Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A black man accused of beating a passerby with a bat in an apparently random attack in Rialto, leaving the victim with life-threatening injuries that he was not expected to survive, has been charged with attempted murder allegedly committed as a hate crime

Jeremiah Ajani Bell, 22, has been arrested after a daylight assault on 54-year-old Armando Barron, who was walking down the street when he was attacked. Bell has been charged with attempted, willful, deliberate and premeditated murder, according to a criminal complaint filed by the DA’s office. The complaint indicated that the crime was committed in violation of one of California’s criminal hate crime statutes that allow for sentencing enhancements for bias-motivated felonies. “It appears he was targeting anybody who wasn’t black,” Rialto police Detective Sgt. Paul Stella said.

Twist on evolutionary theory could help explain racism and other forms of prejudice

Psychology, biology, and mathematics have come together to show that the occurrence of altruism and spite - helping or harming others at a cost to oneself - depends on similarity not just between two interacting individuals but also to the rest of their neighbors. According to this new model developed by researchers DB Krupp (Psychology) and Peter Taylor (Mathematics and Statistics, Biology) at Queen's University and the One Earth Future Foundation, individuals who appear very different from most others in a group will evolve to be altruistic towards similar partners, and only slightly spiteful to those who are dissimilar to them. However, individuals who appear very similar to the rest of a group will evolve to be only slightly altruistic to similar partners but very spiteful to dissimilar individuals, often going to extreme lengths to hurt them. Taken together, individuals with common and rare appearances may treat each other very differently. This finding is a new twist on established evolutionary theory and could help explain racism and corresponding forms of prejudice in humans and other species. "Similar individuals are more likely to share copies of each other's genes and dissimilar individuals are less likely to. As a consequence, evolutionary theory predicts that organisms will often discriminate, because helping similar partners and harming dissimilar ones increase the fraction of the discriminating party's genes in future generations," says Dr. Krupp. The new theoretical model was developed using inclusive fitness theory - a foundational biological framework that considers how an organism's behavior affects its own reproductive success as well as that of its neighbors. "We tend to think of individuals as caring only about what another individual looks, smells or sounds like, but our model shows that the appearance of surrounding neighbors matters tremendously, too," says Dr. Krupp. "This work predicts extreme differences in behavior between what we call common and rare types of individuals - those that are similar or dissimilar to their neighbors."

Friday, April 24, 2015

Moderate alcohol benefits vary by race and gender

Compared with no alcohol consumption, sensible levels of drinking have correlated with better heart health. However, a new analysis has revealed that a cardio-protective link from moderate drinking is not the same for people of African ancestry as it is for white ethnicity, and nor across the genders. For males, the lowest risk of mortality related to alcohol consumption was - in white men - linked to having 1-2 drinks on 3-7 days a week. In black men, however, it was found in those who never drank. Moderate drinking was protective for females similarly - for white, but not for black women. The lowest risk of mortality was among white women consuming one drink on 3-7 days a week, but among black women, the lowest death rates were among those having one drink on 2 or fewer days a week. The study's lead author says that the findings could change public health policy. Chandra Jackson, PhD, epidemiologist and research associate in clinical and translational research at Harvard, says: "Current dietary guidelines recommend moderate consumption for adult Americans who consume alcoholic beverages. Our study suggests that additional refinements based on race/ethnicity may be necessary." Among white men and women, moderate alcohol consumption on most days of the week was associated with lowest mortality risk, but black men and women with similar drinking patterns did not have the same risk reduction compared with those who abstained or drank infrequently. Touching on potential biological differences, meanwhile, the researchers discuss confusing results: "The rapid metabolism of alcohol among blacks resulting from potential genetic differences could reduce cardiovascular benefits, yet we found a suggestion of benefit for light consumption among black women, but not among black men."

White countries still tend to be happier than non-white ones

Switzerland is the world's happiest nation thanks to healthy GDP figures, strong social bonds and an increasing life expectancy, a new study of global well being has revealed. The list is dominated by European nations, particularly those in Scandinavia, and measures a country's population by factors contributing to its citizens' contentment, rather than wealth. After Switzerland, the next nine happiest countries are Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia. The ten least happiest places are mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa and include Chad, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Benin, Syria, Burundi and Togo.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

United States: In 1970, less than 1 in 21 residents were foreign-born; today it is almost 1 in 7

The annual rate of immigration is almost double its level from the Reagan years and more than triple its level from the post-WWII boom years. Meanwhile, while 1 in 15 men aged 25-54 were not working in 1970, it is now 1 in 6; the total number of women aged 16-65 not working has increased 30% while their population has increased less than half that amount.

Does Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, really want an honest discussion about race?

Steve Sailer imagines how such a conversation between the Jewish executive and one of his black baristas might go:
“My boss told us to write #RaceTogether on your cup and to start a conversation about race. You’re Jewish, right? How much do you know about the long history of Jews exploiting blacks economically? You should read up on the Jewish role in the slave trade, the sugar plantations of Brazil, Lehman Brothers starting in Alabama, Judah P. Benjamin in the Confederacy, Disraeli glamorizing imperialism, and Jewish capitalists in South African mining. And don’t get me started on the American pop music business! Have you ever thought about how Jewish privilege contributes to Jews making up a third of the Forbes 400?”
Steve doesn't think such a conversation would go very well at all. At least, not for the black barista.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Three Orthodox Jewish rabbis have been convicted in New Jersey of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in a scheme to force men to grant divorces to their unhappy wives under Jewish law

Two of the rabbis were convicted as well of attempted kidnapping in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, according to the office of Paul Fishman, U.S. attorney for New Jersey. The case before U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson hinged in part on the testimony of an undercover FBI agent who posed as an Orthodox Jewish wife seeking a divorce. An Orthodox Jewish woman cannot get a religious divorce unless her husband consents through a document known as a "get." Prosecutors said that the rabbis operated a ring that kidnapped or tried to kidnap men and tortured them with beatings and stun guns until they agreed to divorce. Undercover agents recorded meetings in which arrangements were made for the ring to kidnap one husband at a New Jersey warehouse for $60,000, prosecutors said. Rabbis Mendel Epstein, Jay Goldstein and Binyamin Stimler were found guilty of conspiracy to commit kidnapping. The conspiracy charge carries the possible sentence of life in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. Sentencing has been set for July 15, 2015. Goldstein and Stimler also were convicted of attempted kidnapping. The ring operated from 2009 to 2013, prosecutors said. Although a wife can skip seeking a get and settle for a civil divorce, the separation without the husband's consent can result in her being cast out of family and social circles. Experts say such kidnapping schemes are responses to so-called get abuse, in which husbands demand an unreasonably large share of the couple's communal property before granting the divorce. The convictions come about three months after another rabbi, 56-year-old Martin Wolmark, pleaded guilty in the same case to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce to commit extortion. Eight other people also have pleaded guilty in connection to the case, prosecutors said.

African American married men have lower odds of meeting federal physical activity guidelines than white married men, according to a new study

“Other studies indicate African American men are less physically active than white men,” so finding that the difference persists within the bounds of marriage is interesting, but not surprising, said Steven Hooker, who studies physical activity interventions for men in midlife at Arizona State University in Phoenix. For the new study, researchers used data collected from 1999 to 2006 for national health surveys. They divided male respondents into married and unmarried categories and compared the number of minutes per week the men reported doing moderate to vigorous physical activity, household or yard work, and walking or biking for transportation. Of more than 7,000 men surveyed, 71% were white and 29% were African American. Black men were less likely to be physically active than white men, regardless of marital status, write the researchers from Emory University in Atlanta and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. After accounting for age, income, education and other health factors, the researchers found that African American married men were about half as likely to meet the federal guideline of at least 150 minutes of activity per week as were white married men. Unmarried African American men were about 40% less likely to meet the guideline. African American men were more likely to earn less that $35,000 per year and to have a 12th grade or lower education level. The African American men were also 14 years younger than the white men in the study, on average. Married and unmarried white men in the study had similar activity levels, which suggests marriage is not strongly related to activity for men, said Robert W. Jeffery, a professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Boston has the highest percentage of Hispanic children living in very low opportunity neighborhoods of any US metropolitan area, researchers at Brandeis University and Ohio State University found

The area ranked sixth-worst in neighborhood opportunity for African-American children. Nearly six in 10 African-American and Hispanic children in the Boston metropolitan area lived in neighborhoods with very low access to healthy development resources, such as access to health care or a licensed preschool, in 2010. By contrast, fewer than 1 in 10 white children lived in this type of neighborhood, ranking Boston 41st of the studied 71 metros. Opportunity levels for Hispanic and African-American children in the Boston area are akin to Milwaukee and Youngstown, Ohio, metros where higher percentages of children live in poverty, the data showed. For children, Boston is one of the most segregated metros in the country. About 72% of African-American children and 66% of Hispanic children would need to relocate to another neighborhood for their current home to reflect the racial makeup of the larger metro area. “It’s not that these inequities don’t exist in other metros, but one of the places that they are the most dramatic is Boston,” said Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, lead researcher at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Areas with low opportunity scores are peppered throughout the larger Boston metro area, concentrated in the city of Boston, but also in smaller urban communities like Chelsea, Lawrence, and Brockton. Many of these communities are densely populated with African-American and Hispanic children.

Black and Hispanic working families are twice as likely as those headed by whites and Asians to be poor or low-income — a gap that has widened since the recession

Nearly one-third of all working families are either in poverty or earn no more than twice the poverty rate, which is $40,180 a year for a family of three. But 55% of Hispanic families and 49% of black families fall into that category, in part because they have lower levels of educational attainment than whites and Asians, who have just under 1 in 4 working families that are low-income. Nearly half of all low-income working families — and nearly 3 out of 4 low-income black working families — are headed by single parents. Also, more than half of low-income Hispanic families had at least one parent who did not complete high school. By contrast, just 16% of white workers were high school dropouts. Out of the 584,829 working families in New York that were considered low income in 2013, 381,000 (65%) were ethnic minorities. Only 35% (203,000) were white. Black and Hispanic working families in New York share a greater percentage of the low-income working families among minorities. In New York, 51% of the 197,000 Hispanic working families and 39% of the 278,000 black working families have incomes less than 200% of the poverty rate compared with 19% of the 1.08 million white working families. Nationwide, among the 10.6 million low-income working families in America, racial and ethnic minorities constitute 58%, even though they made up only 40% of all working families in the country. Also, 14 million of the 24 million children who live in low-income working families belong to racial or ethnic minorities. Latinos are at risk economically more than others because many of their low-income working families include at least one immigrant parent.

Black gang leader Donald "Amen" Raynor has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for the June 2007 murder of rival gang member Delano Gray

Superior Court Judge Hunchu Kwak called Raynor — a two-time convicted felon with a list of pending serious criminal charges — a "very violent and dangerous man who poses a danger to society," before sentencing him to the maximum term. Raynor's sentencing was the latest chapter in a homicide case that went unsolved for six years before a tip from a prison inmate led to a suspect and the prosecution of others tied to Raynor and the gang's criminal acts. Jurors in March 2015 found Raynor guilty of the June 18, 2007, murder of Gray, 22, during a drive-by shooting on Enfield Street. An earlier trial for Gray's murder ended with a hung jury in September 2014. Gray's case was featured in the state's cold-case playing card project, in which decks of cards are sold to prison inmates with information about unsolved homicides and missing persons cases printed on each card. Raynor was arrested in 2013 after an inmate gave police information about Gray's murder. The investigation of Gray's murder also led to more than a dozen arrests in a drug sweep that targeted a crack cocaine and heroin distribution network involving the Money Green Bedroc gang in Hartford's North End. Police said that Raynor was a leader in the gang. Gray was a member of The Avenue gang, which is also known as The Ave., police said. The gang is based in the Albany Avenue area. Both groups fought over drug turf in the city. Supervisory Assistant State's Attorney Patrick Griffin said that Raynor was both "vicious and cowardly" the day he was out to shoot a rival gang member at random on June 18, 2007, with a .223-caliber Kel-Tec firearm. Raynor was lying down in the back seat of a vehicle when he spotted Gray and fired multiple shots in his direction, Griffin said. Gray tried to run away and was shot in the back. Griffin said that investigators found 15 shell casings from the weapon in the street. Bullets also struck three homes, piercing the back of a sofa in a living room of one home and putting a hole in the wall of a dining room closet in another house on the street. Jose Rivera, Raynor's accomplice in the shooting of Gray, is serving a 42-year prison sentence for a 2011 murder. Eight months later, Griffin said that the same firearm was used in a shooting in Hartford in which multiple shots were fired and another home was struck. Raynor also faces charges in connection with the gang-related shootings of five other people in the city in 2007 and 2008. Court records said that the shootings were in retaliation for the slaying of Raynor's friend, Ezekiel Roberts, at the West Indian Day parade in August 2008. Roberts, who police said was a high-ranking member of the Money Green Bedroc gang, was killed during a violent clash between the feuding gangs at the parade. Four teens and two children under the age of 10 were wounded by the gunfire at the parade.

Immigrant gang crime in Canada

The family of Arun Bains — the first person killed in a recent spate of gun violence in Surrey believed to be linked to gangs — says that he was not a criminal. "Arun was not a criminal. He was not a gang member. He was loved by everyone who knew him," the family said in an emailed statement. "This is an extraordinarily painful time. Arun was the heart of our family." The family described Bains as a "fine young man" who had a "bright future ahead of him." He was the nephew of MLA Harry Bains. Surrey RCMP, however, said that the 22-year-old was known to police. He was shot just before 3 a.m. PT Sunday at 126 Street and 88A Avenue in Surrey. Bains is the first fatality out of 23 gang-related shootings in past six weeks. The RCMP has not confirmed whether this latest shooting is connected to a recent escalation in violence between rival gangs of Somali and South Asian descent in the area, but they did say that they believed this was a targeted shooting. Sue Hammell, the NDP MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, said that Surrey is simply not safe and people living in the areas plagued by recent gunfire are worried and frightened. "You can't have in a community, bullets flying around, and not inevitably have someone killed or hurt that is an innocent bystander," Hammell said.

The Hispanic accused of murdering a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model” was already a known gang member when he was approved for Obama’s amnesty for so-called Dreamers, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has revealed

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency charged with approving amnesty applications, admitted that it broke its own rules in approving the gang member for tentative legal status, agency chief Leon Rodriguez said in a letter to Sen. Charles E. Grassley. “Based on standard procedures and processes in place at the time, the [deferred action] request and related employment authorization should not have been approved,” Rodriguez said in admitting his agency’s catastrophic error in approving Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez. Rodriguez said that Rangel’s immigrant’s status was revoked March 5, 2015 — but that was a month after he’d already been arrested by police and accused of killing Mirjana Puhar, a contestant on the “Top Model” program, and three others. The admissions are a serious black eye for Obama’s amnesty program, which he has insisted would allow generally law-abiding illegal immigrants to live and work without fear, while weeding out serious criminals. USCIS admitted in its letter to Grassley that another 20 immigrants with potential gang ties have also been approved, and officers are now going back and trying to figure out whether rules were broken in those cases as well. Rodriguez said that his officers will also face retraining so they know which applications to deny. But Grassley said that the approvals exposed the holes with the amnesty, which Obama announced in 2012 and which has approved more than 600,000 Dreamers for tentative legal status under his program, officially known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. “It’s no secret that USCIS staff is under intense pressure to approve every DACA application that comes across their desk, and based on this information, it’s clear that adequate protocols are not in place to protect public safety,” Grassley said. “The fact is that this tragedy could have been avoided if the agency had a zero tolerance policy with regard to criminal aliens and gang members.” Puhar, the model contestant that Rangel is accused of killing, was an immigrant herself, having been born in Serbia but fleeing with her family at age 5 after the Kosovo war.

Monday, April 20, 2015

What is Israel's duty to migrants?

The Jewish-owned New York Times is calling on Europe to take in hundreds of thousands of black African immigrants, but it is not calling on Israel to take in any. Why is this? Don't the good Jewish people of Israel have a responsibility to help the poor people of Africa?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Poorer outcomes for African-American women with estrogen-receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer, compared with European-American patients, appears to be due, in part, to a strong survival mechanism within the cancer cells

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center investigators report that breast tumors from African-American patients show reduced sensitivity to tamoxifen, a leading treatment for ER+ breast cancer, caused by increased activation of the "unfolded protein response," or UPR. If UPR is activated due to stress within a cancer cell from anti-cancer treatment, "it can switch on a pro-survival pathway, allowing tumor cells to hunker down and wait out the attack," says the study's lead investigator, Ayesha Shajahan-Haq, PhD, an oncology research assistant professor. "From our gene analyses, we found increased activation of the UPR pro-survival pathway in African-American patients, compared with other patients, along with increased activity of a number of genes associated with that pathway," says Shajahan-Haq. "This can lead to increased resistance to common therapies." About 70% of all breast cancers are ER+, which means that they depend on estrogen to grow. In many of these cancers, treatment involves preventing estrogen from reaching the cancer cell. However, about 50% of treated tumors develop treatment resistance. African-American women with this breast cancer subtype, treated the same way as European-American women, have worse progression-free and overall survival - for reasons that have not been understood. "Our findings offer a partial understanding of racial differences within ER+ breast cancers," Shajahan-Haq says. "We demonstrate both increased resistance to anti-cancer therapy in African-American patients as well as the reason that resistance occurs."

Why is Cystic Fibrosis so common in northwestern Europe?

One possible explanation is that it may have evolved as a response to arsenic and lead poisoning of Iron Age metal workers.

Black-on-black violence: Black South Africans are savagely attacking and threatening black immigrants from other parts of Africa

Liberals will probably just blame this on apartheid like they do with everything else that goes wrong in South Africa.

Friday, April 17, 2015

African-American men in general are at higher risk of prostate cancer, including being at a higher risk of death from the disease - but why this is has not been clearly defined

An analysis now suggests a relationship with obesity. Higher BMI in the study was associated with prostate cancer in all men, but African-Americans were at greater danger; the chances of these men getting prostate cancer increased fourfold for obesity compared with normal weight. The relationship between obesity and prostate cancer is complex - but the risk is clearly higher in African-Americans, the study finds. The analysis covers 3,398 African-American and 22,673 non-Hispanic white men who had taken part in the SELECT trial. They formed a prospective study cohort who had originally been recruited to test whether selenium and vitamin E had a preventive role against prostate cancer - but they gave obesity-related data in the process. Any men who had not yielded data on body mass index (BMI) and other relevant variables were left out of this analysis. Prostate cancer incidence was the outcome tracked and has been analyzed for its relationship to obesity and race by Wendy Barrington, PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Dr. Barrington - assistant professor in psychosocial and community health at the University of Washington School of Nursing - accessed data on total numbers of prostate cancer diagnoses, and which of these were low-grade or high-grade. Grading had been performed in the pathology lab on biopsy samples - to reach a Gleason score, which below 7 means low-grade prostate cancer, or high-grade at 7 and greater. Key among her findings was that the risk of developing prostate cancer in the African-American men who were obese approached four times the risk of African-American men who had normal weight. Using BMI, the analysis found a 28% risk of getting prostate cancer for the African-American men who had a BMI below 25 and a 103% risk for those with a BMI of 35 or more, representing obesity. By contrast, "obesity was not associated with risk of total prostate cancer" among the non-Hispanic white men in the study, the authors conclude. Dr. Barrington confirmed the main message of the findings. As corresponding and primary author, she said: "The main take-home point for practicing physicians is to recognize that obesity has a different relationship to prostate cancer risk in African-American compared to non-Hispanic white men."

A third black man has been arrested in what Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen says is "one of the most disgusting, repulsive, sickening things" he has ever seen

George Davon Kennedy has been arrested in Dekalb County, Georgia, over the public gang rape of a woman on a public beach in Panama City, Florida, during spring break. Police say that the black Middle Tennessee State student, who was arrested on a charge of sexual assault by multiple perpetrators, took part in the attack and was also seen encouraging others in video of the incident. Two other men have been arrested and a fourth person seen in the video is being sought, investigators say. The two suspects arrested earlier are students at Alabama's Troy University, and Kennedy appears to have no connection to them "other than being there on the beach together," a sheriff's office spokesman said. Investigators suspect that the woman in the video was drugged, and the sheriff says that this is not an isolated incident. He says that multiple other videos of women being assaulted on local beaches amid hundreds of people have been recovered. "Our culture and our society and our young people have got to the point where obviously this is acceptable somewhere," he says. "I will tell you it is not acceptable in Bay County."

New research shows that poor children have smaller brains than affluent children

Neuroscientists who studied the brain scans of nearly 1,100 children and young adults nationwide from ages 3 to 20 found that the surface area of the cerebral cortex was linked to family income. They discovered that the brains of children in families that earned less than $25,000 a year had surface areas 6% smaller than those whose families earned $150,000 or more. The poor children also scored lower on average on a battery of cognitive tests. The region of the brain in question handles language, memory, spatial skills and reasoning, all important to success in school and beyond. In another study, a team led by neuroscientist John Gabrieli of MIT found differences in the brain’s cortical thickness between low-income and higher-income teenagers. The study linked that difference for the first time to standardized test scores: 57% of the poor children scored proficient in math and reading tests given annually in Massachusetts, compared with 91% of the higher-income students.

Trevor Noah and Jewish media power

Jews believe that only they should have freedom of speech.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Latino murdered an 18-month-old boy in his care just because he couldn't handle a common hazard of diaper-changing

Martin Alvarado Jr., 23, flew into a rage and beat Edwin Eli O'Reilly, his girlfriend's son, to death after the toddler peed on him while he was changing his diaper. The Cook County medical examiner's office says that the boy died of multiple blunt-force injuries and the death has been ruled a homicide by child abuse. Alvarado was arrested after police and paramedics called to the home found the unresponsive child; he has been charged with first-degree murder. A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says that the agency has had previous contact with the family, and one of Edwin's siblings has been taken into protective custody. Alvarado has confessed to killing the child.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Just 49% of college-educated black women marry a well-educated man (i.e., with at least some post-secondary education), compared to 84% of college-educated white women, according to an analysis of PSID data by Yale sociologist Vida Maralani

Young white women — aged between 25 and 35 — are the most likely to have at least a BA (37%), followed by white men (29%), black women (23%) and black men (16%). Marriage rates are lower among black women compared to white women, even among those with a college education. The proportion of black college graduates aged 25 to 35 who have never married is 60%, compared to 38% for white college-educated women. White women with college degrees are more than twice as likely as their black counterparts (29% v 13%) to be married to someone of equal or greater educational status. Married, black college graduates are much more likely to have a husband with a lower level of education, compared to whites of a similar background (58% v 48%). Married black women with at least a college degree are less likely than their white counterparts to be in the top household income quintile (27% compared to 35%) and more likely to be in a lower income quintile. In fact, black college graduates are equally likely to be in the fourth income quintile as in the top quintile.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

African-American women who live in rural areas have lower rates of major depressive disorder (MDD) and mood disorder compared with their urban counterparts, while rural non-Hispanic white women have higher rates for both than their urban counterparts

MDD is a common and debilitating mental illness and the prevalence of depression among both African Americans and rural residents is understudied. Addie Weaver, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the interaction of urban vs. rural residence and race/ethnicity on lifetime and 12-month MDD and mood disorder in African-American and non-Hispanic white women. The researchers used data from the U.S. National Survey of American Life, a nationally representative household survey, which includes a substantial proportion of rural and suburban respondents, all of whom were recruited from southern states. Participants included 1,462 African-American women and 341 non-Hispanic white women. Overall, when compared with African-American women, non-Hispanic white women had higher lifetime prevalences of MDD (21.3% vs. 10.1%) and mood disorder (21.8% vs. 13.6%). And non-Hispanic white women also had higher prevalences of 12-month MDD than African-American women (8.8% vs. 5.5%), according to the results. The study also found that rural African-American women had lower prevalence rates of lifetime (4.2%) and 12-month (1.5%) MDD compared with their urban counterparts (10.4% and 5.3%, respectively). The rates were adjusted by urbanicity and race/ethnicity. The same was true for mood disorder, with rural African-American women having lower adjusted prevalence rates of lifetime (6.7%) and 12-month (3.3%) mood disorder when compared to their urban counterparts (13.9% and 7.6%, respectively), according to the results. However, rural non-Hispanic white women had higher rates of 12-month MDD (10.3%) and mood disorder (10.3%) than their urban counterparts (3.7% and 3.8%, respectively). "These findings offer an important first step toward understanding the cumulative effect of rural residence and race/ethnicity on MDD among African-American women and non-Hispanic white women and suggest the need for further research in this area. This study adds to the small, emerging body of research on the correlates of MDD among African Americans," the study concludes.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Rapidly growing numbers of black immigrants have reshaped the overall black population in the United States in recent decades, particularly in the District of Columbia and other cities with large U.S.-born, African American communities, a new report says

A record 3.8 million foreign-born blacks now live in the United States, the Pew Research Center reported. The influx means that the share of foreign-born blacks, largely from Africa and the Caribbean, has grown from 3.1% of the black population in 1980 to 8.7% in 2013. By 2060, 16.5% of the U.S. black population will be foreign-born, the report says. The report highlights the degree to which the U.S. black population is less homogeneous than in previous generations, experts said. The impact of black immigration has been particularly strong in cities that already had some of the nation’s largest black populations. For instance, in the District, 15% of the black population was born outside the United States. In Miami, 34% of the black community was born elsewhere. In New York City’s metro area, the number is 28%. Nearly half the influx has occurred since 2000, the report says. The most recent wave of black immigration began in the 1960s following changes to U.S. immigration laws. In recent years, the pace has increased. The most recent Census Bureau estimates show that immigration accounted for 25% of the growth in the U.S. black population between 2010 and July 2013. Half of black immigrants arrived from the Caribbean, the Pew report says. The largest source is Jamaica, with 682,000 immigrants, followed by Haiti, with 586,000. Jamaican immigrants now make up 18% of the black population in the United States, while those from Haiti represent about 15% of the U.S. black population. But a rapidly growing proportion of foreign-born blacks who arrived in the United States in recent years came from Africa, led almost entirely by immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, the report says. Nigeria and Ethiopia have the first and second-most immigrants in the United States, respectively. Many sub-Saharan immigrants — 28% — were refugees or others seeking asylum. About 8% of black immigrants came from South or Central America, the report says.

The brothers of men convicted of sex offences are five times more likely than average to commit similar crimes, according to researchers

They also found that the sons of fathers with a criminal record for sex offending were nearly four times more likely to be convicted of such crimes. The biggest study of its kind suggests that sex offending could run in the family along the male genetic line. The findings show that 40% to 50% of the differences in risk between close relatives of offenders and men from the general population were genetically driven. Over the past few years a string of brothers have been convicted of child sex offences, including Mohammed Jumale and his brother Omar Jumale, who were part of a 13-strong gang that raped girls as young as 13-years old. Anjum Dogar, 31, and his brother Akhtar, 32 were jailed in 2013 for the abuse of six girls over the course of eight years in Oxford. The scientists studied data on all men convicted of sexual offences in Sweden between 1973 and 2009. Rates of sexual offending there are similar to those in Britain. Of the 21,566 offenders, nearly half had convictions for adult rape or child molesting. Other crimes included possession of child pornography, indecent exposure and sexual harassment. Evidence from half-brothers sharing either a mother or father and being raised in different family environments supported the idea that genetics played an important role in sexual offending. More than half of the difference in risk was linked to non-shared environmental factors including perinatal complications, head injuries and childhood sexual victimization that affect an individual but are not shared with other family members. Behavioral factors found in sex crimes, such as impulsive behavior, hypersexuality and sexual deviance, may be genetic-based drivers for the offences, said the researchers.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

When children are unmotivated at school, new research suggests that their genes may be part of the equation

A study of more than 13,000 twins from six countries found that 40% to 50% of the differences in children's motivation to learn could be explained by their genetic inheritance from their parents. The results surprised study co-author Stephen Petrill, who thought before the study that the twins' shared environment - such as the family and teachers that they had in common - would be a larger factor than genetics. Instead, genetics and non-shared environment factors had the largest effect on learning motivation, whereas the shared environment had negligible impact. "We had pretty consistent findings across these different countries with their different educational systems and different cultures. It was surprising," said Petrill, who is a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. The results strongly suggest that we should think twice before automatically blaming parents, teachers and the children themselves for students who aren't motivated in class. "The knee-jerk reaction is to say someone is not properly motivating the student, or the child himself is responsible," Petrill said. "We found that there are personality differences that people inherit that have a major impact on motivation. That doesn't mean we don't try to encourage and inspire students, but we have to deal with the reality of why they're different." The study involved separate studies of twins aged 9 to 16 in the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Germany, Russia and the United States. The study methodology and questions in each country were slightly different, but all measured similar concepts. In all the countries, students completed a measure of how much they enjoyed various academic activities. For example, in Germany, students rated how much they liked reading, writing and spelling. All students were also asked to rate their own ability in different subjects in school. For example, in the United States, students were asked to rate how much they agreed with statements like "I know that I will do well in reading next year." The researchers compared how close the answers were for fraternal twins - who share half their inherited genes, on average - with identical twins, who share all of their inherited genes. To the extent that identical twins' answers were more closely matched than those of fraternal twins, that suggests a stronger genetic effect. The results were strikingly similar across all six countries with children of all ages, Petrill said. On average, 40% to 50% of the difference between twins in motivation could be explained by genetics. About the same percentage could be explained by what is called the twins' non-shared environment - for example, differential parenting or a teacher that one twin has but not the other. Only about 3% could be explained by their shared environment, such as their common family experience. "Most personality variables have a genetic component, but to have nearly no shared environment component is unexpected," Petrill said. "But it was consistent across all six countries." The results don't mean there is a gene for how much children enjoy learning, he said. But the findings suggest a complex process, involving many genes and gene-environment interactions, that help influence children's motivation to learn. "We should absolutely encourage students and motivate them in the classroom. But these findings suggest the mechanisms for how we do that may be more complicated than we had previously thought," he said.

A federal judge is questioning whether a new exam for aspiring teachers in New York is discriminatory against minorities, a case that could derail the state’s efforts to create a more rigorous set of tests for entry into the profession

Black and Hispanic applicants have been passing one of the exams, intended to measure reading and writing skills, at lower rates than white candidates, prompting concerns of decreased diversity in the teaching ranks. The judge, Kimba M. Wood of Federal District Court in Manhattan, has asked the state for extensive documentation on the development of the test, which was first given during the 2013-14 school year. The request came as part of a long-running case brought in 1996 by black and Hispanic teachers against New York City. In 2012, Judge Wood ruled that an older state-certification test, which was intended to measure teachers’ knowledge of the liberal arts and science, was racially discriminatory. Although compensation has not yet been awarded, the city is expected to have to pay back wages to several thousand teachers who were demoted to being substitutes from the early 1990s to 2004, or were never hired as full-time teachers because they did not pass the older test. The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Joshua Sohn, a partner at Mishcon de Reya New York, said that he did not know if the new test, the Academic Literacy Skills Test, was discriminatory. But, he said, given the fact that blacks and Hispanics are passing the test at lower levels than whites, “the court has an obligation to ensure that the historical discrimination is not continuing.” The literacy test is the most challenging of four exams introduced in the 2013-14 school year, as part of an effort to raise the caliber of teachers and teacher training programs. Over all, the number of aspiring teachers passing the four required tests dropped by 20% from previous years. Students may retake tests that they failed. Under a provision in the new state budget, any graduate-level teacher training program that has fewer than 50% of its students pass each certification exam for three consecutive years will not be able to admit new students. The earlier test that Judge Wood ruled was discriminatory, the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test, was used until 2004. She said that because the minority candidates were failing that test in greater numbers, the burden was on public officials to prove that the test served a valid purpose. In similar rulings, judges around the country have thrown out written exams for firefighters and police officers, ruling that they were not relevant to the tasks that they would be performing. Judge Wood ruled that officials had not shown that the material on the test “accurately measured the minimum knowledge about the liberal arts and sciences that teachers need to be competent.” She is also expected to rule soon on whether a replacement test with the same name, which was in use from 2004 to 2013, was also discriminatory. If she decides that it was, thousands of additional people who failed the test during that time and thus were barred from full-time teaching positions could make claims against the city for back pay and other benefits. A testing expert appointed by the court submitted a report in February 2015 that concluded the state had not proved that the test was relevant. The new literacy test that is now under scrutiny by Judge Wood “requires the teacher to demonstrate an understanding of evidence found in texts and uses cogent reasoning to analyze and synthesize ideas,” according to the State Education Department. “The teacher produces complex and nuanced writing by choosing words, information, and structure deliberately for a given task, purpose, and audience.” Sample questions provided by the state include a passage about Gertrude Stein’s life in Paris, followed by questions about the passage, and two passages about federal energy policy that the test-taker is asked to analyze in short written responses. Kate Walsh, the president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, which advocates tougher certification requirements, said that the judge’s questioning of the test was troubling. “I want to ask Judge Wood,” Walsh said, “would she be willing to have any of these teachers teach her own children or grandchildren, and I would bet my life she’d say no. They’re saying, at the risk of not appearing racist, or at the risk of having to make a hard call against adults, I’m going to sacrifice the best needs of kids.” The State Education Department has not released statistics showing passing rates by ethnicity, but officials have acknowledged that minority teaching candidates have not done as well as white candidates on the new test. While 41% of students in public schools are Hispanic and 25% are black, 60% of teachers are white, according to the city’s Education Department. Eighteen percent of teachers are black, and 15% are Hispanic.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Israel and Rwanda are discussing a deal in which the East African nation would take in illegal migrants from the Jewish state in exchange for favorable contracts

Under the proposed agreement, which has come under scrutiny by human rights organizations, Israel would send hundreds of Eritrean and Sudanese nationals, many of them asylum-seekers, to Rwanda in return for favorable deals that include millions of dollars in grants. The information is based on statements made by Rwandan President Paul Kagame during a press conference in Kigali. In addition to Rwanda, Israel is rumored to have reached a similar arrangement with Uganda, though neither Kampala nor Jerusalem confirmed this. Israel’s Interior Ministry has confirmed in a statement that it will “expel immigrants from the detention centers” and encourage migrants “to leave Israel in a safe and respectable way” for specific African countries that would grant them legal immigration rights. Approximately 50,000 Africans who entered Israel through Egypt live in Israel, which is bound by international treaties to let them stay while they have United Nations refugee status. However, they can be relocated to a third country willing to accept them. Many asylum-seekers are held in southern Israel’s Holot detention facility. In recent years, a new barrier along the Egypt-Israel border has stopped additional newcomers from arriving. Israel’s Interior Minister Gilad Erdan confirmed the report during an interview, offering some initial details: “We give them a package that includes a flight and $3,500 – no small sum in these countries. They will be given visas and will be allowed to work,” he said.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The older brother of comedienne Mindy Kaling has controversially claimed that he was only accepted into medical school in the late 1990s because he posed as a black man

Writing on his blog, Almost Black, Vijay Chokal-Ingam says that he felt he had to change his appearance to get into the St. Louis University School of Medicine and heavily attacks affirmative action policies in the United States. "I was determined to become a doctor and I knew that admission standards for certain minorities under affirmative action were, let's say… less stringent?" wrote Chokal-Ingam. "I got into medical school because I said I was black. The funny thing is I'm not." Chokal-Ingam admits that his sister did not support him during his social experiment and specifically asked him not to do it. He claims that in 1998 he shaved his head, trimmed his long Indian eyelashes and joined the Organization of Black Students during the process. His change in appearance was so startling that his own fraternity brothers didn't recognize him. "Vijay the Indian-American frat boy became Jojo the African American Affirmative Action applicant to medical school," he said, claiming that Jojo was the middle name he was born with. As an Indian-American with a GPA of 3.1, MCAT of 31 and a member of the South Asian Student Association, he didn't think that he'd get into medical school, but with a change of appearance and switch of student organization, he thought he could get in to some of the top schools in the nation. "I became a serious contender at some of the greatest medical schools in America, including Harvard, Wash U, UPenn, Case Western, and Columbia," he said about the application process. "In all, I interviewed at eleven prestigious medical schools in 9 major cities across America, while posing a black man," he added.

As the economy picks up across Minnesota, the state's Somali-born population continues to battle higher than average unemployment

The most recent figures, for 2011-2013, put Somalis' unemployment at 21%t, about three times the rate for the general population during the same period of time. Census numbers show that of Minnesota's five largest immigrant groups, Somali unemployment is the highest. More than half of the state's Somalis live in poverty.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Why does one child learn easily, whereas another has difficulty keeping up at school?

Why does the one child find it so difficult to remain sitting on a chair whereas another can work independently without any problems? Researcher Eveline de Zeeuw from VU University Amsterdam investigated the causes of differences in school performances and behavior between primary school children. She discovered that the differences between children are largely caused by genetic disposition. Eveline de Zeeuw investigated the influence of genetics on the results of the Cito pupil monitoring system tests (for ages 6 to 11) and the Cito final test (age 12). Her research revealed that genetic disposition has more influence than the environment on the results for arithmetic (60-74%), reading (72-82%), reading comprehension (54-63%) and spelling (33-70%). Genetic disposition was also largely responsible (74%) for differences between children in the Cito final score. For ADHD behaviour the genetic disposition is also important for differences between children. Different class environments, teachers and classmates do influence the degree to which genes exert an influence on ADHD behavior. In a group of identical twins the child that exhibits the most ADHD behavior performs worse at school than his or her genetically identical twin brother or sister. The negative effect of ADHD on school performances therefore persists if this is corrected for genetic disposition. The negative correlation between ADHD and school performances seems to be the consequence of a causal effect of ADHD on school performances. If a behavioral intervention or the use of medicines results in reduced ADHD, this will also indirectly improve school performances. This effect was found to be even greater among children with predominantly attention problems than among children who mainly exhibited hyperactive behavior. This research made use of data about 7-, 9- and 12-year-old twins and their brothers and sisters, which the Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) of the VU University Amsterdam collected as part of a project for the National Initiative Brain and Cognition (an NWO temporary taskforce). Parents and teachers completed questionnaires about problem behavior and school performances, report marks and test results (Cito) for these children. Some of the families also gave tissue samples from which DNA was isolated for genetic research.

The District of Columbia produces the largest reading and math proficiency gaps in the nation, in regards to white fourth graders and their non-white Hispanic and black counterparts, while the opposite is true of states like Louisiana

The Hispanic-white gap is narrower than the black-white gap, but disparities persist for Latinos. Among U.S. Latinos students, advancements in reading can be attributed to increased English language proficiency among ESL students. The Hispanic-white gap has improved in grades four and eight in 32 out of 47 states, according to a recently published report. Nonetheless, reading proficiency gaps persist in areas such as the District of Columbia, where 22.8% of Hispanic fourth-grade students versus 76.6% of white students are reading proficient. Math proficiency gaps also continue to exist in the District of Columbia, where only 14.7% of African-American fourth graders, 23.3% of Hispanic fourth graders and 87.7% of white fourth graders are reading proficient. In Kentucky, the Hispanic-white reading proficiency gaps are narrower, where 29.4% of Hispanics and 39.2% of whites proved to be proficient in reading. When it comes to math proficiency, the Hispanic-white gap improved in just 13 of 47 states, compare that to only nine of 45 states for the black-white math proficiency gap. Louisiana presents the narrowest math proficiency gap among fourth graders, with 28.9% of Hispanics versus 40% of white students testing at or above proficient in math. At the same time, the District of Columbia shows 23.3% of Hispanics and 87.7% of whites tested at or above proficient in math. The median household incomes of Latinos are closest to whites in areas in Florida, such as Deltona, where Hispanic household make 97 cent for each dollar. And the widest gaps exist in Hartford, Connecticut, where there's a difference of 40 cents. The lowest Hispanic median household income is in Springfield, Massachusetts, ($24,781) and the highest is in Washington, D.C. ($65,736). Nationally, unemployment and income disparities between Latinos and whites have narrowed more than it has between black and whites during economic recovery, but there are pronounced Latino unemployment rates in some areas. Consistent with the findings present about the widest Hispanic-white immigration gaps, the largest Hispanic-white immigration gap is in the District of Columbia. Just 58.5% of Hispanics freshmen graduate compared to 87.8% of whites. The smallest gap exists in Maine, where 96.1% of Hispanic freshmen graduate, compared to 84.4% of whites. Higher graduation rates also exist in Louisiana, New Hampshire, Hawaii and Arkansas. The smallest gaps tend to exist in states where the non-white population is small and where the test scores are also fairly low for the white student population. And the larger gaps are generally present in large urban areas with large non-white populations.

A new study shows that pale skin, as well as other traits such as tallness and the ability to digest milk as adults, arrived in most of Europe relatively recently

The work offers dramatic evidence of recent evolution in Europe and shows that most modern Europeans don’t look much like those of 8000 years ago. The origins of Europeans have come into sharp focus recently as researchers have sequenced the genomes of ancient populations, rather than only a few individuals. By comparing key parts of the DNA across the genomes of 83 ancient individuals from archaeological sites throughout Europe, the international team of researchers reported earlier in 2015 that modern Europeans are a mix of the blending of at least three ancient populations of hunter-gatherers and farmers who moved into Europe in separate migrations over the past 8000 years. The study revealed that a massive migration of Yamnaya herders from the steppes north of the Black Sea may have brought Indo-European languages to Europe about 4500 years ago. Now, a new study from the same team drills down further into that remarkable data to search for genes that were under strong natural selection — including traits so favorable that they spread rapidly throughout Europe in the past 8000 years. By comparing the ancient European genomes with those of recent ones from the 1000 Genomes Project, population geneticist Iain Mathieson, a postdoc in the Harvard University lab of population geneticist David Reich, found five genes associated with changes in diet and skin pigmentation that underwent strong natural selection. First, the scientists confirmed an earlier report that the hunter-gatherers in Europe could not digest the sugars in milk 8000 years ago. They also noted an interesting twist: The first farmers also couldn’t digest milk. The farmers who came from the Near East about 7800 years ago and the Yamnaya pastoralists who came from the steppes 4800 years ago lacked the version of the LCT gene that allows adults to digest sugars in milk. It wasn’t until about 4300 years ago that lactose tolerance swept through Europe. When it comes to skin color, the team found a patchwork of evolution in different places, and three separate genes that produce light skin, telling a complex story for how European’s skin evolved to be much lighter during the past 8000 years. The modern humans who came out of Africa to originally settle Europe about 40,000 years are presumed to have had dark skin, which is advantageous in sunny latitudes. And the new data confirm that about 8500 years ago, early hunter-gatherers in Spain, Luxembourg, and Hungary also had darker skin: They lacked versions of two genes — SLC24A5 and SLC45A2 — that lead to depigmentation and, therefore, pale skin in modern Europeans. But in the far north — where low light levels would favor pale skin — the team found a different picture in hunter-gatherers: Seven people from the 7700-year-old Motala archaeological site in southern Sweden had both light skin gene variants, SLC24A5 and SLC45A2. They also had a third gene, HERC2/OCA2, which causes blue eyes and may also contribute to light skin and blond hair. Thus ancient hunter-gatherers of the far north were already pale and blue-eyed, but those of central and southern Europe had darker skin. Then, the first farmers from the Near East arrived in Europe; they carried both genes for light skin. As they interbred with the indigenous hunter-gatherers, one of their light-skin genes swept through Europe, so that central and southern Europeans also began to have lighter skin. The other gene variant, SLC45A2, was at low levels until about 5800 years ago when it swept up to high frequency. The team also tracked complex traits, such as height, which are the result of the interaction of many genes. They found that selection strongly favored several gene variants for tallness in northern and central Europeans, starting 8000 years ago, with a boost coming from the Yamnaya migration, starting 4800 years ago. The Yamnaya have the greatest genetic potential for being tall of any of the populations, which is consistent with measurements of their ancient skeletons. In contrast, selection favored shorter people in Italy and Spain starting 8000 years ago. Spaniards, in particular, shrank in stature 6000 years ago, perhaps as a result of adapting to colder temperatures and a poor diet. Surprisingly, the team found no immune genes under intense selection, which is counter to hypotheses that diseases would have increased after the development of agriculture. The paper doesn’t specify why these genes might have been under such strong selection. But the likely explanation for the pigmentation genes is to maximize vitamin D synthesis, said paleoanthropologist Nina Jablonski of Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), University Park. People living in northern latitudes often don’t get enough UV to synthesize vitamin D in their skin so natural selection has favored two genetic solutions to that problem — evolving pale skin that absorbs UV more efficiently or favoring lactose tolerance to be able to digest the sugars and vitamin D naturally found in milk. “What we thought was a fairly simple picture of the emergence of depigmented skin in Europe is an exciting patchwork of selection as populations disperse into northern latitudes,” Jablonski says. “This data is fun because it shows how much recent evolution has taken place.” Anthropological geneticist George Perry, also of Penn State, notes that the work reveals how an individual’s genetic potential is shaped by their diet and adaptation to their habitat. “We’re getting a much more detailed picture now of how selection works.”

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Shifts in the world’s major religions will see Islam growing faster than any other faith, with the number of Muslims nearly equaling that of Christians by 2050

A new Pew Research Center study finds that with the exception of Buddhists, the world’s major religions will all see an increase in numbers by 2050, although some will make up a smaller percentage from today. Muslims are the only major religious group projected to increase faster than the world’s population as a whole. Over the coming four decades, Christianity will remain the world’s largest religious affiliation, but Islam will see a major increase that will make the two religions nearly equal in numbers by 2050. In 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with 2.2 billion followers of the faith and composing nearly one-third (31%) of the Earth’s 6.9 billion people. Islam was second, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23% of the world’s population. If current fertility rates and youth populations continue to grow at their current rate, Muslims will make up 10% of Europe’s overall population by 2050. Islam is expected to nearly match Christianity in the coming four decades as a result of a “comparatively youthful” population with high fertility rates. If current trends continue, Muslims will outnumber Christians worldwide around 2070. Muslims worldwide are projected to see a 73% increase while Christians will rise about half that fast (35%). The world’s overall population is predicted to rise to 9.3 billion by 2050, also with a 35% rate of increase over the same time period. In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters (78%) of the population to about two-thirds (66%) by 2050. Muslims, “other religions” and those unaffiliated with religion will see the largest increases in North America. The religiously unaffiliated are expected to rise from 16% to more than one-quarter of the population, 26%. And by 2050, the United States will have more Muslims (2.1% of the general population) than people who identify as Jewish (1.4%). Europe is predicted to be the only region with a decline in its total population. Europe’s Christian population will see a loss of about 100 million people in the coming decades, falling from 553 million to 454 million people. Although Christians will remain Europe’s largest religious group, they are expected to decrease similarly to U.S. Christians, dropping from nearly three-quarters to less than two-thirds of the overall population. Worldwide, Muslims have the highest fertility rate with an average of 3.1 children per woman – far exceeding the replacement level needed to maintain a stable population. Christians are second, with an average 2.7 children per woman. In 2010, more than one-quarter (27%) of the world’s total population was under the age of 15. And Muslims comprised an even higher percentage of this youthful group at more than one-third (34%), compared to 27% of Christians under age 15. Pew’s “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth and Projections, 2010-2050” analysis estimates that four out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa by the middle of this century.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

One of the world's most influential black-led church coalitions has broken with the US Presbyterian Church over its endorsement of gay marriage

The National Black Church Initiative, a coalition of 34,000 African-American and Latino churches representing nearly 16 million Americans, and which work to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing and the environment said that it had split with the Presbyterians because of their "arbitrary change of Holy Scripture." The Presbyterian Church recently decided to redefine marriage as a "commitment between two people" to take into account same-sex marriage. Anthony Evans, president of the National Black Church Initiative, called on the Presbyterians to "repent and be restored to fellowship." He said that the change in doctrine was a "sin" and represented a break with 2,000 years of tradition. "No church has the right to change the word of God. By voting to redefine marriage PCUSA automatically forfeits Christ's saving grace," Evans wrote. Bishop Janice Hollis, presiding prelate of the Covenant International Fellowship, said that she agreed with Evans. Too many members of the clergy were "preoccupied" with secular values, she said. "God has the final say, but we all have to say something about what we believe and not live in hiding. We must share our faith and when we don't, we lose ground to our spiritual enemy that comes to devour and destroy." Conservative Christians in America's African-American community are among the critics of US President Barack Obama's liberal attitudes on issues such as same-sex marriage.

A recent survey by the YouGov-Cambridge Program shows that 55% of British voters currently think that there is a fundamental clash between Islam and the values of British society, compared with just 22% – little over one in five – who say that Islam and British values are generally compatible

Among Tory supporters, this gap increases to 68% who say “clash” versus 17% who think “compatible”. Ukip supporters look almost unanimous on the issue (89% “clash” versus 4% “compatible”) while roughly half of Labor supporters take the negative view (48% “clash” versus 27% “compatible”) and Lib Dems are divided (38% “clash” versus 39% “compatible).