Friday, December 30, 2016

Rwandan soccer officials have added a new rule to the game: no witchcraft

Under the new rules, players and coaches found to be using witchcraft to try to gain an advantage face fines and penalties. "Juju" has long played a role in African soccer. In fact, the Confederation of African Football previously banned witchcraft after Rwanda's national team was accused of burying a doll behind its net in a 2003 match against Uganda. But a soccer official in the country says that the traditional practice gives the nation a bad image. Hence, the new penalties. “Since there is no scientific way to prove the use of witchcraft, these measures will be based upon reports from match officials and anything that is deemed to incite witchcraft will be put under consideration," he says.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A woman has been beheaded by a group of armed men in Afghanistan after she entered a city without her husband

The horrific act took place in the remote village of Latti in Sar-e-Pul province, which is under Taliban control. Provincial Governor spokesman Zabiullah Amani said that the 30-year-old woman was targeted because she went out alone without her husband, who is in Iran. The woman had gone to the market to shop. Under Taliban rule women are prohibited from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a close male relative. They are also banned from working or education and are forced to wear the burqa.

The US military could soon execute someone for the first time since a soldier was hanged for raping and trying to kill an 11-year-old girl in 1961

Ronald Gray, a black ex-soldier, has been on military death row at Fort Leavenworth since 1988. Gray was convicted of killing five women — a cab driver, an Army private, a university student, a local resident, and a soldier's wife — and raping several others in 1986 and 1987 while stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A civilian court gave him eight life sentences, but a military court sentenced him to death. All convicts on military death row must have their executions approved by a president. In 2008, George W. Bush authorized Gray's execution, but a federal court gave him a temporary stay. Recently, a judge ruled the stay was no longer in effect and denied any further stays. An execution date for Gray could be set sometime in January 2017. He would be killed by lethal injection. Including Gray, there are currently six former service members on military death row. However, Gray is the only one whose death has been approved by a president.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Capt. Niloofar Rahmani's story seems to sum up the dismal state of women's rights in Afghanistan more than 15 years after the Taliban were forced from power

The 25-year-old is the first female fixed-wing pilot in her country's air force, but says that she has received death threats both from Taliban insurgents and from distant relatives who believe that she has disgraced her family. Rahmani, who became famous in her homeland after graduating from a pilot training program run by the US-led coalition, finished another 15 months of training in the United States and has applied for asylum in the United States, saying that she would love to fly for her country, but that she's scared for her life. Rahmani, who was honored with the State Department's Women of Courage Award in 2015, says that distant relatives outraged by her career choice have tried to kill her brother and have forced her family to move several times. She says that if she's allowed to stay in the United States, she will fly either for the US Air Force or as a commercial pilot. "Everything I went through, all my suffering, was because I really wanted to fly. That was my dream," she says. She also says that she was harassed and treated with contempt by male Afghan colleagues, though a Defense Ministry spokesman accuses her of lying.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The men in the Indian village of Udaipur drink and bathe in cow urine to cure their acne

In Hindu culture, the cow is a sacred animal, and many of its followers believe that any cow byproduct has healing properties. That’s why lots of guys in Udaipur swear by the urine to not just get rid of pimples, but also eliminate all health problems. One man, Hemant Paliwal, has guzzled a warm glass of cow urine every day for the last 4 years, and regularly takes pee baths with his buddies. “I was suffering from acute lung diseases and would catch a cough and cold regularly,” Paliwal said. “I even had acne and pimples on my skin, but once I started applying urine, my face was crystal clear in just a week. Since then, there hasn’t been a single day when I haven’t drunk cow urine.” Personally, I'd rather have the pimples.

Indian police said that they have arrested four men on suspicion of raping an American tourist who came to New Delhi alone earlier in 2016, marking another incident of sexual violence to stir outrage

Police Officer Rakesh Kumar said the suspects - a tour guide and his associate, a car driver and a hotel worker - have been arrested. The woman said in her police complaint that the four men raped her after she was drugged in a New Delhi hotel room in April 2016. They denied the accusations. She also said that the four men had shot a video of the attack and had threatened to make it public if she reported the matter to anyone, police said. The woman went back to the United States and registered a complaint through an email to New Delhi's police commissioner. She returned to the Indian capital earlier in December 2016 to pursue the case because she was dissatisfied with the progress of police investigation. The case highlights the persistent violence against women in India despite tougher laws against sexual assault imposed after the December 2012 death of a young woman who was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Muslim Family Values: Jihadi mum kisses tiny daughters, aged seven and nine, goodbye - then sends them off on a suicide bomb mission

The seven-year-old girl is understood to have died in a remotely detonated bomb blast inside a Syrian police station.

The authorities have charged a black man with setting fire to a predominantly African-American church in Greenville, Miss., where “Vote Trump” was found spray-painted on the side of the building

The black man, Andrew McClinton, 45, of Leland, Miss., has been charged with arson of a place of worship in the first degree, a felony, Warren Strain, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, said. McClinton, who is black, was a member of the church, Hopewell Missionary Baptist, at the time of the fire, Strain said. The church sanctuary was heavily damaged by heat, fire and smoke. The 200-member church has been a fixture for more than 110 years in Greenville, a Mississippi Delta city of about 32,000 that is around 120 miles north of Jackson, Miss. McClinton appeared voluntarily at the Greenville Police Department, where he made statements that implicated him in the crime, Strain said.

Diversity and Neighborhood Satisfaction: More white people, more satisfaction

Researchers investigating the impact of ethnic diversity on individuals’ overall satisfaction with and other aspects of their neighborhood found that a higher white share in the neighborhood raises overall satisfaction with the neighborhood in their sample. The researchers believe that part of the impact of diversity on overall neighborhood satisfaction may be through an effect on a fear of crime and the quality of social life.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Berlin terror attack which killed 12 people and injured nearly 50

The group's Amaq news agency said in a statement that "the person who carried out the truck run over attack in Berlin is a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the attack in response to calls for targeting citizens of the Crusader coalition." Its claim came as German police released the man that they had arrested because of lack of evidence, meaning the real culprit is still at large and armed and dangerous. Authorities urged people to remain "particularly vigilant" and to report "suspicious movement" to a special hotline.

Monday, December 19, 2016

All human eyes are brown?

It turns out all human eyes are brown — or at least various shades of it. It all comes down to melanin and how much of the pigment we have in our eyes. Blue eyes have the least amount of melanin, which explains why brown-eyed newborns can appear to have blue eyes as their melanin (melanocyte cells) forms, darkening the iris. "Everyone has melanin in the iris of their eye, and the amount that they have determines their eye color," says Dr. Gary Heitling. Melanin levels also determine our skin and hair color. While dark brown in color, melanin absorbs different amounts of light. The more light absorbed, the less light is reflected out, and the browner the iris appears. Reflected light is what we see when we gaze into someone's eyes. Blue reflects less light at a shorter wavelength of the visible color spectrum. If you think your sweetheart's hazel eyes appear amber in the sunset, you're not wrong. Eye color can indeed change depending on the light, and hazel and green eyes are in the middle of the spectrum. "It's an interaction between the amount of melanin and the architecture of the iris itself," Heitling says. This architecture is so unique, he adds, that it can act like a fingerprint. Migration from hotter to cooler climes by our ancestors could explain eye color evolution. (More melanin protects against UV radiation.) Another theory is that a genetic mutation turned off melanin production in blue eyes. But don't bet on two blue-eyed parents having a blue-eyed child; eye color is influenced by several genes. (One study found that blue-eyed people are more likely to be alcoholics.)

Friday, December 16, 2016

According to 2010 Census data, six of the 15 most common surnames in the United States are traditionally Hispanic

The 15 most common surnames in the United States are:
  1. Smith: 2.4 million
  2. Johnson: 1.9 million
  3. Williams: 1.6 million
  4. Brown: 1.4 million
  5. Jones: 1.4 million
  6. Garcia: 1.2 million
  7. Miller: 1.2 million
  8. Davis: 1.1 million
  9. Rodriguez: 1.1 million
  10. Martinez: 1.1 million
  11. Hernandez: 1 million
  12. Lopez: 874,500
  13. Gonzalez: 841,000
  14. Wilson: 802,000
  15. Anderson: 784,000

The African nation of Niger has the highest fertility rates in the world

In Niger, women bear more than seven children on average and hunger is among the worst in the world with about 45% of Niger’s children under 5 suffering from chronic malnutrition. The population of Niger has grown from 5.2 million in 1975 to 19.9 million in 2015.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Over 1000 Muslims took to the streets of London chanting Allahu Akbar and demanding an Islamic caliphate

They also want America to be punished.

A Muslim college student who claimed that she had been attacked by apparent Trump supporters on a Manhattan subway platform on December 1, 2016 has now admitted that she made the whole thing up

Yasmin Seweid claimed that 3 young white men shouted "Donald Trump!" and called her a terrorist, followed her, and then pulled off her hijab before she got away. But after investigators couldn't verify the story or find any witnesses or video of it, Seweid ultimately confessed to fabricating it. Significant NYPD resources were used in the investigation, and Seweid is expected to be charged with filing a false report, which could be either a misdemeanor or a felony. "This isn’t something we normally like to do, but she had numerous opportunities to admit nothing happened and she kept sticking by her story," a police source said. Seweid said that she made up the story to get attention because she was having family trouble at home. "Maybe she was afraid that night. She was running late," her father speculates, adding that she went missing for several days after the incident and was found at a friend's house.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The results of the latest international student tests are out, with Mexican students continuing to languish at the bottom of the list of member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

They obtained an average score of 416 points in the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, while across the OECD the average is 492. In the three areas assessed — sciences, reading and mathematics — fewer than 1% of students in Mexico achieved a top-performing level 5 or 6, a percentage that has not changed significantly since 2006. Students scored 416 points in science, on average, with a mean performance below the OECD average of 496. In reading, the average national score was 423 points, below the OECD average of 493. In the third subject, mathematics, Mexican students earned the lowest score of all 34 OECD countries with 408 points. The OECD average is 490. In a presentation of the 2016 PISA results, the OECD said “Mexico’s mean performance in mathematics has improved by five points every three years, on average, between 2003 and 2015.” “However, in 2015, Mexico’s mean score was lower than the score attained in 2009,” it said. Fifty-seven per cent of students are considered low achievers in mathematics while in science the percentage is 48 and in reading 42. In a video press conference, OECD Chief of Staff Gabriela Ramos lamented that after 15 years of PISA testing in Mexico the results continue to be disappointing, and the country continues falling behind with no significant variations in its results. “It’s not what the students of Mexico deserve,” she said, adding that the picture is “very negative” with regard to Mexico’s performance, and “not a good one of its education system.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A teenage Afghan asylum seeker has been arrested in Germany for the rape and murder of the 19-year-old daughter of a senior EU official

Medical student Maria Ladenburger, who volunteered at a refugee home in her spare time, was found dead in the university city of Freiburg, near the border with Switzerland in mid October 2016. Her father is Dr. Clemens Ladenburger, a lawyer who works as the right hand man to the legal director of the European Commission. The suspect has confessed to the murder, according to police. He was arrested and will go before the courts in 2017. Maria was drowned after being raped, her body found in the River Dreisam on October 16, 2016.

Hundreds of terrorists could be using British benefits to fund their extremist activities after the Government admitted that it did not know the true scale of problem

There have been calls for a thorough investigation into the issue after two men were convicted of channeling thousands of pounds of fraudulent housing benefits to the Islamist fanatics behind the Paris and Brussels terrorist outrages. With more than 850 "Britons" thought to be currently fighting in Syria, counter terror experts believe large amounts of taxpayers' money is ending up in the hands of jihadists desperate to wage war on the West. Birmingham City Council has apologized and vowed to review its systems after it emerged that it had paid more than £5,400 to a "Belgian" man while he was fighting in Syria. Anouar Haddouchi moved to Birmingham from Brussels in 2009 along with his wife, Muslim convert , Julie Maes, and their two children. They lived in private rented accommodation and despite being foreign nationals, were legally entitled to child, housing and council tax benefit. Haddouchi even boasted to his friends how he was able to live "very comfortably" on the money he received from the British state. Friend, Azzedine Kaddour, told police that Haddouchi had managed to bank a large amount of cash from his benefit payments and had used the money to fund his journey to Syria where he joined Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil). He said: "Anouar Haddouchi financed his trip with money he had in his bank account. In essence he emptied his account to go to Syria. A good chunk of that came from the benefits he received in the UK." In an extraordinary blunder Birmingham City Council continued to pay his housing benefit directly into his Lloyds TSB Islamic bank account for 11 months after he had left the country, even though his landlord wrote to officials to say that he was no longer living at the address.

Swedish authorities have charged five teenagers from Afghanistan with aggravated rape for dragging another Afghan boy into a forest, threatening him with a knife and raping him

The assault took place in October 2016 in a forested area in the city of Uppsala, north of Stockholm. Prosecutor Johan Stromback said that the five suspects are 16 and 17 years old, while the boy they assaulted is under 15. Stromback said that all arrived in Sweden as unaccompanied minors seeking asylum. The accused were charged with aggravated rape of a minor, a crime in Sweden that is punishable by at least four years in prison for adults and juvenile detention for minors, he said. The indictment calls for all five to be expelled from Sweden and barred from returning after serving any sentences. According to the indictment, the accused punched the victim in the head, raped him and spat on him. It said that the assault "was planned and lasted for at least an hour" and left the boy with bruises, scrapes and bite marks on his back. The accused filmed parts of the assault and threatened to post clips on social media if the victim went to police.

German premier Angela Merkel called for a ban on the Burka for the first time as she launched a bid to remain in power with a dramatic shift

Sparking a standing ovation from her CDU Party, the German Chancellor threw her weight behind calls to outlaw the burqa and niqab wherever “possible”. She said: “With us, the rule is: show your face, that’s why the full veil is not appropriate, it should be banned.” The CDU party wants to ban the full face veil in courts, schools and universities as well as in road traffic and during police checks.