Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More than 150 illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers will be freed from custody after a riot wrecked Britain's biggest detention center

James Slack:

John Reid was forced to release the men back on to the streets after a wave of blazes and destruction lasting for more than 18 hours at Harmondsworth, in west London.

The farce was blamed on Labour's failure to provide enough cells for the huge number of illegal immigrants and foreign criminals waiting to be deported from the UK.

The rioting, still not under full control late yesterday evening and sparked by guards turning off a television set, left large parts of the £70m centre out of action.

But - because prisons and other detention centres across the country are already full - the Home Secretary had nowhere to move the failed asylum seekers and overseas criminals being detained at Harmondsworth.

It forced him to order a clear out of 150 illegal immigrants - all of them awaiting removal from the UK - from other detention centres in London and the South East to make way for them.

They were 'bailed' and told to report regularly to the authorities - despite fears they will simply abscond. They are effectively being rewarded for the rioting of their fellow illegal immigrants, albeit indirectly.

In a second twist, it emerged immigration staff have been told not to detain any new suspected illegals or failed asylum seekers for the next 48-hours. Officials say it would be pointless as there is nowhere to put them.

Shadow Immigration Minister, Damian Green said: 'This outbreak is a symptom of a system out of control.'

Lin Homer, head of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, described the riots - which have already caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage - as a 'deliberate attempts at sabotage' by illegals hell-bent on remaining in the UK.

Violence erupts at immigration centre

Fires started at asylum complex

Detainees riot at 'worst' immigration centre

Immigration centre protest

Immigration sparks white exodus from Britain

Rowan Philp:

White Britons, alarmed at immigration, are fleeing the capital and even the country in record numbers in a “white flight” that mirrors South Africa’s exodus.

And this week a controversial new book which seeks to explain their flight, encouraged young British-born families to leave in the face of unchecked immigration.

A report by Britain’s chief immigration think-tank, Migrationwatch, said more than 100000 British-born Londoners have left the UK capital this year as immigrants stream into the city.

Meanwhile, another report by private analysts predicts that the white exodus is set to accelerate further, and that London’s immigrant population will jump from 40% to 60% i n just 12 years.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said the departing whites were being replaced by other ethnic minorities in their neighbourhoods, leading to a “very unfortunate” apartheid-style segregation of the capital.

The report said it was a potential disaster for integration and race relations in Britain. “The effect is a rapid increase in the ethnic minority composition of some boroughs, resulting from an outflow of the white population and an inflow of African and Asian international migrants.”

While white South Africans fled Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban for either suburban security complexes or foreign shores in the mid-1990s, experts said whites in London and cities like Birmingham and Bradford were fleeing to rural “market towns” — and, increasingly, abroad.

In his seemingly xenophobic book, Time to Emigrate? George Walden, who was education minister under Margaret Thatcher, had no doubt about the cause. Immigration had created “unacceptable” terrorist and crime risks, and had doomed British culture .

Walden told the Sunday Times: “I’m not saying all our national problems are due to immigration . . . but this is the greatest gamble this country has ever taken and it is totally unplanned.

“Already, we’re seeing the failure of the policy of multiculturalism, which — as Trevor Phillips, our race relations tsar has pointed out — has come down to separate development; in other words, apartheid. We have a dangerous mixture of people who do have colonial resentments; who have fundamentalist beliefs; and who have absolutely no desire to integrate.”

In his book he predicts London, in a decade, will be “a three-ring circus without the laughs” — including largely white inner and outer rings bristling with security, and a “multicultural ring” exclusively made up of “ethnic immigrants”.

“The rougher parts of the multicultural ring will be ghettoes of crime, poverty and racialism in reverse.”

A blunder for which we'll all pay the price

Exodus: A million Brits emigrate while three million enter

Time to Emigrate

Time to Read

Transit Camp England

Time To Emigrate?

Immigration is fine for the rich

Elite law firms hire minority lawyers with, on average, much lower grades than white ones

Adam Liptak:

Thanks to vigorous recruiting and pressure from corporate clients, black lawyers are well represented now among new associates at the nation’s most prestigious law firms. But they remain far less likely to stay at the firms or to make partner than their white counterparts.

A recent study says grades help explain the gap. To ensure diversity among new associates, the study found, elite law firms hire minority lawyers with, on average, much lower grades than white ones. That may, the study says, set them up to fail.

The study, which was prepared by Richard H. Sander, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and was published in The North Carolina Law Review in July, has given rise to fierce and growing criticism in law review articles and in the legal press. In an opinion article in The National Law Journal this month, for instance, R. Bruce McClean, the chairman of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, a major law firm, took issue with the study’s “sweeping conclusions” but not its “detailed data analysis.”

James E. Coleman Jr., the first black lawyer to make partner at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, a prestigious Washington law firm now known as WilmerHale, said Professor Sander was overemphasizing grades at the expense of other qualities like writing skills, temperament and the ability to analyze complex problems.

“I don’t think you can do what he is trying to do, which is to use purely objective data to explain what is happening in law firms,” said Professor Coleman, who now teaches law at Duke and is a co-author of a response to Professor Sander called “Is It Really All About the Grades?”

Achieving racial diversity at all levels is an urgent issue, law firms say, but they acknowledge that gains among new associates disappear by the time new partners are elected. “We’ve seen stagnation and even decline when it comes to race,” said Meredith Moore, the director of the New York City Bar Association’s diversity office.

The new study proposes an explanation. It found that the pool of black lawyers with excellent law-school grades is so small that firms must relax their standards if they are to have new associates who resemble the pool of new lawyers.

Professor Sander found that very few blacks graduated from top-30 law schools with high grades.

Yet grades, according to many hiring partners and law students, are a significant criterion in hiring decisions, rivaled only by the prestige of the law school in question. For instance, Professor Sander found, “white law school graduates with G.P.A.’s of 3.5 or higher are nearly 20 times as likely to be working for a large law firm as are white graduates with G.P.A.’s of 3.0 or lower.”

The story for black students appears to be different. Black students, who make up 1 to 2 percent of students with high grades (meaning a grade point average in the top half of the class) make up 8 percent of corporate law firm hires, Professor Sander found. “Blacks are far more likely to be working at large firms than are other new lawyers with similar credentials,” he said.

But black lawyers, the study found, are about one-fourth as likely to make partner as white lawyers from the same entering class of associates.

Debate flies over U.S. black lawyers

Black lawyers defend celebrity shrink accused of racism

Racism by another name is `diversity'

Black associates less likely to make partner

Sacrificing smart black kids on the altar of "diversity:"

Number of Bangladeshi and Pakistani 18-year-olds not in work, education or training doubles in Britain

Lucy Ward:

The proportion of Bangladeshi and Pakistani 18-year-olds in England and Wales who are not in work, education or training has more than doubled in two years, according to new figures showing the overall share of young people slipping through the employment and study net has also risen.

Government statistics published yesterday show that 17% of Pakistani and Bangladeshi youths are neither working nor studying, compared with 7% in 2004.

The study, part of research tracking the progress of successive waves of 18-year-olds, reveals that the overall proportion not in work, education or training has risen from 12% in 2004 to 13% in 2006 - more than 40,000 of the age group.

The overall rise is troubling for the government, which regards Britain's high number of so-called NEETS - young people not in education, employment or training - as a fundamental problem with massive financial and social implications. It has promised to cut the number of 16 to18-year-olds in this category by 20% by 2010, and the education secretary, Alan Johnson, has raised the possibility of increasing the school leaving age to 18.

But the details of the dramatic rise in jobless British Asian young people highlight the particular challenge faced by ministers in improving opportunities for those groups as part of wider efforts to engage Muslim youth and boost community cohesion. The government is anxious to ensure young Muslim men have the chance of work and train to avoid the risk of drifting into disillusion and possible recruitment by terrorist groups.

The Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman, Sarah Teather, said last night: "This highlights a serious need for the government to engage with the Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities about fostering aspiration among their young people.

"If this trend is not reversed it signals less community cohesion in the future, not more."

The figures suggest that government claims last week that it may be beginning to crack the problem of academic achievement among ethnic minority pupils in England with improved GCSE results for these groups show only part of the picture.

The youth cohort study, published on the Department for Education and Skills website, shows that, while one in eight 18-year-olds is out of work, education or training, some young people are far more likely to fall into the category than others.

They include those in particular ethnic groups, including Pakistani, Bangladeshi and those of mixed heritage, as well as those with parents in manual jobs and those who achieved no or few GCSEs.

Black pupils still lagging behind

Racist groups in Poland are forging links with Neo-Nazis in Britain

BBC News:

Immigration and high unemployment had led to an upsurge in racist activity in Poland, said Dr Krystyna Bleszynska, of Warsaw University.

And groups banned there were cooperating with Combat 18 and other race hate groups in Germany and the US.

Combat 18 takes its name from Adolf Hitler's initials, the first and eighth letters of the alphabet.

Neo-Nazi groups are outlawed in Poland, as they are in many European countries, but there has been growing concern about skinhead activity linked to football hooliganism.

In July, Polish police working with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shut down a neo-Nazi website and charged a man suspected of running it.

The website published details of people on its hate list - such as left-wing activists, homosexuals and members of ethnic minorities, police said.

It was operated by the Polish wing of Blood and Honour, an international group which originated in the UK. The site used a US-based server.

Asked about Polish attitudes to migration at a Commission for Racial Equality conference in central London, Dr Bleszynska said Poland was a "cosmopolitan" and "multi-ethnic" society with a strong sense of social justice.

But there were also nationalists on both the right and left who had racist views.

"In Poland, we have certain legal and illegal organisations acting against immigrants on the basis of racism and that's really very sad," Dr Bleszynska told the Commission for Racial Equality conference in central London.

She said some of the groups were cooperating with Combat 18 in the UK as well as German, Serbian and US groups such as the Aryan Brothers.

Extremist views were not confined to the political margins in Poland, she added.

"Certain groups of nationalists, which also display also racist attitudes, act in the frame of legal organisations.

"You can find them in the right wings of our parties, or strong left wings, for instance in the League of Polish Families you can meet some political leaders who are nationalistic and racist," Dr Bleszynska said.

Poland had been a multi-ethnic country for centuries, with immigrants from the Ukraine, Belarus and elsewhere, but it had only very recently become a multi-racial society, with the arrival of immigrants from Asia, she said.

Average unemployment was 16% but it was 25% among young people and immigrants were sometimes seen as "people who will take Polish jobs".

Some Polish migrants in the UK, meanwhile, were being supported in their "unpleasant" behaviour by British nationalist and Neo-Nazi groups, said Dr Bleszynska, who is professor of multicultural education at Warsaw University.

Many Poles were highly qualified and found it easy to find work in the UK, Dr Bleszynska said.

But others, who were less well-educated, sometimes found it difficult to find jobs and were not accustomed to the multiracial nature of British society.

In particular, they found it difficult to understand "positive discrimination," which they viewed simply as "negative discrimination".

In areas such as Ealing, in West London, Polish "ghettos" were forming, Dr Bleszynska claimed, with some young Poles unable to find work but also unable to return home.

"They are ashamed to come back to tell their friends and family, I am sorry I was not successful," she said.

They sometimes faced "very unpleasant behaviour" when competing for jobs with British people, she said, but their behaviour in response was "also not pleasant".

And they were being "supported by British nationalists and Nazi groups," she added.

About 600,000 people have come to work in the UK from eight nations which joined the European Union in 2004, according to official figures, with the majority, about 447,000, coming from Poland.

Racial violence and bias plague EU, report says

EU criticises Czech Republic, Slovakia for segregating Romanies

Turkey mistreats minorities; does not merit EU membership

A Hong Kong woman has been found guilty of ordering the chopping off of her seven-year-old stepson's right hand

BBC News:

Hung Man-yee, 20, was convicted of wounding after she paid an ex-boyfriend to arrange the attack.

Judge Peter Line said her "deep hatred" of the boy was prompted by jealousy. She wanted the boy's father to give preference to their new-born son.

Sentencing was deferred for psychiatric reports, in a case that has shocked Hong Kong.

Five other people on trial received sentences of between two and 18 years.

The boy, Shum Ho-yin, was attacked by two masked men in August 2005 as he walked home with his grandmother.

While one held the grandmother, the other chopped at the boy's wrist several times in an attempt to sever his hand. He was left with broken bones and severed tendons and nerves.

Judge Peter Line called it "one of the most wicked woundings with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in many years".

He said Hung had been motivated by "deep hatred" of the boy, who she reportedly wanted her husband to give up following the birth of her own son.

Hung's former boyfriend Tsang Ho-wai was found guilty of recruiting three others - two of them 16 - to help in the attack.

The judge condemned Tsang - who he sentenced to 18 years in prison - for showing no remorse.

The boy is reported to have since recovered, though he still has restricted movement in his hand.

Shum attacker tells court of key role by stepmother's ex

Iraq, Iran and unaffiliated Jews

Shmuel Rosner:

On the AJC web page you can only see the general numbers - but here are some examples of the ways in which the unaffiliated are different from the affiliated:

Do you think the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, or should the U.S. have stayed out? Reform: 73% right, 23% out. Just Jewish: 27% right, 66% out. Would you support or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons? Reform: approve 32%, disapprove 61%. Just Jewish: approve 41%, disapprove 52%.

But here's the most revealing question - the one that is relevant to this specific debate: In politics, as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent? Reform: 14% Republican, 59% Democrat, 26% independent. Just Jewish: 13% Republican, 48% Democrat, 34% independent.

2006 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion

Unaffiliated Jews Don’t Count?

Who is to blame for the continuing violence and destruction in Iraq?

Thomas E. Ricks and Robin Wright:

From troops on the ground to members of Congress, Americans increasingly blame the continuing violence and destruction in Iraq on the people most affected by it: the Iraqis.

Even Democrats who have criticized the Bush administration's conduct of the occupation say the people and government of Iraq are not doing enough to rebuild their society. The White House is putting pressure on the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group have debated how much to blame Iraqis for not performing civic duties.

This marks a shift in tone from earlier debate about the responsibility of the United States to restore order after the 2003 invasion, and it seemed to gain currency in October, when sectarian violence surged. Some see the talk of blame as the beginning of the end of U.S. involvement.

"It is the first manifestation of a 'Who lost Iraq?' argument that will likely rage for years to come," said Bruce Hoffman, a Georgetown University expert on terrorism who has worked as a U.S. government consultant in Iraq.

Americans and Iraqis are increasingly seeing the situation in different terms, said retired Army Col. Jeffrey D. McCausland , who recently returned from a visit to Iraq. "We're just talking past each other," he said, adding that Americans are psychologically edging toward the door that leads to disengagement. "We're arguing about 'cut and run' versus 'cut and jog.' "

Iraqis' role in their own suffering has been an issue since shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, when looters ransacked the national museum and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld dismissed it by saying, "Stuff happens." But more than three years later, with schools and hospitals struggling, electrical service faltering, and police and government agencies infiltrated by sectarian death squads, the question of blame is more urgent.

US To Exit Iraq By Blaming Iraqis

Rapper Snoop Dogg has been arrested on weapons and narcotics charges after a TV appearance in Los Angeles

BBC News:

Snoop Dogg's real name is Calvin Broadus

The 35-year-old performer was stopped by police as he left the NBC studio in Burbank after recording an edition of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Authorities found marijuana, cocaine and a firearm in the rap star's car, a police spokesman told Reuters.

This latest run-in with the law is his third in three months following earlier incidents at two California airports.

In October police found a gun and a quantity of cannabis in the musician's car after they stopped him for parking in a loading area at Bob Hope Airport.

And earlier this month he was charged for attempting to carry a collapsible baton onto a plane at Orange County John Wayne Airport in September.

An earlier arrest for affray at London's Heathrow Airport in April led to a police caution.

Snoop Dogg, who rose to prominence in the early 1990s, is also known for his role in the 2004 remake of Starsky and Hutch.

Snoop Dogg Arrested After Tonight Show

Snoop Dogg arrested after 'Tonight Show' performance

Snoop Dogg Arrizzled Again

A Nigerian actress has been charged with trying to smuggle drugs to Britain

Senan Murray:

Fans of popular Nigerian actress Hassanat Taiwo Akinwande are still shocked by her fall from grace.

The star of Nigeria's film industry, known as Nollywood, appeared in court last week charged with trying to smuggle drugs to the UK.

Some of them say they will now boycott films she has starred in "because she has disgraced her fans and country".

Miss Akinwande, who uses the stage name Wunmi, was arrested in September by officials of the Nigerian National Drug Law Enforcement Agency while trying to get on board a London-bound Virgin Atlantic flight from Lagos.

After a few days in detention Wunmi, who is famous for her roles in Nigerian movies that preach morality, had excreted 92 wraps of high-quality cocaine weighing in at 1.214 kg, according to the prosecution.

Nigerian actress charged with drug possession

The European Commission has recommended that some elements of talks with Turkey about its hopes of joining the EU should be frozen

BBC News:

The recommendations follow the breakdown of talks over the divided island of Cyprus.

Turkey's refusal to recognise the Cypriot government has become an obstacle to Turkey's membership hopes.

The recommendations come despite a last-ditch effort by the Finnish prime minister to rescue the Turkish talks.

Finland currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, and Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen will visit Turkey on Friday to meet his Turkish counterpart.

But after Finland said on Monday that talks over the Cyprus issue were deadlocked, the European Commission brought forward an announcement it was due to make next week.

It said eight of the 35 areas of negotiation between the EU and Turkey should be suspended.

"There is a unanimous decision by the member states to conduct accession negotiations with Turkey... Turkey has undoubtedly made progress. But it has still not implemented all obligations it has agreed to," EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement.

The EU insists that Turkey fulfils its commitment to open its ports to traffic from Cyprus, but Turkey says it will not do so until the EU eases its embargo on Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded to counter a Greek Cypriot coup backed by the military junta ruling Greece at the time.

The final decision on whether to suspend negotiations will be made by EU foreign ministers, or by heads of government when they meet in mid-December.

If they suspend some chapters of the talks, it would not mean Turkey's application would be halted altogether, but could make it difficult to get full negotiations back on track, says the BBC's Jonny Dymond in Brussels.

Turkey angered by EU backtrack on membership

Turkish PM calls European Commission move to partially suspend talks 'unacceptable'

Dutch MPs back halt to Turkey's EU talks

A three-year-old boy has been eaten alive by a neighbor's herd of pigs on the outskirts of the Indian capital, Delhi

BBC News:

The boy, Ajay, strayed from the family home as his parents and other family members were having lunch.

When his mother went to look for him, she found the pigs chewing something and spotted bits of her son's clothing.

She threw stones at the animals but they turned on her. Her screams alerted neighbours who came to her rescue.

Relatives in the village of Samaipur Badli in north-west Delhi told police the boy had been carrying bread, which might have led the animals to attack him.

A senior police official, Manish Aggarwal, said a local man who owned the pigs had been detained for causing death due to negligence.

"Three children were playing outside their house when the incident took place," Mr Aggarwal told the BBC.

"The victim, Ajay, strayed from the area but his parents or relatives were not there to save him since they were having lunch inside their house."

Pigs eat child alive in Indian capital - paper

Germany's population could fall to 69 million by 2050 with the proportion of elderly people sharply rising


Germany currently has 82.4 million people but declining birth rates will reduce the country's population to between 69 million and 74 million by 2050, said the report.

"The population decline cannot be halted," said Walter Rademacher, the statistics office vice-president.

Both the decline and ageing of Germany's population are expected to impact on the economy because there will be fewer people in the working age between 20 and 65 years.

At the end of 2005 about 20 per cent of the population was younger than 20 years and 19 per cent were over 65 years. The remaining 61 per cent were potential members of the workforce.

By 2050 only half the population will be workforce aged, while 30 per cent will be over 65 and just 15 per cent under 20 years, the report predicts.

Germany aims to entice "baby boomers" back to work

German Population Plunge Expected

Parents who are willing to take risks tend on average to have children who are more prepared to take risks


Whether you go through life as a daredevil or tend to avoid taking risks depends a lot on your own pedigree. This is shown by a current study by the Institute for the Study of Labor (Institut zur Zukunft der Arbeit, IZA) and the University of Bonn. According to this study, parents who are willing to take risks tend on average to have children who are more prepared to take risks. Moreover, the willingness to trust one's fellow humans is apparently also inherited. The results offer a new basis for explaining why children who have successful parents often go far in life as well. Every economic decision involves risks; every business is in part a matter of trust. Inherited character traits could therefore be a decisive factor for economic success, the researchers speculate.

The scientists used data from the so called "socio-economic" panel from 2003 and 2004. For this data 3,600 parents were interviewed together with their children. On average the children were 25 years old; more than 40 per cent were no longer living with their parents.

Every member of the family was supposed to estimate their willingness to take risks on a scale of 0 (= not willing at all to take risks) to 10 (= very willing to take risks). Candidates were also supposed to differentiate between the following categories: driving a car, financial matters, sport, leisure, career and health. "With regard to willingness to take risks children are astonishingly similar to their parents," is how the Bonn economist Professor Armin Falk sums up the results. "This is not only true for the overall estimate, but also for the different categories. There are people, for example, for whom no mogul piste is too steep when skiing, but who invest their money in secure government bonds. An identical risk profile can often be found with their children."

Success really does like in your genes

How Islamists in Afghanistan deal with teachers who dare to educate girls

Kim Sengupta:

The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.

The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over, he was part-disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the remains put on display as a warning to others against defying Taliban orders to stop educating girls.

Mr Halim was one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic point on the routes from Kabul to the south and east which has become the scene of fierce clashes between the Taliban and US and Afghan forces.

The day we arrived, an Afghan policemen and eight insurgents died during an ambush in an outlying village. Rockets were found, primed to be fired into Ghazni City during a visit by the American ambassador a few days previously.

But, as in the rest of Afghanistan, it is the civilians who are bearing the brunt of this conflict. At the village of Qara Bagh, the family of Mr Halim are distraught and terrified. His cousin, Ahmed Gul, shook his head: "They killed him like an animal. No, no. We do not kill animals like that, it would be haram. They took away a father and a husband, they had no pity. We are all very worried. Please go now, you see those men standing over there? They are watching. It is dangerous for you, and for us."

Fatima Mushtaq, the director of education at Ghazni, has had repeated death threats, the notorious "night letters". Her gender, as well as her refusal to send girls home from school, has made her a particular source of hatred for Islamist zealots.

"I think they killed him that way to frighten us, otherwise why make a man suffer so much? Mohammed Halim and his family were good friends of ours and we are very, very upset by what has happened. He came to me when the threats first began and asked what he should do. I told him to move somewhere safe. I think he was trying to arrange that when they came and took him," she said.

The threats against Ms Mushtaq also extend to her husband, Sayyid Abdul, and their eight children. "When the first letters arrived, I tried to hide them from my husband," she said. "But then he found the next few. He said we must stand together. We talked, and we decided that we must tell the children. So that they can be prepared, but it is not a good way for them to grow up."

Ms Mushtaq is familiar with the ways of the Taliban. During their rule she and her sister ran secret schools for girls at their home. The Taliban beat them for teaching the girls algebra.

This is a religion that we are supposed to respect?

Under the Shroud: Women and the Taliban

Taliban Kill a Woman and Hang Her 13-Year-Old Son

They’d rather die: brief lives of the Afghan slave wives

Women in Afghanistan

Report on the Taliban's War Against Women

After the Taliban, women still suffer

The human Y-chromosome and so-called junk DNA

Zee News:

Scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) here have demonstrated that junk DNA in human Y-chromosome control the function of a gene located in another chromosome.

For long, the scientific community believed that 97 per cent of DNA material is junk and has no specific role to play in the functioning of organs.

"The study, published in the International Journal Genome Research, will open up a new approach to unravel the function of the non-coding DNA in our genome," CCMB Director Lalji Singh, who led the research effort, told reporters here today.

The Y-chromosome is present only in men. Two-thirds of it contains repetitive DNA that has been thought of as junk or useless.

However, the CCMB study clearly demonstrated that the Y-chromosomal junk DNA interacts and controls the function of a gene located in another chromosome that is not limited to a sex.

"The study shows unequivocal evidence, for the first time, that 40 mega base repeat block of the Y-chromosome, which was earlier perceived as junk DNA, is transcribed into RNA and controls the expression of a protein by a mechanism described as trans-splicing," Singh said.

DNA :: University of Iowa scientists explore function of 'junk DNA'

New Technology Used To Construct First Map Of Structural Variation In Human Genome

Not Man, Men

Islamic sharia law is gaining an increasing foothold in parts of Britain

Joshua Rozenberg:

Sharia, derived from several sources including the Koran, is applied to varying degrees in predominantly Muslim countries but it has no binding status in Britain.

However, the BBC Radio 4 programme Law in Action produced evidence yesterday that it was being used by some Muslims as an alternative to English criminal law. Aydarus Yusuf, 29, a youth worker from Somalia, recalled a stabbing case that was decided by an unofficial Somali "court" sitting in Woolwich, south-east London.

Mr Yusuf said a group of Somali youths were arrested on suspicion of stabbing another Somali teenager. The victim's family told the police it would be settled out of court and the suspects were released on bail.

A hearing was convened and elders ordered the assailants to compensate their victim. "All their uncles and their fathers were there," said Mr Yusuf. "So they all put something towards that and apologised for the wrongdoing."

Although Scotland Yard had no information about that case yesterday, a spokesman said it was common for the police not to proceed with assault cases if the victims decided not to press charges.

However, the spokesman said cases of domestic violence, including rape, might go to trial regardless of the victim's wishes.

Mr Yusuf told the programme he felt more bound by the traditional law of his birth than by the laws of his adopted country. "Us Somalis, wherever we are in the world, we have our own law," he said. "It's not sharia, it's not religious — it's just a cultural thing."

Sharia's great strength was the effectiveness of its penalties, he said. Those who appeared before religious courts would avoid re-offending so as not to bring shame on their families.

Some lawyers welcomed the advance of what has become known as "legal pluralism".

Dr Prakash Shah, a senior lecturer in law at Queen Mary University of London, said such tribunals "could be more effective than the formal legal system".

In his book Islam in Britain, Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, says there is an "alternative parallel unofficial legal system" that operates in the Muslim community on a voluntary basis.

"Sharia courts now operate in most larger cities, with different sectarian and ethnic groups operating their own courts that cater to their specific needs according to their traditions," he says. These are based on sharia councils, set up in Britain to help Muslims solve family and personal problems.

Sharia councils may grant divorces under religious law to a woman whose husband refuses to complete a civil divorce by declaring his marriage over. There is evidence that these councils are evolving into courts of arbitration.

Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi, a barrister and principal of Hijaz College Islamic University, near Nuneaton, Warwicks, said this type of court had advantages for Muslims. "It operates on a low budget, it operates on very small timescales and the process and the laws of evidence are far more lenient and it's less awesome an environment than the English courts," he said.

Mr Siddiqi predicted that there would be a formal network of Muslim courts within a decade.

The end of one law for all?


ENGLAND: Sharia Spreads as Authority Wanes

45,000 terror-threat illegal immigrants released into U.S. population


Half of the 91,516 illegal aliens from terror-sponsoring countries and those of "special interest" apprehended at the border between 2001 and 2005 were released into the U.S. population, according to a report by the inspector general's office of the Department of Homeland Security.

The report, "Detention and Removal of Illegal Aliens," released earlier this year with little fanfare or attention, suggests about 85 percent of those aliens – potentially the most dangerous – would abscond and likely never be seen by authorities again.

Acknowledging the danger such aliens pose to the national security, the report cites a DHS official testifying that terrorist organizations "believe illegal entry into the U.S. is more advantageous than legal entry for operations reasons."

Budget shortfalls were the explanations for why some 45,008 potential terrorists were released by authorities over a period of nearly five years after Sept. 11, 2001. The budget crunches prompted immigration officials to place strict limits on detention bed space, recruitment, training, travel and expansion of enforcement programs, the report explained.

In addition to the release of these high-risk aliens, 27,947 known criminals were also released between 2001 and 2004 – including 20, 967 "from countries where the notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang members are know to be active."

Given that only one in four aliens attempting to enter the U.S. during this period was caught, that would suggest some 350,000 from high-risk nations entered the country through this five-year period. An additional 400,000 criminal aliens would also have made it into the country between 2001 and 2004, according to the report.

That's a total of 750,000 aliens who would be either known criminals before entering the country illegally or who originated from a terror-sponsoring nation or one in which terrorists are known to operate.

Illegal immigration: the "victimless" crime


Attention Peppermint Patty: Read the DHS Report--Terrorist Illegal Aliens Roaming the U.S.

Houston man admits trying to help Taliban

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Researchers may have discovered how the bright plumage of male birds evolved as a sign of health and vigor to potential mates

JR Minkel:

Testosterone, which weakens the immune system, increases the circulation of immunity-enhancing pigments called carotenoids, they find. Healthy birds let the pigment collect in the skin to flaunt their vitality.

The bright coloration of some birds is a classic example of an animal advertising its high quality to potential mates. Carotenoids are the pigment in red, orange and yellow skin (and carrots), but they are also powerful antioxidants that boost the immune system. Only healthy male birds can afford to maintain a costly display of color by diverting resources away from the immune system, the theory goes. The male must therefore have good genes, and that's why a flashy male attracts mates.

In the mating game testosterone plays a similar role to carotenoids. The hormone makes male birds strut and croon but weakens their immune systems, and researchers knew that variations in testosterone levels between birds and seasons tend to match up with variations in the brightness of colors.

"There should be a connection between these two signaling systems," says ecologist Julio Blas of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. Blas and his colleagues in Spain and Canada reasoned that high testosterone should increase the amount of carotenoids in the blood. If a male is healthy, they hypothesized, he would not need the surplus pigment to bolster his immune system, so his skin and beak will become saturated with color instead.

To test the idea the group implanted capsules of testosterone under the skin of 13 red-legged partridges. These doped birds had 20 percent more carotenoids in their blood after the treatment, apparently because they absorbed more of the compounds from their food, whereas untreated birds showed no change. Higher blood levels of carotenoids translated to brighter coloration in general, according to digital images of the birds. Next the researchers injected a chemical into the doped birds to see which ones had the more active immune responses.

Tellingly, the birds with stronger immune systems saw bigger gains in brightness for the same amount of carotenoids, according to the group's report published online November 20 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

"We think this relationship between carotenoids and testosterone may have evolved first to counteract the negative effects of testosterone," Blas says. The role of the antioxidants in mating would have come later, he explains. He adds that the group hopes to see if the link holds in other bird species and other vertebrates that color themselves with carotenoids, including fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

Testosterone Gives Male Birds Their Color, Scientists Say

How hormones decorate showy males

Testosterone increases bioavailability of carotenoids: Insights into the honesty of sexual signaling

Black Jamaicans and testosterone

William Aiken:

I wish to propose a hypothesis that addresses not only the aspect of Jamaica's raw athletic talent, but also encompasses an explanation of seemingly diverse phenomena as our high incidence of prostate cancer (one study found it to be by far the highest in the world at 304 / 100,000 men / year), our high crime rate (murder capital of the world status earlier this year), our high road traffic accident and fatality rate, and our alleged high levels of promiscuity.

What do these seemingly disparate phenomena, characteristic of Jamaican life, have in common? On close examination these phenomena are manifestations of high levels of aggressiveness and drive, high libidos, highly efficient muscles from persons of lean body mass and black ethnicity. On closer scrutiny all of these phenomena are either related to high circulating levels of testosterone or alternatively to high levels of responsiveness of testosterone receptors to circulating testosterone.

It has already been shown that the testosterone receptors of blacks are different genetically to those of whites and this difference confers increased responsiveness to testosterone. I propose that Jamaicans of primarily African descent have even greater testosterone responsiveness than blacks anywhere else.

But why should this be? I believe the answer to this lies in the slave ship routes within the Caribbean and the New World.

First, let us assume that all Africans who survived the trek from the African interior to the West African coast and subsequently the middle passage would have been more or less subject to the same inhumane conditions which would have produced a severe selection pressure that enabled only the fittest slaves to survive the journey.

My hypothesis is that for each incremental increase in the journey travelled, once the slave ships entered the Caribbean, there was a corresponding selection pressure which ensured that only the fittest of the fit slaves survived and furthermore the traits which enabled survival were somehow dependent on high levels of responsiveness to testosterone.

Characteristics such as aggression, determination, drive, strong bones, lean body mass, high surface area to body mass ratio, highly efficient and responsive muscles were probably all important for survival and are testosterone-dependent.

Since Jamaica was one of the last stops to be made by the slave ships it ensured that only the most resilient and fittest of slaves were alive to disembark in Jamaica.

This hypothesis is supported by a number of observations. African-Americans and Afro-Caribbean people are represented far more frequently in sprinting events than persons from Africa. Even more interesting is that as one goes westward within the Caribbean, sprinting prowess becomes more prevalent and reaches its peak by the time Jamaica and Bahamas are reached.

Black athletes and testosterone

Michael Irvin on Tony Romo

13 illegal immigrant children drown off the coast of Africa trying to reach the Spanish Canary Islands


Three more children's bodies have washed up on a Western Sahara beach, bringing to 13 the number of migrant children who drowned when their small boat sank in the Atlantic, rights activists said on Tuesday.

"The authorities recovered the bodies of three children which washed up at a beach of Western Sahara late on Monday," an activist from the scene said by telephone.

Another 20 children are still missing after the rickety ship they boarded from the coastal area of Boujdour in Western Sahara, probably at the weekend, sank in bad weather. They were trying to reach the Spanish Canary Islands.

Scores of children have left Western Sahara -- a northwest African territory seized by Morocco in 1975 after former colonial power Spain withdrew -- because of a widely held belief there that Spanish authorities are more tolerant of illegal migrants who are minors.

Abdellah El Hairach, vice president of the migrant advocacy group Alter Forum, said that up to 40 boats carrying about 18 children each leave Boujdour every month for Spanish shores.

Europe's Future

Failed West African Migrants Vow to Try Again

Islamic immigration and multiculturalism in Europe

Peter Goodspeed:

Today, the continent is attempting to cope with increasingly bitter racial and religious squabbles and is riven with doubts about its future.

Decades of open-door immigration policies have transformed Europe through the arrival of several million immigrants, mostly Muslims, from North Africa, Turkey and Southwest Asia.

But as the region became one of the most multicultural regions on Earth, its people have gradually turned against the policies that made it this way.

From Amsterdam to Paris and Brussels to Berlin, politicians want to restrict immigration and force recent arrivals to integrate more thoroughly into their new homelands.

The Netherlands, where 6% of the country's 16 million people come from Islamic countries, has found itself at the forefront of a general hardening of European attitudes toward Muslim minorities.

In the two years since Mr. van Gogh's murder, the Dutch government has adopted sweeping reforms aimed at forcing immigrants to integrate more fully into society. Immigrants must now pass a language test within five years of arrival or risk being deported. They must also take special integration classes when they apply for a visa.

Rotterdam has published a code of conduct suggesting that immigrants speak Dutch when out in public and the government runs courses to train imams in Western values.

This week, elections in the Netherlands seemed to reinforce the growing distrust between the native and immigrant populations when the Freedom Party, a previously insignificant far-right fringe group, won nine seats in parliament.

Europe Questions Multiculturalism -- Politicians and Media Become Aware

"Islam is a Different Culture"

Primatology and Immigration in the Times Of London

A South African man has been fined $140 for taking a week off work, telling his employers he was pregnant

BBC News:

Charles Sibindana, 27, stole a certificate from a clinic during his pregnant girlfriend's checkup, a court near Johannesburg heard.

He then added his own details to the note and submitted it and took seven days off work, seemingly unaware that only women consult gynaecologists.

His employers became suspicious and investigated the matter.

On passing sentence Magistrate Bruno Van Eeden warned Mr Sibindana "not to walk around faking sick letters from gynaecologists" as if he was pregnant, the South African Press Association news agency reported.

What an idiot.

Two men who were convicted of stabbing a London lawyer to death during a mugging have been jailed for life

BBC News:

Carty and Brown were motivated by greed

Donnel Carty, 19, received 21 years and Delano Brown, 18, was given 17 years as minimum terms at the Old Bailey.

Tom ap Rhys Pryce, 31, was stabbed twice in the chest in Kensal Green, north-west London, in January.

In a statement read to the court, Mr ap Rhys Pryce's fiancee, Adele Eastman, 32, spoke of her "absolute devastation" at his murder.

She said: "In a matter of seconds wedding plans and a future together had changed to funeral plans and a lifetime apart."

Carty and Brown were convicted on Monday after a three-week trial at the Old Bailey.

Lawyers read the victim impact statement from Ms Eastman before the two men, from Sudbury Hill, were sentenced.

After the verdicts were announced, Mr ap Rhys Pryce's parents said their son's death "was a callous and senseless crime which has devastated the lives of his family, his fiancee and his friends".

His father John ap Rhys Pryce said: "Sadly nothing can bring Tom back but we are pleased and grateful that justice has been done."

Tube muggers who killed for a travel card

Life for brutal murder teens

Fiancée of murdered lawyer weeps as she sees 'barbaric' teenagers jailed

The Nigerian government is failing to prosecute police and soldiers who rape women and girls with impunity, says rights group Amnesty International

BBC News:

The country's police authorities acknowledge rape is a problem within the service, but say that they are working to overcome it.

An AI report alleges security forces use rape and sexual violence to torture and extract confessions from suspects.

It blames the judicial system for a 10% rape prosecution success rate.

The report calls for drastic reforms of the judiciary and security agencies.

"The perpetrators invariably escape punishment, and women and girls who have been raped are denied any form of redress for the serious crimes against them," the report says.

It also documents cases of soldiers raping mothers in front of their husbands and children and detainees being sexually tortured with broken bottles.

"The harsh reality is that if you are a woman or a girl in Nigeria who has suffered the terrible experience of being raped, your suffering is likely to be met with intimidation by the police, indifference from the state and the knowledge that the perpetrator is unlikely to ever face justice," said Kolawole Olaniyan, Africa Director of Amnesty International.

Although Nigerian law stipulates life sentence - or death by stoning under Sharia law in the predominantly Muslim north - the report says most rape cases in Nigeria go unreported because the victims fear they would be rejected by the community.

The victims also fear that the soldiers and policemen who raped them in the first place might hurt them again if they reported the crime.

One report cited the case of two teenage students it said were kidnapped and gang-raped by three policemen for several hours in Enugu State in 2004.

There has been no judgment yet from the Nigerian courts on the case and the victims and their families said they have received death threats.

Another case cited in the report was that of another woman who was raped along with her mother and daughter.

"The armed people held my mother, they raped her ... they raped me. I was two months pregnant and I had a miscarriage," she said.

Amnesty: Rape by Nigerian security forces 'endemic'

Nigeria: Government fails women and girls raped by police and security forces

The megacity: Decoding the chaos of Lagos

New York City schools allow Jewish menorahs and Islamic crescents but bar Christian nativity scenes


In a dispute over display of holiday symbols, New York City schools are allowing Jewish menorahs and Islamic crescents but barring Christian nativity scenes, alleging the depiction of the birth of Christ does not represent a historical event.

In pleadings with a federal court in defense of the ban, New York City lawyers asserted the "suggestion that a crèche is a historically accurate representation of an event with secular significance is wholly disingenuous."

The Jewish and Islamic symbols are allowed, the district says, because they have a secular dimension, but the Christian symbols are "purely religious."

Robert J. Muise, who will challenge the school policy at a federal court hearing tomorrow in Brooklyn, told WorldNetDaily be believes most Americans don't see it that way.

"The birth of Jesus is a historical event which serves as the basis for celebration of Christmas," Muise stated. "It's of importance for both Christians and non-Christians."

Muise's Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center filed a motion to temporarily restrain the city from enforcing its ban on nativity scenes. The center asserts New York's policy "promotes the Jewish and Islamic faiths while conveying the impermissible message of disapproval of Christianity in violation of the U.S. Constitution."

The Michigan group says one public-school principal issued a memo encouraging teachers to bring to school "religious symbols" that represent the Islamic and Jewish religions, but made no mention of Christianity.

Jewish menorahs adorned the halls of the school as part of the authorized displays, the More Center said, but students were not allowed to make and similarly display nativity scenes.

Chicago officials ask holiday bazaar to nix movie about Jesus' birth

No Nativity at a Christmas Fair

A mother is charged with killing her baby daughter by burning her in a microwave


Police arrested 26-year-old China Arnold on Monday. Her three-week-old daughter, Paris Talley, died back in August of 2005.

The Montgomery County Coroner's Office says it now has scientific evidence to back that a microwave oven might have been involved in the death.

"There is some information that potentially an appliance could have been used to cause the burns to this baby," said Gary White, Dayton Police Dept.

Police say the baby was dead when Arnold brought her to the hospital and that the baby suffered from severe burns. Arnold is charged with aggravated murder.

Mother Accused of Microwaving Her Baby To Death

Illegal aliens murder 12 Americans daily and engage in other destructive crimes

Joseph Farah:

While the military "quagmire" in Iraq was said to tip the scales of power in the U.S. midterm elections, most Americans have no idea more of their fellow citizens – men, women and children – were murdered this year by illegal aliens than the combined death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan since those military campaigns began.

Though no federal statistics are kept on murders or any other crimes committed by illegal aliens, a number of groups have produced estimates based on data collected from prisons, news reports and independent research.

Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, according to statistics released by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. If those numbers are correct, it translates to 4,380 Americans murdered annually by illegal aliens. That's 21,900 since Sept. 11, 2001.

Total U.S. troop deaths in Iraq as of last week were reported at 2,863. Total U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan during the five years of the Afghan campaign are currently at 289, according to the Department of Defense.

But the carnage wrought by illegal alien murderers represents only a fraction of the pool of blood spilled by American citizens as a result of an open border and un-enforced immigration laws.

While King reports 12 Americans are murdered daily by illegal aliens, he says 13 are killed by drunk illegal alien drivers – for another annual death toll of 4,745. That's 23,725 since Sept. 11, 2001.

While no one – in or out of government – tracks all U.S. accidents caused by illegal aliens, the statistical and anecdotal evidence suggests many of last year's 42,636 road deaths involved illegal aliens.

A report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study found 20 percent of fatal accidents involve at least one driver who lacks a valid license. In California, another study showed that those who have never held a valid license are about five times more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than licensed drivers.

Statistically, that makes them an even greater danger on the road than drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked – and nearly as dangerous as drunk drivers.

King also reports eight American children are victims of sexual abuse by illegal aliens every day – a total of 2,920 annually.

Based on a one-year in-depth study, Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Violent Crimes Institute of Atlanta estimates there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each. She analyzed 1,500 cases from January 1999 through April 2006 that included serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides and child molestation committed by illegal immigrants.

Cop murder spotlights crisis of killer aliens

Biting the Hand That Feeds You

How open borders turn Americans into roadkill

Study: 1 million sex crimes by illegals

Black teens in Long Beach, California face hate crime charges

Hector Becerra:

Los Angeles County prosecutors today filed hate crimes charges against eight black teenagers accused of beating up three white women on Halloween night in a case that has startled and divided Long Beach.

Authorities said they took the action after concluding that the teens attacked and beat the women in the upscale Bixby Knolls area because they were white.

The case has been the subject of a wrenching public dialogue over the last few weeks in the racially diverse city of 460,000, with civil rights groups like the NAACP condemning the teenagers' alleged actions and the city holding a public forum meant to ease tensions. The attack occurred on a block known for fancy Halloween decorations.

According to police, a mob of mostly girls, ages 12 to 17, allegedly hurled racial insults at the women, threw small pumpkins and lemons at them, and then knocked them to the ground with kicks, punches and swings of a skateboard.

Halloween Beating Suspects Charged with Hate Crime

Reverse Discrimination: Long Beach Hate Crime Shows Black-on-White Racism

Michael Richards: An equal opportunity offender?

Solvej Schou:

First he went on national television to apologize for his racial tirade against two black hecklers. Now Michael Richards is taking his contriteness to the next level: he's hired a public relations expert with deep contacts in the black community.

New York publicist Howard Rubenstein took on Richards as a client Wednesday after being contacted by the actor-comedian. He then arranged for Richards to call the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Apparently, Richards attacked his fellow Jews in a previous comedy act:

As for reports that Richards shouted out anti-Semitic remarks during another standup comedy routine in April, Rubenstein confirmed his client did, but that he was only role-playing.

"He's Jewish. He's not anti-Semitic at all. He was role-playing, he was playing a part. He did use inappropriate language, but he doesn't have any anti-Semitic feelings whatsoever," Rubenstein said.

Publicist Confirms Michael Richards Is Jewish

Three more members of the notorious Muslim Boys gang have been locked up after being caught with loaded guns


Stefon Thomas, 23, Marlon Stubbs, 25, and Sanjit Webster, 20, were arrested during an investigation into a shooting outside a family home. Gunmen fired a hail of bullets at Marlon Crooks, his eight-year-old daughter,mum, grandmother,sister and brother on October 10 last year. Miraculously,they all escaped injury.

Thomas and Stubbs were picked out by an eyewitness but were cleared of attempted murder by an Old Bailey jury.

But a week after the shooting, Thomas was caught with a D-32 Derringer pistol and on November 3, Webster and Stubbs were arrested with a .44 calibre weapon.

All three were convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Stubbs, who has a previous conviction for raping two schoolgirls, had been cleared at the Old Bailey in September 2005 of conspiracy to murder a rival, Adrian Marriott.

It was claimed Mr Marriott had been shot in the head with a machine gun in Brixton by members of the Muslim Boys gang. Stubbs and Thomas will serve at least four years before being considered for parole while Webster will serve at least three-and-a-half years.

Thomas was also sentenced to six years concurrent for possession of a prohibited weapon and four years concurrent on two charges of possession of prohibited ammunition.

The Old Bailey heard Marlon Crooks was attacked by a gang wearing Muslim-style head-scarves while showing his family a new BMW convertible in Condell Road, Battersea. Thomas was caught with a loaded D-32 double Derringer pistol when police spotted him in his black Mercedes on October 16 last year.

Stubbs and Webster were caught in the back of a taxi while travelling from Brixton to Stratford to collect the .44 pistol on November 3 last year, the last day of the Muslim festival of Ramadan.

They were overheard saying, "When Ramadan ends the snake is going to strike,"the court heard.

Thomas, of no fixed address, and Stubbs, of Ward Point, Kennington, were cleared of two charges of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life in relation to the shooting.

'Muslim Boys' guilty of clubber's killing

UK: The rise of the Muslim Boys

Is this the last generation of Jews in Britain?

Jonathan Wynne-Jones:

It is 350 years since Oliver Cromwell readmitted Jews to Britain, but a leading Israeli rabbi warns that Judaism here is now in imminent danger of extinction

Leading figures from Britain's Jewish community will join the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh this week at a glitzy ceremony at St James's Palace to mark the 350th anniversary of Cromwell's decision to allow Jews to return to these shores.

It is hard today to envisage British society without Jews. It is more than 100 years since Benjamin Disraeli became prime minister and there are Jews prominent in every profession and in every corner of British culture: from Lucian Freud, the artist, to Sacha Baron Cohen, the comedian; Harold Pinter, the playwright, to Harry Woolf, the Lord Chief Justice.

As the Government has conceded that it is time to reconsider the success of the multicultural experiment, Jews in Britain have provided the perfect example of an immigrant people able to retain their identity while playing a full part in society. However, their very success in assimilating into British life now appears to be threatening their survival in this country.

Earlier this month, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, the world's leading Talmudic scholar, on a visit to Manchester from his home in Jerusalem, delivered an apocalyptic vision of Anglo-Jewry, warning that a once thriving community faces extinction.

"The Jewish community in England, as in other parts of Europe, is demographically unviable," he said. "It is a dying community, without even counting assimilation. They say that in order to remain stable, a community needs to average 2.2 children. I don't think this is the case in Anglo-Jewry. Whatever the figure, when you add the devastating devaluation of assimilation and intermarriage, it is becoming smaller all the time."

His comments are borne out by the decline in the outward expressions of Judaism, from weddings to synagogue attendance, and the disappearance of its cultural heritage, with Jewish architecture said to be more at risk than ever before.

It is the continual rise in the number of Jews marrying gentiles that poses the biggest challenge facing the community. In 1990, there were estimated to be about 340,000 Jews in Britain, but the population has declined by a fifth to only 270,000 today. According to the 1996 Jewish Policy Review, nearly one in two are marrying people who do not share their faith.

Steinsaltz's remarks about 'dying' UK Jewry spark blame game

How Islamic religious leaders terrorized an airliner

Audrey Hudson:

Muslim religious leaders removed from a Minneapolis flight last week exhibited behavior associated with a security probe by terrorists and were not merely engaged in prayers, according to witnesses, police reports and aviation security officials.

Witnesses said three of the imams were praying loudly in the concourse and repeatedly shouted "Allah" when passengers were called for boarding US Airways Flight 300 to Phoenix.

"I was suspicious by the way they were praying very loud," the gate agent told the Minneapolis Police Department.

Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks -- two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin.

"That would alarm me," said a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous. "They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane."

A pilot from another airline said: "That behavior has been identified as a terrorist probe in the airline industry."

The Grounded Imams; Stranger Behavior Than Prayers

Six imams and a plane

The Grounded Imams

In praise of discrimination

On a wing and a prayer

Women talk three times as much as men, according to study

Fiona MacRae:

It is something one half of the population has long suspected - and the other half always vocally denied. Women really do talk more than men.

In fact, women talk almost three times as much as men, with the average woman chalking up 20,000 words in a day - 13,000 more than the average man.

Women also speak more quickly, devote more brainpower to chit-chat - and actually get a buzz out of hearing their own voices, a new book suggests.

The book - written by a female psychiatrist - says that inherent differences between the male and female brain explain why women are naturally more talkative than men.

In The Female Mind, Dr Luan Brizendine says women devote more brain cells to talking than men.

And, if that wasn't enough, the simple act of talking triggers a flood of brain chemicals which give women a rush similar to that felt by heroin addicts when they get a high.

Dr Brizendine, a self-proclaimed feminist, says the differences can be traced back to the womb, where the sex hormone testosterone moulds the developing male brain.

The areas responsible for communication, emotion and memory are all pared back the unborn baby boy.

The result is that boys - and men - chat less than their female counterparts and struggle to express their emotions to the same extent.

"Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road," said Dr Brizendine, who runs a female "mood and hormone" clinic in San Francisco.

Study: Women Can't Keep Mouths Shut

Radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza loses his appeal against racial hatred convictions

Daily Mail:

Radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza has lost his appeal against his convictions for incitement to murder and race-hate offences.

His challenge was rejected in the Court of Appeal in London by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, Mr Justice Penry-Davey and Mr Justice Pitchford.

Hamza, 48, was convicted by an Old Bailey jury of 11 of the 15 charges he faced and was jailed for seven years in February.

During recent appeal proceedings it was argued on Hamza's behalf that a fair trial was made impossible by the delay in prosecuting him.

Dismissing the appeal, Lord Phillips said: "There is no reason to believe that the jury were not able to consider and resolve the relevant issues objectively and impartially." Hamza was not present for the ruling.

During recent appeal proceedings, his QC, Edward Fitzgerald, told the court it was "unfair" to put him on trial in 2006 for speeches made in the years 1997 to 2000.

He submitted that a "unique" series of subsequent events - including the September 2001 attacks on the US and the July 2005 bombings in London - and a campaign against him by the media and leading politicians "prejudiced" his chances of a fair trial.

It was "unfair and oppressive" to put him on trial in 2006 for speeches "in respect of which the police had taken no action at the time".

Hamza was "subjected to a relentless campaign of adverse media publicity condemning him as a preacher of hate and inciter of violence and to public condemnation by political figures".

During his month-long trial, the prosecution alleged he was a recruiting sergeant for global terrorism.

The prosecution case against him was that in sermons at the Finsbury Park mosque in north London and in Luton, Blackburn and Whitechapel, east London, "he was preaching terrorism, homicidal violence and hatred".

Hamza was convicted of inciting his followers to murder non-Muslims and Jews. He was also convicted of stirring up racial hatred and possessing a terror "manual", the Encyclopaedia Of The Afghani Jihad.

The manual featured a dedication to al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and a list of potential targets, including Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower.

Muslim cleric jailed for inciting murder

Abu Hamza loses incitement appeal

A teaching assistant who refused to remove her Muslim veil in the classroom has been fired

Andrew Norfolk:

Aishah Azmi’s dismissal from a Church of England primary school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, followed a lengthy period of suspension over her insistence on wearing the niqab in lessons led by a male teacher.

She had already failed to persuade an employment tribunal that she was a victim of religious discrimination and harassment by Kirklees local education authority.

Mrs Azmi, 24, said that it was her Islamic duty to wear the black veil, which covered her face except for a narrow slit at the eyes, in the presence of adult males who were not her blood relatives.

Headfield Junior School argued that its pupils, many of whom are learning to speak English, found it difficult to understand what Mrs Azmi was saying when her mouth was hidden.

In a statement issued yesterday, the LEA said that the school governing body’s staff dismissals committee had recently held a hearing to discuss Mrs Azmi’s case.

“As a result of the hearing, the committee decided to terminate the employment of the employee concerned,” it said.

Shahid Malik, the Labour MP for Dewsbury, said that the Azmi case had not been about religion but about seeking the best possible education for children at the school.

More than 90 per cent of Headfield’s pupils are Muslim, many of them learning English as a second language.

Earlier this year, Ofsted criticised “exceptionally low” standards of achievement by pupils and said that many of the school’s difficulties were caused by “speech and communication problems”.

Mr Malik said: “I’m obviously disappointed that a compromise could not be reached. While I defend her right to wear the veil in society, it’s very clear that her wearing the veil in the classroom inhibits her ability to support children.”

When she was observed during lessons, the tribunal heard that, “it was readily apparent that the children were seeking visual clues from her which they could not obtain because they could not see her facial expressions”.

UK: Muslim Veil Woman Is Sacked

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Foreign-born youth rapists in Zurich


Zurich police have created a task force to deal with youth rape cases after revelations that a 13-year-old girl was reportedly raped by a group of youths.

Police fear that the case is not an isolated one in Zurich. Allegations of incidents involving minors in other towns and cities have also come to light.

Last week it was revealed that around a dozen youths aged between 15 and 18 years old had been accused of raping the girl in Zurich's Seebach area.

Four of the suspects and the girl go to the same school. All of the youths are either of foreign origin or naturalised Swiss.

Nine minors and an adult are still in custody but two other suspects have been released. Specialists are currently caring for the victim.

Swiss Dhimmitude

A Nigerian immigrant has been sentenced to two years in prison for child abuse

Associated Press:

Festus Oguhebe

A college business professor who allegedly punished one of his children by covering the boy with ants and putting pepper juice in his eyes has been sentenced to two years in prison for child abuse.

Hinds County Circuit Judge L. Breland Hilburn sentenced Alcorn State University professor Festus Oguhebe on Monday to five years in prison with three years suspended and two to serve.

Oguhebe, a Byram resident, pleaded no contest in October to one count of child abuse. With a no contest plea, a defendant is not admitting guilt, but is not contesting the charges.

The judge allowed Oguhebe to remain free on bond until Jan. 5.

Oguhebe, a native of Nigeria, was arrested in March 2005 on five counts of felony child abuse, stemming from the bizarre punishment methods he allegedly used on his 11-year-old son.

The punishment included "placing him in a bathtub, then putting hot pepper juice in his eyes, on his penis and buttocks; and also by tying his hands behind his back and covering his body with ants," according to court records.

Oguhebe had maintained that he used punishments that were customary in his native Africa.

The children, ages 7 to 13, were allegedly punished by their father for things like not finishing school work and taking food from within the household when they were told to fast, court records reveal.

The professor also was accused of abusing his son by "whipping and striking the child in such a manner as to cause serious bodily injury," according to records filed by Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Purnell.

Affidavits filed in Hinds County Court had claimed the professor beat his children with extension cords, choked and sometimes made them sleep outside as punishments.

Embrace Diversity!

Professor Tortures His Kids with Ants

Islamic creationism in Turkey

Tom Heneghan:

A lavishly illustrated "Atlas of Creation" is mysteriously turning up at schools and libraries in Turkey, proclaiming that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is the real root of terrorism.

Arriving unsolicited by post, the large-format tome offers 768 glossy pages of photographs and easy-to-read text to prove that God created the world with all its species.

At first sight, it looks like it could be the work of United States creationists, the Christian fundamentalists who believe the world was created in six days as told in the Bible.

But the author's name, Harun Yahya, reveals the surprise inside. This is Islamic creationism, a richly funded movement based in predominantly Muslim Turkey which has an influence U.S. creationists could only dream of.

Creationism is so widely accepted here that Turkey placed last in a recent survey of public acceptance of evolution in 34 countries -- just behind the United States.

Creationist “Atlas” Hits Turkish Schools

Creationism Takes Root Where Europe, Asia Meet

The latest round of legal wrangling between Norwegian authorities and Islamic mullah Krekar has ended with another ruling that he can be expelled


On Wednesday Borgarting Court of Appeals ruled that Krekar, the former head of northern Iraq-based Kurdish guerrilla group Ansar al-Islam, can be deported and that he must pay the state's court costs of NOK 290,000 (USD 45,000).

The court rejected Krekar's appeal and upheld the 2005 ruling of the Oslo Court, which found that then Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Erna Solberg was able to expel Krekar on the grounds that he posed a threat to national security.

The former Ansar al-Islam leader has remained in Norway, both to pursue legal appeals and due to doubts that his return to Iraq can take place without fear of reprisals upon his arrival there.

"It is clear that the decision will not be implemented at the current time in that the conditions in Iraq are deemed such that he, considering Norway's obligations under international law, can not be returned there," the court ruled.

Norway: Islamist Krekar Ordered Out, But Will Stay

Norwegian appeals court upholds expulsion order of Ansar al-Islam founder Mullah Krekar

The future belongs to Islam

The risk in the rise of Islam

Genetic variation in humans greater than previously thought

Tom Spears:

New Canadian research shows that at least 10 per cent of genes in the human population can vary in the number of copies of DNA sequences they contain — challenging current thinking that the DNA of any two humans is 99.9 per cent similar.

For years, geneticists have been teaching that even people of different races are identical in all but a tiny fraction of one per cent of their DNA.

Now Stephen Scherer, a geneticist at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto, says there are massive chunks of DNA that show up differently from one person to another, even within the same racial group.

The genes from two people make look the same, he says, except that one person may have an extra copy of a long section of DNA — like a book with one page printed twice. Some people’s DNA also has such “pages” missing completely.

Scherer and colleagues found approximately 2,900 genes — more than 10 per cent of all the genes that humans have — with variations in the number of copies of specific DNA chunks. These, he says, may make the gene function differently.

His findings are reported today in Nature, a major science journal.

His team compared DNA from 270 people with Asian, African, or European ancestry, looking for variations at least 1,000 bases (nucleotides) long. A base, or nucleotide, is the smallest piece of DNA. They found 1,447 sections capable of these huge variations, about 70 per person, on average.

"We'd find missing pieces of DNA, some a million or so nucleotides long," Scherer says in a written announcement of his findings. "We used to think that if you had big changes like this, then they must be involved in disease. But we are showing that we can all have these changes" without necessarily being sick.

Genetic variation: We're more different than we thought

New technology used to construct the first map of structural variation in the human genome

New map on human genetic variation unveiled

We're only human? It's more complex than that, says gene study

Israel: Chief Rabbi wants to change Jewish Law of Return

Matthew Wagner:

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar has proposed amending the Law of Return so that converts to all three principal streams of Judaism - Reform, Conservative and Orthodox - would no longer be eligible for automatic Israeli citizenship.

In an interview with Israel Radio Tuesday morning, Amar commented on his proposal.

"We don't want a situation where the Law of Return and the rights that it grants are being used indiscriminately," Amar said. "[The proposal] relates to the conversion aspect of the Law of Return, and to those who convert. They are able to come as citizens through other laws, and that is fine. They can come and request citizenship. There are a lot of people that do this, and of course they will be considered."

If Amar's proposal is approved by the Knesset, only Jews born to a Jewish mother or other relatives of Jews currently covered by the Law of Return would be entitled to automatic citizenship.

Sources close to Amar said the proposal was presented to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday in the hope that the cabinet would sponsor it as a bill in the Knesset.

Indians start new life in Israel

Black suspects sought in murder of Hispanic

Deborah Gates:

City police and Crime Solvers staged a joint news conference Monday at the scene of last week's fatal shooting of a man of Mexican heritage, pledging up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest of his masked killers.

Raul Olan Jiminez was the city's sixth homicide victim this year and, in memory, the first Hispanic -- a factor that could challenge the police investigation because oftentimes members of the ethnic group are in the country illegally and reluctant to come forward, according to police.

"There are a number of witnesses; we've had a difficult time reaching them," said Salisbury Police Department Capt. Mark Tyler. "We're going house to house, trying to get everything we can."

Jiminez, whose last name also is listed on an identification card as Lopez, was gunned down Nov. 14 near the corner of Smith Street and Maryland Avenue during an apparent robbery involving three men described by witnesses as African-American and masked.

Authorities know little more about the 9:30 p.m. shooting in the bedroom community of Salisbury University that mixes college students and a growing multiethnic population, noticeably blacks and Hispanics.

"We have suspects but no names: Three African-Americans," Tyler said. "People heard a gunshot. (The victim) has family in this area."

Crimesolvers Offers $1,000 For Info In Salisbury Murder

Black homicides in Jefferson Parish

Associated Press:

Sheriff Harry Lee said he's ready to take "extreme" measures to curb Jefferson Parish's highest homicide rate since at least 1980, including using video cameras _ some in armored vehicles _ to monitor streetcorner groups and the license plates of cars that travel through targeted areas.

Lee, who last month prompted outrage by suggesting his deputies could randomly question young black men gathered in high-crime areas, said he expects his latest plan to offend some people. But added, "I don't give a damn."

"We will go right up to the line," Lee told a news conference.

So far this year there have been 53 homicides in Jefferson Parish, an 83 percent increase over this time in 2005. Lee said he expects the figure to top 60 by year's end. Most of the victims and the alleged killers are black, sheriff's deputies said. About 45 percent of the killings are drug-related.

Lee said he's frustrated by the growing number of killings, a problem he believes has spread to Jefferson from neighboring New Orleans. That city, which has less than half its pre-Katrina population, had recorded 140 homicides _ also mostly black-on-black _ as of Tuesday afternoon, a police spokesman said.

In Jefferson, Lee's plan includes mounting cameras in armored vehicles and patrol cars, as well as positioning them in high-crime areas. The images would go to a master tape, so, Lee said, "we know who's there."

Lee said he doesn't plan to target blacks, but "bad guys." "If I step on somebody's toes," he said, "so be it."

Jefferson Parish Sheriff is abandoning an idea he had to stop young black men in high crime neighborhoods after complaints from the NAACP

Parents of a newborn child in southern Bangladesh auctioned off their baby to repay a loan from a local micro-credit bank

Daily Telegraph:

The auction took place in the impoverished hamlet of Farhadabad in Fatikchari sub-district, 290km south of the capital, Dhaka, over the weekend, said the daily, Ittefaq.

The announcement of the sale attracted more than a dozen bidders, many coming from outside the district.

The newspaper, quoting local reporters, said the baby was sold at a price of 20,000 taka ($351).

Chikon Mia and Humaira Khatoon, parents of the baby, said they already had two children who they were barely able to feed.

“We do not have enough money to feed the two children. How can I possibly feed a third one?” Ms Khatoon asked.

The landless family fell into hard times and took out a small loan last year to tide them over an economic crisis. But the farming couple failed to repay the loan in time and plunged into deeper financial problems.

After the couple's request to the bank to reschedule the unpaid loan was turned down, they put the baby up for auction.

Nearly 40 per cent of Bangladesh's 130 million people live under the United Nation's designated poverty line.

Death by Micro credit

View My Stats