Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Israel’s development into what is transparently a racist apartheid style state has come at great cost to the United States, which has looked and acted increasingly ridiculous as a result of the contortions necessary to continue to serve as Tel Aviv’s indispensable patron and protector
More than $3 billion dollars goes from the American taxpayer to Tel Aviv every year on top of more than $233 billion given in total, all in spite of the fact that Israel has a booming economy and an average income level similar to Western Europe. The partisan U.S. role makes all of Israel’s enemies de facto America’s enemies. Pressure to manipulate Washington’s policy towards Iran has been incessant both directly from Tel Aviv and from the Israel Firsters deeply ensconced in the media and think tank punditry. Israel and its friends want Washington to go to war with Iran and have sought to force the White House to take “red line” positions that would trigger an automatic military response. Israel has long been the most active “friendly nation” when it comes to stealing American secrets, and when its spies are caught, they are either sent home or, if they are U.S. citizens, rarely prosecuted.
Between the ages of 18 to 29 and 45 to 64, blacks' obesity rate ticks up 21 percentage points, compared with 16 points for Hispanics, 15 points for whites and five points for Asians
Across the four major racial and ethnic groups, blacks have the highest obesity rate (35%) and Asians have the lowest (9%) - a pattern that has been consistent over time. By middle age, nearly half of blacks have hypertension - roughly double the rates of Asians and Hispanics in the same age group. An even higher 70% of retirement-age blacks have or are being treated for high blood pressure, significantly greater than the rates seen for all other groups. Blacks in older age groups are significantly more likely than other Americans to be obese and report having high blood pressure.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Public defender says that Hispanics usually commit two kinds of crime: sexual assault on children and driving under the influence
Michael Smith is a public defender in a large southern metropolitan area. Fewer than 10% of the people in the area that he serves are black but over 90% of his clients are black. The remaining 10% are mainly Hispanics with a few whites. In his experience, blacks commit many violent crimes but very few sex crimes. The handful of whites that he sees commit all kinds of crimes. In his many years as a public defender he has represented only three Asians, and one was half black. His experience has also taught him that blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike.
The classic Celtic Y chromosome marker R1b S145 is carried by 45% of Welshmen while only 15% of Englishmen carry the genetic marker
Genetic research shows that not only are there biological differences between races but between ethnic groups within races.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
When you look at differences in intelligence it becomes obvious why some countries are poorer than others.
South Dakota has an estimated 390 Jews. No state has fewer. What are they doing right in South Dakota that the rest of us are doing so wrong?
Ministers are unleashing a tough new crackdown to combat rising "anti-Semitism" in Britain following a surge of "sickening attacks" against the Jewish community. Jewish schools will be given funding for extra security while tough punishments for online "hate crime" are to be brought in under a “zero-tolerance” approach. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles warns that the “dark forces” of anti-Semitism have returned following an upsurge of "anti-Semitic attacks" in 2014. Pickles says that new measures to stamp out anti-Semitism on university campuses will be introduced and pledged that all schoolchildren will be taught about the holocaust. He also vows to kick anti-Semitism out of football, insisting work is already underway to achieve this, and warns that supermarkets and local councils will be hauled over the coals for “irresponsible” behavior. “The irrational hatred of Jews is like cancer,” Pickles writes. “Once beaten it can come back. It lurks in the shadows, and in 2014 there has been a revolting relapse of this ancient evil. Sadly Britain has not been immune. We share this shame. Institutions that should have stood up to this thuggish behavior did not. Like the Holborn branch of Sainsbury’s, clearing their shelves of kosher food to satisfy anti-Israeli yobs outside. This casual acceptance of anti-Semitism was outrageous.” Vivian Wineman, President at the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “Anti-Semitic incidents on both British streets but also online, particularly through social media, struck at the British Jewish community’s sense of well-being and identity. The Board is reassured to see the advances being made to address a number of issues and by the government’s positive attitude generally.” Apparently the Tories in Britain are as much under the control of Jews as the GOP is in the United States.
A surprising amount of “Islamophobic” hate crimes, particularly those involving mosque vandalism, turn out to have been committed by Muslims
Recently the media was trumpeting the latest Islamophobic hate crime. Even the FBI got involved. Fresno police said that a lone suspect vandalized the Islamic Cultural Center in Northeast Fresno on Christmas morning 2014. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said that it was clear that the incident was a hate crime which is why the FBI was also investigating this case. The man who vandalized the Islamic Cultural Center on Christmas Day also vandalized and burglarized a business about two miles away because he thought he was getting back at the family of a girl who he believed had been disrespectful and bullied him, police said. Asif Mohammad Khan, 28, who is Muslim, was arrested the day of the burglaries and vandalism at the Fresno Digestive Center, 7405 N. Fresno Street, and the Islamic Cultural Center near Nees and Maple avenues. Dyer said that in the days before the vandalism, Khan had posted on social media that Osama bin Laden was the “most inspirational person in his life.” He said Khan also made references to Adolf Hitler. Khan’s sister, Samia Khan, said that her brother is a devout Muslim. He prays five times a day, but attends Friday prayers in a different mosque. If this was a hate crime then it was a Muslim-on-Muslim one.
New York City is on track in 2014 to have the fewest homicides since 1956 but the overwhelming number of the dead are black and Hispanic, mostly killed by those of their own race and ethnicity
Through November 23, 2014 the number of black and Hispanic victims killed were 88% of all homicides, while the percentage of known black or Hispanic homicide suspects hit 89%.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Among all gay and bisexual men, African Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV, especially young black men
Black gay/bisexual men succumbed to as many HIV infections as all whites combined despite being a much smaller portion of the population. Despite decades of deadly experience, gay/bisexual African American men use of condoms is declining; most eschew this simple form of protection. In 2011, for example, some 57% of gay blacks self-reported having unprotected sex, a 19% increase between 2005 and 2011. In other words, some 30 years after scientific research unequivocally established the connection between certain sexual practices, disdaining condoms and contracting HIV, young African Americans just ignore the link.
One outfit from the war-torm African nation call themselves the G-Star gang. The violent African mob - armed with bayonets - peddle misery to hopeless addicts desperate for a fix. The African immigrant thugs arrived in Scotland via London a couple of years ago and quickly built their £1 million-a-year drug empire. Violent Somali gangsters have been battling for control of the lucrative drugs trade in every major city in Britain. They specialize in selling highly-addictive crack cocaine - a freebase form of cocaine which is smoked by users. It’s usually at least 75% pure. Regular cocaine seized by police has been as low as 8% when tested for purity. The G-Star gang are only one of a number of African crime gangs in Scotland. Earlier in 2014, three Somali drug dealers were jailed for a machine gun killing of a rival in Edinburgh. Mohamud Mohamud, 30, Cadil Huseen, 23, and Hussein Ali, 26, were jailed for a minimum of 25 years each for murdering Mohammed Abdi, 25. All four had been part of a Somali drug syndicate. Police Scotland’s deputy chief constable Iain Livingstone revealed recently that almost one in 10 incidents involved immigrants.
Friday, December 26, 2014
Mexico: A missing priest in violence-plagued Guerrero state was found dead in an alley on Christmas Day, his diocese said
The Rev. Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta, who was forced out of his truck and kidnapped by unidentified men days before, had been shot in the head, according to the Diocese of Altamirano. "We are tired of pain and delinquency, injustice and corruption," said Bishop Maximino Martinez Miranda. "We want the incidents to be clarified, as well as the death of so many people in Guerrero state. We live in a moment of violence." No suspects or motives are known. "There is a moment when priests come out to reclaim justice for the people, and that perhaps does not please everyone," the bishop said. "There are many hypotheses. We are leaving this in the hands of the corresponding authorities." Guerrero is drug cartel territory. Ciudad Altamirano is about a two-hour drive from Iguala, the city where 43 students from a rural teachers college went missing months ago. Authorities believe that the students were taken by police in Iguala and turned over to gang members. The gang members killed the students, burned the bodies and dumped some of them them in a river, authorities say. Lopez is the second priest from the diocese found dead since September 2014. Father Ascension Acuna Osorio, whose body was found floating in a river, had been serving in a church an hour's drive from the Cathedral Altamirano. Authorities are still investigating his death, according to the diocese. On Christmas Eve 2014, the night before Lopez's body was found and his death announced by the diocese, fellow priests had held a protest against the violence and called for his release. They carried signs that read "Ya Basta" ("Enough Already").
A 13-year-old Nigerian girl said that her father handed her over to Islamist militants to become a suicide bomber, but she fled as two other girls detonated their explosives at a market earlier in December 2014
The girl described her forced role in the deadly attack. Her father, she said, joined Boko Haram and took his wife and daughter to a village in the forest in Bauchi state in northern Nigeria. "My father took us to the bush, which was surrounded by gunmen," she said. "I was asked if I wanted to go to heaven, when I answered, they said I have to go for a suicide mission and if I attempted to run they would kill me." The girl and two others were taken by Boko Haram militants to Nigeria's second most populous city, Kano, and were dressed with explosive-laden devices. The other girls set off hidden bombs that day, killing four people, police said. The girl was wounded by one of the bombs. She escaped in a rickshaw that she took to a former home in Kano, the girl said. Neighbors saw her and made her go to a hospital. She left the explosive device in the cart, but the driver together with hospital officials recognized the device and alerted authorities. The girl told police that she was forced into being a part of the attack. Boko Haram has terrorized northern Nigeria regularly since 2009, attacking police, schools, churches and civilians, and bombing government buildings. Violence has increased sharply in recent months, just ahead of Nigeria's February 2015 elections. The group has targeted mainstream Islam, saying that it does not represent the interests of Nigeria's 80 million Muslims and that it perverts Islam. In April 2014, Boko Haram militants drew international condemnation when they kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls, many of whom they sold into slavery. At least 5,000 people have died at Boko Haram's hands, according to a U.S. Congressional Research Service report, making it one of the world's deadliest terrorist organizations.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
An Indian worker murdered the boy, identified as Pranshu, in a bid to help his wife become pregnant. The body of the child was found by his father in a sugarcane field in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh with mutilated ears and heels two days after he went missing.
Police killings of blacks are an extremely rare feature of black life and are a minute fraction of black homicide deaths
The police could end all killings of civilians tomorrow and it would have no effect on the black homicide risk, which comes overwhelmingly from other blacks. In 2013, there were 6,261 black homicide victims in the United States — almost all killed by black civilians — resulting in a death risk in inner cities that is ten times higher for blacks than for whites. The police kill roughly 200 blacks a year, most of them armed and dangerous, out of about 40 million police-civilian contacts a year. Blacks are in fact killed by police at a lower rate than their threat to officers would predict. In 2013, blacks made up 42% of all cop killers whose race was known, even though blacks are only 13% of the nation’s population. The percentage of black suspects killed by the police nationally is 29% lower than the percentage of blacks mortally threatening them. The NYPD fatally shot eight individuals in 2013, six of them black, all posing a risk to the police, compared with scores of blacks killed by black civilians.
Blacks made up 73% of the shooting perpetrators in New York in 2011 but were only 23% of the population
Maybe if blacks committed less crime, white police officers would be less likely to shoot them?
Since 1965, the percentage of children raised by unmarried mothers has risen from 25% to 50% among blacks, and from 7% to 19% among whites
In 2013, 30% of single-mother families were black while blacks made up only 13% of the general population. For blacks, the number of children living with a mother who lacks a high school diploma has increased from 56% in 1980 to 66% in 2010. The official poverty rate in 2013 among all families with children was 40% if the family was headed by an unmarried mother and only 8%t if the family was headed by a married couple. Among blacks, the rates were 46% in single-mother families and 12% in married-parent families. Among Hispanics, the figures were 47% and 18%, and among whites the rates were 32% and 4%, respectively.
Researchers found that 88.7% of all deaths among black males aged 15 to 44 were caused by homicide and that 89.2% of deaths among white males aged 35 to 64 were from suicide
Homicides are concentrated to a remarkable degree among black males through much of the lifespan, with rates rising at adolescence and peaking at ages 20 to 24. Firearm homicides among black males aged 20 to 29 are five times higher than those among Hispanic males and at least 20 times higher than for white males. Homicide rates for black females are also higher than rates for Hispanics and whites. In 2012, firearm homicides were the leading cause of death for black men ages 15 to 24.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
New research across thousands of years of human evolution shows that our skeletons have become much lighter and more fragile since the invention of agriculture - a result of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles as we shifted from foraging to farming
The new study shows that, while human hunter-gatherers from around 7,000 years ago had bones comparable in strength to modern orangutans, farmers from the same area over 6,000 years later had significantly lighter and weaker bones that would have been more susceptible to breaking. Bone mass was around 20% higher in the foragers - the equivalent to what an average person would lose after three months of weightlessness in space. After ruling out diet differences and changes in body size as possible causes, researchers have concluded that reductions in physical activity are the root cause of degradation in human bone strength across millennia. It is a trend that is reaching dangerous levels, they say, as people do less with their bodies today than ever before. Researchers believe the findings support the idea that exercise rather than diet is the key to preventing heightened fracture risk and conditions such as osteoporosis in later life: more exercise in early life results in a higher peak of bone strength around the age of 30, meaning that the inevitable weakening of bones with age is less detrimental. There is, in fact, no anatomical reason why a person born today could not achieve the bone strength of an orangutan or early human forager, say researchers; but even the most physically active people alive are unlikely to be loading bones with enough frequent and intense stress to allow for the increased bone strength seen in the peak point of traditional hunter-gatherers and non-human primate bones. "Contemporary humans live in a cultural and technological milieu incompatible with our evolutionary adaptations. There's seven million years of hominid evolution geared towards action and physical activity for survival, but it's only in the last say 50 to 100 years that we've been so sedentary - dangerously so," said co-author Dr Colin Shaw from the University of Cambridge's Phenotypic Adaptability, Variation and Evolution (PAVE) Research Group. "Sitting in a car or in front of a desk is not what we have evolved to do."
Why do de Blasio, Holder, Sharpton and Obama give aid and comfort to cop-haters?
Monday, December 22, 2014
An unlicensed medical practitioner suspected of negligently infecting more than 100 villagers in northwestern Cambodia with HIV has been charged with murder carried out with cruelty
Health officials say that 106 people out of more than 800 tested in Roka village were found to have the virus. The infected villagers range in age from 3 to 82 years old and include Buddhist monks. A senior provincial police officer says that Yem Chhrin acknowledged reusing syringes for treatment of patients, and "told us that he had no intention of spreading HIV to villagers." Roka is a community of about 9,000 rural farmers. The Health Ministry said in a statement that a team had been sent to Battambang province "to determine the source, extent, and chain of transmission of HIV infection." The outbreak began to unfold in November 2014, when a 74-year-old tested positive; his son-in-law and granddaughter were then tested, and were positive, too. Yem Chhrin has been arrested after being taken into protective custody; villagers had vowed to kill the person responsible for the mass infection. A provincial court prosecutor says that the 53-year-old, who had no formal medical training or certification, has also been charged with intentionally spreading HIV and practicing medicine without a license.
England: A South Asian father-of-four dragged a young pub worker off the street and raped her for three hours saying "you white women are good at it"
The white woman, who is in her 20s, was walking home from work in Bedford at around 11 P.M. when she was grabbed by Abdul Ghafoor, 33, who forced her into undergrowth. Ghafoor had drunk five rum drinks when he came up behind her and bundled her into the bushes where he began sexually assaulting her in an attack that lasted from 11:25 P.M. until 2:45 A.M. The victim had sent a WhatsApp message to her sister when she left work on May 30, 2014 to say that she was walking to their flat. But the married father-of-four, who had earlier propositioned two other white woman, demanded that the woman perform a sex act on him saying "you white girls are good at it". She was able to send a second message to her sister saying "help me" before he smashed her phone. At one point she managed to make a run for it when Ghafoor vomited as a result of the alcoholic drinks he had downed, but he caught her and took her back into the undergrowth. Her sister had raised the alarm and the victim heard the police helicopter overhead as a major search was launched to find her. Eventually Ghafoor allowed her to get dressed and walked out on to the the road with her saying she should accompany him into town, but they were seen by police inspector, Jamie Longwith. She got into the officer's car while Ghafoor made an attempt to escape but was caught. Prosecutor at Luton Crown Court, Sally Hobson, said that Ghafoor's attack had a racial aspect as he had made comments about the sort of behavior white women would engage in. "He made racially aggravated comments to the effect that this is the sort of behavior that white women would engage in. If he saw her again she would give him a blow job," she said. "She was a white woman and he believed it was okay to behave in this way. It was a stranger rape of a young woman going about her business in her home town she she ought to feel safe." A jury found him guilty by majority verdicts of three offences of assault by penetration, two offences of rape, false imprisonment and assaulting the woman occasioning her actual bodily harm. They found him not guilty of a third offence of rape but guilty by a majority of an alternative offence of attempted rape. Judge Richard Foster passed a life sentence for public protection saying that he regarded Ghafoor as a dangerous offender. If he had not received life he would have sentenced him to 18 years, which means that Ghafoor cannot be considered for parole until he has served 9 years.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
The black Muslim murderer had already been arrested 19 times. He has also served jail time in Georgia and Ohio.
A study of more than 80,000 women has uncovered different risks of developing type 2 diabetes associated with different blood groups, with the biggest difference a 35% increased risk of type 2 diabetes found in those with group B, Rhesus factor positive (R+) blood compared with the universal donor group O, Rhesus factor negative (R-)
While previous studies have investigated the links between blood group and stroke (finding an increased risk for group AB versus group O), those on blood groups and their link with diabetes have been small and thus under-powered and unable to provide definitive results. In this new research, Dr Guy Fagherazzi, and Dr Françoise Clavel-Chapelon, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, INSERM, Villejuif, France, and colleagues took data from 82,104 women from the large prospective E3N cohort in France followed between 1990 and 2008. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship of ABO blood type (A, B, AB and O), Rhesus factor (positive or negative) and a combination of the two (ABO×Rhesus) with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The results showed that, compared with women with group O blood, women with group A were 10% more likely to develop T2D, and those with group B 21% more likely (both statistically significant). The AB group was 17% more likely to develop T2D, but this result was not statistically significant. When looking solely at R+ versus R- women, neither group was at increased risk of developing T2D compared with the other. The authors then combined ABO group and Rhesus group and compared each possible combination with O negative (O-), which is known as the universal donor group because since it contains none of the A. B, or Rhesus antigens, blood from people in this group can be successfully donated to any other group (without rejection). Compared with O- women, the highest increased risk of developing T2D was found in B+ (35% increased risk), followed by AB+ (26%), A- (22%), A+ (17%). The results for O-, B-, and AB- groups were not statistically significant. Dr Fagherazzi says: "The present study shows for the first time in a large prospective cohort that specific ABO blood groups are associated with an increased type 2 diabetes risk." The authors say that the reasons behind the association are currently unknown, but could be related to a number of factors: it has been suggested that the human ABO locus might influence endothelial or inflammation markers. ABO grouping is also associated with various molecules known to be connected to T2D, and a recent paper concluded that ABO grouping is a factor which determines the overall gut microbe composition, which in turn affects metabolism and thus could be related to T2D. Dr Clavel-Chapelon notes: "Our study population included only women but, to our knowledge, no biological mechanisms are likely to explain a sex-dependent association. Information on the participants was self-reported but this is unlikely to substantially affect the results. This is the first study to investigate a relationship between blood type and type 2 diabetes risk using such a large cohort size and a prospective design." Dr Fagherazzi concludes: "Our findings support a strong relationship between blood group and diabetes risk, with participants with the O blood type having a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, the effects of blood groups should be investigated in future clinical and epidemiological studies on diabetes. Further pathophysiological research is also needed to determine why the individuals with blood type O have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes."
A new poll has found that 57% of Americans now believe that race relations in the United States are bad
A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that Americans are more pessimistic about race relations than they have been in 20 years. While a quarter of polled Americans called race relations "good", 57% called them "bad" and 23% called them "very bad". That's a major shift from July 2013, when the reverse was true and 52% believed race relations to be good. Broken down by race, 40% of whites responded "good" to the poll while 35% of blacks responded that way. Around half of Latinos responded "good" versus 43% who said "bad".
The Jewish left wants to rid the Internet of everyone who disagrees with them.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Despite recent job growth, native employment still below 2007: BLS data shows that all net employment growth has gone to immigrants
Data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on its website shows that all of the net gain in employment since 2007 has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal), also referred to as the foreign-born. Native employment has still not returned to pre-recession levels, while immigrant employment already exceeds pre-recession levels. Furthermore, even with recent job growth, the number of natives not in the labor force (neither working nor looking for work) continues to increase. In addition, the BLS reports that 23.1 million adult (16-plus) immigrants (legal and illegal) were working in November 2007 and 25.1 million were working in November 2014 — a two million increase. For natives, 124.01 million were working in November 2007 compared to 122.56 million in November 2014 — a 1.46 million decrease. Although all of the employment growth has gone to immigrants, natives accounted for 69% of the growth in the 16 and older population from 2007 to 2014. The number of immigrants working returned to pre-recession levels by the middle of 2012, and has continued to climb. But the number of natives working remains almost 1.5 million below the November 2007 level. More recently, natives have done somewhat better. However, even with job growth in the last two years (November 2012 to November 2014), 45% of employment growth has gone to immigrants, though they comprise only 17% of the labor force. It will take many years of sustained job growth just to absorb the enormous number of people, primarily native-born, who are currently not working and return the country to the labor force participation rate of 2007. If we continue to allow in new immigration at the current pace or choose to increase the immigration level, it will be even more difficult for the native-born to make back the ground that they have lost in the labor market.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
The average African-American genome is nearly a quarter European while less than 4% of European Americans carry African ancestry
The average African-American genome is 73.2% African, 24% European, and 0.8% Native American. Latinos carry an average of 18% Native American ancestry, 65.1% European ancestry (mostly from the Iberian Peninsula), and 6.2% African ancestry. Latinos with the highest proportion of African ancestry (about 20%) are from Louisiana, followed by states such as Georgia, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania. In Tennessee and Kentucky, Latinos tend to have high proportions of European ancestry. And in the Southwest, where states share a border with Mexico, Latinos tend to have higher proportions of Native American ancestry. At least 3.5% of European Americans carry African ancestry, though the averages vary significantly by state. European Americans with African ancestry are found at much higher frequencies in southern states than in other parts of the United States. In South Carolina and Louisiana, about 12% of European Americans have at least 1% African ancestry. In Louisiana, too, about 8% of European Americans carry at least 1% Native American ancestry. Oklahoma is the state where the most African-Americans have significant Native American ancestry. More than 14% of African Americans from Oklahoma carry at least 2% Native American ancestry. One way that history shows up in contemporary genomes is in what researchers call a sex bias. By looking at the kinds of DNA that are passed down only by mothers, they can calculate how many of a person’s ancestors from each population were male and female. In all three populations, they found the same signal: European ancestors tended to be male, while African and Native American ancestors tended to be female. Researchers found that those with as much as 28% African ancestry were more likely to describe themselves as European American than as African American, whereas individuals with more than 30% African ancestry were more likely to describe themselves as African-American. Individuals with just 5% Native American ancestry usually called themselves Latino. European Americans are the least admixed group, with 98.6% European ancestry, 0.19% African ancestry, and 0.18% Native American ancestry on average. Scandinavian ancestry is found in trace proportions in most states but comprises about 10% of ancestry in European Americans living in Minnesota and the Dakotas.
A cemetery containing more than a million mummified human bodies has been unearthed in central Egypt, according to archaeologists
Scientists have already excavated more than 1,700 mummies, preserved by the hot dry desert in the Faiyum region of Egypt about 60 miles south of Cairo. But those leading the work believe their could be up to a million similar bodies buried in shafts cut into the limestone rock that are at times up to 75 feet deep. It is thought that the mummies were buried around 1,500 years ago, between the 1st and 7th Century AD, when Egypt was controlled by the Roman and Byzantine Empire. Archaeologists have also uncovered a bizarre range of mummies, including one man who is more than seven feet tall. They have also discovered that the mummies appear to be clustered together by hair color, with those with blond hair in one area and all of those with red hair in another. Some of the clusters by hair color may actually be due to people being buried in family groups and so are related. Genetic testing may be possible to help show how some of the mummies were related to each other.
The nation's oldest black college, Cheyney University, one of Pennsylvania's 14 state-run universities, is on the verge of a financial meltdown that threatens its ability to continue operating
Cheyney's student body has shrunk by two-thirds, to about 1,000, since its 1983 peak, and its four-year graduation rate is just 9%. A quarter of its students never receive a degree, and student loan defaults are high. "Cheyney is in dire, dire, dire straits," the state's auditor general, Eugene DePasquale, said. The university has had a deficit for four of the last five years, growing to a cumulative $12.3 million shortfall as of June 30, 2013. Cheyney, located in the Philadelphia suburb of the same name, was founded in 1837 after Quaker philanthropist Richard Humphreys bequeathed part of his estate to build a school to educate descendants of the African race, according to the university's website.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
While Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska natives have seen “dramatic” increases in healthcare coverage over the last year, obtaining coverage has been tougher for black Americans, largely because they disproportionately live in states that have not expanded Medicaid, according to an extensive 65-page report by The Urban Institute, a nonprofit research group. More than half of all black individuals and families live in the 21 states that have not expanded Medicaid eligibility, according to the report. As a result, about 1.4 million black individuals are stuck in an eligibility gap where they make too little to purchase coverage but too much to qualify for Medicaid. The report projects that white Americans will see the biggest gains under ObamaCare, with the population's uninsured rate falling by nearly 52%. Among minority groups, Hispanics stand to benefit the most, though the population continues to have the highest uninsured rate, at about one-fifth. A total of 6.6 million Hispanics gained coverage, a jump that is expected to drop the group's uninsured rate by about 40% by 2016. Hispanics individuals and families are more likely to benefit from their states’ Medicaid expansion, though millions more could still gain insurance if all states took the step. Out of the 10 states with the largest Hispanic populations, three states — Texas, Florida and Georgia — have not expanded Medicaid. That compares to the 10 states with the largest black populations, of which only Maryland and Delaware have expanded Medicaid.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new test that can predict an individual's risk of coronary heart disease, and the test is hailed as particularly effective for black women
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the test - called the PLAC Test for Lp-PLA2 - has been cleared for use in both men and women with no history of heart disease, but studies have shown it is more accurate in predicting coronary heart disease risk (CHD) in women. The test works by measuring the activity of Lp-PLA2 (lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2) - an enzyme that is an indicator of vascular inflammation - in a blood sample. Vascular inflammation is a sign of plaque accumulation in the arteries, and this build-up of plaque can clog the arteries and cause CHD. The FDA found that the rate of CHD events was much higher among black women whose Lp-PLA2 activity levels were higher than 225 nmol/min/mL, compared with other subgroups with similar Lp-PLA2 activity. CHD events were also found to be more common among women with Lp-PLA2 activity levels over 225 nmol/min/mL than men with such levels. The FDA note that, as a result, the test is labeled with different performance information for black women, white women, black men and white men. A cardiac test that helps better predict future CHD risk in women, and especially black women, may help health care professionals identify these patients before they experience a serious CHD event, like a heart attack.
Aaron Hodges says that he isn't racist, he is just passionate about black issues.
As Australia mourns two hostages killed in a Sydney cafe, many are wondering what Islamic gunman Man Haron Monis was doing on the streets in the first place
The Iranian-born Muslim cleric, who was killed when police commandos stormed the cafe, was on bail for around 50 counts of sexual and indecent assault and for charges of being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. The 31-year-old mother of two was stabbed repeatedly and set on fire with the use of lighter fluid in April 2014, allegedly by Monis' girlfriend. Monis came to the country as a refugee in 1996.
At least 145 people, more than 100 of them children and teenagers, are dead in a massacre after nine Taliban gunmen rampaged through a Pakistani public military school
The chaotic scene in Peshawar began with Muslim militants, some of whom reportedly wore suicide vests, storming the school, taking dozens of hostages and shooting at random. Army commandos quickly responded and began trading fire with the Islamic gunmen, who initially gained access by scaling a rear wall. All were ultimately killed after an eight-hour battle, during which hostages were reportedly held in the school's auditorium. The school's 2,500 students range from ages 4 to 16. "My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now," wailed one parent collecting the body of his 14-year-old. "My son was my dream. My dream has been killed." "We selected the army's school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females," said a Taliban spokesman. "We want them to feel our pain." Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif quickly headed to Peshawar, where three days of mourning have been declared. The slaughter comes on the heels of the Nobel Peace Prize for 17-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai — herself the victim of a Taliban attack — and she reacted swiftly, saying that "I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold blooded act of terror," and that "I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters — but we will never be defeated."
The Hispanic population is expected to reach about 106 million in 2050, about double what it is today, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population projections
Since 1970, the Hispanic population has grown 592%, largely because of the arrival of new immigrants from Latin America — especially Mexico. By comparison, the U.S. population overall has grown 56% over the same period. Between 2000 and 2010 alone, Hispanics made up more than half of U.S. population growth. The Census Bureau projects that the Hispanic immigrant population will grow by 57% from 2015 to 2050. The Census Bureau projects that the total Hispanic population will grow by 86% between 2015 and 2050. According to the new projections, by 2060, the Hispanic population is projected to be 119 million. In the 1990s, the Hispanic population grew by 8.1 million due to immigration and 7 million due to births. During the 2000s, Hispanic births (9.6 million) exceeded the number of new Hispanic immigrants (6.5 million). In 2010, 26% of Hispanic newlyweds married someone who was not Hispanic.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Spelman College in Atlanta has suspended a prestigious endowed professorship in Bill Cosby's name following a string of sexual assault allegations against him
The historically black women's college created the William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship after receiving a $20million gift from the 77-year-old comedian in 1988. But now, it has indefinitely suspended the star's chair, saying that it can no longer meet its objectives to enhance the 133-year-old school's intellectual, cultural and creative life. It comes as an increasing number of women are stepping forward to claim Cosby drugged and sexually abused them in decades past. The decision follows online protests by many Spelman students, who have criticized Cosby's links with the college by using the Twitter hashtag #NotMyFather, referring to the star's TV persona. It also follows Cosby's resignation from the board of trustees of his beloved Temple University. The University of Massachusetts Amherst, where Cosby got his graduate degrees, also recently said that it had asked him to step down as honorary co-chairman of its $300 million fundraising campaign. And the Berklee College of Music will reportedly no longer award a scholarship in his name.
Scientists at the University of Grenoble say that among 114 men aged 18 to 44, those who added the most spicy sauce to their plate of mashed potatoes had the highest levels of testosterone
Study co-author Laurent Begue says that testosterone leads men into "more stimulating social groups" and inspires them to "take more risks," and adds that "in this case, it applies to risk-taking in taste." Perhaps, he says, regular spicy-food consumption "contributes to increasing testosterone levels, although so far this has only been demonstrated on rodents." Study participants were invited into a test center, asked to rate their love for spice, and told to spice up the mashed potatoes "to their taste with little sachets of Tabasco sauce." At some point the men gave saliva samples that scientists used to measure testosterone. The study found a "statistically significant" but hardly impressive correlation of 0.29 between spice-love and testosterone-level (0 indicates no correlation and 1 a "perfect" one). Called "Some Like It Hot," the study found no causal link between the hormone and spice. Other studies have linked high male testosterone to men who love "dominant colors" like red, so who knows, maybe that was it.
Australia: A gunman who took a number of people hostage inside a Sydney chocolate cafe is a Muslim cleric out on bail on a string of violent charges
The gunman is Iranian-born Haron Monis. The Islamic gunman died after a swarm of heavily armed police stormed the cafe and ended the 16-hour siege. U.S. officials have confirmed that Monis is known to Australian authorities, and by extension is known to U.S. authorities. It was not immediately clear whether his name is on U.S. terrorism databases. A U.S. intelligence source confirmed that Monis has been arrested previously for extremist activity in Australia. Monis has a history of espousing extremist views in his adopted nation and was known for sending hate messages to the families of Australian troops killed in battle. Monis has been accused of dozens of sexual assaults, mostly while working as a spiritual healer in the country. Monis was currently on bail on charges of being complicit in the murder of his own ex-wife. He is believed to have converted from Shiite Islam to Sunni Islam after moving to Australia.
USA 2044: At that time, whites will make up 49.7% of the population compared with 25% for Hispanics, 12.7% for blacks, 7.9%t for Asians and 3.7% for multiracial persons
The white population is projected to increase modestly until 2025 when it reaches 199,867,000; after that, it will sustain a continued decrease until 2060 when whites will make up only 44% of the population. Natural decrease, the excess of deaths over births, for this aging population will be the primary component of this decline. Between 2014 and 2060 both the Asian and Hispanic populations will more than double at growth rates of 129% and 115% respectively. Multiracial persons will more than triple, growing at nearly 220%. Between 2014 and 2060 the minority share of the youth population will rise from 48% to 64%. While the senior population will also become more diverse, in 2060 whites will still comprise a majority of the age 65 and older population at 55%.
Eric Garner had been arrested 31 times. His rap sheet goes back decades and includes arrests for assault and grand larceny. At the time of his death, Garner was out on bail after being charged with multiple offenses, including illegal sale of cigarettes, marijuana possession, false impersonation and driving without a license. So he certainly knew the law, knew he was in violation, and knew doing it again would likely lead to his arrest, a drill that he'd been through dozens of times before. Garner, all six-foot, three inches and 350 pounds of him, clearly resisted arrest, swatting away the arresting officer's hands while loudly exclaiming, "Don't touch me!" After he was taken to the ground, he growled, "This ends here!" That could be taken any number of ways, but in the heat of the moment it certainly could be read reasonably as a declaration that he was going to fight arrest until he was subdued by compelling force. The patrolman who wrestled Garner to the ground, Daniel Pantaleo, did it by the book, using a takedown maneuver that every policeman is taught at the academy. He did not, in fact, use a chokehold, which is defined by the NYPD as "any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air." Now Garner was clearly able to breathe, since that's the only way he could repeatedly say, "I can't breathe." The autopsy explicitly declares that there was no injury to Garner's windpipe or to his neck bones. This was a wrestler's headlock, not a chokehold. (As a sidenote, chokeholds, while contrary to police policy, are not in fact illegal in the state of New York when an officer uses one to restrain a resisting subject. They are not even illegal in New York City, at the insistence of liberal mayor Bill DeBlasio.) Patrolman Pantaleo was not indicted for the simple reason that he did nothing wrong. Garner's death likely should be attributed to the fact that he himself suffered from severe asthma, something the arresting officers had no reason to know. According to Garner's friends, his asthma was severe enough that he was forced to quit his job as horticulturist for the city. He wheezed when he talked and could not walk so much as a city block without having to stop to rest. Garner "couldn't breathe" because of his asthma, not because of a chokehold. In addition, he suffered from heart disease, advanced diabetes, hypertension, obesity and sleep apnea. Contrary to public perception, he did not die on site, nor did he die of asphyxiation. He suffered cardiac arrest in the ambulance and was declared dead about an hour later at the hospital. So it turns out that almost everything claimed by the Sharptons and the leftist media has turned out to be wrong. Eric Garner and Michael Brown both fought the law, and the law won. In the end, they have no one to blame but themselves. There are many New Yorkers - politicians, activists, trial lawyers, all the usual suspects - who will now seek to profit from a tragedy that wouldn't have happened had Eric Garner made a different decision. He was a victim of himself. It's just that simple.
Young black men commit homicide at nearly ten times the rate of young white and Hispanic males combined
That astronomically higher homicide-commission rate means that police officers are going to be disproportionately in black neighborhoods to fight crime, where they will more likely encounter armed shooting suspects. If the black crime rate were the same as the white crime rate, the victims of police shootings would most certainly also be equal among the races. Asians are minorities, which, according to leftist ideology, should make them the target of police brutality. But they barely show up in police-shooting data because their crime rates are so low. It is black crime - not racism - that drives police presence and activity in black neighborhoods.
Model Debbie Baigrie was walking to her car in down town Tampa Bay when a 13-year-old Ian Manuel approached her. The youngster and a friend demanded change for a $20 bill, but seconds later the black boy drew his gun and shot her in the mouth. Baigrie, who was 28 at the time and had just had her second child, required years of facial reconstructive surgery while Manuel was charged with attempted murder and sentenced to three consecutive life sentences in an adult prison. But more than 25 years after the attack the pair have struck up an unlikely friendship, and now she is campaigning for his release. She feels sympathy for the shooter, because he was so young at the time, and is troubled by the racial discrimination in the case. "If he was a cute white boy at 13, with little dimples and blue eyes, there's no way this would have happened," she said. "When you're 13, you do stupid stuff," she adds before saying "Walk a mile in his shoes." The only rational explanation that I can come up with for this woman's foolish behavior is that she suffered brain damage when the black thug shot her in the mouth.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
White gentiles at Harvard are America’s most under-represented population group, enrolled at a much lower fraction of their national population (18%) than blacks or Hispanics, despite having far higher academic test scores
So-called "white privilege" is really just Jewish power.
Women hoping to become police officers in Indonesia need to be strong, healthy — and should have an intact hymen, officials say, to determine whether or not they are moral
The revelation has sparked a new round of debates about women's rights in this highly Islamic nation. "Similar tests are not carried out for men because of differences in anatomy, but also because sociologically, it is women who are considered the symbol of purity, not men," says an independent state body on violence against women. Critics also say that the tests (which involve a doctor inserting fingers inside a woman) are discriminatory, traumatic, and inconclusive considering that hymens can be damaged by other means, like horseback riding or contact sports. A Human Rights Watch report and video sparked the debate about such tests, which have been going on for 50 years or more under the radar. "We don’t know how widespread the practice is, and we don’t know if it’s nationwide," says an HRW researcher. "But it’s there. ... The argument has been, 'We don’t want prostitutes in the police force.'" A top police official says that a failed virginity test only hurts a candidate's chances rather than disqualifying her, but a woman's rights activist says that's all the more reason to abolish the practice. In 2013, an education official in Indonesia proposed giving high-school girls virginity tests to thwart prostitution and promiscuity, but the notion was scrapped after widespread outrage on social media sites.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Data from the Office for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Education show that from 2011 to 2012, black girls in public elementary and secondary schools nationwide were suspended at a rate of 12%, compared with a rate of just 2% for white girls, and more than girls of any other race or ethnicity
In Georgia, the ratio of black girls receiving suspensions in the same period compared with white girls was 5 to 1, and in Henry County, that ratio was 2.3 to 1, said J D Hardin, the spokesman for the county’s school district. And researchers say that within minority groups, darker-skinned girls are disciplined more harshly than light-skinned ones. An analysis by Villanova researchers of data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health indicated that black girls with the darkest skin tones were three times more likely to be suspended than black girls with the lightest skin.
Obama's America: The Great Recession hit all Americans hard, but only whites have seen their wealth rise during the recent recovery
And that's widening the already massive wealth gap between whites and other racial and ethnic groups to near record levels. White households' median wealth ticked up to $141,900 in 2013, up 2.4% from three years earlier, according to a Pew Research Center report. Net worth for black households dropped by a third during that time to $11,000. Hispanic families experienced a 14% decline in wealth to $13,700. Whites have 13 times the net worth of blacks, the largest wealth gap that's existed since George H.W. Bush was president in 1989. The ratio of net worth between whites and Hispanics now stands at more than 10, the widest it has been since 2001. Minority households' median income fell 9% between 2010 and 2013, compared to a drop of only 1% for whites. And yet, if Obama were able to run for a third term in 2016, he would probably win the black and Hispanic votes just as he did in 2008 and 2012.
Can you have sex with them, even prepubescent girls? Yes, according to the Islamic terrorist group. Can you sell them or give them as gifts to others? The answer is yes, once again. People in Mosul - the Iraqi city now under control of the group calling itself the Islamic State - got these and other messages loud and clear after sunset prayers Friday, when armed men handed out a color-printed pamphlet "Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves." The document was first printed in October or November 2014, then later posted on an ISIS website. It has gotten more publicity recently because of the Middle East Media Research Institute, an independent Washington-based nonprofit whose advisory board includes former National Security Agency Director Michael V. Hayden, onetime CIA Director James Woolsey and ex-U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The idea that ISIS is kidnapping, selling and raping women and children is hardly surprising. Many such accounts have surfaced since the group began its often brutal run through Syria and Iraq, including chilling stories from members of the Yazidi religious minority. And these are on top of other horrific allegations, such as the killings and mistreatment of innocent civilians simply because they didn't subscribe to ISIS' extreme take on Sharia law. And that's the thing about ISIS: Its militants have justified their actions - like the beheadings of journalists and aid workers - in God's name. Even then, it is rare to see its rationale laid out as plainly as "Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves." In the Middle East Media Research Institute's English translation of that Q&A, for instance, it is explained that capturing women is permissible if they are "unbelieving" - i.e. not Muslim. Much of the pamphlet talks about ISIS' policy on having sexual intercourse with a female slave, something that the group cites the Quran to justify. Armed men distributed this pamphlet Friday to worshipers in Mosul, outlining what\'s permissible to do with non-Muslim captives. "If she is a virgin, (her slave owner) can have intercourse with her immediately," ISIS explains, according to the MEMRI translation. "However, if she isn't, her uterus must be purified." There are other rules as well, like that two men who co-own a captive can't both have sex with her and that a man can't have intercourse with his wife's slave. As to girls: "It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn't reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse," the document reads, according to MEMRI. "However if she is not fit for intercourse, then it is enough to enjoy her without intercourse." The Q&A is clear that, young and old, the captors have full control of their captives. As such, the ISIS document claims, "It is permissible to buy, sell or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property." It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn't reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse. This document marks the most detailed, albeit not first, justification for enslaving nonbelievers, as defined by ISIS. Time and again, the group cites the Quran and its view of Sharia law.
A black Brazilian man arrested for stabbing a woman to death calmly confessed to murdering another 41 people - putting him among history's most prolific serial killers
Sailson Jose das Gracas, 26, told police in Rio de Janeiro that he would go out on the hunt for white women after studying each victim for up to a month. In a reign of terror spanning nine years, Gracas claims to have murdered 37 women, two men and one two-year-old child in the outlying area of Rio de Janeiro known as Baixada Fluminense. Garcas said that he found pleasure in seeing the life drain out of the women he murdered. Marcelo Machado, the Rio police chief investigating the supposed serial killer, said that Sailson found pleasure in strangulating his victims, and masturbated after his murders. Police chief Pedro Henrique Medina, from the Baixada Fluminense Homicide Division, said that Gracas voluntarily confessed to the murders have being caught in the act of murdering his latest victim.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Smith College President Kathleen McCartney thought that she was showing solidarity with students protesting racism and police brutality when she sent a campus-wide email with the subject line, “All Lives Matter.” But the anti-racism slogan popular with students is actually the more selective ‘black lives matter.’ . . . Students were furious and offended.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Young girls in Kenya are often sold into arranged marriages for a dowry of livestock as part of a traditional ceremony which marks their passing into womanhood
Many of the girls are as young as 14. Many Kenyans are also known to practice female genital mutilation, a practice whereby parts of a woman's sexual organs are removed using scissors, a razor blade, or glass before they are sewn up and have their legs bound together until the wounds heal. The tradition is carried out at a much younger age than the forced marriages, in the belief that it will help to keep the girls pure until the time comes for them to undergo the ceremony that will see them become women. However, as the ceremonies are usually carried out by unskilled quack doctors operating miles from any hospital and with no anesthetic or antibiotics, deaths are common due to blood loss or infection.
The Indian taxi driver accused of raping a passenger in New Delhi is awaiting trial in at least four criminal cases in his home state, a police official has said
The cases against Shiv Kumar Yadav in Uttar Pradesh date to 2003, said Superintendent Srikant Singh, a senior police official in the state. Yadav is currently in police custody in New Delhi where he is accused of raping a 26-year-old woman who had requested a ride through the Uber car service app. Yadav was accused of rape in 2013 and later released on bail, Singh said. He was also arrested on charges of molestation in 2003, of carrying illegal firearms in 2006 and of disorderly and dangerous behavior in 2009, according to Singh. In New Delhi, he spent seven months in jail in between 2011 and 2012 during a trial on charges of rape of which he was acquitted, said the city's deputy police commissioner, Madhur Verma.
The Harvard Business School instructor who blasted a Boston-area Chinese restaurant for overcharging him by $4 on a takeout order has apologized. Associate professor Benjamin Edelman posted a message on his personal website saying that his lengthy emails with Sichuan Garden's management were "out of line" and that he has reached out to the restaurant to apologize. Edelman complained to the Brookline restaurant after it charged him $1 more on each of the four items that he ordered for takeout recently. The restaurant acknowledged the prices listed on its website were out of date and promised to update them soon. But Edelman demanded a $12 refund, citing state law. He also contacted local officials to demand that the restaurant compensate all other customers who might have been affected.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Islamic extremist groups are using immigrant gangs to implement Sharia law in certain housing areas in Denmark, where particularly young people are being forced to behave in a certain way and women are being pressured to wear certain clothing
According to the integration adviser Mohammad Rafiq, the head of the International Institute of Human Rights, there are at least seven areas in Denmark where immigrant gangs are intimidating people to conform to Sharia law. “We see in several areas that the fundamentalists are being supported by the gangs,” Rafiq said. “People are more afraid of the extremists when they are backed up by the gang members, such as in the Tingbjerg district. The result is that people are too afraid to stand up to the extremists because they know they'll be beaten up by hardened criminals.”
Police shot and killed a black man after he walked into one of New York’s most prominent synagogues and stabbed a Jew
Calvin Peters, 50, walked into the basement of the synagogue, where people were praying, sources said. “According to witnesses, he was heard saying repeatedly, ‘Kill the Jews!’” Chabad Rabbi Motti Seligson said. “Several other individuals immediately intervened. While we are very pained by everything that has unfolded, we are very grateful to the police for their quick response and are working closely with the authorities in their ongoing investigation.” Seligson said that the victim was Levi Rosenblat, a young rabbinical student from Israel. He’s in stable condition at Kings County Hospital.
Obama's approval rating on his handling of race relations has declined by 8 percentage points in the wake of police killings of black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, according to a new Pew/USA Today poll
The poll finds that 50% of adults disapprove of Obama's handling of race relations, while only 40% approve. By contrast, in late August 2014, shortly after the shooting death of Michael Brown, a black teenager, in Ferguson, 48% approved of Obama's handling of race, while 40% disapproved. The deaths of Eric Garner in Staten Island and Brown at the hands of white police officers sparked nationwide protests, after grand juries in both cases declined to issue indictments. Obama's approval on race relations has declined the most among black people, from 73% to 57% since August 2014. Among white people, it has declined from 42% to 33%.
Republicans are enjoying a five-year peak in popularity after their wins in the midterm elections, according to a new Bloomberg Politics poll, while Barack Obama struggles with his lowest job approval rating, at 39%
Obama also faces a backlash from independents who oppose his unilateral moves on immigration, and just 24% say that the country is on the right track, the lowest rating since September 2011. Forty-five percent of Americans say that they now view the Republican Party favorably, while 47% hold an unfavorable view. That’s the best showing the party has had since the inception of the poll in September 2009. Opinion about the Democratic Party has plunged, with a favorable rating of 41% and an unfavorable rating of 50%. This was Democrats’ worst showing in more than five years. "This is a rising tide for Republicans while the tide has kind of gone out for the Democrats," said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. Obama is viewed favorably by 45% of Americans, a tick higher than in a June 2014. A bright spot in the survey: his approval rating on managing the economy rose five points since June to 42%, although a majority, 53%, still disapprove of the job he's doing on that issue. Americans also issued negative ratings for his handling of health care, the budget deficit, immigration and foreign policy. His lowest approval rating — 32% — is on the question of negotiating with the Republican majority in the U.S. House. As for Obama’s decision to take executive action to give some illegal immigrants temporary legal status, 56% say that they don’t approve, while 39% are okay with it and 5% aren’t sure. This is partly a partisan issue; 83% of Republicans oppose the decisions while two-thirds of Democrats favor them. More ominously for Obama, though, a clear majority — 57% — of independents oppose the actions.
The number of foreign-born individuals holding jobs in the United States hit a record high of 25,108,000 in November 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
In its data on foreign-born workers, the BLS does not distinguish between legal immigrants to the United States, who have a legal right to work here, and illegal aliens, who do not. In November 2007, there were 124,014,000 native-born workers employed in the United States and 23,104,000 foreign-born workers employed in the United States. By November 2014, the number of native-born employed in the United States had dropped to 122,558,000 and the number of foreign-born employed had increased to 25,108,000. In the seven years from November 2007 to November 2014, the number of native-born workers holding jobs in the United States declined by 1,456,000, and the number of foreign-born workers holding jobs increased by 2,004,000.
Barack Obama's job approval rating in 2014 among white 18- to 29-year-olds is 34%, only three points higher than among whites aged 30 and older
This is the narrowest approval gap between Obama's previously strong support base of white millennials and older white Americans since Obama took office. By contrast, Obama's approval rating was nine percentage points higher among younger whites in 2009, and 10 points higher in 2010. Additionally, while Obama's approval among younger whites matched his overall national rating in his first two years in office, it is now eight points below the national average. These data underscore the gradual erosion of the disproportionately strong support Obama received from young white voters as he took office in 2009 and ran for re-election in 2012. Obama's support among white millennials has factored into his two presidential election successes. Exit polls conducted after the 2012 election, for example, showed that Obama received 44% of the vote of white 18- to 29-year-olds, about six points higher than he received among whites aged 30 and older. Obama's 45% job approval rating among 18- to 29-year-old whites in 2012 mirrored these voting results closely. But Obama's 11-point drop among white 18- to 29-year-olds since 2012 is almost double the six-point drop among the national population and among older whites. From a broader perspective, there is relatively little difference today in Obama's job approval ratings among whites in any of the four major age groups. Whites aged 30 to 49, as well as those 65 and older, have given Obama a 31% approval rating so far in 2014, with 50- to 64-year-olds coming in at 32% and 18- to 29-year-olds at 34%. The spread among age categories was slightly larger in the earliest years of the Obama administration. Although Obama's approval rating has dropped among black, Hispanic and Asian 18- to 29-year-olds from 2009 to 2014, just as it has among white millennials, Obama maintains a much higher level of support among these groups than among whites. Specifically, Obama's approval is 80% among young blacks, 68% among young Asians, and 55% among Hispanic 18- to 29-year-olds - contrasted with his 34% approval among white young adults. Age affects Obama's approval ratings differently among each of these racial and ethnic groups. Obama does slightly less well among black young people than among older blacks, and significantly better among Asians younger than 50 than among those who are older. There is little significant difference in his approval rating by age within the Hispanic population. While Obama is significantly more popular among nonwhites than among whites, he was able to count on proportionately stronger support from young whites than older whites in his 2008 and 2012 presidential election campaigns. Now, his support among white millennials appears to be waning, and these young Americans give Obama an approval rating that is only marginally higher than that among older whites. These findings demonstrate the general importance of race and ethnicity when one talks about Obama's job approval ratings by age. Obama continues to enjoy higher approval ratings among all 18- to 29-year-olds - regardless of race or ethnicity - than he does among the general population, but this is largely attributable to younger age groups in the United States being disproportionately composed of nonwhites. In other words, a big part of the age gap in Obama's approval ratings today is attributable not so much to differences in approval within racial or ethnic groups, but to the fact that the white population in the United States skews older, while the nonwhite population skews younger. The white vote has become an increasing challenge for Democratic presidential candidates in recent years, as well as Senate candidates in many Southern and swing states. A lack of strong support among white voters was instrumental in incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu's loss in Louisiana's senatorial runoff election. That loss gives the Republicans control of every southern Senate seat from Texas to the Carolinas. While Democrats are likely to be helped in coming years by a growing Hispanic population, Democratic presidential candidates - and senatorial candidates in many states - will continue to need the votes of a substantial minority of white voters in order to put together a winning coalition. Thus, Obama's continuing loss of support among younger white voters highlights one of the potential challenges ahead for Democratic candidates in 2016.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Months after 43 student protesters disappeared in Mexico, a bone fragment found in a dump has provided what authorities say is the first solid evidence of their fate
Mexico's attorney general says forensic experts have determined that the charred piece of eye socket belongs to missing student Alexander Mora Venancio. The attorney general says that the students were arrested by local police in the city of Iguala and turned over to a gang, which massacred them, burned the bodies in a dump, and threw the remains in a river. Another 16 bone fragments found in the dump are still being tested by Austrian experts. Around 80 people — including Iguala's mayor and his wife — have been arrested in connection with the case. Parents of the student teachers spoke at a demonstration in Mexico City after Venancio's relatives announced the identification. If the government "thinks that, because one of our boys' DNA was identified, we will sit and cry, we want to tell them that they're wrong," the father of another missing student said. "We will keep fighting until we find the other 42." Amid nationwide anger at the atrocity, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has promised sweeping reforms, including the disbanding of local police forces.
Rape and technology in India: A woman in India says that she was raped by a taxi driver after booking the cab using the popular Uber smartphone app
The 26-year-old from Delhi told police that she dozed off in the taxi and when she woke up the vehicle was parked in a secluded part of the capital. Police said that a medical examination had backed up her allegation. The driver of the taxi has been arrested. The latest incident comes amid increasing concern at sexual violence against women in India. The woman said that after raping her, the driver warned her that she would be hurt if she raised the alarm. He then dropped her off near her home. The driver later abandoned the taxi and returned to his home in neighboring Uttar Pradesh state where he was arrested, police said. Uber, which is growing in India, has been accused of failing to conduct adequate checks on its drivers. "Our initial investigations have revealed shortcomings of the private cab company which didn't have GPS installed in its cabs and the staff wasn't verified," Delhi Special Commissioner Deepak Mishra said. The latest allegation of rape has again put the spotlight on the issue of sexual violence against Indian women, following a series of recent incidents. It comes days before the second anniversary of the gang rape and murder of a student on a bus in Delhi, which prompted outrage and a tightening of the laws on sexual violence.
As a Sikh and second-generation British-born running a public school made up mostly of Muslim students, Balwant Bains was at the center of the issues facing multicultural Britain, including the perennial question of balancing religious precepts and cultural identity against assimilation. But in January 2014, Bains stepped down as the principal of the Saltley School and Specialist Science College, saying that he could no longer do the job in the face of relentless criticism from the Muslim-dominated school board. It had pressed him, unsuccessfully, to replace some courses with Islamic and Arabic studies, segregate girls and boys and drop a citizenship class on tolerance and democracy in Britain. “I suppose I was a threat, giving these children more British values, for them to be integrated into society,” Bains said. His experience has helped bring to life the often deeply emotional and highly contentious conflicts unearthed by a British government investigation in 2014 into whether organized groups of Muslims were having undue influence on public schools. The topic has become especially sensitive at a time when Britain is concerned about the radicalization of young Muslims in the country and their involvement with jihadis in Syria and Iraq. The investigation was prompted by an anonymous letter, sent in 2013 to local officials in Birmingham, alleging an organized Islamic takeover of British schools in Muslim neighborhoods. Conducted by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, or Ofsted, the agency found much that was troubling about Muslim efforts to promote changes in secular public schools, and it has recently widened its investigation to 46 schools across the country. The investigation found that five schools in Birmingham, including Bains’, shared a pattern of behavior similar to what was described in the anonymous letter. The letter also cited Bains’s impending resignation, a month before it was made official and which only a few knew about, suggesting that the author was someone with detailed knowledge of the schools. “The Sikh head running a Muslim school,” the letter said, “will soon be sacked and we will move in.” The investigation found that some teachers and school board governors at the other schools were encouraging homophobia, anti-Semitism and support for Al Qaeda, sometimes inviting speakers who endorsed the establishment of a state run under Sharia law. One school stopped music and drama lessons as well as Christmas and Diwali celebrations, and subsidized trips to Saudi Arabia for Muslim students. In another school, the report found, girls and female teachers were discriminated against, and compulsory sex education, including discussions about forced marriage, was banned. Girls and boys seen talking for too long or considered flirtatious were reprimanded, while boys were given worksheets that said a wife had to obey her husband. The report, released in July 2014, highlighted Bains’s case and concluded that there had been a “coordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham.”
For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, the United States is not the leading economic power on the planet. The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will in 2014 produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the USA. As recently as 2000, the United States produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese. This latest economic earthquake follows the development in 2013 when China surpassed the United States for the first time in terms of global trade. Throughout history, political and military power have always depended on economic power. Britain was the workshop of the world before she ruled the waves. And it was Britain’s relative economic decline that preceded the collapse of her power. And it was a similar story with previous hegemonic powers such as France and Spain. Amazingly, the Chinese were able to surpass the USA with virtually no Hispanic immigrants!
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Blacks turned violent in northern California when demonstrators smashed windows while others pelted officers with rocks and bottles, authorities said
About 200 blacks were on Berkeley streets for another day of protests over a grand jury decision not to indict New York City Officer Daniel Pantaleo for Eric Garner's death on July 17, 2014. I think that the grand jury might have been more sympathetic to Garner if it weren't for blacks' long history of urban violence. Unfortunately, most blacks are too dumb to realize this and so continue to engage in the type of destructive behavior that alienates the police and everyone else in non-black America.
Black sex crime: Four black William Paterson University students have been charged with kidnapping as well as sexual assault charges after they were arrested in an attack on a female student in a dormitory room
The charges are first-degree aggravated sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping. The kidnapping charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and aggravated sexual assault has a maximum of 20 years. Noah Williams, Garrett Collick, Termaine Scott and Darius Singleton have been charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping. Jahmel Latimer has been charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault. Collick and Singleton have also been charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact.
One cause may be the 7R allele of the D4 dopamine receptor gene, which is associated with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and is very rare in East Asians. Nonetheless, as with differences in intellectual capacity, we're probably looking at an accumulation of small effects at many different genes. Natural selection acts on what genes produce, and not directly on genes, so there is no reason to believe that a single behavioral outcome has a single genetic cause.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
The chemical messenger dopamine – otherwise known as the happiness hormone – is important not only for motivation and motor skills. It seems that it can also help neurons with difficult cognitive tasks. Torben Ott, Simon Jacob and Professor Andreas Nieder of Tübingen’s Institute for Neurobiology have demonstrated for the first time how dopamine influences brain cells while processing rules. The effects of dopamine become very clear when the brain gets too little of it, as is the case with Parkinson’s disease. A dopamine imbalance leads to varied neurological disruptions – particularly movement – but also mental abilities. Our key cognitive center, the prefrontal cortex, which we use for abstract thought, rule-based decisions and logical conclusions, is intensively supplied with dopamine. Despite its major medical significance, we know little about dopamine’s effects on information processing by neurons in the healthy brain. To test this, the researchers trained rhesus monkeys to solve “greater than” and “less than” math problems. From other recent studies, the researchers knew that certain neurons in the prefrontal cortex answer such questions – one half of these “rule cells” was only activated when the “greater than” rule applied, and the other half was only activated when the “less than” rule applied. Meanwhile, physiologically small amounts of various substances were being discharged near the relevant cells. These substances can have the same effect as dopamine – or the opposite effect – and could be adsorbed by dopamine-sensitive neurons. The surprising result was that stimulation of the dopamine system allowed the “rule cells” to perform better and to more clearly distinguish between the “greater than” and “less than” rules. Dopamine had a positive effect on the “rule cells’” quality of work. The study provides new insight into how dopamine influences abstract thought processes needed, for instance, to apply simple mathematical rules. “With these findings, we are just starting to understand how nerve cells in the prefrontal cortex produce complex, goal-directed behavior,” says Ott. Along with a better understanding of the foundations of information processing in this important part of the brain, the results could have medical significance. “These new insights help us to better interpret the effects of certain medicines which may be used for instance in cases of severe psychological disturbance,” says Professor Nieder, “because such medications influence the dopamine balance in the prefrontal cortex in ways we do not understand well to date.”
In November 2014, U.S.-born employment fell by 166,000 while foreign-born employment rose by 170,000
From January 2009 to November 2014, foreign-born employment rose by 3.397 million while U.S.-born employment rose by only 1.669 million. Over the past 12 months, the labor force participation rate (LPR) — a sign of worker confidence — rose 0.3 points for foreign-born workers and declined 0.2 points for Americans. At 66.3%, the immigrant LPR is significantly above the American LPR (62.1%). At 5.4%, the immigrant unemployment rate remains slightly below that of U.S.-born workers (5.6%). Since November 2013, the foreign-born population of working age grew by 1.29 million while the comparable U.S.-born population rose by only 987,000. If these growth rates persist, the foreign-born population of working-age will double in about 22 years. The increase in the foreign-born working-age population over the past year (1.29 million) exceeds the number of legal immigrants admitted annually, which has been running at about 1 million. Obvious implication: A strong U.S. job market is drawing illegals into country. Contra Obama, the news is not a “very welcome sign for millions of Americans”, but a “very welcome sign” for millions of immigrant workers, many of them illegal. If history is any guide, Obama’s administrative order of amnesty will widen the gap between foreign-born and American-born population growth.
A judge awarded nearly $130,000 to an adult-film actress who alleged that a black actor exposed her to syphilis. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Minning heard testimony from Heather DeAngelo, known in the industry as Lylith Lavey, before ordering Jesse Spencer, aka Mr. Marcus, to pay her $129,360. Spencer did not participate in the court proceedings and was found to be in default. DeAngelo sued Spencer in September 2012 after finding out that he had the communicable disease, according to her complaint, which alleges fraud, negligence, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The scenes involving DeAngelo and Spencer were filmed in July 2012 in Encino, according to court records. DeAngelo did not allege that she contracted the disease. A previous judge handling the case had written in an earlier ruling about Spencer’s disregard of the lawsuit. “It appears (Spencer) has abandoned his defense of this case,” Judge Amy Hogue wrote, adding that DeAngelo believed her career had been hurt by her exposure to syphilis. “She feels that her reputation in the adult-film world has been diminished as a result of filming with (Spencer),” Hogue said. In February 2014, DeAngelo sued Bangbros, the production company behind the filming, alleging that the firm should have known Spencer had the communicable disease. Bangbros has filed a motion to dismiss her case. The county issued a temporary moratorium on pornographic filming after the DeAngelo-Spencer incident and, according to the complaint, implemented stricter requirements to ensure pornographic producers move to protect the safety of the actors.
Authorities have ordered an investigation after at least 24 poor and elderly people went blind following cataract surgeries performed at a free medical camp run by a charity in northern India
The operations were performed in early November 2014 on 130 patients who were all older than 50 and living in either Amritsar or nearby Gurdaspur, in Punjab state, an official says. Some of the patients reported that they'd lost their eyesight or were suffering infections. Doctors in Amritsar are treating some of the patients, but they say that it's unlikely any will regain their sight. Police have launched an investigation and detained at least one doctor in Gurdaspur. Every year, thousands of people, especially in rural areas without proper health facilities, undergo cataract operations in medical camps held by health authorities and welfare groups. The case once again highlights the perilous state of health care in India, where hundreds of millions of poor people without access to doctors or health insurance are forced to seek treatment at medical camps because of poor services and corruption at government hospitals. Recently, 13 women died after taking tainted drugs after undergoing simple sterilization surgeries. One of the women who died in the botched India sterilization drive was told that she'd receive the equivalent of 10 days' wages and be ready to return to work in the fields in 48 hours. A man received $3,250 from the government after his wife died; most in the area earn less than $5 a day. He brands the money as "useless," saying, "Who is going to take care of my children?" Families say that the women were pressured to take the money and get the surgery — the main method of birth control in the country — but cash incentives drove more than just the victims: Village "motivators" usually get about $2.44 for each patient that they recruit; government nurse-midwives can see their salaries docked if they don't meet "sterilization targets"; and the surgeon involved received about $1.22 per patient. That surgeon, Dr. RK Gupta, has been arrested on culpable homicide charges; at least 13 women who attended the "sterilization camp" have died, and there have been more victims from a second camp. "The surgeries went well but the problem was with the medicines given to the women," Gupta said. Indeed, owners of the factories that produce the drugs used have been called in for questioning, but the exact cause is still not clear. Witnesses tell stories of a dust- and cobweb-strewn clinic and little concern for hygiene. Though Gupta says that he performed 83 surgeries in six hours in one day, one nurse who assisted said that it was more like two hours. Government rules cap a surgeon's daily maximum at 35 operations.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
The United Arab Emirates' interior minister says that police have arrested a female suspect in the stabbing death of an American schoolteacher in the country's capital and reveals that the attacker also planted a bomb outside the home of another American
Interior Minister Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the makeshift bomb was left at the house of an American doctor and that police dismantled it after it was discovered by one of the physician's sons. Police say that the teacher was stabbed to death in a public restroom at an Abu Dhabi mall by a butcher's knife-wielding attacker wearing the full black veil commonly worn by Muslim women throughout the Gulf Arab region. Footprints Recruiting, a Canada-based teacher recruitment company that found a job for the victim, identified her as Ibolya Ryan.Police said that the victim had 11-year-old twins and that they were being kept in protective custody until their father, who's the victim's ex-husband, arrives in the country.
India sees 800,000 newborns die each year, but 58,000 of those deaths were particularly noteworthy — and alarming — in 2013
Those infants died of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, according to a recent study. The evidence is mounting that a sizable amount of the bacteria living in everything from India's water to its soil to its sewage can't be defeated with almost any antibiotic. But the wave of newborns being born with these infections may indicate that these bacteria are also living in pregnant women's bodies, neonatologists believe. "Our hypothesis is that resistant infections in newborns may be originating from the maternal genital tract and not just the environment," said one. But the environment is far from a sanitary one: Unicef surveyed 94 hospitals and medical centers in India's largest state, Rajasthan, in 2013, and found that as many as 70% could have contaminated water. Even more had no soap at their sinks. What they did have was antibiotics, which are freely dispensed, so much so that one state has for years dosed babies with antibiotics even if they were seemingly healthy. It creates a vicious cycle, where drug-resistant bacteria exits via hospital sewage, enters rivers and canals, and can infect pregnant women. Dr. Timothy R. Walsh, a professor of microbiology at Cardiff University, says that "India’s dreadful sanitation, uncontrolled use of antibiotics and overcrowding ... has created a tsunami of antibiotic resistance that is reaching just about every country in the world." To wit, bacteria whose genetic code has its origins in India has been found in the United States, among other countries.
The vast majority of countries ranked as least corrupt are located in northern and western Europe, with seven such countries comprising the top ten.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Irony alert: Blacks murder white man who wrote about the evils of racism for the Southern Poverty Law Center
David Ruenzel was one of those liberals who liked to write about white privilege. I wonder if he felt very privileged when he was being murdered by two black guys?
Researchers from the African Genome Variation Project (AGVP) have published the first attempt to comprehensively characterise genetic diversity across Sub-Saharan Africa
The study of the world's most genetically diverse region will provide an invaluable resource for medical researchers and provides insights into population movements over thousands of years of African history. "Although many studies have focused on studying genetic risk factors for disease in European populations, this is an understudied area in Africa," says Dr Deepti Gurdasani, lead author on the study and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Infectious and non-infectious diseases are highly prevalent in Africa and the risk factors for these diseases may be very different from those in European populations. Given the evolutionary history of many African populations, we expect them to be genetically more diverse than Europeans and other populations. However we know little about the nature and extent of this diversity and we need to understand this to identify genetic risk factors for disease." Dr Manjinder Sandhu and colleagues collected genetic data from more than 1800 people - including 320 whole genome sequences from seven populations - to create a detailed characterization of 18 ethno-linguistic groups in Sub-Saharan Africa. Genetic samples were collected through partnerships with doctors and researchers in Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. The AGVP investigators, who are funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Medical Research Council, found 30 million genetic variants in the seven sequenced populations, a fourth of which have not previously been identified in any population group. The authors also found evidence of extensive European or Middle Eastern genetic ancestry among several populations across Africa. These date back to 9,000 years ago in West Africa, supporting the hypothesis that Europeans may have migrated back to Africa during this period. Several of the populations studied are descended from the Bantu, a population of agriculturists and pastoralists thought to have expanded across large parts of Africa around 5,000 years ago. The authors found that several hunter-gatherer lines joined the Bantu populations at different points in time in different parts of the continent. This provides important insights into hunter-gatherer populations that may have existed in Africa prior to the Bantu expansion. It also means that future genetic research may require a better understanding of this hunter-gatherer ancestry. "The AGVP has provided interesting clues about ancient populations in Africa that pre-dated the Bantu expansion," says Dr Manjinder Sandhu, lead senior author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK and the Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge. "To better understand the genetic landscape of ancient Africa we will need to study modern genetic sequences from previously under-studied African populations, along with ancient DNA from archaeological sources." The study also provides interesting clues about possible genetic loci associated with increased susceptibility to high blood pressure and various infectious diseases, including malaria, Lassa fever and trypanosomiasis, all highly prevalent in some regions of Africa. These genetic variants seem to occur with different frequencies in disease endemic and non-endemic regions, suggesting that this may have occurred in response to the different environments these populations have been exposed to over time.
More than two-thirds of the 175 countries and territories included in the Corruption Perceptions Index for 2014 scored below 50 on a 100-point scale. Just two, Denmark and New Zealand, ranked in the top 10 percentiles with scores of 92 and 91, respectively. North Korea and Somalia tied for last place with 8. The United States came in 17th place with a score of 74, a slight improvement over last year that put the country on the same level as Ireland, Hong Kong and Barbados. As in 2013, the European Union and Western European states had the best results, with just 16% of countries scoring below 50 points, compared with 95% in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and 92% in sub-Saharan Africa. Turkey recorded the biggest setback, dropping 5 points to score 45 in the wake of a string of sensational corruption allegations, including incriminating tapes in which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to be ordering his son Bilal to “make vanish” tens of millions of dollars in cash stashed at a family residence. Angola, China, Malawi and Rwanda also saw their scores fall by 4 points apiece. China’s dramatic slide — it fell 20 places from the previous year to 100th place with a score of 36 — came despite a high-profile drive by President Xi Jinping to root out corrupt officials, both high-ranking “tigers” and lowly “flies.” The Asia Pacific region includes some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, but 18 of the 28 countries included in the index scored less than 40 in 2014. India, the Philippines and Thailand all scored 38 and Indonesia came in at 34. Corruption also has been a problem for other emerging markets, including Brazil (with a score of 43), where officials are accused of siphoning billions of dollars from the state-run oil company Petrobras into the coffers of political parties; and Mexico (35), where the disappearance of 43 students called attention to the infiltration of local governments and police forces by organized crime. Of the 31 European nations surveyed, 26 had scores of 50 or greater while only 5 had scores less than 50. The 20 least corrupt countries in the world are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada, Australia, Germany, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Japan, Barbados, Hong Kong, Ireland and the United States.
Human ancestors may have begun evolving the ability to consume alcohol about 10 million years ago, long before modern humans began brewing booze, researchers say
The ability to break down alcohol probably helped our pre-human ancestors make the most out of the rotting, fermented fruit that fell onto the forest floor, the researchers said. Therefore, knowing when this ability developed could help researchers figure out when these pre-human ancestors began moving to life on the ground, as opposed to mostly in trees. "A lot of aspects about the modern human condition — everything from back pain to ingesting too much salt, sugar and fat — goes back to our evolutionary history," said lead study author Matthew Carrigan, a paleogeneticist at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida. "We wanted to understand more about the modern human condition with regards to ethanol [alcohol]." To learn more about how human ancestors evolved the ability to break down alcohol, scientists focused on the genes that code for a group of digestive enzymes called the ADH4 family. ADH4 enzymes are found in the stomach, throat and tongue of primates, and are the first alcohol-metabolizing enzymes to encounter ethanol after it is imbibed. The researchers looked at the ADH4 genes from 28 different mammals, to investigate how closely related they were and find out when their ancestors diverged. In total, they explored nearly 70 million years of primate evolution. The scientists then used this knowledge to investigate how the ADH4 genes evolved over time and what the ADH4 genes of their ancestors might have been like. The results suggested that there was a single genetic mutation 10 million years ago that endowed our pre-human ancestors with an enhanced ability to break down ethanol. The scientists noted that the timing of this mutation coincided with a shift to a terrestrial lifestyle. The ability to consume ethanol may have helped human ancestors dine on rotting fruit that fell on the forest floor when other food was scarce. "I suspect ethanol was a second-choice item," Carrigan said.
Sons whose fathers have criminal records tend to have lower cognitive abilities than sons whose fathers have no criminal history, data from over 1 million Swedish men show
The research, conducted by scientists in Sweden and Finland, indicates that the link is not directly caused by fathers' behavior but is instead explained by genetic factors that are shared by father and son. "The findings are important because cognitive ability is among the most important psychological predictors of many important life outcomes, including socioeconomic success and health," says lead researcher Antti Latvala of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the University of Helsinki in Finland. Research looking across generations in families has shown that children of parents who engage in "antisocial" behaviors - such as rule-breaking, aggressive, or violent behavior - are at greater risk for various negative outcomes, including criminality, psychiatric disorders, substance use, and low academic achievement. And research has also shown that individuals who engage in antisocial behaviors tend to have poorer cognitive abilities than those without antisocial tendencies. Latvala and colleagues wanted to combine these two strands of research to investigate how parents' antisocial behaviors might affect their children's cognitive development. "We wondered whether children of antisocial parents also have lower cognitive ability than children of non-antisocial parents, and if so, whether compromised cognitive functioning might be part of the inherited risk for antisocial behavior," says Latvala. The researchers took advantage of extensive data collected from Swedish residents, including data on cognitive ability acquired as part of compulsory military conscription and data on antisocial behavior (in this case, defined as criminal convictions) obtained from a national crime register. Looking at data from over 1,000,000 men, the researchers found that men whose fathers had any criminal convictions tended to have lower cognitive-ability scores than men whose fathers had no such history. And this association seemed to be influenced by the severity of the fathers' criminal history: "Perhaps most surprising was the clear gradient seen in the magnitude of the association with sons' cognitive ability by severity of fathers' criminality: The more severe crimes the father had committed, the poorer was the sons' cognitive performance," explains Latvala. But did fathers' antisocial behavior have a direct causal effect on sons' cognitive ability, or could the link be explained by shared genetic factors? To find out, the researchers compared the link between fathers' criminal history and sons' cognitive ability across cousins whose fathers had varying relationships to each other. Specifically, they examined the link in cousins whose fathers were half-siblings (sharing about 25% of their genetic makeup), cousins whose fathers were full siblings or fraternal twins (sharing about 50% of their genetic makeup), and cousins whose fathers were identical twins (sharing 100% of their genes). If fathers' antisocial behavior directly caused sons' lower cognitive ability, the link would remain equally strong across the comparisons of varying genetic relationships. The data, however, suggested otherwise. When the researchers took the varying genetic relationships into account, the association between fathers' criminality and sons' cognitive ability gradually diminished. "Our results thus indicate that despite the adversities related to parental criminality, having a father who has been convicted of crime is unlikely to influence cognitive development in the offspring when the effects of other factors associated with parental antisocial behavior, including genetic risks, are taken into account," the researchers conclude.