Friday, August 29, 2008

Why don't Jews want to live in Israel?

Philip Weiss writes that many Jews prefer to live amongst non-Jews.

Holocaust hoax author asks court to ignore her deception

An author who fabricated a best-selling memoir about surviving the Holocaust by living with wolves has asked a US court to ignore the book's veracity in a £17.7 million battle against her former publisher. Misha Defonseca, a 71-year-old Belgian, told a judge in Massachusetts that whether Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years was true or not should have no bearing on a seven-year-old court verdict that she and her ghost writer won in a fight over the book's profits. Jane Daniel, the memoir's American publisher, claims that the 2001 court award against her should be reversed because it later turned out that the book was a hoax. She also argues that Defonseca only won because the jury was sympathetic towards someone they thought to be a Holocaust survivor. Her harrowing tale, which was translated into 18 languages and made into a French feature film, was exposed as a fraud in February 2008. Defonseca, who was born Monique De Wael, confessed that her parents had never been sent to Auschwitz and weren't even Jewish. She also admitted that, contrary to the book, she was never adopted by wolves, she did not kill a German soldier in self-defence and she did not walk 3,000 miles across Europe. Defonseca said at the time that she had always "felt Jewish" and, representing herself in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn, argued that she had never consciously misled anyone. "Nothing was concocted to defraud the court. I had been telling my story for years and believed it to be true," she said. She and Veronica Lee, her ghost writer, argue that the statute of limitations has expired on Mrs Daniel's case. However, Joseph Orlando, the publisher's lawyer, said the statute did not apply as the jurors had "based their decision on lies". Mrs Daniel, who persuaded Defonseca to write a book and later worked with a genealogist to expose the fraud, says that the original contract had stipulated that the story had to be true. Despite its European success, the book only sold 5,000 copies in the US. The jury in 2001 found that Mrs Daniel had failed to promote the book and had hid profits from the author.

A Somali woman who came to Norway more than 10 years ago is harshly criticizing her fellow Somalian immigrants and Norwegian authorities

In a new book, she claims Somalians themselves don't want to integrate into Norwegian society, and that Norwegian welfare programs make it easy for them to remain isolated. The book written by Amal Aden, a pseudonym for the Somalian author, is already creating an uproar. Amal Aden wouldn't use her own name because of fears for her own safety. The author said she hopes to launch a new debate on immigration and what can be done to further integration. "I wrote the book in the hopes that children will get better lives," she said. "I want to see more integration, and the responsibility for that lies with the Somalians themselves and with the authorities." She claims that resistance to integration is widespread especially among Somalian men, who fear losing their culture and religion. Many are afraid of Norwegians and view them as infidels who can't be trusted. In her book, entitled "See us!" (Se oss!), Amal Aden claims the Somalians also exploit the Norwegian welfare state and have many children in order to qualify for more welfare payments. Many couples also "divorce" under Norwegian law in order for the women to receive even more welfare payments as single mothers, only to continue to live under Somalian customs with their Somalian husbands and have more children, the author claims. She writes that violence is a part of life in Somalian homes, that young girls are often molested and women and children are intentionally kept isolated. Many Somalian men, she claims, prefer to live on welfare than accept jobs seemingly below their social status. "I'm tired of being patient with a situation where children aren't getting enough food at home, where women are beaten by their husbands, where welfare payments to the (Somalian) families are used by the men to buy (the narcotic) khat, where the willingness to simply obtain more welfare money is stronger than the ability to care for children," writes Amal Aden. She accuses many spokesmen for the Somalian community of hypocrisy, saying they say they support integration when in reality they don't.

Police in the Mexican state of Yucatan have found the bodies of 11 men, decapitated and piled on each other

They were discovered in a rural area outside the city of Merida. Police have given few details. Correspondents say Yucatan state has largely been spared the deadly drug-related gang violence that has appeared in many other parts of Mexico. Police in Tijuana found three headless bodies in the latest incident of gang-related violence. The victims were found with their hands tied, along with messages referring to drug-trafficking. Their heads, found nearby, appear to have been burnt. Officials said the incident appeared to be a settling of scores by cartels.

An Asian man who killed his British National Party activist neighbor in a fight has been jailed for eight years

Habib Khan, 50, of Stoke-on-Trent, was convicted in May 2008 of the manslaughter of 52-year-old Keith Brown who he stabbed with a kitchen knife in July 2007. The two men had been involved in a long-running dispute over land. Stafford Crown Court was told Khan had killed Mr Brown in a fight outside their homes in Uttoxeter Road, Normacot. The court heard that in the incident last July, Khan held a knife against his neighbor. A post-mortem examination found Brown died from a single stab wound. Khan, described by a Muslim colleague as a respected, religious and helpful person, was also found guilty of wounding Brown's son, Ashley Barker, during the fight. Khan's other son, Kazir Saddique, was sentenced to a year in prison and a year on licence after admitting unlawful wounding. At a news conference outside the court, Brown's widow Julia said she felt justice had not been done. She said: "At the end of the day, it should have been murder not manslaughter. If he did not have the intention to go out and murder he should not have taken the knife out." Local BNP councillor, Martin Coleman, told reporters the party would start a campaign to expose what has gone on in court and said he viewed the case as insanity and madness. He added: "It bears no relationship with any form of justice that I understand, can understand recognise or accept. We've got a man who has been murdered in the street. Someone has ran out into the public street with a knife and murdered a man and the judge says there's literally no case to answer. I think what we've witnessed here is an outrageous betrayal of justice." Khan denied murdering Brown but was convicted of manslaughter on 23 May, 2008.

French police are hunting for a man who raped a Canadian student at a camp near Calais used by illegal immigrants

Police said the 31-year-old woman, who has spent most of her life in Britain, was attacked while photographing the site called "the jungle". The camp is used by migrants waiting to cross the Channel to Britain. Vice-prosecutor Philippe Muller told a press conference that the rape had been committed "by an individual who is currently being searched for". He added: "The Pas-de-Calais Victim Support Association has been called upon to provide help and support for the victim." The camp lies in woodland near the Calais ferry terminal. It is made up of shelters constructed from plastic sheets and camp-fires built by the migrants. The press conference was told that investigators have fingerprints and DNA samples from the suspect. They believe he came from the Middle East, and fear he may have left the area - either for Britain, Belgium or Holland.

Two mothers in South Africa are waiting for DNA results after their newborn babies were mixed up and one of them subsequently died

After they gave birth at the Alexandra Clinic, nurses allegedly forgot to tag the infants' wrists. The women were each given a child and told to return later for results, but one of the baby girls died. “I am torn between grief of losing a child and the thought of explaining to the other woman how her child died, if it’s hers," Lebo Nkadimeng, the mother in whose care the baby died, has said. "I cannot even mourn the baby’s death because I am not sure if she was mine,” she said.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A fifth of Indian herbal medicines sold on the Internet contain potentially lethal substances, according to a new study in the United States

The study at Boston university analysed 193 products and found that 20% of them contained lead, mercury or arsenic. Herbal medicine has been used in India for thousands of years and is growing in popularity in the West. The researchers said their findings showed that there should be stronger control of herbal supplements. Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, lead researcher Dr Robert Saper said there was some evidence that herbs used in ayurvedic (Indian herbal) medicines could help against diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. "But the key thing is we need to separate out what's helpful and.... what needs to be looked at and perhaps set aside," he added. "Our first priority must be the safety of the public. Herbs and supplements with high levels of lead, mercury, and arsenic should not be available for sale on the Internet or elsewhere." The researchers discovered the presence of toxic metals in ayurvedic medicines made both in India and the US.

Bauchi State in northern Nigeria has banned co-education at all junior and senior schools

The bill listed a number of reasons including the need to fight teenage pregnancies and poor performance. Bauchi MP Aminu Tukur said that teenagers especially had difficulty controlling their sexual urges.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Somali asylum seeker with super deadly TB

The patient, believed to be an asylum seeker in his 30s from Somalia, East Africa, is the first to be diagnosed in Britain with extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB). His case was picked up in Glasgow in January 2008 but a court order detaining him in hospital for treatment lapsed after his condition stabilized and he travelled south to Leeds, West Yorks. He has been admitted to an isolation room at a hospital in the city where he is being given high-dose drugs by specialist medical teams. The man travelled to Leeds to be near relatives and attended A&E in the city within 24 hours. It remains unclear if his application for asylum, made when he arrived in Britain in 2007, has been successful but the bill for treatment - which would run into tens of thousands of pounds a year - is being picked up by the NHS in Leeds. XDR TB poses a worldwide threat amid major concerns over increasing resistance of tuberculosis to antibiotics which originally proved highly effective against the illness. The World Health Organisation has warned that if the strain becomes established, it could lead to a TB epidemic leaving few options for treatment.

Prisoners and their children

Among minor children in the U.S. resident population, 6.7% of black children, 2.4% of Hispanic children, and 0.9% of white children had a parent in prison.

Average national SAT scores for the high school class of 2008 were the same as last year, even as a larger, more diverse group took the test

A record 1.52 million students took the SAT, an increase of 1.6 percent from 2007. Scores on math and critical reading had declined in recent years, and average scores dip as the pool of test takers increases, "so we're encouraged by the stability" of this year's scores, said Gaston Caperton, president of the non-profit College Board, the SAT's owner. Even so, average scores for blacks, Hispanics and some other minorities dropped while those of white and Asian students rose.

New data indicate New York City residents are contracting the virus that causes AIDS at three times the national rate

The city health department said that almost 4,800 New Yorkers were infected with HIV in 2006. The number represents 72 in every 100,000 residents, compared to a national rate of 23 per 100,000. The figures are the first to pinpoint when people became infected, not just when they were diagnosed. Better blood tests have helped make that possible. Health officials attribute the city's relatively high rate of new infections to its large populations of gay men, blacks and other groups on whom HIV has traditionally taken a heavy toll.

Israel and the conflict in Georgia

Did Israel bet on the wrong horse?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The achievement gap isn't caused by differences in funding

The 2007 Prairie State Achievement Exam test results (reading, science and math combined, for 11th graders in Chicago Public Schools, which spends $10,400 per student, show that 22% of black students meet or exceed standards while 63% of white students meet or exceed standards. Same schools, same funding levels and a large achievement gap. In Evanston District High HSD 202, where funding exceeds $17,000 per student, the same PSAE test show that 31% of black students meet or exceed standards while 89% of white students meet or exceed standards. District 211 in the Northwest suburbs, with funding around $13,500 per student, the PSAE shows that 27% of black students meet or exceed Standards while 74% of white students meet or exceed standards. This data strongly suggest that increased funding for Chicago Public Schools will not affect the black-white education achievement gap.

A white Muslim convert is being held by detectives investigating alleged threats to kill the British Prime Minister and Tony Blair

The 25-year-old man was arrested at a flat in the Whalley Range area of Blackburn. He is believed to be a friend of two other men arrested by counter-terrorism officers at Manchester Airport on August 14, 2008. The pair, who had been about to board a flight to Finland, live less than 100 yards from the home of the 25-year-old suspect. A fourth suspect, also from Blackburn, was arrested in Church, near Accrington, shortly after the arrests at Manchester Airport. All four men are being questioned about a posting on an Arabic website that often carries messages from senior members of al-Qaeda. The message, written in English, allegedly included a threat to target "all the political leaders, especially Tony Blair and Gordan (sic) Brown". It appeared only briefly on January 24, 2008 and purported to have been written by Shaykh Umar Rabie al-Khalaila, who described himself as "the leader of al-Qaeda in Britain". The latest man to be arrested changed his name when he converted to Islam four years ago.

Islam brings out the worst in people.

Genetic studies are helping to piece together the puzzle of how our genes contribute to mental illness

"There is a strong genetic component to most psychiatric disorders, with evidence coming from studies of twins and families," said Prof Peter McGuffin from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College in London, who spoke about genes, behaviour and mental illness at a European Behavioural Pharmacology Society conference in University College Cork. Speaking in advance of his talk, he described the complexities of the interactions between genes and the environment in mental illness, and said that genetic studies were starting to unpick those relationships and highlight the need for an individualized approach to drug treatment. Prof McGuffin was recently involved in a study - published online in the journal Nature Genetics - that newly links two genes to bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness). The study, to which researchers at Trinity College Dublin also contributed, looked at more than 4,000 people with bipolar disorder and found variations in two "ion channel" genes that function in the transmission of messages in brain cells. "A lot of inherited forms of epilepsy seem to be to do with defects in ion channels and various anti-convulsants are good mood stabilizers, but we have never known why. It's all coming together now," he said. His group has also found that an individual's response to antidepressants is affected by their genetic profile: if their genes mean they transport the brain chemical serotonin less effectively, they will have a poorer response to a commonly prescribed type of antidepressant known as an SSRI. It argues the case for a more personalised approach to treating mental illness, said Prof McGuffin: "The hope is that we will be able to take existing compounds and predict who will actually respond to what." Behavior can also be in part down to genes, he added. "There's a lot of evidence from good old-fashioned twin and adoption studies that criminal behaviour is influenced by genes," he said. "It's a touchy topic to talk about but the evidence is consistent."

Genes may also predispose people to anxiety disorders.

At least 25 African migrants have died from hunger, thirst and exposure after trying to reach Spain by boat

A cargo ship rescued 25 survivors off the coast of southern Spain's Almeria province. Five women and five children were reportedly among the survivors. A boat patrolling waters between Malaga and Melilla rescued the migrants from a half-submerged boat. Every year, tens of thousands of Africans try to enter Spain by boat to find work in Europe. "We can never know the exact number," a Red Cross employee at the port of Malaga said. The Red Cross representative said one woman had lost her husband and three small children at sea. "She was in shock, in a state of great anguish," the representative added. A total of 921 migrants died in 2007 from exposure or accidents as they made the journey by sea to Spain, according to a Spanish NGO, the Organization for Human Rights in Andalusia. The wave of would-be migrants has prompted the government to toughen its stance on migration. It has pledged to repatriate all illegal migrants and has set up joint naval patrols with European partners. The number of migrants who reached the country by boat has dropped almost 10% from the same period a year earlier and has more than halved since 2006, according to interior ministry figures.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

San Francisco's immigrant sanctuary policies played a role in the slayings of 3 people by shielding the killer from deportation

San Francisco's immigrant sanctuary policies played a substantial role in the slayings of a father and two of his sons by allowing city officials to shield the alleged killer from deportation, despite his violent history, according to a legal claim filed on behalf of the victims' family. The claim is likely to be followed by a wrongful death lawsuit in which the family of Tony Bologna and his sons could seek millions of dollars from the city. Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were shot to death on a street in the Excelsior district June 22, 2008. Edwin Ramos, 21, of El Sobrante, who authorities say is a member of a street gang, has been charged with three counts of murder. Tony Bologna's wife, Danielle, and other relatives denounced the city's sanctuary practices after learning that Ramos, a Salvadoran native suspected of being in this country illegally, had committed felony attempted robbery and assault as a juvenile. Officials with the Juvenile Probation Department, relying on their interpretation of San Francisco's sanctuary city ordinance, had not referred Ramos to federal immigration authorities for possible deportation. The ordinance bars city officials from cooperating with federal crackdowns on illegal immigrants.

Islamic supremacism in British mosques

A new documentary shows how mosques in Britain are encouraging hatred towards non-Muslims.

Accusations of racism in Ireland

David Quinn explains how the Left uses accusations of racism to stifle political debates in Ireland.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A controversial initiative that pays NYC high-school students for passing Advanced Placement tests has failed to spur more kids to make the grade

Students at 25 low-income city public schools and six parochial schools were offered private money on a sliding scale - from $500 to $1,000 - if they passed their five-point AP subject tests by scoring between 3 and 5. The new program, largely targeting black and Hispanic students, was meant to prepare more kids for college and give them a financial boost to get there. Despite the dangle of dollars, the number of students passing their AP tests in the 31 schools actually dipped to 1,476 in 2008 - down five from 2007, when no cash was on the table, according to data released by the Council of Urban Professionals, which distributes the money. The passing rate fell from 35% in 2007 to 32% in 2008 in a result that surprised even those who have been skeptical of cash-for-kids programs.

Border control

Guess how the majority of Americans feel about illegal immigration?

Sports and testosterone

The New York Times finally comes around to Steve Sailer's way of thinking regarding the gender gap in sports.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

An influx of workers from China is receiving a mixed reception in Africa, where people both admire and resent the hard-working newcomers

Awe at the efficiency with which Chinese build roads, run shops and manage factories is matched by unease at a growing Chinese presence in Africa's fragile labor markets. Delight at cheap shirts, toys and shoes sits aside concern at the undercutting of local retailers. The ambivalent response poses a potential risk to China's push to win hearts and minds in Africa, a priority for Beijing amid Western accusations that it is cutting corners on labor and human rights' safeguards in its African investment drive. Keen to address foreign investment sensitivities, African finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Mauritania on Aug 1, 2008 pledged greater transparency in their dealings with China and other new investors pouring money into the continent. They stressed the importance of developing local skills and industries beyond the extraction of raw materials. However, most African leaders show no reservations in welcoming the billions of dollars spent by China to gain African oil and minerals for its growing economy.

A law student has been found guilty of stabbing to death a doctor who gave him lodgings and acted as his guardian

David Quartey, 22, of Humber Road, Dartford, was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court of murdering consultant paediatrician Victoria Anyetei. The 54-year-old was stabbed 56 times in her car in Teynham Road, Dartford, on 14 August 2007, as she left for work at St Thomas' Hospital in London. Quartey was jailed for life and ordered to serve at least 15 years. Sentencing him, Judge Jeremy Carey said: "You gravely abused the trust that she put in you. "It was indeed a frenzied attack of enormous brutality." He described Quartey - the son of a High Court judge in Ghana - as a "highly dangerous young man".

Nigeria's Islamic authority has told a man who has 86 wives to choose only four and repent within three days or else he will be sentenced to death

The Jamatu Nasril Islam (JNI) passed their verdict on Mohammed Bello Abubakar, 84, according to Sharia law. The former teacher and Muslim preacher lives in Niger State with his wives and at least 170 children, and says he is able to cope only with the help of God. "A man with 10 wives would collapse and die, but my own power is given by Allah. That is why I have been able to control 86 of them," he said.

Hundreds of Swazi women have marched through the streets of the capital to protest about a shopping trip taken by nine of the king's 13 wives

They chartered a plane to go to Europe and the Middle East. The protesters handed in a petition to the finance ministry saying the money could have been better spent. "We can't afford a shopping trip when a quarter of the nation lives on food aid," they chanted. Swaziland, Africa's last absolute monarchy, is one of the poorest countries in the world and more than 40% of the population is believed to be infected with HIV.

The United States has suspended a program aimed at reuniting refugees from Africa with relatives in the US because of widespread fraud

The US state department said DNA tests showed the majority of those applying had no family relationships in the US. Thousands of Africans have been allowed to settle in the US under its P3 family reunification program. The scheme offers close family members the chance to join loved ones who have already made America their home. But DNA tests on applicants in seven African countries showed that only around 20% of those trying to enter the US actually had a blood relationship. The DNA tests were initially carried out in Kenya on some 500 refugees, mainly Somalis and Ethiopians, who were awaiting resettlement. "After the samples suggested high rates of fraud, we expanded testing to Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana, Guinea, Gambia and Ivory Coast," said state department spokesman Robert Wood. Apart from Ivory Coast, which had smaller samples, the results from those tests indicated a similar level of fraud, prompting officials to suspend the scheme.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Men with round faces tend to be more aggressive, a study of sportsmen has shown

The male sex hormone testosterone makes faces more circular and now scientists have studied whether this characteristic is also linked to behavior. A Canadian team studied 90 ice hockey players and found the rounder the face, the more aggressive the players. For male varsity and professional hockey players, the facial ratio was linked in a statistically significant way with the number of penalty minutes per game, report Justin Carre and Prof Cheryl McCormick of Brock University, Ontario. The penalties were incurred by players for violent acts including slashing, elbowing, checking from behind, fighting and so on. However, there was not a link between facial shape and aggression in women. "The facial structure of a man provides an indication of how aggressive he will be in a competitive situation," says Prof McCormick. "Therefore, we are able to predict, with some accuracy, the behavior of men on the basis of their facial features. If men's faces are providing cues as to their potential for aggression, then likely people are probably picking up on this cue, although likely on a subconscious level." The findings, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences suggest that the shape of the face may have been honed by evolution as a marker of the propensity for aggressive behavior: ancestors who did not pick up this warning sign could have found out to their cost that they were dealing with a more volatile and violent person. By one theory, testosterone is responsible for the development of rugged looks, a jutting jaw and brow, a deep voice and other trappings of masculinity but it also damps down the body's protective immune system, so only high-quality (that is those with healthy, good 'genes') men can afford to display these macho characteristics. But the hormone affects more than appearance and a range of earlier work has shown that testosterone levels affect behavior, other than aggression. For example, women's judgements of the extent to which a man was interested in infants based on his face predicted his actual interest in infants: more feminized faces were seen as more trustworthy. People also show some accuracy at identifying 'cheaters' from their looks in an idealised game of cooperation. "Together, these findings suggest that people can make accurate inferences about others' personality traits and behavioral dispositions based on certain signals conveyed by the face," say the researchers.

The head of a Nigerian government agency has been charged with stealing money to hire a witchdoctor or "juju" sorcerer to bring him success

Sam Edem, chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, is accused of taking $6.8m (£3.4m) of state money. He has been charged with theft and criminal conspiracy by a court who heard he spent millions on black magic. Police allege in one ritual he burned millions of naira and rubbed the ash on his body. Edem denies the charges. The case came to the attention of the police when Mr Edem reported he had been the victim of a spell forcing him to hand over millions of naira. But suspicions were raised as to where he got the money from. "We believe that this is money from the Nigerian government, money that should have been used to develop the Niger Delta," Police Commissioner Ali Amodu said.

Senator Barack Obama's long lost brother has been tracked down for the first time living in a shanty town in Kenya

The Italian edition of Vanity Fair said that it had found George Hussein Onyango Obama living in a hut in a ramshackle town of Huruma on the outskirts of Nairobi. Obama, 26, the youngest of the presidential candidate's half-brothers, spoke for the first time about his life, which could not be more different than that of the Democratic contender. "No-one knows who I am," he told the magazine, before claiming: "I live here on less than a dollar a month." According to Italy's Vanity Fair his two meter by three meter shack is decorated with football posters of the Italian football giants AC Milan and Inter, as well as a calendar showing exotic beaches of the world. Vanity Fair also noted that he had a front page newspaper picture of his famous brother - born of the same father as him, Barack Hussein Obama, but to a different mother, named only as Jael. He told the magazine: "I live like a recluse, no-one knows I exist." Embarrassed by his penury, he said that he does not does not mention his famous half-brother in conversation. "If anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed," he said. For ten years George Obama lived rough. However he now hopes to try to sort his life out by starting a course at a local technical college. He has only met his famous older brother twice - once when he was just five and the last time in 2006 when Senator Obama was on a tour of East Africa and visited Nairobi. The Illinois senator mentions his brother in his autobiography, describing him in just one passing paragraph as a "beautiful boy with a rounded head". Of their second meeting, George Obama said: "It was very brief, we spoke for just a few minutes. It was like meeting a complete stranger." George added he was no longer in contact with his mother and said:"I have had to learn to live and take what I need. Huruma is a tough place, last January during the elections there was rioting and six people were hacked to death. The police don't even arrest you they just shoot you. I have seen two of my friends killed. I have scars from defending myself with my fists. I am good with my fists."

Skin, hair and eye color in Europe

Peter Frost blogs about the physical differences between Europeans and non-Europeans.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Egyptian police have shot dead a Sudanese man attempting to cross the border illegally into Israel, Egyptian officials say

They say the man was shot south of the Rafah border crossing. The death brings to 20 the number of African migrants - seeking political asylum and jobs in Israel - killed at the border so far in 2008. Separately, an Egyptian policeman was killed by people traffickers - the third to die this year. Israel estimates that 2,800 people have entered the country illegally through its border with Egypt in recent years. Many are believed to be from Sudan, refugees from the civil war and the crisis in Darfur. Activists say they face economic marginalization and racism in Egypt.

The rate of inflation in Zimbabwe jumped to just over 11,250,000% in June 2008, official figures show

"It gained 9,035,045.5 percentage points from the May rate of 2,233,713.4%," said state media quoting the Central Statistical Office (CSO). However, experts believe the actual rate of inflation may be much higher. Zimbabwe is in the midst of a dire economic crisis with unemployment at almost 80%, most manufacturing at a halt and basic foods in short supply. High money supplies have also been fuelling hyperinflation. Critics have accused President Robert Mugabe's government of printing money to finance his election campaign and prop up the economy. Month-on-month inflation in the country accelerated to 839.3% from 433.4%. "Our inflation figures are way above that, but what it tells us is that the productive base of the economy has really shrunk," said one unnamed economist at a domestic bank. "We really need to change the way we do business," he added. Zimbabwe, once one of the richest countries in Africa, has descended into economic chaos largely blamed on the policies of President Mugabe.

Rat meat in India

With food prices rising, one of India's poorest states is considering adding rat meat to the menus of state-run canteens, a move officials in Bihar say could help provide cheap protein for the state's 80 million people, most of whom live off the land as poor sharecroppers or subsistence farmers. "People in different parts of the world eat lizards and dogs. Why not rats?" said the state's tribal welfare minister, Jeetan Ram Manjhi. While the suggestion - there are no firm plans to start marketing rat meat just yet - may seem repulsive to many inside and outside India, eating rats is not unheard of in Bihar. Among the poorest people in Bihar are a tribe known as Musahars, whose traditional place in the India's caste system was to catch rats, which they would cook and eat along with the rice and wheat they recovered from rat holes. That's changed in the last few decades as many Musahars, under pressure from higher castes that consider rat eating unclean, stopped dining on the creatures, although they are still paid to catch and kill them by farmers. But Manjhi, who is one of Bihar's 2 million Musahars, says the rodents are tasty and hopes the practice could be revived and popularized by putting the rodents on the menu at canteens in government offices. "We've been enjoying eating rats since our childhood," he said. "When vegetables get expensive, it's what we eat." Another official, State Welfare Department Secretary Vijay Prakash, said that popularizing rat meat could also help Musahars, the vast majority of whom are bitterly poor and uneducated. India's elaborate caste system divides people into hundreds of social tiers defined by ethnicity, class, history and livelihood. Discrimination along caste lines had been outlawed for decades but remains prevalent, especially in largely rural and poor parts of eastern India like Bihar.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The scores of black students in Illinois have been flat for the past five years, creating a widening achievement gap

A new report says Illinois students are scoring better on the ACT. ACT's report says the average composite score for the class of 2008 was 20.7 out of a possible 36. That's up two-tenths of a point from 2007. It's also the highest score since the test became mandatory for the class of 2002. But the gains came mostly from white students' scores. Black students' scores have been flat for the past five years, creating a widening achievement gap.

A man whipped himself until he bled during a Muslim religious ceremony, before allegedly forcing two teenage boys to do the same, a court has heard

Syed Mustafa Zaidi, 44, is accused of encouraging the boys, aged 13 and 15, to beat themselves at a community centre in Manchester. Manchester Crown Court was played a film showing Zaidi beating himself with a whip made of knives and chains. Zaidi, of Station Road, Eccles, denies two counts of child cruelty. It is the first case of its kind ever to be prosecuted in Brtain. The 20-minute video shown to the court showed the Shia Muslim Ashura ceremony in Levenshulme, with Zaidi bare-chested among a crowd of about 150 men, chanting and singing. He then used the whip - called a zanjeer zani - on himself. Participants at the men-only event take it in turns, in small groups, to flog themselves, while the crowd around them chant the name of Husayn, a central figure in the Shia faith whose death they are commemorating. The film played to the court also showed the 13-year-old boy, who Zaidi is accused of forcing, flogging himself with the zanjeer zani.

Biracial Asian Americans and mental health

A new study of Chinese-Caucasian, Filipino-Caucasian, Japanese-Caucasian and Vietnamese-Caucasian individuals concludes that biracial Asian Americans are twice as likely as mono-racial Asian Americans to be diagnosed with a psychological disorder.

Color, aggression and sexuality

Are darker vertebrates more aggressive and sexually active than lighter individuals?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

African American students continue to lag far behind whites in San Francisco

The number of white students who were proficient or better in both math and English was about 50% points higher than the city's black students. In second-grade English, for example, 23% of blacks were proficient, compared to 74% of whites. Special education students had slightly higher proficiency rates than black students in second-, third- and fourth-grade math as well as fourth-grade English. The district tested 41,000 students, including 4,800 African Americans, in grades two through 11 in the spring. San Francisco schools face a steep uphill battle in boosting the test results of black students, educators noted.

Does the birth control pill promote incest?

Razib reports on new research that shows that the pill may cause women to be attracted to men with immune systems similar to their own.

Is college a waste of time?

Charles Murray believes that we should get rid of the BA and replace it with evidence of competence such as treating post-secondary education as apprenticeships for everyone.

Hat tip, Half Sigma!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The New York Civil Liberties Union and the NYPD

Heather Mac Donald writes about how the anti-police antics of the New York Civil Liberties Union harms blacks and Hispanics.

Israel and Georgia

For many years, Israeli companies have been helping Georgian army to preparer for war against Russia through arms deals, training of infantry units and security advice.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Whites will be a minority in the United States by 2042

The nation's population will look dramatically different by mid-century, becoming more racially and ethnically diverse and a good deal older as it increases from about 302 million to 439 million by 2050, according to projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The findings are in line with recent analyses published by independent demographers, but they are the first such official Census Bureau projections in years. Minorities, about one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become a majority by 2042 and be 54% of U.S. residents by 2050. The shift will happen sooner among children, 44% of whom are minority. By 2023, more than half are expected to be minority, and by 2050, the proportion will be 62%. The largest share of children, 39%, is projected to be Hispanic, followed by non-Hispanic whites (38%), African Americans (11%) and Asians (6%).

Hat tip, Randall Parker!

Jewish networks and the Russian-Georgian conflict

Steve Sailer blogs about how the fact that a large fraction of American pundits, reporters, editors, owners, and advertisers are Jewish has affected American foreign policy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Anti-Semitic t-shirts

Anti-Semitic t-shirts have been put on sale in an area of Paris where there have been ongoing scuffles between groups of Jewish youngsters and youths of North African origin.

A collection of bullet-proof clothing by Colombian designer Miguel Caballero has been launched in South Africa

South African businessman Ari Ben David has opened a showroom for the fashion label and intends to open a shop. He said that he was drawn to the collection because of the serious crime situation in South Africa. Caballero's clothes can withstand shots from 9mm pistols to AK-47s and clients fearing knives can pay extra for stab-proofing. The clothing line features suits, suede and leather jackets, raincoats, shirts, vests and denim ware for both men and women. South Africa is infamous for its high levels of violent crime.

The UN has found that its peacekeeping troops from India may have engaged in abuse and exploitation while serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply troubled by the findings. The Indian authorities say they are investigating the allegations and the vice chief of the Indian army had visited Congo in May 2008 to look into them. India has said it will take strict action against the perpetrators if the allegations are proved. One UN official said there may have been abuse of young girls and boys by at least 10 Indian peacekeepers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

South Africa's high court has ruled that camps housing foreigners displaced by xenophobic violence can be shut down

The judge said the authorities had no obligation to reintegrate more than 4,000 African immigrants living in the camps around Johannesburg. The government plans to close the shelters in Gauteng province. Human rights groups had applied to stop the closure, saying it would violate the rights of the displaced. The authorities argue it is now safe for the foreigners to return to their homes. Tens of thousands of immigrants were displaced by the violence, in which 60 people were killed. Many returned to their home countries, some have returned to South African townships – but approximately 4,000 of them are still in the safe havens in Gauteng. The riots began in a township north of Johannesburg before spreading to other parts of the country. It was the worst bloodshed in the county since the end of apartheid in 1994. Those attacked in May were blamed for fuelling high unemployment and crime. Twenty-one South Africans, mistaken by gangs for foreigners, were among those killed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Poor performance at school could indicate an increased risk of later developing schizophrenia, a study says

British and Swedish researchers followed more than 900,000 children born between 1973 and 1983. The Psychological Medicine paper found getting an E grade in any GCSE-stage exam was linked to a doubling of the small risk of developing schizophrenia. Schizophrenia, which commonly causes people to hear voices and experience paranoid delusions, often becomes evident in the late teens or early 20s. The researchers, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, looked at Swedish data on exam results taken at the age of 15 or 16. They then looked at hospital data on admissions for psychotic disorders including schizophrenia after the age of 17. Sweden has comprehensive national registers, with every individual having their own identification code, so the data could be compared. The general risk for an adult to be diagnosed with schizophrenia in any given year is seven in 100,000. Getting an E grade in any of the 16 subjects looked at by the researchers was linked to a doubling of that risk. The researchers found those with the poorest school performance overall had four times that risk of developing schizophrenia when they were adults. Other studies have shown that there is a link between schizophrenia and earlier problems with learning or understanding.

Related news

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists pose the greatest threat to Switzerland's internal security

The Federal Police have said that the threat was real even though it had no evidence of any attacks being planned in recent years. The director of the Federal Police office, Jean-Luc Vez, said in the introduction to the internal security report for 2007 that "western Europe is a hotbed of jihadism and Switzerland is located in the center of this danger zone". "In western Europe, particularly in Britain, Denmark, Germany, France and Spain, security forces uncovered operational cells whose members were chiefly residents of the respective countries," the report explained. "Moreover, it has become apparent that the network around core Al-Qaeda members in Pakistan maintains operational links to Europe." Last year, four alleged Islamists in Switzerland were either convicted or deported on charges of supporting a terrorist criminal organisation, making public calls to violence or violating laws on racism.

5 Dutch women helping to build an orphanage were raped in western Kenya

The women were attacked just outside Kakamega, police chief John Mwinzi said. He said he didn't know the exact ages of the women, but they were likely in their 20s or late teens. The attackers — armed with a toy pistol, machetes and clubs — also stole a camera, laptop, satellite phones and cash, police said. Five men have been arrested. The women were among a group of 12 people visiting a building site in a village just outside Kakamega, which is about 200 kilometers (130 miles) from the capital, Nairobi. The group's driver and watchmen at the compound were among those arrested, Mwinzi said. Violent crime has long been a problem in Kenya. A surge of politically and ethnically motivated violence erupted after a disputed presidential election in December laid bare frustrations over poverty, corruption and long-standing ethnic rivalries in Kenya.

Was Obama's birth certificate forged?

Independent analysts, working separately, claim to have discovered that the original Hawaiian Certificate of Live Birth used in the fabrication of the Barack Obama "birth certificate" belongs to the Presidential candidate's younger half-sister, Maya.

5 North Africans have been arrested in Italy on charges of conspiring to commit acts of international terrorism

Police in Bologna say they arrested four Tunisians and a Moroccan and are seeking a sixth man. They are investigating an alleged international terrorist ring, which they say recruited suicide bombers for Iraq and Afghanistan. Police raided houses and apartments in Bologna, Ravenna on Italy's Adriatic coast, and Como near Milan. The North Africans are also charged with fraud. They are alleged to have collected money from phoney car accident insurance claims to finance their operations. They recruited and trained people willing to sacrifice their lives in terrorist attacks in war zones, the police said. The alleged leader of the terrorist ring was a former mujahideen colonel who had fought in Bosnia during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Investigators had gathered information on the activities of the terrorist group through phone taps.

Section 8 housing and crime

Section 8 housing is spreading crime to the suburbs of California.

Hat tip, Half Sigma!

Friday, August 8, 2008

A black youth has been given a life sentence for stabbing to death a white schoolboy in England

Martin Dinnegan, 14, was chased and stabbed near his home in Holloway, north London, in June 2007 after exchanging "dirty looks" with a gang. Joseph Chin was convicted of murder at the Old Bailey. He has been ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years. Kevron Williams, 17, was sentenced to four years for attempting to cause grievous bodily harm during the attack. Judge Brian Barker said: "The public have every right to be concerned about the growth of this sort of violence. It is a tragedy that this sort of triviality caused such a young man to lose his life and (it) has caused enduring heartache to his friends and family." Outside court Martin's mother Lorraine said: "The pain that Martin's death has caused for our family is indescribable. We as a family will never make sense of the unnecessary suffering that was inflicted upon Martin." She added: "Life will never be the same, a piece of our heart has been taken."

Hat tip, Django!

Related story

Politically correct child molester

A pediatrician who believed that poorly performing students are not lazy or dumb, but instead need to be educated in a different way turns out to have been been sexually abusing his boy patients for decades.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

South African government says it is extremely concerned by threats by some ruling party supporters to make the country ungovernable

Supporters of African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma have threatened unrest if he is jailed for corruption. Zuma is charged with corruption, money-laundering and racketeering in connection with an arms deal. Supporters of Zuma, who denies the charges, have repeatedly made threats of unrest, and some have said they are prepared to kill for the ANC leader. ANC Youth League President Julius Malema said in June: "If these people think we are only prepared to die for him, we are prepared to take up arms and kill for Zuma."

Microcephalics forced to beg on Pakistan's streets

Outside a Muslim shrine in this dusty Pakistani city, a "rat woman" with a tiny head sits on a filthy mattress and takes money from worshippers who cling to an ancient fertility rite. Nadia, 25, is one of hundreds of young microcephalics -- people born with small skulls and protruding noses and ears because of a genetic mutation -- who can be found on the streets of Gujrat, in central Punjab province. Officials say many of them have been sold off by their families to begging mafias, who exploit a tradition that the "rat children" are sacred offerings to Shah Daula, the shrine's 17th century Sufi saint. "These are God's children. We are proud to look after her," said Ijaz Hussain, the shrine's government-employed custodian, as Nadia shrieked unintelligibly and put coins in a battered wooden box at her side. According to local legend, infertile women who pray at Shah Daula's shrine will be granted children, but at a terrible price. The first child will be born microcephalic and must be given to the shrine, or else any further children will have the same deformity. Hussain said Nadia was just a young child when she was dumped at the shrine 20 years ago in the dead of the night. Her parents were never traced, he says. Pakistan's government says it has tried to crack down on exploitation of the "chuhas" (Urdu for rats) and says it plans to set up a shelter in Gujrat to rehabilitate them. The shrine stopped officially accepting microcephalics in the 1960s when the government took over the site. But not only does it still keep Nadia at its gate, the town's beggar masters also keep the superstition alive. The high incidence of microcephalics in Gujrat, an industrial city of around one million people, has long been a bone of contention. The popular belief among many Pakistanis -- that cruel beggar gangs clamp the children's heads in infancy -- is strongly denied by government and advocacy groups, who say there is no evidence to support this. Recent medical studies say the most likely cause is that the normally rare recessive genes behind many microcephaly cases crop up with greater frequency because of the common custom of marrying cousins in Pakistan.

Immigration and biological differences

Hibernia Girl points out that we must take into account biology and genetics when we are formulating immigration policy.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Jailed

Inmate No. 25330, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, will be treated the same way as any other prisoner in the Wayne County Jail, said Wayne County Police Chief Warren Evans. Judge Ronald Giles sent Kilpatrick to Wayne County Jail for failing to notify the court of his trip to Canada and violating the terms of his bond. Despite Kilpatrick's humble apologies to the court beforehand, Giles said he needed to treat Kilpatrick as an ordinary citizen and sent him immediately to jail. Giles revoked Kilpatrick's bond and suspended all travel. "What matters to me though is how the court overall is perceived and how if it was not Kwame Kilpatrick sitting in that seat, if it was John Six-Pack sitting in that seat, what would I do? And that answer is simple," he said.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Israel accused of discrimination after ending Ethiopian immigration

The move evoked a furious reaction from leaders of the 120,000-strong Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel, who said the "discrimination" and "prejudice" of the Israeli government would strand thousands of people in Africa and thwart family reunifications. Government spokesman Mark Regev said the step "will enable us to focus more effectively and invest resources on the successful integration of Ethiopian immigrants". He added that the government was abiding by a cabinet decision in 2003 to bring to Israel a total of 17,000 Ethiopians, known as falash mura, who are descendants of Ethiopian Jews who converted to Christianity but who consider themselves Jewish. In accordance with the quota, the falash mura have been flown to Israel at a rate of about three hundred a month since 2003. Israel mounted major operations – codenamed Moses and Solomon – to bring thousands of Ethiopian Jews to the country in 1984 and 1991, depicting the immigration as fulfilment of the biblical prophecy of a gathering of Jewish exiles to Zion. But the Ethiopian community of about 120,000 immigrants and their descendants is the poorest sector of the Israeli Jewish population and is beset by unemployment and school drop-out rates. In an affirmative action to make up for their impoverished background the government has underwritten their mortgages. Ethiopian Jewish groups in Israel say there are still about 8,000 falash mura in Gondar, Ethiopia, seeking to move to Israel. "It is inconceivable that the descendants of Jews and Jews, who need to emigrate, should have the door shut on them," said Danny Kasahon, director of a coalition of Ethiopian lobbying groups. "There are many families here who have parents or children in Ethiopia waiting to come to Israel. This is discrimination. It cannot be defined by any other word. It could be based on prejudice." Mr Regev denied the charge and said there could still be family reunifications "on a case by case basis", but added that "collective mass immigration is behind us."

Devout Muslims are importing creationist theories into science and are not being challenged because of political correctness

Professor Richard Dawkins argued that as a result teachers were promoting the mythology of creationism over the science of evolution. Professor Dawkins, a geneticist and author of the best-selling book The God Delusion, said: 'Islam is importing creationism into this country. Most devout Muslims are creationists - so when you go to schools, there are a large number of children of Islamic parents who trot out what they have been taught. Teachers are bending over backwards to respect home prejudices that children have been brought up with. The Government could do more but it doesn't want to because it is fanatical about multiculturalism and the need to respect the different traditions from which these children come. The Government - particularly under Tony Blair - thinks it is wonderful to have children brought up with their traditional religions. I call it brainwashing.' He added: 'It seems as though teachers are terribly frightened of being thought racist. It's almost impossible to say anything against Islam in this country because if you do you are accused of being racist or Islamophobic.'

African-American girls using marijuana are more likely to engage in risky sexual acts and contract sexually transmitted disease

Emory University researchers analysed marijuana use and self-reported sexual behaviour of 439 sexually active African-American females between the ages of 15 and 21. They found that girls who took marijuana had significantly higher rates of STDs than non-marijuana users (32% compared to 23%). Marijuana users also had more sex partners, riskier sex partners, including a partner just released from jail, and more recent episodes of engaging in vaginal sex. 'While adolescent African-American females remain a high-risk group for STDs, little research has examined their marijuana use, sexual behaviours and incidence of STD infection,' said study co-author Ralph DiClemente, professor of public health at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. 'Although no differences in condom use were identified between marijuana users and non-users, results suggest that marijuana users are engaging in sexual acts with riskier partners and under riskier circumstances, and had higher rates of STDs,' DiClemente said.

Is Belgium the most successful failed state of all time?

Will French-speaking Wallonia and Dutch-speaking Flanders finally call it quits?

Chinese immigrants and Islam

Was Vince Weiguang Li, the Chinese immigrant Greyhound Bus Killer, a Muslim?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Religion and disease

Do countries with more diseases have more religions, presumably due to some kind of selection against out-group contact?

McCain is getting to Obama

Pat Buchanan on how the McCain campaign is getting Obama to screw up.

Soldiers have been deployed throughout Italy to fight violent crime committed by illegal immigrants

By the time it is fully effective, the effort will flank regular police officers and the military police with 3,000 troops, a visible signal to citizens that the government “has responded to their demands for greater security,” Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said in an interview on the Italian Sky News channel. The conservative government of Silvio Berlusconi won elections in April 2008 while promising to crack down on crime and illegal immigration. The new patrols of soldiers, who are not empowered to make arrests, do not seem aimed only at illegal immigrants, though the patrols were deployed to centers where illegal immigrants are housed.

Hat tip, Randall Parker!

Mixed race adolescents are more likely to engage in risky behaviors

The risky behaviors of mixed race adolescents.

A Nigerian woman caused uproar in court when she pulled two fingers from her handbag claiming they had belonged to one of her six children

Remi Fakorede, who was convicted of a £925,000 tax credit fraud, told London's Snaresbrook Crown court they had fallen off following a curse. She said the same voodoo curse had caused her to participate in the fraud. The 46-year-old from Hackney was convicted of fraud committed between 1 August 2002 and 26 June 2007. When the child's fingers were produced, one juror burst into tears while the judge immediately adjourned the case for the rest of the day. Reporting of the incident, which happened during the trial, was only lifted once the guilty verdict was returned. Police were called to the court and took a statement from the Nigerian-born defendant. Social Services and the Child Protection Agency were also contacted. Although it is understood one of her children had lost part of her hand after suffering renal problems and developing gangrene, DNA test results are now awaited to determine who the body parts belonged to. Fakorede was convicted of one count of fraud totalling £925,933, while one of her daughters, 21-year-old Denise Shofolawe-Coker, was found guilty of laundering £70,000 of the stolen money. Remanding them in custody Judge Jacqueline Beech warned the pair they faced "inevitable" imprisonment for their "breathtaking" dishonesty. Lifting the reporting ban on the earlier "fingers" incident, the judge said it must have been "unpleasant" for the jury, and added: "I have never experienced anything as horrific as this." The court heard Fakorede, who holds joint Nigerian and British citizenship, invented 20 aliases to make 39 false tax credit claims over a five-year period. She was found out when she then tried to claim childcare as well. Fakorede blamed the fraud on unknown "forces of darkness", who she said had placed a "voodoo" curse on her family. She then produced the fingers as evidence, saying the magic was so strong it caused one of her children to lose them.

Religion, race and segregation

Only about 5% of the nation's churches are racially integrated, and half of them are in the process of becoming all-black or all-white.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Black Americans are seven times more likely to be infected with HIV/AIDS than whites

New estimates show that least 56,000 people become infected with the AIDS virus every year in the United States - 40% more than previous calculations, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The CDC stressed that actual infection rates have not risen but said better methods of measuring newly diagnosed infections and extrapolating these to the general population led to the higher estimates. "CDC's first estimates from this system reveal that the HIV epidemic is - and has been - worse than previously known. Results indicate that approximately 56,300 new HIV infections occurred in the United States in 2006," the CDC said in a statement. "This figure is roughly 40% higher than CDC's former estimate of 40,000 infections per year, which was based on limited data and less precise methods." The CDC said the epidemic has been stable since the late 1990s, "though the number of new HIV infections remains unacceptably high. The analysis shows that new infections peaked in the mid-1980s at approximately 130,000 infections per year and reached a low of about 50,000 in the early 1990s," it said. Dr. Kevin Fenton, who heads the CDC's AIDS branch, said 15,000 to 18,000 Americans die every year of AIDS. "The data really confirm that there is a severe impact of this epidemic among gay and bisexual men in the United States ... as well as black men and women," Fenton said in a telephone interview. The numbers, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, confirm that black Americans are seven times more likely to be infected than whites.

Patients being treated for tuberculosis (TB) may not get the full benefits from HIV therapy, researchers say

Nevirapine - a cheap antiretroviral drug used to treat HIV in developing countries - did not work as well in patients also on TB treatment. Around 40% of HIV patients in the South African study were also treated for TB. In poorer countries, antiretroviral therapy is often initiated in TB clinics, because TB is an infection common in HIV patients. Nevirapine is a common choice because of its cost and can be used in women of child-bearing age. Researchers looked at almost 4,000 patients who started antiretroviral therapy between 2001 and 2006. The researchers found that patients with tuberculosis who were also treated with nevirapine were about twice as likely to have a high viral load - that is high levels of HIV in their system - as those without tuberculosis. And patients being treated with nevirapine with TB therapy were more than twice as likely to develop speedy virological failure - where the drugs are not working.

Residents of Uganda's capital, Kampala, have expressed shock at the arrest of two men believed to have been passing off dog meat as goat

Hundreds of people went to the police station where the suspects were being held to express their anger, Uganda's state-run New Vision paper reports. One of the suspects told the paper he had not intended to sell the meat. "This is my home dog which I have been rearing. I killed it on demand of my spirits who directed me to offer its body parts to them," he was quoted as saying. The men were caught with the carcass of the dog, which had had its head and tail cut off. "We are investigating information that the suspects own a butchery in one of the city suburbs where they sell such meat," Inspector Bernard Otim said.

More effort is needed to spread HIV/AIDS prevention information among African men and women living in Britain, claim researchers

A survey conducted by the University of Portsmouth revealed commonly-held false beliefs about HIV infection. Approximately half a million Africans live in Britain, according to the 2001 Census, and the Health Protection Agency estimates that 25,000 - one in 20 of them - are infected with HIV, including many who do not realise they have the virus. Specialists have suggested that some of the cultural beliefs common in sub-Saharan Africa, which have contributed to HIV spread there, are also strong in expatriate Africans. The survey of 4,000 African men and women supports this to some extent. More than a third of people who said they had no reason to suspect they had HIV said they had no control over whether or not they became infected, and among those with diagnosed HIV, a quarter said they lacked the ability to make sure they did not pass it to their partners. Many of those questioned said they did not want to use condoms, and many of those who reported using condoms, said that they had torn or slipped during sex. Whilst the vast majority of those questioned knew that HIV could be transmitted through sex and intravenous drug use, one in five did not know about anti-retroviral drugs, and one in three were not aware that the earlier they were taken, the more effective they were likely to be.

The forbidden debate in Denmark

Why has Danish immigration policy never have been subjected to a referendum?

Immigration and racism in Ireland

Is it racist to be concerned about out-of-control mass-immigration? Also exactly how many Muslims in Ireland are native Irish?

Barack Obama's ideological core

Is Barack Obama really a post-racial, post-ideological, bipartisan, culture-war-shunning politician?

Friday, August 1, 2008

A 16-year-old Kenyan boy is being treated in hospital after losing part of his penis in a circumcision ritual

He suffered the accident during the Luhya people's circumcision festival in western Kenya when the circumciser's knife slipped. Reporters say traditional circumcision often comes in for criticism because of the health risks but is a longstanding part of the Luhya culture. Doctors say he is in a stable condition but may require reconstructive surgery.

Immigrants and resistant TB in Ireland

Up to 22 patients diagnosed with tuberculosis in Ireland annually have a form of the disease resistant to at least one front line drug, according to a new report. It also noted the first case of a potentially lethal strain - XDR-TB - which is resistant to three or more of the main drugs used to treat the disease. The report from the disease watchdog, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre contains a range of recommendations for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB, which has seen a resurgence in Europe. Ireland is 15th in a table of 27 EU countries for TB occurrence - it is lowest in Cyprus and highest in Slovenia. "Since 1998 the number of foreign-born cases has tripled while Irish-born case numbers have declined overall," said the report. It found that in 2005 the crude rate of TB in the home-grown population was 8.3 per 100,000 and 24.8 per 100,000 in the foreign born. Of those born outside Ireland, 42% were born in Asia and 22.4% in Africa. It suggested all new entrants to Ireland who originate from a country with a high incidence of TB should be screened for the disease.

Hat tip, Hibernia Girl!

Black governor cries racism

David Paterson, who became New York's first black governor following the resignation of Eliot Spitzer, is lashing out at the press for describing him as an "accidental governor," implying in a speech that the term's frequent usage was motivated by racial bias.

Two out of five male South African students say they have been raped

Two out of five male South African students say they have been raped, according to a study suggesting that sexual abuse of boys is endemic in the country's schools. The survey published in BioMed Central's International Journal for Equity in Health showed that boys were most frequently assaulted by adult women, followed closely by other schoolchildren. "This study uncovers endemic sexual abuse of male children that was suspected but hitherto only poorly documented," Neil Andersson and Ari Ho-Foster of The Centre for Tropical Disease Research in Johannesburg wrote. The findings underscore the need to raise awareness about the rape of male children and they urged further efforts to prevent sexual violence in South Africa, the researchers said. Another problem is that the prevalence of rape is hampering efforts to combat AIDS in a country at the epicentre of the global pandemic. "There is increasing recognition of links between sexual abuse and high-risk attitudes to sexual violence and HIV risk," the researchers wrote. "Sexually abused children are also more likely to engage in HIV high-risk behaviour." The survey carried out in 1,200 schools across the country asked 127,000 boys aged between 10 and 19 if they had ever been sexually abused and, if so, by whom. 44% of the 18-year-olds said they had been forced to have sex in their lives and half reported consensual sex. About a third said they had been abused by males, 41% by females and 27% said they had been raped by both males and females. The study did not look at the number of girls who were raped. Abuse by fellow males was more common in rural areas while attacks by women happened mainly in cities, the study found.

Obama is beating McCain among black voters 94 to 1

Pat Buchanan asks what reason - other than race - explains how Obama rolled up 90-10 margins among black voters while running against Hillary Clinton?

James Taranto takes issue with Obama's so-called postracialism.