Sunday, February 26, 2017

Latino students in kindergarten trail their white peers in math by approximately three months’ worth of learning, a new study by Child Trends Hispanic Institute has found

And while students’ family incomes, parent education levels, primary languages, and quantity of books in the home all accounted for differences in math skills among Latino students, the achievement gap between Latino and white students is still evident after accounting for these background differences.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Muslim preschool teacher in Texas has been fired after her “kill some Jews!” tweet from 2013 surfaced, along with other anti-Semitic tweets

Nancy Salem, who said that she’s a Muslim American of Palestinian heritage, was fired from The Children’s Courtyard in Arlington. Salem in 2013 retweeted, “How many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough!” Another of her tweets said, “Gassed a Jew. I’m sweating. Heil.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A poll conducted by Harvard-Harris has found that 80% of Americans believe local law enforcement should be required to turn over illegal immigrants they arrest to the federal government so they can be deported

The survey indicates widespread support for President Donald Trump's directive to federal agencies to cut off funding for sanctuary cities across America, except when the money is for crime fighting. Conservatives have been on the warpath with sanctuary cities since the July 2015 death of San Francisco resident Kate Steinle, who was struck by a bullet that came from a gun shot by an illegal immigrant. Some large cities shield illegal immigrants but do not call themselves sanctuary cities such as Salt Lake City, San Diego, Los Angeles and Boston. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center says that at least 39 cities provide some form of sanctuary protection. Fearful for their county's own federal funds, Miami-Dade commissioners have voted to comply with federal immigration laws, ending sanctuary in the Florida county with a large immigrant population. In the Harvard-Harris poll, 75% of respondents said that they were in favor of ICE hiring more border patrol agents, another mandate of Trump's.

A new study, looking at the sex-specifically inherited X chromosome of prehistoric human remains, shows that hardly any women took part in the extensive migration from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe approximately 5,000 years ago

The great migration that brought farming practices to Europe 4,000 years earlier, on the other hand, consisted of both women and men. The difference in sex bias suggests that different social and cultural processes drove the two migrations. Genetic data suggest that modern European ancestry represents a mosaic of ancestral contributions from multiple waves of prehistoric migration events. Recent studies of genomic variation in prehistoric human remains have demonstrated that two mass migration events are particularly important to understanding European prehistory: the Neolithic spread of agriculture from Anatolia starting around 9,000 years ago, and migration from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe around 5,000 years ago. These migrations are coincident with large social, cultural, and linguistic changes, and each has been inferred to have replaced more than half of the contemporaneous gene pool of resident Central Europeans. Dramatic events in human prehistory can be investigated using patterns of genetic variation among the people that lived in those times. In particular, studies of differing female and male demographic histories on the basis of ancient genomes can provide information about complexities of social structures and cultural interactions in prehistoric populations. Researchers from Uppsala and Stanford University investigated the genetic ancestry on the sex-specifically inherited X chromosome and the autosomes in 20 early Neolithic and 16 Late Neolithic/Bronze Age human remains. Contrary to previous hypotheses suggesting patrilocality (social system in which a family resides near the man's parents) of many agricultural populations, they found no evidence of sex-biased admixture during the migration that spread farming across Europe during the early Neolithic. For later migrations from the Pontic steppe during the early Bronze Age, however, we find a dramatic male bias. There are simply too few X-chromosomes from the migrants, which points to around ten migrating males for every migrating female, says Mattias Jakobsson, professor of Genetics at the Department of Organismal Biology, Uppsala University. The research group found evidence of ongoing, primarily male, migration from the steppe to central Europe over a period of multiple generations, with a level of sex bias that excludes a pulse migration during a single generation. The contrasting patterns of sex-specific migration during these two migrations suggest a view of differing cultural histories in which the Neolithic transition was driven by mass migration of both males and females in roughly equal numbers — perhaps whole families — whereas the later Bronze Age migration and cultural shift were instead driven by male migration.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sweden: Foreign-born people account for about 17% of the population, and second-generation immigrants, for an additional 5%

Despite this, foreign-born people make up 53% of those with long prison terms, 54% of the unemployed and they receive 60% of paid social benefits. In addition, 71% of the country’s child poverty is in households with a foreign background, while 76% of the members of criminal gangs have immigrant backgrounds.

Why is Israel allowed to interfere in the politics of the United States without being criticized?

This is how Philip Weiss sees it:
The Israeli interference in our politics is the conspiracy in plain sight that no one in the media talks about because they’re too implicated themselves. The two top executives at the largest media company, Comcast, are pro-Israel; one of them, David Cohen, raised money for the Israeli army. Netanyahu’s speeches to Congress were written by Gary Ginsberg, an executive at another media company, Time Warner, but hey, that’s not an issue. Four New York Times reporters have had children serve in the Israeli army. One of them is columnist David Brooks, who says that he gets gooey-eyed when he visits Israel. He is one of several Zionists with columns at the Times. Tom Friedman justified the Iraq War because suicide bombers were going into Tel Aviv pizza parlors. (Huh?) Yesterday Martin Indyk said on National Public Radio that Jared Kushner’s strong Jewish background was an asset for his being a Middle East mediator, a job that Aaron David Miller, who also has a strong Jewish background, defined as being Israel’s lawyer. Indyk, himself a mediator, started a pro-Israel thinktank with Haim Saban, an Israeli-American who was Clinton’s biggest funder and who lately smeared Keith Ellison at a giant gathering at Brookings, which he also helps fund, as “clearly an anti-semite” and “anti-Israel;” and Jake Tapper of CNN moved on to the next question, presumably because smearing a public official in that manner is not news. Saban is also chummy with Jeffrey Goldberg, one of whose qualifications for being the best journalist in his generation, according to the Atlantic’s publisher, is that he served in the Israeli Defense Forces, because he felt that America was unsafe for Jews. One of Goldberg’s first hires as editor at the Atlantic is Julia Ioffe, who hates Russia, and who told a synagogue audience last year after she was attacked as a Jew by Trump supporters: “Personally I was kind of glad to see the outpouring of antisemitism” because people had forgotten that Jews and Israel are the “underdog.” At another NY synagogue, believing that he was speaking off the record, Dennis Ross, the longtime White House “mediator” of the peace process, said that American Jews must be “advocates” for Israel, not for Palestinians. Again, not a scandal. But when Rashid Khalidi, who wrote a book about the U.S. being imbalanced in the peace process, warned that neoconservatives would “infest” the Trump administration, he was smeared up and down as an anti-semite.

Having high levels of a certain biomarker is linked to poor prognosis in African-American patients with triple-negative breast cancer, while the same biomarker doesn't influence disease outcomes in white patients, according to a new study

Racial disparities in disease, particularly breast cancer, continue to pose a major challenge in healthcare. African-American breast cancer patients are more likely to suffer from a more aggressive course of disease and higher mortality compared to other racial groups. In particular, African-American patients with triple-negative breast cancer have a dismal prognosis. The dire outcome of this group could indicate that high-risk, African-American breast cancer patients are not being identified as such using standard clinical prognostic tools and aren't being prescribed sufficiently aggressive treatment. Therefore, it's critical to find novel biomarkers that could identify differences in tumor biology between racial groups and serve as risk predictors to help alleviate health disparity in disease outcomes. In this study, a research team led by Georgia State University examined whether a biomarker called nuclear KIFC1, which has been associated with worse outcomes in breast cancer, can predict risk in triple-negative breast cancer, a subtype that disproportionately affects African-American women. The researchers assessed the nuclear KIFC1 biomarker in triple-negative breast cancer tissue samples from 163 African-American patients and 144 white patients who were treated between the years 2003-2008 at Grady Memorial and Emory University hospitals, 2005-2013 at Northside Hospital and 2001-2012 at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center. Race information in medical records was self-declared by patients. "We looked at the levels of nuclear KIFC1 in their tumors, and interestingly, we found that African-American women had slightly higher levels, but it was only within African-American patients that the levels mattered for their outcome," said Angela Ogden, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Ritu Aneja's laboratory in Georgia State's Biology Department. "African-American women with high nuclear KIFC1 levels tended to do poorly, whereas in white women, it didn't matter if they had high or low levels. It had no effect on their outcomes." The researchers further investigated why the biomarker only seems to matter in African-American patients by studying triple-negative breast tumor cells from African-American and white patients. "We found that if we silence the KIFC1 gene, it had a greater impact on the migration of the African-American cells than it did on the white cells," Ogden said. "It may be that for whatever reason, in African-American breast cancer tumors, KIFC1 helps the cells to migrate and spread to other parts of the body. And for reasons that we currently don't know, that's not the case in white tumors. Ultimately, it may even be that African-American patients could potentially be treated with a KIFC1 inhibitor to help prevent metastasis, but that's for future studies." The study is multi-institutional with tumor samples from breast cancer patients treated at four different hospitals, so the results can likely be generalized. To ensure certain factors didn't confound the results, the researchers adjusted for tumor stage, age at diagnosis, receipt of chemotherapy and the hospital where patients received chemotherapy. They found that nuclear KIFC1 had a significant effect on outcomes in African-American patients, even after adjusting for these factors. Biomarkers of relevance to specific racial groups are starting to be explored more in scientific studies, Ogden said. "The approach of treating all patients the same, regardless of their racial or ethnic background, may not be the best approach as genetic ancestry matters," she said. "There may be biomarkers and treatments that work better for people of a certain ancestry, race or ethnicity, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach."

Superstition and barbarism in Africa: In Malawi, like other countries in the region, people with albinism are hunted down because of the belief that potions made from their body parts can bring good luck and wealth

In 2016, a UN expert warned that Malawi's estimated 10,000 albinos face "extinction" if they continue to be murdered for their body parts. Since November 2014, 19 albinos have been killed and there have been more than 100 cases of attempted kidnapping and disappearances. Graves of albinos are also targeted by criminals who remove bones in order to sell them. Amnesty International says that police lack investigative skills and the majority of cases remain unresolved. Activists say poverty contributes to the suspicion surrounding albinos and the belief that their body parts can be sold for large sums of money.

A zoo in northern Japan has culled 57 of its snow monkeys by lethal injection after discovering that they carried the genes of an "invasive alien species"

Takagoyama Nature Zoo in Chiba said that DNA testing showed the monkeys had been crossbred with the rhesus macaque. The non-indigenous rhesus macaque is banned under Japanese law. A local official said that they had to be killed in order to protect the native environment. The zoo's operator held a memorial service for the snow monkeys' souls at a nearby Buddhist temple. Japanese macaques, commonly known as snow monkeys, are native to Japan and are one of the country's major tourist attractions. Japan prohibits the possession and transport of invasive species, including crossbreeds. An official from the Office for Alien Species Management, part of the country's environment ministry, said that the culling was unavoidable because there were fears they might escape and reproduce in the wild. Junkichi Mima, a spokesman for conservation group WWF Japan said that invasive species cause problems "because they get mixed in with indigenous animals and threaten the natural environment and ecosystem". Apparently racial purity and segregation are alright for animals but not for humans.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Are we seeing the end of identity politics?

Victor Davis Hanson says that class is finally reemerging as a better barometer of privilege than is race. The children of Barack Obama, for example, have far more privilege than do the sons of Appalachian coal miners — and many Asian groups already exceed American per capita income averages. When activist Michael Eric Dyson calls for blanket reparations for slavery, his argument does not resonate with an unemployed working-class youth from Kentucky, who was born more than 30 years after the emergence of affirmative action — and enjoys a fraction of Dyson’s own income, net worth, and cultural opportunities.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A strong majority of Americans say Democrats should look to cooperate with President Trump to strike deals, according to the inaugural Harvard-Harris poll

The survey found that 73% of voters want to see Democrats work with Trump, against only 27% who said Democrats should resist Trump’s every move. The findings are significant as Democratic leaders in Congress are under growing pressure by their liberal base to obstruct the president’s agenda. The poll shows that the party is divided on how to deal with Trump: 52% of Democrats polled say they should cooperate with him on areas of agreement and 48% saying that they shouldn’t.

Obama leaves the White House having achieved nothing positive on the economic front, nothing positive on the international front, and nothing positive on the domestic front

But at least he is the best black president!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe — who will soon be 93 — says that he should still run for president even if he dies before the next election

"If God decides to take him, then we would rather field him as a corpse," Grace Mugabe, 51, said during a recent rally. She said that Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, should run for president as a dead man to "prove that people love him." Mugabe has said that he wants to live to 100 and plans to rule for life. His wife apparently has bigger plans. In 2016, Grace Mugabe told supporters that her husband will be their leader ever after he's "in the grave."

Friday, February 17, 2017

Trump and the Deep State

Patrick Buchanan looks at efforts to undermine Trump's presidency.

A large number of non-citizen Hispanics, as many as 2 million, were illegally registered to vote in the United States, according to a nationwide poll

The National Hispanic Survey provides additional evidence for use by anti-voter fraud conservatives and bolsters an analysis by professors at Old Dominion University who say that non-citizens registered and voted in potentially large numbers. President Trump has announced that he will appoint a task force on voter fraud headed by Vice President Mike Pence. He says that he wants the investigation to focus on inaccurate voter registration rolls, which are maintained by the states and the District of Columbia. “It is a fact and you will not deny it, that there are massive numbers of non-citizens in this country who are registered to vote,” White House adviser Stephen Miller said. “That is a scandal. We should stop the presses.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

South Africa: A white woman was ambushed in her own home, stabbed 21 times, had her eyes gouged out before her naked body was discovered by her son who arrived home from school

Tanya Wiers, 44, was discovered by her son Rolf lying in her daughter's bedroom after suffering the gruesome attack. The brutal slaying has been described by police as the worst they have ever witnessed. The mother-of-three was attacked at her home in Polokwane, about 150 miles north of Pretoria. Police have arrested 25-year-old suspect Frans Maela, a black African, in connection with the killing. Maela has been remanded in custody after appearing before Polokwane Magistrates' Court. Police discovered that Wiers suffered extensive defense wounds to her arms and hands before she succumbed to the attack.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Single-parent white families have more wealth than two-parent black and Latino families

According to a new study from public policy organization Demos, two-parent black households had approximately $16,000 in median wealth in 2013, while two-parent Latino households had $18,800 in wealth. Those numbers are trumped, however, by the median wealth of a single-parent white household: $35,800. That means that a white single parent still has 2.2 times more wealth than a two-parent black household and 1.9 times more wealth than a two-parent Latino family. The amount of wealth for a median two-parent white family is much higher than all of these at $161,300.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Black Lives Matter leader has come under fire after arguing on social media that white people are “sub-human” and suffer from “recessive genetic defects,” and musing about how the race could be wiped out

In a Facebook post, Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Yusra Khogali went on a rant, arguing that black people are the superior race because white people posses “genetic defects” that make them lesser humans. “Whiteness is not humxness, in fact, white skin is sub-humxn,” she wrote. “All phenotypes exist within the black family and white ppl are a genetic defect of blackness.” She continued explaining her theory, claiming white people are lesser because “[they] have a higher concentration of enzyme inhibitors that suppress melanin production. They are genetically deficient because melanin is present at the inception of life. Melanin enables black skin to capture light and hold it in its memory mode which reveals that blackness converts light into knowledge. Melanin directly communicates with cosmic energy,” she added. Khogali then proclaimed: “White ppl are recessive genetic defects. This is factual.” The Black Lives Matter leader then wondered how the white race could be wiped out. According to her, “Black ppl simply through their dominant genes can literally wipe out the white race if we had the power to. Do you ever wonder how black ppl after centuries of colonial violence, genocide and destruction—no matter what systems created to make us extinct… How we keep coming back? It is because we are superhumxns,” she added. This isn’t the first time the firebrand BLM Toronto chapter co-founder got into hot water. Recently, Khogali gave a speech during a protest in Toronto, where she accused Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of being a “white supremacist terrorist” for welcoming refugees to the country. During the protest, she was seen shouting: “When Justin Trudeau says that he is a liar! He’s a hypocrite! He is a white supremacist terrorist! That is what he is,” she said. “Do not be fooled by his liberal bullshit. Do not be fooled.” In 2016, she also caused a controversy after tweeting: “Plz Allah give me strength to not cuss/kill these men and white folks out here today. Plz plz plz.”

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Catholic schools in Scotland are among the highest achieving in the country

In a recent study conducted by the University of Glasgow, 99 school inspection reports between 2012 and 2014 were examined. Of these, 51% of Catholic schools received “very good” or “excellent” marks compared with 30% in non-denominational schools.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

An African migrant has been accused of beheading his girlfriend in a ritualistic killing after stabbing her 30 times

The Congolese refugee had applied for asylum in Berlin, Germany, where he is alleged to have carried out the brutal killing. The man – identified by authorities as Yve M – is accused of stabbing his girlfriend 30 times in the stomach and chest before beheading the corpse. Prosecutors claim that he then cut off her little finger from her right hand and her left arm before decorating her body. Police entered the apartment after neighbors claimed that there was a rancid stench coming from the property. Police found the victim – named as Tunay G – after her body had already begun to decay. Her body had also been decorated with stones, string and feathers in what investigators believe was a “ritual killing”. Authorities said that the victim had died of blood loss and no murder weapon has been recovered. The killing happened sometime on May 15 or 16 2016, but the body was not discovered until June 10, 2016. The 39-year-old African migrant was arrested on June 11, 2016 for the killing of his girlfriend, also 39. In 2016, a teenage Afghan asylum seeker admitted killing Maria Ladenburger – the daughter of an EU official.

A Chinese immigrant who stabbed, beheaded, and partially cannibalized a fellow Greyhound bus passenger in a terrifying random attack in 2008 has been granted an absolute discharge by authorities in Canada, meaning that he will no longer be subject to any court-ordered monitoring

That includes monitoring to check whether he is taking his daily medication to treat schizophrenia. Matt Baker, an immigrant from China who changed his name from Vince Li after the attack, was found not criminally responsible for the killing in 2009 and spent seven years in a psychiatric hospital before he was allowed to live independently in Winnipeg recently. Baker has said that he thought he heard the voice of God ordering him to kill 22-year-old carnival worker Tim McLean. McLean's mother has argued against granting Baker a total discharge, saying that he might stop taking his medication. "I have no words," she said after the ruling. I am beginning to think that we may need to build two border walls.

Some sanity in Europe: An Italian judge has ruled that soccer fans chanting a slogan featuring the word “Jews” was not hate speech

The ruling, of course, sparked an angry response from the Jewish community. In a letter to Italy’s justice minister, Andrea Orlando, the president of the Rome Jewish community, Ruth Dureghello called the ruling “undoubtedly an alarming precedent for justice” in Italy that “in essence legitimizes the use of the adjective Jew in a derogatory and racist form and in any case a tool of derision during sporting events.” Orlando said that he would look into the matter. The president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Noemi Di Segni, issued a separate protest to soccer authorities. The case dates back to March 2013, when two fans of the Lazio soccer team were caught on camera during a match between Lazio and Catania chanting “giallorosso ebreo,” Italian for “yellow-red Jew” — apparently directed against the Catania team. The chant refers to Lazio’s archrival, Roma, whose team colors are yellow and red. In his ruling, Judge Ezio Damizia acquitted the pair of incitement and racial hatred, saying the term “giallorosso ebreo” was aimed simply at “ridiculing the opposing team” and fell within the scope of the long “sporting rivalry” between Lazio and Roma. Nice to see someone with enough guts to stand up to the Jews.

Hispanic immigrant and African American men have highest rate of workplace injury, according to a new study of workplace injuries and disability

For the study, USC researchers found that men ages 18 to 64 who are Hispanic immigrants have the highest average workplace injury rate at 13.7 per 1,000 workers, followed by African American men (more than 12), and U.S.-born Hispanic men (nearly 12), white men (11.8), and Asian Americans (nearly 10). Other ethnicities have a rate of around 11 per 1,000 workers. Could IQ differences be at least partially responsible for this situation?

New research indicates that Baltic hunter-gatherers were not swamped by migrations of early agriculturalists from the Middle East, as was the case for the rest of central and western Europe

Instead, these people probably acquired knowledge of farming and ceramics by sharing cultures and ideas - rather than genes - with outside communities. Scientists extracted ancient DNA from a number of archaeological remains discovered in Latvia and the Ukraine, which were between 5,000 and 8,000 years old. These samples spanned the Neolithic period, which was the dawn of agriculture in Europe, when people moved from a mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a settled way of life based on food production. We know through previous research that large numbers of early farmers from the Levant (the Near East) - driven by the success of their technological innovations such as crops and pottery - had expanded to the peripheral parts of Europe by the end of the Neolithic and largely replaced hunter-gatherer populations. However, the new study shows that the Levantine farmers did not contribute to hunter-gatherers in the Baltic as they did in Central and Western Europe. The research team, which includes scientists from Trinity College Dublin, the University of Cambridge, and University College Dublin, says their findings instead suggest that the Baltic hunter-gatherers learned these skills through communication and cultural exchange with outsiders. The findings feed into debates around the 'Neolithic package,' - the cluster of technologies such as domesticated livestock, cultivated cereals and ceramics, which revolutionized human existence across Europe during the late Stone Age. Advances in ancient DNA work have revealed that this 'package' was spread through Central and Western Europe by migration and interbreeding: the Levant and later Anatolian farmers mixing with and essentially replacing the hunter-gatherers. But the new work suggests migration was not a 'universal driver' across Europe for this way of life. In the Baltic region, archaeology shows that the technologies of the 'package' did develop - albeit less rapidly - even though the analyses show that the genetics of these populations remained the same as those of the hunter-gatherers throughout the Neolithic. Andrea Manica, one of the study's senior authors from the University of Cambridge, said: "Almost all ancient DNA research up to now has suggested that technologies such as agriculture spread through people migrating and settling in new areas. However, in the Baltic, we find a very different picture, as there are no genetic traces of the farmers from the Levant and Anatolia who transmitted agriculture across the rest of Europe. The findings suggest that indigenous hunter-gatherers adopted Neolithic ways of life through trade and contact, rather than being settled by external communities. Migrations are not the only model for technology acquisition in European prehistory." While the sequenced genomes showed no trace of the Levant farmer influence, one of the Latvian samples did reveal genetic influence from a different external source - one that the scientists say could be a migration from the Pontic Steppe in the east. The timing (5-7,000 years ago) fits with previous research estimating the earliest Slavic languages. Researcher Eppie Jones, from Trinity College Dublin and the University of Cambridge, was the lead author of the study. She said: "There are two major theories on the spread of Indo-European languages, the most widely spoken language family in the world. One is that they came from the Anatolia with the agriculturalists; another that they developed in the Steppes and spread at the start of the Bronze Age. That we see no farmer-related genetic input, yet we do find this Steppe-related component, suggests that at least the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family originated in the Steppe grasslands of the East, which would bring later migrations of Bronze Age horse riders." The researchers point out that the time scales seen in Baltic archaeology are also very distinct to the rest of Europe, with a much more drawn-out and piecemeal uptake of Neolithic technologies, rather than the complete 'package' that arrives with migrations to take most of Europe by storm. Andrea Manica added: "Our evidence of genetic continuity in the Baltic, coupled with the archaeological record showing a prolonged adoption of Neolithic technologies, would suggest the existence of trade networks with farming communities largely independent of interbreeding. It seems the hunter-gatherers of the Baltic likely acquired bits of the Neolithic package slowly over time through a 'cultural diffusion' of communication and trade, as there is no sign of the migratory wave that brought farming to the rest of Europe during this time. "The Baltic hunter-gatherer genome remains remarkably untouched until the great migrations of the Bronze Age sweep in from the East." The researchers analysed eight ancient genomes - six from Latvia and two from Ukraine - that spanned a time-frame of three and a half thousand years (between 8,300 and 4,800 years ago). This enabled them to start plotting the genetic history of Baltic inhabitants during the Neolithic. DNA was extracted from the petrous area of skulls that had been recovered by archaeologists from some of the region's richest Stone Age cemeteries. The petrous, at the base of the skull, is one of the densest bones in the body, and a prime location for DNA that has suffered the least contamination over millennia.

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Mexican national who has lived in Urbana since 2005, using a stolen identity, has been arraigned on seven federal counts, including four related to voting by an illegal immigrant

Miguel Valencia-Sandoval, 33, who had been using the identity of a Texas man named Ramiro G. Vasquez, pleaded not guilty to the charges before Magistrate Eric Long at U.S. District Court in Urbana. An affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint said that authorities were tipped off to Valencia-Sandoval's real identity in August 2017 when the Piatt County sheriff's office was informed that he had been living under Vasquez's name for about 11 years. Valencia-Sandoval most recently has worked for an Urbana drywall contractor. Recently, Valencia-Sandoval was arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border in Laredo, Texas, when he attempted to re-enter the country with a Texas birth certificate and state of Illinois ID card bearing the name of Ramiro Guerrora Vasquez. During an interview with agents on January 7, 2017 Valencia-Sandoval admitted, according to a federal affidavit, that he was not the true owner of the birth certificate and that in March 2005 he had purchased it from Oscar Guerrero-Vasquez — Ramiro Guerrero-Vasquez's brother — for $50,000. Valencia-Sandoval, also admitted that he did not have Ramiro Guerrero-Vasquez's permission to use his identity; had used the identity to live in Illinois since March 2005; had obtained driver's licenses, bank accounts and loans for vehicles; had opened two restaurants that have since been sold; and had obtained a lawful permanent resident card for his wife. He also acknowledged, the affidavit said, that he is a citizen of Mexico present in the United States without having been legally admitted or paroled. The affidavit also noted that "fingerprint queries" showed that Valencia-Sandoval had twice before been "encountered" by authorities — it didn't say where or when — without having been arrested. The indictment alleges that Valencia-Sandoval made a false statement of U.S. citizenship on a passport application in April 2012. Another charge alleges that he made a false claim of citizenship in order to vote in an election. Two felony charges of aggravated identity theft, one for using Vasquez's identity to get a passport and another for using the identity to vote in an election, were part of the indictment. Lastly, he was charged with three misdemeanor counts of voting in an election by an illegal immigrant, for having voted in general elections in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Asked whether Valencia-Sandoval could be deported, Sharon Paul, the public information officer for the U.S. Attorney's office said, "That's a question for immigration." Valencia-Sandoval faces prison terms of between 10 years and one year for each of the counts, plus fines. Also , a separate indictment charged Salvador Garcia-Lund, 27, with making a false statement of U.S. citizenship and aggravated identity theft in March 2016 on a passport application. He also is charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, an illegal immigrant, on January 4, 2017.

A Mexican woman has been convicted of voter fraud by a Texas jury who also sentenced her to eight years in prison

Prosecutors say that the reason officials at the elections department in Dallas didn’t stop the voter fraud from happening is because Rosa Ortega claimed she was a citizen on her application. Now the Tarrant County D.A.’s office is calling for those claims to be verified before handing out registration cards. Ortega’s attorney said that the mother of four will undoubtedly be deported. Her attorney said that she has a learning disability and was confused about the difference between being a citizen and a legal resident, so she thought she was allowed to vote. “The jury didn’t believe that story. They believed that the defendant knew exactly what she was doing, and they responded accordingly,” Prosecutor Jonathan White said. Prosecutors said whether this case prompts elections officials to verify citizenship is an issue for the legislature. The jury also gave Ortega a $5,000 fine.

A textbook has sparked outrage in India for instructing fourth-graders to suffocate a kitten to show how living beings need air

The experiment described in the environmental science textbook for 9-year-olds tells the students to place two kittens in separate boxes, one of them without air holes, and wait to see the result. The textbook, titled Our Green World, was published by PP Publications, a New Delhi-based publisher of school textbooks. It had been used in hundreds of schools in the Indian capital and the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana since April 2016. The first chapter, titled "Living Things Breathe," reads: "No living thing can live without air for more than a few minutes. You can do an experiment." That experiment? "Take two wooden boxes," the text continues. "Make holes on the lid of one box. Put a small kitten in each box. Close the boxes. After some time open the boxes. What do you see? The kitten inside the box without holes has died."

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Did British colonialism create the Irish Traveler population?

The emergence of Irish Travelers as a distinct group occurred long before the Great Famine, a genetic analysis shows. The DNA study also indicates that while Travelers originally descended from the general Irish population, they are now very distinct from it. The findings provide strong evidence that Travelers should receive some form of ethnic status, said Prof Gianpiero Cavalleri, who conducted the study with colleagues at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the University of Edinburgh. “We think this is a nice piece of evidence for that complex debate,” he said. The research group “would be supportive of some form of ethnic status”. Travelers are now as genetically different from the settled Irish as are the Spanish, he said. And if the small Traveler population is taken into account, they are still as different from the Irish as are the Scots. “Travelers cluster with the Irish but they are very definitely distinct from the Irish. There is a considerable genetic distance between them.” The far-reaching study sought to understand the genetic connections between Travelers, the settled Irish and people further afield. It involved looking at the DNA of more than 11,000 people including Travelers, Roma Gypsies, settled Irish, British, Continental Europeans and individuals from the rest of the world. It also sought to set a time for when the Traveler community began to form as a distinct and separate population. Today there are between 29,000 and 40,000 Travelers in Ireland, representing 0.6% of the total population. The DNA analysis allowed the researchers to track when and how quickly Travelers arose. This occurred between eight and 14 generations ago, with the best fit suggesting 12 generations or 360 years ago, said Prof Gianpiero, professor of genetics in the department of molecular and cellular therapeutics. The 12 generations would push the emergence of Travelers back to 1657. This significantly predates the Great Famine of 1845-52, an event long thought to have caused the formation of a migratory community that became the Travelers. The research suggests that Traveler origins may in fact date as far back as 420 years to 1597. The Plantation of Ulster began around that time, with native Irish displaced from the land, perhaps to form a nomadic population. The researchers did not try to connect the emergence of Travelers with any one historical event. “We tried to avoid speculating. You could point to Cromwellian times but it is speculation,” Prof Gianpiero said. They did not however have to speculate about the genetics including an important analysis of the interrelatedness of Travelers, something the researchers say could have implications for disease mapping within Ireland. It is common practice for Travelers to marry first and second cousins, leading to a situation where they have some of the highest rates of duplicated DNA in the world. “The isolation and consanguinity (marrying cousins) have in turn led to an increased prevalence of recessive diseases,” the author’s said. The DNA analysis also revealed that there are four “genetic clusters” or subdivisions within the Traveler community. These in turn tend to match up with their social grouping and use of language. One cluster is associated with the “Rathkeale group” of Travelers. Two other clusters are linked to whether the Traveler speaks the Cant or Gammon dialects of the Traveler language Shelta. The study clearly showed that there was no significant genetic contribution made by Roma Gypsies to Traveler DNA. This disproves a view held by some that the two groups were genetically related. Traveler origins have long been a “source of considerable debate” the authors write. There is also a lack of documentary evidence that reveals the history of the Irish Traveler population.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Jew Bill Kristol shows his contempt for white working class Americans

A wide-ranging conversation with Charles Murray took an awkward turn when Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol shared his view that white, working-class Americans should be replaced by immigrants. The conversation took place at an American Enterprise Institute event called “It Came Apart: What’s Next for a Fractured Culture,” at which the pundits discussed how Donald Trump’s rise relates to the white working class’s record low levels of labor-force participation, religiosity, and family formation, which Dr. Murray described in his 2012 book Coming Apart: The State of White America. At one point, Dr. Murray explained how, though he never warmed to Donald Trump, the 2016 election did lead him to adopt a restrictionist position on low-skilled immigration. Dr. Kristol replied that he’d “actually sort of gone the opposite way on immigration.” He explained: "Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in?"

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Britain: Almost half of new homes built in the next five years will go to migrants, government figures have revealed

Soaring immigration means that Britain will need to accommodate as many as 243,000 new households each year for the next 22 years, the Department for Communities and Local Government has said. It is been estimated that an extra 5.3 million new properties could be needed to meet the growth in population, and an extra 2.4 million of the new homes will be needed for migrants alone. This means that one new home needs to be built every five minutes to house Britain's burgeoning migrant population.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The U.S. ended 2016 on a familiar trajectory of roughly 2% economic growth, the lackluster trend that has prevailed through most of the current expansion

Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the economy, expanded at an inflation and seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.9% in the fourth quarter. That has made this the slowest expansion since World War II. Growth for all of 2016 clocked in at 1.6%, the slowest since 2011 and down from 2.6% in 2015. That marks the 11th consecutive year that GDP growth failed to reach 3%, the longest period since the Bureau of Economic Analysis began reporting the figure. The fourth quarter also rings out the Obama era with an average annual growth rate of 1.8%, which is right down there with George W. Bush for the lowest among modern Presidents.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

In 2016, African Americans accounted for 30% of the overall organ donation waitlist, and 33% of the kidney list, despite being only 13% of the US population

A black organ recipient doesn't have to have a black donor. But they would be more likely to have successful match - based on certain genetic markers and antibodies - if more black donors were available. The percentage of black Americans who donate organs has risen since 1988, but there is still an outsized need.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Trump and immigrants in Argentina

Argentina is so used to celebrating immigration as a cornerstone of society that a 19th-century saying — to govern is to populate — remains in use to this day. But in an abrupt shift coinciding with the immigration restrictions put in place by the Trump administration, President Mauricio Macri has issued a decree curbing immigration to Argentina, with his government declaring that newcomers from poorer countries in Latin America bring crime. The measures announced by Macri in recent days made it much easier to deport immigrants and restrict their entry, prompting irate comparisons to President Trump and igniting a fierce debate over immigration. But opinion polls in Argentina showed widespread support for limiting immigration, and some say that the new decree does not go far enough.

Race gaps on the SATs are especially pronounced at the tails of the distribution.among top scorers — those scoring between a 750 and 800 — 60% are Asian and 33% are white, compared to 5% Latino and 2% black

Meanwhile, among those scoring between 300 and 350, 37% are Latino, 35% are black, 21% are white, and 6% are Asian. There are some limitations to the data which may mean that, if anything, the race gap is being understated. The ceiling on the SAT score may, for example, understate Asian achievement. A standardized test with a wider range of scores, the LSAT, offers some evidence on this front. An analysis of the 2013-2014 LSAT finds an average black score of 142 compared to an average white score of 153. This amounts to a black-white achievement gap of 1.06 standard deviations, even higher than that on the SAT. A 2015 research paper from the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley shows that between 1994 and 2011, race has grown more important than class in predicting SAT scores for UC applicants. While it is difficult to extrapolate from such findings to the broader population of SAT test-takers, it is unlikely that the racial achievement gap can be explained away by class differences across race.

Friday, February 3, 2017

In contrast to Western Europeans, new research finds contemporary East Asians are genetically much closer to the ancient hunter-gatherers that lived in the same region eight thousand years previously

Researchers working on ancient DNA extracted from human remains interred almost 8,000 years ago in a cave in the Russian Far East have found that the genetic makeup of certain modern East Asian populations closely resemble that of their hunter-gatherer ancestors. The study is the first to obtain nuclear genome data from ancient mainland East Asia and compare the results to modern populations. The findings indicate that there was no major migratory interruption, or "population turnover," for well over seven millennia. Consequently, some contemporary ethnic groups share a remarkable genetic similarity to Stone Age hunters that once roamed the same region. The high "genetic continuity" in East Asia is in stark contrast to most of Western Europe, where sustained migrations of early farmers from the Levant overwhelmed hunter-gatherer populations. This was followed by a wave of horse riders from Central Asia during the Bronze Age. These events were likely driven by the success of emerging technologies such as agriculture and metallurgy. The new research shows that, at least for part of East Asia, the story differs - with little genetic disruption in populations since the early Neolithic period. Despite being separated by a vast expanse of history, this has allowed an exceptional genetic proximity between the Ulchi people of the Amur Basin, near where Russia borders China and North Korea, and the ancient hunter-gatherers laid to rest in a cave close to the Ulchi's native land. The researchers suggest that the sheer scale of East Asia and dramatic variations in its climate may have prevented the sweeping influence of Neolithic agriculture and the accompanying migrations that replaced hunter-gatherers across much of Europe. They note that the Ulchi retained their hunter-fisher-gatherer lifestyle until recent times. "Genetically speaking, the populations across northern East Asia have changed very little for around eight millennia," said senior author Andrea Manica from the University of Cambridge, who conducted the work with an international team, including colleagues from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in Korea, and Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin in Ireland. "Once we accounted for some local intermingling, the Ulchi and the ancient hunter-gatherers appeared to be almost the same population from a genetic point of view, even though there are thousands of years between them." The new study also provides further support for the 'dual origin' theory of modern Japanese populations: that they descend from a combination of hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists that eventually brought wet rice farming from southern China. A similar pattern is also found in neighboring Koreans, who are genetically very similar to Japanese. However, Manica says that much more DNA data from Neolithic China is required to pinpoint the origin of the agriculturalists involved in this mixture. The team from Trinity College Dublin were responsible for extracting DNA from the remains, which were found in a cave known as Devil's Gate. Situated in a mountainous area close to the far eastern coast of Russia that faces northern Japan, the cave was first excavated by a soviet team in 1973. Along with hundreds of stone and bone tools, the carbonized wood of a former dwelling, and woven wild grass that is one of the earliest examples of a textile, were the incomplete bodies of five humans. If ancient DNA can be found in sufficiently preserved remains, sequencing it involves sifting through the contamination of millennia. The best samples for analysis from Devil's Gate were obtained from the skulls of two females: one in her early twenties, the other close to fifty. The site itself dates back over 9,000 years, but the two women are estimated to have died around 7,700 years ago. Researchers were able to glean the most from the middle-aged woman. Her DNA revealed that she likely had brown eyes and thick, straight hair. She almost certainly lacked the ability to tolerate lactose, but was unlikely to have suffered from 'alcohol flush': the skin reaction to alcohol now common across East Asia. While the Devil's Gate samples show high genetic affinity to the Ulchi, fishermen from the same area who speak the Tungusic language, they are also close to other Tungusic-speaking populations in present day China, such as the Oroqen and Hezhen. "These are ethnic groups with traditional societies and deep roots across eastern Russia and China, whose culture, language and populations are rapidly dwindling," added lead author Veronika Siska, also from Cambridge. "Our work suggests that these groups form a strong genetic lineage descending directly from the early Neolithic hunter-gatherers who inhabited the same region thousands of years previously."

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Jewish politician Anthony Weiner could face child pornography charges — and a minimum 15 years in prison

Weiner allegedly sent a 15-year-old girl shirtless photos of himself, descriptions of sexual acts he wanted to perform with her, and more. Now sources say that federal prosecutors are mulling whether or not to bring child pornography charges against Weiner, with his lawyers — obviously — trying to convince them not to. The most serious charge Weiner could face is production of child pornography for allegedly convincing the girl to send him sexually explicit photos. That charge comes with a 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. He could also be charged with receipt of child pornography (a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence) or possession of child pornography. Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after a sexting scandal. Two years later, he was embroiled in another sexting scandal while running for mayor of New York City.