Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Incompetent black parents cause death of gorilla

A four-year-old black boy, Isiah Dickerson, was with his mother Michelle Gregg at Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, when he somehow made his way through a barrier, into a moat - and was lifted up by Harambe. Within minutes the 17-year-old 450lb silverback was killed by zookeepers who feared for Isiah's safety. But the decision has sparked a backlash, with calls for the boy's parents to be prosecuted. Isiah is recovering from minor injuries and his mother has not been seen at the Cincinnati home where she lives. His father, Deonne Dickerson, 36, has also not been seen since the killing of the gorilla. He was not with his partner and their four children at the time. The black boy's father has a significant criminal history, with offenses including burglary, firearms offences, drug trafficking, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and kidnap. In 2006, he was sentenced to one year behind bars for a drug trafficking conviction. Many social media commentators have criticized the boy's parents and said that they should be held accountable. More outraged animal lovers took to social media declaring that the western lowland gorilla's life was unnecessarily taken, and more than 4,000 have already joined the "Justice for Harambe" group. More than 115,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the mother and father to be held accountable for their actions of not supervising their child.

Pakistan: A constitutional body has put forth legislation that would legally require men to “lightly beat” their wives should they decline sex

The 160-page draft enumerates several other instances that would call for “limited violence,” such as a wife’s failure to wear clothes to her spouse’s liking; failure to bathe following intercourse or during menstruation; failure to wear a hijab; giving money to someone without permission from her husband and speaking too loudly.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Brazilian police are searching for more than 30 men suspected of gang-raping a 16-year-old girl in a Rio de Janeiro slum

Police only became aware of the crime after two men posted photos and videos of the naked and unconscious victim online, along with jokes about what happened to her. One man bragged that "more than 30 impregnated her." The photos and videos received hundreds of likes and supportive comments online. Police have identified only four of the suspects — including the victim's 19-year-old boyfriend — and are asking for the public's help in finding them and identifying others. The first suspect was arrested while 70 military police worked their way through a Rio de Janeiro slum. He hasn't been identified. The victim told police that she arrived at her boyfriend's home. The next thing she remembers is coming to in a different home surrounded by 33 heavily armed men. "I feel like trash," the victim was quoted as saying. "It's the stigma that hurts me the most...I want people to know that it is not the woman's fault.” Brazil's interim president called the attack a "barbaric crime." Many blamed the victim after reports of the attack surfaced. Violence against women is a huge problem in the country. Nearly 50,000 rapes were reported in 2015 in Brazil. There were a reported 13 per day in Rio de Janeiro alone. When asked if the victim was in danger of reprisals from her attackers, the city's police chief responded, "That would be a subjective answer. Who isn't at risk in Rio de Janeiro?"

Migration and European ancestry in African-Americans

Led by a team at McGill University in California, researchers looked at genetic data from 3,726 African Americans in three groups, representative of the population across the country and across social and economic groups. From their analysis, they were able to show that the genetic ancestry of these populations were on average 82.1% of African origin, 16.7% European and 1.2% from the Americas or Asia. Interestingly, samples from individuals in southern states tended to have a slightly higher percentage of African genetic ancestry than individuals living in the north. The researchers claim that increased European ancestry correlated with increased likelihood of migration.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A 70-year-old Christian woman has been stripped naked, beaten and paraded through the streets by a mob of around 300 Muslim men in a village in southern Egypt

The mob also burned down seven homes belonging to Christian families, according to an unusually outspoken statement issued by the local Orthodox Coptic church, after rumors circulated in the village that a Christian man was having a relationship with a Muslim woman.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Black Canadians are the fastest growing group in federal prisons in Canada

While African-Canadians make up 3% of the general Canadian population, they account for 10% of the federal prison population.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

In New York City, blacks are 31-times more likely than whites to be arrested for murder

Hispanics are 12.4-times more likely than whites to be arrested for murder in New York City. If New York City was all white, the murder rate would fall by 91% and non-fatal shootings would drop by 97%.

Can software used by the police to identify suspects be racist?

Algorithm for predicting likelihood of re-offending is biased against black people, claims left-wing group ProPublica.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

South Korea: the country where the rape of foreign women is ignored

When Australian Airdre Mattner was drugged and raped while on vacation, she had no idea that her ordeal had only just begun. The 25-year-old realized that the only way to find justice in South Korea was to run her own campaign. In doing so, she exposed a culture where violence against women, particularly foreigners, is often accepted. Her fight has led her to other victims of sex attacks who have been ignored by the authorities to tell their stories. Airdre, who teaches English in Japan, was visiting Seoul with her boyfriend and a friend in September 2015, and decided to stay on a few days alone. Like many Australians, she believed that the South Korean capital was safe, and joined a pub crawl advertised on Facebook to get to know the city better. After just three drinks, things went hazy and she found herself in a taxi with a stranger, she wrote on her GoFundMe page, which has raised almost A$18,000. She was violently sick, but managed to plead with the driver to take her to her hostel, showing him the address on her phone. He ignored her. "The next thing I recall is being on a bed in a hotel room," she said. "The man was on top of me. I struggled and tried to push him away but was again too heavily drugged to manage anything. I woke up the next morning completely naked. All my money was gone. My clothes and belongings were torn and strewn across the room." CCTV footage shows three men were involved in the attack. After they half-carried her into the motel, in a place called "Hookers Hill", one spent an hour in the room with Airdre before the next man went in. The young Australian enlisted the help of her hostel manager and a friend and went to the police station. She endured ten hours of invasive treatments, tests and questions, still in shock and feeling the effects of the drugs. She was asked what she was wearing and it was repeatedly insinuated that she was drunk. Later, she discovered that the authorities had not followed proper rape procedures and had not even obtained DNA evidence. When Airdre received a friend request from her rapist on Facebook, she took screenshots and sent them to the police, but was told that couldn't be the perpetrator because he wasn't in the country. Eventually, she was forced to launch her own investigation, and discovered that the report had been falsified. "Her treatment by police was as traumatic as the night before," 60 Minutes reporter Alison Langdon said. "There's a culture of victim-blaming, if you go out and drink or dance. They have this culture where they don't take sex crime seriously. When the victim and perpetrator are not South Korean, police care even less." Western women are even known as "white whores" in some circles, added Langdon. After an international outcry when Airdre went public, police were forced to respond, and a Nigerian man was arrested for her rape. But he's being prosecuted for sexual harassment rather than rape or even assault, because she was unconscious and therefore cannot prove she didn't consent, says Langdon. Airdre's case has brought to light South Korea's poor record on sex crime. In March 2016, the country made numerous amendments to outdated laws, leading to a spike in sex crime reporting, arrests and prosecutions. Reports of sexual assaults against foreigners have risen 40% in South Korea since 2008, and attacks on foreign women in neighboring Japan are on the rise, too. Less than 10% of rapes in South Korea are reported, less than 2% go to trial, and only around 10% of those found guilty face jail-time, said Langdon. Most hospitals don't have rape kits and there are even websites where people can live stream rapes of unconscious women, and ask to join in. South Korea may be a safe country when it comes to murder and robbery, but if you're a visiting woman, it's incredibly dangerous.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The real message of O.J. Simpson’s life: During the second half of the 20th Century, white Americans became extraordinarily favorably disposed toward black Americans, but blacks kept letting whites down

Why do so many on the left want to see black criminals as victims?

Charles Wade, a prominent Black Lives Matter organizer and co-founder of Operation Help or Hush, has been arrested and charged with human trafficking and prostitution

Wade was arrested at a Howard Johnson Inn in College Park, Maryland, on April 25, 2016. He was residing in a motel room where he pimped a 17-year-old girl. Wade was held on seven counts relating to felony human trafficking and prostitution. He was bailed out shortly after his arrest. He was arrested as part of a sting operation in which an undercover officer responded to an ad Wade placed for a 23-year-old woman on backpage.com, a website frequently used by sex traffickers and prostitutes. Investigators said that the woman, who turned out to be a 17-year-old girl, called Wade her manager. She said he knew that she was a minor but wasn’t worried because of her upcoming birthday. She also told investigators that she provided all the money she earned to Wade.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Venezuela has become a failed state

According to the International Monetary Fund's latest projections, it has the world's worst economic growth, worst inflation and ninth-worst unemployment rate right now. It also has the second-worst murder rate, and an infant mortality rate that's gotten 100 times worse itself the past four years. And in case all that wasn't bad enough, its currency, going by black market rates, has lost 99% of its value since the start of 2012. It's a complete social and economic collapse. And it has happened despite the fact that Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves. Venezuela's government is to blame. It's a gangster state that doesn't know how to do anything other than sell drugs and steal money for itself. Indeed, two of President Nicolás Maduro's nephews were arrested on charges of conspiring to bring 800 kilos of cocaine into the United States, the president's right-hand man is suspected of running a drug ring himself, and public money has a habit of disappearing into what could only be private pockets. Two ex-officials estimate that as much as $300 billion has been misappropriated the past decade. It's enough that Transparency International ranks Venezuela as the ninth-most corrupt country in the world. The only ones worse — Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Angola, Libya and Iraq — are a collection of rogue and war-torn nations. Venezuela is the answer to what would happen if an economically illiterate drug cartel took over a country. This corruption hasn't just enriched the few. It has also impoverished the many. That's because the government has tried to control the economy to the point of killing it — all, of course, in the name of "socialism."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

An economist has suggested that a British exit from the European Union could lead to a united Ireland

David McWilliams said that if Britain votes to leave the European Union "it could start a domino effect - at the end of which is a united Ireland". McWilliams also said that he believed "unionists have now an economic incentive to join a united Ireland because the union is impoverishing them". McWilliams says that "Here is the possible scenario that will unfold if there’s a break-up of the UK. The English lead the British out of Europe. The Scottish then go to the polls again, wanting to stay in Europe. They have to leave the UK to stay in the EU, and by a small margin they vote to stay in Europe but leave the English. Not unfeasible. The rump UK becomes an entity involving a eurosceptic England, a modestly pro-European but compliant Wales and an ever-divided Northern Ireland. However it is a Northern Ireland shorn of its fraternal brothers, the Scots – in a union with the ambivalent English. There has never been the same cultural affinity between the English and the Northern Unionists. Unlike many Southerners, my bonds with that part of the world are strong. Ethnically, without Scotland, the union of Northern Ireland and a multicultural but nationalistic little England is not particularly coherent. All the while, the demographic forces are on the side of nationalism." The economist and broadcaster suggested that "the union has been an economic calamity for everyone in the North". "Well, in the distant past, there was good reason to believe that the union preserved living standards in the north, but this is a myth and has not been the case since 1990," he says. "Indeed, the end of the Troubles, which should have marked the resurgence of the relative performance of the north, has actually delivered the opposite. Relative to the south, the northern economy has fallen backwards since the guns were silenced. If there was an economic peace dividend, it went south. Now with Brexit looming and the concrete and more profound underlying changes in demography, the issue of a united Ireland may be back on the table quicker than most of us imagined - or cared to dread." He added: "Interestingly, unionists have now an economic incentive to join a united Ireland because the union is impoverishing them, but I suspect they'd prefer to get poor in a semi-detached UK rather than join a much more coherent all-Ireland economic endeavor."

Monday, May 16, 2016

Wendell Pierce, the black actor known for portraying Bunk, a world-weary detective in the television drama “The Wire,” has been arrested in Atlanta and charged with battery after a discussion about politics turned violent

According to Maggie Elena Baca, who was staying at the Loews Atlanta Hotel with two friends, Pierce struck her in the head during a confrontation that culminated at the door to her room. Pierce, also a guest at the hotel, was with his girlfriend when he encountered Baca, who was sitting with friends in a hallway on the 23rd floor, she told the police. As the two groups began to talk politics, Pierce became upset, she said. The black actor then began to push her, Baca told the police, and as she and her friends walked away to their room, Pierce followed them and tried to force his way in. In the tussle, Baca said, Pierce “began to hit her in the head and grab her hoodie, ripping the hood off.” Pierce, 52, was taken into custody at the hotel, the police said. He was booked and released on $1,000 bail. As news of his arrest rippled across the web, Pierce withdrew from plans to receive an honorary degree and deliver the commencement address at the Newark campus of Rutgers University. In addition to his role on “The Wire,” Pierce is also well known as a star of the HBO series “Treme,” set in his hometown, New Orleans, and recently portrayed Clarence Thomas in the political drama “Confirmation,” which had its premiere last month on HBO. He also plays a recurring character on the revival of the situation comedy “The Odd Couple” on CBS.

If Jews are so racially tolerant why don't they send their children to school with black and Hispanic kids?

Steve Sailer looks at Jewish flight from public schools in Los Angeles.

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Jewish teacher who fabricated a knife attack by Islamic State terrorists in France has been given a six month suspended prison sentence

Tzion Saadon, 57, told his lies in November 2015, a few days after 130 people were murdered during a single night of violence in Paris. Inviting journalists to his home in Marseille, he said that three men had assaulted him as they shouted Islamic slogans, and Death to Jews. Showing of his stomach wounds, Saadon even said that one of his attackers wore an Isis T-shirt, and displayed pictures of Mohamed Merah, the Al-Qaeda gunmen who murdered both Jews and Muslims in 2012. But there were no independent witnesses to Saadon’s ordeal, and forensic examinations later proved that he had caused the knife slashes himself. Saadon kept up his story throughout his trial in Marseille, but prosecutor Andre Ribes said: “The truth is he wasn’t assaulted in the way he says.” President Francois Hollande himself had been among those who commented on the Saadon case in 2015, saying that it was a “barbarous” example of rising anti-Semitism.

Results from the largest single study of the genetic and environmental causes of asthma in African-American children suggest that only a tiny fraction of known genetic risk factors for the disease apply to this population, raising concerns for clinicians and scientists working to stem the asthma epidemic among African-Americans

At the same time, the research also identified new genetic risk factors for asthma in these children, a critical first step toward improving diagnosis and treatment. Ongoing research is digging further into this data to investigate a link between these new risk factors and asthma severity and drug response, two major contributors to asthma mortality. "Almost all the genetic studies of asthma have been done using white patients only, but you can't assume these results will apply to other ethnic groups," said study senior author Esteban Burchard, MD, MPH, a professor in the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, director of the UCSF Asthma Collaboratory lab and a member of Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative. "This paper is an important first step towards truly understanding the biology of asthma in African-Americans." More work remains to confirm whether the genetic risk factors for asthma identified in previous studies are truly absent in African-Americans or merely too subtle to be detected in the current study, the authors say, but the results clearly show that the biology of asthma is different black children and previously studied groups. "This paper shows that understanding that people are different — not better or worse, equal or unequal, but different at a genetic level — can be important and should be looked at to improve health," said Oona Risse-Adams. In asthma, chronic breathing difficulties are caused by inflammation of the airways, which are thought to arise due to both environmental exposures and genetic susceptibility. Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease in the world, and varies significantly in prevalence in different racial/ethnic populations. In the United States, childhood asthma prevalence is highest among Puerto Ricans (18.4%), followed by blacks (14.6%), whites (8.2%) and Mexicans (4.8%). Puerto Ricans and African-Americans also tend to experience more severe asthma that is harder to control with common drugs. An increasing number of suspected asthma risk genes have come to light with the advent of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but despite the epidemic of the disease in African-American and Puerto Rican communities, less than 5% of all such federally funded research of lung disease has included any racial/ethnic minorities at all. The team analyzed data from the Asthma Collaboratory's Study of African Americans, Asthma, Genes and Environments (SAGE), which was supported in large part by the Sandler Family Foundation. The SAGE study is the largest study of gene-environment interactions for asthma in African-American children – it includes genetic and ancestry data as well as measures of local air quality, family socioeconomic status, experience of discrimination, and obesity and other health measures in a cohort of children from around the San Francisco Bay Area. The study analyzed genetic data from 1,227 SAGE participants — 812 with asthma and 415 who served as healthy controls — to identify genetic markers associated with the onset of the disease in African-Americans and to compare these markers with those already known from previous research. The team also looked for possible genetic links between asthma and obesity, which often occur together. To the researchers' surprise, 95% of known genetic risk factors for asthma from previous research could not be replicated in the SAGE cohort. The team also identified a number of new risk factors in the African-American children of the SAGE study, including a novel variant in the PTCHD3 gene, as significant risk factors for asthma. "The top three genes we identified as being associated with asthma were previously linked with both obesity and inflammation," team leader Marquitta White said. "We already knew there was a strong clinical link between obesity and asthma inflammation, and this result sheds a bit more light on the biology of that relationship in these kids." Interestingly, she said, the way the genetics panned out, it appears that these gene variants may be separately driving obesity and asthma, rather than, for instance, driving obesity which then puts kids at higher risk of asthma. But that will require further research to understand. Ongoing experiments being prepared by White and her summer students, all of whom have continued to work in the UCSF Asthma Collaboratory in their spare time, aim to address how the newly discovered risk factors predict differences in asthma severity within the African-American community and investigate why some respond poorly to common drugs. And the lab as a whole continues to dig deeper into the biology of asthma in minority communities using more precise whole-genome sequencing technology. "We want to understand why some minority communities have higher rates of disease and how they may respond differently to treatment," Burchard said. "But the risk factors we identify in these understudied populations can also point the way to new biology, which can be important for everyone."

The more mixed the Sunday morning pews are, the fewer people are likely to be in them

That’s the primary finding of a new study from Baylor University. Researchers studied the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, where racial diversity doubled from 1993 to 2012, and found that, at the same time, churches with the greatest diversity growth also had the steepest declines in attendance. The study also found that rises in racial diversity were associated with declines in weekly attendance, especially in the 1990s. In addition, older congregations were more likely to see a decline in attendance and congregations in predominantly white communities were more likely to grow. The study was conducted among more than 11,000 ELCA congregations and used data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The ELCA is one of the least racially diverse denominations in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center, with white people making up 96% of its membership. Only the National Baptist Convention, with 99% black membership, is less diverse.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic male teens combined

Blacks of all ages commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and at eleven times the rate of whites alone. In America’s 75 largest counties in 2009, blacks constituted 62% of all robbery defendants, 57% of all murder defendants, 45% of all assault defendants - but only 15% of the population. Moreover, 40% of all cop killers have been black over the last decade. Blacks make up 23% of New York City’s population, but they commit 75% of all shootings, 70% of all robberies, and 66% of all violent crime, according to victims and witnesses. Add Hispanic shootings and you account for 98% of all illegal gunfire in the city. Whites are 33% of the city’s population, but they commit fewer than 2% of all shootings, 4% of all robberies, and 5% of all violent crime. In Brownsville, Brooklyn, the per capita shooting rate is 81 times higher than in nearby Bay Ridge, Brooklyn — the first neighborhood predominantly black, the second neighborhood predominantly white and Asian. Over the last decade, an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black has been 18.5 times higher than the chance of an unarmed black getting killed by a cop.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Black African crime: A ten-year-old Swedish girl was molested by a teenage migrant in her own home, just weeks after the alleged underaged boy had been placed to live with her family

The victim was sexually assaulted after falling asleep in the family home in Eslov, southern Sweden, and awoke to find the perpetrator fondling her breasts. Isak Andai from Eritrea claims to be 15 years old, however his identity or age has not been proven and court documents state that he may be as old as 19. The victim lives with her parents and an older siblings in Eslov, 25miles north of Malmo; one of many families in Sweden who have opened up their homes to help the government house new arrivals following the refugee crisis. Eritrean Andai, who arrived in Sweden without his parents, had been placed with the family, along with with a second unaccompanied under-aged male migrant, a few weeks prior to the assault. Andai and the other migrant boy, aged 17, had been staying in the victim's bedroom, while the victim had slept in the same room as her parents in order to make room for the two boys. The victim told police how she had been spending time with Andai in the family's front room on the night of the assault. They had been sat on the sofa using their smartphones and taking pictures, Lund County Court heard. Andai had left the room, and the girl soon fell asleep on the sofa, but awoke when she felt Andai fondling and pressing hard on her breasts on top of the bra she was wearing. The ten-year-old told police that she woke up because it hurt, and when Andai saw that she was awake he jumped off, court documents state. She said that her breasts hurt for several minutes afterwards and later described how she was scared of Andai after the assault. The victim told her brother and sister, both in their 20s, what had happened, after which her mother was informed and Andai reported to police. When Andai arrived in Sweden he claimed that he had been born in 2000, based on what he had been told by his parents and what his identification had said. However as any documents of identification had been lost on the journey from Eritrea to Sweden, his identity and age could not be established, and no further tests were carried out by Swedish authorities to support his claims. During the investigation, Andai told police that he had started school when he was around ten, attended school for seven years, and then left school two years prior to arriving in Sweden, which would make him 19 years old. Andai was convicted of sexual molestation and sentenced to pay the victim 5,000 SEK (£425) in damages and to undergo ten hours of therapy.

Immigration and Jewish hypocrisy

Why is it right for Israel to protect its borders but wrong for the United States to do the same?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Scientists have found genes that show hair color can affect how likely someone is to have sex

Natural redheads – both men and women - were more likely to delay having sex until an older age than people of different hair coloring. Women who had freckles were also more likely to wait longer before their first sexual experience, although this had no effect on men with freckles.

Monday, May 9, 2016

A white South African high court judge is the subject of the latest in a series of race rows in the country after she pointed out that black South African men regarded rape as a cultural right

Mabel Jansen, a high court judge for the past three years who works in Pretoria, told commenters on a Facebook thread that "99 per cent" of her cases were "black fathers/uncles/brothers raping children as young as 5 years old", then asked one poster: "Is this part of your culture?" She said that she was “yet to meet a black girl who wasn’t raped by the age of 12”. In a series of comments, Jansen said that black mothers were “so brain-washed that they tell the children that it is the fathers’ birth right to be the first”. “In their culture (black men) a woman is there to pleasure them. Period. It is seen as an absolute right and a woman’s consent is not required,” she wrote. “Murder is also not biggy. And gang rapes of baby, daughter and mother a pleasurable pass time.”

Friday, May 6, 2016

Britain's top universities are losing ground in the world university rankings because they are forced to focus on diversity and recruiting from disadvantaged backgrounds, experts say

The country's best institutions, including Oxford and Cambridge, have been under mounting pressure to recruit more students from ethnic minorities after David Cameron attacked them for racial bias. Education experts blamed "government interference" on quotas of students from state schools, ethnic minorities and working class backgrounds was hindering Britain's top universities. Such pressure is leading universities to take their "eye off the ball" in terms of improving quality of research and teaching, universities have argued. Britain remains the second-most represented nation in the table of top educators, but has still lost considerable ground this year. Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said: "The UK university system is still punching above its weight, but there are worrying signs that its global standing may be in decline. In part, this is because for immigration reasons universities have become less open to students and scholars from around the world. But it is also because of government interference. Its current polices are causing universities to take their eye off the ball of recruiting the best to comply with Government demands to increase the proportions entering and graduating from state schools, ethnic minorities and postcodes from which, in the past, few students have come. Universities in the United States dominate the rankings because the outstanding fully-independent universities set the pace and most – state as well as private - are well funded, receiving generous donations from former students." The comments come after British universities slipped down in the latest table for the world's best institutions. The University of Bristol and Durham University have fallen out of the top 100, bringing Britain's total number of top universities to 10 for 2016 - down from 12 last year. Cambridge and Oxford remain in the top five, but have both moved down two places on their 2015 ranking. The United States continues to dominate the Times Higher education (THE) reputation rankings, with the likes of Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Princeton and Yale in top places. Earlier this year the prime minister announced new laws which will force universities to disclose what proportion of ethnic minority applicants get places and in what subjects. The new rules will require publication of data on applicants, broken down by course, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background. Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group of universities, said: “While league tables shouldn’t be used in isolation to make judgments about the quality of institutions, the UK has, by any measure, some of the very best universities in the world. We outperform many larger nations but this is no time to rest on our laurels. These rankings can be seen as a warning that the rest of the world is catching up with us and Asian universities, in particular, are snapping at our heels. We risk losing out on further business and overseas funding unless there is greater investment in our world-class universities and a more risk-based, proportionate approach to regulation." Phil Baty, Times Higher Education rankings editor, said: "The UK remains the second most-represented nation in this list of the most reputable universities – behind only the US – but it has lost ground this year. It claims 10 universities in the top 100, down from 12 last year, and seven of these have are ranked in lower positions. Even the country’s most prestigious institutions have slipped, with the universities of Cambridge and Oxford each dropping two places to fourth and fifth place respectively. The UK’s diminishing performance occurs as institutions in Asia rapidly rise up the table; the continent has 17 representatives, up from 10 last year."

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Angela Merkel has warned that Europe risks a “return to nationalism” if it does not secure its external borders, as polls showed support for the far-Right is rising in Germany amid growing fears of Islam

“The future of Europe is at stake,” the German chancellor said in a passionate plea to preserve freedom of movement and the Schengen Agreement on border-free travel within the continent. Even as she spoke, a new poll shows that support for the far-Right Alternative for Germany(AfD) party is at its highest ever. “Europe stretches from the North Pole to the Mediterranean. We must defend the Schengen Treaty and the external borders, or we risk a return to nationalism,” Merkel said. She was speaking at a joint press conference in Rome with Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister. Both leaders spoke out against plans by Austria to close its border with Italy at the Brenner Pass, to prevent migrants entering. The AfD is riding high in the German polls on a wave of public discontent over the migrant crisis, and recorded its highest ever support less than a week after it adopted an anti-Muslim manifesto. It is now in third place on 15%, just five points behind Merkel’s main coalition partner, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), who have slipped to 20%. Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) remain in first place in the monthly ARD survey, with 33%. But, perhaps more worryingly for the German chancellor, a second poll found the AfD may be in step with voters with its overtly anti-Muslim stance. Only 22% of Germans believe that Islam belongs in their country, according to the poll for Bild newspaper by the Insa institute. An overwhelming 61% agreed that Islam does not belong in Germany — a central plank of the AfD’s new manifesto. The poll found attitudes had hardened considerably over the past year, which has seen over one million asylum-seekers enter Germany, the majority of them Muslim. A similar survey in Jaunary 2015 found that 37% believed Islam belonged in Germany, while 47% did not. An estimated 4 million Muslims live in Germany as citizens or permanent residents.

Muslim violence: More than a dozen leaders of a small village in northwestern Pakistan have been arrested and charged with burning a teenage girl to death because she helped one of her friends elope, security officials said

The crime, which is renewing attention on Pakistan’s horrific record of protecting women and children from abuse, took place on the outskirts of Abbottabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Khurram Rasheed, police chief for the northern district of Abbottabad, said that the body of Ambreen Riasat was found in a burned van in the tourist resort of Donga Gali. Her exact age was in dispute. A graphic photo of the teenager’s charred remains quickly circulated online. It appeared as though the girl’s arms had been bound before she was set on fire. Initially, police suspected that she may have been raped by a scorned boyfriend or as part of a family dispute. But Saeed Wazir, the regional police chief in Abbottabad, said that the killing was a “pre-planned act” involving 14 village leaders. Wazir said that the entire village council had sanctioned the act to send a message to other minors. “They said she must be burnt alive to make a lesson for other girls,” he said. In an act of defiance against Pakistan’s strict Islamic and paternal customs, Wazir said, the victim had helped one of her friends secretly marry her boyfriend. The bride “didn’t obey her father’s will and did a love marriage at court with a guy,” he said. After the bride’s father found out, he requested that village elders investigate. In many parts of Pakistan, women and girls are expected to receive their father’s consent before marrying. According to Wazir, the village elders investigating the marriage quickly discovered that the victim had helped her friend evade her father’s will. The elders decided that the victim needed to be punished for not disclosing her role in the marriage. Several men then dragged the teenager out of her house and tied her into the van, Wazir said. “Despite the requests and pleas from her parents, villagers forcibly brought her out and set her afire while roping her to the seat of the vehicle,” he said. Both the leader of the Jirga and the father of the newlywed girl were arrested, Wazir said. A dozen other men who participated in the Jirga also were charged, he added. The case represents a troublesome expansion of mob-like tactics that women can face in Pakistan when they disobey their parents or extended family members. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 8,694 girls and women have died in so-called honor killings here between 2004 and 2015. Those crimes involved revenge killings for dishonoring a family, village or local custom. About one-fourth of those cases involved the death of a minor. Although most common in remote areas, honor killings still occur in Pakistan even in larger, more progressive cities.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Analyses of ancient DNA from prehistoric humans paint a picture of dramatic population change in Europe from 45,000 to 7,000 years ago, according to a new study led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator David Reich at Harvard Medical School

The new genetic data reveal two big changes in prehistoric human populations that are closely linked to the end of the last Ice Age around 19,000 years ago. As the ice sheet retreated, Europe was repopulated by prehistoric humans from southwest Europe (e.g., Spain). Then, in a second event about 14,000 years ago, populations from the southeast (e.g., Turkey, Greece) spread into Europe, displacing the first group of humans. Archaeological studies have shown that modern humans swept into Europe about 45,000 years ago and caused the demise of the Neanderthals, indicated by the disappearance of Neanderthal tools in the archaeological record, explained Reich. The researchers also knew that during the Ice Age - a long period of time that ended about 12,000 years ago, with its peak intensity between 25,000 and 19,000 years ago - glaciers covered Scandinavia and northern Europe all the way to northern France. As the ice sheets retreated beginning 19,000 years ago, prehistoric humans spread back into northern Europe. But prior to this study, there were only four samples of prehistoric European modern humans 45,000 to 7,000 years old for which genomic data were available, which made it all but impossible to understand how human populations migrated or evolved during this period. "Trying to represent this vast period of European history with just four samples is like trying to summarize a movie with four still images. With 51 samples, everything changes; we can follow the narrative arc; we get a vivid sense of the dynamic changes over time," said Reich. "And what we see is a population history that is no less complicated than that in the last 7,000 years, with multiple episodes of population replacement and immigration on a vast and dramatic scale, at a time when the climate was changing dramatically." The genetic data show that, beginning 37,000 years ago, all Europeans come from a single founding population that persisted through the Ice Age, said Reich. The founding population has some deep branches in different parts of Europe, one of which is represented by a specimen from Belgium. This branch seems to have been displaced in most parts of Europe 33,000 years ago, but around 19,000 years ago, a population related to it re-expanded across Europe, Reich explained. Based on the earliest sample in which this ancestry is observed, it is plausible that this population expanded from the southwest, present-day Spain, after the Ice Age peaked. The second event that the researchers detected happened 14,000 years ago. "We see a new population turnover in Europe, and this time it seems to be from the east, not the west," said Reich. "We see very different genetics spreading across Europe that displaces the people from the southwest who were there before. These people persisted for many thousands of years until the arrival of farming." The researchers also detected some mixture with Neanderthals, around 45,000 years ago, as modern humans spread across Europe. The prehistoric human populations contained 3% to 6% of Neanderthal DNA, but today most humans only have about 2%. "Neanderthal DNA is slightly toxic to modern humans," explained Reich, and this study provides evidence that natural selection is removing Neanderthal ancestry.