Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chicago Rabbi Larry Dudovitz has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2006

Dudovitz, 45, is being held on $100,000 bail. Dudovitz, who is also known by his Hebrew name Aryeh, is a follower of the late Chabad leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson and was formerly a rabbi at the Chabad House of Northwest Indiana. But a spokesperson for a Chabad rabbinic association in Illinois said that Dudovitz has had no official role in the movement since he arrived in Chicago. According to authorities, the alleged assault occurred at the victim’s home on October 26, 2006 in the West Rogers Park neighborhood.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The local authorities in the western state of Rakhine in Myanmar have imposed a two-child limit for Muslim Rohingya families, a policy that does not apply to Buddhists in the area and comes amid accusations of ethnic cleansing during earlier sectarian violence

Officials have said that the new measure would be applied to two Rakhine townships that border Bangladesh and that have the highest Muslim populations in the state. The unusual order makes Myanmar perhaps the only country in the world to impose such a restriction on a religious group, and it is likely to fuel further criticism that Muslims are being discriminated against in the Buddhist-majority country. It was unclear how the local government would enforce the rule, and the announcement could be as much about playing to the country’s Buddhist majority as about actual policy. It was also unclear what effect the new limits would have; there have already been restrictions on Rohingyas marrying, which analysts said were meant to decrease the birthrate. A spokesman for Rakhine State, Win Myaing, said that the new program was meant to stem rapid population growth in the Muslim community, which a government-appointed commission identified as one of the causes of the sectarian violence. Although Muslims are the majority in the two townships in which the new policy applies, they account for only about 4% of Myanmar’s roughly 60 million people. The measure was enacted after the commission recommended family planning programs to stem population growth among Muslims, Win Myaing said. “Overpopulation is one of the causes of tension,” he said. The policy will not apply yet to other parts of Rakhine State, which have smaller Muslim populations. The central government has not made any statement about the two-child policy, which was introduced at a local level. A new wave of sectarian violence in Myanmar first flared nearly a year ago in Rakhine State between the region’s Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya. Mobs of Buddhists armed with machetes razed thousands of Muslim homes, leaving hundreds of people dead and forcing 125,000 to flee, mostly Muslims. Human Rights Watch has accused the authorities in Rakhine of fomenting an organized campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against the Rohingya. Since then, violence against Muslims has erupted in a few other parts of the country. Containing the strife has posed a serious challenge to Thein Sein’s government as it tries to make democratic reforms. It has also tarnished the image of opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been criticized for failing to speak out strongly in defense of Muslims.

A new study shows there is a gender gap when it comes to behavior and self-control in American young children - one that does not appear to exist in children in Asia

In the United States, girls had higher levels of self-regulation than boys. Self-regulation is defined as children's ability to control their behavior and impulses, follow directions, and persist on a task. It has been linked to academic performance and college completion, in past studies by Oregon State University researchers. In three Asian countries, the gender gap in the United States was not found when researchers directly assessed the self-regulation of 3-6 year olds. "These findings suggest that although we often expect girls to be more self-regulated than boys, this may not be the case for Asian children," said Shannon Wanless, lead author of the study. Wanless began conducting the research during her doctoral studies at Oregon State University under Megan McClelland, an associate professor in OSU's Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families. Wanless is now on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. One interesting part of the researcher's findings: Although there were no gender differences in self-regulation when the children were directly assessed using a variety of school-readiness tasks, teachers in Asia perceived girls as performing better on self-regulation even when they actually performed equally to boys. "Teachers are rating children's behavior in the classroom environment, which has a lot of distractions and is very stimulating," Wanless said. "It is possible that boys in the Asian countries were able to self-regulate as well as girls when they were in a quiet space (the direct assessment), but were not able to regulate themselves as well in a bustling classroom environment (teacher ratings)." In addition, McClelland said cultural expectations of girls' behavior versus that of their male peers may be influencing teachers' assessments. "In general, there is more tolerance for active play in boys than in girls," McClelland said. "Girls are expected to be quiet and not make a fuss. This expectation may be coloring some teachers' perceptions." The researchers conducted assessments with 814 children in the United States, Taiwan, South Korea and China. Their study showed that U.S. girls had significantly higher self-regulation than boys, but there were no significant gender differences in any Asian societies. In addition, for both genders, directly assessed and teacher-rated self-regulation were related to many aspects of school readiness in all societies for girls and boys. "We know from previous research that many Asian children outperform American children in academic achievement," McClelland said. "Increasingly, we are seeing that there is also a gap when it comes to their ability to control their behavior and persist with tasks." Wanless said that this study paves the way for future research to explore why there is such a large gender gap in the United States, and what can be learned from Asian schools. "In our study, self-regulation was good for academic achievement for boys and girls," Wanless said. "That means this skill is important for both genders and we should be supporting self-regulatory development for all children, especially boys. Low self-regulation in preschool has been linked to difficulties in adulthood, so increased focused on supporting young boys' development can have long-term positive benefits." The researchers seem to have ignored the possibility that the behavioral differences might have a biological/genetic/racial basis. For example, there are fewer black students in Taiwan, South Korea and China than there are in the United States which may be partially responsible for the behavioral differences.

A new study finds that compared with Europeans or Americans, Inuit living in Greenland have high mean values of subcutaneous fat, which is thought to represent a more favorable pattern of adiposity

This may help explain why Inuit appear to have better cardiovascular risk profiles than other populations, even when they are obese, researchers say. At the same time, however, the Inuit have levels of visceral fat similar to those in other populations. Visceral fat is known to be linked to adverse metabolic outcomes, and this, together with the high rate of obesity seen among Inuit, might explain why rates of type 2 diabetes are elevated in this population, say the researchers. "Diabetes is a complex disease… The rapid growth in obesity and a possible susceptibility to [developing] diabetes due to a relative insulin deficiency means that diabetes is a major health problem in Greenland, even if the Inuit may be protected [by] a favorable fat distribution," lead author Marit Eika Jørgensen, MD, PhD, from the Steno Diabetes Center, in Gentofte, Denmark, said. The current findings improve knowledge of the mechanisms leading to diabetes in this Arctic population, she said, "and may contribute to our understanding of the north-south gradient in diabetes" in general. For various age groups, the prevalence of diabetes among the Greenland Inuit is approximately 50% higher than in the general Danish population, according to Jørgensen. Among these Inuit, increasing levels of obesity are linked with worse levels of metabolic risk factors (such as cholesterol and blood pressure), but to a lesser extent than is seen among Europeans. These population-level differences might be due to differences in the pattern of fat distribution, the researchers hypothesized. To investigate this, they conducted a cross-sectional analysis among 3108 adult Inuit living in 22 towns and villages in Greenland from 2005 to 2010, who had a mean age of 44 years (range, 18 – 95), of whom 56% were women. The participants received a standard 75-g oral glucose-tolerance test. Visceral and subcutaneous fat were measured by ultrasound. Nine percent had type 2 diabetes, and 79% of these cases were newly diagnosed. Visceral fat was associated with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, independent of body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference, whereas there was a trend toward no association or an inverse association between subcutaneous fat and these measures of glucose metabolism. The large waist sizes in the Inuit population — a mean waist of 91 cm in men and 90 cm in women — were largely due to subcutaneous fat. "We don’t know the exact mechanism behind this pattern of fat distribution among Inuit, but it is suggested that subcutaneous fat deposition could be a useful adaptation to cold," Jørgensen explained. Ethnic differences in fat distribution may partly explain why the risk of diabetes or cardiovascular disease associated with a certain level of obesity differs in various populations, she added.

Chicago: A black man has been charged with killing a 6-month-old girl whose death earlier in 2013 brought attention to gang violence on the city's South Side

Koman Willis, 34, is accused of killing the baby, who was shot on March 11, 2013 while sitting in her father's lap in a minivan. Police say that the baby's father, Jonathan Watkins, was the intended target of the attack. Willis is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Watkins, who has a lengthy criminal record, was seriously wounded in the shooting. Chicago police devoted large numbers of resources to finding a suspect in the shooting, which happened in the middle of the day in the city's Woodlawn neighborhood. In March 2013, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy had said that Watkins was cooperating with the investigation but that there was "a lot more" help he could provide. At the girl's funeral, several people lamented the "code of silence" that keeps some residents from reporting crimes, cooperating with authorities or even fingering members of rival gangs who have targeted them. Religious leaders speaking at the funeral service implored those in attendance to transform gang-riven neighborhoods. The shooting came just weeks after a 15-year-old honors student was gunned down on a South Side street in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

Researchers have found that women who had more cortisol were seen as less attractive and those with less cortisol were seen as more attractive

Cortisol, the hormone associated with stress, is secreted by the adrenal glands and is involved in regulation of blood pressure, immune function, and inflammatory response, among other things.

Research from Michigan State University finds that ample practice might not be enough to explain differing skill levels in activities like chess and music

Recent research from Michigan State University, led by David Z. Hambrick, associate professor of psychology, debunks the old adage "practice makes perfect." Focusing on two widely-studied activities - chess and music - Hambrick's team found that abundant amounts of practice in these areas were not enough to explain differing skill levels in individuals. Of his findings, Hambrick said, "The deliberate practice view has since gained popularity as a theoretical account of expert performance, but here we show that deliberate practice is not sufficient to explain individual differences in performance in the two most widely studied domains in expertise research-chess and music." Examining the long-held theory that performance reflects a long practice period, Hambrick and colleagues analyzed 14 studies of chess players and musicians, with practice accounting for about one-third of the difference in skill. Hambrick explained that factors such as intelligence, innate ability, and the age at which a person begins an activity could account for differences in skill level. Essentially, practice alone might not be enough. Following up from his previous 2011 study, co-authored with Elizabeth Meinz, Hambrick proposed the theory of working memory capacity (wmc) - closely related to general intelligence - as the ability to store and process information at the same time. Following a series of piano sight-reading studies, Hambrick found that individuals possessing higher levels of wmc outperformed individuals with lower levels. "While the specialized knowledge that accumulates through practice is the most important ingredient to reach a very high level of skill, it's not always sufficient," said Hambrick. Hambrick and colleagues don't deny the importance of practice to hone a particular skill or craft. But, he said, "we think that for certain types of tasks, basic abilities and capacities - ones that are general, stable across time, and substantially heritable - play an important role in skilled performance." These basic capacities, Hambrick believes, comprise talent. Hambrick and colleagues concluded that individuals have their own aptitudes and could benefit from being guided in the direction that's best suited for them. In other words: not everyone is equally skilled at every task; we each have our own unique talents. Does this mean that limitations cannot be overcome with diligent practice? According to Hambrick, no matter how many hours you clock in, mastery may come down to what you were born with or developed very early in life. Practice, according to Hambrick, helps once you've been steered in a direction where you have a realistic chance of becoming an expert.

The New York Times still sees black thug Trayvon Martin as a victim

Trayvon Martin is not the victim, but the attacker. He made a vicious, murderous attack on George Zimmerman and he was sitting on Zimmerman's chest pounding on him when Zimmerman fired in self-defense. Martin's body had injuries to the knuckles and Zimmerman was battered and bloody. So it's not Trayvon who's the victim, it's Zimmerman: victim of the attack, victim of malicious false prosecution and finally victim of the New York Times's biased coverage.

About 15% of Sweden’s 9.5 million people are foreign-born

Immigrant riots in Stockholm show why you want to have as few foreigners in your country as possible.

Mother Jones says that the GOP food stamps proposal would discriminate against African-Americans in banning convicted murderers, rapists and pedophiles from getting food stamps

Maybe if blacks spent more time looking for work and less time committing crimes then fewer African-Americans would be on food stamps in the first place?

Bronx: A black Spanish teacher claims that she was fired after teaching the word for the color black - "negro" - and a student misinterpreted her lesson as a racial slur

Petrona Smith, 65, was a non-tenured teacher at the bilingual school PS 211 until March 2012, when she was fired after a student complained of being called "negro" and "a failure." But Smith, who is black and a native of the West Indies, said that the student misunderstood her meaning: she was using the word "negro," the word for the color black in Spanish, not an outmoded reference to an person of African descent. “They haven’t even accounted for how absurd it is for someone who’s black to be using a racial slur to a student,” Shaun Reid, Smith’s attorney, said. “Talk about context! There’s a lot of things wrong here.” In court papers, Smith said that she was teaching students how to say different colors, and even explained that the a black person in Spanish is called "moreno," not "negro." She also said that she asked students who had failed a test to move to the back of the class, but had never called them failures. Smith detailed the abuse that she claims she often suffered at the hands of her students, who, according to her claims filed in court, called her "f***ing monkey," "cockroach" and "n****r." Smith said that she had always risen above their insults. The investigation leading to her termination relied on the word of four 7th-grade students, even though one of the student's parents admitted he had lied. Smith, who has been unable to to find work since she was fired, has sued for wrongful termination.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A recent study has found telltale biological markers of schizophrenia in people's noses

A reliable test for the disorder — which is believed to afflict 1 in 100 people — has long been a holy grail for psychiatrists, who lack a safe way to sample the living brain tissue. As it turns out, the olfactory epithelium, which contains neurons and their stem cells, offers a window into the central nervous system — and thus access to physical indicators of the disease. Researchers who biopsied nasal tissue in 38 individuals found that, on average, the subset of 20 who met the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia had more of a key genetic regulator, miR-382, than did the 18 normal volunteers. The genetic difference wasn't present in all the schizophrenic participants, but because their diagnoses were based on standard clinical assessments, without biological confirmation, it's conceivable that some of them suffer from a different disease altogether. A catalog of biological correlates could make the diagnosis of mental illness much more precise and may someday replace the bloated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The newest edition of this bible of psychic malady is nearly 1,000 pages. To its detractors, the biblical metaphor, with its overtones of theology and prophetic logorrhea, is all too apt. Olfactory impairment is common not just in people with schizophrenia but in those at risk for it. So it makes sense that physicians may one day look into a patient's nose — rather than into a book — to diagnose the disorder.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

In France, between 60% and 70% of prison inmates are Muslims, mostly from North or West Africa, although they make up only 12% of the total French population

In Spain, Muslims account for 70% of prison inmates but only 2.3% of the total Spanish population. In Belgium, Muslims make up 45% of prison inmates.

A uniformed French soldier has been stabbed near Paris while on patrol, prompting speculation that it may have been a copycat attack of the recent London soldier slaying

The attacker is thought to be North African, and was wearing a robe and Muslim prayer cap. He attacked the soldier, 23, from behind, stabbing him in the neck with a knife or box-cutter. The soldier reportedly lost a lot of blood, but is alive in hospital. The attacker remains at large. "The aim was to kill the soldier because he was a soldier," said the French defense minister adding that the attacker wanted "to kill a soldier who is in charge of French security." Authorities are investigating any possible links with the London attack.

A Hispanic wanted for 13 years on attempted murder charges in Los Angeles has been captured in Colorado after someone called police to report that he was urinating on a wall outside a KFC restaurant

Miguel Sanchez, 59, initially gave officers a false name when he was arrested, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department. After he was fingerprinted, police discovered his identity and that he had a $2 million warrant in California; he is accused of stabbing someone multiple times after an argument in 2000, then stabbing a second person before running away. "Kentucky Fried Chicken called and said he was peeing on the wall," said Colorado Springs police Lt. Dan Lofgren. "On the run for 13 years, and then they get caught for being stupid."

Ethnic background plays a surprisingly large role in how diabetes develops on a cellular level, according to two new studies led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine

The researchers reanalyzed disease data to demonstrate that the physiological pathways to diabetes vary between Africa and East Asia and that those differences are reflected in part by genetic differences. "We have new insights into the differences in diabetes across the world, just by this new perspective applied to older studies," said Atul Butte, MD, PhD, senior author of the studies and chief of the Division of Systems Medicine and associate professor of pediatrics and of genetics. "There's more still to learn about diabetes than we knew." The early stages of type-2 diabetes, or adult-onset diabetes, can develop when the pancreas has problems creating sufficient insulin, a hormone critical for regulating blood sugar, or when the body's cells have trouble responding to insulin, a condition called "insulin resistance." Both problems will lead to the same result: too much sugar in a person's blood stream, which is the main criterion for diagnosing diabetes. Diabetics develop both low insulin secretion and insulin resistance as the disease progresses. In the study, the researchers started by studying genome information of more than 1,000 people in 51 populations from around the world. These individuals were from indigenous populations, representing the earliest groups of humans at various locations. Lead author and former graduate student in Butte's lab, Erik Corona, PhD, studied more than 100 diseases searching for genetic differences in risk across these native populations, and found a clear geographic pattern in the genetics behind type-2 diabetes. The genetic risk is highest for Africans and drops along the trajectory the first humans took when migrating out of Africa toward East Asia (primarily Japan, China and Korea), where diabetes-linked genes appear to be more protective. Based solely on what is currently known about type-2 diabetes genetics, native Africans would appear to be at higher risk for diabetes, while East Asians would appear to be protected. But East Asians are not necessarily at lower risk of diabetes than Africans. Butte pointed out that "East Asians definitely get diabetes. What we would argue is that diabetes may be a different disease" in East Asian populations. The genetics study's findings led Butte's team to wonder if there was clinical evidence of these differences in African and East Asian populations. For the second paper, lead author and staff engineering research associate Keiichi Kodama, MD, PhD, pulled data from more than 70 papers looking at simultaneously measured insulin secretion and insulin resistance in individuals across three different ethnic groups: Africans, whites and East Asians. They found that at baseline, Africans had higher insulin resistance but were able to compensate with higher insulin secretion. East Asians were more likely to have less insulin-secretion ability, but this was compensated by having normal insulin resistance. Whites fell between these two groups, though they were more likely to develop problems with insulin secretion. The researchers showed that because individuals from each ethnic group start at a different baseline position, they each reach diabetes in a different way: Africans through increased insulin resistance, and East Asians through lower insulin-secretion ability. "Africans are already pretty insulin resistant," Butte said. "They need their beta cells to work really hard. If their cells fail, that's how they head toward diabetes." East Asians, in contrast, "don't have a lot of spare capacity to secrete more insulin." Butte notes that a shift in how clinicians think about diabetes could lead to more targeted therapies, much as how thinking about cancer has evolved over the past 10 years, leading to new treatments. "Other fields of medicine have undergone a radical rethinking in disease taxonomy, but this has not happened yet for diabetes, one of the world's public health menaces," he said. "If these are separate diseases at a molecular level, we need to try to understand that."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

From 2006 to 2010, the number of white prisoners doing time for violent crimes fell 1.0%, the number of blacks rose 5.3% and the number of Hispanics jumped 22.3%

Hispanics accounted for about 95% of the increase in prisoners sentenced for violent crimes over this period. Only 16.3% of the U.S. population was Hispanic in 2010. The number of prisoners doing time for murder declined 1.1% from 2006 to 2010. White prisoners fell by 7.8%, Blacks rose 0.3% and the number of Hispanic prisoners rose a whopping 19.7%.

Joe Biden points out that Jews have promoted immigration, civil rights, feminism and gay marriage

Being a left wing lunatic, Biden actually thinks that this is a good thing.

The first symptoms of major depression may be behavioral, but the common mental illness is based in biology - and not limited to the brain

In recent years some studies have linked major, long-term depression with life-threatening chronic disease and with earlier death, even after lifestyle risk factors have been taken into account. Now a research team led by Owen Wolkowitz, MD, professor of psychiatry at UC San Francisco, has found that within cells of the immune system, activity of an enzyme called telomerase is greater, on average, in untreated individuals with major depression. Telomerase is an enzyme that lengthens protective end caps on the chromosomes' DNA, called telomeres. Shortened telomeres have been associated with earlier death and with chronic diseases in population studies. The heightened telomerase activity in untreated major depression might represent the body's attempt to fight back against the progression of disease, in order to prevent biological damage in long-depressed individuals, Wolkowitz said. The researchers made another discovery that may suggest a protective role for telomerase. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), they found that, in untreated, depressed study participants, the size of the hippocampus, a brain structure that is critical for learning and memory, was associated with the amount of telomerase activity measured in the white blood cells. Such an association at a single point in time cannot be used to conclude that there is a cause-and-effect relationship with telomerase helping to protect the hippocampus, but it is plausible, Wolkowitz said. Remarkably, the researchers also found that the enzyme's activity went up when some patients began taking an antidepressant. In fact, depressed participants with lower telomerase activity at baseline - as well as those in whom enzyme activity increased the most with treatment - were the most likely to become less depressed with treatment. "Our results are consistent with the beneficial effect of telomerase when it is boosted in animal studies, where it has been associated with the growth of new nerve cells in the hippocampus and with antidepressant-like effects, evidenced by increased exploratory behavior," Wolkowitz said. The researchers also measured telomere length in the same immune cells. Only very chronically depressed individuals showed telomere shortening, Wolkowitz said. "The longer people had been depressed, the shorter their telomeres were," he said. "Shortened telomere length has been previously demonstrated in major depression in most, but not all, studies that have examined it. The duration of depression may be a critical factor." The 20 depressed participants enrolled in the study had been untreated for at least six weeks and had an average lifetime duration of depression of about 13 years. After baseline evaluation and laboratory measures, 16 of the depressed participants were treated with sertraline, a member of the most popular class of anti-depressants, the serotonin-selective-reuptake-inhibitors (SSRIs), and then evaluated again after eight weeks. There were 20 healthy participants who served as controls. Wolkowitz's team also studies chronic inflammation and the biochemical phenomenon of oxidative stress, which he said have often been reported in major depression. Wolkowitz is exploring the hypothesis that inflammation and oxidative stress play a role in telomere shortening and accelerated aging in depression. "New insights into the mechanisms of these processes may well lead to new treatments - both pharmacological and behavioral - that will be distinctly different from the current generation of drugs prescribed to treat depression," he said. "Additional studies might lead to simple blood tests that can measure accelerated immune-cell aging."

A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study

This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose brains are better at automatically suppressing background motion perform better on standard measures of intelligence. The test is the first purely sensory assessment to be strongly correlated with IQ and may provide a non-verbal and culturally unbiased tool for scientists seeking to understand neural processes associated with general intelligence. "Because intelligence is such a broad construct, you can't really track it back to one part of the brain," says Duje Tadin, a senior author on the study and an assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. "But since this task is so simple and so closely linked to IQ, it may give us clues about what makes a brain more efficient, and, consequently, more intelligent." The unexpected link between IQ and motion filtering was reported by a research team lead by Tadin and Michael Melnick, a doctoral candidate in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. In the study, individuals watched brief video clips of black and white bars moving across a computer screen. Their sole task was to identify which direction the bars drifted: to the right or to the left. The bars were presented in three sizes, with the smallest version restricted to the central circle where human motion perception is known to be optimal, an area roughly the width of the thumb when the hand is extended. Participants also took a standardized intelligence test. As expected, people with higher IQ scores were faster at catching the movement of the bars when observing the smallest image. The results support prior research showing that individuals with higher IQs make simple perceptual judgments swifter and have faster reflexes. "Being 'quick witted' and 'quick on the draw' generally go hand in hand," says Melnick. But the tables turned when presented with the larger images. The higher a person's IQ, the slower they were at detecting movement. "From previous research, we expected that all participants would be worse at detecting the movement of large images, but high IQ individuals were much, much worse," says Melnick. That counter-intuitive inability to perceive large moving images is a perceptual marker for the brain's ability to suppress background motion, the authors explain. In most scenarios, background movement is less important than small moving objects in the foreground. Think about driving in a car, walking down a hall, or even just moving your eyes across the room. The background is constantly in motion. The key discovery in this study is how closely this natural filtering ability is linked to IQ. The first experiment found a 64% correlation between motion suppression and IQ scores, a much stronger relationship than other sensory measures to date. For example, research on the relationship between intelligence and color discrimination, sensitivity to pitch, and reaction times have found only a 20% to 40% correlation. "In our first experiment, the effect for motion was so strong," recalls Tadin, "that I really thought this was a fluke." So the group tried to disprove the findings from the initial 12-participant study conducted while Tadin was at Vanderbilt University working with co-author Sohee Park, a professor of psychology. They reran the experiment at the University of Rochester on a new cohort of 53 subjects, administering the full IQ test instead of an abbreviated version and the results were even stronger; correlation rose to 71%. The authors also tested for other possible explanations for their findings. For example, did the surprising link to IQ simply reflect a person's willful decision to focus on small moving images? To rule out the effect of attention, the second round of experiments randomly ordered the different image sizes and tested other types of large images that have been shown not to elicit suppression. High IQ individuals continued to be quicker on all tasks, except the ones that isolated motion suppression. The authors concluded that high IQ is associated with automatic filtering of background motion. "We know from prior research which parts of the brain are involved in visual suppression of background motion. This new link to intelligence provides a good target for looking at what is different about the neural processing, what's different about the neurochemistry, what's different about the neurotransmitters of people with different IQs," says Tadin. The relationship between IQ and motion suppression points to the fundamental cognitive processes that underlie intelligence, the authors write. The brain is bombarded by an overwhelming amount of sensory information, and its efficiency is built not only on how quickly our neural networks process these signals, but also on how good they are at suppressing less meaningful information. "Rapid processing is of little utility unless it is restricted to the most relevant information," the authors conclude. The researchers point out that this vision test could remove some of the limitations associated with standard IQ tests, which have been criticized for cultural bias. "Because the test is simple and non-verbal, it will also help researchers better understand neural processing in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities," says co-author Loisa Bennetto, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Rochester.

White tigers are only seen in zoos, but they belong in nature, say researchers reporting new evidence about what makes those tigers white

Their spectacular white coats are produced by a single change in a known pigment gene, according to the study. "The white tiger represents part of the natural genetic diversity of the tiger that is worth conserving, but is now seen only in captivity," says Shu-Jin Luo of China's Peking University. Luo, Xiao Xu, Ruiqiang Li, and their colleagues advocate a proper captive management program to maintain a healthy Bengal tiger population including both white and orange tigers. They say that it might even be worth considering the reintroduction of white tigers into their wild habitat. The researchers mapped the genomes of a family of 16 tigers living in Chimelong Safari Park, including both white and orange individuals. They then sequenced the whole genomes of each of the three parents in the family. Those genetic analyses led them to a pigment gene, called SLC45A2, which had already been associated with light coloration in modern Europeans and in a range of animals, including horses, chickens, and fish. The variant found in the white tiger primarily inhibits the synthesis of red and yellow pigments but has little to no effect on black, which explains why white tigers still show characteristic dark stripes. Historical records of white tigers on the Indian subcontinent date back to the 1500s, Luo notes, but the last known free-ranging white tiger was shot in 1958. That many white tigers were hunted as mature adults suggests that they were fit to live in the wild. It's worth considering that tigers' chief prey species, such as deer, are likely colorblind. Captive white tigers sometimes do show abnormalities, such as crossed eyes, but Luo says that any frailties are likely the responsibility of humans, who have inbred the rare tigers in captivity. With the causal gene identified, the researchers ultimately hope to explore the evolutionary forces that have maintained tigers in both orange and white varieties.

Black man butt-dials 911 while discussing murder plans

African-American Scott Simon unintentionally dialed 911 while still frothing with rage over a late-night dispute at a Waffle House in Florida. In the recording, Simon is heard saying that he intends to follow the man he was arguing with to his house and shoot him. That man, Nicholas Walker, was indeed shot and killed mere minutes later, while he was pulling his car onto I-95. Simon has been arrested over the May 5, 2013 incident, and while police don't think that he actually killed Walker, he's been charged with first-degree murder because they believe that he orchestrated the hit. "This is a first for me," a police spokesman said. "Criminals say crazy things all the time, but I've never seen anyone call a recorded line."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

African-American adults living closer to a fast food restaurant had a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who lived further away from fast food, according to researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and this association was particularly strong among those with a lower income

A new study indicates that higher BMI associates with residential proximity to a fast food restaurant, and among lower-income African-Americans, the density, or number, of fast food restaurants within two miles of the home. "According to prior research, African-Americans, particularly women, have higher rates of obesity than other ethnic groups, and the gap is growing," said study leader Lorraine Reitzel, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Health Disparities Research at MD Anderson. "The results of this study add to the literature indicating that a person's neighborhood environment and the foods that they're exposed to can contribute to a higher BMI." Reitzel said that this is an important population group for researchers to examine because of the health consequences that are associated with obesity among African-Americans including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. "We need to find the relationships and triggers that relate to this population's BMI, as they're at the greatest risk for becoming obese and developing associated health problems," said Reitzel.

Britain: A man thought to be a British soldier has been killed by Islamic terrorists in a horrific attack in broad daylight in London

The Muslim attackers filmed themselves carrying out the killing, and invited stunned bystanders to take photos and video of them posing beside their victim. There is video of one of the Islamic attackers brandishing a blood-stained machete and shouting at bystanders, as onlookers tried to help the slain man. He’s heard saying “I apologize that women had to witness this today, but in our lands women have to see the same.” Judging by the accent of the man speaking in the video, he’s either British born or has spent some years in the country, making it likely that the terrorists were “home-grown,” rather than from outside the country. One of the men said, “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.” When armed police arrived on the scene (British police officers are not routinely armed), the attackers confronted them with knives and a handgun, and both were shot and wounded. They’re now under guard at London hospitals, and it’s not known at this stage whether they acted alone or are part of a larger plot; however, it’s clear that they had no fear of being killed or captured, and may well have intended to be “martyred.” The attack took place in Woolwich in south-east London. The victim is believed to be a soldier based at the nearby Woolwich barracks, home to elements of the Royal Artillery; he was wearing a T-shirt from the charity Help for Heroes, which raises money for injured British soldiers. One witness said: “These two guys were crazed. They were just animals. They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there.” Both of the Muslim attackers were black.

Ashkenazi Jews and Familial Dysautonomia (FD)

Widely available in pharmacies and health stores, phosphatidylserine is a natural food supplement produced from beef, oysters, and soy. Proven to improve cognition and slow memory loss, it's a popular treatment for older people experiencing memory impairment. Now a team headed by Prof. Gil Ast and Dr. Ron Bochner of Tel Aviv University's Department of Human Molecular Genetics has discovered that the same supplement improves the functioning of genes involved in degenerative brain disorders, including Parkinson's disease and Familial Dysautonomia (FD). In FD, a rare genetic disorder that impacts the nervous system and appears almost exclusively in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, a genetic mutation prevents the brain from manufacturing healthy IKAP proteins - which likely have a hand in cell migration and aiding connections between nerves - leading to the early degeneration of neurons. When the supplement was applied to cells taken from FD patients, the gene function improved and an elevation in the level of IKAP protein was observed, reports Prof. Ast. These results were replicated in a second experiment which involved administering the supplement orally to mouse populations with FD. The findings are very encouraging, says Prof. Ast. "That we see such an effect on the brain - the most important organ in relation to this disease - shows that the supplement can pass through the blood-brain barrier even when administered orally, and accumulate in sufficient amounts in the brain." Already approved for use as a supplement by the FDA, phosphatidylserine contains a molecule essential for transmitting signals between nerve cells in the brain. Prof. Ast and his fellow researchers decided to test whether the same chemical, which is naturally synthesized in the body and known to boost memory capability, could impact the genetic mutation which leads to FD. Researchers applied a supplement derived from oysters, provided by the Israeli company Enzymotec, to cells collected from FD patients. Noticing a robust effect on the gene, including a jump in the production of healthy IKAP proteins, they then tested the same supplement on mouse models of FD, engineered with the same genetic mutation that causes the disease in humans. The mice received the supplement orally, every two days for a period of three months. Researchers then conducted extensive genetic testing to assess the results of the treatment. "We found a significant increase of the protein in all the tissues of the body," reports Prof. Ast, including an eight-fold increase in the liver and 1.5-fold increase in the brain. "While the food supplement does not manufacture new nerve cells, it probably delays the death of existing ones," he adds. That the supplement is able to improve conditions in the brain, even when given orally, is a significant finding, notes Prof. Ast. Most medications enter the body through the blood stream, but are incapable of breaking through the barrier between the blood and the brain. In addition, the researchers say that the supplement's positive effects extend beyond the production of IKAP. Not only did phosphatidylserine impact the gene associated with FD, but it also altered the level of a total of 2400 other genes - hundreds of which have been connected to Parkinson's disease in previous studies. The researchers believe that the supplement may have a beneficial impact on a number of degenerative diseases of the brain, concludes Prof. Ast, including a major potential for the development of new medications which would help tens of millions of people worldwide suffering from these devastating diseases.

As many as 35% of Mexican young adults may have a genetic predisposition for obesity

"The students who inherited genetic risk factors from both parents were already 15½ pounds heavier and 2 inches bigger around the waist than those who hadn't. They also had slightly higher fasting glucose levels," said Margarita Teran-Garcia, a University of Illinois professor of food science and human nutrition. In the study, 251 18- to 25-year-olds were tested for risk alleles on the FTO gene as part of the Up Amigos project, a collaboration of scientists at the U of I and the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosί. The researchers are following the 10,000 yearly applicants to the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosί to learn how changes in students' weight, body mass index (BMI), and eating and exercise habits affect their health over time. According to Teran-Garcia, the FTO gene is associated with a predisposition to obesity, increased BMI, and increased waist circumference. These traits can in turn contribute to many health-related problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Of the young adults tested in the study, 15% had inherited the genetic risk from both parents - in other words, they carried two copies of the risk allele. Another 20% had inherited risk from one parent, meaning that they had one copy of the risk allele. Sixty-five percent of the students in the study did not carry the risk allele. "If young people realize early that they have this predisposition, they can fight against it. If they are at risk for obesity, eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise is even more important for them," Teran-Garcia said. She noted that 85% of Hispanics in the United States are of Mexican origin.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Hispanic couple are headed to prison after pleading guilty to keeping a young niece in the United States illegally as a sex slave

Inez Martinez Garcia, 44, has been sentenced to a 20-year prison term. Her husband, Marcial Garcia Hernandez, 45, was given a 23-years-to-life sentence. Both pleaded guilty to multiple counts of abuse. The Latino couple coerced a relative in Mexico to send their niece to the United States illegally to live with them at their home. The couple promised that they would look after the girl, then 12, and make sure that she went to school. Instead, they forced the girl to have sex with Hernandez and other men for money. When she wasn't being sexually assaulted, they forced her to cook, clean and care for their own three children. She was held captive for 18 months. When the girl refused she was beaten and forced to eat hot peppers. The girl returned to Mexico after police freed her but returned to San Diego County to assist in the prosecution.

A black woman has been charged with trying to poison five family members after one of them refused to share some cheese with her

A statement from the Nash County Sheriff's Office said that 24-year-old Tiara Drake wanted some of a relative's cheese, but the woman refused to share and, told her to get a different kind of cheese out of the refrigerator. The sheriff's office said that Drake awakened before the rest of the family the next morning and used detergent, window cleaner, and a household cleanser to poison the cheese. The rest of the family made breakfast with the cheese and began eating it before one of them determined that it was tainted. Drake has been charged with five counts of attempted first-degree murder and jailed under $50,000 bond.

It pays to be an Islamic terrorist: Fort Hood Major shooter Nidal Hasan has collected $278,000 in salary from the military in the years since the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting that took 13 lives

The Defense Department has confirmed the payments and explains that it's powerless to stop them: The Military Code of Justice requires that the Muslim murderer Hasan receive his salary; only a guilty verdict can stop that. This is in stark contrast to the case of now-retired Army Spc. Logan Burnett, who was hit three times in the shooting and has since been fighting the Army for money. The Army labeled the shooting an incident of "workplace violence," and that has big implications: Because it's not using the label "terrorist attack" or describing wounds as "combat related," Burnett and others wounded that day don't receive the same pay and Purple Heart retirement or medical benefits as those injured in combat or in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.

Monday, May 20, 2013

White Americans are more likely to see anger in the facial expressions of Barack Obama than non-white Americans are, according to a study from the University of Arkansas

The study showed more than 100 participants – who identified as white, black, native American and Asian – a silent video of Obama's 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner speech and asked them to describe how they thought Obama was feeling based on his facial expressions. White participants were slightly more likely to assign anger to Obama, rating both his smiles and neutral displays as seven points higher on average than non-white participants out of a potential 100 points. University of Arkansas assistant professor Patrick Stewart, who co-authored the study, says that the findings weren't surprising to him. "One of the things that literature out there suggests is we are much better at decoding people within our own ethnicity and their facial displays," he says. "I wouldn't use a term like racism because all groups are 'ingroup focused,'" meaning that they favor the social group with which they identify.

Anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic sentiments are growing in many countries around the world, according to a new US State Department report

Venezuela, Egypt and Iran in particular are singled out for anti-Semitism — the report says that the Egyptian media engages in Holocaust denial and glorification, while the Iranian government regularly denounces Judaism. "Even well into the 21st Century, traditional forms of anti-Semitism, such as conspiracy theories, use of the discredited myth of 'blood libel' and cartoons demonizing Jews continued to flourish," the report says. And across Europe and Asia, discrimination against Muslims is also up, including restrictions on headscarves in schools in India and Belgium, as well as the discrimination of smaller Muslim groups by larger Islamic majorities, such as violence against Shia and Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan.

Of New Orleans homicide victims, 86.5% were male and 91.5% were black

In New Orleans, 73% of victims had a criminal history. In addition, 46% of the victims had “no gainful employment,” while 30% were of unknown employment, according to a DOJ report. Half of homicide victims were under the age of 27. Of known homicide offenders, 97% are black, and 56% were not employed, with 27% of unknown employment. Also, 83% of known suspects had criminal histories. Whites are 31% and blacks are 66% of New Orleans' population. Some sections of New Orleans have the same life expectancy as that found in sub-Saharan African nations such as Cameroon and Angola.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

In South Africa you are twice as likely to be murdered if you are a white farmer than if you are a police officer - and the police here have a particularly dangerous life

Even the BBC is beginning to notice how brutal life in post-Apartheid South Africa is for many whites.

A gay black man was gunned down in Greenwich Village by an armed Latino who hurled homophobic slurs at him

Marc Carson, 32, was walking with a friend on Sixth Avenue near West Eighth Street about midnight when they were approached by Elliot Morales, 33 and two other Hispanic males, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. One man snarled homophobic slurs at the men and asked them if they were “gay wrestlers,” Kelly said. The men continued moving and made a right onto West Eighth Street. One of the Hispanic men left and Morales and his buddy continued to follow the victim and another man. Morales pulled out a .38-caliber revolver and shot Carson once in the cheek. Carson died shortly after at Beth Israel Hospital. Morales has been charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon after being questioned by police at the Sixth Precinct. Police said that Morales, who was in possession of a fake ID, was uncooperative and refused to identify himself and refused to be fingerprinted. Morales appeared crazed and confessed to the shooting after he was arrested, a police source said. Morales had been arrested for attempted murder in 1998.

A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in the United States, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes

And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than their parents. The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life. Therefore, if you really care about immigrants, you should be against immigration.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Jewish crime: With other accusers stepping forward, a former yeshiva teacher has changed pleas in the middle of his trial, admitting that he sexually abused a boy he met while working as a camp counselor

Rabbi Yoself Kolko, 36, shifted uncomfortably on the stand as he pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sex assault, sexual assault and child endangerment. The abuse occurred from August 2008 to February 2009. It ranged from fondling to oral sex and stopped when the boy told his father, who confronted Kolko. The change in plea came after the prosecutor's office was contacted by a representative for a woman who said that she had been a victim of Kolko and a man who said that he had been a victim, Senior Assistant Prosecutor Laura Pierro said. The case may be a watershed for the prosecutor's office and the Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood, which has in the past been reluctant to bring criminal matters to civil authorities, preferring instead to handle them through rabbinical courts and senior rabbis. Kolko's bail was revoked, and he was ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation before sentencing. The plea came after only three of the prosecution's eight witnesses testified. The senior rabbi the father approached was due to testify, as were other members of the insular community who were expected to shed light on internal workings of Lakewood's Orthodox Jewish population and how such allegations were handled inside it. Prosecutors had said that the boy's family was ostracized by the Orthodox Jewish community for pursuing the case in state court. The boy's father, a prominent rabbi, lost his job and the family moved to Michigan. The boy, who was 11 and 12 when the abuse took place, in his testimony described a series of encounters with the rabbi, including molestation and oral sex. Kolko faced a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison and a $650,000 fine, but the judge said that he will likely cap one count at 15 years and run sentences on any other counts concurrently.

The black gunman who fatally shot a 21-year-old Hofstra University student, Andrea Rebello, has been identified by police as Dalton Smith, 30, of Hempstead - a known criminal who was wanted for absconding parole for robbery

Police also revealed that a warrant was put out for his arrest on April 25, 2013. He had been found guilty of robbery in the 1st degree and had an extensive criminal background going back to 1999 with multiple convictions for theft and assault. He also spent time in prison and was convicted again for handling contraband goods while behind bars. He was shot by police in an attempted robbery on Rebello, her twin and their friends. The black man shot Andrea Rebello as she pleaded for her life. The 30-year-old followed the sisters, Jessica and Andrea, Jessica's boyfriend John Kourtessiss and another student called Shannon Thomas back to the girls' California Avenue sorority house from the popular student bar McHebes. The black gunman targeted the students after seeing them spending large amounts of money in the drinking spot to celebrate the end of the school term.

Barack Obama has more European ancestry than over 90% of African Americans

The data shows that self-identified African Americans are characterized by some African ancestry, but over 90% are more than half African in ancestry.

Brazil is building a virtual border fence to keep out illegal immigrants and other undesirables

Brazil's border is pretty mammoth, and a growing economy has made illegal activities (chief among them illegal immigration) an equally growing concern. But the country has a plan: a 10,000-mile fence, except that this one is virtual. For reference, America's southern border is only about 20% as long. The Sistema Integrado de Monitoramento de Fronteiras (aka Sisfron) will take a decade and some $13 billion to erect, and it will be a mix of satellites, drones, electromagnetic signaling, and an increased army presence. The country's border touches that of 10 other countries. The portion touching Bolivia (a major cocaine producer) and Paraguay (which attracts black market items) will be tackled first.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Minnesota: A federal court has sentenced two Muslim women to lengthy prison sentences for soliciting donations in the name of charity, then funneling the funds to Somali Islamic militants

The two Muslim women went door-to-door in Somali neighborhoods in the United States and Canada, seeking contributions. Amina Farah Ali, 36, got two decades in prison on 13 terror-related counts that include providing material support to Al-Shabaab. Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 66, got half of that on one count of conspiracy to support a terror group and lying to authorities. Both women, naturalized U.S. citizens from Somalia, were convicted in October 2011. They have now been sentenced in Minneapolis. Evidence presented at their trial showed that they supported the Islamic terror group between 2008 and 2009, according to B. Todd Jones, a United States Attorney. "Ali communicated by telephone with Somalia-based members of Al-Shabaab who requested financial assistance on behalf of the group," Jones said in a statement. "Ali often sought the money under false pretenses, contending that it was to help the poor." In both years, she hosted teleconferences and urged listeners to give money to the terror group instead of the poor. In one instance, she recorded $2,100 in pledges at the conclusion of that teleconference. She would then funnel the funds to the Islamic terror group using various remittance companies under false names. Ali has maintained that the funds were for the poor, but monitored phone calls reveal otherwise. "On July 14, 2009, the day after the FBI executed a search warrant at Ali's home, she telephoned her primary Al-Shabaab contact, saying, "I was questioned by the enemy here . . . they took all my stuff and are investigating it . . . do not accept calls from anyone." Hassan, on the other hand, made false statements when questioned by federal agents about international terrorism. The sentencing is the latest in federal investigation in Minneapolis - home to the nation's largest Somali population. The Muslim women were among a group sentenced recently in the federal government's probe focusing on Al-Shabaab, which recruits young men in the Minneapolis area. The United States has designated it a terrorist group, pointing out that it has ties to al Qaeda. In recent years, about 20 Somali-American men have traveled from the area to Somalia to train with the Islamic terror group, and some have gone on to fight with the militants.

In a remarkable new study, Dr. Andrew McIntosh and his colleagues at the University of Edinburgh provide new evidence that the genetic risk for schizophrenia is associated with lower IQ among people who do not develop this disorder

The authors analyzed data from 937 individuals in Scotland who first completed IQ testing in 1947, at age 11. Around age 70, they were retested and their DNA was analyzed to estimate their genetic risk for schizophrenia. The researchers found that individuals with a higher genetic risk for schizophrenia had a lower IQ at age 70 but not at age 11. Having more schizophrenia risk-related gene variants was also associated with a greater decline in lifelong cognitive ability. "If nature has loaded a person's genes towards schizophrenia, then there is a slight but detectable worsening in cognitive function between childhood and old age. With further research into how these genes affect the brain, it could become possible to understand how genes linked to schizophrenia affect people's cognitive function," said McIntosh. These findings suggest that common genetic variants may underlie both cognitive aging and risk of schizophrenia.

Iceland is awash in guns, yet it has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the world

According to the 2011 Global Study on Homicide by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Iceland's homicide rate between 1999-2009 never went above 1.8 per 100,000 population on any given year. On the other hand, the United States had homicide rates between 5.0 and 5.8 per 100,000 population during that same stretch. Could the difference in homicides rates be due to Iceland's lack of diversity?

Survey: India, Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong are less racially tolerant than the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

In only three of 81 surveyed countries, more than 40% of respondents said that they would not want a neighbor of a different race. This included 43.5% of Indians, 51.4% of Jordanians and an astonishingly high 71.8% of Hong Kongers and 71.7% of Bangladeshis. Nations such as Indonesia and the Philippines, where many racial groups often jockey for influence and have complicated histories with one another, were also skeptical of diversity. This was also true, to a lesser extent, in China and Kyrgyzstan. There were similar trends in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, more than one in three South Koreans said that they do not want a neighbor of a different race.

Men who are strong are more likely to take a right-wing stance, while weaker men support the welfare state, researchers report

Their study discovered a link between a man’s upper-body strength and his political views. Scientists from Aarhus University in Denmark collected data on bicep size, socio-economic status and support for economic redistribution from hundreds in the United States, Argentina and Denmark. The figures revealed that men with higher upper-body strength were less likely to support left-wing policies on the redistribution of wealth. But men with low upper-body strength were more likely to put their own self-interest aside and support a welfare state. The researchers found no link between upper-body strength and redistribution opinions among women.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A black man who did not like the relationship between blacks and the Jewish community threatened to blow up a synagogue

Dante Phearse, 32, has been charged with three counts of making terroristic threats. Phearse called and made threats against the Beth Israel Jewish Synagogue. Phearse said that there were no white Jewish people, only black Jewish people, and said that he was going to blow up the temple. He then called back and said that Jewish people were oppressing the black man and threatened to rape their women and children. Phearse’s bond was set at $115,000.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Saudi man has been jailed in Detroit following his arrest for altering his passport and not being truthful about why he had a pressure cooker in his luggage

According to a criminal complaint, Al Kwawahir Hussain could not explain to U.S. Customs officers at Detroit Metropolitan airport why pages were missing from his Saudi passport. He told them only that his family had access to it and he kept it locked in a box, and that he was planning on visiting his nephew, according to the court filing. During followup security screening, customs officers discovered a pressure cooker in his luggage. Pressure cookers are not illegal but have been in the spotlight since they were used in the Boston Marathon bombings. "Initially, he said that he brought the pressure cooker for his nephew because pressure cookers are not sold in America," the complaint said. But Hussain changed his story and said that his nephew had purchased one in the United States that "was cheap" and broke after its first use, officers reported. Based on the conflicting stories and missing pages in his passport, Hussain was arrested and charged with altering a passport and making materially false statements.

In 2012, Pablo Pantoja headed the Republican National Committee's Hispanic outreach work in Florida; now, the Puerto Rican native is becoming a Democrat

Basically the Hispanic turncoat feels that the GOP isn't pandering enough to his amigos.

The Minoans, the builders of Europe's first advanced civilization, really were European, new research suggests

The conclusion was drawn by comparing DNA from 4,000-year-old Minoan skeletons with genetic material from people living throughout Europe and Africa in the past and today. "We now know that the founders of the first advanced European civilization were European," said study co-author George Stamatoyannopoulos, a human geneticist at the University of Washington. "They were very similar to Neolithic Europeans and very similar to present day-Cretans," residents of the Mediterranean island of Crete. While that may sound intuitive, the findings challenge a long-held theory that the ancient Minoans came from Egypt. The Minoan culture emerged on Crete, which is now part of Greece, and flourished from about 2,700 B.C. to 1,420 B.C. Some believe that a massive eruption from the Volcano Thera on the island of Santorini doomed the Bronze Age civilization, while others argue that invading Mycenaeans toppled the once-great power. Nowadays, the Minoans may be most famous for the myth of the minotaur, a half-man, half-bull that was fabled to lived within a labyrinth in Crete. When British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans discovered the Minoan palace of Knossos more than 100 years ago, he was dumbstruck by its beauty. He also noticed an eerie similarity between Minoan and Egyptian art, and didn't believe that the culture was homegrown. "That's why Evans postulated the civilization was imported from Egypt or Libya," Stamatoyannopoulos said. To test that idea, the research team analyzed DNA from ancient Minoan skeletons that were sealed in a cave in Crete's Lassithi Plateau between 3,700 and 4,400 years ago. They then compared the skeletal mitochondrial DNA, which is stored in the energy powerhouses of cells and passed on through the maternal line, with that found in a sample of 135 modern and ancient populations from around Europe and Africa. The researchers found that the Minoan skeletons were genetically very similar to modern-day Europeans - and especially close to modern-day Cretans, particularly those from the Lassithi Plateau. They were also genetically similar to Neolithic Europeans, but distinct from Egyptian or Libyan populations. The findings argue against Evan's hypothesis and suggest that locals, not African expats, developed the Minoan culture. "It was a period of excitement around the Mediterranean," so although the Minoans definitely had contact with their African neighbors across the Mediterranean, any similarities in art were probably the result of cultural exchange, Stamatoyannopoulos said. The findings suggest that the ancient Minoans were likely descended from a branch of agriculturalists in Anatolia (what is now modern-day Turkey and Iraq) that fanned out into Europe about 9,000 years ago. If so, the Minoans may have spoken a proto-Indo-European language derived from the one possibly spoken by those Anatolian farmers, the researchers speculate. Knowing that the Minoan language has Indo-European roots could help archaeologists decipher a mysterious Minoan writing system, known as Linear A, Stamatoyannopoulos said. The prevailing theories hold that Minoan was a separate language family. The analysis of DNA from the Lassithi cave is a "valuable contribution," said Colin Renfrew, an archaeologist from the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge, who was not involved in the study. However, to make a clearer connection to the Anatolian migration, the researchers should have compared the Minoan DNA with more DNA samples from modern and ancient Anatolia, he said.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Black abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder for killing babies born alive during abortions by cutting their spinal cords

He was also found guilty of 21 counts of performing abortions past 24 weeks of pregnancy, and the involuntary manslaughter of a patient who died of anesthetic overdose during an abortion. Gosnell now faces the death penalty or life in prison.

In 2009, 97.1% of known murderers in New Orleans were African-Americans

Blacks in New Orleans like to celebrate Mother's Day violently.

More than 80 state schools in England have no white British pupils, Government figures show

The number of such schools appears to have more than doubled over the past five years. The new figures follow research showing that white Britons are retreating from areas dominated by ethnic minorities, to be replaced by immigrants and other ethnic minorities. One school that is understood to have no white British pupils is Gladstone Primary in Peterborough, which is dominated by students from the Punjab. None of its 440 pupils has English as a first language. The new figures follow a study published recently by the Left-leaning think tank Demos which showed that white Britons are moving out of areas where they are in a minority at the same time as the ethnic minority population was growing. The study said that 45% of ethnic minorities in England and Wales, about four million people, live in areas where less than half the population is white British.

Financial crisis in a black city: The Detroit city government is weeks away from running out of the cash it needs to operate, according to an initial report from the emergency manager overseeing its finances

The report from Kevyn Orr, the bankruptcy attorney appointed by the state in March 2013, lays out a bleak financial position for the city. "The city has effectively exhausted its ability to borrow," he writes in the report, adding that the city "is clearly insolvent." To avoid running out of cash before the end of its fiscal year on June 30, 2013 it must "defer payments on its current obligations," including more than $100 million in pension payments that are due. "No one should underestimate the severity of the financial crisis," Orr said in a statement. "The path Detroit has followed for more than 40 years is unsustainable and only a complete restructuring of the city's finances and operations will allow Detroit to regain its footing." Detroit is struggling under at least $15 billion in debt, due to years of borrowing to pay its bills as tax revenues plummeted. The population of the city has fallen by nearly 30% since 2012, and there are currently over 100,000 vacant lots and buildings. Together, this has meant a drastic drop in revenue from both income and property taxes. Detroit is struggling to come up with annual debt payments of about $246 million, which eat up almost 20% of the its general fund budget. Orr is considering changes in health care coverage for government employees and retirees, as well as in its pension plans. He's also looking at further changes in pay rates and staffing, on top of the layoffs and 10% pay cut that have already been implemented. The city's unemployment rate has fallen in recent years with a rebound in the auto industry, but at 18.3% it is still nearly triple where it stood at in 2000 and more than double the national rate. One more reason why you should avoid living in a predominantly black city.

A Saudi court has jailed a Lebanese man for six years and sentenced him to 300 lashes after convicting him of encouraging a Saudi woman to convert to Christianity

This is the sort of barbarism that happens when Muslims are the majority in a country. The lesson here is that if you want to live in a civilized country then you should live in one that has as few Muslims as possible. One way of doing this is to live in a country that does not allow Islamic immigration.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Israel: The son of a prominent rabbi used a racial slur to attack the government for not earmarking enough money for religious institutions

“If we’re talking about the sports budget, there is plenty of money to bring a few Cushim to play basketball, but when its a budget for synagogues or ritual baths, there’s nothing,” Rabbi David Yosef said, employing a Hebrew epithet for black people that is the local equivalent of the “n-word.” Yosef, the son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, made his remarks at a ceremony marking the opening of an large new ritual bath, or mikvah, in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood. David Yosef is the official rabbi of the mostly ultra-Orthodox neighborhood on the capital’s western edge.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara recently visited the Great Wall of China, allowing him to make the obvious comparison with Israel’s security fence, dubbed by leftists as the Apartheid Wall

Unlike the Chinese Great Wall, the “wall” in Israel extends less than 10% of the total length of the fortification, the rest of which is a fence. Netanyahu said that the Great Wall inspired him as Israel built the security fence along the southern border with Egypt. Netanyahu has said in the past that the fence has achieved its primary objectives of stemming the flood of African immigrants.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A newly discovered and often deadly virus related to one that causes the common cold has struck another victim, this time in France

A man hospitalized in April 2013 is infected with the novel coronavirus, France's Health Ministry has said. The NCoV virus was recently found for the first time in humans and scattered cases have occurred across parts of the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia. It has proved deadly in more than half of the confirmed cases so far, according to the World Health Organization. Of 31 people with confirmed infections, at least 18 have died. The newly infected man is the first confirmed infection in France, the Health Ministry said. He had recently returned from travel to the United Arab Emirates, which is on the Arabian Peninsula. NCoV, like some common colds, is also caused by a coronavirus. And like a cold, it attacks the respiratory system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said. But symptoms are severe and can lead to pneumonia and even kidney failure. "Once it gets you, it's a very serious infection," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. NCoV has also been compared to related coronavirus, the one that causes SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which appears to have been contained in 2004, according to the CDC. Although its discovery in humans is new, NCoV would seem potentially deadlier, when contracted, than SARS.

Israel: Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews showed up to protest a prayer gathering by the "Women of the Wall" at Jerusalem's holy Western Wall, hurling chairs, water, and garbage at the women and stones at their buses

In a reversal, police held back and clashed with the protesters and arrested five of them; in the past, they've detained Women of the Wall worshipers instead. The changed police response follows a court ruling that stated women shouldn't be arrested for wearing prayer shawls there; in Orthodox Jewish tradition, only men are permitted to wear the shawls. Apparently, Muslims aren't the only religious lunatics in the Middle East.

The grandson of black troublemaker Malcolm X, Malcolm Shabazz, has died in a Mexico City hospital after suffering an apparent beating

Malcolm Shabazz was the son of Malcolm X’s second daughter, Qubilah. As a 12-year-old, he entered a guilty plea for starting a house fire that killed his grandmother, Malcolm X’s widow, Betty. He spent four years in a juvenile detention facility and continued to have run-ins with the law over the years.

James Thompson, a psychologist at University College London, offers to have a bottle of fine French wine sent to the first person who can show that Hispanic/Latino American intelligence and scholastic ability is on the same level as European American intelligence and scholastic ability

Any takers?

Massachusetts investigators have developed mounting evidence, bolstered by forensic hits, that point to the possible involvement of both Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar in a gruesome, unsolved triple homicide in 2011

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Middlesex County began to probe a link between the elder Tsarnaev and Brendan Mess, one of the three men killed in the gruesome slaying on September 11, 2011. Officials said that Mess and two men were found in a Waltham residence with their throats slit and their bodies covered with marijuana. Tamerlan and Mess were once roommates and did boxing and martial arts training together.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Since 1970, immigration has increased the number of unskilled job applicants faster than the number of skilled job applicants

Almost every job that immigrants do in Los Angeles or New York is done by natives in Detroit and Philadelphia. When natives turn down such jobs in New York or Los Angeles, the reason is that by local standards the wages are abysmal. Far from proving that immigrants have no impact on natives, the fact that American-born workers sometimes reject jobs that immigrants accept reinforces the claim that immigration has depressed wages for unskilled work.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The United States had a political milestone in November 2012

Black people voted at a higher rate than whites for the first time in history. It was close, with blacks at 66.2% and whites at 64.1%, but long-term trends in both groups suggest that it can't solely be chalked up to black voters turning out for Obama. Turnout has steadily increased among blacks from 53% in 1996, while the percentage for whites has declined since peaking with George Bush's re-election in 2004. Latinos and Asian-Americans, meanwhile, had a quirk in their results. Among Latinos, the overall number of voters rose by 1.4 million to about 11 million, but the percentage of eligible voters who turned out dropped slightly to 48%. The same was true for Asian-Americans; overall numbers rose, but turnout fell to 47.3%. If the GOP wants to have any chance of winning a presidential election in future it must both put an end to non-white immigration and find ways to boost white voter turnout.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A genetic survey concludes that all Europeans living today are related to the same set of ancestors who lived 1,000 years ago

Family researchers have long known that if you go back far enough, everyone with a European connection ends up being related to Charlemagne. The concept was laid out scientifically more than a decade ago. Now Coop and University of Southern California geneticist Peter Ralph have come up with the evidence. "Anyone alive 1,000 years ago who left any descendants will be an ancestor of every European," the researchers say. Those conclusions are based on a survey of genetic sequences from more than 2,000 individuals spread from Ireland to Turkey. Ralph and Coop used computer software to search for telltale strings of DNA coding that are common to wide segments of the European population. The length of such strings can be used as a statistical yardstick to determine relatedness: Longer strings suggest that a common ancestor lived more recently. The researchers were surprised to find that even individuals living as far apart as Britain and Turkey shared a chunk of genetic material 20% of the time. To explain that degree of genetic commonality, the researchers say those pairs of individuals would have to have a huge number of common genealogical ancestors 1,000 years ago — a number that takes in everyone who was alive in Europe back then. People who live closer together tend to be more closely related, as you'd expect. The survey also found that the degree of relatedness varied among present-day European populations: Italians tended to have lower levels of relatedness, to each other and to other Europeans. That may be because there was a long history of distinct cultures in that region, the researchers suggest. Eastern Europeans, in contrast, showed more relatedness than the average, perhaps due to the Slavic expansion into that region more than 1,000 years ago.

Israeli scientist says that Ashkenazi Jews’ roots lie in the Caucasus — a region at the border of Europe and Asia that lies between the Black and Caspian seas — not in the Middle East

Johns Hopkins University post-doctoral researcher Eran Elhaik, an Israeli molecular geneticist, says that Ashkenazi Jews are descendants of the Khazars, a Turkic people who lived in one of the largest medieval states in Eurasia and then migrated to Eastern Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Of the Mexican-born people in the United States age 25 and older, nearly 60% didn’t graduate from high school, according to a Pew Hispanic Center compilation of census data

Among Central Americans, the figure is 50%.

Some 41% of Hispanics ages 20 and older in the United States do not have a regular high school diploma, versus 23% of comparably aged blacks and 14% of whites

Only 7 of 10 ninth graders today will get high school diplomas. A decade after the No Child Left Behind law mandated efforts to reduce the racial gap, about 80% of white and Asian students graduate from high school, compared with only 55% of blacks and Hispanics.

New research from the University of Reading shows that Ice Age people living in Europe 15,000 years ago might have used forms of some common words including I, you, we, man and bark, that in some cases could still be recognized today

Using statistical models, Professor of Evolutionary Biology Mark Pagel and his team predicted that certain words would have changed so slowly over long periods of time as to retain traces of their ancestry for up to ten thousand or more years. These words point to the existence of a linguistic super-family tree that unites seven major language families of Eurasia (seven language families: Indo-European, Uralic, Altaic, Kartvelian, Dravidian, Chuckchee-Kamchatkan and Eskimo-Aleut). Previously linguists have relied solely on studying shared sounds among words to identify those that are likely to be derived from common ancestral words, such as the Latin pater and the English father. A difficulty with this approach is that two words might have similar sounds just by accident, such as the words team and cream. To combat this problem, Professor Pagel's team showed that a subset of words used frequently in everyday speech, are more likely to be retained over long periods of time. The team used this method to predict words likely to have shared sounds, giving greater confidence that when such sound similarities are discovered they do not merely reflect the workings of chance. Professor Pagel, from the University of Reading's School of Biological Sciences, said: "The way in which we use a certain set of words in everyday speech is something common to all human languages. We discovered numerals, pronouns and special adverbs are replaced far more slowly, with linguistic half-lives of once every 10,000 or even more years. As a rule of thumb, words used more than about once per thousand in everyday speech were seven to ten times more likely to show deep ancestry in the Eurasian super-family."

Hispanic crime: Cleveland police say that they're still figuring out charges against 52-year-old Ariel Castro, accused of keeping three women captive in his home with the help of brothers Onil, 50, and Pedro, 54

All three Latinos are in custody, and it has been reported that Ariel has a history of violence. In 2005, his ex-wife accused him of a beating her, and a court document lists broken ribs, dislocated shoulders, a blood clot on the brain, a twice-broken nose, and a knocked-out tooth. Ariel Castro also had at least one nasty dispute with a neighbor that ended up in court. Few details are available on the brothers, who did not live in Ariel's home. A woman who lives three houses away says that she called police several years ago after her daughter saw a naked woman crawling in Castro's backyard. "But they didn't take it seriously," she said. Another neighbor says that he called police in 2011 when his sister saw a woman banging on a window. "The cops came. They pounded on that man’s door around 15, 20 times, real hard. They looked in the driveway, they got back in the squad car and left." Among the disturbing details emerging is that the captive women had at least five pregnancies among them, but only one child apparently survived, that being the 6-year-old daughter of Amanda Berry. The daughter of Ariel Castro is serving 25 years in jail for slashing her baby daughter's throat. Emily Castro was convicted in Indiana in February 2008 of trying to kill her 11-month-old daughter Janyla. Castro, then 19, slashed the little girl's neck four times and then sliced herself in the neck and wrists during a grisly attack at her Fort Wayne home in April 2007. Police who visited the home on reports of an injured child found the young Latina mother smeared with blood, mud and water.

Health officials say that vaccination rates against measles are worryingly low among Somali children in the United States and Britain because some parents still believe the MMR jab is linked to autism

Officials say that they are struggling to show that the vaccination is safe. It has been found that the discredited former doctor Andrew Wakefield visited some Somali groups in the United States. Health authorities there blame him for the drop-off in MMR vaccinations. Andrew Wakefield, who now lives in Texas, says that Somalis in Minnesota already had fears about autism and MMR before his visit. Health experts say that these fears have been reinforced by a common belief in their community that only the children of Somali families that emigrate to the West develop autism, whereas those who stay at home do not. While there is no solid evidence to confirm this, a small study of immigrants in Stockholm, the Swedish capital, did suggest that families using services for autistic children were more likely than expected to be from West and East Africa. And separate research in Britain also found that there was a higher than average incidence of autism in children born to African mothers - but it did not establish a reason why. The Minnesota department of health says that only around 50% of Somali children now receive the vaccine. Although there are no official statistics, vaccination rates are also believed to be low among Somali children in London.

The Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa is the world's toughest place to raise children

Finland was named the best place to be a mother, with Sweden and Norway following in second and third places. In India, over 300,000 babies die within 24 hours of being born, accounting for 29% of all newborn deaths worldwide. The 10 bottom-ranked countries were all from sub-Saharan Africa, with one woman in 30 dying from pregnancy-related causes on average and one child in seven dying before his or her fifth birthday. In DR Congo, war and poverty have left mothers malnourished and unsupported at the most vulnerable time of their lives. The next worst countries listed were Somalia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Niger, Central African Republic, The Gambia, Nigeria, Chad and Ivory Coast. Lack of nutrition is key to high mother and infant mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa, with 10%-20% of mothers underweight. In contrast, the results show that Finland is the best place to be a mother, with the risk of death through pregnancy one in 12,200 and Finnish children getting almost 17 years of formal education. Sweden, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands were also in the top 10, with the United States trailing at 30. The United States has the highest death rate in newborns in the industrialized world, with 11,300 babies dying on the day they are born each year. This is due in part to the United States' large population, as well as the high number of babies born too early. The United States has one of the highest preterm birth rates in the world at a rate of one in eight. Mothers and babies die in greater numbers in South Asia than in any other region with an estimated 423,000 babies dying on the day that they are born each year. India also has more maternal deaths than in any other country with 56,000 per year.

Monday, May 6, 2013

For years doctors have assumed that black people are less likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) than whites, but a new study suggests that the opposite may be true

Researchers found that black women were more likely than white women to be diagnosed with MS, in which the protective coating around nerve fibers breaks down, slowing signals traveling between the brain and body. Among men, there was no difference. "The thing I was taught in medical school is that this is a disease primarily of white people," said Dr. Annette Langer-Gould, who led the new study at Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Los Angeles. But most of that older data came from potentially unrepresentative research, she said, such as a study of veterans from the 1950s that found white men were twice as likely to get MS as black men. What's more, she pointed out, most MS clinics are in predominantly white areas - skewing how people perceive the disease. The new report, Langer-Gould said, is the first to look at a group of patients representative of a large population. She and her colleagues analyzed three years' worth of medical records for the 3.5 million patients in the Kaiser Permanente health system. During that time, 496 were diagnosed with MS. The researchers found that over an average year, 10 out of every 100,000 blacks developed the disease, compared to 7 white patients, 3 Hispanics and just over 1 Asian per 100,000. More than two-thirds of all MS diagnoses were in women, and that gender gap was particularly strong among blacks, Langer-Gould and her colleagues found. She said that it's still not clear why the frequency of the disease varies by race, although her team is doing a follow-up study to try to answer that question. Up to 25% of an individual's risk for MS is thought to be due to genes, Langer-Gould said - but the rest likely has to do with everything from environmental influences, such as smoking, to vitamin D and hormone levels. Langer-Gould's group cannot say whether past research truly underestimated how often blacks develop MS, or whether the rates in the new study represent a more recent rise in cases. The new study "very strongly implies that the rate has really gone up in blacks," said Dr. George Ebers, a neurologist who studies MS at John Radcliffe Hospital at the University of Oxford in Britain but wasn't involved in the new research. "This may be the conjunction of the Western lifestyle, whatever that is … plus the fact that they're living in the relatively northern section of the world," where there's less vitamin D from sunlight, for example, Ebers said. If there has been an increase in blacks' risk, he said it would have to be due to the environment - since genes wouldn't change that much over a couple of generations. MS symptoms typically start with numbness and tingling from the waist down or weakness on one side of the body - such as after a stroke. Because of the notion that they're at lower risk, many black patients are initially misdiagnosed, Langer-Gould said.

The European Union should be given new powers to intervene in the affairs of member states to tackle anti-Semitism and other human rights abuses, Germany’s foreign minister has said

Guido Westerwelle told a congress of Jewish leaders in Budapest that the EU needed better legal resources at a time of growing concerns over the rise of anti-Semitism in Hungary, and warnings that the country risks drifting away from "democratic" principles. Referring to the EU’s current powers to impose constitutional requirements on its member states as a “toothpick”, Westerwelle repeated his call for the European Commission to be given a new human rights watchdog role independent of national vetoes. “Between the toothpick and the big bazooka, there is not an instrument we can [use] if developments of concern start in a government or in a country,” he told the meeting of the World Jewish Congress, being held in Budapest to highlight rising anti-Semitism and racism in Hungary. Four EU countries — Germany, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands — have given the commission new powers to impose sanctions against countries, because the current European treaties allow penalties only if a country systematically abuses “fundamental rights”. Westerwelle has added Germany’s voice to mounting concerns over extreme nationalism in Hungary and EU criticism that Viktor Orban’s government is eroding the checks and balances common to European democracies. Westerwelle joined Jewish leaders to urge Orban to do more to stem anti-Semitism by taking a “zero tolerance” approach to Jobbik, an extreme Right-wing nationalist party that is Hungary’s third largest political force. To the Jews, "democracy" means doing whatever the Jews tell you to do even if the native gentile population is against it. In other words, when Hungarians in Hungary vote for Jobbik they are being "anti-democratic" because Jobbik does not promote the Jewish agenda.

Chicago: A HIV-positive black man has been ordered held in lieu of $5 million bail for sexually assaulting a male teenager after the victim refused to have sex for money

Kevin T. Miller, 48, was charged with criminal sexual assault in the incident, according to court records. Miller and a 16-year-old were at a mutual acquaintance's home in the same building where Miller lives, according to Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Dibler. Miller offered the teen $100 for sex but the teen refused and went to the bathroom. He followed the victim into the bathroom and grabbed him. They struggled, Miller pulled down the victim's pants and sexually assaulted him. The teen broke free, left the bathroom, grabbed a vodka bottle and hit Miller in the head. Miller had a bandage on his head when he appeared in Cook County Bond Court. The victim ran out of the apartment and a witness called police. Miller told police that he was HIV positive.

Rape and the Third World: Another woman has been raped on a bus in Rio de Janiero, despite the mayor's pledge to boost security on public transport after the gang-rape of an American tourist in March 2013

In the latest attack, witnesses say that an armed man ordered other passengers to the front of the bus and told the driver to keep going while he raped a female passenger. The man, who appeared to be on drugs, robbed other passengers before leaving the bus and fleeing across a busy highway.

Obama's America: Technically speaking, the economy has been in recovery since the summer of 2009 - yet after nearly four years of economic expansion, almost 12 million people remain unemployed

If we continue to add jobs every month at the April 2013 rate, not until the fall of 2014 will we again have as many people working as we did back in January 2008. And of course, the American workforce has expanded since January 2008 as young people reach working age and as new immigrants arrive. At present job creation trends, it will take until 2021 to drive the unemployment rate down to a rate that is considered "full employment." That seems unlikely to happen. The longest expansion in U.S. history lasted 10 years from 1991 to 2001. Even if we could somehow equal that record going forward, we would expect a recession sometime before 2019 - meaning that the unemployment rate will surely rise again before it has touched anywhere close to bottom.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

African refugee crime in Massachusetts: A 20 year old Liberian refugee, Charles Monroe, was recently arrested for stalking three teenage girls as they were walking to school in the morning in the Vernon Hill section of Worcester

In three separate incidents, Monroe pulled a knife on each girl as they walked alone to school. The first two girls managed to get away. But the other was forced into a nearby apartment building, where she was raped and sexually humiliated. In court, Charles Monroe laughed as the charges were read.

Obama's America: More than half of those who graduated from college in 2011 and 2012 haven't been able to put their education to work in the job market

Researchers found that 41% were working jobs that didn't require a degree, while another 11% were simply unemployed. Of that 11%, 7% said that they hadn't had a job since graduating.

About 90,000 legal immigrants are allowed into the United States every month

This means that more than half of April 2013’s job gain is needed just to absorb new legal entrants. Since January 2009, foreign-born employment has increased by 1.622 million, or 7.5%. Over the past 12 months, the labor force participation rate —a measure of worker confidence — increased for immigrants but declined for the native-born. At 66.0%, the immigrant participation rate in April 2013 was 3.4% points above the native rate. Overarching everything is the inexorable rise in foreign-born population. It grew 1.7% over the past 12 months, or at nearly twice the 0.9% growth of the native-born population (which, of course, includes the children of legal immigrants — and illegal aliens’ anchor babies).

Friday, May 3, 2013

A black fugitive convicted killer has become the first woman to be put on the FBI's list of Most Wanted Terrorists

Joanne Chesimard, a member of the Black Liberation Army also known as Assata Shakur, fled to Cuba in 1979 after escaping from a prison where she was serving a life sentence for murder. She is listed as a domestic terrorist on the FBI website. There are rewards totaling $2 million for information leading to her capture. Chesimard is thought still to be living in Cuba, which does not have an extradition treaty with the United States and is believed to be providing shelter to an estimated 70 people sought by the US authorities. Chesimard was a leader of the Black Liberation Army, which was a revolutionary extremist organisation responsible for killing more than a dozen US police officers in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1973, she and two accomplices were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike by two troopers from the New Jersey State Police. They then opened fire on the troopers, wounding one and killing the other execution-style at point-blank range. One of Chesimard's accomplices died in the shootout; the other remains in jail. In 1977, Chesimard was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of first degree murder, assault and battery of a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill, illegal possession of a weapon, and armed robbery. However, two years later she broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in New Jersey with the help of armed members of the Black Liberation Army, They drove a van into the prison and then took her out. Chesimard spent the next few years living in safe houses in the United States before surfacing in Cuba in 1984. "Of those responsible, one is dead, one is in jail, and one was broken out of jail and remains free in Cuba," said NJSP Superintendent Col Rick Fuentes. "Joanne Chesimard... flaunts her freedom in the face of this horrific crime". Chesimard had been granted political asylum in Cuba, and given "the pulpit to preach and profess, stirring supporters and groups to mobilize against the US by any means necessary", Col Fuentes added. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to her capture, while the state of New Jersey is separately offering another $1 million.

The share of American adults with jobs has barely changed since 2010, hovering between 58.2% and 58.7%

This employment-to-population ratio stood at 58.6% in April 2013. That is about four percentage points lower than the employment rate before the recession, a difference of roughly 10 million jobs. In other words, the United States economy is not getting any closer to recreating the jobs lost during the recession. This lack of progress has been obscured by the steady decline of the high-profile unemployment rate, which continued in April 2013. But the unemployment rate is easily misunderstood. The government counts as unemployed only those who are actively looking for new jobs. As people have given up, the unemployment rate has declined – not because more people are working, but because more people have stopped looking for work. The federal government counts 11.7 million Americans as unemployed. The real number, it follows, is more like 17 million. The number of Americans receiving disability benefits has increased by 1.8 million since the recession began, and people on disability rarely return to the work force, even if they would have preferred to keep working in the first place.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A week after the news of a child rape sparked protests in India, hospital officials confirmed the rape of another girl

The 4-year-old died from cardiac arrest at Care Hospital in Nagpur, India, a spokesman said. A 35-year-old man has been arrested and accused of sexually assaulting the girl, said Mithilesh Shukla, superintendent of police. It is the latest in a number of assaults that caused outrage and raised questions about how women and girls are treated in India. The girl was abducted from Ghansaur, a small town in central India, on April 17, 2013 and her family found her the next day, unconscious and with severe head injuries, Shukla said. She was airlifted to the hospital in Nagpur and put on a ventilator but did not survive. "The doctors tried very hard but were not successful," hospital spokesman P.S. Shriram said. Police say that the rape suspect, Firoz Khan, has confessed to the assault. Recently, two arrests were made in the case of another victim, a 5-year-old girl who was raped in New Delhi. The assaults on the girls came just four months after a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was gang-raped in a bus in New Delhi, setting off furious protests in India. She later died at a Singapore hospital. After the attacks, the country's news media turned their attention to some of the thousands of rape cases reported in the nation each year. In a recent report, the Asian Center for Human Rights cited statistics that showed 48,338 child rape cases were reported in India between 2001 and 2011. The report said that the number of cases rose from 2,113 in 2001 to 7,112 in 2011.