Thursday, June 29, 2006

Haitian to be deported after losing U.S. citizenship

Alfonso Chardy:

Lionel Jean-Baptiste is back where he started when he first arrived as a refugee 26 years ago: Krome.

Haitian-born Jean-Baptiste is being held at the West Miami-Dade detention facility for foreign nationals after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers picked him up June 14 -- nearly a year after the Supreme Court refused to hear his case.

Jean-Baptiste, 58, made immigration-law history as the first naturalized American in recent times stripped of his citizenship after being convicted of a crime. The case marked a departure from typical denaturalization practice in which immigration authorities revoke citizenship upon learning that an applicant lied about his past -- generally trying to conceal a criminal record when applying for citizenship.

But in Jean-Baptiste's case, he had no criminal record when he obtained citizenship. His arrest, trial and conviction over drug-trafficking charges all took place after he became a citizen.

Jean-Baptiste challenged ICE's efforts to revoke his citizenship, but lost when a federal appeals court ruled early last year that the mere commission of a crime is enough to revoke citizenship -- even if the person was not charged or convicted when he swore allegiance to the United States.

"Thorough investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the presentation of solid fact-based evidence led to the denaturalization of Mr. Jean-Baptiste," said Riah Ramlogan, chief counsel for ICE in Miami.

"ICE, as mandated by law, is now seeking Mr. Jean-Baptiste's removal based on his aggravated felony convictions for conspiracy to traffic cocaine. We are committed to protecting our law-abiding citizens by securing the removal of criminal aliens from the United States."

Jean-Baptiste's crime occurred in March 1995, more than a year before he became an American and long before he was charged, arrested and convicted -- the usual triggers for a foreign national to be targeted for deportation. An undercover officer said Jean-Baptiste helped arrange two crack cocaine sales near his small Little Haiti restaurant. He denied the charges, saying the officer simply asked him where she could buy drugs, and he pointed across the street.

When Jean-Baptiste obtained citizenship in April 1996, his lawyer has said, he was not aware of the investigation against him. He was indicted and arrested in October 1996, six months after his naturalization. He was convicted in January 1997 and served seven years in prison.

It wasn't until five years after his conviction, in 2002, that immigration authorities learned of the case -- possibly from a prison system official -- and began citizenship revocation proceedings.

Jean-Baptiste then challenged authorities in federal court and took his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court -- and lost.

Good riddance.

Making free speech a crime

Cinnamon Stillwell:

Roman Catholic Robert Smith is fired from an appointment on the Washington Metro transit authority board by Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich for the crime of saying that he doesn't approve of homosexuality.

Journalist and author Oriana Fallaci cannot visit her native country of Italy for fear of being thrown in prison because of a lawsuit brought against her by the Italian Muslim Union for the crime of "defaming Islam."

British neo-Nazi David Irving is sentenced to three years in prison in Austria for a 1989 speech in which he committed the crime of Holocaust denial.

College Republican Steve Hinkle is found guilty by California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo) for "disruption" for the crime of putting up a flyer advertising a black conservative speaker.

What do the above examples have in common? They are the logical outgrowth of a dangerous trend sweeping the Western world: the criminalization and censorship of speech.

Outright censorship and draconian speech codes have long been a staple of Third World authoritarian regimes. But Western democracies and in particular the United States (where the First Amendment is supposed to reign supreme) have always prided themselves on protecting free speech. Yet because of the creeping reach of political correctness, one can now be put in prison, lose a job, be kicked out of school or be otherwise censored simply for uttering an unpopular opinion.

It's called hate speech. If there ever were a more Orwellian concept, it would be difficult to find. For much like the concept of "thought crimes" in George Orwell's novel "1984," hate crimes and hate speech suppose intent on the part of the "perpetrator" that may or may not have any basis in reality. What is often mere criticism or disapproval is labeled "hatred" and thus made worthy of punishment. Such a perspective demands that one think only nice thoughts about others. But when it did it become law that we have to like everyone?

While bigotry is indeed unpleasant, it is not in and of itself a crime. Whether one acts on that bigotry or incites others to violence in accordance is another matter. The old adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me," comes to mind.

Even highly objectionable speech such as Holocaust denial should not be criminalized. Such speech would be better fought on the battlefield of ideas than in the courtroom. The academic frauds and conspiracists pushing Holocaust denial should have their work thoroughly discredited and challenged, not censored.

Metro Board Member Fired for Comment on Gays

Trial over Italian Islam 'insult'

Holocaust denier Irving is jailed

Cal Poly punishes student for 'disruption'

Free speech in Europe: mixed rules

Talk Show Host Graham Fired By WMAL Over Islam Remarks

The UN's Coming International Code of Unacceptable Speech

Gays have emerged as the new protected class in America

About 75% of students in Virginia's public high schools graduate in four years, but the rates of black students are far below those of whites

Zinie Chen Sampson:

The graduation rate was higher than the national figure of 69.6 percent for the 2002-03 school year, according to the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center.

In Virginia, 77.8 percent of whites graduated, compared with 64.1 percent of blacks. Black male students had the lowest graduation rate, 57.6 percent.

Data for Hispanics and Asians in Virginia weren't reported because the number of students was too small to make reliable estimates, the report said.

Nationally, white students' graduation rate was 76.2 percent, compared with 77 percent for Asian students, 55.6 percent for Hispanic students and 51.6 percent for black students. Black males had a graduation rate of 44.3 percent.

Fairfax County led the nation's 50 largest school divisions with an 82.5 percent graduation rate. Fairfax is Virginia's largest school division and the nation's 14th largest.

Among Virginia's biggest districts, suburban schools fared better than urban ones: Loudoun County had a graduation rate of 94.5 percent, and Stafford County's was 86.6. In Arlington, the rate was 77.6 percent, and Prince William's was 67.1. No figures were available for Alexandria.

Districts' racial and socioeconomic makeup affected graduation rates, with majority-black districts achieving markedly lower rates.

A tale of two students

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For many, graduation day is no celebration

Tussling over tassels

A Latino street gang terrorized and murdered black people in Highland Park for six years in an effort to keep them out of their territory

John Spano:

"Kenneth Wilson was killed because he was black, because he was in Highland Park and because the Avenues gang members had promised each other, had agreed that they would drive African Americans out of the neighborhood, by threats, by force, by murder," Assistant U.S. Atty. Alex Bustamante told jurors.

Prosecutors used a federal hate crimes law, based on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution outlawing slavery, to prosecute the defendants, along with conspiracy charges, in Wilson's death.

The defense claimed without success that the federal government has no power to involve itself in a common street crime, such as Wilson's 1999 murder in a car in Highland Park.

The defendants are Gilbert Saldana, Alejandro Martinez, Fernando Cazares and Porfirio Avila. The trial opened under extraordinary security in the Edward R. Roybal Courthouse downtown, with federal officers blanketing all exits from the courtroom.

The defendants sat behind three rising rows of seats opposite the jury, each shackled to the floor.

The restraints were behind an elaborate set of risers that make them invisible to others in the courtroom.

Defense attorney Reuven L. Cohen urged jurors to keep an open mind and to reject testimony from three former Avenues gang members who he said turned government informants to curry favor with prosecutors.

One of them, David Cruz, a convicted, deported felon who was brought into the U.S. to testify for the government, was at the center of a series of hearings before U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson leading up to the trial.

The alleged conspiracy included multiple assaults on blacks, and prosecutors said they have linked two other killings to the scheme.

"They wanted all blacks out of that neighborhood, not just African American men, not just African American gang members but all African American women and children," Bustamante said.



Latino gang targets African-Americans for murder

Australian Aborigines may be escaping heavy jail sentences for violent crimes such as murder, rape and sexual abuse

Patricia Karvelas:

ABORIGINES may be escaping heavy jail sentences for violent crimes such as murder, rape and sexual abuse because of fears a long period in jail could lead to a "death in custody".

Aboriginal leaders and Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough claim victims are being "unintentionally" robbed of justice, 15 years after the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody recommended jails be used as a last resort.

Mr Brough said yesterday the pendulum had swung too far away from properly punishing offenders.

"The deaths in custody is a terrible blight and people were doing everything they possibly could to stop it and prevent it, but in doing so the plight of the victim has been put into second-order, unintentionally," he said.

His view was backed by National Indigenous Council chairwoman Sue Gordon and prominent indigenous academic Marcia Langton, who argued that women and children were the most disadvantaged by the system.

Dr Gordon said since the deaths in custody report and the Bringing Them Home report by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, a "softly softly" approach had been adopted.

But she defended the role of magistrates and judges in the process, arguing they had taken an oath to uphold the law.

"Government agencies across the states and territories charged with the statutory responsibility for children's issues have, I believe, taken the 'softly softly' approach to child abuse, (whether it be) ... emotional, physical, neglect or sexual, because they have been frightened of creating another stolen generation," she said.

"Even though they have been told repeatedly that Aboriginal children should be treated the same as the wider community, they have treated our children as second-class citizens by allowing them to stay in ... toxic environments."

Dr Gordon said Aboriginal children and adults were being treated as almost "lesser beings".

Professor Langton said a "culture of unwillingness" was allowing Aboriginal people to escape murder charges because of a fear of imposing mandatory life sentences.

She said some police and lawyers in the Northern Territory were reluctant to charge indigenous offenders with murder and added homicides were regularly downgraded to lesser charges, even though Aboriginal people wanted to see serious crimes treated appropriately. "There's a culture of unwillingness to go forward with murder charges when there's a life sentence," Professor Langton said.

"(There are) entire small communities where you have a violent offender who is charged with something less than murder, gets a short sentence, comes back to the community and murders or rapes or sexually assaults somebody again."

Professor Langton said a reluctance to charge Aboriginal people with murder resulted in "basically serial killers in the communities".

Aboriginal leader Pat Dodson, a commissioner at the deaths-in-custody inquiry, said the notion that prison should be the last resort, which arose out of the royal commission, was intended only in relation to less serious crimes.

Mr Dodson said if the court system was afraid to pursue life sentences for offenders because of the recommendations - and he had no evidence that it was - then it was a misreading of its recommendations.

"The notion that prison should be the last resort, that arose out of the royal commission, was really in relation to the less serious crimes," he said. "Serious crimes have obviously got to be prosecuted to the fullest extent."

Productivity Commission data reveals that indigenous people serve shorter jail terms on average. But for sexual assault, a primary concern about dysfunctional communities, the jail time is generally longer.

Indigenous academic Boni Robertson did not believe there had been lighter sentencing for Aboriginal people, saying: "When there's been lighter sentences, indigenous women have jumped on it."

Mr Brough said people had overreacted and "now we've gota situation where the pendulum has swung back too far the other way".

Northern Territory Director of Public Prosecutions Richard Coates rejected the comments, saying the most recent conviction for murder involving an Aboriginal offender was in Alice Springs in March. Chief Justice Brian Martin sentenced Jimmy Watson, 27, to life behind bars, with a non-parole period of 23 years, for stabbing a man to death in Alice Springs.

"Reducing indigenous imprisonment levels in accordance with the recommendations of (the royal commission) is not a factor that has any influence on the decision to prosecute," he said.

Overall, there has been a decline in deaths in prison custody since 1995 but the trend lines vary for sentenced and unsentenced prisoners. In 2004, 24 sentenced prisoners died and the remaining 15 were unsentenced prisoners on remand.

Death rates for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in custody are similar but a significant finding of the royal commission is that a disproportionate number of Aborigines are in custody.

Aborigines accused of racism by woman

India might be a country rushing headlong into 21st century but every year thousands of babies are aborted or killed at birth because they are girls

Navdip Dhariwal:

The heat is stifling here. Some days it's pushing 45 degrees. My body is overheating and we're only two thirds of the way there!

I'm not alone - 25 million other women are expected to give birth in India this year. With the very best medical care, our bundle of joy stands a good chance, but one out of 22 Indian babies will not survive beyond its first month.

According to UNICEF, poor nutrition and hygiene, and a high number of young mothers contribute to low birth weights and slim chances of survival.

If our baby is a girl - her arrival is likely to be greeted, by some, with condolences. A friend - delighted with his new daughter soon became infuriated at comments that his home had been cursed with a girl.

"Relatives arrived laden with gifts of sweet meats," he said. "They cuddled her and shook their heads at our misfortune."

These are attitudes engrained in many sections of Indian society. More than 10 million female fetuses have been aborted in India in the last two decades.

The prospect of paying a dowry and knowing a daughter could never generate the income of a son is enough for some families to commit murder.

In my parents' native Punjab, girls are often killed at birth. It has skewed the ratio of girls to boys so much that some villages have not seen the birth of a female in years. Thousands of men in rural areas now have trouble finding a wife.

I remember the stories my mother told me - of the neighbour who would take baby girls in the middle of the night and drown them in the village well. My mother also told me how guilty and how much of a failure she was made to feel when I arrived a year after my older sister.

It is not only in the countryside that daughters are unwanted. Middle class, educated women are often at the front of the queue to terminate.

What a contrast to the welcome a boy receives. Then the gates of the baby's home will be crowded with screeching Hijaras.

They are eunuchs - castrated men, long haired and unshaven, dressed in bright Salwaar Kameezes or saris. Fierce, aggressive and unrelenting, they wander from home to home searching out new born sons and demanding cash.

"Your good fortune must be shared," they say, "otherwise we will shower you with curses or steal your baby".

Theirs is a flourishing trade, profiting from deep rooted superstitions. The eunuchs' blessings and curses can be equally potent, so neighbours advise you to pay them off handsomely.

But we will not know the sex of our child until it is born. It is illegal for doctors to divulge the information because of the widespread termination of female fetuses.

We suggested to the charming middle-aged doctor that as foreigners surely that rule need not apply to us - he had already told other friends who are both white, the sex of their baby.

But the doctor smiled and shook his head. "Bad timing," he said, "I couldn't possibly - a colleague of mine has just been locked up and paraded in front of the local press for revealing the sex of a baby".

I am of Indian descent but my husband is a blonde, blue-eyed and fiercely proud Scotsman. He was gob-smacked. I felt deflated - did the doctor really think that I would terminate the pregnancy if I was told a girl was on the way?

We could not know our baby's sex but we reassured each other that at least the scan showed it was healthy.

If all goes well, we will greet our new arrival at the end of August.

‘23,000 female foetuses aborted in Delhi last year’

Aborting female fetuses is growing problem in India

A court in Denmark has jailed a Pakistani man for life for ordering the murder of his 18-year-old daughter

BBC News:

Ghazala Khan was shot dead two days after her wedding, because the family opposed her choice of husband.

She died and her husband was wounded last September at a train station in Slagelse, a village west of Copenhagen.

The court also set 16-year jail terms for Mr Abbas' older son Akhtar Khan - who admitted shooting his sister - and two uncles.

The life sentence on the father, Ghulum Abbas, is commuted automatically to 16 years under Danish law.

Five other relatives and friends from the Pakistani community in Denmark who had helped track down the bride and her new husband received sentences of between eight and 14 years.

Two of them, an aunt and another uncle who are still Pakistani nationals, face deportation after their sentences.

'Honour killing' family jailed over shot bride

Norwegian police charge overdose victim's Pakistani boyfriend with murder


Norwegian police were checking flights to Pakistan from European airports after charging a young Norwegian man of Pakistani background with the murder of a 41-year-old woman in Oslo over the weekend.

The young Norwegian-Pakistani man was the boyfriend of a 20-year-old woman who died of a drug overdose last week. The 41-year-old murder victim had in turn been charged with negligent homicide after allegedly injecting the 20-year-old with heroin.

That set off what police believe was a fit of revenge on the part of the overdose victim's boyfriend. He allegedly made threats against the 41-year-old during the weekend and ultimately had a confrontation with her and a male companion Sunday night.

The woman allegedly threatened him with a knife and a hypodermic needle, while he had a gun. It all ended with multiple shots being fired that killed the woman and severely injured her male companion.

Lawyer John Christian Elden, who represents the overdose victim's family, said he has talked with the young man, who already has fled Norway. Elden said he advised him to turn himself in.

The overdose victim's boyfriend reportedly claims he shot the 41-year-old woman in self-defense.

Suspect in overdose case shot and killed in Oslo

Racially motivated violence in Australia

Tara Ravens:

AN attack labelled by police as the most violent of the Cronulla riot reprisals began when a group of youths yelled 'get the Aussie sluts' and 'get the Aussie dogs' before they stabbed a young man, a court was told today.

Yahya Jamal Serhan, 21, appeared in Bankstown Local Court today charged with affray and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent over the attack outside Woolooware Golf Club in Sydney's south on December 11 last year.

The 21-year-old allegedly used his father's car to drive in a convoy across Sydney on the evening of the riot.

He was arrested at his Chester Hill home last night following a six-month police investigation into the bashing and repeated stabbing of a man on the evening of the race riot at Cronulla.

According to police facts presented to the court today, Serhan and three of his friends stopped at Woolooware about 10pm.

There they surrounded a group of two men and two women, crying out: "Get the Aussie Dogs" and "Get the Aussie sluts".

When a man, known only as Dan, responded to the insults, he was knocked to the ground and kicked in the face and body.

The 26-year-old was then stabbed twice in the left thigh and three times in the back.

The attack ended only when the 10cm blade snapped off in the victim's back, narrowly missing his spine, the court was told.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Brett Eurell said the men used chains, a piece of wood and a knife in the attack.

"It was a racially motivated, unprovoked reprisal attack," he told the court.

"It is one of the most grievous crimes that would ever come before this court."

Man refused bail over Cronulla attack

A suspect has been arrested in the shooting death of an 11-year old on a school playground


James Lamont Bagsby

15 year-old James Lamont Bagsby was taken into custody at an apartment complex in San Bernardino after police received a tip from a neighbor.

Bagsby is being charged as an adult in the murder of Anthony Michael Ramirez. The shooting occurred last week at Martin Luther King Middle School.

Police say a group of children were playing basketball when two men, including Bagsby, approached the boys and asked, "Where you from?"

When the children responded, 'We're not from anywhere,' police say Bagsby began shooting into the crowd.

Anthony was transported to a hospital where he later died. His 13-year old brother was also wounded in the arm.

Cops Nab Teen, 15, Accused In Murder Of Boy, 11

Teen Suspect Held in San Bernardino Slaying of Boy, 11

Police nab wanted teen

11-year-old's family accepts certificate

Bad parents, poverty key criminality

Wanted: suspects in three slayings

Families of slain children speak out

A pastor was arrested for allegedly coercing a member of his congregation into having sex with him by telling her God wanted it

Associated Press:

Pastor Jesse French

The pastor was charged with raping the woman and is being held without bond, police said.

Solid Life Ministries pastor Jesse French, 43, was arrested on 10 counts of sexual battery and 15 counts of lewd and lascivious conduct.

A 21-year-old congregant told police that the pastor began abusing her about four months ago after telling her he needed to anoint her with oil because she was tired. That led to fondling and sex on 10 occasions, she said. The woman told investigators that she repeatedly tried to stop French but that he would read the Bible to her and quote Scripture to suggest God wanted them to have sex.

Police said they're investigating whether there are more victims.

French was arrested on June 22. A message left early Wednesday for French's attorney Harley Gutin was not immediately returned.

Pastor Accused Of Coercing Member Into Sex Released From Jail

Alleged Rape Victim Pleads For No Bond For Pastor

Reasonable doubt in Duke rape case

Ruth Marcus:

At the start, I presumed they were guilty. The rape charges against three members of the Duke lacrosse team sounded like a plausible case of Jocks Gone Wild. It wasn't hard to imagine that a bunch of rowdy, hard-drinking players could have crossed the line from watching a paid dancer to sexually assaulting her.

After all, these were students who had plunked down $800 for a pair of strippers and were angry that their cash had bought only a few minutes of bare flesh. The show was called off when one player asked about sex toys and "said he would use the broomstick on us," according to the second dancer.

As the two women drove off, a neighbor reported hearing one of the partygoers yell a racial insult at the African American dancers: "Hey . . . thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt." Later that night, another teammate wrote a disgusting e-mail about plans to kill and skin "some strippers." One of the accused, Collin Finnerty, is to stand trial here next month in an incident in which he and two high school lacrosse buddies allegedly taunted a man, saying he was gay, and then beat him.

These don't sound like young men you'd want your daughter to date.

But the more evidence that has emerged in the case, the more it appears that there is way more than reasonable doubt that the three accused committed rape.

The paucity of physical evidence; the accuser's prior unsubstantiated rape charge; her changing stories that night; sloppy and unreliable identification procedures -- any of these alone, and certainly all of them together, make it hard to understand why the prosecution is going forward and impossible to imagine that it could win a conviction.

True, much of the evidence that's emerged so far has been selectively released by defense lawyers. But after a review of court filings and other material, here's what makes me doubtful:

There's almost no physical evidence. Two rounds of DNA testing failed to produce any evidence of semen from Duke players -- as might have been expected, given the accusation that the woman was orally, vaginally and anally penetrated, along with being choked, beaten and kicked. (DNA from one of the students, David Evans, may match material taken from the accuser's fake fingernail.) Indeed, although the prosecutor claimed the medical report found injuries consistent with sexual assault, the nurse-in-training who examined the woman found only swelling of the vaginal walls -- something that might be explained by the fact that the woman reported using a vibrator as she performed for a couple hours earlier.

The second dancer told police that the rape charges were a "crock" and that she and the accuser had been apart for only five minutes at the party.

The accuser made an earlier, seemingly unsubstantiated allegation of being the victim of a gang rape. She said she was attacked by three men in 1993, when she was 14, but didn't file a police report until three years later. The matter was dropped after she failed to provide a statement to the investigating officer.

She gave six different accounts of what happened the night of the incident: She did not originally mention rape to the police when they found her in a car outside a grocery store; raised the rape allegation after being taken to a substance abuse facility; later said that "no one forced her to have sex"; and gave accounts of the alleged incident that differed in various ways, including the number of attackers and the type of assault.

It's true, and totally understandable, that rape victims often provide inconsistent accounts. But even if a sexual assault did occur in this case, there's ample reason to question whether the right students were charged. The accuser said her attackers were named "Bret, Adam and Matt"; the indicted students are Reade, Collin and David.

Reade Seligmann's lawyer has presented evidence that during the post-midnight time frame in which the attack allegedly occurred, Seligmann called his girlfriend six times and another person twice (12:05 to 12:14); was picked up by a cab (12:19); used an ATM (12:24) and returned to his dorm (12:45). The lawyer tried to present this evidence to the prosecutor before the indictment but was rebuffed.

In contravention of accepted practice, the photographs shown to the accuser included only members of the lacrosse team, no similar-looking "fillers." According to papers filed by David Evans's lawyer, the accuser failed to identify him in a photo lineup eight days after the party. In another test, three weeks after the incident, she selected his photo, telling investigators, "He looks like one of the guys who assaulted me, sort of." She said that she was "about 90 percent" certain but that the attacker had a mustache; Evans's lawyer says he's never had a mustache.

Perhaps there are facts yet to emerge to support Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong's continuing certitude that a rape occurred -- though the confluence of Nifong's political interests and the prosecution is itself another reason for discomfort. He brought the first charges just before a primary in which the black vote played a key role.

America's worst district attorney

From Duke Rape Case to Duke Rape Hoax

The Duke Case: The Damage and the Real Villains

Abusive Nifong

Sheriff's office is looking for a man who raped and kidnapped a woman at gunpoint

Melissa Sanchez:

The Broward Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in identifying and arresting a man who kidnapped and raped a 26-year-old woman behind a vacant Lauderdale Lakes business early Sunday morning.

The victim -- whose name the sheriff's office withheld -- was driving home around 3:30 a.m. when she noticed that one of her car's tires was wobbling, according to BSO. She pulled into a gas station in the 3900 block of West Oakland Park Boulevard and stopped her car near the air hose.

A man in an older-model, white car -- possibly a Ford Crown Victoria or Chevrolet Caprice -- pulled up and offered his help, according to BSO. When the woman declined, he pulled out a handgun and forced her into the passenger seat of his car, BSO said.

Then he drove behind an abandoned auto parts store nearby and raped her. After that, he took the victim's driver's license and threatened to harm her if she reported the crime.

Out of fear, the woman stayed in her car for nearly 16 hours before calling BSO.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-TIPS. A reward of up to $1,000 may be offered for information leading to an arrest.

BSO Searching For Rapist, Seeks Public's Help

Teen Raped After Stepping Off Bus

A knife fight between two Guatemalan brothers left one dead and one hospitalized in critical condition

Associated Press:

Tomas Ramirez, 22, was killed in the brawl at a South Jamaica apartment.

His 20-year-old brother was being treated for stab wounds to his back and neck.

Police had trouble identifying the brothers, who immigrated to the United States from Guatemala.

The surviving brother speaks an indigenous Guatemalan dialect and confused detectives by calling his dead brother by more than one name.

Police said he was arrested, and charges were pending.

1 dead as brothers slash each other

A Brooklyn mother who confessed to beating her 3-year-old daughter because the girl would not stop crying was charged with killing the tot

Tamer El-Ghobashy:

Kiana Rosado Jessica Rosado

Jessica Rosado, 19, first claimed her daughter had injured herself - but then admitted to abusing her repeatedly, law enforcement sources said.

An autopsy revealed horrible injuries to Kiana Rosado's little body, including lacerations to her liver that a police source said were caused by at least one kick to the torso that sent toxins through her body.

The injuries were in various stages of healing, indicating she had been abused for a considerable period before she was found unconscious Tuesday, officials said. It was not clear if a weapon had been used to beat her.

The girl's father, Raemell Anthony, 23, said he was stunned by the allegations. "I want to hear it from Jessica's mouth," said Anthony, who did not live with the toddler and her mother. "I don't feel like she would abuse our daughter."

Anthony added last night that he had spoken with a detective about the case.

"She was very apologetic," Anthony said of Rosado. "She didn't realize what she did." Rosado was charged last night with first- and second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child.

Her live-in boyfriend, Ruben Pagan, 23, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. He also was hit with drug possession charges after cops found marijuana in the family's Hill St., East New York, apartment. Both Rosado and Pagan were awaiting arraignment today.

"I believe in my heart that Ruben had something to do with it," Anthony said. Rosado's neighbor Celenia Morales, 45, said she tried to help Kiana after hearing her scream about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

After calling 911, Morales attempted to revive Kiana and then asked her mom what had happened. That's when Rosado, about seven months pregnant with Pagan's child, claimed the bruises on Kiana's face and head were self-inflicted.

"I can't accept that excuse," Morales said. "Nothing could compel a child to do that." Rosado initially denied beating Kiana, telling cops she gave her a dose of Benadryl that caused her to vomit before passing out.

Anthony, who said he noticed bruises on his daughter last month, went to the 75th Precinct stationhouse yesterday in a vain attempt to talk with Rosado. He said she had left an ominous message with his family, but offered few details.

Mom & beau held in tot's death

British police have named a man they want to speak to in connection with the shooting of an undercover policeman

BBC News:

Dean Stanbury

The unarmed officer, who had been in plain clothes, was shot in the shoulder during a surveillance operation in Leyton, east London, on Tuesday.

Five men were arrested and released on bail until a later date.

But police are now trying to trace Dean Stanbury, 20, of Walthamstow, described as black, six feet tall and stocky. The public were warned not to approach him.

Police said it was likely Mr Stanbury was still in the north-east London area.

The injured officer from the Violent Crime Directorate, part of the Metropolitan Police's Territorial Policing Command, was with a colleague when he was shot.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said the 44-year-old is now out of hospital and recovering at home.

The full details of the operation remain unclear but London Ambulance Service said they were called at 1540 BST on Tuesday to Chichester Road in Leyton.

Two of the arrests are then thought to have been made in nearby in Oakland Road.

People living in the area described hearing a gunshot and seeing a car chase.

Police Name Man Wanted Over Cop Shooting

Race, education and segregation

Diverse staff reports:

Studies have long shown that education broadens an individual’s perspective and helps to diminish racist attitudes. But new Rice University study indicates highly educated Whites help perpetuate racial segregation in U.S. schools.

“I do believe that White people are being sincere when they claim that racial inequality is not a good thing and that they’d like to see it eliminated. However, they are caught in a social system in which their liberal attitudes about race aren’t reflected in their behavior,” says Dr. Michael Emerson, a Rice University sociologist and co-author of a study titled “School Choice and Racial Segregation in U.S. Schools: The Role of Parents’ Education.”

Emerson and research colleague Dr. David Sikkink, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, knew that income and other factors come into play in terms of school choice. But even after controlling for these variables, their study shows education has an interesting effect: Whites with more education place a greater emphasis on race when choosing a school for their children, while higher-educated Blacks do not consider race.

In a study to be published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Emerson and Sikkink cite earlier work on school choice in Philadelphia, where race was found to be a factor in Whites’ decisions about the quality of a school. Unlike Blacks, who judged schools on the basis of factors like graduation rates and students’ test scores, Whites initially eliminated any schools with a majority of Black students before considering factors such as graduation rates.

When they analyzed a national data set of Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks to see if the level of their education would have an impact on their school choice, Emerson and Sikkink found a similar pattern.

“Whites with higher levels of education still made school choices based on race, while Blacks did not,” says Emerson.

The researchers found that regardless of income, more-educated Whites in their data set also lived in “Whiter” neighborhoods than less-educated Whites. Higher-income Blacks also lived in Whiter, but more racially mixed neighborhoods than lower-income Blacks.

“The more income African-Americans made, the more likely their children attended more racially mixed schools than did African-American children of less-educated, lower-income parents,” says Emerson.

According to Emerson, this is because highly educated or higher-income Blacks often live in areas with racially mixed local public schools, close to high concentrations of Whites.

“African-American children of less-educated, lower-income parents attend largely Black schools,” he says.

When separating income from their analysis, however, the researchers concluded that unlike Whites, Black parents’ higher-education levels don’t affect their school choice.

“Our study arrived at a very sad and profound conclusion,” says Emerson. “More formal education is not the answer to racial segregation in this country. Without a structure of laws requiring desegregation, it appears that segregation will continue to breed segregation.

“What we believed from prior studies is that education has a significantly positive impact on racial attitudes,” he adds. “What we found when studying behaviors, however, is that people acquiring more education is not a means of combating segregation. Education may broaden an individual’s world, but it also leads to greater negative sensitivity toward Blacks’ presence in public schools.”

Affirmative Damage

Blacks Call UCLA’s Admissions Policies Racist

Ultra-Orthodox Jews attack Christian tourists in Jerusalem

Jonathan Lis:

A group of 50 pro-Israel Christian tourists came under attack Wednesday from some 100 residents of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She'arim in Jerusalem.

Three of the tourists and a police officer were wounded in the attack. They received treatment at the scene.

The tourists arrived at Mea She'arim wearing orange T-shirts with the words "Love your neighbor as yourself" printed across them.

As they neared one of the squares, the local residents apparently identified them as Christians and began to hit them.

Police forces in the area stepped in to stop the violence, but did not make any arrests.

Police say they are waiting for the tourists to file official complaints.

Haredim assault Christian tourists

Britain is currently receiving the highest number of immigrants in its history

Brian Wheeler:

UK politicians are "living on borrowed time" on immigration, a former Labour minister has said.

Frank Field questioned whether current record levels of migration into Britain were "sustainable".

And he told the BBC News website the UK was in danger of becoming a "global traffic station" for migrant workers.

He urged politicians on all sides to stop ignoring public concern on the issue before the BNP found a leader with the "talent" to exploit it.

The UK is currently receiving the highest number of immigrants in its history, following a surge in migrant workers from new EU member states.

When the EU expanded to 25 members in 2004 the UK, Ireland and Sweden were the only countries which decided not to restrict people from the new member countries - notably Poland - taking jobs.

At the time the UK government predicted 13,000 workers a year from the new EU member countries would move to the UK for work, but the actual figure of registered workers was about 329,000 in 18 months.

According to the latest available figures, for 2004, the overall migration picture saw 359,000 people leave the UK while 582,000 settled in the UK. The figures do not include illegal migrants.

Tony Blair's official spokesman distanced Downing Street from Mr Field, saying the MP "speaks for himself" and added that "you have to remember the great economic benefit of migration".

Mr Field, a former welfare minister, questioned whether this level of immigration was sustainable without "dramatic" changes to the character of the country and hitting poorer areas, which have to absorb migrants.

"This is the most massive transformation of our population. Do we just merely accept this as another form of globalisation? That it doesn't matter where you are, or that you belong to a country and have roots? That we are all just following the jobs?" Mr Field told the BBC News Website.

People who questioned mass immigration were often accused of "playing the race card" but, Mr Field argued, this was "just another way of closing down debate".

The Birkenhead MP added: "There will be economic gains [from immigration] but I am just raising whether any country can sustain the rate of immigration we are now suffering.

"If we are not careful, we will be transformed into a global traffic station and that is not what most people mean by being part of a country."

He added: "It is only because the BNP are so inept that the debate has not taken off."

He said mainstream politicians had to address immigration "before the BNP stumbles on somebody with talent".

"We are living on borrowed time. We can not continue on the assumption that the BNP will present leaders which turn off most voters, even if what they are saying is important," he said.

Tony Blair promised a debate on immigration after last year's general election but so far this had not materialised, added Mr Field.

And, he said, the Conservatives had stopped talking about the issue because they were trying to improve their image and "show they were up not up to their old tricks, whether the electorate want them to or not".

The Conservatives were asked to comment on Mr Field's remarks but have so far failed to respond.

Immigrants 'swamping' council services

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mexican charged in two cold case murders from 1984 and 1990

News 8:

The Austin Police Department's Cold Case Unit has made another arrest.

Police arrested Martin Torres, 44, in connection with the rapes and murders of two Austin women.

Authorities say Torres strangled 33-year-old Jeeta Lynn Graeber in June 1984 after sexually assaulting her. In 1990, 19-year-old Cerrelle Lee Belt was murdered under similar circumstances. Both the women's bodies were found in their own apartments.

Police say Torres' DNA was found at both crime scenes.

An arrest warrant was issued for Torres in 2004, but he had been deported to Mexico years earlier.

In January 2005, detectives began preparations to extradite Torres when they found out he was in a Nuevo Laredo prison for an unrelated crime. He was released from that prison before extradition preparations could be complete.

Torres was taken into custody by Mexican authorities in November 2005. He was extradited in May and taken into U.S. custody this month.

"Both countries worked together to make it possible for justice to be done in the cases of Jeeta Graeber and Cerrelle Belt. Although we are separated by a border, our two countries were united in this effort," Travis County D.A. Ronnie Earle said.

This is the first time a suspect has been successfully extradited from Mexico to Austin.

Torres is charged with two counts of murder. Both are first degree felonies.

APD's cold case unit was created in 1999 and has solved 18 murders.

Murder Case Still Unsolved

Mexico's presidential candidates have been urged to punish the killers of hundreds of women on the U.S. border and end 13 years of murders


The killings of more than 400 women since 1993 in and around Ciudad Juarez, across the Texas border from El Paso, has barely registered on the campaign agenda.

But organizations led by Human Rights Watch said in an open letter that the killings continue while the government's efforts to investigate and halt them are failing.

"It is scandalous that Mexican women are forced to live in fear of killers stalking them in the streets," said actress Salma Hayek, whose foundation supports efforts to fight violence against women worldwide. "Mexicans deserve a president who will do all they can to stop the murders."

The 67 groups from Mexico and the United States asked the candidates to make a public pledge before next Sunday's vote that if elected they would immediately take concrete measures to combat violence against women.

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is running neck and neck with conservative ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon.

They, and third-placed candidate Roberto Madrazo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, pledge to tackle rampant crime, but the wave of women's killings has rarely come up on the campaign trail.

Steps set forth by the groups to combat the violence range from improving lighting in isolated areas to creating an independent committee to investigate the murders.

Human Rights Watch said in a report last month that the murders in Ciudad Juarez were emblematic of deep flaws in Mexico's justice system that President Vicente Fox has failed to correct.

The botched investigations and failure to stop the violence show how police and courts can undermine the rule of law in the name of fighting crime, for example by obtaining forced confessions through torture, the New York-based group said.


Mexico women march for justice

Mexican Women Beg: "Close the Border"

Mexico starts over in women murder probes

Murder in Mexico (part one)

An illegal Brazilian immigrant who was driving without a license has admitted to hitting and killing a pedestrian

Julie Manganis:

Alex Costa, 28, of Peabody was given a nine-month jail term, but a Salem District Court judge said he would change the sentence to "time served" — the 163 days he has already served while awaiting trial — as soon as immigration officials showed up at the court to take Costa into custody yesterday.

He will be deported back to Brazil.

Costa, who is also known as Magno daCosta, had just wrapped up his shift at a Dunkin' Donuts at around 11 p.m. on the night of Jan. 14 when he got behind the wheel of a Nissan Maxima. The rain had caused the windows to fog over, and Costa said he never saw Richard Golin, 49, who was trying to cross Canal Street near Ocean Avenue.

The Nissan sideswiped Golin, knocking him to the ground. He died the following evening of serious head injuries. Costa was charged with negligent vehicular homicide.

So basically the Brazilian immigrant gets only 163 days of jail time for killing someone while in the country illegally. Unbelievable.

A male is more likely to be gay if he has an older brother, the likelihood grows the more older brothers he has

Christian Nordqvist:

The percentage of gay males is estimated to be around 3%, this probability can go up to 5% for males with several older brothers, say researchers from Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada.

The researchers are certain there is a biological basis for sexual orientation - in other words, there is a prenatal effect. It is not a case of older brothers having a psychological effect on the male baby after it is born. Males with older stepbrothers, or adopted brothers, are not more likely to be gay, only males with blood brothers. The scientists say the effect has to be through the mother, the only link between them.

You can read about this study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Previous studies have shown a link between male homosexuality and the number of older brothers. This study is the first one to factor out social and environmental effects.

Study leader, Anthony Bogaert, and team examined four groups of men - 944 males. They looked at how many male and female siblings they had, whether they were blood related and lived in the same house when they grew up. The also looked at whether the men had been adopted.

They found that males with one older blood brother were more likely to be gay than males with no older brother(s). The more older brothers a male had the higher his chances of being gay. They said the likelihood had the same increase when blood brothers were raised in different households.

The team stressed that even with several older brothers, the chances of a male being heterosexual is 95%. 97% of all males are heterosexual.

Only males who had an older brother from the same mother had a higher chance of being gay, said the researchers.

The researchers said the environment the male was brought up in makes no difference at all. The only link is that the older brother(s) shared the same womb.

Womb environment 'makes men gay'

Having older brothers a factor in boys becoming gay

Gay men are 'born with big brothers'

Sexual orientation 'affected by number of older brothers'

Danish court finds Pakistani family guilty of honor killing

Copenhagen Post:

A landmark verdict finds nine people guilty for conspiring to kill a young Pakistani woman and her husband in the largest honour killing case ever tried in Europe.

The High Court of Eastern Denmark delivered a 'guilty' verdict on Tuesday to all nine defendants in the most far-reaching honour killing ever tried in Europe.

The verdict is considered a landmark finding, since not only the brother who fired the gun that killed Ghazala Khan was found guilty.

The court also found Ghazala's father and seven others guilty of conspiring to murder the young Pakistani woman and her husband for disobeying orders not to marry last September. Jurors determined that a group of uncles, aunts and acquaintances apparently plotted to lure the couple to the train station of Slagelse in western Zealand, where the brother waited with a loaded gun.

Ghazala suffered fatal wounds while her newly wed husband narrowly escaped death.

Although lawyers of seven of the defendants sought a reduced sentence for their clients, jurors rejected their plea that mitigating circumstances should release a milder sentence.

The verdict came as no surprise to Vagn Greve, a law professor at Copenhagen University. Jurors merely made use of Danish law's broad guidelines in defining who acts as an accomplice in a crime, he said.

'From what I have heard and read, I cannot see that we have done anything new. The jurors found that existing rules should be put to use.'

Legal experts in Germany, Sweden and other countries have followed the case closely, since it marks the first time accomplices have been found guilty in an honour killing.

Danish court convicts nine in 'honour killing'

Denmark: Nine Pakistanis On Trial In Muslim Honor Killing

Danish court convicts family of honor killing

Illegal immigrant sentenced in murder of neighbor

John Beauge:

An illegal immigrant has been sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his neighbor in Milton about a year ago.

Northumberland County Judge Robert B. Sacavage also sentenced Fredil Omar Fuentes, 24, to a consecutive term of 31/2 to 7 years yesterday for criminal trespass.

Fuentes pleaded guilty in March to a count of homicide, avoiding a possible death penalty. Sacavage determined the degree of guilt after hearing testimony.

Fuentes was considered a fugitive by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on June 10, 2005, when he stabbed Carly Snyder, 20, with four knives at least 37 times in the kitchen of her home.

At a previous court hearing, Fuentes testified through an interpreter that he was high on crack cocaine and marijuana and did not remember killing Snyder.

District Attorney Anthony J. Rosini used the sentencing to criticize immigrations officials, arguing that the murder would not have occurred had they kept Fuentes in custody.

A federal judge had ordered Fuentes deported after he failed to report for an immigration hearing in Philadelphia on Oct. 11, 2001. According to ICE records, Fuentes entered the country illegally in the Brownsville, Texas, area and was apprehended by the Border Patrol on Feb. 29, 2000.

The native of Honduras was released on $5,000 bail because he did not have a criminal record. The case was transferred to Philadelphia because Fuentes provided a fake Pennsylvania address, an ICE spokesman said.

Murder suspect claims he didn't understand right to remain silent

Neighbor charged in slaying

Fuentes' confession can be used

An Iraqi-Kurdish illegal immigrant dumped his girlfriend's murdered body in a cardboard box

Daily Mail:

An Iraqi-Kurdish chef strangled his girlfriend with a dressing gown cord then left her body in a cardboard box in an abandoned car 15 months after being declared an illegal immigrant, a jury heard today.

Faruk Farik, 33, fled the country after killing Inga Losiene, 32, at the home the couple shared in Southend, Essex, in May last year, Chelmsford Crown Court was told.

Patricia Lynch QC, prosecuting, said Farik, who denies murder, lost the right to stay in the UK in February 2004 but had not been deported.

She said he hid Miss Losiene's bikini-clad body in a cupboard under the stairs in their house.

He then put the body in the boot of a car, which he left near a railway station in Southend.

Police found Miss Losiene nine days later after a tip-off, jurors were told.

Farik and Miss Losiene, who came from Lithuania, both arrived in Britain separately in 1999, seeking political asylum.

They met while staying in a hotel in Southend shortly after arriving in England.

Both had been given the right to stay but Farik's permission was revoked five years later.

"This defendant killed his girlfriend in the family home in Southend," said Ms Lynch. "Having killed her, he hid her body in a cupboard under the stairs."

She added: "He arrived in this country in 1999 seeking political asylum. He... was given leave to stay. He lost his right to stay in the UK on the 4th of February 2004.

"Despite the immigration authorities being aware and him staying at the same address, no enforcement took place."

Ms Lynch said she expected Farik to say he moved Miss Losiene's body after returning home to find her dead in the cupboard because he was afraid that police would think that he had killed her.

Farik also denied raping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in a number of unrelated incidents, jurors were told.


Inga was strangled, court told

A millionaire's daughter has been found guilty of killing an elderly Jewish woman after writing an 18-page murder manual

BBC News:

Kemi Adeyoola

Kemi Adeyoola was 17 when she stabbed 84-year-old Anne Mendel 14 times during a burglary at her home in Golders Green in north-west London last March.

The Old Bailey heard Adeyoola had written a manual on how she would kill an elderly victim after robbing them.

The teenager's father, Bola Adeyoola, who runs a property management company, said: "What she did was evil".

Adeyoola, who was found guilty of murder on a 10-2 majority, is expected to be sentenced on Wednesday.

Mrs Mendel, who was a former neighbour of Adeyoola, was found by her husband covered in coats in the hallway of their home.

Leonard Mendel, 81, told the court he tried to give his wife of 50 years the kiss of life when he returned from an errand to find the hall phone wires cut and blood on the walls.

The prosecution said Adeyoola had chosen Mrs Mendel as a "soft target" on which to practise before finding a "rich, elderly and defenceless" woman to kill for her money.

Adeyoola, now 18, had written plans for the killing while serving a sentence for shoplifting. Her aim was to make £3m.

But she claimed that the 18-page neatly-written murder manual found in a cell search at Bullwood Hall, Essex, was the draft of a crime thriller.

Adeyoola, who disposed of her bloody clothing, might have got away with murder but for a tiny speck of DNA found on Mrs Mendel's hand.

Sir Allan Green QC, prosecuting, said there were several similarities between what was written in the manual and the actual murder of Mrs Mendel, including killing her in the hall.

He added: "This was, it is very unpleasant to contemplate, a dry run, an experiment to kill a woman she knew, an easy target - let's see how it is done."

After the verdict, it emerged that Adeyoola's murder manual was passed to Barnet Youth Offending Team, which includes local police, after her three months in Bullwood Hall expired.

The team supervised her for a three-month licence period. A month after it expired, she killed Mrs Mendel.

A statement released by the family after the verdict read: "Mrs Mendel was a person whose whole life was taken up with kindness and giving up of herself for others.

"The unjust end she met having so much taken away in such an undeserving manner left us in total shock."

Mendel Defendant In Dock

OAP Murder Trial Opens

Millionaire's 'evil' daughter guilty of murder

Teenage 'murderess' admits working as £500 a night escort

Jungle justice rules in Cameroon

Randy Joe Sa'ah:

The young man pleaded for mercy as the angry mob kicked and clubbed him with sticks and pieces of metal.

He was clearly in agony and drenched in his own blood as he lay in the street in Down Beach, Limbe in south-western Cameroon.

Nobody seemed bothered about his confession and pleas for mercy.

This is what they call "jungle justice". The man had allegedly robbed an American couple coming out of a bank.

Fortunately for him, some navy officers intervened and seized him from the mob, some of whom seemed sorry that they had not broken the man's bones.

"If any suspect is caught with evidence, he should be killed," one of the mob told me.

"That is the new law we have in Limbe now.

"Because if he managed to get you, he will kill you. So it's better we kill them before they kill us."

The attackers did not trust the police to bring the suspect to justice.

"Immediately he gives them money, he will be freed," I was told.

"That is why we make sure we break one of their legs or any part of the body. It is well known that the police take a bribe and let suspects go."

The same man said it was common for suspected bandits to be beaten to death in Limbe.

"It can happen today, tomorrow and the day after. These thieves are very busy monitoring people to rob. So we, too, are not sleeping."

As he spoke, more people rushed to the scene, one carrying petrol - apparently to burn the suspect alive.

Another man described the lynchings as "our own way of passing a vote of no-confidence in law enforcement officers and judicial authorities".

Local TV and radio are awash with reports about "jungle law" from around the country.

Analysts say the rising wave of lynching reflects the frustrations of the public that has lost faith in the police and judiciary in checking crime.

In January, Chief Vuga Simon was lynched by his own people for selling off village farmlands to rich cattle owners in North West province.

In Kumba in South West Province, a police inspector is serving a five-year prison term for using kerosene to set on fire a young man found with a bicycle.

It later emerged the victim had not stolen it.

And in the economic capital, Douala, three suspected bandits were roasted alive and a murder suspect was beaten to death minutes after he allegedly stabbed his landlord.

Alarmed by the high incidence of lynching, Centre province governor Fai Yengo Francis went on the radio to try to persuade the population not to take the law into their own hands.

Even the police are now crusading against the phenomenon on state radio.

Cameroonians are anxiously awaiting the implementation of the new criminal law, which will hopefully, speed up police investigations and court trials.

But for now, mob justice is showing no signs of returning to the jungle.

Seven convicted of sodomy in Cameroon

A 42-year-old illegal immigrant is accused of assaulting a woman after an encounter outside a Pontiac bar


A 26-year-old Waterford woman told police on June 19 at about 9 a.m. that she had been assaulted by an unknown man at about 2 a.m., police said. She said she was at Charley's Roost in Pontiac when she was approached by the man. He offered to drive her home, but she refused, police said.

The woman started walking home to Waterford when the man appeared on foot on County Center Road, near Pontiac Lake Road, police said. Police said the man grabbed the woman, saying he loved her.

The woman pulled away and ran off, but the man ran after her, grabbed her and punched her in the face, police said.

Police said the victim woke up and discovered she had been beaten and was partially clothed. She ran home and was taken to a hospital by a relative.

Officers investigated and followed tips, which led to the arrest of Cesar Antonio Ruiz (pictured) on Wednesday in connection with the assault, police said. Ruiz is an illegal immigrant and a resident of Pontiac, police said.

Ruiz was charged on Friday by the Oakland County prosecutor's office with felony assault with intent to cause great bodily harm, less than murder, and a second charge of misdemeanor aggravated assault, police said.

Ruiz was given a bond of $100,000 and was returned to the Oakland County Jail. His preliminary examination is pending.

Let's hope this creep is deported after serving his time in prison.

African witch child abuse spreads in Britain

Jack Grimston:

AN official inquiry into the abuse of African children branded as witches is expected to conclude that there have been at least 50 such cases over five years in London alone.

The investigation is expected to find that cases of sorcery-related abuse are now spreading outside the capital to areas such as Liverpool, Newcastle and parts of Yorkshire — although they remain confined to only a minority of Africans in Britain.

The abuse of the children has ranged from shouting to beating, starving, slashing with knives and razors and, in at least one case, murder.

Lord Adonis, the education minister, announced in the House of Lords last week that the report, which he said addressed “very grave” issues, was likely to be published by next month.

The education department maintains that publication of the findings, which were delivered to Whitehall in January, has been delayed because they are being “studied by ministers”.

Critics insist the real reason is that the government is fearful of upsetting race relations. “They have found this quite hot to handle,” said Richard Hoskins, visiting research fellow in the sociology of religion at King’s College London and an expert witness in several court cases involving witchcraft claims.

“I think it is almost as crude as white, liberal, middle-class people thinking they can’t be seen to be telling black people what they are doing wrong. It is ridiculous when you are dealing with children’s rights.”

'Witches' Living In Exile In Ghana

Dozens of African children beaten, abused and accused of witchcraft, say detectives

White farmers in Zimbabwe receive eviction notices despite Mugabe pledge

Peta Thornycroft:

The Zimbabwe government is reneging on a pledge to invite exiled white farmers back to work the land and is moving to evict the few hundred who survived President Robert Mugabe's six-year ethnic purge.

Scores of eviction notices were either delivered or were on their way to productive white farmers last week. The farmers will have 90 days to leave their homes and abandon their businesses.

In an indication that the government is launching a final push against the farmers, Didymus Mutasa, the lands and security minister, told Western diplomats this week that he did not care if Zimbabwe's land remained unproductive "as long we [blacks] own it".

Four months ago Mr Mugabe asked white farmers to stay. It was a spectacular admission that his 20 million-acre land grab had failed and that the expulsion of more than 4,000 white farmers had wrecked the economy.

"Productivity must return to the land," Gideon Gono, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, said at the time.

Mr Mugabe even invited some who had fled their farms to return home and apply for 99-year leases for their properties, which were all nationalised last year.

About 900 existing and former white farmers applied for leases, half of them through the Commercial Farmers' Union, but none has been processed.

"We were hopeful this would kick-start better production" said Trevor Gifford, a CFU official. "What is happening now is very disappointing."

David Drury, a Harare solicitor, is preparing to go to court to challenge a batch of flimsy eviction notices.

"This is demonstrably an abuse of process, from a policy point of view and a legal point of view," he said. But his hopes cannot be high.

The last time eviction notices were flowing was three years ago in the heat of the land invasions when white farmers were being killed or beaten up and imprisoned for refusing to abandon their homes.

Many remaining white farmers, trying to keep a low profile, are still regularly tormented by gangs and are often humiliated by the police when they beg for help.

"It is extremely painful. I don't know how we endure this, but we have nowhere to go and no other way of earning our living," said a farmer who had been under pressure from thugs who have surrounded his homestead for the last two weeks on behalf of a ruling Zanu PF heavyweight.

John Worsley-Worswick, spokesman for the pressure group Justice for Agriculture, said: "It is torture for farmers still out there. When they are evicted, they, their families and thousands of skilled farm workers and their families will be destitute."

Most surviving white farmers, who have been forced to donate two thirds of their properties to the state, are tutoring the "new farmers" who were allocated their land.

Few "new farmers" have equipment or any agricultural skills. "It is in my interests that they are successful and want me around," said one farmer.

White farmers say still to receive land from Zimbabwe government

When everything is illegal, a guilty conscience seeps into your dreams

UN says Zimbabwe has suffered massive de-industrialisation

Blacks, Latinos and condomless gay sex parties

Associated Press:

The invitation arrived in Tokes Osubu’s e-mail inbox last Monday, and the contents astounded him: Black and Latino men were being invited to attend a gay sex party this weekend where condoms would be banned. Show up with a condom, the invitation said, and you’ll be asked to leave.

"I was shocked and disgusted," said Osubu, executive director of Gay Men of African Descent, a Harlem-based nonprofit group battling the HIV/AIDS epidemic among black gay men.

Osubu sent the party’s promoter a letter urging him to reconsider the policy, and the group planned a protest outside the East Harlem building where the party was held.

The party comes just weeks before the 25th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic and at a time when black men are facing startlingly high HIV infection rates. Nearly half of black men who have sex with men are HIV-positive, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.

"I’m sick of 18-year-olds coming in here HIV-positive," Osubu, 46, said in his East Harlem office. "It’s got to stop."

"We want to send a strong message to" the party’s promoter "and promoters like him that it’s unacceptable, and to the larger community that we’re not all complicit in this behavior. We’re not just idle bystanders."

The invitation lists an address and apartment number and a cell phone number. The promoter returned a message seeking comment but refused to identify himself and repeatedly said the party was private.

Apparently the party was the third. In the graphic invitation, the host thanked the "54" people who attended the last gathering. Other sex parties are held in New York and other major cities, but typically offer condoms and sometimes encourage safe sex, Tokes and others said.

The invitation to the recent warned: "Anyone caught using jimmies [condoms] will be asked to leave with no refund given!!" (The entry fee is $5–$10.)

Others in the black gay community have condemned the policy. Activist and blogger Keith Boykins wrote on his web site: "It’s the year 2006…and some men are still carrying on like it’s 1976," wrote Boykins, who prefaced his comments by saying he (like Osubu and others) condemns the no-condom policy, not sex among consenting adults.

"It’s time to stop this irresponsible behavior," Boykins wrote. "It’s time to put an end to condomless sex parties."

Between Jan. 1 and March 31 in 2005, black New Yorkers, who are 26 percent of the city’s population, accounted for more than half — 52.7 percent - of the city’s AIDS-related deaths, with Hispanics accounting for one-third of the deaths. Blacks also accounted for more than half — 52.9 percent — of new HIV diagnoses during that period, with Hispanics accounting for 30 percent, the city’s health department said.

Nationally, in 2004, the HIV diagnosis rate for black men was seven times the rate for white men, twice the rate for Hispanic men and nearly twice the rate for black women, the CDC says. Most infections among all men result from gay sex, the CDC says.

Rochester region reaches out to help end AIDS scourge

AIDS finds its new prey in the South where rate of disease rises

Secret gay encounters of black men could be raising women's infection rate

AIDS: The black plague

US black women 'unaware' of HIV risk

Almost half of lean, black women had insulin resistance – double the rate in Hispanic or Caucasian women

Karen Richardson:

Black women – even if their weight is normal – may be at increased risk for insulin resistance, a condition associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart vessel disease, according to new research by Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

"It is well known that obesity is a contributor to insulin resistance," said senior researcher Jorge Calles-Escandon, M.D. "Our research suggests that race may also be an important factor. Almost half of lean, black women had insulin resistance – double the rate in Hispanic or Caucasian women."

The results were reported today at ENDO 2006, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston.

The goal of the study was to see how obesity relates to insulin resistance in three ethnic groups: black, Caucasian and Hispanic. Insulin resistance is when the body does not effectively use the hormone insulin to process glucose, forcing the pancreas to produce more insulin. Researchers analyzed data from the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study (IRAS), designed to assess relationships between insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease in a large multi-ethnic population.

For the study, the researchers divided data from female IRAS participants into different groups based on body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight. A BMI of less than 25 is considered "normal." For example, a woman who weighs 148 and is 5 feet, 6 inches, has a BMI of 25.

The analysis revealed that 47 percent of black women of normal weight had insulin resistance, compared to less than 20 percent of the Hispanic or Caucasian women.

"Our research suggests that race, in addition to obesity, is an important contributor to the development of insulin resistance and possibly to type 2 diabetes," said Jennifer Wolfgang, D.O., an endocrinology fellow, who presented the results.

Both insulin resistance and the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes increase as obesity increases, but it was not previously known that race alone may influence insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not respond to even very high levels of insulin, which causes glucose to build up in the blood.

It is not know how many people with insulin resistance develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but it is assumed that treating insulin resistance with weight loss and exercise will help prevent those diseases.

Calles-Escandon, an associate professor of endocrinology, said that the results suggest that the definition of "obesity" may need to be redefined in black women. "If the results hold true, black women may need to be evaluated and treated for insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease even at weight not considered obese by current standards," he said.

He said additional research is needed to explore how obesity relates to insulin resistance in men, as well as whether the women with insulin resistance have a higher percentage of body fat, or body fat that is distributed differently, from the Caucasian or Hispanic women.

Other potential areas of research include determining if certain genes in blacks lead to insulin resistance, and whether the insulin resistance is accompanied by other changes that may promote diabetes, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, including reduced elasticity of vessels or deposits of calcium in the vessels leading to the heart.

Insulin Resistance in Lean Black Women

Dietary fat intake and insulin resistance in black and white children

Black and hispanic kids more likely to be insulin-resistant

Can the venerable black-Latino coalition survive the surge in Hispanic power?

Ellis Cose:

Leticia Vasquez calls hers a "typical immigrant story." Her parents, poor strivers from Mexico, raised five splendidly thriving children—one of whom, Leticia, 34, is now mayor of Lynwood, Calif., the small town where she grew up. It is a heartwarming tale that readily brings to mind a host of clichés about the American dream. But the story does not end with wine, roses and applause. Instead it segues into the troubled terrain of race, corruption and polarization.

Of late, Vasquez has been pilloried by fellow Mexican-Americans for being—in her estimation, at least—too sympathetic to black constituents. Her foes, whose attempt to recall her failed last week when their petitions were found to be lacking, claim race has nothing to do with their discontent. Armando Rea, a former mayor and prominent critic, says the problem is that Vasquez, a "pathological liar," is intent on levying taxes the community cannot afford. Fliers circulated by recall proponents also portray her as the puppet of a former mayor, Paul Richards, who is black and is currently in prison for siphoning off city funds. Vasquez, who says she barely knows Richards, sees the charges as nothing but a smoke screen for racism: "There is this mind-set that if you support someone outside of your ethnicity, you must not like who you are."

Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of ethnic politics in the 21st century, when blacks and Latinos, once presumed to be natural allies, increasingly find themselves competing for power and where promotion of racial harmony is as likely to evoke anger as admiration. Lynwood is a case study in the power of prejudice, the pitfalls of ethnic conflict and, perhaps, ultimately, the potential for interethnic cooperation. It may also foreshadow America's future—one that will increasingly see blacks and Latinos fighting, sometimes together and sometimes each other, to overcome a history of marginalization.

Latinos pushing census growth

Some English-speaking firefighters are losing their jobs because of an Oregon state law that requires them to be bilingual

Melica Johnson:

The Department of Forestry enacted a law three years ago that requires them to be bilingual, but this year they're actually enforcing it.

2002 was such a devastating wildfire season, contractors were scrambling to find firefighters.

Hispanics often filled their needs on the fire lines.

Jim Walker of the Department of Forestry said "what we do know is 85 percent of the crew make-up is of Hispanic decent."

But many of the Hispanic fire fighters do not speak English. Walker says the language barrier is a concern.

Those concerns led the state to draft a new rule that all firefighting bosses speak English, and the languages of crew members who don't speak English.

Jaime Pickering, a squad boss overseeing 20 firefighters, says the rule means "job losses for Americans. The white people."

Because of the state's language requirement, Pickering can no longer work as a crew boss and supervise 20 firefighters, he can only manage a squad of four.

Pickering says that "if you have one Spanish guy on the crew, as an English crew boss, you can no longer be a crew boss, you have to step back to a squad boss, which is a demotion."

Fire Crew Bosses Who Can't Speak Spanish Can Lose Jobs

Oregon Fire Bosses "Fuegoed" for Not Speaking Spanish

Recepción a Oregon. El inglés no se requiere.

Hispanic drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes are more likely to be intoxicated than members of other ethnic and racial groups

Ken Little:

The study by the Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill was based on information from law enforcement agencies. It states that 7.04 percent of Hispanic drivers involved in crashes in 2005 were intoxicated, compared with 4.87 percent of Native Americans, 2.82 percent of whites and 2.28 percent of blacks.

Hispanics "are more likely on average to be suspected of drinking in crashes that police officers investigate," research center database specialist Eric Rodgman said.

Cultural differences and limited knowledge of U.S. laws might be driving the trend, law enforcement officials and community leaders said. Efforts are being made to develop education programs in the wake of recent high-profile fatal crashes.

The numbers encompass the entire Hispanic community, and officials say it is important to convey the message of responsible driving to all Spanish-speaking residents in North Carolina, regardless of their legal status and education level.

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all Hispanics living in North Carolina. Many come from countries where enforcement of drinking and driving laws is lax. Cultural differences must be bridged for any initiative to be effective, said Rex Gore, district attorney of Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties.

"The problem can be addressed through an educational campaign and community efforts to make everybody in the immigrant community aware that unacceptable behavior includes drinking and driving. It's not a macho thing. It's against the law," Gore said.

Southeastern North Carolina has no organized program to inform recent arrivals about the dangers of drunken driving. That could change by later this year, said Lucy Vasquez, executive director of Amigos Internacional, a Hispanic outreach organization.

"They're just not aware of the laws that exist here. It's a big problem," she said. "There is no newcomer program, but it is something we are working on."

A committee expected to include drug and alcohol counselors and representatives of local churches, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Alcoholics Anonymous should hold a planning meeting in August or September, Vasquez said.

Vasquez said the majority of Hispanic DWI offenders are young, male, single and often without an authority figure to provide guidance.

"There's a disconnect with the family unit and the social structure in this country. I think it's a combination of things, including the depression that exists from not being with their families," she said.

A number of highly publicized DWI crashes recently have drawn negative attention to the Hispanic community, Vasquez said.

A troubling trend: Hispanics and DWI

Hispanics Carry Lopsided Share Of DWI Arrests

North Las Vegas police say a fight in a casino turned deadly after one person was shot and killed and another was wounded

Martha Guzman:

Police are now circulating a security videotape of the shooting in hopes of identifying the gunman.

The shooting victim is identified as 20-year-old Allen Tyrone Smith.

The shooting happened around 4:25 a.m. on Sunday at the Silver Nugget Casino. The surveillance video shows two black males in their teens or early 20s getting into a fight.

If you look closely at the video, you can see a man in the backwards baseball cap and dark-colored sweater pull a weapon from his waistband.

"The tape's good enough. We thing to we can identify him," said Sean Walker, North Las Vegas police.

Police say one man threw a drink at the other, and that man pulled a gun and started shooting. One man was killed an a woman in her 40s who was playing slot machines was inadvertently shot in her left hand. She was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

North Las Vegas police are now asking for the public's help identifying the gunman.

Walker said, "This is the point in the investigation where its best for us to go to the public and have the public help us. Somebody is going to know this person."

If you recognize the man in the video or have any information about the shooting, call Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.

The call can be anonymous and you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

Video shows casino shooting

Gunfire breaks out at the Silver Nugget Casino

Monday, June 26, 2006

Life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa has decreased partly due to HIV/AIDS

Dominican Today:

Life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa has decreased by an average of five years since the early 1990s, largely because countries are fighting the double burden of HIV/AIDS and other diseases, according to a report released by the World Bank in Cape Town, South Africa.

The report – which is titled "Disease and Mortality in sub-Saharan Africa" – finds that HIV/AIDS accounts for 20.4% of all deaths on the subcontinent. The report also finds that one in six African children dies before age five from diseases that can be treated and prevented.

According to the report, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has stalled or reversed successes in reducing the prevalence of communicable disease and has affected the prevention and treatment of cancer and mental and neurological disorders.

World Bank representative Eduard Bos at the launch of the report at the Cape Town Book Fair said it reflects significant advancements in knowledge since the 1991 edition was published.

"The potential impact of HIV/AIDS was anticipated in [1991], but the current volume documents the depth and breadth of the burden that the epidemic is inflicting on Africa," Bos said.

He added, "New sources of health and demographic information have become available as a result of unprecedented international interest in health conditions in sub-Saharan Africa."

South Africa: AIDS, A Major Cause Of Death Of Youngsters

Raleigh police have charged a man in a 1989 rape case using DNA evidence

News & Observer:

Thomas Junior Johnson

Thomas Junior Johnson, 45, faces one count of first degree forcible rape and one count of first degree kidnapping, according to a police news release.

On Oct. 7, 1989, a 24-year-old woman was walking in the 2700 block of Hillsborough Street when a man police say was Johnson emerged from some shrubbery. The man threatened to hit the woman with a bottle, dragged her toward a vehicle parked nearby, forced her to the ground and raped her. He then drove off in the vehicle.

The arrest was made possible by a recent State Bureau of Investigation DNA analysis, the news release said.

Johnson is serving time at the Scotland Correctional Institute for an unrelated conviction.

Police Charge Incarcerated Man With 1989 Rape

Deadly shootout spurs new crime fears in South Africa


The deaths of eight suspected gang members and four policemen in a bloody South African shootout raised fresh fears of unbridled violence on Monday despite government vows to bring crime rates down.

Sunday's gun battle, which shocked even crime-weary South Africans, erupted after police followed suspects back to a house following a robbery at a Johannesburg area supermarket.

Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula, who sparked widespread outrage recently when he said people who "whine" about high crime levels should leave the country, acknowledged on Monday that rampaging crime was a big government concern.

"South Africa has this problem of crime. It is not about white victims and black perpetrators," Nqakula told Reuters. "It is a problem and even people within my own family circle have suffered. In overall terms it is declining, but remains high."

Police spokesman Inspector Dennis Adriao said 11 surviving suspects from the shootout in a residential area near central Johannesburg would appear in court on Tuesday.

"They will face a number of charges, first and foremost murder," Adriao said.

Nqakula said a proliferation of weapons into South Africa was a major problem but refused to blame violent crime on thousands of illegal immigrants known to be in the country.

"We are trying to put the guns out of circulation. We have very good crime intelligence and we are working to better investigations and detention facilities," he said.

Adriao said police found a large cache of weapons, including an AK-47 automatic rifle, at the house.

The four police officers' deaths brought to 19 the number of police killed in Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg, since the beginning of the year.

South Africa suffers from some of the world's highest rates of violent crime, with murders, car hijackings and violent robberies covered in gory detail by the country's newspapers.

Debate is raging among South Africans on re-introducing the death penalty along with other measures, including denying bail and imposing lengthy jail sentences for violent crime suspects.

But Nqakula ruled out a return of capital punishment, which was abolished in South Africa's post-apartheid constitution.

Cache found at SA shoot-out house

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