Friday, April 28, 2006

Old Cossacks gain new respect in protecting Russian outposts

Graeme Smith:

A trespasser appeared in Boris Matrinitski's front yard one morning in early January: A middle-aged Chinese man, wearing an old uniform, trudging through the deep snow. The man wasn't carrying any bags and didn't seem dressed for the cold.

In another place, in another time, Mr. Matrinitski might have offered him shelter.

But this village of Magilevka is just a few kilometres north of the Ussuri River, which separates China from the vast wilderness of Russia's Far East. Thousands of illegal migrants cross the river every year and the Russian government has become deeply concerned about defending its territory.

Mr. Matrinitski rushed outside and tackled the Chinese man. He restrained his captive and called the border guards, who took him away.

It's not common for Russian villagers to physically throw themselves at people they suspect of being illegal immigrants. But Mr. Matrinitski is a Cossack, a descendant of the horsemen who defended Russia's borders for centuries, and the Kremlin has recently taken steps to revive the Cossacks' warrior spirit.

"Boris reacted honourably," said Georgy Torhov, 67, commander of Mr. Matrinitski and hundreds of other Cossacks around this village. "This interloper was stopped within the first 24 hours. But we need to react even faster."

Once a proud vanguard of the Russian empire, the Cossacks have dwindled in recent years into a glorified social club.

Their ancestors rode horses, mustered armies and defended the borderlands. Now, many Cossacks ride busses, work ordinary jobs and rarely dust off their ceremonial uniforms.

But motivated by gnawing fears about security along its sparsely populated border areas, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law in December that aims to reinstate the old paramilitary society. After years of repression under the Soviet Union, the new law gives Cossacks broad powers -- and funding -- to patrol the borders, recruit soldiers, organize disaster-response units, assist the forestry service, maintain public order and fight terrorism.

Branches of the federal government already exist for all these functions, but the Cossacks are viewed as an extra layer of protection in a country that feels increasingly nervous about its security and territorial integrity.

Those may seem like unusual fears for Russia, which still has enough nuclear, biological and chemical weapons to theoretically kill everyone on the planet. But Russia's conventional military has dwindled, along with its shrinking population.

Demographers predict that Russia will suffer a sharp decline in population over the next half-century, losing perhaps a third of its people, and the situation will be worst in the Far East. This region's population has already dwindled by 18 per cent since the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, as the empire abruptly cut support for its farthest outposts.

Russia's Far Eastern Military District has lost more than half its motorized divisions since the Soviet collapse, along with a third of its submarines and half its combat ships. One Far Eastern commander recently complained that so many of his planes and helicopters had fallen into disrepair that half of them couldn't lift off the ground.

The looming demographic disaster could make this situation worse. A report by the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations calculated that Russia drafts about one-third of the young men eligible for mandatory military service every year, or about 300,000 men. But the number of 18-year-olds in Russia will decline to 600,000 by 2015 -- meaning that the government may be forced to choose between two unpleasant options: Make tougher rules and draft a higher percentage of the population, or accept a smaller army.

"The demographic situation is becoming a true security threat," said a draft national-security strategy leaked from Russia's Foreign and Defence Policy Council this year.

Komsomolskaya Pravda, a newspaper loyal to the Kremlin, summarized the worry expressed in many parts of the Russian news media in a recent commentary: "China is in no hurry," the newspaper wrote. "It is waiting for a situation where there will be no Russians left on Siberian soil and then, it will be able to lay claims to these territories against immigrants from Asia and the Caucasus."

Russia shrinks

From Russia with hate

Racial tensions spilled over in a standoff involving hundreds of Latino and African-American students at San Leandro High School leading to 10 arrests

Katy Murphy:

Police say no one was seriously injured in the incident, which followed a fight earlier in the week. Other fights took place Wednesday after school, including one at a bus stop on East 14th Street.

The lunchtime standoff at the crowded high school took place on a warm spring day during standardized testing week. Principal Amy Furtado said the incident appeared to be racially motivated, and that it stemmed from a Tuesday fight between "a handful" of Latino and African-American students.

But the Tuesday incident that apparently fueled the problems between the groups had nothing to do with race, she said.

"All of a sudden, it had just become a very racial thing," Furtado said. "I think tensions have been exacerbated tremendously by the immigration debate going on."

Furtado said the presence of 10 to 15 police officers on Wednesday likely diffused the situation before it got worse. Sensing that such problems might occur after Tuesday's fight, Furtado said, she had called in extra security. And on Wednesday morning, before the standoff, mediators pulled students out of class to try to resolve conflicts and rumors.

Furtado said about 10 police officers came to the campus to supervise the lunch period today and that she will continue to call in extra security until the conflict subsides. At 7 p.m. on May 4, parents and educators will talk about how to address long-term safety issues at the school during a United Parents meeting in the cafeteria.

"We've got issues that we have to face," Furtado said. "We're going to take a really proactive role."

Police patrol high school after fights

Police Arrest Several After Fights At High School

Racially Charged Brawls Erupt At East Bay High School

Racial Tensions Simmer At San Leandro High

Five of the foreign prisoners mistakenly released by the British Home Office have since been convicted of drugs and violence offences


The Home Secretary said the five had been convicted of violent disorder, grievous and actual bodily harm, and drug crimes.

His statement came following the admission that 1,023 foreign offenders had been released from prison before they could be considered for deportation.

In a letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons and his opposition counterparts, Mr Clarke said 79 of the original 1,023 had committed serious offences. Deportation action had now commenced for 63 of them.

A "thorough search" of records had taken place, he said, but it had revealed no cases where offenders had been convicted of the most serious offences such as homicide, rape or child sex offences.

Mr Clarke said: "The genuine shortcomings which have been revealed in dealing with foreign national prisoners will be repaired and we will learn the lessons to make whatever further changes are needed to improve the quality of what we do across the whole Home Office.

"As I told the House of Commons earlier this week, I very much regret the shortcomings which I have reported."

The shadow home secretary, David Davis, said none of the crimes would have happened had Mr Clarke and the Government been doing their job of protecting the public properly.

He told Sky News that Mr Clarke's position was "untenable" and predicted there would be "many, many more" new crimes uncovered when the remaining 900 cases were examined.

The Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman, Nick Clegg, said: "This is cold comfort to the victims of the five crimes which the Home Office hasn't even deigned to describe in detail."

He added: "No secretary of state should stay in his post when serious offences have been committed by people who could and should have been removed from the country."

Resigned to fate

Blair ally urged to quit over UK prisoner bungle

Freed inmates figure higher than admitted

Our immigration system is in chaos

A Moroccan drug dealer was jailed for life for killing his boss


Marvin Gentles was attacked after tracking El-Gharras down

A Moroccan drug dealer was jailed for life on Thursday for killing his boss, chopping the body into 133 pieces and throwing them into a canal before setting his flat on fire in a bid to destroy evidence.

Abdul El-Gharras, 31, was obsessed with decapitation and had downloaded videos of al Qaeda beheadings before murdering Marvin Gentles last June in an argument over crack cocaine, the Old Bailey criminal court heard.

He stabbed his victim 26 times, cut up the corpse, stuffed the pieces into plastic bags and wheeled them to the canal in a shopping trolley. The murder came to light when a passer-by spotted one of the bags and pulled it out of the water.

After disposing of the body, El-Gharras returned to his flat and tried to clear up the mess. When he failed, he doused it in petrol and set fire to it.

El-Gharras pleaded guilty to murder and will serve at least 18 years and eight months before being considered for release.

Man jailed over canal body parts

Canal body parts murderer jailed

Torso found in the canal

Researchers identify intelligence gene

Christina Verni:

Psychiatric researchers at The Zucker Hillside Hospital campus of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have uncovered evidence of a gene that appears to influence intelligence. Working in conjunction with researchers at Harvard Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics in Boston, the Zucker Hillside team examined the genetic blueprints of individuals with schizophrenia, a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by cognitive impairment, and compared them with healthy volunteers. They discovered that the dysbindin-1 gene (DTNBP1), which they previously demonstrated to be associated with schizophrenia, may also be linked to general cognitive ability. The study is published in the May 15 print issue of Human Molecular Genetics, available online today, April 27.

"A robust body of evidence suggests that cognitive abilities, particularly intelligence, are significantly influenced by genetic factors. Existing data already suggests that dysbindin may influence cognition," said Katherine Burdick, PhD, the study's primary author. "We looked at several DNA sequence variations within the dysbindin gene and found one of them to be significantly associated with lower general cognitive ability in carriers of the risk variant compared with non-carriers in two independent groups."

The study involved 213 unrelated Caucasian patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 126 unrelated healthy Caucasian volunteers. The researchers measured cognitive performance in all subjects. They then analyzed participants' DNA samples. The researchers specifically examined six DNA sequence variations, also known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), in the dysbindin gene and found that one specific pattern of SNPs, known as a haplotype, was associated with general cognitive ability: Cognition was significantly impaired in carriers of the risk variant in both the schizophrenia group and the healthy volunteers as compared with the non-carriers.

Gene Variation Influences Human Intelligence

Genetic Variation in DTNBP1 Influences General Cognitive Ability

A Genomewide Scan for Intelligence Identifies Quantitative Trait Loci
on 2q and 6p

Update on recent IQ research

Newly Found Gene May Be Key to High I.Q.

A black educator in Halifax, Canada suggests a school exclusively for black students will help them thrive

CBC News:

Wade Smith, vice-principal at St. Patrick's High School, said the education system is failing black students.

"Putting forward the notion of a black school is something that people might not be comfortable with because it suggests that things aren't working. Then I think you have to look at the possibility of a black school as something positive, that's good for our culture and good for our people," he said.

This week, the Halifax Regional School Board heard that it is still failing to fully handle the needs of African-Nova Scotian students.

The board's African-Nova Scotian advisory committee found that students and parents often feel picked on or isolated at their schools. They also say there is not enough diversity among teachers and administrators.

The minister for African-Nova Scotian Affairs, Barry Barnet, said the idea of moving black students into another school strikes him as a step backwards.

"I don't believe that a segregated school is necessarily the kind of solution that may create a positive learning environment," Barnet said.

Barnet said this department will not consider the change at this time.

Of the thousands of black Nova Scotians he's met, the minister added, no one has ever asked for a separate school. But Smith said at this point, drastic action may be the only way to help black students succeed.

Report: School system still failing black kids

The number of HIV/AIDS cases in Africa has been grossly exaggerated by the United Nations

Cliff Kincaid:

It came almost two years after the Boston Globe exposed it, but the Washington Post on April 6 acknowledged that the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Africa has been grossly exaggerated by the United Nations in order to generate money through the world body to spend on the disease. In an April 10 editorial, the Post admitted, "The United Nations' credibility on AIDS will now suffer." So should the credibility of the media for taking the world organization seriously.

The Post editorial declared, "It's been clear for a while that UNAIDS, the agency responsible for these statistics, was reluctant to contemplate good strategies for fighting AIDS lest these undermine global support for expanded funding." The Post found the U.N. guilty of publishing "dubious AIDS data."

The FAIR Foundation, which stands for Fair Allocations in Research, had known about and exposed the dubious data. On its website, it highlighted how the UN AIDS office, the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health, and AIDS activists "continually speak of AIDS decimating the world and use that argument to argue for more research funding." It had posted the John Donnelly Boston Globe article of June 20, 2004, explaining how the figures had been exaggerated.

"Recent studies in Kenya have confirmed millions of Africans previously thought to have AIDS are disease free," noted the FAIR Foundation. In Kenya, as the BCC reported on January 9, 2004, estimates had put the figure at 15 percent, when a subsequent survey found only 6.7 percent infected.

That's January 9, 2004—more than two years before the Post published its correction of the record.

Thanks goes to Terrence in Vancouver for sending me the link to this story.

Reports on Global Overestimation of AIDS Infections

Study cuts Kenya HIV estimates

A Pakistani couple, jailed after the woman's father objected to their marriage, appeared in court after spending five years in prison without trial


"I have committed no adultery," 23-year-old Sodi (Eds; one name) wept in a courthouse in the southern city of Hyderabad as she recounted her ordeal to journalists.

"I was 18 when I got married of my own free will with Kashkeli. Our marriage was contracted before a maulvi (preacher) and registered," said the woman, who has been held in a separate jail from her husband.

The couple were arrested in October 2001 on adultery charges after the woman's father, a farmer, lodged a report with police accusing the man of abducting his daughter and committing adultery with her.

The Supreme Court ordered the civil court to expedite a decision on the case after receiving an appeal smuggled out of jail by the woman.

"The girl has filed an application for justice as she has been kept apart from her husband for five years without a decision on the case," defence lawyer Khuda Baksh Leghari told Reuters, adding that a decision was expected within a few days.

Every year, particularly in conservative rural Pakistan, hundreds of women are victims of so-called honour killings for marrying without their families' consent.

Others often land up in jail after relatives file adultery cases against them.

Where Christianity faces a fight to survive

Pakistani man accused of having ties to terrorist

Pakistani Taliban vows jihad against British

Sweden's largest Muslim organization has demanded that Sweden introduce separate laws for Muslims

The Local:

The Swedish Muslim Association, which represents around 70,000 Muslims in Sweden, has sent a letter to all Sweden's main political parties suggesting a number of reforms, SVT's Rapport programme reported.

The proposals include allowing imams into state (public) schools to give Muslim children separate lessons in Islam and their parents' native languages. The letter also said that boys and girls should have separate swimming lessons and that divorces between Muslims should be approved by an imam.

The letter provoked an instant, and damning, response from integration and equality minister Jens Orback.

"We will not have separate laws in Sweden. In Sweden, we are all equal before the law. In Sweden, we have fought for a long time to achieve gender-neutral laws, and to propose that certain groups should not be treated like others is completely unacceptable."

Orback said he had spoken to representatives of the Swedish Muslim Council, and they did not support the association's position.

"We have freedom of speech, we have the right to opinions and we have the right to make proposals - but if a law is going to be changed, it must be the same for everyone."

Asked whether the proposal plays into the hands of racists, Orback said that it did.

"I think it is very problematic and unfortunate that people who have been in Sweden for so long make proposals such as this that are so opposed to our intentions, when we are fighting for women's rights and the right to divorce," Orback replied.

Liberal Party leader Lars Leijonborg also slammed the idea of separate laws.

"Sweden has equality between men and women. To introduce exceptions for Muslims so that women can be oppressed with the support of the law is completely unacceptable to me," Liberal leader Lars Leijonborg wrote in a statement.

Sweden Belatedly Discovers Spine

Watch Out, Windy

The First Muslim Blackmail of Swedish Society


Sweden: 'Separate laws for Muslims' idea slammed

Blacks and Hispanics make up 89% of murderers in New York City

Jake Dobkin:

The bottom line: murders are concentrated in poor neighborhoods, especially in northern Manhattan, Eastern Brooklyn and Queens, and the South Bronx. If you look at the data, Blacks and Hispanics make up 89% of murderers and 87% of victims, and almost 90% of both groups are men. Some mild surprises: almost 70% of the victims knew their murderer, and while guns accounted for 66% of the murder weapons, "cutting" instruments were used 22% of the time.

Three Years of Murder in New York City

New York Killers, and Those Killed, by Numbers

A Jamaican gang member who should have been deported after a child sex offence was allowed to stay in Britain and shot a man

Rajeev Syal:

Kevin Ford, 27, was supposed to be forcibly removed but was released without his deportation being considered because officials lost his file.

He is believed to be among the 1,023 foreign criminals released from jail in the past seven years who the Home Office failed to deport. Weeks after he was freed in 2004 he shot and seriously wounded a man in a drive-by shooting outside a Sheffield nightclub. He was later jailed for 24 years.

A source close to the case said that Ford remained in Britain because of “a major administrative cock-up”. The source said: “The judge said he should be kicked out. But then there was a mix-up between the court and the immigration offices. No one knew where his file had got to. As a result, Ford was not deported.

“This is exactly the kind of cock-up that goes on behind the scenes — no one seems to know what is going on.”

Ford, a gang member in Jamaica, was jailed in February 2004 after admitting to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. The judge recommended that a deportation order should be served on his release. Instead, he was freed into the community. In August 2004, Ford opened fire on two men outside a club in Sheffield in a “cold-blooded” shooting.

Alton Chambers, 32, was left seriously ill and had up to 30 per cent of his liver removed. Another man, Christopher Gordon, 30, escaped unharmed. During the attempted murder trial at Sheffield Crown Court, the jury was told that Ford drove up to his victims and fired three shots at their vehicle.

Peter Johnson, for the prosecution, told the court: “On February 10 the case was adjourned under notice that an immigration order should be served. No such notice was served — the matter being in the hands of the Immigration Service. That is still the position, no notice has been served.”

Ford was also a murder suspect on the run from police in Jamaica. He may have killed a woman in Kingston, the island’s capital, in the late 1990s, the court was told.

The Home Office told a local newspaper in 2004 that it would investigate why Ford had been released. Yesterday, it said: “Neither the prison service nor the immigration service have any record of any recommendation for the deportation for Mr Ford.”

Homicides plague Spanish Town

30 years: A JAMAICAN jailed for 30 years for gunning down a man outside a Sheffield nightclub could have been deported months before the shooting

City gunman 'a murder suspect': A JAMAICAN found guilty of shooting a man outside a Sheffield nightclub may be a murder suspect on the run from Jamaica

Two members of the gang which tortured, raped and murdered the schoolgirl Mary-Ann Leneghan have been told they will serve at least 27 years in jail


Clockwise from top left: Adrian Thomas, Indirit Krasniqi, Jamaile Morally, Michael Johnson, Llewellyn Adams, Joshua Morally

Adrian Thomas, 20, of Battersea, south London, and Michael Johnson, 19, of Southfields, south London, were jailed for life today for the murder in Reading, Berkshire, last May.

Four other men involved in the killing were also due to be sentenced today at Reading Crown Court.

Earlier, Thomas's barrister had pleaded for mercy for the six because of their age, though he admitted his client's crime was "horrific".

Thomas and Johnson stood in the dock alongside brothers Jamaile and Joshua Morally, 22 and 23, Indrit Krasniqi, 19, and 24-year-old student Llewellyn Adams.

Johnson, identified as the man who stabbed Mary-Ann, pleaded guilty to the killing during a trial earlier this year as well as admitting attempting to murder Mary-Ann's friend.

The other five were all found guilty of murder and attempted murder by a jury.

Mary-Ann was murdered in a stabbing frenzy in a park in Reading, as an 18-year-old friend, with whom she had been abducted by the gang, was forced to look on.

Her friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was then shot in the head but survived.

Earlier in the evening the pair had been subjected to an ordeal of rape and torture involving knives, cigarettes, a metal bar and boiling sugared water.

Mr Evans told the judge, Mr Justice Penry-Davey, that his client's youth was the only significant point of mitigation he could highlight.

Speaking of his client, he added: "He was very conscious and wanted to express ... the fact that it was the drugs scene, his involvement in drugs, that resulted in these matters starting, snowballing and coming to their horrific end."

Speaking before the hearing, Mary-Ann's uncle, Charles Harris, said: "This is D-day. I hope they lock them up and throw away the key."

Mary-Ann killers jailed for life

Leneghan gang ringleader jailed for life

Comment: Reading Chronicle

Maryann murderer set free

The death of innocence

Voters want Clarke sacked over prison fiasco

Gene linked to lethal infections in African populations

CBC News:

A team of researchers, including a scientist in Montreal, has discovered how a gene is linked to lethal infections found in about 20 per cent of people of African descent.

Maya Saleh, a medical scientist at the McGill University Health Centre, analyzed blood donations from about 1,000 members of Montreal's black community.

One in five people of African descent carry the gene coding for the protein caspase-12. All other ethnicities lost the variant about 60,000 years ago.

Scientists don't know why African populations retained the protein, although Saleh told CBC News on Tuesday that it's thought that it may have once had a protective role for fighting autoimmune diseases or parasites such as malaria.

Saleh and colleagues in California found the gene protein blocks the body's inflammatory response to certain dangerous bacteria, such as those that cause sepsis, a body-wide infection.

The genetic variation can be particularly dangerous for people of African descent who are admitted to intensive care, where sepsis is most often contracted.

"We found the presence of this variant increases mortality rate by three-fold," Saleh said. "So we think it's very serious."

Black people who come down with sepsis should be genetically tested, she advised.

"Definitely, if we have African patients with sepsis in the ICU one of the first thing to do, in my mind, is actually to screen for this variant, and if its present, the first treatment would be to boost the immune system."

Elizabeth-Ann Williams, who volunteered to give blood for the research project, said she hopes the findings will help her community.

"With the knowledge that the medical staff has, then action can be taken to protect us with the coverage of antibiotics and so on," Williams said. "It would not be a mystery as to why we are not responding during treatment."

The next step for the team is to try to find a drug that will block the action of the gene variant.

The study, which appeared in the April 20 issue of the journal Nature, was funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Method by which Caspase-12 shuts down the body's immune system discovered

Caspase-12 antagonists could potentially be useful in the treatment of sepsis and other inflammatory and immune disorders

Lack of caspase-12 enzyme dramatically increases resistance to sepsis

Caspase-12 gene that shuts down immune system is found in 20% of people of African descent

Interesting illegal-immigration statistics


Here are some statistics from the Los Angeles Times:

40 percent of all workers are working for cash and not paying taxes. Why would they want to be legal and pay taxes? They would be able to start bringing the rest of their families to the USA.

75 percent of people on L.A.'s most-wanted list are illegal aliens.

Over two-thirds of all births are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by the taxpayers.

Nearly 25 percent of all inmates in California detention centers are here illegally.

Over 300,000 illegals are living in garages.

The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegals from south of the border.

Nearly 60 percent of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.

Of the 10 million people in Los Angeles County, 5.1 million speak English and 3.9 million speak Spanish.

21 radio stations in Los Angeles are Spanish speaking.

More statistics:

Less than 2 percent of illegals are picking crops but 29 percent are on welfare.

Over 70 percent of the U.S. annual population growth (over 90 percent of California, Florida and New York) are from immigration.

29 percent of inmates in the federal prisons are illegal aliens.

The lifetime fiscal impact (taxes minus services used) for the average adult Mexican immigrant is a negative.

They also send between about $15 billion back to Mexico to assist their families and prop up the corrupt Mexican government that keeps most of its citizens in poverty. How about a revolt in their own country!

A new figure from yesterday: It cost Los Angeles $276 million in welfare costs for 100,000 children of illegal aliens.


Hezbollah, Illegal Immigration, and the Next 9/11

260 Fugitives Arrested In LA Area As Part Of Nationwide Operation

Illegal immigrants don't merit same rights

Fugitive sweep nabs 194 in S.D., Imperial County

End To Illegal Alien Labor Would Cost Farmers Little

A man was charged with first degree murder for tossing his infant son from a car, slamming the boy onto the hood and throwing him into a canal

Associated Press:

Charles Edward Tyson, 20, and his infant son, Charles Edward Tyson Jr., who he is accused of throwing out of a car, slamming on the hood of the vehicle, and finally, tossing him into a canal in Florida

Charles Edward Tyson, 20, also faces charges of aggravated child abuse, child endangerment and violating a restraining order, Delray Beach police spokesman Jeffrey Messer said. Messer said Tyson admitted tossing his son into the canal.

"Our detectives were just dumbfounded," he said.

Tyson was held Thursday in the Palm Beach County jail and set to appear in court Friday morning.

Tyson and the child's mother, Shameka Mosley, 17, were driving with the 9-month-old infant early Thursday when Tyson accused her of cheating on him, according to an arrest report.

Mosley stopped the car she was driving and Tyson tossed the child out of the window where he "landed face down in the dirt," according to the report. The man then grabbed the boy by the leg and "in a swinging motion slammed the infant's head onto the hood of Mosley's vehicle," the report said.

Tyson then sped off in the car with the infant, and later stopped and tossed the child into a canal, the report said.

Authorities found the boy floating nearby and attempted to revive him. The infant, Charles Edward Tyson Jr., died a short time later at Delray Medical Center.

"Tyson stated he was aware the infant landed in the canal because he heard a splash," the report said.

Mosley had a restraining order against Tyson issued in December after a domestic violence incident.

Delray father: 'Better get your baby before the alligators do'

Woman will plead guilty to raping 12-year-old cousin

Bruce Cadwallader:

Twyana Davis cuddling her daughter in 2000

Twyana Davis has been living a 10-year-old lie, but is expected to make it right Friday with a guilty plea to rape.

"She's at peace with her decision and it will probably be a blessing in disguise," Davis' attorney, Byron Potts, said yesterday.

Davis, now 30, has admitted that her 10-year-old daughter was born of a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old cousin.

For years, Davis had said she was raped at a party.

Her revelations mean Davis was illegally having sex with a minor.

Her daughter's DNA has since been matched to the cousin, now a 23-year-old inmate serving time for rape and aggravated robbery at the Lebanon Correctional Institution.

Davis' expected plea on Friday will be in lieu of an indictment, county Prosecutor Ron O'Brien confirmed.

The so-called Bill of Information will find Davis guilty of one count of rape, for which she can be sent to prison from five to 25 years under the 1995 statutes in place at the time. She will appear before Judge Michael J. Holbrook in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

A plea form says Davis had sex with the cousin in February 1995, when he was 12.

Though rape of a child younger than 13 now carries a life prison term, there was no provision for a life sentence when Davis had sex with her cousin, Potts said.

Davis likely will serve at least three years in prison before she is eligible for parole, O'Brien said.

She made headlines in November 1995, when after giving birth in her dormitory room at Ohio Dominican College, Davis placed the baby in a trash bin wrapped in clothing and plastic bags. A passer-by found the child and notified authorities. An attempted murder charge was filed against Davis, but later dismissed.

After her arrest and conviction for child-endangering charges, Davis was placed on probation.

She wrote Sacred Womb, a book about her experiences, and appeared on television's 20/20 and Oprah.

Davis regained custody of her child in 2000.

She also formed a nonprofit organization called Second Chance of Life, which focuses on preventing teen pregnancies and offering choices for expectant mothers.

Because of her case and others, Ohio passed the Safe Haven Law, which allows mothers of unwanted babies to bring them to hospitals, and police and fire stations within 72 hours of birth without being prosecuted.

Davis' custody of her daughter is now under review by Franklin County Children Services.

Mom Who Dumped Baby Charged With Rape


Woman Says She'll Plead Guilty To Rape

The sister of former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria was killed during an apparent attempt to kidnap her

BBC News:

The body of Liliana Gaviria, 52, was found shortly after she was snatched by armed gunmen near the town of Pereira, west of the capital, Bogota.

One of her bodyguards was killed in the attack, local officials said.

The killing comes a month before presidential elections, in which law and order is a major issue.

President Alvaro Uribe, who is seeking a second term in office, said the government would do "all in its power to make sure this crime doesn't go unpunished".

He offered a $434,000 (£241,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of those involved in the attack.

Cesar Gaviria was president of Colombia between 1990 and 1994. He is currently head of the opposition Liberal Party.

He is a former secretary-general of the Organisation of American States.

Two of the group responsible for the attack were reported to be wounded and in police custody.

The BBC's Jeremy McDermott says there is no indication as to who carried out the killing.

Although incidences of abductions and murder have dropped, this latest incident will undermine the government's assurance that Colombia is a much safer place and may have some influence on next month's elections, our correspondent says.

Kidnapping is big business in Colombia

Colombia: Kidnapping of bishop highlights vulnerability of civilians in conflict

UN condemns Colombia kidnapping

Colombia's Crimson Night

American recounts kidnapping in Colombia

Mapping Crime

Beyond Willie Sutton: Crime And Lack Of Punishment

Affirmative action and immigration

Thomas Sowell:

Amnesty would mean, for many illegal immigrants, that they would not merely have the same rights as American citizens, but special privileges as well.

Affirmative action laws and policies already apply to some immigrants. Members of a multimillionaire Cuban family have already received government contracts set aside for minority businesses. During one period, an absolute majority of the money paid to construction companies in Washington, D.C., went to Portuguese businessmen under the same preferences.

Immigrant members of Latino, Asian, or other minority groups are legally entitled to the same preferential benefits accorded native-born members of minority groups.

The moment they set foot on American soil, they are entitled to receive benefits created originally with the rationale that these benefits were to compensate for the injustices minorities had suffered in this country.

The illegal status of many "undocumented workers" can at least make them reluctant to claim these privileges. But, take away the illegality and they become not only equal to American citizens, but more than equal.

Preferential access to jobs, government contracts, and college admissions are among the many welfare state benefits that add to the costs of immigrants which are not paid by employers of "cheap labor" but which fall on the general public in taxes and in other ways.

Even when illegal immigrants do not claim preferential treatment, employers are still under pressure to hire according to the demographic composition of the local labor force, which includes these "undocumented workers." Employers are subject to legal penalties if the ethnic composition of their employees deviates much from the ethnic composition of the population.

"Cheap labor" can turn out to be the most expensive labor this country has ever had.

Caste quotas in India and immigrant quotas in America

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The rate of primary and secondary syphilis among blacks was 5.1 times higher than whites in 2003, but 5.6 times higher in 2004


P&S syphilis incidence varied by race/ethnicity. From 2000 to 2003, the incidence among blacks decreased from 12 to 7.7 cases per 100,000 population but increased to 9.0 in 2004. Rates increased among whites each year from 2000 to 2004 (from 0.5 to 1.6), Hispanics (from 1.6 to 3.2), and Asian/Pacific Islanders (from 0.3 to 1.2). The rate among American Indian/Alaska Natives increased from 2000 to 2001 (from 2.2 to 3.8), decreased to 2.1 in 2002, and then increased to 3.2 in 2004.

Although the rate of P&S syphilis among blacks increased in 2004, substantial increases occurred only among black men (14 cases per 100,000 population in 2004 versus 12 in 2003). For the first time since 1991, rates among black women did not decrease (4.3 in 2004 versus 4.2 in 2003). From 2000 to 2004, the black M:F rate ratio increased from 1.4 to 3.3.

Racial/ethnic disparities in P&S syphilis persist. The increase in the overall P&S rate among blacks in 2004 represents the first year since 1993 that the disparity between black and white rates of P&S syphilis increased. In 2003, the rate among blacks was 5.1 times that among whites (7.7 versus 1.5 cases per 100,000 population). In 2004, the rate among blacks increased and was 5.6 times higher than that among whites (9.0 versus 1.6). From 2000 to 2004, rates of P&S syphilis were higher among black men and women than among white men and women, respectively. Rates among black men increased by 23% from 2003 to 2004, whereas rates among black women increased by 2%. Among Hispanics, the rate among men increased by 12% and decreased among women by 13%.

Health Department: Syphilis Cases Tripled From 2004 To 2005

At least 1 in 5 South African adults is believed to be infected with HIV/AIDS

Shashank Bengali:

The rape trial of South Africa's former deputy president is nearing an end, but AIDS activists are worried that the impact of Jacob Zuma's testimony will linger much longer.

In court this month, Zuma, a charismatic politician and formerly the head of the national AIDS council, acknowledged he had unprotected sex with his accuser even though he knew she was HIV-positive. Then he took a shower, believing that would minimize his risk of contracting the virus.

Such pseudo-science coming from anyone, let alone a man once touted as South Africa's next president, would raise eyebrows. But AIDS activists say it's part of a history of inaccurate and conflicting statements about the disease from the top levels of South Africa's government.

Myths about the disease continue to stymie efforts to fight it.

South Africa has one of the world's highest AIDS caseloads. At least 1 in 5 South African adults is believed to be infected with HIV.

Because Zuma, 64, enjoys a huge following - scores of his supporters have surrounded the courthouse in Johannesburg every day since his trial began - activists believe his testimony could be a major setback in the fight against AIDS.

"It's had a profound effect on the public psyche," said Francois Venter, president of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society.

Venter said many patients have since asked him whether taking a shower could prevent HIV transmission or whether the risk of a man contracting HIV from a woman was indeed "minimal," as Zuma said in court.

Immediately following the testimony, the society put out a statement refuting Zuma's claims. But Venter said many South Africans are likely to believe Zuma, who's a populist hero, thanks to his role in South Africa's liberation struggle.

AIDS telephone hot lines have reported a spike in calls about "shower prevention" and the efficacy of condoms, activists said.

South Africa is easily the continent's most open, modern society, with a constitution enshrining civil liberties and the rights of women and gays. But the ruling African National Congress party has drawn widespread criticism for downplaying, and in some cases denying, the risks associated with HIV, which afflicts some 6.5 million South Africans, according to official estimates.

Drug to protect babies from HIV creates resistance

Circumcision, Fidelity More Effective HIV Prevention Methods Than Condoms, Abstinence, Researchers Say

Police have arrested a Utah State University football player accused of first-degree felony rape

Linda Thomson:

Jerod Walker

Back-up quarterback Jerod Walker, 19, turned himself in to police Thursday. He was arrested and booked into the Cache County Jail, according to USU Police Lt. Steve Milne. Walker bailed out on $10,000 bond.

It is unclear when Walker will make an initial appearance in court. No official charge from the county attorney's office had been documented in the statewide court computer system as of Saturday.

"The report came to us early Monday morning, April 10. The victim contacted us. We interviewed her and some of her friends that she had discussed this with, and she submitted to a rape examination," Milne said.

"We also interviewed Mr. Walker. He was cooperative, he came in and told us his side of the story stating that it was consensual sex," Milne said. "The county attorney's office said there was enough evidence to support a charge of rape."

The woman had gone to Walker's apartment on campus April 9 and, early the next morning, "She reported immediately to her roommate, and we were contacted from there," Milne said.

"We proceeded very carefully on this because we knew there would be a lot of media attention because it's an athlete, but we also owed it to the victim to proceed as quickly as possible," Milne said.

Conviction on a first-degree felony potentially carries a sentence of five-years-to-life in prison.

Utah State athletic director Randy Spetman and head football coach Brent Guy declined comment Saturday.

Walker has been suspended from the team and did not take part in a scrimmage on Friday.

Following the scrimmage, Guy told the Deseret Morning News, "He was suspended, and we won't know (more) until the legal action runs its course."

Jerod Walker: Black or Mormon? You be the judge!

Utah State quarterback charged with sexual assault

Two USU Football Players Dismissed From The Team

More than 1,100 sex offenders captured

Mark Sherman:

Douglas Walker allegedly raped a 4-year-old in 2001, and who was found in Salemsburg, N.C., posing as a victim of Hurricane Katrina, is among 34 fugitives tracked down over the last two months by Westchester police and federal marshals, officials

More than 1,100 people wanted for violent sex crimes were among 9,037 fugitives arrested in a weeklong roundup, the Justice Department said Thursday.

The arrests were made as part of "Operation Falcon II," a 27-state dragnet timed to coincide with National Victims Rights Week.

This year's focus was on sex offenders, a group that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has made a priority in his 15 months at the Justice Department. Gonzales and U.S. Marshals Service Director John Clark were to discuss the results of the roundup later Thursday at a news conference in Washington.

During the week of April 17-23, federal, state and local authorities arrested 1,102 people wanted for violent sex crimes. It was the largest number ever captured in a single law enforcement operation, the department said. The arrests were made mainly in states west of the Mississippi River, and also in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Among those caught was William Wisham, who authorities said failed to register as a sex offender when he moved to a motel in Victorville, Calif. Investigators found letters to children, notes explaining why he enjoys sex with children, child pornography, candy and methamphetamines.

Police are working to locate children listed in Wisham's diary-style notes and said initial indications are that Wisham used candy to lure at least one child.

In Oahu, Hawaii, police arrested Herbert Damwijk, who is wanted in Washington state on two counts of child rape and molestations against 8-year-old girls, the department said. He was arrested April 17 at his father's residence and awaits extradition to Washington.

Last week's sweep netted more than 10,000 fugitives, 10 times the average in a week, but just 1 percent of the 1 million fugitives in the FBI's national database.

Marshals arrested 35,500 federal fugitives for all of the government budget year that ended Sept. 30. They worked with state and local authorities to nab another 44,000 people, according to the Marshals' Web site.

County & US Marshal Operation Nets 32 Wanted On Violent Crimes

Sons fight for control of Satmar Hasidic empire

Suzanne Goldenberg:

An extraordinary succession battle was under way in the cloistered world of ultra-orthodox Judaism yesterday after the death of the rabbi who headed the world's largest and powerful Hasidic sect.

Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, 91, died on Monday and his funeral in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of New York that is home to the Satmar sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews drew 20,000 followers.

But yesterday, barely two days after Teitelbaum was laid to rest, his two sons fired the first salvos in what is expected to be a bitter and protracted battle to wear his mantle as the rabbi-king of the Satmar, and gain control of property believed to be worth $1bn.

Aaron Teitelbaum, 58, and Zalmen, 54, each claim leadership of the Satmar as a birthright. Although the pair declared a brief truce for the funeral, they have not spoken in a decade, and their struggle for the leadership of the Satmar has regularly led to punching matches between their respective followers.

Last October, during the Jewish holidays, the succession struggle descended into a free-for-all brawl that spilled out of a Williamsburg synagogue. The riot police were called in. At least four court cases relating to the succession were pending at the time of the Rabbi's death.

Yesterday the younger Teitelbaum fired his first shot, releasing a will purportedly written by his father that declared him the heir. "He shall occupy my position and succeed me without any shortfall, for effective immediately I have granted him the position," the late rabbi was reported to have decreed.

The seeds for fraternal discord were sown in 1999 when the rabbi began making plans for his demise. He appointed Aaron as the sect's grand rabbi in Kiryat Joel, an entirely Hasidic enclave north of New York City. He kept Zalmen by his side in the Satmar base in Williamsburg.

Some observers see the shrewdness of the late rabbi's ways. The Satmar empire in the US was more than big enough for his sons to share. But the sons did not see it that way. As their father succumbed to cancer and Alzheimers' disease, the brothers descended into an increasingly bitter feud, obtaining writs from New York state and secular courts to try to enforce what each saw as their birthright.

Jonathan Mark, an associate editor at Jewish Week who has reported on the Satmar for 25 years, believes such succession battles are a feature of Orthodox life. No longer can a rabbi expect to command a following by fiat. He has got to work at the personal relationship between rabbi and flock that is the distinguishing feature of Hasidic sects. "In the last 15 years almost no major Hasidic group has had a clean succession," he said.

The Satmar are the largest and most dynamic of the Orthodox Jewish sects. Taking their name from Satu Mare, a town in in present-day Romania, they claim 65,000 adherents in Williamsburg and Kiryat Joel and several thousand others in Jerusalem, London, Antwerp and Montreal.

They owe their primacy to the uncle of the recently deceased rabbi, Joel Teitelbaum, who emerged from post-Holocaust Europe to rebuild the sect.

"He was really the one who re-established the dynasty here in America. He was a very powerful ideological leader, and very actively involved," said Samuel Heilman, professor of Jewish studies at the City University of New York.

Under Joel Teitelbaum's leadership, the Satmar clung to a doctrine that was regarded as more stringent than other adherents of Hasidism, the mystical movement that emerged in 18th-century eastern Europe. He also kept them more insular than other ultra-Orthodox groups, and he was fiercely opposed to Zionism.

Yet within that cloistered world, members of the sect took a leading role among Orthodox communities in medical outreach, founding a volunteer ambulance corps that has chapters from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, and setting up a testing service to screen for genetic diseases prevalent among Ashkenazi Jews.

All that is now at stake for the two brothers fighting over their father's legacy. Prof Heilman, however, has a solution. The sect could agree on an amiable split. "The group is much bigger now. It can sustain two rebbes located in different locations. If this was in Europe, one would be called the Kiryat Joel rebbe and one called the Williamsburg rebbe, and there wouldn't be any problem."

Hasidim in Sabbath showdown

Fists fly at rabbi burial

Mexican officials line their pockets while demanding U.S. help

George W. Grayson:

Mexican politicians continuously demand more visas for their citizens, an expanded guest-worker program, and "regularization" of illegal aliens living north of the Rio Grande. While neglecting to mention that the United States admits nearly one million legal newcomers each year, they also fail to publicize: (1) the extremely high salaries they receive, often—in the case of federal and state legislators—more than their counterparts in developed nations that have substantially longer annual sessions, (2) the generous stipends that they grant themselves, including year-end aguinaldos and end-of-term bonuses of tens of thousands of dollars known as bonos de marcha, and (3) the generous sums that party leaders in legislative bodies have to spend with few or any strings attached.

For example,

President Vicente Fox ($236,693) makes more than the leaders of France ($95,658), the U.K. ($211,434), and Canada ($75,582).

Although they are in session only a few months a year, Mexican deputies take home at least $148,000—substantially more than their counterparts in France ($78,000), Germany ($105,000), and congressmen throughout Latin America.

At the end of the three-year term, Mexican deputies voted themselves a $28,000 "leaving-office bonus."

Members of the 32 state legislatures ($60,632) earn on average twice the amount earned by U.S. state legislators ($28,261). The salaries and bonuses of the lawmakers in Baja California ($158,149), Guerrero ($129,630), and Guanajuato ($111,358) exceed the salaries of legislators in California ($110,880), the District of Columbia ($92,500), Michigan ($79,650), and New York ($79,500).

Members of the city council of Saltillo, San Luis Potosí, not only received a salary of $52,778 in 2005, but they awarded themselves a $20,556 end-of-year bonus.

Average salaries (plus Christmas stipends known as aguinaldos) place the average compensation of Mexican state executives at $125,759, which exceeds by almost $10,000 the mean earnings of their U.S. counterparts ($115,778). On average, governors received aguinaldos of $14,346 in 2005—a year when 60 percent of Mexicans received no year-end bonuses.

These same politicians turn a blind eye to the fact that, when petroleum earnings are excluded, Mexico collects taxes equivalent to 9.7 percent of GDP—a figure on par with Haiti. In addition, the policy makers (1) spend painfully little on education and health-care programs crucial to spurring social mobility and job opportunities, (2) acquiesce in barriers to opening businesses in their country, and (3) profit from a level of corruption that would have made a Tammany Hall precinct captain blush — with $11.2 billion flowing to lawmakers in 2004 alone.

Many Mexican officials enjoy princely lifestyles, while expecting the United States to solve their social problems by allowing the border to serve as a safety-valve for job seekers.

Attrition Through Enforcement: A Cost-Effective Strategy to Shrink the Illegal Population

Children of women under 25 twice as likely to live to 100

E.J. Mundell:

Society's oldest members are most likely to be born to its youngest mothers, new research suggests.

The odds of living to 100 and beyond double when a person is born to a woman under 25 years of age, compared to those people born to older mothers, according to one of the most rigorous studies on the subject yet conducted.

The finding may also help clear up a statistical mystery -- three years ago, the same husband-and-wife team of researchers found that being the first-born child in a family also boosted longevity, although no one knew why.

"It turns out that the whole phenomenon of first-born order and longevity is driven by young maternal age," said study co-author Leonid Gavrilov, a research associate at the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago.

In other words, he said, first-born children are simply more likely than their siblings to have been born when mom was in her teens or early 20s.

The study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Society of Actuaries, was presented recently at the Population Association of America annual meeting, in Los Angeles.

As nutrition and health care continue to improve, so too does the number of Americans whose years extend into the triple-digits.

"Certainly there were more [centenarians] in the 2000 census than there were in 1990, and most people think this population will grow," said Georgeanne Patmios, acting chief of the Population and Social Processes Branch of the NIA's Behavioral and Social Research Program.

According to the Census Bureau, there were 37,000 Americans aged 100 years or older in 1990, and by 2000 that population had risen to 55,000. According to experts, women are three to five times more likely to live beyond 100 than men.

But what other factors encourage "extreme" old age? Previous research by Gavrilov and his wife/co-researcher, Natalia Gavrilova, has uncovered some clues. For example, in research published over the past few years, they found that U.S. centenarians were more likely to come from farming families in the Midwest than from any other demographic.

They also discovered that being the first-born in a family meant a lot, boosting the odds of making it to 100 by nearly 80 percent.

"But nobody knew why that was -- sometimes in research you get answers, but you also get new questions," Gavrilov said.

So, he and his wife set out to solve that puzzle. They selected 198 centenarians from across the United States, checking and double-checking their ages using every form of documentation available. Comparing the centenarians' histories to those of their siblings, the researchers then analyzed the data to help explain the "first-born effect."

One theory -- that first-born children might have been relatively protected from pediatric illness because they weren't surrounded by disease-bearing siblings in infancy -- didn't pan out. "We found that even at age 75 it still matters that one is first-born," Gavrilov said. "It's a late-life phenomenon."

A second theory -- that first-born kids reaped the benefit of a relatively young, strong and productive father -- also fell flat. "We got the very clear result that the father's age wasn't important," the Chicago researcher said.

That wasn't the case for mothers. In fact, statistical analysis revealed that young maternal age at birth completely accounted for the first-born effect.

"It is very rare in science that you have such clear-cut results. But here, when we saw the results, we went 'Wow,'" Gavrilov said. Overall, children born to an under-25 mother had double the odds of living to 100 and beyond, compared to offspring of women who delivered at a later age.

So, why do young moms tend to bear more long-lived children? "At this point all we have is hypotheses," Gavrilov said. "One is biological -- that maybe the eggs are different in their quality, and the best ones, the most vigorous eggs, go first to fertilization."

He said his wife Natalia came up with a competing theory: That young moms haven't had time to pick up the latent, chronic infections that might in some way impede the long-term health of their offspring. "This might interfere with normal development," Gavrilov said. "So, when the children are born they are superficially healthy but maybe they are not really strong enough to survive to 100."

Longer life with younger mothers

Blacks are finding it more difficult to get into law schools

G. Jeffrey MacDonald:

Law schools eager to raise their national rankings are demanding higher scores on the Law School Admission Test, but they're paying a price in terms of racial diversity as fewer and fewer black applicants make the cutoff.

That's the controversial argument of John Nussbaumer, an associate dean at Michigan's Thomas M. Cooley Law School and author of a widely debated paper in this month's edition of the St. John's University Law Review. His thesis says schools increasingly ignore their mandate not to overemphasize the LSAT. It is striking chords far beyond academic circles as the legal profession ponders how to reverse a steady, 10-year decline.

Since 1994, when first-year black enrollment peaked at 3,432, that number has dropped 13% to 2,975, according to data from the Law School Admission Council, which administers the LSAT. By contrast, Asian and Hispanic enrollments have climbed: Asians by 44% to 3,759, and Hispanics by 26% to 2,610.

Blacks are getting denied at the gate, Nussbaumer says, because schools are increasingly concerned with LSAT scores: The average law student's score has jumped from 154.3 in 2001 to 157.3 in 2005. And because blacks as a group consistently score about 9 points below the national average, a heightened focus on that one benchmark means blacks are getting a disproportionate share of rejection letters.

"Students with low scores can succeed and can be good lawyers," Nussbaumer says, adding that factors such as life experience and work habits don't get tested on the LSAT. "But if you over-rely on the LSAT, some of these folks get cut out of the chance to try."

Whether or not they accept Nussbaumer's analysis, lawyers agree the trend is troubling both for their profession and for society: Blacks make up 13% of the U.S. population, but they're just 6.8% of 135,000 law students.

Study: Fewer Black Students In Law School

Minority students underperform whites in North Carolina

Associated Press:

A new report says the state is not doing enough to boost the performance of minority students.

Last year's state testing results showed that 89 percent of white students in third through eighth grades passed reading and math. But only 67.2 percent of blacks and 71.4 percent of Hispanics did.

The report by the Raleigh-based N.C. Justice Center says state leaders need to take stronger steps to narrow the gaps in most schools. It said the state must examine current practices and policies to determine what is not working and develop new practices and policies to meet the needs of the students.

Marvin Pittman is the director of school improvement for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. He said the federal No Child Left Behind law is forcing schools to pay more attention to minority achievement.

White students need not attend: School chief talks only to minorities

African-American men are more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, but have fewer cases of coronary obstruction than white men

UPI Wire:

"Our findings suggest the need for greater understanding of factors influencing coronary events in diverse populations," said Medical College of Wisconsin Professor Jeffrey Whittle, who led the study.

"Overall, I believe that as we better understand the mechanism of disease, we'll see that different factors are important for different individuals."

Scientists at five U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers participated in the study, which compared the coronary anatomy of 311 black and white veterans who had coronary angiography following a positive nuclear perfusion imaging study.

Prior to an angiogram or X-ray examination, the patients' doctors were asked to estimate the probability of coronary obstruction. On average the estimated likelihood of CAD in white and African-American males was similar -- 83 percent vs. 79.5 percent probability, respectively. But researchers said when angiography results were evaluated, white men had more severe obstructions.

Fewer, less severe coronary obstructions appear in African American than white men

Homicide suspects are 12 times more likely to be black than white in London

Jason Bennetto:

Black people in London are four times more likely to be murder victims than white people, with those responsible for the murders and manslaughters also far more likely to be black. Homicide suspects are 12 times more likely to be black than white, in proportion to London's population.

The findings are included in a report due to be presented today by Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

The study, which covers cases of all unlawful killings, found that people from an African and Caribbean background were disproportionately likely to be both victims and suspects. Of the 163 homicides in London in the year to April 2006, there were 50 black victims, 72 white, and 23 Asian. Other ethnic minority groups make up the remainder. This compares to a population in the capital in which black people account for 11 per cent, Indian and Pakistanis for 12 per cent and white Europeans for 74 per cent.

Of the 279 people accused of committing the killings 140 were black, 77 were white European and 32 were Asian. The courts have yet to decide how many are guilty as charged.

Part of the explanation for such a high number of black victims and suspects is the continuing rivalry between crack cocaine gangs. The shooting of drug dealers and innocent bystanders accounts for, on average, 13 homicides per year.

The Metropolitan Police has an overall detection rate of 86 per cent. Within that total, the police are more successful at catching the killers of white and Asian people. The detection rates are 92 per cent for white European victims, 91 per cent when the victim is Asian and 84 per cent in black cases.

Teenager shot dead in the street

The Ultimate in Racial Profiling

Norteños and Sureños Hispanic gang activity in Colorado

Pierrette J. Shields:

The family of two brothers arrested in connection with the Saturday stabbing death of a 17-year-old boy said Wednesday that the victim was the aggressor, wearing gang garb and flashing signs just before the attack — a description that doesn’t match police statements.

David Rodriguez Jr., 20, and Joseph Rodriguez, 18, members of the local Norteños gang, were arrested Tuesday in connection with the beating and stabbing death of Martin Garcia on Saturday at 21st Avenue and Collyer Street.

Russell Machado of Lafayette, the Rodriguez brothers’ brother-in-law, told the Daily Times-Call on Wednesday about a local gang environment that he said politically favors the Sureños, a larger rival gang, and prompted the altercation.

“No matter where we move in Colorado, Sureños are everywhere,” he said. “People do not realize how big this gang is.”

According to police, Garcia was with friends Saturday when two carloads of boys and young men emptied onto the street and attacked Garcia, who was beaten and stabbed, in what witnesses characterized as a gang clash between the Sureño 13 and Norteño 14 gangs. The Boulder County coroner listed Garcia’s cause of death as multiple stab wounds.

Garcia’s family has said that he was not a member of the Sureños, but police said he had been previously known as a member even if he wasn’t currently active. Machado said Garcia was a well-known Sureño in Longmont, and he played the part the day of his death.

“He had a ‘13’ jersey on when they found him,” he said, adding later that Garcia’s family and friends “make it sounds like he wasn’t part of it, that he was some innocent little boy.”

So far, four have been arrested in connection with Garcia’s death.

Along with the Rodriguez brothers, Adam Mizones, 21, and Oscar Lozano, 17, have been arrested in connection with Garcia’s death.

Investigators believe Mizones stabbed Garcia with a samurai- type sword, while Lozano and the Rodriguez brothers and others beat him with baseball bats, a metal rod and brass knuckles.

The Rodriguez brothers appeared in Boulder County Court on Wednesday, but they won’t be charged until Friday.

David Rodriquez Jr. is under investigation on suspicion of second-degree assault, conspiracy to commit murder, possession of a dangerous weapon and accessory to murder. Joseph Rodriguez is being investigated on suspicion of the same charges, except for accessory to murder.

Colorado court documents show Lozano has not yet been formally charged in the case; Mizones is expected in court April 27 to be charged.

Machado said after the attack, the Rodriguez brothers told their family a very different story than the one witnesses told police.

He said the Norteños members didn’t start the fight. The Rodriguez brothers stopped their Cadillac when they heard a rock hit it, Machado said, then Garcia, wearing a Sureño-affilated jersey, flashed gang signs and charged the car with friends in tow.

Cmdr. Craig Earhart, spokesman for the Longmont Police Department, said Wednesday he couldn’t comment on Machado’s version of the story or the details of Garcia’s clothing.

Machado said the brothers called him for advice shortly after the attack, and he told them to turn themselves in and cooperate with police.

Now he is scared they will be killed either in jail or on the street by rival gang members.

He is particularly upset that the brothers are under investigation for conspiracy to commit murder.

One of the Rodriguezes’ sisters, who asked not to be named, said their 14-year-old younger sister has been threatened with death over the incident, and that “word on the street” indicates retaliation is brewing.

Machado said he predicted to police an escalation of gang violence following a pattern of harassment from the Sureños, and he said he feels his warnings went unheeded. He also said he doesn’t believe that police protection extends to people who are at odds with the Sureño 13 gang, which is why the Norteños exist in Longmont.

“You band together and you protect yourselves,” he said of the minority Norteños gang in Boulder County. “It has been like that for hundreds of years.”

Machado said the Norteños are a much smaller gang than the dominant Sureños, but that loyalties aren’t simple because of loosely associated splinter groups within gangs and friendships that cross the lines. For instance, he said, Lozano is from one group of Norteños and the Rodriguez brothers are part of a splinter group of the gang. Machado said Mizones is just a friend.

According to the Longmont Gang Unit Web site, Machado is right about the relative strength of the gangs. It lists the Sureño 13 gang as the most active gang in Longmont and notes that it represents the largest prison gang in the United States. The Norteños, according to the gang unit, is “one of the least known” gangs in Longmont. However, it is the fastest growing.

The Rodriguez brothers’ mother, who asked that the Times-Call withhold her name for her safety, said she is sad about the outcome of the fight.

“I feel bad that the kid died because it could just as easily have been one of my kids laying there dead,” she said.

Earhart said Wednesday that police are still investigating and that more arrests are likely. He said police have interviewed about 35 witnesses and more will be interviewed. He said the investigation is likely to go on until the end of next week.

He said police are also looking into whether the men accused of beating and killing Garcia were involved in a fight with some other people earlier that day.

“That is a possible motive as to why they went out,” Earhart said.

Beefed-up response to gangs nets more arrests

Struggle for the streets

Thug life: Growth brings gang problems to south county cities

Swords And Surenos In Longmont, Colorado

Illegal aliens and sex criminals

Fred Burton:

A good case study of the criminal alien problem is that of Angel Maturino Resendiz, a serial rapist and killer who illegally entered the United States several times. Resendiz, a Mexican national, is more commonly known by one of his aliases -- Rafael Resendez-Ramirez -- or as the "Railway Killer," a nickname bestowed by the press because he rode trains across the country and his crime scenes were near the tracks. He raped several women and, between March 1997 and June 1999, murdered at least 11 people -- many of them in Texas, but in Florida, Kentucky and Illinois as well. He surrendered on July 13, 1999, and is scheduled for execution next month, pending an appeal.

Maturino Resendiz's record of immigration violations is as long or longer than that of his other crimes. Federal records show that between 1976 and 1999, he was barred entry from the United States once, formally deported three times, and permitted to voluntarily depart from the country on 11 occasions, after being stopped by the U.S. Border Patrol. Six of those apprehensions and voluntary departures occurred between the three murders he committed in the summer of 1997 and his fourth murder, in October 1998. He was again apprehended and allowed to return to Mexico before committing a fifth murder, in December 1998. The pattern was repeated a final time in June 1999 -- six months after an arrest warrant had been issued for him on murder charges, and before he killed four more people.

Between 1976 and 1998, Maturino Resendiz had been arrested in Michigan, Mississippi, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas and California. In 1980, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a brutal assault and burglary in Florida, but was released after five years. He also had federal convictions in Texas for making false representation of U.S. citizenship in 1985 and 1986, and a 1989 federal conviction in Missouri for Social Security fraud. During the time he spent in the United States, Maturino Resendiz reportedly used up to 30 different aliases. He also found work as a migrant farm laborer, as a handyman and -- somewhat surprisingly -- as an algebra tutor.

Other high-profile criminals also have been illegal aliens; Lee Boyd Malvo (also known as John Lee Malvo), who confessed to a role in the 2002 sniper attacks in Washington, D.C., entered the United States illegally from Jamaica; Abdel Basit (more widely known as Ramzi Yousef) was an illegal alien who came from Pakistan in order to carry out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. But, as illustrated by the GAO study and other cases, it is far more common for criminal aliens to commit less spectacular crimes; frequently, they are thieves, con artists or sex offenders.

The Victims Of Illegal Immigration

Railroad Killer Linked To 1991 SA Murder

Mexico Meddles in Mass Murder

The Anti-Defamation League and La Raza

Bryanna Bevens has an excellent article on the ADL and Hispanic immigration.

Police in Karachi say a 14-year-old girl who survived being shot five times may have been the victim of an attempted honor killing

Aamer Ahmed Khan:

Noor Jehan was allegedly shot by relatives after being declared guilty of adultery under an ancient tribal tradition in southern Pakistan.

She was left in a roadside ditch but she managed to crawl her way to help.

Hundreds of women are killed every year in Pakistan in the name of "honour", usually related to marriages.

In recent years Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has defended his government's record on violence against women and says he has done more for women's empowerment than any previous administration.

But human rights groups in Pakistan say the president's claims are not backed by adequate legislation.

Police say they are anxious to speak to Noor's parents who have not appeared at her bedside or inquired about their missing daughter.

An officer investigating the case told the BBC News website: "My experience tells me that they were aware of what was going on."

Noor was shot in both legs, the left arm and the stomach.

Saudi official ignores women's issues

Traded like animals - the blood feuds settled with 'gift' of a wife

A mini-riot erupted at Heathrow airport after rapper Snoop Dogg and a 30-strong entourage clashed with police in a departure lounge

Bo Wilson:

Snoop Dogg

The men - mostly minders - apparently turned violent after being refused entry to a first-class lounge, smashing up a duty free shop, throwing bottles and attacking officers.

It took riot police over an hour to arrest the "20-stone men", who were then led out in handcuffs, with one shouting: "This is how it goes down in LA."

Witnesses believe the group, who were travelling from the US to South Africa, were refused entry to the British Airways lounge as only a few had first-class tickets. It is thought they became abusive towards staff and were turned away from their flight, running riot when police tried to guide them out of the airport.

Six men, including the 34-year-old American rapper, were arrested. A Heathrow worker, who took photos from his mobile phone, said: "There were all these huge, 20-stone men smashing up display cabinets and throwing people around. I saw Snoop Dogg on the ground, with four riot police trying to put him in handcuffs. His minders were throwing bottles at people.

"There were 15 riot vans and eight police cars outside, with dog sniffer units. They were throwing the policemen around like pillows. Then the police used pepper spray on them." The row is thought to have been witnessed by Ronan Keating, who was in the Terminal 1 lounge.

Snoop Dogg, real name Calvin Broadus, is a former drug dealer and gang member. He comes from one of LA's most notorious areas and has been accused of several crimes during his life - including murder, although he was acquitted.

Six men were arrested for violent disorder and affray.

Snoop Arrested in Airport Brawl

Snoop Dogg arrested after Heathrow fracas

A Kenyan asylum-seeker has been convicted of raping a mother and a schoolboy in Britain

Duncan Gardham:

Rashid Musa: an ‘evil and dangerous man’

Rashid Musa should not have been in Britain when he was convicted of raping a 46-year-old mother and a 16-year-old schoolboy in separate attacks.

The court heard that the Kenyan asylum-seeker should have been deported after committing an earlier sexual assault and a burglary.

The judge called the mistakes that allowed him to stay "utterly lamentable" and demanded an explanation from the Home Office.

But in the seven years since the judge made those comments, the Home Office has now admitted releasing more than 1,000 foreign criminals who should have been deported for crimes including murder, rape and paedophilia.

Musa arrived in Britain aged 16 after absconding from a flight at Heathrow. He was en route from Brazil after being deported from South America back to Kenya but claimed on arrival to be an impoverished Somali.

When that failed to work, he claimed instead to be a victim of political violence in his home city of Mombasa.

Immigration officers also believe he made a series of false benefit claims using made-up African names and netting about £430 a week.

He was refused asylum in 1993, a year after arriving, but his state-funded lawyers argued for exceptional leave to remain in order for him to "sort out his personal affairs".

In January 1995, aged 19, Musa was convicted of a serious sexual assault on a 15-year-old girl in Streatham, south London. He was jailed for 18 months but soon after his release was arrested and jailed for burglary. At that point a judge ordered his deportation on completion of his sentence.

The Home Office said it tried to find a country that would accept him, but failed and he was released instead.

Four months later, in February 1998, Musa raped a 46-year-old woman at knifepoint in a lavatory. The following day, again armed with a knife, he raped a boy in the lavatory of a train.

The woman later suffered a nervous breakdown and tried to commit suicide.

The schoolboy said after the attack: "No human being alive should be subjected to something like I was. It was terrifying and humiliating."

Psychiatrists said Musa had an untreatable personality disorder. Doctors at Broadmoor secure hospital said he did not regard his crimes as serious and received a "buzz" from hearing his victims scream.

Sentencing Musa to five life sentences, Judge David Radford said he was an "evil and dangerous man".

He called the Home Office failings "utterly lamentable" and asked for an explanation.

Mark Baker, a Home Office official, admitted that "no efforts were made to trace" Musa in order to execute the deportation order.

He added: "The only reason I can put forward is lack of resources."

Musa's case echoes that of Indrit Krasniqi, 18, one of the men who kidnapped and murdered schoolgirl Mary-Ann Leneghan in Reading.

He had out-stayed his permission to be in this country despite being under a community sentence.

Krasniqi claimed to be a 13-year-old Kosovan national when he arrived in Britain and was housed in children's homes in south London.

He was granted exceptional leave to remain until his 18th birthday because he was a minor but his leave had expired by the time of Mary-Ann's murder in May last year.

At the time Krasniqi was under a community service order for driving without insurance and obstructing a policeman that he had been given in January 2005.

He had also been given a referral order from Richmond youth court in June 2004 for two common assaults.

And in August 2003 he had been warned for possessing cannabis.

While he awaited trial in the Mary-Ann case, the Home Office finally served deportation papers on him, which will be carried out once he has completed his life sentence.

Mary-Ann and her friend were abducted in Reading in the early hours of May 7 last year.

They were tortured and raped before being driven to a park where Mary-Ann was butchered and her friend shot. But the older girl survived to give evidence against her attackers.

Maryann murderer set free

Clarke must share blame


Kenyan women's anger at MP

BBC News:

Kenyan women's rights activists have condemned an MP who told parliament that women usually say "No" to sex, even if they mean "Yes".

During a debate on a new sex crimes law, Paddy Ahenda said Kenya women were too shy to openly say "Yes" and warned the law could prevent marriage.

Twelve of Kenya's 18 female MPs walked out in protest, saying Mr Ahenda and other MPs were "trivialising" rape.

Many Kenyans are alarmed by a huge rise in the incidence of sexual abuse.

"This is a nation that should be in shame because its leaders are laughing at offences committed against women and children," said Kenya National Commission on Human Rights official Catherine Mumma.

Several male MPs feared that the bill went too far and could lead to a spate of false accusations by women.

"If the bill is adopted the way it is, it will prevent men from courting women and this will be a serious impediment to the young who would want to marry," said Mr Ahenda.

"In our culture, when women say 'No', they mean 'Yes' unless it's a prostitute."

The AFP news agency reports that many of his male colleagues laughed and applauded his comments.

He also called women "God's creatures", prompting women in the public gallery to leave, followed by female MPs, led by Health Minister Charity Ngilu.

A group of women's rights activists wearing red T-shirts marched to parliament as the MPs prepared to debate the Sexual Offences Bill, urging them to pass it.

They were turned back by police.

Earlier in the debate, MP Njoki Ndungu had said the bill would act as a deterrent to the rising number of rapes and other sexual crimes.

She said rape was the "most traumatic experience that happens at the most private part of you" and had nothing to do with sex.

She said the bill would introduce 21 new sexual offences and provide for the treatment of victims, including publicly funded counselling.

The bill's first version recommended that rapists be castrated but this has now been dropped.

Last year, Ms Ndungu told parliament that two Kenyan women were raped every hour and accused the police of being lax in prosecuting rapists.

Shock of 16,000 rapes per year

Women's Human Rights: Rape in Kenya

Women’s day, women’s lives

KENYA: Rape - the invisible crime

Rape Is Prominent Issue in Kenya Elections

Hair and racial differences

Emanuella Grinberg:

Almost three years after Vaughan Thomas says she paid an inflated price at a Montgomery, Ala., hair salon simply for being black, lawyers for Dillard's beauty salons went to court Tuesday to defend the department store from allegations of what Thomas and others call "race-based pricing."

Thomas is one of eight black women suing the department store for racial discrimination after she allegedly was told that Dillard's beauty salons charge black customers more than whites because of the "kinky" nature of "ethnic" hair.

"Hair is hair regardless of what color you are, and the prices should be the same for everybody," Thomas told "This is a practice that's still being done in the 21st century, and it should be stopped."

While lawyers for Dillard's deny that the retailer practices "race-based pricing," they claim that scientific evidence supports the theory that "ethnic" hair requires more effort to treat — and therefore should be subject to higher pricing.

A defense brief submitted in Alabama federal court cites numerous supposed characteristics of black hair that make treating it more "time consuming and technically demanding than fulfilling the minimal (or non-existent) conditioning needs" of the typical white customer.

"The rendering of professional hair care is a personal service typically tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the individual," Dillard's scientific expert, Mort Westman, said in a deposition. "Numerous factors exist and must be considered during the process of cleansing, conditioning and styling, rendering the resultant treatment somewhat unique."

The brief, which is based in large part on Westman's declaration and a study published in 2003 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, highlights the "highly brittle, tightly curled" texture of ethnic hair as a factor that prolongs the cleansing portion of the treatment.

The brief also refers to "lack of resiliency" and the frequent use of "intricate coiffures" and extensions as other factors that affect the complexity of drying and styling the hair of black customers.

"These factors would typically indicate that the pricing for the shampooing, conditioning and styling of the African-American client would normally be higher than that of the Caucasian client," Westman claims.

Lawsuit over beauty salon charging more to style "ethnic hair."

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