Wednesday, September 30, 2015

An Indian Hindu mob came in the night while Mohammad Akhlaq slept, smashing in his door and dragging him from bed, then beating him to death with bricks until the blocks crumbled in their hands

Why? "They accused us of keeping cow meat," Akhlaq's daughter, Sajida, said. About 80% of Indians are Hindu and refuse to eat beef for religious reasons, but many of the country's 140 million Muslims do eat beef — or at least they did until laws passed or tightened under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, banned the practice. The state of Uttar Pradesh — home to Akhlaq, a Muslim in his 50s — prohibits the slaughter of cows and those who break the law face arrest. Yet when a rumor spread that Akhlaq killed a calf, 100 men in Bisara village reportedly took matters into their own hands. They "broke down our doors and started beating my father and brother," Sajida says. "My father was taken outside the house and beaten to death. My brother was dragged to the courtyard downstairs and they used bricks to hit him on the head and chest." The 22-year-old is now in critical condition. "They also tried to molest me and hit my grandmother," Sajida continues. "They threatened to kill me if I said a word to the police." Sajida adds that there was only mutton in the fridge. "The police have taken it for examination. If the results prove that it was not beef, will they bring back my dead father?" Eight people are charged with murder and rioting. Protesters set fire to two police cars and one person was shot by police after officers detained the priest of a temple from which the mob reportedly set out. The priest was later released.

South Africa’s murder rate has jumped 4.6% in the past year, with almost 49 people killed every day

A total of 17,805 murders were committed from April 2014 to March 2015, an increase of 782 deaths from the year before in a population of 54 million. The murder figures, which have risen each year from a low of 15,554 in 2011-12, reflect a reversal of what many had hoped was a long-term progress in reducing violent crime. “17,805 is a number I would expect from a country at war,” said Dianne Kohler Barnard, shadow police minister of the main opposition, Democratic Alliance. Armed robberies, carjackings and burglaries also increased, showing the country “lacks clear strategies to reverse this dangerous trend”, Gareth Newham, of the Institute for Security Studies think tank, said. “That robberies have increased raises questions about the extent to which police resources are being effectively used. With some of the best technology in the world, and more than 194,000 personnel, the South African police service should be better able to reduce crimes such as robbery.” The police minister said that South Africa needed to tackle the violence within their communities. “To think we can resolve the issue of murder on our own is effectively just hallucination in a sense, because it’s a social problem. It’s a problem that’s got to be tackled at the level of family units,” Nathi Nhleko said. Reported sexual offences, assaults and car thefts decreased. The fall in numbers of rape and other forms of sexual violence by 5.4% could mean that victims did not trust the police enough to report these crimes, Kohler Barnard said. More than 50,000 sexual offences were reported to South African police last year, but the number of sexual victims willing to report these crimes has dropped by 21% from 2011 to 2014, according to a national survey on victims of crime, carried out by Statistics South Africa, a government agency.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Researchers have found that there are distinct differences in how fingerprint ridges split between people of European and African ancestry

They analysed the prints of 61 African American women, 61 African American men, 61 European American women and 60 European American men. While they could not find any significant differences between men and women, they did find significant differences in the level two details of fingerprints between people of European and African descent. Level two details are specific variations such as bifurcations – where ridges split - ridge endings and other structures. The researchers found that black people tended to have around 5% more bifurcations than those who were white.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Almost half of Americans say that Asian immigrants have a positive effect on the country, while just 26% say the same of immigrants from Latin America

Before the Immigration and Nationality Act passed in 1965, white Americans made up 84% of the population, followed by African Americans at 11%, Hispanics at 4%, and Asians at less than 1%, per a Pew Research Center report. Today, with immigration policies no longer favoring Europeans, those figures are 62%, 12%, 18%, and 6%, respectively. How will they change in another 50 years? The US population will probably include 46% whites, 24% Hispanics, 14% Asians, and 13% African Americans, Pew reports. The biggest change comes with a new largest immigrant group: Hispanics now make up 47% of immigrants, but Pew expects that they'll total 31% by 2065, while Asians — including from China, Pakistan, and India — will total 38%.

Obama's America: Despite three years of supposed economic recovery, black children were as likely to be poor in 2013 as in 2010 — and more likely than at any time since the early 1990s

Almost four out of 10 black children are now growing up in poverty, as against one in nine white children. More than 25% of the black poor now live in areas of concentrated poverty, triple the rate for poor white people. Between 2007 and 2009, black homeowners were 70% more likely to suffer foreclosure than whites. Higher-earning black families were 80% more likely to lose their homes than their white counterparts. The evanescence of black home ownership explains why post-recession the wealth of the median black family tumbled to 1/13th the wealth of the median white family — a disparity wider than any at time in the past quarter century. The income of the median black household dropped 9.2% between 2007 and 2013 — as against 5.6% for the median white household.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A model was found hanged after fearing that she was about to be forced into an arranged marriage by her Muslim parents

Nadia Menaz, 24, was found dead at her home in Oldham, Greater Manchester in May 2015, five months after taking out a court order to stop her family from forcing her to marry. The mother-of-one had already married husband Umar Rasool in an Islamic ceremony, but her family did not approve of him and the union was not recognized under English law, Oldham Coroner's Court heard.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Researchers from the University of Liverpool have identified the genetic basis of how mice can recognise close relatives, even if they have never encountered them before

In the study, researchers demonstrated that a species-specific genetic marker called the major urinary protein (MUP), which is detected through the animal's scent, is used by female house mice to select closely related females as nest partners to help look after their offspring. The researchers also showed that another scent-based genetic marker, the vertebrate-wide major histocompatibility complex (MHC), is not involved in kin recognition, contrary to previous assumptions that this is how most animals recognize their relatives. It is well established that animals, including people, bias cooperation towards close relatives because it increases the odds of the genes that they share with relatives being passed to the next generation. Female house mice can breed cooperatively and usually select relatives as nest partners regardless of prior familiarity, but the genetic markers involved in this recognition have proven extremely difficult to identify. Previous work by the team provided the first hint that MUP but not MHC might provide a genetic kinship marker to avoid inbreeding with close kin, but could not prove the mechanisms involved. The next step for researchers is to investigate if other species have evolved similar genetic markers to recognize their relatives and, if so, whether these signals evolve only in species that cooperate with relatives to increase their breeding success.

In the latest setback over Bill Cosby's sex assault allegations, a pair of colleges have rescinded honorary degrees awarded to him years ago

Fordham University in New York and Marquette University in Wisconsin have announced that they had pulled the degrees given to the black comedian to honor him. In a statement, Fordham said that as a Jesuit university, it could "no longer stand behind the degree" it gave to Cosby in 2001. The school said that Cosby was unworthy of the honor not just because of the actions he admitted to in a deposition - that he obtained drugs to give to women he wanted to have sex with - but also because Fordham believed that he engaged in a "longtime strategy" of verbally attacking his female accusers. "That Mr. Cosby was willing to drug and rape women for his sexual gratification, and further damage those same women's reputations and careers to obscure his guilt, hurt not only his victims, but all women, and is beyond the pale," the statement read. Cosby's lawyer, John Schmitt, who went to Fordham's law school, wrote an angry letter to university president, Rev. Joseph McShane. Over the years, dozens of women have accused Cosby of sex assault, but he has never been charged. This is the first time that Fordham has rescinded an honorary degree. In an equally strong statement, the president and provost of Marquette announced that the school's board of trustees rescinded Cosby's degree, awarded in 2013, after conversations with campus leaders and faculty members. University President Michael R. Lovell and Provost Daniel Myers said that both groups gave overwhelming support to the board's action. Like Fordham, Marquette cited what Cosby has admitted to in a deposition as the basis for its action. "By his own admission, Mr. Cosby engaged in behaviors that go entirely against our university's mission and the guiding values we have worked so hard to instill on our campus," the statement read. The fallout from the controversy over the sex assault allegations has been swift. Reruns of "The Cosby Show," his landmark 1980s sitcom, have been pulled from the airwaves, and other projects and tour dates have been scrapped.

It is estimated that about 215 million Americans are "mainly white" (or 69%), while about 40 million identify as black or African-American, with up to 14 million identifying as Asian

The most common ancestry of Americans is English and German. The largest groupings of non-Hispanic whites first the English-Scottish-Irish at some 87 million, 28% of the population, followed by Germans (including Dutch, Austrian, Swiss) at about 50 million, and Scandinavians at 10 million. Others from Western Europe include 16 million from Italy and probably 12 million from France. Eastern Europe is the origin of about 16 million, including 9 million from Poland, 3.5 million from Russia, and 1.5 million from both Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and over 1 million from Greece. About 2 million are from the eastern Balkans and the Middle East. In all, four states - Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire and West Virginia - are the most strongly Western European (English, German, Italian, French). Six other states - Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania - have strong Eastern European ties. Some 215 million people are probably mainly white (69%), of which 192 million (61%) are self-identified non-Hispanic white. The difference of 23 million are people who identify as white and Hispanic. About 40 million identify as Black or African-American, although there is probably an admixture of 20% or more of “whiteness”. Up to 14 million identify as of Asian origin, but as many as 1 million may be white in genetics and appearance, e.g. people from Afghanistan, NW India or West Pakistan. Finally less than 1 million identify as Pacific Islanders. This leaves a large number of 34 million who identify as all or partly Native American, including about 5 million Alaskan or US Native American, about half of whom are clearly Native American, but about half of whom appear to be and are probably genetically mostly white. Then 29 million are “Mexican” or Caribbean, etc., not a race, but a perceived or actual combination of Spanish (some Portuguese) and Native Americans, from the US southwest, central America, the Caribbean, and South America. Even though these people legitimately identify as a mix of Native and Spanish, most are genetically “white”. Among whites, the two largest Y-chromosome haplogroups are R1b and I.

More black men are dropping out of high school and ending up jobless, in jail or dead at a young age, according to a new research paper

Meanwhile more black women are getting a better education and landing better jobs. This is a problem, the report's authors say, because people in the United States tend to marry others from the same racial background who have a similar level of education and income. Among black male high-school dropouts, 60% will be dead or incarcerated before the age of 35. Though interracial marriage is on the rise, white Americans still primarily marry white Americans, and black Americans still primarily marry black Americans.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Muslim stupidity: A stampede during one of the last rituals of the Hajj - the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca - has killed more than 700 people and injured nearly 900 others in Saudi Arabia

The stampede occurred during the ritual known as "stoning the devil" in a tent city in Mina, about two miles from the holy site in Mecca, Islam's holiest city. Footage showed a disturbing scene. Bodies piled upon bodies, a few moving, but most appearing lifeless. Workers in hard hats and reflective vests can be seen pulling dead bodies away to get to those who are still alive. Ethar El-Katatney, a pilgrim who was near the stampede site about five hours after the surge happened, said that she walked past ambulances carrying bodies of victims. She said that she saw numerous police officers and medical personnel in the area. "I saw the ambulances, I saw bodies. ... At least 20, 30 ambulances passed me by," she said. Hundreds have been killed in past years during the same ceremony, and it comes only 13 days after a crane collapse killed more than 100 people at another major Islamic holy site, the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The incident is the deadliest disaster at Mina since 1990, when 1,426 people died. Civil defense authorities said that the latest death toll is 717, with 863 people injured, but the numbers have been climbing steadily. Officials deployed 4,000 workers, along with 220 ambulances and other vehicles, to Mina in response to the disaster. In the ritual, crowds of pilgrims throw stones at three pillars in a re-enactment of when the Prophet Abraham stoned the devil and rejected his temptations, according to Muslim traditions. In the stampede, pilgrims were walking toward the largest of the pillars when there was a sudden surge in the crowd, causing a large number of people to fall. The ceremony was the scene of stampedes and hundreds of deaths in the 1980s and 1990s as pilgrims passed a crowded bottleneck area leading to the small pillars on the ground. In 2006, a stampede there killed at least 363 people. Losing one's life during the Hajj season is considered by many devout Muslims as an entry to heaven. It was also a tragic day for Muslims in Yemen, where at least 29 people attending Eid prayers died when a bomb went off inside a crowded mosque in Sanaa.

A new federal study shows that black and white students at schools with a high density of black students perform worse than those at schools with a lower density of black students

The report by the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, sheds new light on the achievement gap between white and black students. The report found that, on average, white students attended schools that were 9% black while black students attended schools that were 48% black. Achievement was lower for both black and white students in schools where black students accounted for more than 40% of the student body, compared to schools where black students accounted for less than 20% of the student body. The study was conducted using data from the results of the 2011 eighth-grade math test given as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, an assessment that’s given to U.S. students in various subjects in grades four, eight and 12.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

White men in America are far more depressed than black men, despite reporting less stress in their lives

The results come from a recent study which attempted to find how race and gender influences depression. The same study found that black women in the United States have the highest amount of stress but have the same susceptibility to depression as white women.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center has, for the first time, identified genomic differences between the breast tumors of African American and white women, differences that could contribute to the recognized differences in recurrence rate and survival

In their paper, the researchers report that several genetic characteristics of more aggressive tumors were significantly more prevalent in African American patients and appeared to be associated with a greater risk of tumor recurrence. "In addition to having a higher prevalence of triple-negative breast cancers than Caucasian women - something that has been documented in previous studies - we found that African American women with breast cancer had a significantly higher prevalence of the TP53 driver mutation, basal tumor subtype and greater genomic diversity within tumors, all of which suggest more aggressive tumor biology," says Tanya Keenan, MD, of the MGH Cancer Center, lead author of the study. "The higher risk of tumor recurrence that we observed among African American women was reduced when controlling for those factors, suggesting that these genomic differences contribute, at least partly, to the known racial disparity in the survival of African American and Caucasian breast cancer patients." While improved diagnostic and treatment methods have reduced the overall death rate from breast cancer, the study authors note, that reduction has not been as pronounced among African American patients. Currently African American women with breast cancer in the United States are 40% more likely to die from their cancer than are white women. While socioeconomic factors such as income, health insurance and access to health services contribute to those disparities, they cannot explain the whole difference. It has been recognized that the more aggressive triple-negative breast cancer occurs more frequently in African American women, but no previous study has examined racial differences in tumor genotype and how they might contribute to the risk of cancer recurrence. The researchers analyzed whole-exome sequencing data from the tumors of African American and white women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1988 and 2013 - a group of 105 African American and 664 white patients - from the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Genome Atlas. Although the same five tumor-specific mutations were most prevalent among both groups, more African American patients' tumors were driven by the TP53 mutation, while the PIK3CA mutation was more common among the tumors of white patients. The number of mutations within each tumor and the prevalence of the basal-like and mesenchymal stem-like subtypes - all of which suggest more aggressive tumors - was also greater in the tumors of African American patients. Tumor recurrence was faster and more likely among African American patients, particularly for basal subtype tumors or those driven by the TP53 mutation. "Our study adds important pieces to the puzzle of why African American women with breast cancer are less likely to survive," says senior author Aditya Bardia, MBBS, MPH, attending physician at the MGH Cancer Center and assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "If our findings are confirmed by additional studies, they may open doors to the development of targeted therapies against the tumor subtypes more likely to affect African Americans and potentially help reduce racial disparities in breast cancer."

Friday, September 18, 2015

The traditional diet of Greenland natives - the Inuit (once known as Eskimos) - is held up as an example of how high levels of omega-3 fatty acids can counterbalance the bad health effects of a high-fat diet, but a new study hints that what's true for the Inuit may not be true for everyone else

The study shows that the Inuit and their Siberian ancestors have special mutations in genes involved in fat metabolism that help them partly counteract the effects of a diet high in marine mammal fat, mostly from seals and whales that eat fish with high levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Those genetic mutations, found in nearly 100% of the Inuit, are found in a mere 2% of Europeans and 15% of Han Chinese, which means that they would synthesize omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids differently from the Inuit. "The original focus on fish oil and omega-3s came from studies of Inuit: on their traditional diet, rich in fat from marine mammals, Inuit seemed quite healthy with a low incidence of cardiovascular disease, so fish oil must be protective," said project leader Rasmus Nielsen, a UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology. "We've now found that they have unique genetic adaptations to this diet, so you cannot extrapolate from them to other populations. It could be very good for the Inuit to eat all these omega-3 fatty acids, but not for the rest of us." These genetic mutations in the Inuit have more widespread effects. They lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and fasting insulin levels, presumably protecting against cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They also have a significant effect on height, because growth is in part regulated by a person's fatty acid profile. The researchers found that the mutations causing shorter height in the Inuit are also associated with shorter height in Europeans. "The mutations we found in the Inuit have profound physiological effects, changing the whole profile of fatty acids in the body, plus it reduces their height by 2 centimeters: nearly an inch," said Ida Moltke, a University of Copenhagen associate professor of bioinformatics who is joint first author on the study. "Height is controlled by many genes, but this mutation has one of the strongest effects on height ever found by geneticists." Nielsen noted that this is the first evidence that human populations are actually adapted to particular diets; that is, they differ in the way they physiologically respond to diets. Just as genome sequencing can lead to personalized medicine tailored to an individual's specific set of genes, so too may a person's genome dictate a personalized diet. "People ask themselves whether they should be on a stone-age diet, for example. The response may well depend on their genome," Nielsen said.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Muslim barbarians: Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was just 17 when he was arrested in 2012 and accused of taking part in anti-government protests and illegally possessing firearms; he was sentenced to death by crucifixion in 2014

Now, Saudi Arabia has dismissed his final appeal and he has no other legal options to fight the sentences. It appears that al-Nimr's connection to Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr — his uncle and a prominent religious leader and critic of the Saudi regime — is a large part of the case against him; with the elder al-Nimr scheduled to be executed, activists fear his nephew could also be executed within days. Activists say the younger al-Nimr was tortured, denied access to lawyers, and forced to sign a confession under duress; they claim there is no evidence of firearms offenses al-Nimr was charged with, and al-Nimr and his family deny all the charges against him. His trial did not meet international standards, and his appeal was held in secret without al-Nimr even knowing about it. "No one should have to go through the ordeal Ali has suffered—torture, forced ‘confession’, and an unfair, secret trial process," says an advocate at legal charity Reprieve. "Ali was a vulnerable child when he was arrested and this ordeal began. His execution — based apparently on the authorities’ dislike for his uncle, and his involvement in anti-government protests — would violate international law and the most basic standards of decency. It must be stopped."

About a third of all billionaires in America are Jewish

Steve Sailer looks at Jewish power in the United States in relation to media coverage of the Iran deal.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Blonde Danish teenager, 15, murdered her mother with a kitchen knife after watching ISIS videos of the beheading of British hostages online

A blond Danish teenager who murdered her mother after watching ISIS' sickening filmed beheadings of British hostages has been jailed along with her older jihadi lover. Lisa Borch was aged only 15 when in October 2014 she spent hours on YouTube watching footage of the savage decapitations of David Haines and Alan Henning. Afterwards she and her radical Muslim boyfriend Bakhtiar Mohammed Abdulla, 29, took a long-bladed kitchen knife and stabbed her mother Tina Römer Holtegaard at least 20 times at the home they shared in rural Kvissel. A court which sentenced Borch to nine years in jail heard how she became obsessed with militant Islam after falling in love with an unnamed Muslim man. But he jilted her when he moved back to Sweden to be with his wife and children. Nevertheless she found a new soulmate in Iraq-born Abdulla, whom she befriended after meeting at a refugee center near her home. Borch was sentenced to nine years in prison, the first of which will be spent in a youth offenders institute. Abdulla received 13 years and will supposedly be expelled from Denmark when his sentence is up.

An Islamic faith healer was stabbed to death at a black magic treatment center

Father-of-three Zakariyya Islam, 46, who specialised in expelling demons, was stabbed at the Ruqya Centre in east London. The Muslim healer had worked as an exorcist for around 20 years and co-founded the Islamic therapy business which offers advice on sorcery, witchcraft and “evil eye”. He treated people who believed that they were were possessed by evil spirits, also known as jinns. Police and paramedics rushed to the center where he was found with critical injuries to his torso. Despite desperate attempts to save his life he was pronounced dead at the scene. Zakariyya Islam was born in Bangladesh but grew up in Britain. In 2014, he hosted a conference on "The World of Jinns" at the East London Mosque which he visited regularly. The former caretaker at Stepney Green Secondary School and former cab driver was also a member of the Islamic Forum of Europe.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

University of Queensland scientists have found a genetic basis for height and body mass differences between European populations

Queensland Brain Institute researcher Dr Matthew Robinson said that the findings could explain why people from northern European countries tended on average to be taller and slimmer than other Europeans. He said the genes that resulted in greater height correlated strongly with genes that reduced body mass index. "Our findings give a genetic basis to the stereotype of Scandinavians as being tall and lean," Dr Robinson said. The study paves the way to determine whether genetics also plays a role in creating national differences in disorders such as dementia, diabetes and heart disease. Fellow researcher Professor Peter Visscher said that the genetic differences were likely to result from historic natural selection on height and BMI. "The research suggests that tall nations are genetically more likely to be slim," Professor Visscher said. Dr Robinson said that on average, 24% of the genetic variation in height and 8% of the genetic variation in BMI could be explained by regional differences. "Countries' populations differ in many ways, from the height of their people to the prevalence of certain diseases," he said. The study looked at height and BMI differences in 9416 people from 14 European countries and used data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS).

Monday, September 14, 2015

Math tests in California: 69% of Asian students achieved the state targets compared to 49% of whites, 21% of Latinos and 16% of blacks

The racial achievement gap continues to be a problem in the California educational system. Asians are still the best performing student racial group while blacks remain the worst.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Hispanic teenager has pleaded guilty to vandalizing a synagogue in his suburban Washington, DC, hometown

Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza, 18, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, has pleaded guilty in Montgomery County District Court in Rockville to charges of defacing religious property and malicious destruction of property. Espinoza-Carranza, whose sentencing is scheduled for October 20, 2015 was arrested on April 14, 2015 for spray-painting anti-Semitic graffiti, including swastikas, on the walls, windows and doors of Shaare Torah Synagogue one week earlier. He is expected to avoid jail time and instead will be required to visit the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, write an essay and help repair the synagogue. At the time of his arrest, the teen told detectives that he carried out the attack on the Shaare Torah Synagogue because he disliked the Jewish people who worshiped there.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

An international team led by researchers at Uppsala University reports a surprising discovery from the genomes of eight Iberian Stone-Age farmer remains

The analyses revealed that early Iberian farmers are the closest ancestors to modern-day Basques, in contrast previous hypotheses that linked Basques to earlier pre-farming groups. The team could also demonstrate that farming was brought to Iberia by the same/similar groups that migrated to northern and central Europe and that the incoming farmers admixed with local, Iberian hunter-gather groups, a process that continued for at least 2 millennia. Most of the previous studies about the transition from small and mobile hunter-gatherer groups to larger and sedentary farming populations have focused on central and northern Europe, however much less in known about how this major event unfolded in Iberia. This time, the research team investigated eight individuals associated with archaeological remains from farming cultures in the El Portalón cave from the well-known Anthropological site Atapuerca in northern Spain. "The El Portalon cave is a fantastic site with amazing preservation of artifact material," says Dr. Cristina Valdiosera of Uppsala University and La Trobe University, one of the lead authors. "Every year we find human and animal bones and artifacts, including stone tools, ceramics, bone artifacts and metal objects, it is like a detailed book of the last 10,000 years, providing a wonderful understanding of this period. The preservation of organic remains is great and this has enabled us to study the genetic material complementing the archaeology," Dr. Cristina Valdiosera continues. From these individuals who lived 3,500 - 5,500 years ago, the authors generated the first genome-wide sequence data from Iberian ancient farmers and observed that these share a similar story to those of central and northern Europe. That is, they originate from a southern wave of expansion, and also admixed with local hunter-gatherer populations and spread agricultural practices through population expansions. The authors noticed that although they share these similarities with other European farmers, this early Iberian population has its own particularities. "We show that the hunter-gatherer genetic component increases with time during several millennia, which means that later farmers were genetically more similar to hunter-gatherers than their forefathers who brought farming to Europe," says Dr. Torsten Günther of Uppsala University and one of the lead authors. "We also see that different farmers mixed with different hunter-gatherer groups across Europe, for example, Iberian farmers mixed with Iberian hunter-gatherers and Scandinavian farmers mixed with Scandinavian hunter-gatherers." Dr. Cristina Valdiosera adds. The study also reports that compared to all modern Spanish populations, the El Portalón individuals are genetically most similar to modern-day Basques. Basques have so far - based on their distinct culture, non-indo-European language, but also genetic make-up - been thought of as a population with a long continuity in the area, probably since more than 10,000 years ago. "Our results show that the Basques trace their ancestry to early farming groups from Iberia, which contradicts previous views of them being a remnant population that trace their ancestry to Mesolithic hunter-gatherer groups," says Prof. Mattias Jakobsson of Uppsala University, who headed the study. "The difference between Basques and other Iberian groups is these latter ones show distinct features of admixture from the east and from north Africa." he continues. These findings shed light into the demographic processes taking place in Europe and Iberia during the last 5,000 years which highlights the unique opportunities gained from the collaborative work of archaeologists, anthropologists and geneticists in the analysis of ancient DNA. "One of the great things about working with ancient DNA is that the data obtained is like opening a time capsule. Seeing the similarities between modern Basques and these early farmers directly tells us that Basques remained relatively isolated for the last 5,000 years but not much longer," says Dr. Torsten Günther.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Israel has begun building a fence along part of the country's eastern border with Jordan as Syrian civil war refugees and other migrants flee their countries

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "We see today what happens when countries lose control of their borders." He seemed to be referring to the massive influx of refugees from the war-torn Middle East and African migrants heading to Europe. Netanyahu earlier bemoaned the "human tragedy" of Syria's civil war and said that Israel has aided its victims. However, he says that Israel is too small to take them. Israel already built fences along its border with Egypt to stop African migrants and in the Golan Heights bordering Syria.

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 129 instances of black men killed by “legal intervention” — that is to say, by police

By contrast, in that same year, 6,739 black men were murdered, overwhelmingly by young men like themselves. Since 2001, even as rates of violent crime have dropped dramatically, more than 90,000 black men in the United States have been killed by other black men. Every year, the casualty count of black-on-black crime is twice that of the death toll of 9/11.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

SAT scores dropped significantly for the class of college-bound seniors in 2015

At the same time, SAT scores showed continued patterns in which white and Asian students, on average, receive higher scores than do black and Latino students. The numbers show that Asian-American and white test takers are comfortably in the 500 range for all three parts of the test, while other groups are in the 400s and for the most part in the mid-400s for all three parts. Everybody's scores are going down except for Asians. The National Center for Fair and Open Testing has kept track of the gains on the combined scores on all three sections, by race and ethnicity, since the introduction of the writing test for the class of 2006. Those statistics, combined with the new data, show that between the class of 2006 and the class of 2015, every group except Asians has seen its totals go down. American Indians/Alaskan natives and Mexicans/Mexican Americans have seen the largest drop in composite scores. The scores for American Indians and Alaskan natives shrank by 32 points to 1,423 while Mexicans/Mexican Americans have seen their test scores drop by 28 points to 1,343. Since 2006, the score for white students has eroded by six points, bringing their average to 1,576. Average test scores for African American students (1,277) has dropped 14 points.The College Board also released new data on Advanced Placement exams. On the AP tests as well, there is a clear racial and ethnic gap, with 72% of Asian test takers earning at least one three, compared to 66% of white students, 50% of Latino students, 46% of Native American students and 32% of black students.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Three-year-olds in Britain have been told "the non-Jews" are “evil” in a Kindergarten worksheet handed out at ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools in north London

It's not uncommon to be taught that non-Jewish people are evil in ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools.

The chief rabbi at Chabad headquarters in Melbourne, Australia has resigned, apologizing for his conduct toward victims of child sexual abuse and their families

“I recognize that my conduct towards victims and their families did not demonstrate … behavior to the extent necessary of a rabbi in my position,” Rabbi Tzvi Telsner wrote in an open letter. “We all must be aware of how our words and actions impact on others and therefore would like to take this opportunity to apologize for my conduct and urge everyone to show compassion and support towards victims and their families throughout the moised [institution] and broader community.” Telsner had been under mounting pressure to resign following his testimony in February 2015 at the Royal Commission, a government inquiry into how Chabad responded to the child sex abuse scandal in Sydney and Melbourne. During the hearing, Telsner was accused of orchestrating the shunning of whistleblowers and their families, having warned his flock against speaking to police or the media without the permission of a rabbi. He also claimed pedophiles and gays could be cured. Recently, Telsner was embroiled in a heated exchange with a victim of child sexual abuse, which is understood to have triggered his resignation. Manny Waks, the only Jewish victim in Australia to go public, posted on Facebook, “Finally. The news we have all been awaiting … We feel vindicated. We feel that justice has prevailed.” Telsner is the fourth rabbi to resign in the wake of the Royal Commission. Three men associated with Chabad in Sydney and Melbourne were convicted of child sex crimes dating back to the late 1980s.

Italy’s simmering anti-immigrant sentiment has been stoked by the murder of an elderly couple in their home in Sicily by an African asylum seeker

Mamadou Kamara, an 18-year-old black African immigrant from the Ivory Coast, slit the throat of Vincenzo Solano, 68, and then attacked his Spanish-born wife, Mercedes Ibanez, 70. Ibanez fell to her death from a second-floor balcony, during a robbery that turned violent. Kamara is one of thousands of migrants and refugees living at a vast reception center at nearby Mineo, in south-eastern Sicily. They are accommodated there after arriving by boat from Libya, and wait sometimes for months to have their asylum applications assessed. The migrants are allowed to come and go freely from the facility, a former US military base where prostitution, links with organised crime and the trade in illicit goods is said to be rife. Kamara, who was rescued in the Mediterranean on June 8, 2015 and brought with other migrants to the port of Catania in Sicily, broke into the pensioners’ flat in the village of Palagonia, six miles away, and slit the throat of Solano. The elderly man’s wife was found dead in the courtyard of their three-story apartment block. Investigators believe that she may have fallen over the balcony in panic after trying to flee the black African attacker. Kamara was arrested after police searched his bag as he returned to the migrant center. Inside they found a mobile telephone, a laptop computer, a video camera and a pair of trousers, belonging to Solano, that were covered in blood. The young African man claimed to have “found” the items, but police arrested him and are expected to charge him with two counts of murder. Forensic police worked into the early hours gathering evidence at the elderly couple's flat. The trousers were identified as belonging to Solano by one of his daughters, who was contacted by police. The pensioner had retired back to his native Sicily a decade ago after working for years in a Mercedes car factory in Germany. Detectives believe that other migrants may have been involved in the burglary. More than 100,000 refugees have arrived by boat in Italy in 2015, making the crossing from Libya in overcrowded rubber dinghies and leaky fishing boats. In 2014, a record 170,000 arrived on Italian shores.