Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama and Patrick

Matthew Richer writes that who wonder what to expect from a Barack Obama White House should start paying attention to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, currently the nation’s only elected black governor.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Syrian living in Britain has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for attempting to make bombs for terrorist attacks

Police found liquid chemicals and notes written in Arabic at the Birmingham home of Syria-born Hassan Tabbakh, 38, following his arrest in December 2007. The jury also heard that speeches by al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden were found on the defendant's MP3 player. Tabbakh denied the charge at Birmingham Crown Court, saying he was making fireworks for a religious festival. He faced a single charge of obtaining chemicals and compiling and retaining a document with instructions for making an explosive device. Tabbakh, of Small Heath, claimed he was considering starting up a fireworks business, although he said that he did not have a licence. The court also heard that a USB memory stick and the defendant's home PC contained links to computer sites showing terrorist attacks on coalition vehicle convoys in either Afghanistan or Iraq.

45% of black women in America have never been married, compared with 23% of white women

Dionne Hill on being black and single in America.

According to a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, black teens in Ohio die at nearly twice the rate of white teens

Columbus Public Health officials say the disparity in Franklin County is even worse. Here, the death rate for black teens is more than three times higher. Black infants also fared poorly, the report says, dying more than twice as often as non-Latino white babies and three times more frequently than Latino infants. For years, the Casey Foundation has compiled an annual report on child well-being. This is the first time the data, from 2005, also has been broken down by race. In 2005, the same year studied in the Casey report, 87% of all Franklin County homicide victims younger than 18 were black. "And they're roughly 20% of the population," said Kathleen Cowen of Columbus Public Health. "So that's the disparity."

The national average high school graduation rate for black males is 47%

A new national study says Illinois is near the bottom of the pack when it comes to the percentage of black male students who graduate from high school. The report by the Schott Foundation for Public Education ranks Illinois 43rd nationally. It was based on numbers in Chicago and Illinois for the 2005-2006 school year. That year, 37% of black male students graduated in Chicago. That's compared with 62% of white males who graduated. The national average graduation rate for black males is 47%. Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana ranked among the states with the greatest differences in graduation rates for black and white male students. North Dakota, Arizona and New Jersey had higher-than-average black male graduation rates.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Immigration has topped the list of factors most likely to influence how people will vote in the next British general election

30% of people rank immigration as their priority election issue – beating concerns over crime, health and education. And despite the gloomy economic outlook, personal tax still ranks far behind immigration as a voting priority – with just 20% ranking it number one. But the issue falling behind all others polled is the environment. Whilst the Government continues to promote the green agenda, the majority of voters now see this as their lowest priority. Just one in 12 people (8%) puts the environment at the top of the list of factors which will sway their vote – suggesting Britain has a long way to go if it hopes to convince people to act against global warming. The results, from a TNS study of 13,000 consumers, highlight the gulf between the Government’s perceptions and the reality of what issues are really concerning Britain. Voters in England and Wales are most concerned by immigration, while in Scotland, crime tops the tables; it is named as the priority issue by 29% of people.

A Danish-born woman, with Pakistani roots, was shot and killed by her brother-in-law in a Pakistani village

The woman was killed by the man for not following his orders. He and three other in-laws are in police custody in Pakistan. The 31-year-old woman had been living with her husband's family in the village of Kharian for three years. The husband came to Denmark 10 years ago and still lives here. The victim's father said the family had treated his daughter atrociously because she could not have any more children. He accused the husband of being involved in the plot to kill her. The husband was in Denmark at the time of the killing and was arrested and held for three days. Ove Dahl of the Copenhagen police said that the man was released because they did not receive any instructions from the Pakistani authorities. He said that they are still in touch with the Pakistani authorities via Interpol. 'It is so easy for Pakistanis to be killed in this manner back in Pakistan, because the perpetrators are rarely punished. It's necessary to have better police cooperation with a country like Pakistan,' said Unni Wikan, an anthropologist and expert on 'honor killings' from Oslo University.

Pakistani kills daughter with bungee cord

Sandeela Kanwal, 25, was not happy with the marriage her father arranged.So after the ceremony in Pakistan, she went to Georgia in the US and her husband to Chicago. But her father was not happy with this and after a heated argument with his daughter, Chaudhry Rashid allegedly took a bungee cord, wrapped it around Sandeela's neck and killed her. Shortly after police arrived, officials said, Rashid, 54, suffered a seizure and was taken to the hospital. A few hours later, he was released, transferred to jail and charged with murder. Police officer Timothy Owens said Rashid owns a pizza restaurant in the area. The family lives in a two-story house in a middle class part of Jonesboro, an Atlanta suburb. In Pakistani custom, Kanwal went to Pakistan to marry a Chicago man, also of Pakistani descent. Owens, who said the inquiry was slowed because of the language barrier, said the husband's name was not immediately known. He said Kanwal returned to Jonesboro after the wedding and had not seen her husband since. He said Kanwal lived in her father's house with other relatives, including Rashid's wife, who is not Kanwal's mother. Owens said Kanwal and her father had not spoken in two months because of their dispute about ending the marriage, which in Pakistani culture may have disgraced the family. At Rashid's first court appearance Chief Magistrate Daphne Walker delayed the case because she said she did not feel comfortable conducting the proceedings without an interpreter for Rashid, who speaks Urdu, the main language of Pakistan, and very little English. "Honor killings" and other domestic violence after failed arranged marriages is spreading as some culturally rigid Pakistani and Indian immigrants settle in the US, Chicago sociology professor Najma Adam said. He added between 15 and 20 South Asian women in the Chicago area die or go missing due to domestic violence.

The cousin of a woman murdered in a so-called honor-killing case allowed her body to be buried in his garden

Banaz Mahmod, 20, an Iraqi Kurd from south London, was killed and buried in a suitcase in Birmingham in April 2006. Her father Mahmod Mahmod and uncle Ari Mahmod have been jailed for life. Dashti Babaker, 21, and his friend Amir Abbas, 31, deny perverting the course of justice and "preventing the lawful and decent burial of a corpse". Babaker, of Redcar Street, Camberwell, south-east London, and Abbas, of no fixed address, were living at the house in Alexandra Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, where Ms Mahmod's body was found buried 5ft deep in the back garden.

Half of all Americans infected with HIV/AIDS are black

U.S. policies and cash may be leading the fight against AIDS globally, but they have neglected the epidemic among black Americans, the Black AIDS Institute has said in a report. While blacks account for one in eight people in the United States, half of all Americans infected with HIV are black, the report found. "We are 30% of the new cases among gay men, 40% of the new cases among men in general, 60% of the cases among women and 70% of the new cases among youth," Black AIDS Institute CEO Phill Wilson told reporters in a telephone briefing.

Obama and Afghanistan

Pat Buchanan wants to know why Barack Obama thinks a surge of 10,000 troops in Afghanistan will succeed in winning a war in which we have failed to prevail after seven years of fighting?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Nearly one third of Muslim students in Britain believe it can be acceptable to kill in the name of religion, according to a new survey

It also found that 40% want to see the introduction of Islamic sharia law in Britain, 40% think it wrong for Muslim men and women to mix freely together, and 33% want to see a worldwide Islamic government based on sharia law. The findings were described by researchers at the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank, which commissioned the poll, as 'deeply alarming'. The Centre for Social Cohesion, founded last year to study religion and tolerance, has drawn attention to the extremist influence of Islamic societies and study centres at British universities. The survey was based on a YouGov poll of 1,400 students, 600 of them Muslims, at 12 universities with influential Islamic societies. These included eight in London, among them the London School of Economics, Imperial College, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester and Manchester. It found that a large minority of Muslim students express views that are strongly socially conservative or which suggest they are open to extremist thinking.

Tanzanian police say another albino man has been murdered - the 26th victim in the country in under a year

The attackers reportedly severed the man's right foot and genitalia. His wife, also an albino, was also injured. Witchdoctors want the parts for potions they say make people rich. Witchdoctors claim that their clients include police officers. Jovin Majaliwa is reported to have been killed in his home in a remote Lake Victoria village after dark. His wife, also an albino, was attacked but managed to raise the alarm. She is being treated in hospital. Neighbors have asked the police to look after two of her children who also live with albinism. Witchdoctors are behind the killings. They use albino organs such as hair, arms, legs and blood to make potions which they claim make people wealthy. Evidence suggests the police are involved in the racket which is why it has been difficult to catch the culprits.

Obama and quotas

Steve Sailer writes about Obama's support for affirmative action and asks if McCain has what it takes to use it to win the election.

The opening of more Islamic faith schools in Britain should be stopped amid fears they will fuel social segregation, according to teachers

Government plans to create more state-funded Muslim schools in Britain will divide communities along racial and religious lines, it is claimed. In a speech to be given at the union's annual conference, one teacher will claim Labor's policy to expand Muslim schools is "about trying to defend minorities". In 2007, Ed Balls, the schools secretary, pledged to remove "unnecessary barriers" to religious groups bidding to open their own schools. He said additional money would be made available to allow the hundreds of private religious schools to convert to the state sector. The move raised the prospect of more schools for faiths including Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus, which have few schools of their own, despite representing significant minority groups. Speaking at the conference, Wesley Paxton, a further education lecturer from Hull, will say: "More faith schools in 2008 is probably going to mean more Islamic schools." He adds: "As is often pointed out, there are already many schools with more than a 50% non-white enrolment. What benefit will there be by emphasising difference, by removing what non-Islamic influences these people will have, and reduce their chances of having a balanced upbringing? For girls in particular, can you imagine a UK Madrassa being a hot-bed of liberty, co-education and having Cosmopolitan in the school library? I have a vivid imagination, which is why I never read horror stories, but I can't envisage that. It has been announced [that] Saudi Arabia will not send female athletes to Beijing. Need one say more? No, we are all people, we all breathe the same air, we need fewer distinctions, not more."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Italy has declared a nationwide state of emergency over immigrants as the government pushes forward with its crackdown on illegal immigration

Parliament said in a statement that the state of emergency which gives police and local authorities additional powers to tackle the influx, was extended to the entire country to combat the persistent and exceptional arrival of illegal immigrants. It did not give further details. The state of emergency was earlier in effect only for the southern provinces of Sicily, Puglia and Calabria. Italy's long shoreline and proximity to Africa make it a popular entry point into Europe for thousands of Africans who make hazardous journeys in flimsy boats each year. Berlusconi also won parliamentary approval for a new package of reforms to tackle the issue of illegal immigration.

Hat tip, Hibernia Girl!

An awkward power struggle has broken out among foreign and local beggars in Oslo

The conflict is over who should be allowed to peddle the magazine, which sells for NOK 50. Its sellers can keep half of the proceeds. The magazine, called "=Oslo" (equal Oslo), was started up to help provide an income source to those who otherwise would beg for spare change on the streets of the capital. Many of its original sellers were Norwegian drug addicts. Now, however, new groups of foreign beggars want to sell the magazine as well, reported newspaper Dagsavisen earlier this week. The magazine won't let them, saying the sellers should be Norwegian and must be able to speak Norwegian. That's led to protests, and state authorities are investigating whether "=Oslo" is violating anti-discrimination laws. "If we find that ‘=Oslo’ has broken the law, they'll have to find a new solution for the foreigners," said Ingeborg Grimsmo, Norway's acting discrimination ombud. Thorny issues also have broken out within an Oslo organization that serves the poor and offers them free food (Fattighuset). It has refused to give food to the foreign beggars, claiming that the foreigners try to sell the food on the street. "We can't have that," said Johanna Engen, a board member at Fattighuset, arguing that it defies the purpose of the aid and can threaten donations. The anti-discrimination authority is investigating whether Fattighuset can legally only give food to poor Norwegians and not poor foreigners. "There are important principles at stake," Grimsmo said, arguing that the foreigners are becoming "more and more" stigmatized in Norway.

Five men from Chechnya were arrested after an attack on a reception center for asylum seekers near Oslo, Norway

More than 20 people were injured, including an 11 year-old boy. The attack was directed at Kurdish and Arab migrants. "Some of those arrested were picked up near the center and others were picked up in other places. Two came out of the woods nearby," says police chief Otto Stærk. The five Chechens arrested will be interviewed by police. The Police think that more arrests will take place soon. Reports vary about how many attackers there were. Some say 40 to 50, others claim 100 and yet another estimate says 20. "What is certain is that there were a lot," says Stærk. Police confiscated several weapons near the center. According to Stærk, both machetes and iron bars were discovered. Those living at the center reported seeing firearms, but so far the Police have not found any. All the injured are expected to live, but it is not clear how seriously injured they are. Their condition remains stable.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Black and mixed-race South Africans are growing increasingly weary of political and social uncertainty and are seriously considering emigrating

Independent think tank FutureFact, surveying 2,500 South Africans from all walks of life, found the number of people seriously considering leaving the country had risen from 18% in 2000 to 39% in 2007. "What is incredibly interesting is this exodus mentality is now found across the board in terms of racial divide with 38% of blacks now in agreement and 42% of coloreds," Debbie Milne, one of the authors of the report. "Obviously this is a value statement as not everyone can afford to leave, but it tells us about people's sense of unease in the country." Emigration from South Africa has largely been the domain of the white population, who have left in large numbers since the fall of white-minority rule amid mounting crime and in search of better economic opportunities. Milne said when the organization first started the survey in 1998, the black population in the fledgling democracy was highly optimistic. She said recent political developments and "a lot of unhappiness and loss of confidence in (President) Thabo Mbeki across the race groups" had unsettled the country. "People are very concerned about the future political sphere. The other (factor) is also crime, we find when we cross tab those wanting to leave and those who have been victims of crime they are often one and the same." South Africa has one of the world's highest crime rates with some 50 people murdered a day. The country's next president is likely to be newly elected African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma, who goes to trial for corruption early in August 2008.

Hate crimes in Los Angeles County have risen to their highest level in five years, led by attacks between Latinos and blacks

The annual report by the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission showed hate crimes rose by 28%, to 763, with vandalism and assault leading the way. In what commission Executive Director Robin Toma called an alarming trend, hate crimes based on race, religion and sexual orientation all rose, increasing against nearly all groups -- including blacks, gays, Jews, Mexicans, whites and Asians -- even as crime in general declined. The largest number of racial hate crimes involved Latino suspects against black victims, followed by black suspects against Latino victims.

An illegal immigrant from El Salvador kills a man and his two sons

The scene repeats itself daily on city streets: a driver gets stuck bumper to bumper, blocking an intersection and preventing another car from turning left. But authorities say that was enough to cause Edwin Ramos to unload an AK-47 assault weapon on a man and his two sons, killing them. The deaths immediately drew public outrage, which intensified when authorities revealed that Ramos, 21, is an illegal immigrant who managed to avoid deportation despite previous brushes with the law. The case has put San Francisco's liberal politics to the test, setting off a debate over its sanctuary law that shields illegal immigrants from deportation. Ramos has pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder in the deaths of Anthony Bologna, 49, and his sons, Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16. Bologna and his older son died in the intersection on June 22. His younger son succumbed to his injuries days later. Shortly after that, police arrested Ramos, a native of El Salvador and reputed member of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, known as MS-13. Investigators believe he was the gunman, though two other men were seen in the car with him. The heinousness of the deaths has put pressure on San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris to seek the death penalty against Ramos. Harris, who campaigned on an anti-death penalty platform and has never pursued capital punishment during her more than four years in office, has declined to say exactly how she intends to proceed. "This case has been charged as a special circumstance case," making it eligible for the death penalty, spokeswoman Erica Derryck said. "No additional announcement has been made about this aspect of the charging."

A convicted sex attacker was among a group of seven Nigerians who were deported from Dublin in a joint operation with the French, Spanish and British

The attacker, who had served two jail sentences for assault, was one of over 40 Nigerians due for deportation. Seven of those were arrested by detectives from the Garda National Immigration Bureau. However, a series of "no shows", a spate of last-minute injunctions granted by the High Court and asylum claims by children, reduced the overall number to seven. Gardai are obliged to give advance notice to failed asylum seekers who have exhausted the appeal process and are due for deportation. Many of those about to be deported disappear before the date and most are thought to have headed into Britain. The group, who were accompanied by detectives from the bureau as well as medics, were put on board a chartered flight at Dublin airport and flown to the Nigerian capital, Lagos. The plane also collected another 34 Nigerians elsewhere. The plane set out from Paris to Dublin and then picked up the final batch in Majorca before heading to Lagos. The British group boarded the plane at Dublin. The overall cost of the chartered flight is estimated at €268,000, which is paid by Ireland as the lead nation in this particular operation. However, the authorities here will be able to charge for "seats" for deportees from other countries and expect to recoup at least €70,000. The flight was organised by the special European borders agency, Frontex, which was set up to boost international co-operation among EU member states in tackling organised crime and illegal immigration.

Hat tip, Hibernia Girl!

In major U.S. cities, as many as 1 in 4 gay Hispanic men has HIV, a rate on par with sub-Saharan Africa

Brenda Walker writes about the connection between Hispanics and disease.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

China's takeover of Africa

Chinese investors in Africa do not use African labor where possible because they see black Africans as lazy and unskilled.

The vast majority of oil rich Nigeria's 140 million people live in no better conditions than their neighbors in West Africa

With oil prices at record highs, government coffers in Nigeria, one of the leading oil exporters, are swollen to unprecedented levels. Yet the vast majority of Nigeria's 140 million people live in no better conditions than their neighbors in West Africa, which is the least developed region of what is already the poorest continent on earth. The same is true of many of the major oil producers in Africa, including Angola, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea and Chad, but the sheer size of Nigeria and its daily output of two million barrels make the poverty-wealth contrasts more striking. Nigeria has earned the equivalent of nearly $1.2 trillion from oil production over the past four decades, the sort of money that enabled oil-producing Gulf states like Qatar to develop some of the strongest economies in the Arab world. But its four state-owned refineries are not fully operational, its distribution network is chaotic, and it relies heavily on fuel imports, which cost around $4 billion each year. In Lagos, a mega-city of more than 10 million people, the elite sip champagne on exclusive islands - albeit to the incessant drone of diesel generators -- while the masses live in mainland slums without water or electricity. Ask an average Nigerian on the streets of Lagos how he is and he will likely tell you "things dey hard, but we dey manage" - it's tough but we're getting by. Health care is virtually non-existent, the roads are potholed, unemployment and crime are on the rise, and Nigeria is suffering from spiralling food prices. "Nigeria is making more money from oil now, but look at the street we are living on," said Efe Oyingbo, pointing to a dirt road where passers-by waddle through muddy waters and motorists try to navigate cavernous, submerged potholes. A mother of two, her frozen food business in the suburb of Okota has virtually collapsed because she cannot afford the high cost of gasoline. The government has frozen the price of fuel but retailers have taken advantage of short supplies to more than double the price of diesel in some parts of Nigeria in the last few months. The number one complaint is a stop-start power supply. Exasperated residents of Lagos call the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) "Never Expect Power Always". Nigeria's generation capacity has plunged to less than 1,000 megawatts from 3,000 MW a year ago, largely due to lack of maintenance at power stations. South Africa, with a third of Nigeria's population, has over 10 times that capacity. Much of Nigeria goes without power for weeks at a time. The crisis has closed hundreds of factories and slashed millions of jobs.

A Cameroonian poet living in Poland as a refugee since 1999 went on trial in Warsaw charged with having knowingly infected 11 women with the HIV virus

Held behind closed doors to protect the identity of the victims, the trial of Simon Moleke Njie, 34, also known as Simon Mol, is expected to last "at least a several months," defense lawyer Mikolaj Pietrzak said. Polish police detained the suspect in January 2007 after one of his victims filed a criminal complaint against him. Mol told investigators he had not known he was HIV positive and that he had tested negative for the virus in 1999. But Polish police investigators found that several of his partners told him they had tested positive for the disease after having had intimate relations with him. Mol became a darling of Poland's liberal press for organising vocal campaigns against racism and supporting the cause of refugees in Poland. The women allegedly infected by Mol range in age from 20-25. Mol is believed to have initially asked them to translate his articles and poems into Polish. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years behind bars. Mol is also suspected of infecting two other women, currently residing outside Poland.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In 2006, 57% of all tuberculosis cases in the United State were among foreign-born individuals

Needless to say, experts are anxious to find ways to control and eliminate the disease. Testing the more than 37 million foreign-born individuals currently living in the United States isn't feasible, so officials are focusing their efforts on people before they immigrate. In the study, the team reviewed 46,970 cases of TB among foreign-born individuals in the United States. They discovered that an immigrant's risk for TB was highest during the early years after first arriving in the United States, varied with age (older people had a higher risk), and also varied by country of birth. "We found that over 50 percent of all cases of TB among foreign-born persons occurred among 20 percent of the overall foreign-born populations, especially persons born mainly in Southeast Asia [particularly the Philippines and Vietnam] and sub-Saharan Africa," said Cain, a medical epidemiologist with the division of tuberculosis elimination at the CDC.

Interracial marriages in the U.S. are quite rare

Data from the 5% sample of the 2000 Census reveal that among married blacks, 94% are married to other blacks. Members of other races are also unlikely to marry outside of their own group. While under random matching 44% of all marriages would be interracial, a mere 4% of marriages in the U.S. are between partners of different race.

Whites are returning to the cities

For much of the 20th century, the proportion of whites shrank in most U.S. cities. In recent years the decline has slowed considerably -- and in some significant cases has reversed. Between 2000 and 2006, eight of the 50 largest cities, including Boston, Seattle and San Francisco, saw the proportion of whites increase, according to Census figures. The previous decade, only three cities saw increases. Part of the demographic shift is simple math: So many whites had abandoned cities over the past half-century, there weren't as many left to lose. Whites make up 66% of the general U.S. population, but only about 40% of large cities. Sooner or later, the pendulum was bound to swing back, and that appears to be starting.

South African police have forcefully removed hundreds of immigrants from temporary shelters where they had taken refuge from xenophobic attacks

Authorities say the immigrants, who were taken to a repatriation center in Johannesburg, had not registered with the home affairs department. More than 60 immigrants were killed and tens of thousands more fled during the attacks against foreigners in May 2008. Some immigrants chanted "human rights for refugees" as they were driven away from the Glenanda temporary center by dozens of riot police. The immigrants taken from the camp, where about 2,000 people were sheltering, included women and children. They now face deportation.

Though Hispanics are 14.5% of the U.S. population, they will likely constitute only 7% to 8% of the electorate in 2008

Pat Buchanan explains why John McCain should be courting white folks living in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Black professor argues that those who watch the news are more likely to see African Americans as intimidating, violent or poor

If it bleeds, it leads is an axiom in the news business. Meaning: Crime stories draw attention. But a University of Illinois professor is arguing that such approaches also lead to racial stereotyping. Those who watch more local or network news are more likely to see African Americans as intimidating, violent or poor, says communications Professor Travis Dixon. Nationally, the Bureau of Justice Statistics say that of known offenders, blacks committed 52 percent of homicides nationally. Chicago crime statistics for 2005, the most recent available, show that African Americans made up 77 percent of those charged with murder. But Dixon says blacks have been disproportionally represented as criminals in newscasts in Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Interviews with about 500 people in Los Angeles found viewers of TV news were more likely to believe negative stereotypes about blacks, Dixon reports in the current issue of the Journal of Communication. "We think of people who watch the news as informed and open-minded," said Dixon, who teaches at the U. of I. Urbana-Champaign campus. "But we hypothesize that just watching the news might lead to stereotype endorsement." Dixon says local TV news presents "a distorted mirror" and "network news is more subtle, but it's still there." Studies on newspaper coverage have found they, too, give a distorted version of the "real world." One result is that black males are more likely to be seen as potentially violent, he said.

Black youths are suspected of more than half of knife crime among children in the capital, according to confidential Scotland Yard figures

A highly-sensitive report reveals that 124 of the 225 under-18s legally proceeded against for knife offences in the past three months are from the black community. Yet in the overwhelming majority of reported cases of knife crime involving young people, the victims are white. In cases where ethnicity was logged by police, 222 of the 345 under-18s attacked or threatened with a blade since April 1 were white. Sixty-one were black. The ethnicity of a further 292 victims aged under 18 was not stated. According to official figures, approximately one in eight of the London population is black. The Scotland Yard knife statistics - which have caused alarm in the Home Office - also reveal interesting trends in other age categories. In the 18-29 age bracket, 312 people were accused of knife offences from April 1. Of these 125 were white and 115 black. Three hundred of the victims in this category were white, 153 black and 118 Asian.

Blacks, Hispanics and the housing recession

Steve Sailer on how political correctness and diversity led to financial stupidity.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The head of Mexico's intelligence service has said that drug cartels are threatening the country's democratic institutions, including Congress

Guillermo Valdes has said that drug traffickers were trying to take over the power of the state. Gangs have infiltrated police forces, justice departments and government bodies, he said. Mexico has seen a sharp increase in drug-related violence in 2008. Valdes, who is the head of Cisen, the government's intelligence agency, said he could not rule out the possibility that drug money was involved in the campaigns of some members of the national Congress.

Black and Hispanic drop out rates in California

The dropout rate among African Americans is 41.6% statewide, and 30.3% for Latinos.

Another stupid idea from Spain

Spain says a feasibility study for an undersea tunnel to connect Spain and Morocco is in the final stages. If the project goes ahead and construction begins, trains carrying both passengers and goods are expected to start using the tunnel in 2025. The tunnel would be 40km long and pass 300m under the Mediterranean Sea. The undersea link would unite North Africa and Europe for the first time since the continents separated more than 200 million years ago.

Elders from Kenya's Luo community in western Kenya have refused to endorse a plan to promote male circumcision to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS

The Luo Council of Elders says it cannot sanction circumcision, as it is against the community's culture. A ministry of health campaign is trying to encourage more men to be circumcised by offering free circumcision services in Nyanza Province. Researchers say circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection among men. Traditionally, the Luo community does not practice circumcision, unlike some other Kenyan communities. About 2.5 million of 32 million Kenyans are currently living with HIV/AIDS. A high prevalence of HIV/AIDS has been recorded among the Luo community and experts blame this on cultural practices, such as the practice of wife inheritance. According to the custom, a widow is remarried by a brother-in-law or a suitor chosen by village elders.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Two unarmed police officers were attacked by a mob of 30 black adults and teenagers in London

Two unarmed police officers who were attacked by a mob of 30 adults and teenagers are receiving hospital treatment after being bitten, kicked and punched. The officers were attacked by the gang after asking a teenage girl to pick up some litter. Other teenagers and adults then attacked the officers after the girl refused their request and dropped the litter again. One of the officers required hospital treatment after the attack in Northend, Croydon, South London. Police said violence was sparked after the patrolling officers confronted the teenage girl. They asked her to pick up a fast food wrapper from a nearby takeaway which she did, before immediately dropping it in front of them. When they asked her to pick it up again a friend with the girl became aggressive towards the officers. The incident escalated quickly as a group of 30 people gathered around the officers and attacked them. Around five young females were joined by a group of older males in their thirties and forties. All members of the gang were described as black. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the officers, aged 34 and 29, were on sick leave suffering from bruising and knee injuries.

Gunmen in Somalia have shot dead three elders distributing aid in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu

The killings are being linked to a wave of apparently targeted attacks on humanitarian workers. Meanwhile, the World Food Program has warned that it may have to use private security companies to protect its vessels from pirate attacks in Somalia. The agency has been sending food ships without protective escorts after a Dutch naval mission ended in June 2008.

The Obamas and political satire

Patrick Buchanan writes about the media's double standards when it comes to satirizing conservative and liberal political figures.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Croatia did not discriminate against Roma pupils by putting them in separate classes at school

The children, now aged between 14 and 20, said they suffered psychologically and practically, as they were taught only a third of the curriculum. But the court said they were separated only until their language improved. In Croatia, as in many east European countries, it is common practice for Roma (Gypsies) to be placed in either special classes, or in some cases, in special schools. The schools argue that the children often do not speak the national language well enough to keep up with their fellow pupils, and that the special classes are designed to help them catch up.

Asian and Hispanic students

Steve Sailer on the academic differences between Asians and Hispanics.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thousands of Nigerians have fled the Niger Delta oil town of Bonny after militants threatened to behead people who are not originally from the area

The unknown group attacked soldiers in the town two weeks ago, killing nine people including a pregnant woman. According to a newspaper article widely circulated by residents, the militants said they would return on July 16, 2008. Bonny Island is home to a major oil and gas export terminal but production has not been affected. Meanwhile, a militant attack in the Bonny Island area has left five people dead. About 30 militants attacked a Navy houseboat and three militants, a navy officer and civilian were killed.

Zimbabwe's annual rate of inflation has surged to 2,200,000%, official figures have shown

The figure is the first official assessment of prices in the troubled African nation since February, when the rate of inflation stood at 165,000%. Zimbabwe, once one of the richest countries in Africa, has descended into economic chaos largely blamed on the policies of President Robert Mugabe. Rising costs are forcing retailers to increase prices a number of times a day for goods purchased with billion dollar bank notes and the number of people falling into poverty is on the rise. In May 2008, the central bank issued a 500m Zimbabwe dollar banknote, worth US$2 at the time of issue, to try to ease cash shortages amid the world's highest rate of inflation. This is in stark contrast with the situation at independence in 1980 when one Zimbabwe dollar was worth more than US$1.

A gene which apparently evolved to protect people from malaria increases their vulnerability to HIV infection by 40%

People of African descent have a variation of the "DARC" gene which may interfere with their ability to fight HIV in its early stages. The Cell Host and Microbe study says the gene accounts for millions of extra HIV cases in sub-Saharan Africa. Research at University College London and the University of Texas focused on the Duffy Antigen Receptor for Chemokines (DARC) gene. The gene influences the levels of chemicals called chemokines, which play a role in the body's defences against viruses, and a variation is held by approximately 90% of Africans. The origins of the variation are unclear, but it is thought to have evolved in response to widespread malaria outbreaks by offering protection against that disease. The researchers did not use volunteers living in Africa, but analysed data from a 25-year study of Americans from different ethnic backgrounds with HIV. They calculated that, after taking account of social and economic differences, people with the genetic variation were 40% more likely to be susceptible to the illness. If the gene variant were not present in sub-Saharan Africa, they said, they would expect to see approximately an 11% lower burden of HIV in the region. An estimated 24.5 million people are living with the disease there, and there are approximately 2 million deaths per year.

A Sudanese immigrant has been convicted of endangering six young women by hiding his HIV-positive status and engaging in unprotected sex

Clato Mabior, 31, now faces likely deportation after what's believed to be Canada's largest case of its kind. Queen's Bench Justice Joan McKelvey said Mabior's conduct was "deplorable and despicable . . . and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Those that are infected with HIV cannot inappropriately and indiscriminately engage in sexual relationships for their own pleasure without regard to the consequences to others." Mabior was convicted on six of nine sexual-assault allegations, plus additional charges of invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference. One of Mabior's victims was a 15-year-old girl who repeatedly broke down in tears as she described being raped by Mabior after he lured her with the promise of drugs and alcohol from a temporary Child and Family Services "shelter" inside a downtown Winnipeg hotel. She was only 12 years old at the time. "The accused preyed upon these vulnerable women, many of whom were underage and came from significantly compromised circumstances. Further, these women were supplied with alcohol and/or drugs, and lured into a sexual relationship by a sexual predator," said McKelvey. Mabior was arrested in early 2006 after an unprecedented public warning by police and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority that prompted several young women to come forward - many of them teenage runaways. Police in Brandon, Man., Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and London, Ont., were also notified about Mabior, since he lived in each city after immigrating to Canada from Sudan in 2000.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Humanitarian agencies in Somalia are considering suspending operations after two aid workers were shot dead in less than 24 hours

Some aid organizations are reported to be reviewing their security measures following the attacks. Violence against aid workers in Somalia has increased dramatically, but it is not clear exactly who is behind the attacks. Half of Somalia's population needs food aid due to drought and conflict. Two men were shot in separate incidents about 13 kilometers from the capital, Mogadishu. Mohamed Mohamud Qeyre was killed. He was the deputy director of a local aid group affiliated to the German organization Bread for the World. "Two men shot him three times in the head and the ribs," a witness said. Another man who worked for an organization linked to the United Nation's World Food Program is said to be in a serious condition. In a third incident, another aid worker was killed in Galharei town in central Somalia. "He was going to a mosque and he stepped out of his home," said local clan elder Ahmed Shire Yabar. "Two men armed with pistols shot him four times and escaped. He died on the spot," he said. A senior Somali aid worker for the UN was kidnapped in June 2008, and another shot dead recently. A driver for the World Food Program was also killed at a checkpoint.

Genes and violent criminals

Three genes may play a strong role in determining why some young men raised in rough neighborhoods or deprived families become violent criminals, while others do not. One gene called MAOA that played an especially strong role has been shown in other studies to affect antisocial behavior - and it was disturbingly common, the team at the University of North Carolina reported. People with a particular variation of the MAOA gene called 2R were very prone to criminal and delinquent behavior, said sociology professor Guang Guo, who led the study. "I don't want to say it is a crime gene, but 1 percent of people have it and scored very high in violence and delinquency," Guo said. His team, which studied only boys, used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a U.S. nationally representative sample of about 20,000 adolescents in grades 7 to 12. They found specific variations in three genes -- the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene, the dopamine transporter 1 (DAT1) gene and the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene -- were associated with bad behavior, but only when the boys suffered some other stress, such as family issues, low popularity and failing school. MAOA regulates several message-carrying chemicals called neurotransmitters that are important in aggression, emotion and cognition such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What is Africa giving to the world?

Kevin Myers on Africa's contribution to the world:

Japan, China, Russia, Korea, Poland, Germany, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 20th century have endured worse broad brush-strokes than almost any part of Africa.

They are now -- one way or another -- virtually all giving aid to or investing in Africa, whereas Africa, with its vast savannahs and its lush pastures, is giving almost nothing to anyone, apart from AIDS.

Meanwhile, Africa's peoples are outstripping their resources, and causing catastrophic ecological degradation. By 2050, the population of Ethiopia will be 177 million: The equivalent of France, Germany and Benelux today, but located on the parched and increasingly protein-free wastelands of the Great Rift Valley.

So, how much sense does it make for us actively to increase the adult population of what is already a vastly over-populated, environmentally devastated and economically dependent country?

How much morality is there in saving an Ethiopian child from starvation today, for it to survive to a life of brutal circumcision, poverty, hunger, violence and sexual abuse, resulting in another half-dozen such wide-eyed children, with comparably jolly little lives ahead of them? Of course, it might make you feel better, which is a prime reason for so much charity. But that is not good enough.

For self-serving generosity has been one of the curses of Africa. It has sustained political systems which would otherwise have collapsed.

It prolonged the Eritrean-Ethiopian war by nearly a decade. It is inspiring Bill Gates' programme to rid the continent of malaria, when, in the almost complete absence of personal self-discipline, that disease is one of the most efficacious forms of population-control now operating.

At least a dozen people have died during a recruitment drive for the Nigerian Immigration Service

Four people were killed in a stampede at the recruitment centre in Enugu in Nigeria's south-east. Recruiters closed a gate to the government building where candidates were to sit an aptitude test. More than 130,000 candidates applied for 1,260 jobs. Government jobs are prized for their regular salaries and good benefits. There are few good employment prospects for the many thousands of people who graduate from colleges and universities each year. The sister of one of the applicants who died at a recruitment in Kaduna in Nigeria's Northern region said the situation facing job seeking graduates was terrible. "After struggling through school, you have unemployment staring you in the face, and when you finally think succour has come to provide you with employment, the recruitment leads you to your grave," said Ramatu Mohammed Barakallahu. "That is the pathetic story of the poor in our country." Four people also died in Asaba, in the Niger Delta region, during a fitness test where candidates had to run miles in the hottest part of the day. Four people were also reported to have been crushed in an stampede in Ilorin in the central region of the country. Other people died during fitness tests in Kaduna and in Abia and Anambra in the east, but the exact number was unclear. Economic reforms over the last eight years have seen the civil service cut in size. The government is still the largest single employer in Nigeria, but a large number of Nigeria's 140m population rely on the informal economy for their living.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Housing vouchers and crime

Heather Mac Donald writes about the negative effects of Section 8 housing vouchers on working-class neighborhoods.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Britain is sleepwalking into Islamization

Melanie Phillips points out that Britain is so pro-Muslim it is giving support to the extremists who would destroy it.

Sharia law in Britain

James Forsyth points out that a majority of Muslims under 35 support there being areas of Britain where some elements of sharia law are introduced.

The fiancée of one of the leaders of the failed July 21 suicide attacks has been sentenced to three years in jail for helping him escape

Fardosa Abdullahi, who was 17 at the time, gave Yassin Omar her mobile phone handset, provided a scarf and handbag for his disguise and accompanied him to Golders Green coach station where he fled to Birmingham dressed in a burka as a Muslim woman. Sentencing her to three years in jail, Judge Paul Worsley QC, said: "Your responsibility to this country should have been greater than your responsibility to your fiancée or husband. The message must go out that this court will not go soft on those who assist terrorists even those who are young, vulnerable and under pressure." The court heard that Abdullahi, who is 24 weeks pregnant, suffered from severe post traumatic stress disorder after a serious assault when she was six in Somalia and had suffered from "on-going difficulties within her family and a further traumatic event at the age of 12" which led to treatment at the Royal Free Hospital in North London.

One of Scotland's most prominent Muslim community leaders is facing jail after being found guilty of sexually abusing girls

Farooq Hussain's reputation lie in tatters, after a jury found him guilty of a catalogue of abuse over five years. The 56-year-old businessman, who owned a string of restaurants and held high-profile charity events, was found guilty of three charges after a week-long trial at Perth Sheriff Court. Outside court, the mother of one victim said: "This has been absolutely horrific for my daughter. I don't even think he is human. He showed no emotion in court. He tried to tarnish my daughter's name. Maybe now she can stop having nightmares about him. The main thing for us was that the girls got justice and they have. I just hope that they can move on now with the right help." Hussain, of Perth, sexually abused a 15-year-old girl at the Al Farooq restaurant he owned in Perth city centre in November, 2002. In July 2007, he indecently assaulted a 14-year-old girl at an address in Perth, and then attacked her again in Perth in August. Sentence was deferred for reports and Hussain's details were added to the sex offenders' register.

A blank check for war

Pat Buchanan wonders if President Bush has given Israel a blank check to drag us into war.

Beijing has asked hotels and restaurants in the city to take dog meat off the menu for the duration of the Olympics

Dog is eaten not only by the large Korean community in China's capital but is also popular in Yunnan and Guizhou restaurants. A directive from the Beijing Food Safety Office issued last month ordered Olympic contractor hotels not to provide any dishes made with dog meat and said any canine material used in traditional medicated diets must be clearly labeled. Concerned that canine dishes might offend animal rights groups and Western visitors, Beijing said restaurants expected to be popular among foreign visitors must stop serving dog meat "to respect the dining customs of different countries". The directive "advocated" that all restaurants serving dog suspend it during the Olympics but made no mention of the many popular establishments with donkey on the menu. Criticism from Westerners caused the dog meat-loving South Koreans to ban canine dishes for a period of time during the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

One in four babies born to immigrant mothers in England and Wales as fertility rate hits highest level in 16 years

The number of babies born in England and Wales has reached the highest level for more than 16 years on the back of rising immigration. There were 691,013 births in 2007, a three per cent rise over the year before and the highest level since 1991. The new baby boom is closely linked to high levels of immigration over recent years as foreign families tend to have more children. More than one in five births were to women who were born overseas, the Office for National Statistics said.

Barack Obama has pledged to push through immigration reforms that would give America's 12 million illegal migrants a form of citizenship

"I will make it a top priority in my first year as President - not only because we have an obligation to secure our borders and get control of who comes in and out of our country...but because we have to finally bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows," he said in a speech in Washington. Both the Democratic nominee and his Republican rival Senator John McCain addressed the League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest Latino organization in the country. McCain, who co-sponsored failed immigration legislation last year is now in the awkward position of distancing himself from his own initiative. He now says any reform must be preceded by securing US borders. A recent AP-Yahoo News poll showed Obama leading McCain among Hispanics, 47% to 22%, but with 26% undecided. Despite his advantage, Obama fared poorly in the Democratic primary among Hispanics against Senator Hillary Clinton. He told his audience that their vote was crucial in swing states such as Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. John Kerry lost the New Mexico by 6,000 votes, with 40,000 Latino voters failing to show up at the polls.

Journalist says that Africa has always had a propensity to turn to massacre and genocide

The BBC has received complaints of alleged racism on the Today programme Thought for the Day, following a claim in the Radio 4 show's long-running spirituality slot that Africans suffered from an "endemic moral deficit". In a Today broadcast on June 30, 2008 the journalist and author Clifford Longley said he had spoken with a Nigerian theologian who suggested that "African culture has always lacked a developed sense common humanity", which he said explained "Africa's propensity to turn to massacre and genocide". In the Thought for the Day broadcast, Longley said: "A Nigerian moral theologian I met recently was quite frank about it: African culture has always lacked a developed sense of common humanity, of the solidarity that extends beyond village and family and which entails a commitment to the common good." This 'us and them' mentality was not just tribal. The moral deficit explained, he said, how African tribal chiefs had felt no moral qualms about capturing slaves from neighbouring districts and selling them to white slave traders; and later, doing land deals with white settlers. "Hence also Africa's propensity to turn to massacre and genocide such as we saw in Rwanda and Congo, and narrowly avoided seeing again very recently in Kenya."

Alcoholism and disease

George Will writes about how people have used alcohol to protect themselves from diseases such as dysentery.

An elderly Indonesian woman famed nationwide for supernatural skills in lengthening penises has died

Reclusive Mak Erot, famed for penis extension treatment incorporating traditional herbs and Islamic prayer, has died in Caringin village on the western coast of Java island. Mak Erot - who reports aged anywhere from 101 to over 130 - prompted legions of imitations of her famous clinics, many using her famously craggy and birthmarked face to lure in anxious men. While her legacy has been closely guarded by male descendents intent on maintaining the purity of the treatment, Mak Erot has become a pop-culture icon in everything from advertisements to teenage romantic comedy films.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Police sniffer dogs in Britain will have to wear bootees when searching the homes of Muslims so as not to cause offense

Guidelines being drawn up by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) urge awareness of religious sensitivities when using dogs to search for drugs and explosives. The guidelines, to be published this year, were designed to cover mosques but have been extended to include other buildings. Where Muslims object, officers will be obliged to use sniffer dogs only in exceptional cases. Where dogs are used, they will have to wear bootees with rubber soles. “We are trying to ensure that police forces are aware of sensitivities that people can have with the dogs to make sure they are not going against any religious or cultural element within people’s homes. It is being addressed and forces are working towards doing it,” Acpo said. Problems faced by the use of sniffer dogs were highlighted last week when Tayside police were forced to apologise for a crime prevention poster featuring a German shepherd puppy, in response to a complaint by a Muslim councillor. Islamic injunctions warn Muslims against contact with dogs, which are regarded as “unclean”. John Midgley, co-founder of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, said: “The police are in effect being overly sensitive to potential criminals and not being sensitive enough to the public at large who need to be protected. These sort of things have a counter-productive effect because they cause huge friction between different communities.” Caroline Kisko, of the Kennel Club, said: “We would not condone any attempt to make search dogs wear special clothing, which could cause them distress.”

Two British schoolboys were allegedly disciplined after refusing to kneel down and pray to Allah during a religious education lesson

It was claimed that the boys, from a year seven class of 11 and 12-year-olds, were given detention after refusing to take part in a practical demonstration of how Allah is worshipped. Parents accused the school of breaching their human rights by forcing them to take part in the exercise. One, Sharon Luinen, said: "This isn't right, it's taking things too far. I understand that they have to learn about other religions. I can live with that but it is taking it a step too far to be punished because they wouldn't join in Muslim prayer. Making them pray to Allah, who isn't who they worship, is wrong and what got me is that they were told they were being disrespectful." Another parent Karen Williams, 38, whose 12-year-old daughter is a classmate of the boys, said: "I am absolutely furious my daughter was made to take part in it and I don't find it acceptable. The teacher had gone into the class and made them watch a short film and then said 'we are now going out to pray to Allah'. Then two boys got detention and all the other children missed their refreshments' break." She added: "Not only was it forced upon them, my daughter was told off for not doing it right. They'd never done it before and they were supposed to do it in another language." She said the pupils were asked if they had water on them, and when one girl produced a bottle, the teacher began washing her feet with it. Her husband Keith, 44, a painter and decorator, said: "The school is wonderful but this one teacher has made a major mistake. It seems to be happening throughout society. People think they can ride roughshod over our beliefs and the way we live." The alleged incident, at the Alsager school, one of Cheshire's top performing schools, happened on Tuesday afternoon. The teacher, Alison Phillips, the school's subject leader in RE, is understood to be staying away from the school until the furore dies down, although she has not been suspended. She is said to have got prayer mats out of the cupboard and also asked children to wear Islamic headdresses.

A Nigerian doctor claims that he is in hiding after receiving death threats for amputating a girl's arms

Dr Dandyson Allison says he saved 13-year-old Saratu Yusuf's life after she was run over by a truck in April, 2008. But he was subsequently arrested and spent a week in jail after Miss Yusuf's family accused him of removing her arms without her family's consent. Other neighbors have accused him of being a "ritualist" who needed body parts for black magic, which he denies.

Africa: Police in Ghana are trying to reunite a teenage boy with his family after rescuing him from what they suspect was a ritual killing

Two men have been given lengthy prison sentences for trying to sell the 16-year-old boy for $20,000 (£10,000). Police believe he would have been killed for his body parts to be used for witchcraft. Having rescued the boy, the police have issued a photo of him in order to try to find his relatives. The photo published by the police shows Akwesi Buabeng staring into the camera looking a little bewildered. Akwesi is lucky to be alive after two men took him from the Volta region to Sefwi-Asawinso in the west of Ghana and tried to sell him. The regional crime officer, Dennis Abade, said that after a tip-off, a policeman posed as a potential buyer. Having been duped by the police, the men - both in their twenties - were arrested, put on trial and are now serving 20-year prison sentences. The police suspect Akwesi would have been killed and his body parts used for witchcraft either in the west of Ghana or across the border in Ivory Coast. Traditional healers are widely consulted in Africa and some people believe the use of body parts for a ritual can bring good luck and protect against disease or misfortune. The police confirm that in the last two months there have been two other cases in the same area of Ghana - one involving the attempted sale of a human head. In some cases relatives are privy to the crime and so if a child is then rescued it is not always easy to reunite them with their families.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The case for white nationalism

Jared Taylor writes about the importance of white nationalism.

A Pakistani man has been charged with killing his 25-year-old daughter in Georgia because she wanted out of an arranged marriage

Somber and tearful, Chaudhry Rashid, 54, of Jonesboro, an Atlanta suburb, made his first court appearance in connection with the death of Sandeela Kanwal. He was advised through an Urdu interpreter of the murder charge, and of his legal rights. He was arrested after his wife called police. She reported that she had been awakened by screaming but couldn't understand the language, a Clayton County police report said. She said she was afraid and left the house to call police. Officers found Kanwal dead in an upstairs bedroom of the home, according to the police report. Rashid's wife told authorities Kanwal recently had been married in Pakistan in an arranged marriage. The young woman's husband was living in Chicago, Illinois, police said, but Kanwal remained at her father's home and worked at a metro Atlanta Wal-Mart for a brief time. "The victim was not interested in marrying, nor remaining married to her husband," the police report said, citing information authorities received from Rashid's wife. "This was causing a great deal of friction between the victim and her father," so much so that the two had not spoken in two months, the report said. Police found Rashid sitting behind a vehicle in the driveway, and he seemed "distraught and possibly mournful," the report said. He told police, "My daughter is dead." But when asked how she died, Rashid did not answer -- "he just dropped his head." Ligature marks were found on Kanwal's body and police found an iron and cord by the doorway of her bedroom, where she was found. A necklace was found downstairs next to what appeared to be a prayer table. "Apparently she and the father had argued over the marriage and the fact that it was arranged, and at some point during the altercation he did end up killing his daughter," said Clayton County police spokesman Tim Owens. "Honor killings" - the slaying by family members of a woman or girl thought to be bringing them shame - are usually kept quiet, making it difficult to determine how frequently they occur. The United Nations Population Fund estimated in September 2000 that as many as 5,000 women and girls fall victim to such killings each year.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A genetic change that makes white people feel famished has been found

The common DNA mutation was found in people of European ancestry and the find reveals that a minor change can have a significant impact on the production of several hormones controlling our appetite, which scientists say is "definite evidence that common obesity is a disease of the appetite and satiety." The mutation, each copy of which raises the risk of obesity by 50%, is found in around one person in every four white people, according to research published in Nature Genetics by an international team led by Imperial College London. Understanding this mechanism will help scientists to develop new treatments, notably by making obese people feel full. The gene, called PCSK1, is the recipe for the body to make the "proconvertase enzyme", which is responsible for producing fully functioning versions of hormones such as insulin, glugagon and melanocortin. These are all involved in controlling the rate of metabolism. Changes in the PCSK1 gene cause relatively minor abnormalities in the enzyme that can have a major effect on the way the body responds to the hormones, which all play a major role in regulating weight. The discovery was made by Prof Phillipe Froguel of Imperial with colleagues there and in France, Denmark, Sweden and Germany, after screening the genetic makeup of over 13,000 people. They discovered a significant association between the genetic mutation in PCSK1 and a tendency to develop obesity. These variants were also associated increased risk of childhood obesity. "This is the first time that we have found a strong link between common mutations and common obesity in the PCSK1 gene," says Professor Froguel. "We know that common forms of obesity depend on variations in multiple genes, so this is an important addition to the list of genes we need to consider as therapeutic targets for treatment in the future." Many genes have now been linked to obesity including MC4R reported by Prof Froguel’s team in March 2008 and FTO, reported by the same team and independently by an Oxford group.

Syndicates of Iraqi men are trafficking British girls as young as 14 for sex

British girls as young as 12 are being forced into prostitution by migrants in a new crime of 'internal' people trafficking. Children from ordinary families are groomed by older men posing as boyfriends before being pimped around Britain to have sex up to 20 times a night. They are raped and often drugged, according to police. Officers have identified syndicates of Iraqi men throughout Britain behind the exploitation. A Government report said 'internal trafficking' was an 'emerging issue' and it should no longer be assumed young victims of sex exploitation were smuggled from abroad. A British Human Trafficking Center intelligence report says girls as young as 12 are taken from town to town and controlled with threats and assault. In one operation, 32 victims were identified in the Sheffield area alone. All were aged 12 to 15 and had been raped. In another study, police say girls 'are given to a life of exploitation, waking up in anonymous towns, unable to contact family and with no way out'. Figures released at the end of a six-month crackdown on people traffickers showed 167 victims were rescued across Britain and Ireland and 528 suspected traffickers were arrested. It included 13 children aged between 14 and 17 who were rescued from sexual exploitation and two children who were under forced labor.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Black business and professional organisations have rejected the Pretoria High Court's ruling defining Chinese South Africans as black people

The ruling defined Chinese South Africans as "coloured", qualifying them as beneficiaries under the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act and the Employment Equity Act. "This judgment, in our view, revises a long-held historical view of the democratic struggle in South Africa," National African Federated Chambers of Commerce president Buhle Mthethwa told reporters in Johannesburg. Economic empowerment did not address all forms of discrimination but sought to identify those who had suffered the most under the apartheid regime, Mthethwa said. The identification of African, coloured and Indian people as major beneficiaries of BBBEE and Employment Equity was based on a sophisticated socio-economic analysis that took into consideration issues such as poor access to quality education, lack of economic access and poor living conditions. "The economic transformation efforts sought to deal with the primary defining force of apartheid discrimination, which expressed itself through the socio-economic oppression of Africans, Indians and coloureds, hence their over-representation and visibility in the anti-apartheid struggle," Mthethwa said. "We are also disappointed in our government's failure to consult major stakeholders on this history-defining court case. It is our considered view that the responsibility of clarifying legislative and policy ambiguities rests with the legislative or executive arms of government," he said. "We call on the South African government to appeal this irrational decision. We furthermore call on political parties, principally majority black parties to reject this inexplicable decision. As black business and professionals, we see the Pretoria judgment as a disappointing revision of the struggle for economic emancipation in South Africa," Mthethwa said.

Israel's vice premier has said the home district of the Palestinian who carried out the bulldozer attack should be cut off from the rest of Jerusalem

Haim Ramon said residents of Sur Bahir in east Jerusalem should also be stripped of their Israeli ID cards. Mr Ramon proposed changing the route of the barrier which separates Jerusalem from the West Bank. About a third of Jerusalem's population is Palestinian, living in an area occupied by Israel in the 1967 war. Mr Ramon said he disagreed with those who argued that demolishing the home of the bulldozer attacker would help prevent future attacks, but he said the house should be demolished regardless, if it was legally possible. The barrier has already cut off several neighbourhoods housing tens of thousands of Palestinian holders of Israeli Jerusalem IDs. He said the Jabal al-Mukabir area, home of a Palestinian who killed eight Jewish students in March 2008, should be given the same treatment.

IQ and academic achievement

Hugh McInnish points out that it is silly to blame "failing schools" when it is the low IQ's of students that are holding them back.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Stereotypes are often true

James Fulford points out that stereotypes can often provide useful and accurate information about our fellow human beings.

America's universities and affirmative action

Peter Schmidt, a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, writes about the negative effects of affirmative action on the educational system of the United States.

The Coatesville Police Department continues to receive reports of black city residents robbing, assaulting and raping Hispanic immigrants

And, if the activity is not stopped, police say it could trigger the formation of violent Hispanic gangs as a type of cultural protection. With the city's black community, growing immigrant population - many of whom do not speak English - combined with the city's social issues, "It's not long before you have black-on-brown crime," said Police Chief William Matthews. "And we're seeing the beginning of that." Matthews said African Americans are targeting Hispanics who are vulnerable. The victims do not speak English and often do not report crimes to the police out of fear their immigration status will be questioned, he said. African Americans are responsible for robbing, assaulting and raping Hispanics, as well as invading their homes, Matthews said. "A segment of our community - the African American community - is preying on them," he said. If the issue is not dealt with soon, Matthews said, the city could face the worst crime it has ever seen when Hispanic victims or their relatives resort to forming notoriously violent gangs, like MS-13, to defend their community. "If we don't get our arms around this problem, organized gangs will fill the vacancies," Matthews said. "There is no violence that's happened in this city that can compare to the violence that could take its place." The Hispanic population has been steadily growing throughout the county for years. Most Hispanic immigrants in the county are from Mexico, experts say.

South African officials say 15 boys have died and 90 have been taken to hospital in the Eastern Cape after botched circumcisions

The deaths were reported as authorities announced a campaign to prevent badly-performed initiation rites. Police have arrested six people in connection with the casualties, health official Sizwe Kupelo said. Mr Kupelo said the authorities were not interfering with the custom of circumcision, but wanted to save lives. Circumcision is practiced in rural areas of South Africa during winter. It is a traditional rite of passage for many South African boys. In 2001 the government passed an act requiring a licence from a medical officer for each circumcision, but traditional leaders have said the act infringes community rights. Most deaths occur after circumcisions in illegal centers. Health officials linked the recent cases to what they say is parental negligence. They say most initiates are sent home after being improperly circumcised, only to die there.

South African AIDS patients in Durban are under siege from drug addicts who rob them of their antiretroviral treatment to get high

The life prolonging drug Stocrin, one of the antiretroviral drugs used to fight AIDS, is reportedly crushed and mixed with marijuana and sold in the townships around the coastal city. The health department has warned that the trend could spark shortages in the city's hospitals and health centers, in one of the provinces worst afflicted by the AIDS pandemic. Patients collecting medication at the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Umlazi, south of Durban have complained of being ambushed by criminals on their way home. Others have had their home ransacked by thugs looking for the lifesaving drugs. "The concoction of Stocrin and dagga (marijuana) is very dangerous and eventually leads to death. The drug mixture breaks down the immune system and reduces the resistance of the body," said Anwar Jeewa, director of the Minds Alive rehabilitation centre. South Africa has the highest number of HIV sufferers in the world with around 5.5 million of the 47 million population affected by the virus, and the world's biggest ARV programme with more than 478,000 people registered for treatment.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

GCSE targets for ethnic minority pupils in Oldham are among the lowest in Britain

Only a quarter of pupils of Pakistani descent are predicted to get at least five good GCSE passes this year, including English and maths. For pupils of Bangladeshi descent the figure is 31%, compared with 44% of all pupils. Parts of Oldham have some of the largest numbers of ethnic-minority pupils in the country and the borough’s targets have been revealed by the Times Educational Supplement. Pakistani and Bangladeshi pupils each make up about a quarter of Radclyffe’s School’s 1,350 pupils.

A postcard featuring a puppy sitting in a policeman's hat advertising a Scottish police force's new telephone number has sparked outrage from Muslims

Tayside Police's new non-emergency phone number has prompted complaints from members of the Islamic community. The choice of image on the Tayside Police cards - a black dog sitting in a police officer's hat - has now been raised with Chief Constable John Vine. The advert has upset Muslims because dogs are considered ritually unclean and has sparked such anger that some shopkeepers in Dundee have refused to display the advert.

Hat tip, USS Neverdock!

A Prince William County official is attributing a decline in certain types of crime in 2007 to the county's crackdown on illegal immigrants

A new study says homicides declined by 44% from 2006 to 2007. The incidence of rape fell 33%, robberies declined 23%, and aggravated assaults declined 18%. County board Chairman Corey Stewart says the decrease is due to the resolutions cracking down on illegal immigrants in the county. The county first started discussing the issue last summer, though no policy changes went into effect until 2008.

Leaders attending an Argentine summit of South American trade bloc Mercosur are expected to strongly criticize new European Union immigration laws

A directive passed by the EU could see illegal immigrants detained for up to 18 months and if expelled they face a five-year ban on re-entry. There are hundreds of thousands of South Americans working in EU countries, many of them illegally. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has called the EU measures "shameful". The Bolivian leader, Evo Morales, said they did nothing to combat discrimination and racism, while Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana said the region did not accept the concept of migration as a crime. South American leaders often find it difficult to reach agreement on many things but they appear to be united in their anger at the new EU immigration rules. Most of South America's leaders are in the Argentine city of Tucuman where their summit plans to issue a declaration condemning the EU measures. The law will oblige EU members to choose between issuing residency permits to the estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants who enter each year, or returning them to their country of origin. Under the new rules, an illegal immigrant can be detained for a maximum of six months. This period is extendable by a further 12 months under certain conditions if, for example, the immigrant fails to co-operate with the authorities. The rules allow for a 30-day voluntary departure period for illegal immigrants before their expulsion. Once expelled, they may be barred from re-entering the EU for a five-year period.