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.