brazil, said the IPEA/FBSP study, more than in the seven-year Syrian civil war, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A recent study on the costs of crime by the Inter-American Development Bank revealed that the regional average in Latin America was 3.55% of GDP in 2014, compared with 3.78% in Brazil in the same year; 2.75% in the United States; 2.55% in Britain; 1.87% in France; and 1.34% in Germany.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A new poll by Lord Ashcroft has revealed growing support for a unified Ireland with many citing Brexit as a motive for quitting the UK

Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, a referendum on uniting Ireland could be held if it appears likely that it would have a chance of passing in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And support for reunification has ballooned since Brexit, which saw Northern Ireland vote 57% in favor of remaining in the European Union. Ironically, for the ultra-unionist DUP, who were the only major Northern Irish party to campaign for leave, it appears that their support for Brexit has actually contributed to a rise in support of their Doomsday Scenario: the reunification of Ireland. The poll has revealed that 44% of Northern Irish residents would vote in favor of quitting the UK and joining the Republic if a referendum was held tomorrow. Forty-nine percent of respondents said that they would vote to stay in the UK while 7% said that they did not know how they would vote. Pollsters, who interviewed 1,666 Northern Irish adults between May 24 and 28, 2018 revealed even those who opposed a united Ireland believed a referendum would eventually be held. Lord Ashcroft Polls said in the full report: “More than half of DUP voters said there should never be a referendum but fewer than one in five of them thought there never would be. More than eight in 10 Nationalists and three in 10 Unionists thought there would be a ‘border poll’ within the next decade.” The poll also spoke to voters in England, Scotland and Wales, who said leaving the European Union was more important than keeping Northern Ireland in the union. The poll report said: “If it were not possible both to leave the EU and to keep England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales together in the UK, 63 percent of Leave voters in Great Britain (including 73 percent of Conservatives) said they would choose to leave the EU. 27 percent said they would choose to keep the UK together, and one in ten say they didn’t know.” The new poll announcement backs up another released earlier in June 2018. The Lucid Talk poll, which was commissioned by the BBC, revealed that 42.1% of those surveyed would vote to join the Republic in a unified Ireland, just three points - the margin of error - behind those who want to remain in the UK. The remainder were undecided.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Russian politician has told Nigeria soccer fans that they cannot take live chickens to 2018 FIFA World Cup matches

The chickens are seen by Nigerians as lucky mascots but the Russian government has slapped a ban on taking them into games ahead of Nigeria’s opening World Cup match against Croatia. Andrei Ermak, minister of culture in Kaliningrad, said that “fans from Nigeria asked if it’s possible to go to the stadium with a chicken, it’s their symbol, [and they take] them to matches. We told them it is impossible.” Nigeria supporters may be allowed to take their chickens to areas away from the Kaliningrad Stadium, providing they do not try to take them into the ground. “We will, of course, advise them where the chicken can be [taken],” Ermak said. “We are ready to satisfy the most eccentric inquiries.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Mexican politician has been shot dead while posing for a selfie

As Fernando Purón, a Mexican congressional candidate, left an election debate, a woman asked him to stop for a selfie. As the pair posed, a man walked up behind them and shot Purón in the head in a horrifying scene caught on surveillance video. His murder highlights the risks to lawmakers as violence in the country increases; since September 2017, 111 other politicians have been murdered in Mexico, and more violence is expected in the run-up to the country's July 2018 elections. It's not clear why Purón was targeted, but drug cartels are suspected in many political murders and he was said to have been on the wrong side of the Zetas crime group when he was mayor of Piedras Negras. During the debate, he had promised to fight back against organized crime.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Researchers have identified a genetic difference between people with African and European ancestry that affects how the immune system triggers inflammation

The scientists suspect that these differences are rooted in how the immune system evolved and the evolutionary pressure exerted by malaria on ancestors who lived in Africa. For thousands of years, the human immune system evolved to fight off constant assaults from a variety of infections, tailoring its response to defend against local threats. Thanks to modern hygiene, the immune system now faces far fewer attacks, but ancestral differences still remain, as demonstrated by differing disease rates between populations. To gain a better understanding of how different populations' immune systems respond to current lifestyles, researchers combined genetic, molecular and epidemiological data from in 914 people with African ancestry and 855 people with European ancestry from the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk (AMBER) Consortium. They analyzed blood samples to detect 14 different chemical messengers involved in inflammation and identified significant differences between the populations in seven of those chemicals. Lifestyle factors such as age, education level, obesity, smoking and alcohol use could account for many of the differences, but the researchers also identified a genetic variant that occurred primarily in people with African ancestry. The variant controlled the levels of two key chemical messengers involved in recruiting white blood cells to sites of inflammation, and previous studies suggest that it evolved to protect African individuals from contracting malaria. The immune differences between people with European and African ancestry may have important implications for health that deserve further study. Inflammation has evolved as a response to injury and infection but is also implicated in several types of cancer and chronic disease. Ancestral "footprints" in the genome, such as the one identified in the study, may be exacerbating the health disparities observed between these two groups. The researchers conducted this research based upon the hypothesis that adaptation over millennia to protect from infectious diseases in Africa, resulting in more robust immune response, could be related to more aggressive breast cancer in a modern environment. When they compared levels of certain inflammatory markers between women of African and European descent, they noted many differences. After they ruled out the effects of lifestyle factors, they found that much of these differences could be tied to the Duffy antigen receptor, whereby African Americans have a genotype that helps to protect from malaria. These findings indicate that evolutionary adaptation many thousands of years ago shaped our immune systems, and may still have considerable influences on immune function today. The next research question the researchers are pursuing is whether those evolutionary marks play any significant role in affecting breast cancer health disparities.

Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq have detained a 20-year-old Iraqi man on suspicion of raping and murdering a 14-year-old Jewish girl in Germany, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has said

Seehofer said that the Kurdish security forces had taken him into custody at the request of the German police, who identified him as Ali Bashar. He had been living in Germany as a refugee since 2015. The case has galvanized Germany at a time when its decision to take in large numbers of migrants and asylum seekers during Europe's 2015 migrant crisis is already stirring a political backlash. Many politicians are calling for new rules to make it easier to deport immigrants thought to be violent. The victim, Susanna Feldman, was Jewish. The teenager, from the city of Mainz near Frankfurt, was reported missing on May 22, 2018. She was found dead in a wooded area near train tracks in Wiesbaden on the opposite bank of the Rhine, near a refugee center where the suspected attacker had lived, police said. An autopsy showed that she had been the victim of a sexual and violent attack. Police said that Bashar had likely fled with his family to Erbil, Iraq, recently. They said that they had set up a special call center for tips from the public, and had issued releases in Arabic and Turkish. The Iraqi suspect was already under investigation for a suspected robbery. He was appealing a December 2016 decision by German authorities to reject his asylum application. Germany does not have a general extradition agreement with Iraq but must negotiate such moves on an individual basis, said foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

African-Americans are still much more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than white Americans

For male and female populations in 2016, blacks were 8.4 times more likely than whites to be diagnosed with HIV, whereas in 2005 they were 7.9 times more likely. Specifically, the number of black males diagnosed with the disease in 2005 was 9,969 and increased by 29% to 12,890 in 2016. Black male-to-male sexual contact was the most common form of transmission of HIV and the number of men that have sex with men who were diagnosed with HIV increased 154% from 4,020 in 2005 to 10,233 in 2016. If this trend continues, one in two black men who engage in sexual contact with men will receive an HIV diagnosis in their lifetimes. The number of African-American females diagnosed with HIV through heterosexual contact increased by 75% from 2,392 in 2005 to 4,189 in 2016, and there was also a 76% increase in HIV diagnoses among heterosexual black men in the same time period.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

It may seem merely a cliche born of centuries of educated people straining their eyes in dimly-lit libraries, but new genetic research suggests those who wear glasses really are more intelligent

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh analyzed the genetic data of more than 44,480 people. They found that, overall, those who were more intelligent were nearly 30% more likely to have genes indicating that they require reading glasses than those who scored poorly. The research also linked higher cognitive ability to genes known to play a part in better cardiovascular health. The results are based on the most thorough investigation of intelligence genes of its kind to date. The research team examined 148 genomic regions related to better cognitive function, including 58 that have not previously been reported. They said that the results could help understanding of the declines in cognitive function that happen with illness and as people age. Because of the study’s design it not possible to say why there is a genetic correlation between intelligence, poor eyesight and cardiovascular health. However, Dr Gail Davies, of University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, who led the analysis, said: "This study, the largest genetic study of cognitive function, has identified many genetic differences that contribute to the heritability of thinking skills. The discovery of shared genetic effects on health outcomes and brain structure provides a foundation for exploring the mechanisms by which these differences influence thinking skills throughout a lifetime." Those who participated in the study had all taken a variety of thinking tests which were summarized as a general cognitive ability score. All had genetic testing that examined their DNA and none of the people had dementia or a stroke.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Seven Muslim men have been found guilty of grooming and sexually abusing teenage girls on a massive scale in England

The Islamic gang was convicted of more than 20 offences including rape and indecent assault between 1998 and 2005. Prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC said that they carried out the routine, cynical and predatory sexual exploitation of vulnerable girls who were groomed with alcohol and drugs. The five victims were aged between 13 and 15 when the offences started. Opening the case at Oxford Crown Court, Saxby said that the gang preyed on girls who had a background of problems at home. Assad Hussain, 37, of Iffley Road, Oxford, was found guilty of five counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault, not guilty of one count of indecent assault. Kameer Iqbal, 39, of Dashwood Road, Oxford, was found guilty of three counts of rape. Khalid Hussain, 38, of Ashhurst Way, Oxford, was found guilty of rape and indecent assault, not guilty of one count of rape. Kamran Khan, 36, of Northfield Road, Bolton, was found guilty of indecent assault and false imprisonment, not guilty of rape. Moinul Islam, 41, of Wykeham Crescent, Oxford, was found guilty of rape, two counts of indecent assault and supplying cannabis, not guilty of false imprisonment. Raheem Ahmed, 40 of Starwort Path, Oxford, was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault and false imprisonment, not guilty of rape. Alladitta Yousaf, 48, of Bodley Road, Oxford, was found guilty of indecent assault.

Friday, May 25, 2018

A black former Eastern Michigan University student who admitted to painting racist graffiti on campus has been ordered to pay more than $2,000 in restitution

Eddie Curlin, 29, has been sentenced after earlier pleading guilty to malicious destruction of property. He also pleaded no contest to unrelated counts of identity theft and must serve two-to-five years in prison on those charges. He was granted credit for 220 days served. Curlin, who was an EMU student from 2014 to early 2016, was accused of scrawling messages of hate on three separate occasions between the fall of 2016 and the spring of 2017. The first incident took place in September 2016 when the letters "KKK" - a reference to the Ku Klux Klan - and underneath in bold black "leave n*****s" was spray-painted on an exterior wall. The letters "KKK" were painted in red, white and blue. An October 2016 incident had the message "leave n*****s" again scrawled outside of a building, this one right next to the campus's monument to Martin Luther King. The third incident took place during Spring 2017 in which a racist message was found in a men's restroom stall in Sherzer Hall. University officials say that Curlin vandalized the buildings then acted as a police informant. Officials say that it was a pretense to help solve the case, have previous charges of receiving stolen property against him dropped and return to the school in Ypsilanti. After he was unmasked as the author of the racist graffiti, Curlin publicly admitted his guilt.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thousands of women and girls who survived Boko Haram's brutal rule while kept captive by the militant Islamist group have been raped by Nigerian soldiers who claim to be rescuing them, Amnesty International has revealed

The human rights organization has urged Nigeria to act on claims that soldiers and members of the civilian militia have raped women and girls in remote camps for people displaced by Boko Haram. Amnesty said that it had gathered multiple testimonies about alleged abuse by the security forces, including claims that soldiers coerced vulnerable survivors into having sex in exchange for food. Nearly 1.8 million people have been displaced within Nigeria by the Boko Haram insurgency, which has killed at least 20,000 since 2009, according to the latest available figures. When including statistics from neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, the number of people forced to flee their homes by the violence reaches nearly 2.25 million, says the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Health workers fighting Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo have run into an invisible but powerful hurdle — a belief system that deems the disease to be a curse or the result of evil spirits

Some people are refusing medical care and turn instead to preachers and prayers to chase away the threat. The pastor of an evangelical church died several days after he “prayed” for an Ebola victim who went to him for help, a doctor said. “Some sick people believe that the Ebola epidemic comes from sorcery — they refuse to be treated and prefer to pray,” said Julie Lobali, a nurse on the front line against the DRC’s ninth Ebola outbreak. She is working in a hospital in Mbandaka, a port city on the Congo River in northwest DRC where the first urban case was reported. Since the outbreak was declared in the remote area of Bikoro on May 8th, 2018 fifty-one cases of Ebola have been reported with 27 deaths. One superstition that has become prevalent in the city, she says, is believing that Ebola began in Bikoro as “a curse on those who ate stolen meat” — a wild animal hunted in the countryside. Blandine Mboyo, who lives in Mbandaka’s district of Bongondjo, said that a hunter put a curse on the village because his big game was stolen. “This curse is so powerful because it hits those who ate this meat, having heard about the theft or having seen the stolen animal,” added Nicole Batoa, a local vendor. Another resident, Guy Ingila, observed that officials have said on the radio “this disease is incurable... It’s because it’s about witchcraft.”. For doctors and health officials these beliefs raise serious concerns, complicating efforts to contain and roll back the deadly Ebola virus. In Geneva, African health officials said that they were preparing to send anthropologists to the DRC to help with an Ebola vaccination campaign. A prototype vaccine will first be given to frontline health workers and then to people who have been in contact with Ebola cases. “If we do not handle communication well, the vaccination program may suffer,” John Nkengasong, head of Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC), said in Geneva. “So we are also assessing how in the next two weeks or so to deploy anthropologists to support the vaccine efforts.” In DR Congo, as elsewhere in Africa, disease and death are often not looked on as natural phenomena. “So many deaths is a sign of a curse and can only have been provoked by a bad spirit,” said Zacharie Bababaswe, a Congolese specialist in cultural history, explaining people’s perceptions of Ebola. Before the expansion of evangelical churches in the country, Bababaswe says that many Congolese would go see the witch doctor or village healer for treatment. Today there is still widespread superstition — but, since the 1980s, it has taken a different form, with some people turning for help to a church or a pastor who claims to have healing powers. Two people infected with Ebola from Bikoro went to the churches rather than a medical center for help. Another patient, who had been hospitalized in Mbandaka, left the medical center to seek out a local healer. To brake the spread of Ebola, “we have to convince villagers that the disease is not a curse,” said Bavon N’Sa Mputu, an elected official from Bikoro, pointing to the key role that churches can play.

Monday, May 21, 2018

African American children are taking their lives at roughly twice the rate of their white counterparts, according to a new study that shows a widening gap between the two groups

The 2001-2015 data confirm a pattern first identified several years ago when researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio found that the rate of suicides for black children ages 5 to 12 exceeded that of young whites. The results were seen in both boys and girls. Although suicide is rare among young children, the latest findings reinforce the need for better research into the racial disparities, lead author Jeffrey Bridge said. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for older children and adolescents in the United States. “We can’t assume any longer that suicide rates are uniformly higher in white individuals than black,” said Bridge, an epidemiologist who directs the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at the Columbus hospital. “There is this age-related disparity, and now we have to understand the underlying reasons. Most of the previous research has largely concerned white suicide. So we don’t even know if the same risk and protective factors apply to black youth.” Historically, suicide rates in the United States have been higher for whites than blacks across all age groups. That remains the case for adolescents, ages 13 to 17, according to the new study. White teens continue to have a 50% higher rate of suicide than black teens. Overall between 1999 and 2015, more than 1,300 children ages 5 to 12 took their own lives in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those numbers translate into an average of one child 12 or younger dying by suicide every five days. The pace has actually accelerated in recent years, CDC statistics indicate. The researchers based their latest analysis on the CDC's Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, which does not include geographical or socioeconomic data. Previous studies have looked at some of the characteristics and circumstances surrounding children's suicides. In 2017, research by Bridge and colleagues found that among children, ages 5 to 11, and young adolescents, ages 12 to 14, those who took their own lives were more likely to be male, African American and dealing with stressful relationships at home or with friends. Children who had a mental health problem at the time of death were more likely than young adolescents to have been diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Young adolescents who killed themselves were more likely to have had relationship problems with a boyfriend or girlfriend. They also had higher rates of depression. More than a third of elementary school-aged suicides involved black children compared to just 11.6% of early adolescent suicides.

Over 40% of all the rapes in South Africa are committed against children

Of the 124,526 total rape cases reported in the last 3 financial years, children were the victims in 41% of these cases. In the same time period, 2,600 children were also murdered. That amounts to 5% of the total murder numbers across South Africa. This also means that at least 46 children are raped every day and at least two children are murdered every single day in South Africa. Only 21% of child rapes cases and only one in three murder cases resulted in successful convictions. The numbers become even more frightening when you realize that the number of child rapes has continually increased over the years. In 2014-15, there were 15,520 child rapes reported. Only 1,799 ended up in successful convictions. In 2015-16, 16,389 were reported. Just 2,488 were convicted. In 2016-17, the numbers rose even further to 19 071. There was a small improvement in convictions; 6,366 were convicted. The horrific brutality with which these children were murdered is also frightening. Weapons used, include firearms, axes, spades, pangas (African machetes), hammers, belts and poison – many of these children were practically butchered to death.

A new poll has revealed that Scots are far less royalist than other Britons

In the run-up to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, just 41% of people in Scotland said that they backed the monarchy. However, only 28% said that they were opposed to the institution with 27% describing themselves as ambivalent. This compared with clear majority backing for the monarchy in England where 55% were for and just 14% against. Delta Poll surveyed around 500 people in each of the four nations of the United Kingdom on behalf of the center-right think-tank Policy Exchange. Support for the monarchy was 49% in Wales and 52% in Northern Ireland. Royal Wedding fever appeared much less intense in Scotland than elsewhere. Only two street parties were organized in the country. Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP said: “Given the challenges we need to tackle in our society - including inequalities in income, health and education - it’s no surprise that Scots are least likely to support the anachronism that is the monarchy. It serves only as a distraction from those important issues and a reminder of the social inequality that the UK class system is based on.” Scotland was the only nation of the UK where a majority did not see the monarchy as a unifying force after Brexit, the poll found.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Muslim man accused of killing a cow was beaten to death by a mob in central India, police have said, the latest vigilante murder over the animal considered sacred by Hindus

Siraj Khan, a 45-year-old tailor, was attacked in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh state and died at the scene, local police official Arvind Tiwari said. Kahn's friend Shakeel Maqbool, who was also attacked, has been admitted to hospital with critical injuries. As details of the violent assault emerged 400 additional police were deployed to the district as inquiries widened. "We have arrested four people, and they have been sent to judicial custody. We are investigating what prompted the attack," Tiwari said. He added that meat and a bull carcass was found at the scene, but did not elaborate as investigations were ongoing. Hindus consider cows sacred and slaughtering the animals, or possessing or consuming beef, is banned in most Indian states. Cow slaughter in Madhya Pradesh carries a maximum seven-year jail term but many other parts of India impose life sentences for infringements. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has promised to completely outlaw cow slaughter in India. The Hindu BJP has been accused of turning a blind eye to a rising number of vigilante attacks in the name of cow protection. Rights groups say that Hindu mobs have been emboldened under the party, who stormed to power in 2014. Many of the victims are Muslims. In two prominent cases, a dairy farmer was killed on a roadside for transporting cows and a Muslim teenager accused of carrying beef was stabbed to death on a crowded train.

Voters in England would prefer to lose Scotland than Gibraltar in the Brexit process, a new poll has found

Pollsters from Panelbase asked people in England for their views on a scenario in which the price of leaving the EU would be for Britain to be without Scotland or Northern Ireland or Gibraltar. Voters expressed most concern about Gibraltar heading off, followed by Scotland, and were least concerned about Northern Ireland opting to go. Some 37% said that losing Gibraltar would not be a price worth paying for Brexit, while 35% said that losing Scotland would not be worth it. In terms of losing Northern Ireland just 31% that said it was not a price worth paying for Brexit. Some 1020 people were asked their views by researchers carrying out the poll, which was commissioned by pro-independence website Wings Over Scotland. The sample included both leave and remain voters. The website's Stuart Campbell said: "Many will remember bitterly the short-lived 'lovebombing' campaign from the indyref, in which a list of semi-celebrities from the rest of the UK was assembled to assure Scots of how much they were valued and cherished by their UK partners. Four years on, not so much. Because overall, the voters of England – that’s Remainers and Leavers combined – would drop Scotland like a hot potato if it were somehow to be necessary in order to secure Brexit. (And remember, very nearly half of them don’t even WANT Brexit. How much must those guys hate us?) Just a third of English voters don’t think it’d be worth ditching Scotland to get out of the EU. The only thing that our English cousins were almost reluctant (51-49 excluding Don't Knows) to sacrifice was the part of the UK that’s actually just a tiny rocky outcrop of someone else’s country and has roughly the same population as Dumfries or Irvine or Falkirk. (To be honest we’re kicking ourselves for not asking about the Falkland Islands now.) The people of England would, by a comfortable distance, rather hang on to the 34,000 citizens (plus some apes) of Gibraltar than the 7.2 million of Scotland and Northern Ireland, but they’d still quite happily surrender all three just to reduce the number of immigrants coming to the UK and trash the economy."

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Dominican nanny who was convicted of brutally murdering two small children in her care while their parents were out has been sentenced to life in prison without parole

Yoselyn Ortega has been convicted of the gruesome October 2012 stabbing deaths of 6-year-old Lucia Krim, known as Lulu, and 2-year-old Leo Krim. The children's parents, Marina and Kevin Krim, spoke in court of how Ortega robbed them of their children and how Ortega's family and friends helped with this by lying to them about Ortega's personality and experience as a nanny. Ortega, who's from the Dominican Republic, had been recommended by her sister, a nanny for another New York family, and her background and references were faked by her family. The consequences, the Krims said, were horrifying. Judge Gregory Carro referred to Ortega as pure evil and said that she should spend the rest of her life in prison. Kevin Krim eviscerated Ortega for not pleading guilty and forcing the case into a courtroom. He said that she should never have put the family, the jurors, or the audience through it. "The defendant is an evil and utterly dangerous narcissist," he said. "It is right that she should live and rot and die in a metal case, like the ugly and dark shadow of Lulu and Leo's bright and shiny lights."

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A horrifying incident is becoming a trend in India, where a third teenager has been raped and then burned alive, with all the incidents happening in the span of one week

The 16-year-old was killed after informing her attacker, a man police have named as 28-year-old Ravi Chadhar, she wouldn't stay quiet about the rape. She was doused with fuel and set on fire in her Madhya Pradesh home. The girl's cousin told her attacker that she was home alone; both the cousin and Chadhar have been arrested. The other attacks occurred in Jharkhand, with one of the girls, 17, surviving in critical condition with burns to 70% of her body. Her attacker had wanted to marry her but had been denied. The first case involved a 16-year-old who was killed after her parents reported her rape to village leaders. Enraged by the punishment the elders imposed — 100 sit-ups and a fine of roughly $750 — police say that Dhanu Singh Bhuiyan stormed into the girl's house in the village of Chatra, attacked her parents, and fatally set the girl on fire.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Recently two teenage girls were raped and then burned alive in Jharkhand, India

One 16-year-old girl was kidnapped from her home while her family attended a wedding. The group of men took her to a deserted area, then raped her. When the girl's father found out about the attack, he went to his village council and demanded retribution, according to officials. Four of the accused men were ordered to do 100 sit-ups and pay the girl's family about $734, reports said. The attackers were reportedly furious that the girl's father had gone to authorities. The next day, the attackers broke into the girl's home, beat her parents and then set the teenager on fire. She did not survive. Twenty men have been arrested in connection with the crime, police officials said. Officials will also seek to punish the village council for “trivializing” the rape, according to police. Another girl, 17 years old, suffered the same violence. The cases are unrelated, authorities said. The teenager was attacked by a man who wanted to marry her, officials said. The man came to visit her at her relatives' home in Pakur. She rejected his proposal, telling him she was too young to wed, according to officials. The assailant waited until the girl was alone, then broke into her house and raped her before setting her alight. Neighbors reported hearing screams as they rushed to help. The teenager is in critical condition in the hospital. Police said that she suffered burns over 95% of her body. The assaults are the latest in a string of vicious attacks on girls and women in India. In January 2018, an 8-year-old Kashmiri Muslim girl was gang-raped, drugged and murdered. Eight men were arrested for the crime, which sparked protests across the country. There were 40,000 rape cases reported in India in 2016, the most recent year in which data is available. Experts believe the true number is far higher. Many sexual assaults go unreported because of the stigma faced by victims of sexual assault and their families.

In just the past five years, the number of gonorrhea cases in Los Angeles County doubled, with minorities suffering more than most

In L.A. County, syphilis rates among African American women are six times higher than white women and three times higher than Latina women.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Frustration over the disappearance of three university students in Mexico has turned to outrage as authorities revealed that the men were tortured and killed by cartel members who wrongly suspected them of belonging to a rival gang

Enrolled at Guadalajara's University of Audiovisual Media, Javier Salomon Aceves Gastelum, 25; Marco Avalos, 20; and Jesus Daniel Diaz, 20, were filming a school project at the Tonala home of one of their aunts when they were abducted by armed men dressed as police officers on March 19, 2018. The home had previously been used as a safe house by a rival gang of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which had been keeping an eye on it. When car trouble left the students stranded, the cartel apparently saw an opportunity. Though Gastelum, Avalos, and Diaz had no known connection to criminal gangs, authorities believe they were taken to another home to be interrogated. One of the three was beaten to death before the others were executed, authorities say. Their bodies — and possibly others — were then dissolved at a separate location where 46 barrels of sulfuric acid were found, police add. Students who recently took to the streets to demand the men's safe return in a country that saw its deadliest year with more than 25,000 homicides in 2017 were outraged by the news, even as authorities said that two of eight suspects were in custody. "They murdered the film students and dissolved their bodies in acid for doing homework," reads one tweet. "This country is hell."

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

In the generation since apartheid ended in 1994, tens of billions of dollars in public funds — intended to develop the economy and improve the lives of black South Africans — have been siphoned off by leaders of the A.N.C., the very organization that had promised them a new, equal and just nation

Corruption has enriched A.N.C. leaders and their business allies — black and white South Africans, as well as foreigners. But the supposed beneficiaries of many government projects, in whose names the money was spent, have been left with little but seething anger and deepening disillusionment with the state of post-apartheid South Africa. While poverty has declined since the end of apartheid, inequality has risen in a society that was already one of the world’s most unequal, according to a recent report by the World Bank and the South African government. South Africa has a large, advanced economy, an aggressively free press and a wealth of independent organizations and scholars who keep a close watch on government malfeasance. But even with its vibrant democracy, in which the details of corruption schemes are routinely aired and condemned by the news media and opposition politicians, graft has engulfed the country. The nation was governed for nine years by the scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma, whose close ties with the Gupta family — three Indian brothers at the helm of a sprawling business empire built on government contracts, including the dairy farm — outraged voters. Their cozy relationship contributed to the A.N.C.’s recent electoral losses and helped lead to Zuma’s ouster. Promising a “new dawn,” Zuma’s replacement, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said that he would make fighting corruption a priority as the nation’s new president. But he is also a veteran A.N.C. insider, and the early signs have not been encouraging. Having become party leader by a razor-thin margin, Ramaphosa has tried to keep together a fractured A.N.C. by moving cautiously. He formed his first cabinet by appointing some well-respected officials, but also included allies — his own and Zuma’s — who have been accused of corruption by the Public Protector’s office and good governance groups. Beyond that, politicians who long oversaw provinces rife with public corruption now sit at the top of the A.N.C.’s hierarchy. National prosecutors, often criticized for being servile to the sitting president, say that they are trying to recover more than $4 billion lost to corruption related to the Gupta family’s undue influence on Zuma’s administration. And that is just a small measure of the corruption that has whittled away at virtually every institution in the country, including schools, public housing, the police, the power utility, South African Airways and state enterprises overseeing everything from rail service to the defense industry.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Gang rape continues in India

The victim was an 8-year-old girl in Kashmir who belonged to a nomadic Muslim tribe, and the details are rough. Police say that she was lured away from the horses she was grazing, sedated, and raped multiple times by men in a Hindu temple over the course of at least three days. At that point, police say the men killed the girl by hitting her head with a stone, and her body was found in a nearby forest a week after she disappeared. Authorities say that Muslim-Hindu tensions are behind the murder of the girl, known as Asifa. The custodian of the local Hindu temple wanted to frighten away her Bakarwals tribe from the area and saw the girl as a "soft target," say police. The custodian, Sanji Ram, is among eight Hindu men charged in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Two of the eight are police officers accused of taking bribes in their investigation. The murder happened in January 2018, but new court proceedings have inflamed tensions. Thousands of members of a Hindu group linked to the ruling BJP party have marched to demand the release of the suspects, and a large group of Hindu lawyers tried to block the filing of charges at the local court. They claim the men are innocent but will not get a fair trial because the investigating officers are Muslim. Protests and counter-protests are now spreading.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Crime in New York City: Despite being only about 22% of the city’s population, blacks comprised a majority — 52.4% — of murder and non-negligent manslaughter arrests

Hispanics also exceeded their population share, accounting for 35.9% of arrests for these crimes even though they are only 29.1% of the city's population. Despite being almost a third of the city’s population, white suspects accounted for less than 7% of the share. Blacks are a staggering 67.5%t of shooting arrests in New York City, while Hispanics accounted for 29.2% of arrests. Whites were only 2.3% of shooting arrests. In 2016, 88.3% of those arrested for murder or non-negligent manslaughter and 96.7% of those arrested for shootings were black or Hispanic in New York City. Statistics from Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Chicago show a similar story regarding black and Hispanic crime.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

A black woman is in jail after trying - and failing - to prove the existence of God to her children

Bahari Warren was driving with her two children — ages 5 and 7 — when she crossed into oncoming traffic and drove straight into a telephone pole. Warren later admitted that she crashed the car on purpose to prove to her children that God was real and would protect them. Warren is facing two counts of child cruelty, and her children are currently with their grandparents.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that an electronic fence along the Israel-Egypt border has saved the Jewish state from jihadist attacks or what he believes would be worse — a tide of African migrants

“Were it not for the fence, we would be faced with… severe attacks by Sinai terrorists, and something much worse, a flood of illegal migrants from Africa,” Netanyahu’s office quoted him as telling a development conference in the southern Israel desert town of Dimona. The interior ministry says that there are currently some 42,000 African migrants in Israel, mainly from Sudan and Eritrea, and the government has ordered that thousands of them must leave or face indefinite imprisonment. The frontier with Israel’s Negev desert has since been given a 124 mile hi-tech fence and the influx has halted. Netanyahu said that a tide of non-Jewish immigration would threaten the very fabric of Israel. “We are talking about a Jewish and democratic state, but how could we assure a Jewish and democratic state with 50,000 and then 100,000 and 150,000 migrants a year,” Netanyahu said. “After a million, 1.5 million, we might as well shut up shop,” he added. “We did not close down, we built a fence.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Austria's capital Vienna once again defended its position as the city offering the best quality of life in the world, while Iraq's capital Baghdad remains the worst in an annual survey from consulting firm Mercer

Europe has eight of the world's top 10 most pleasant cities: Germany and Switzerland each have three cities in the top 10, while New Zealand, Canada and Australia each have one. With a population of 1.8 million, Vienna topped the survey for the ninth year in a row, boasting a vibrant cultural scene, comprehensive health care and moderate housing costs. Vienna is followed by Switzerland's Zurich and then New Zealand's Auckland and Germany's Munich in joint third. Vancouver, ranked fifth, offers the best quality of living in North America. Singapore at 25 and Montevideo at 77 topped the Asian and Latin American places. The best African entry on the list was South Africa's Durban in 89th place.

One of Israel’s most senior religious leaders, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, has stoked controversy after calling black people “monkeys”

Yosef made the remarks while citing a hypothetical story about encountering a black person in the United States. He then referred to black people using the pejorative Hebrew word “kushi” and called a black person a “monkey.” Yosef, who is the most senior rabbi in one of two mainstream strands of Orthodox Judaism, was addressing a religious legal question when he made the remarks. It is not the first time the religious leader has caused controversy with his sermons. In May 2017, Yosef compared secular women to animals because they dressed immodestly. In March 2016, Yosef was forced to retract a comment that non-Jews should not live in Israel. He said that he was speaking theoretically and in practice non-Jews could live in Israel if they kept religious laws such as not committing idolatry and not eating the limbs from a live animal. He did add that non-Jews in Israel should serve Jews.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Black boys raised in America, even in the wealthiest families and living in some of the most well-to-do neighborhoods, still earn less in adulthood than white boys with similar backgrounds, according to a sweeping new study that traced the lives of millions of children

White boys who grow up rich are likely to remain that way. Black boys raised at the top, however, are more likely to become poor than to stay wealthy in their own adult households. Even when children grow up next to each other with parents who earn similar incomes, black boys fare worse than white boys in 99% of America. Black men raised in the top 1% — by millionaires — were as likely to be incarcerated as white men raised in households earning about $36,000. A black man raised by two parents together - making around $140,000 a year - earns about the same in adulthood as a white man raised by a single mother making $60,000 alone.

A black lawmaker has apologized for saying that Jewish people control the weather

A Washington, DC, council member has apologized after posting a video in which he made anti-Semitic comments, claiming that a Jewish family was controlling the weather. Trayon White, who is currently in his first term on the council, posted a video to his Facebook account of a snowy sky. White can be heard narrating in the background about the cold weather. “It just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” White says in the video. “That’s a model based off the Rothschilds, controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.” White was apparently referring to the Rothschild family, a prominent business dynasty descended from Jewish banker Mayer Amschel Rothschild. Many members of DC’s Jewish community quickly condemned White’s comments. “This kind of anti-Semitism is unacceptable in any public official. This so diminishes what America is about and adds to the oppressive feeling going on in the country right now,” Rabbi Daniel Zemel of Temple Micah in Northwest Washington said.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

This year's happiest place on Earth is Finland, according to an annual UN report - toppling Norway from the top spot

Nordic countries regularly appear in the top five, while war-hit countries and a number in sub-Saharan Africa regularly appear in the bottom five. Burundi was the least happy, taking over from the Central African Republic. The survey ranks some 156 countries by their happiness levels. Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland were the other countries in the top five. Britain and the United States came in at 19th and 18th places respectively. This year's biggest loser is Venezuela, which dropped 20 places to 102nd.

A recent study has found that African Americans with a common genetic variation are at an increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, while European Americans who have the same variation are not

"This correlation only shows up in African-Americans. We have some ideas but aren't sure why," says study author Elizabeth McAninch from Rush University Medical Center. The variation, which is a Thr92AlaD2 polymorphism, affects an enzyme that activates thyroid hormone and almost half the population are carriers. The study, which was undertaken specifically to investigate the association between Thr92AlaD2 polymorphism and Alzheimer's disease, looked at data from three long-term studies conducted at Rush between 1993 and 2012. The Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) involved 3,656 participants, 2321 of whom were African American, who underwent cognitive testing in three-year cycles for more than 18 years. The Religious Orders Study (ROS), and the Rush Memory and Aging Project (MAP) included 1,707 European Americans without known dementia who underwent yearly assessment. McAninch says that it was through analyzing the CHAP data, which involved both African Americans and European Americans, that the huge discrepancy in risk for Alzheimer's disease dementia was observed. The study found that African Americans with the Thr92AlaD2 polymorphism were at a 30% greater risk for Alzheimer's disease dementia than African Americans without the polymorphism. However, the variation was not associated with an increased risk of the disease among European Americans. The authors add that minorities generally tend to be understudied in medical research and that more, larger studies are now needed to evaluate the risk of Alzheimer’s among African Americans. The team is now planning to investigate further to try to understand why African-Americans are at this increased risk, while European-Americans are not.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Saturday, March 3, 2018

South Africa: White farmers will be removed from their land after a landslide vote in parliament

The country's constitution is now likely to be amended to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation, following a motion brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema. It passed by 241 votes for to 83 against and the policy was a key factor in new president Cyril Ramaphosa's platform after he took over from Jacob Zuma in February 2018. Malema said that the time for reconciliation is over.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Religion and human rights in countries around the world

Researchers have found a positive association between the percentage of Christians and human rights in a nation and a negative association between the percentage of Muslims and human rights. In other words, if you think that human rights are a good idea then avoid living in countries that have a growing Muslim population and a shrinking Christian one.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Sub-Saharan African nations account for eight of the 10 fastest growing international migrant populations since 2010

The total number of emigrants worldwide from all sub-Saharan African countries combined grew by 31% between 2010 and 2017, outpacing the rate of increase from both the Asia-Pacific (15%) and Latin America-Caribbean (9%) regions. Some 25 million sub-Saharan migrants lived outside their countries of birth in 2017. The number of international migrants from sub-Saharan Africa between 2010 and 2017 has grown at a higher rate (31%) than in the 2000s (25%) and the 1990s (1%). And as international migration has increased, the breakdown of where sub-Saharan emigrants live has changed. In 1990, 75% of emigrants from the region lived in other sub-Saharan countries, a share that dropped to 68% by 2017. More substantially, the share of sub-Saharan migrants living in European Union countries, Norway and Switzerland rose from 11% in 1990 to 17% in 2017. Looking ahead, the number of international migrants from Africa as a whole is expected to increase in coming decades, due in part to the continent’s growing population.

7.5% of African Americans were unemployed in 2017, compared with 6.7% in 1968 — still roughly twice the white unemployment rate

The rate of homeownership, one of the most important ways for working- and middle-class families to build wealth, has remained virtually unchanged for African Americans in the past 50 years. Black homeownership remains just over 40%, trailing 30 points behind the rate for whites, who have seen modest gains during that time. The share of incarcerated African Americans has nearly tripled between 1968 and 2016. African Americans are 6.4 times as likely than whites to be jailed or imprisoned, compared with 5.4 times as likely in 1968. The wealth gap between white and black Americans has more than tripled in the past 50 years, according to Federal Reserve data. The typical black family had zero wealth in 1968. Today the median net worth of white families — $171,000 — is 10 times that of black families. The hourly wage of a typical black worker grew by just 0.6% a year since 1968. African Americans make 82.5 cents of every dollar earned by the typical white worker. And the typical black household earns 61.6% of the annual income of white households, with black college graduates continuing to make less than white college graduates. Despite the poverty rate dropping from more than a third of black households in 1968 to about a fifth of black households, African Americans are 2½ times as likely to be in poverty than whites.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

A genome-wide analysis of more than 5,000 opioid users has revealed a gene variant associated with opioid dependence in European-Americans

The new study builds upon earlier work by Yale researchers who identified a different group of variants associated with increased risk of opioid addiction in African Americans. An increased risk of addiction in European Americans was associated with a variant of the gene RGMA, which is involved in cell death and nerve damage. The variant RGMA allele was found more frequently in subjects of European ancestry who were opioid-dependent. RGMA has also been linked to damage caused by stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease. In 2014, researchers identified several variants in African Americans involved in potassium and calcium signaling in nerve cells that were linked to increased risk of opioid addiction. That genome-wide association study failed to turn up gene variants linked to dependency in European Americans. When study population was expanded, the link to RGMA was found. The study also provided more limited evidence that an RGMA variant increases risk for opioid dependence in African Americans, but the association was much stronger among people of European ancestry.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The most common type of intermarriage in the United States is between a partner who is white and one who is Hispanic of any race – those relationships accounted for 38% of all intermarriages in 2010

White-Asian couples accounted for another 14% of intermarriages, and white-black couples made up 8%. In 2008, 22% of black male newlyweds chose partners of another race, compared to just 9% of black female newlyweds. The gender pattern is the opposite among Asians. While 40% of Asian females married outside their race in 2008, just 20% of Asian male newlyweds did the same. For whites and Hispanics though, there was no gender differences. While 72% of black respondents said that it would be fine with them if a family member chose to marry someone of another racial or ethnic group, 61% of whites and 63% of Hispanics said the same. More specifically though, Americans aren’t comfortable with specific kinds of intermarriage. A survey found that acceptance of out-marriage to whites (81%) was higher than is acceptance of out-marriage to Asians (75%), Hispanics (73%) or blacks (66%). Systematic incarceration of young black men, together with higher death rates contribute to the fact that black women are much less likely to get married than women of any other race or ethnicity in the United States. This, together with higher black unemployment rates means that black individuals make up a relatively small share of all marriages, including intermarriages.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A black Church of England vicar has been caught on video inhaling from a crack pipe and discussing prostitutes

Footage shows the Rev Stennett Kirby, a vicar in East London, snorting cocaine and saying: "I'm a very happy man". The 64-year-old Protestant clergyman was seen sitting on a sofa with a friend, watching porn and talking about escorts. Kirby is the vicar of West Ham Parish Church in Stratford and has held the position since 2007. The video shows him lighting up a pipe and separately snorting powdered cocaine. He was talking about paying for a female escort, saying: "I wish I could. If I had money, I would. I've only got £10 left."

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Indonesia is moving toward outlawing gay sex — and even sex outside marriage — in a jarring change for a country long seen as a bastion of tolerance in the Islamic world

The proposed sexual crackdown in the Southeast Asian archipelago of more than 260 million people — the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation and third-largest democracy — is drawing criticism at home and abroad from human rights organizations and LGBT activists. They warn that penal-code revisions now under consideration in parliament would discriminate against large numbers of people, promote extremist views and reverse democratic gains. LGBT Indonesians are often rejected by their families or the victims of violence within the family. In cases of gay sex, the proposed changes call for prison sentences for acts committed in public, with a minor or when used for commercial or pornographic purposes. Police began using existing pornography laws in 2017 to crack down on gay parties.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Israeli authorities have begun distributing deportation notices to thousands of African refugees and migrants, who have been threatened with jail if they do not leave the country

About 60,000 migrants, nearly all from Eritrea and Sudan, crossed Israel’s border with Egypt before the government erected a fence along the desert frontier. Many were fleeing persecution and violence. Roughly 20,000 have already been expelled, according to the Israeli government. The Jewish nation has granted asylum to fewer than 1% of those who have applied and has a years-long backlog of applicants. Israel's Population and Immigration Authority told asylum-seekers that they would be sent to an unnamed country with a "stable government" that has "developed tremendously over the last decade and has absorbed thousands of returning residents as well as migrants from various African countries". The Israeli government has refused to publicly name the country but officials have indicated migrants would be sent to Rwanda. Many of those ordered to leave have expressed fear of being sent to the East African nation and said that they would rather be sent to prison. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the migrants “illegal infiltrators” and claimed that their presence was a threat to Israel’s social fabric and Jewish character. One government minister has referred to the migrants as “a cancer”. “We have expelled about 20,000 and now the mission is to get the rest out,” Netanyahu said.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Haitian superstition: Two sisters tied down and burned a 5-year-old girl, permanently disfiguring her, in a voodoo ritual meant to rid her of a demon causing her to misbehave, police said.

The women also threatened to cut off the head of the girl’s 8-year-old brother with a machete, authorities said. Peggy LaBossiere, 51, and Rachel Hilaire, 40, denied injuring the girl and threatening the boy. Police say that the girl’s mother is a hair stylist of Haitian descent who has LaBossiere as a client and requested the ritual. Voodoo refers to religious practises developed centuries ago by enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, primarily in Haiti, where the practises are sometimes spelled “vodou.”

You are less likely to be murdered in Europe than in the United States

The lower homicide rates in Europe probably has something to do with the fact that Europe is less diverse than the United States.

Monday, January 29, 2018

The crime rate among illegal immigrants in Arizona is twice that of other residents, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said, citing a new report based on conviction data

The report, from the Crime Prevention Research Center, used a previously untapped set of data from Arizona that detailed criminal convictions and found that illegal immigrants between 15 and 35 are less than 3% of the state’s population, but nearly 8% of its prison population. The type of person who goes through the process to legally immigrate in the United States appears to be very law-abiding versus even the U.S.-born population. The reverse is true for illegal immigrants — they are committing crimes, and more serious crimes. Among nearly 4,000 first- and second-degree murder convictions, illegal immigrants accounted for nearly 13% — significantly higher than their percentage of the population. Legal immigrants, by contrast, were less than 1% of convicts. Native-born made up the rest. Illegal immigrants also accounted for five times the rate of convictions for money laundering and kidnapping, and were three times more likely to be convicted of drive-by shootings. The data covered from 1985 to 2017.

In analyzing federal data for an in-depth examination of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, researchers found that the six-year graduation rates at 20 schools were 20% or lower in 2015

This means that four of five beginning freshmen at those schools didn’t earn a degree within six years.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Black individuals with cancer are 25% more likely to die of their disease than white patients

Although persisting across tumor types, this disparity is particularly evident among black women, whose population-based breast cancer mortality rate is 42% higher than white women, and among black men with prostate cancer, who are more than twice as likely to die as white men. For decades, researchers attributed higher mortality rates to socioeconomic factors such as inadequate health insurance, fewer years of education and lower income. However, research now supports the hypothesis that tumor biologic differences among blacks could have a greater impact on response to treatment and outcomes. “I do not dispute that socioeconomic disadvantages are always going to play a huge role in terms of access to care and, ultimately, outcomes from any health threat,” Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH, FACS, director of the breast oncology program at Henry Ford Health System, said. “But, when it comes to breast cancer, there are so many powerful clues suggesting the contribution of tumor biology linked to African ancestry that it’s bad science for us to close our eyes to it and not explore it fully.”

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

An Amnesty International survey of 385 Central American migrants suggests that Mexican authorities routinely force people to return to dangerous conditions in their home countries

Apparently the Mexican government does not want people migrating to Mexico.

Saudi Arabia is holding its annual month-long camel festival — and cheaters are not welcome

With around $60 million up for grabs in races and show competitions, unscrupulous owners have been drugging animals and even giving them Botox injections in an attempt to win camel beauty pageants. At least a dozen camels have already been disqualified for Botox, which can give camels the full lips that judges look for. "They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips, and even the jaw," says the son of a top Emirati camel breeder. "It makes the head more inflated so when the camel comes it’s like, 'Oh look at how big is that head is. It has big lips, a big nose.'" According Saudi media, one veterinarian was caught actually performing plastic surgery on camels to give them the small, delicate ears also considered beautiful. Anti-cheating measures include blood tests, microchipping — and requiring owners to swear on the Koran about their animal's age.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Comic book readers are apparently not fans of progressive politics — a fact no more evident in Marvel’s decision to cancel every single one of its comics that has been nominated by the LGBTQ advocacy group, GLAAD

In December 2017, the publisher announced its decision to cancel many of its comics, citing poor sales. LGBTQ, feminist, and social justice-themed comics involving stories that revolved around Black Lives Matter, illegal immigration, and LGBTQ issues were among those to end up on the chopping block. At a New York Comic Con panel in October 2017, Marvel executives faced tough questions from retailers who complained about the company’s social justice push, with poor-selling products that took up valuable inventory space on store shelves. GLAAD’s 2018 Outstanding Comic Book category included several of the canceled comics for their contributions to “queer culture” and social justice. As has been the case with these sort of cancellations in the past, it’s not difficult to understand the why of Marvel’s decision. The publisher is, above all else, in the business of making money, and if certain comics don’t sell, it makes sense to cut them. The lineup includes “America,” featuring a teenage Latina girl named America Chavez, whose stories revolve around her life as a queer immigrant in college. The comic’s author, Gabby Rivera, is an outspoken “Latinx” writer who goes on periodic rants about “sexism,” “antiblackness,” and President Trump on social media. Another GLAAD-nominated comic to get the axe is “Black Panther: World of Wakanda,” written by feminist and “body positive” activist Roxane Gay, and black writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose other comic, “Black Panther & The Crew,” was also canceled earlier in 2017 following dismal sales. Sina Grace’s “Iceman,” which reimagines the classic character as a gay man who “comes out of the closet” later in life, was also canceled in December 2017. According to the author, the comic was a “hard sell for retailers.” ComicChron, which collects comic book sales figures, reported that “Iceman” sold around 15,000 comics when it first launched in July 2017 — a figure that decreased by almost 30% by the end of the year. None of the three titles managed to break past the top-100 rankings, selling a fraction of Marvel’s own “Star Wars” lineup, and DC’s “Batman,” “Justice League,” and “Suicide Squad” comics. Aside from DC’s “Batwoman,” which showed relatively poor sales throughout 2017, the rest of the comics that picked up nominations from GLAAD are largely published by BOOM! Studios, selling fewer than 3000 copies each month — a far cry from DC’s “Doomsday Clock,” which sold 158,000 copies in December 2017. The Marvel titles on the awards slate have been widely derided on social media for being hamfisted, sociopolitically-charged drivel.

Most people know about, but few are willing to condemn, the strict taboo in the media, of criticizing Jews as a group, using that term

Charles Bausman writes about the Jew Taboo.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

British and Canadian tourists in Jamaica have been warned not to venture from resorts in Montego Bay after a state of emergency was imposed in response to a spate of deadly shootings

Soldiers have been deployed on the streets in St. James parish after a series of killings led to a military response. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that the extra security measures were necessary to “restore public safety” in the St. James area. Chief of defense, Major General Rocky Meade, said that Jamaican armed forces were targeting gangs, with "particular focus on those that are responsible for murders, lotto scamming, trafficking of arms and guns, and extortion.” The British Foreign Office warned British citizens to stay in their hotels. Canadians were also urged to stay in resorts after a spike in violent crime in the St. James parish. Tourists have been warned to avoid traveling to the area, citing "an extreme risk to your personal safety and security," and to remain within the resort compounds if they are already there. The latest State Department travel advisory issued January 10, 2018 warns Americans to exercise “extreme caution” when traveling to Jamaica. It warns Americans not to travel to areas including some areas of Kingston and Montego Bay. “Violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of Montego Bay,” it warns. "Violent crime, such as home invasions, armed robberies, and homicide, is common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, even at all-inclusive resorts. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents." This year has seen murder rates in Jamaica continuing to spiral, with at least 38 homicides committed since the start of 2018. This is up from 23 over a similar period last year. St James parish saw the highest number of killings, with 335 recorded in 2017.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Toronto police are disputing an 11-year-old Muslim girl's claim that her hijab was cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash said that an extensive investigation was conducted and police concluded it did not happen. The sixth-grader, her mother, and her younger brother held a news conference at her school during which Khawlah Noman said that she was walking to school with her younger brother when a man came up behind her, pulled off her jacket hood, and started cutting the bottom of her hijab. She said that she turned around, screamed, and the man ran away. She also said that the man returned a short time later and continued to cut her hijab from behind before he smiled and ran away. Her mother called on police to treat it as a hate crime. The story made international headlines and drew public condemnation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "It's something that received, quite understandably, a lot of media and social media attention and I know it caused significant concern, as it should," Pugash said. Pugash declined to say whether the girl acknowledged that it didn't happen. He said that police wouldn't take a step like this unless they were absolutely confident.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Only 4% of white graduates who never attended a for-profit defaulted within 12 years of entry, compared to 67% of black dropouts who ever attended a for-profit

Debt and default among black college students is at crisis levels, and even a bachelor’s degree is no guarantee of security: black BA graduates default at five times the rate of white BA graduates (21% versus 4%), and are more likely to default than white dropouts. The overall student loan default rate among Asians since 2004 is 6.2%, among whites 12.4%, among Hispanics 20.0%, and among blacks 37.5%.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Red-haired women, but not red-haired men, are more sensitive to pain

Red hair is also associated with a higher risk of developing endometriosis, Parkinson's disease, and decreased platelet function. A new study has confirmed that red hair, especially in women, is linked to certain health issues. In a sample of over seven thousand participants, red-haired women did worse than other women in ten health categories and better in only three, being especially prone to colorectal, cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancer. Red-haired men seemed as healthy as other men, doing better in three categories and worse in three. Reproductive success, i.e., number of children, was the only category where redheads of both sexes did better than other respondents. This study has also confirmed that red hair is naturally more frequent in women than in men. To a lesser degree, the same is true for blond hair and green eyes. These bright colors seem to result from a selection pressure that mainly targeted women, perhaps sexual selection.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Of the major racial and ethnic groups, white adults who are in a cohabiting relationship are the least likely to be living with a partner of a different race or ethnicity (12%)

This share rises to 20% among black cohabiters and 24% among Hispanic cohabiters. These rates are very similar to intermarriage rates among white (11%), black (18%) and Hispanic (27%) newlyweds. The story is different for Asian adults who cohabit. Almost half (46%) are living with a partner of a different race or ethnicity. This is far higher than the share of Asian newlyweds who are intermarried (29%). One factor that might partially explain this difference is that a larger share of Asian cohabiters (39%) than Asian newlyweds (25%) were born in the United States, and U.S.-born Asians are more likely than those who are foreign born to have a spouse or partner of a different race or ethnicity. (Among Asian immigrants who cohabit, 38% have partners of a different race or ethnicity compared with 59% of Asian cohabiters who are U.S. born.)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The largest study to date of population-based cancer survival in the United States shows significant disparities in survival rates over a five-year period between blacks and whites for nine of the leading 10 cancers in the country studied

The study, which covers the years 2001 to 2003 and 2004 to 2009 in the United States, follows and draws on the 2015 worldwide CONCORD2 cancer study published in England. It shows lower survival rates for black women compared to white women with breast, cervical, or ovarian cancers, as well as lower survival rates among black men with prostate cancer compared to white men with the disease, and lower survival rates for blacks compared to whites for a number of other cancers including colon, rectal, and lung. Survival rates are low over a five-year-period for stomach cancer, which showed only small differences between whites and blacks, as are survival rates for liver cancer. Black children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the one cancer studied in children, also had lower survival rates compared to white children. The American Cancer Society's report, "Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2016-2018," shows results similar to the just published study. The ACS report, looking at data from 2008 to 2012, said black men have a 12% higher incidence of cancer compared to white men, as well as a death rate from all cancers combined that is 27% higher. The ACS report found black women to have a 6% lower risk of a cancer diagnosis than white women, but a 14% higher risk of cancer death. Death rates for breast and uterine cancers for black women are said to be 42% higher for breast cancer than for white women and 92% higher for uterine cancer. Breast cancer survival was high between 2001 and 2009, but there were wide and persistent differences in survival between black women and white women. Colon cancer survival showed little improvement between 2001 and 2009. Five-year survival among black patients has yet to reach that of white patients who were diagnosed 15 to 20 years earlier. Lung cancer survival improved slightly between 2001 and 2009, but was lower among black people than white people. Cervical cancer survival stayed at about 64% between 2001 to 2003 and 2004 to 2009. The survival rate for black women was lower than the survival rate for white women in both time periods. Ovarian cancer survival was about 40% between 2001 and 2009. Large and consistent racial differences were seen in most states, and black women have lower survival than white women.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the presence of African immigrants a threat to Israel's social fabric and Jewish character

Netanyahu cited the large presence of African migrants in Tel Aviv's poorer neighborhoods, where he said "veteran residents" - a reference to Israelis - no longer feel safe. Why is it wrong to keep America and Europe white but alright to keep Israel Jewish?