Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Failed Islamic shoe bomber Richard Reid has told his British relatives he hopes to be free from captivity soon

Daily Mail:

Richard Reid

Writing from an American jail cell where he is serving a 110-year sentence for trying to blow up a transatlantic airliner carrying 200 passengers, Reid also calls on his father to convert to Islam.

The 33-year-old from Bromley, southeast London, writes: "I had a couple of good dreams about my situation changing for the better in the not too distant future so this is a blessing from Allah.

"I place my trust in Allah that he will bring that into fruition and ask him to give me patience until the time when that occurs."

Reid, who was arrested in December 2001, is held in virtual solitary confinement at the maximum security ADX Florence in Colorado. The petty criminal converted to Islam while in Feltham young offenders institution.

In the letters Reid tells his father Robin, who is a recovering drug addict living in a homeless hostel, that his deceased aunt could not be in a "better place" because she was not a Muslim.

Reid added: "How's your situation in regards to upholding the daily prayers?

"Hopefully my advice was well received and if you didn't start praying yet, I'd ask you to re-read the two letters I wrote earlier this year on that subjectand to reflect on your situation with Allah.

"As long as we strive to follow the laws which he has laid down for us then everything which occurs in this life contains some good for us."

Would-Be Shoe-Bomber Has No Regrets

Islamic terrorists are being picked on in British prisons, says Dhiren Barot's lawyer

Daily Mail:

Targeted: Terror plot convict Dhiren Barot

The London lawyer representing the injured "dirty bomber" Dhiren Barot has warned that terrorist convicts are being targeted by other inmates in Britain's jails.

Solicitor Muddassar Arani accused prison chiefs of failing in their "duty of care" to protect terrorist inmates and predicted a Muslim "backlash" if victimisation continued.

Her warning came as she gave details of the extensive injuries sustained by Barot when boiling liquid was thrown over him by fellow convicts in Durham's Frankland Prison on 13 July.

Barot - a Muslim convert from London who was jailed for life last year for plotting attacks in London and New York with explosive-filled limousines and a radioactive "dirty" bomb - was left with severe burns to his scalp, forehead, neck, back and hands after the attack.

Ms Arani said the 35-year-old was in "extreme pain" and his wounds were infected. He is expected to seek compensation.

While receiving treatment in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary police requested a news blackout to protect medical staff and Barot himself from possible attack.

Northumbria police could not estimate the cost of the security operation, which included armed police in the hospital and the Air Support Unit.

Two other terrorist convicts - Hussain Osman, jailed for his part in the 21/7 attacks in London, and Omar Khyam, the leader of a gang that planned to blow up Bluewater shopping centre - have also been targeted at the jail in recent weeks. A fire was lit in Osman's cell and Khyam has received death threats.

Ms Arani said there had been a failure to protect terrorist convicts. "If we can't treat them as human beings in prison then it does not reflect well on our society," she said.

Prisoners target terrorists in jail fire attacks

Obama, taxis and African-Americans

Ann Coulter:

B. Hussein Obama got the party started by claiming he couldn't get a cab in New York because he's black. This line was a big hit with white liberals in the audience who have never been to New York.

Even writers for the New York Times don't drag this canard out anymore. Last year, a black writer in the Times pointed out how things had changed in New York in the 10 years since he had been out of the country. Not only did he have no trouble getting a cab, but he cited statistics from taxi sting operations that showed a 96 percent compliance rate among cabbies in picking up blacks. (Remarkable, considering that New York cabbies' compliance rate on daily bathing is less than half that.)

As the Times writer noted, even 10 years ago, "most of the drivers who refused to pick me up or take me to my destination during that time were of African descent." When he asked one cabbie – 10 years ago – why he avoided picking up black customers, the driver displayed a scar across his neck, a souvenir from a black customer who had robbed him. "I have to choose which is worse," the driver said, "a fine or death."

Thanks to Rudy Giuliani, cab drivers in New York no longer have to make that choice. Under his mayoralty, New York City became a lot safer for cab drivers – and everyone else. The murder rate went from about 2,000 murders a year under Mayor David Dinkins to about 700 by the end of Giuliani's term. The last time a cab driver was killed in New York was in 1997.

In addition to making it safer for (mostly African-American and Muslim) cabbies to pick up African-Americans, Giuliani made it costly for them not to. He started "Operation Refusal" in 1999, sending out teams of black undercover cops and taxi commissioners to hail cabs and give fines to those who refused to pick up blacks.

Even back in 1999, in the first 12 hours of "Operation Refusal," out of more than 800 cabs hailed, only five cab drivers refused to pick up a customer – one of whom was a white woman with children. And by the way, I've had dozens of cabs refuse to stop for me on Fifth Avenue. Sometimes they forget to turn on the "off duty" light, or they're daydreaming or maybe they've read my columns on Muslims.

Next time, B. Hussein Obama ought to tell us the one about Kool cigarettes being owned by the KKK and causing impotence in black men. There may not be overwhelming evidence disproving that one as there is for the yarn about blacks not being able to get a cab in New York.

Barack Obama Can’t Get A Taxi?

Houston: Kidnapping ring similar to scams in Mexico

Dale Lezon:

Houston police announced Wednesday the discovery of a kidnapping and robbery operation in which unsuspecting people were snatched and held hostage until their relatives paid ransoms of a few thousand dollars.

While the actions of the ring mirror random kidnappings that have plagued Mexico and other Latin American nations for years, police said they have no evidence to suggest the Houston ring is connected to organized-crime groups in other countries. But experts familiar with so called "express kidnappings" taking place just south of the border said the Texas operation appears similar.

"It seems like it's reaching Houston," said Nestor Rodriguez, a University of Houston sociologist. "The question is: 'Is this going to be a pattern, or is it just one group?'"

Police said Elionay Pena, 47, Ricardo Patino, 24 and Jose Alberto Martinez, 19, are charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery. They are being held in the Harris County Jail with no bail set.

Pena, Patino and Martinez are probably part of a larger local group primarily targeting Spanish-speaking victims who may be wary about reporting what happened, police said.

The men were arrested July 6 after one of their victims escaped, police said. The man, unidentified by police, had been waiting at a bus stop on South Gessner near the Katy Freeway service road on July 3 when four men — including the three who were later arrested — approached and forced him inside a waiting pickup, police said.

He told police that another hostage — who had been grabbed earlier — was in the truck.

The abductors drove them to a house in the 8000 block of John Street, where at least three other people were being held for ransom, police said. The victims were tied up and locked inside a room at the house.

The captors demanded the victims give them contact information for their relatives, who were then ordered to pay about $2,000 each to secure the victims' safe release. They threatened to kill them if police were called.

Over the next few days, the other victims were picked up by their family members. The last hostage was unable to contact his relatives by July 6 and offered to pay his own ransom if the attackers would drive him to the restaurant where he worked.

They agreed. They drove him to an Outback steakhouse in the 20000 block of the Katy Freeway and waited outside for him to go in and get his paycheck.

Once inside, the victim, 34, told his boss what had happened and the manager called police.

Officers arrested the three alleged kidnappers outside the restaurant.

"If it had not been for his quick thinking, there's no telling if his release would have been secured through family members or what," said HPD Sgt. Eddie Diaz.

Police admitted they have little information about the group, other than calling them "organized." They don't know how long they have been working in Houston, how many captives they may have taken in the past, or if they can be linked to any other kidnapping operations.

"They (the suspects) are speaking, but they're not necessarily forthcoming," Diaz said.

And neither are the other victims, police said.

"I think their (immigration) status has a part to play in it. They are afraid that because of their status, they may be turned over to (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) or be sent back," said Diana Gonzales, an HPD investigator.

HPD officials, however, could not confirm if the victim or his captors were undocumented immigrants.

The operation sounds familiar to Hector Navarro, assistant security chief at the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. He said such kidnappings are nearly a daily occurrence in Mexico.

Attackers grab people off the street or from taxis, drive them to ATMs and force them to withdraw $500 to $1,000 from their accounts, Navarro said. And similar to the Houston victims, people in Mexico don't call the police

The police, he said, often don't investigate the crimes.

Also, he said, the kidnappers threaten to kill their victims if they go to law enforcement authorities. They often steal the victims' identification documents to learn their home addresses and tell them they know how to find them if the police are told about the crimes.

"They'll take whatever you have," Navarro said. "They slap you on the face and tell you to go home."

The U.S. Department of State can't say for certain if the express kidnappings are becoming prevalent in the United States, but warns travelers about the dangers of the kidnappings in Mexico, said Kurtis Cooper, a department spokesman.

"So-called express kidnappings, an attempt to get quick cash in exchange for the release of an individual, have occurred in almost all the large cities in Mexico and appear to target not only the wealthy, but also the middle class," according to the department's Web site.

Mexican Crime Incursion Update

Why The Axis Of Amnesty Was Defeated — A Post-Mortem

Flood-The-Bureaucrats Technique Works For Vote Fraud As Well As Amnesty

A Specter Is Haunting America – Senator Arlen Threatens Revival Of Undead Amnesty

The whiteness of nerds

Benjamin Nugent:

What is a nerd? Mary Bucholtz, a linguist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been working on the question for the last 12 years. She has gone to high schools and colleges, mainly in California, and asked students from different crowds to think about the idea of nerdiness and who among their peers should be considered a nerd; students have also “reported” themselves. Nerdiness, she has concluded, is largely a matter of racially tinged behavior. People who are considered nerds tend to act in ways that are, as she puts it, “hyperwhite.”

While the word “nerd” has been used since the 1950s, its origin remains elusive. Nerds, however, are easy to find everywhere. Being a nerd has become a widely accepted and even proud identity, and nerds have carved out a comfortable niche in popular culture; “nerdcore” rappers, who wear pocket protectors and write paeans to computer routing devices, are in vogue, and TV networks continue to run shows with titles like “Beauty and the Geek.” As a linguist, Bucholtz understands nerdiness first and foremost as a way of using language. In a 2001 paper, “The Whiteness of Nerds: Superstandard English and Racial Markedness,” and other works, including a book in progress, Bucholtz notes that the “hegemonic” “cool white” kids use a limited amount of African-American vernacular English; they may say “blood” in lieu of “friend,” or drop the “g” in “playing.” But the nerds she has interviewed, mostly white kids, punctiliously adhere to Standard English. They often favor Greco-Latinate words over Germanic ones (“it’s my observation” instead of “I think”), a preference that lends an air of scientific detachment. They’re aware they speak distinctively, and they use language as a badge of membership in their cliques. One nerd girl Bucholtz observed performed a typically nerdy feat when asked to discuss “blood” as a slang term; she replied: “B-L-O-O-D. The word is blood,” evoking the format of a spelling bee. She went on, “That’s the stuff which is inside of your veins,” humorously using a literal definition. Nerds are not simply victims of the prevailing social codes about what’s appropriate and what’s cool; they actively shape their own identities and put those codes in question.

Like That’s A Bad Thing–Professor Calls Nerds “Hyperwhite”

A 22-year-old Pakistani student in Australia has tested positive for polio, a World Health Organization official says

Ashfaq Yusufzai:

The case is the first in Australia since 1986, officials say.

Zaheer Ahmed from Punjab apparently contacted the virus on a recent visit to Pakistan, officials say.

Pakistan is one of only five countries in the world where the polio virus still exists. Eleven new cases have been reported so far this year.

In northern Pakistan, hardline clerics are conducting a campaign against polio vaccination, saying it is a US conspiracy to render people incapable of producing children.

Mr Ahmad, a student living in Melbourne, came to Pakistan in March and visited its northern tourist resorts of Swat and Kalam, Dr Sarfraz Khan Afridi, a surveillance officer of the WHO told the BBC.

He returned to Melbourne on 30 June, and soon afterwards developed problems in his legs which were diagnosed as polio, he said.

He said the student had been quarantined.

Dr Khalife Mahmud Bille, the WHO's country chief in Pakistan, told the BBC that the Australian government had expressed concern over the detection of a polio case on its soil and had sent information about it to the Pakistani authorities.

According to Dr Bille, a sample of the virus received from Australia was tested for genetic sequencing and was found to closely resemble a polio case detected in Pakistan's Khyber tribal agency in October 2006.

The WHO surveillance staff found that during his visit to northern Pakistan, Zaheer Ahmed stayed at a hotel owned by a resident of Khyber Agency.

Northern Pakistan has been the scene of a campaign by hardline clerics who have been telling people that the polio vaccine is designed to render their children sexually impotent.

They say it is a conspiracy of the Western powers to restrict the Muslim birth rate.

The WHO's polio vaccination teams have repeatedly failed to achieve vaccination targets in large parts of northern Pakistan over the past year.

The region accounts for more than half the polio cases reported in the country each year.

Polio cases on the rise in 8 states

What is polio?

Polio scare 'wake-up' call for NZ

Search continues for 29 polio-exposed travellers

Travellers Reminded To Be Vigilant Against Polio

Discrimination against fat people might not be all the fault of bullies, international scientists say

BBC News:

They found, for some people, the sight of obesity sparked strong subconscious reactions, such as disgust.

The Evolution and Human Behaviour study suggests this is part of a deep-seated behavioural reponse designed to help detect and avoid those with infections.


The researchers looked at the results of a questionnaire completed by more than 250 people from the University of British Columbia.

They found that, just as rotten food can trigger nausea, the sight of someone obese could trigger reactions such as disgust.

And the reactions were stronger in people who were most afraid of disease.

People who agreed with the statement, "It really bothers me when people sneeze without covering their mouths" were more likely to agree with, "If I were an employer looking to hire, I might avoid hiring a fat person."

The researchers say because obesity represents a deviation from what we regard as a 'normal' body morphology, and so triggers the response because it could be the sign of a disease caused by pathogens, such as bacteria or viruses.

This is similar to the response people might feel if they saw someone with a rash, and the authors say people can be highly sensitive to such visual triggers even if they know a person does not actually have a disease.

However, although these negative responses to certain triggers could aid survival by helping people detect and so avoid those with infections, it could also cause negative attitudes towards obese people.

The researchers said their results indicated that prejudice against obese people might not be rooted in psychological mechanisms, but in this innate bahavioural response.


Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of charity Weight Concern, said children as young as seven had been shown to have an in-built discrimination against obese people, so he was "not surprised" that such a prejudice could have an evolutionary basis.

He said: "Being very obese is associated with a greater risk of ill health, so I'm not surprised by this."

Scientists discover why thin people dislike fat people

A group of Nigerian women says it will place a curse on the country's men if the government fails to free an Igbo separatist leader held for treason

BBC News:

The women say Ralph Uwazuruike, who has been in custody for almost two years, must be freed within 24 hours.

The women did not spell out what kind of curse they would place.

A BBC correspondent says this is the first time a curse has been used politically, although many Nigerians believe in witchcraft.

Mr Uwazuruike, leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob), was arrested in October 2005 after he announced that the Igbo people of south-eastern Nigeria would launch a renewed secession bid.

The Eastern Women's Consultative Forum (EWCF) say they will take the corpse of Mr Uwazuruike's mother, who died recently, to the presidential villa if the government fails to act on their demand.

"Other detainees from other geo-political zones have regained their freedom except him and the other members of Massob," Elizabeth Unuoha told reporters in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos.

Recently, Nigerian courts freed two Yoruba separatist leaders and granted bail to Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, the most prominent rebel leader from the Niger Delta.

Like Mr Uwazuruike, they had all been charged with treason.

The EWCF also said they would embark on street demonstrations similar to the historic Aba women's riots of 1929.

In 1929, Igbo women who were unhappy with a direct tax policy imposed by the British colonial government, stripped naked and took the streets.

More than one million people died after the three-year Biafran civil war broke out in 1967.

Massob says the Igbo people are still "marginalised".

Recently, Biafran leader Emeka Ojukwu, who ran for president in April's general elections, said the Igbo people have even more reason today to seek independence.

Nigeria rebel wife still defiant

Scientists have discovered the first gene which appears to increase the odds of being left-handed

BBC News:

The Oxford University-led team believe carrying the gene may also slightly raise the risk of developing psychotic mental illness such as schizophrenia.

The gene, LRRTM1, appears to play a key role in controlling which parts of the brain take control of specific functions, such as speech and emotion.

The study appears in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

The brain is set up in an asymmetrical way.

In right-handed people the left side of the brain usually controls speech and language, and the right side controls emotions.

However, in left-handed people the opposite is often true, and the researchers believe the LRRTM1 gene is responsible for this flip.

They also believe people with the LRRTM1 gene may have a raised risk of schizophrenia, a condition often linked to unusual balances of brain function.

Lead researcher Dr Clyde Francks, from Oxford University's Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, said the next step would be to probe the impact on the development of the brain further.

He said: "We hope this study's findings will help us understand the development of asymmetry in the brain.

"Asymmetry is a fundamental feature of the human brain that is disrupted in many psychiatric conditions."

However, Dr Francks said left-handed people should not be worried by the links between handedness and schizophrenia.

He said: "There are many factors which make individuals more likely to develop schizophrenia and the vast majority of left-handers will never develop a problem.

"We don't yet know the precise role of this gene."

About 10% of people are left-handed.

There is evidence to suggest there are some significant differences between left and right-handed people.

Australian research published last year found left-handed people can think quicker when carrying out tasks such as playing computer games or playing sport.

And French researchers concluded that being left-handed could be an advantage in hand-to-hand combat.

However, being left-handed has also been linked to a greater risk of some diseases, and to having an accident.

Dr Fred Kavalier, a consultant geneticist at London's Guy's Hospital, said: "I don't think left-handed people should be alarmed.

"Undoubtedly there are many, many other factors that contribute to schizophrenia. This may be a tiny little element in the big jigsaw."

Jane Harris, of the mental health charity Rethink, said: "No-one really understands what causes schizophrenia yet.

"It is probably a combination of factors, including genetics, problems in childbirth, viral infections, drug use, poverty and urbanisation."

Right, we've found the gene that can turn you into a leftie

Left-handers more at risk of mental illness

Sweden is bad at integrating immigrants - that's the view of Swedes themselves, according to a new Europe-wide survey

The Local:

The Eurobarometer survey interviewed 500 residents in each of 75 European cities to get their opinions on their home towns. In Sweden, the survey covered Stockholm and Malmö. The survey rated Sweden as one of the worst places at integrating foreigners and one of the places where it is hardest to find reasonably-priced housing.

In Malmö, only 12 percent said that foreigners who live there are well-integrated; 83 percent said they were not. A similar story was told in Stockholm, where 78 people disagreed with the statement that foreigners who live in the city were well-integrated.

No other city in Europe was more negative to the integration of immigrants; next most negative were Berlin, Vienna and Graz, while inhabitants of cities in Romania, Hungary and Poland were most satisfied with integration.

The Death of Sweden

The growing number of young Hispanic mothers is the primary cause for an uptick in Montgomery County's teen pregnancies

Mariana Minaya:

In the county, which has one of the lowest overall birthrates in the United States, the birthrate increased 16 percent from 2002 to 2005 among all women 15 to 19, according to a report by county staff. In the same period, births for women in that age group dropped nationally and statewide.

Births among Hispanic women 18 to 19, which have particularly driven the growth in teen pregnancies in Montgomery, have increased more than 30 percent in the past decade, according to the report.

"The statistics are striking," said County Council member George L. Leventhal (D-At Large), chairman of the council's Health and Human Services Committee, which met yesterday with the Education Committee to discuss the numbers.

In Montgomery, births among black women 18 to 19 have declined in the past 10 years, and the birthrate for that group is nearing that of white women 18 to 19, the report said. Exact data were not available.

Committee members listened to testimony from social service advocates and others who pointed to a variety of factors for the growing numbers in the Latino community.

Candace Kattar, executive director of Identity Inc., a nonprofit group in Gaithersburg that serves Latinos, said low-income and undocumented teen moms often might not see pregnancy as a barrier to goals such as an education or career.

"A lot of the teen Latino moms are actually quite happy to be pregnant as teenagers," Kattar said.

A survey of Latino teens and adults by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy found that a significant portion of the Latino community does not see teen pregnancy in their community as a big deal, according to the Montgomery report, and only a small number thought it prevented teens from reaching their goals.

"The whole cultural piece is enormous," said Pilar Torres, executive director of Centro Familia, a Silver Spring group that promotes child care and education for Latinos. "We're not understanding why these girls are getting pregnant. It's totally different for this community."

The National Campaign survey showed that Latinas were less likely to talk to their parents about sex than other teenage girls. Advocates for curbing teen pregnancy said that more communication among parents and their children is critical.

Birth control remains a taboo topic for many Latina women visiting the Teen Connection, a Silver Spring-based clinic, said its executive director, Karen Butler-Colbert.

"These girls don't want to become pregnant, but they don't know much about contraception," she said.

Many pregnant Hispanic girls are not getting married but are staying in long-term situations similar to ones their mothers might have been in, "acompañadas," or accompanied relationships, Kattar said.

As the county attempts to reach out to a diversifying population, Leventhal said, the council will meet in the following months to continue the discussion.

"What I found most striking were Candace Kattar's comments about a very different mind-set," Leventhal said in an interview. "We make assumptions that these poor, uneducated girls are acting against their own best interest. Her point was that some of them were making a decision in what they think is in their own interest."

Number Of Pregnancies Among Young Hispanic Women Plays Large Part In Rising Teenage Birth Rates

Texas Leads Nation In Teen Births

Counting the cost of immigration in Britain

Philip Johnston:

A common thread ran through most of the big stories that caught the media's attention last week.

The Government's plan for three million new houses; the misery caused to thousands of families whose homes were built on flood plains because of a shortage of space; Labour's new transport "strategy", necessitated by overcrowded trains and the requirement for additional rolling stock and longer platforms; the issuing of 700,000 new National Insurance numbers to overseas nationals; Gordon Brown's promise to deport 4,000 foreign prisoners; and his pledge to establish a new border agency to control arrivals to and departures from the country.

The common thread connecting all of these issues is immigration. Not the fact, but its scale.

Each of the announcements listed above was, in part, a recognition that the number of arrivals in recent years has been too great, yet no preparations were made to accommodate them. The issue now is how the country, and especially those parts of it wilting under the strain of a growing population, can continue to absorb immigrants at existing levels when it can hardly cope with the most recent wave.

Just look again at that cascade of announcements over the past seven days. Why are the trains fuller than ever? One reason is that there are far more women working than used to be the case, expanding the workforce substantially, in keeping with the growing economy. But the number of foreign workers using public transport has also grown noticeably in recent years, especially in London and other big cities.

Mr Brown last week made a big thing about a promise to deport 4,000 foreign prisoners this year. There are nearly 12,000 foreign nationals in Britain's jails. Over the past five years, while the number of British prisoners has gone up by about 10 per cent, there has been an 80 per cent increase in foreign prisoners, taking up 4,000 more prison places than anticipated and exacerbating the overcrowding crisis.

This is a direct consequence of the rise in immigration, not because foreigners have a greater predilection to commit crimes but because, as with the indigenous population, a certain proportion of them do.

Or take the proposed three million new houses. The principal reason for the shortage of housing is the break up of families. But that accounts for only two thirds of the requirement. The other million are needed for immigrants.

A revealing government response to a question from James Clappison, Conservative MP for Hertsmere, last week showed how hopelessly wrong past assessments of the likely impact of net immigration on housing demand has been. In doing so, the answer demonstrated conclusively that the Government simply had no idea what it was doing.

It indicated that not long after Labour came to power, Government actuaries - using household projections from 1996 - estimated that a quarter of the 150,000 additional households that would be formed each year between 2001 and 2021 - ie, 38,000 - would be attributable to net migration into England.

By March this year, the actuarial projection, based on 2004 figures, was that one third of the extra 223,000 households that would be formed annually by 2026 - ie, 73,000 - would be attributable to immigration.

In other words, the housing requirement caused by immigration to England is twice what was predicted when Labour took office just 10 years ago. This failure to acknowledge its level even now has badly affected local councils, which rely upon an accurate assessment of their population in order to qualify for Whitehall grants, and has obvious knock-on effects on other services such as education and healthcare.

Immigration is, then, a numbers issue after all. Even the BBC now agrees. Last week, after studiously ignoring the subject for years, or finding it somewhat distasteful, the Beeb screened a Panorama programme entitled "How We Lost Count", which it advertised as though this were some sort of scoop.

These are facts that many of us have known for years, but it has been an uphill battle to get them seriously debated. The fact that they are now being discussed is largely due to the efforts of a small, independent research outfit called Migrationwatch, which came on to the scene exactly five years ago this week. It issued a report that was denounced as alarmist, scaremongering, even racist.

It was a prediction that Britain could expect to receive more than two million immigrants every 10 years for the foreseeable future unless curbs were introduced. It was absolutely spot on, but few thanked Sir Andrew Green, the retired diplomat who founded Migrationwatch, for pointing it out. More than that, efforts were made - including official ones - to traduce his motives and to trash his group's research.

You may or may not agree with Sir Andrew's view, which he articulated five years ago, that "the scale of inward migration is now so great as to be contrary to the best interests of every section of our community". But you can no longer ignore that scale nor its consequences. The big question now is what do we do about it?

In a recent parliamentary debate, important speeches on this subject were made by Nicholas Soames, the Tory MP for mid-Sussex, and Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead. Mr Soames proposed moving to zero net immigration from outside the EU; Mr Field, if anything, was more radical in his prescription.

He also said: "The debate is of course about numbers, but it is also about what it means to create and maintain a community. If the Government do not change track very smartly on this issue, the sense of national identity might be lost, and then we are in totally new territory."

This is no longer a discussion confined to a few voices in the wilderness, nor is it a subject from which the Conservatives should shy away because they fear it will be derided by Mr Brown as the "old agenda". This is happening now and it is too important for the future cohesion of our nation to be tiptoed around any more.

In the meantime, a debt of gratitude is owed to Sir Andrew and his Migrationwatch team for having the guts to stick with what they knew to be right.


An illegal immigrant from Honduras who was about to be deported has been charged with raping three women

Associated Press:

Jose Rivera

Jose C. Rivera was in Atlanta awaiting deportation. The rape charges filed Friday will stop the deportation proceedings.

Rivera is accused of attacking three women between April 2004 and September 2005. Police say he talked his way into a victim's home, attacked another outside her apartment and grabbed a jogger who was running alone. The attacker used a weapon in each case.

Rivera is from Honduras. He has been jailed at least eight times in Mecklenburg County since 2004.

Illegal immigrant to face multiple rape charges

BBC poll: More than a third of UK residents of South Asian origin do not feel British

BBC News:

The research among the under-34s for the Asian Network found 38% of the UK residents of South Asian origin felt only slightly or not at all British.

More than a third agreed to get on in the UK they needed to be a "coconut", a term for somebody who is "brown on the outside but white on the inside".

ICM Research interviewed 500 Asian people aged 16-34 and 235 white people aged 18-34 between 4 and 12 July.

Of those polled 84% were satisfied with life in Britain and almost half thought they have more opportunities here.

All of the British Asians polled were of South Asian origin.

Half of them, and nearly two-thirds of the white people interviewed, agreed it was too easy for immigrants to settle in Britain.

Three-quarters of the British Asians felt their culture was being diluted by living in the UK and nearly half believed white people did not treat them as British.

A total of 59% of the British Asians polled felt they were British, compared to 73% of white people.

Among the British Asians interviewed were 296 Muslims, 112 Hindus, 39 Sikhs and 33 Christians.

Among the Sikhs, 77% said they felt completely British or a lot. For Muslims, the figure was 64%, followed by Hindus and Christians on 46%.

The poll was commissioned to coincide with the BBC's India and Pakistan '07 season of programmes to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1947 partition of India.

Maybe This Will Help The Real British To Wake Up...

Africa: A UN human rights expert has said she is shocked at the scale and brutality of sexual violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

BBC News:

Yakin Erturk said the situation in South Kivu province was the worst she had seen in four years as special UN investigator on violence against women.

She said women had been tortured, forced to eat human flesh and men had been forced to rape relatives.

She said rebels, soldiers and police were responsible.

Last year's UN-supervised elections were supposed to end years of conflict in DR Congo but violence continues, especially in the east.

Over the weekend, Humanitarian Affairs Minister Jean Claude Muyambu said that some six million people had fled their homes because of the fighting.

"The atrocities perpetrated by these armed groups are of an unimaginable brutality that goes far beyond rape," she said in a statement after visiting the region.

"Women are brutally gang raped, often in front of their families and communities."

Ms Erturk said some 4,500 cases of rape had been reported in South Kivu this year - with many more cases believed to have gone unreported.

"Most victims live in inaccessible areas [and] are afraid to report or did not survive the violence," she said.

She called on the international community to do more to protect Congolese women - there are some 16,000 UN peacekeepers in the country.

She also said no action had been taken against security forces who had raped civilians.

"There seems to be a pattern of using rape as a planned reprisal to punish communities suspected of supporting opposition groups," she told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

She also warned that sexual violence was becoming common outside areas of conflict.

"Violence against women seems to be perceived by large sectors of society to be normal."

Violence against women "beyond rape" in Congo: U.N

UN expert says rebel atrocities against Congolese women go 'far beyond rape'

African-American woman murders and castrates her sexually abusive Liberian immigrant father

Joe Gould:

Brigitte Harris

He should have been her protector, but instead her father was her tormentor, sexually abusing 26-year-old Brigitte Harris since she was 3 years old, the woman's lawyer told the Daily News yesterday.

"This guy was a monster," said Arthur Aidala, who represents Harris, the woman cops say cuffed, asphyxiated and sexually mutilated her father, Eric Goodridge, after luring him to her Rockaways apartment on Saturday.

The former airport security guard is expected to be charged later this week by the Queens district attorney. Police have not been able to interview Harris, who checked into a Staten Island psychiatric ward Saturday.

Aidala declined to discuss what took place in his client's apartment. Goodridge, 55, was already dead when his penis was cut off, sources said. Police have not recovered his genitals.

Aidala said his client had survived a horrific childhood. Harris, who called herself the Original Dark Angel and Lady Vengeance on her Web site, had been repeatedly molested by Goodridge since she was a little girl, he added.

"He first tried to rape her when she was age 3, but her older and younger brother broke it up," said Aidala, who spoke with Harris at length yesterday at the Richmond University Medical Center psych ward.

"He was the person who should have protected her - but didn't," Aidala said.

Harris' mother returned to her native Liberia when the girl was 2 years old. She was raised by her father, or distant relatives when Goodridge himself went back to Liberia for months at a time, the lawyer said.

She was at Goodridge's mercy until she became a teenager and moved out, Aidala said.

"Many people in the family knew and did nothing," he said. Harris was not the only family member Goodridge molested, the lawyer alleged.

Mutilated murder bombshell: Slay victim abused another daughter

'He was a monster'

Why are we so scared of offending Muslims?

Christopher Hitchens:

Unless I am wrong, a sincere Muslim need only affirm that there is one god, and only one, and that the Prophet Mohammed was his messenger, bringing thereby the final words of God to humanity. Certain practices are supposed to follow this affirmation, including a commitment to pray five times a day, a promise to pay a visit to Mecca if such a trip should be possible, fasting during Ramadan, and a pious vow to give alms to the needy. The existence of djinns, or devils, is hard to disavow because it was affirmed by the prophet. An obligation of jihad is sometimes mentioned, and some quite intelligent people argue about whether "holy war" is meant to mean a personal struggle or a political one. No real Islamic authority exists to decide this question, and those for whom the personal is highly political have recently become rather notorious.

Thus, Islamic belief, however simply or modestly it may be stated, is an extreme position to begin with. No human being can possibly claim to know that there is a God at all, or that there are, or were, any other gods to be repudiated. And when these ontological claims have collided, as they must, with their logical limits, it is even further beyond the cognitive capacity of any person to claim without embarrassment that the lord of creation spoke his ultimate words to an unlettered merchant in seventh-century Arabia. Those who utter such fantastic braggings, however many times a day they do so, can by definition have no idea what they are talking about. (I hasten to add that those who boast of knowing about Moses parting the Red Sea, or about a virgin with a huge tummy, are in exactly the same position.) Finally, it turns out to be impossible to determine whether jihad means more alms-giving or yet more zealous massacre of, say, Shiite Muslims.

Why, then, should we be commanded to "respect" those who insist that they alone know something that is both unknowable and unfalsifiable? Something, furthermore, that can turn in an instant into a license for murder and rape? As one who has occasionally challenged Islamic propaganda in public and been told that I have thereby "insulted 1.5 billion Muslims," I can say what I suspect—which is that there is an unmistakable note of menace behind that claim. No, I do not think for a moment that Mohammed took a "night journey" to Jerusalem on a winged horse. And I do not care if 10 billion people intone the contrary. Nor should I have to. But the plain fact is that the believable threat of violence undergirds the Muslim demand for "respect."

Tom Piatak v. Christopher Hitchens

Why 'Islamophobia' is a brilliant term

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Once raped, robbed and left for dead, a resilient mom who lobbied to expand state DNA laws got some payback with the arrest of her alleged attacker

Scott Shifrel:

Felon Richard Thomas, 41, is now facing rape charges

The fiend accused of assaulting Carol Dickerson in 1996 was also charged with the 2004 rape and beating of a 12-year-old girl.

"I have a lot of faith in the justice system, more than I ever had," Dickerson told the Daily News. "This is like a double bonus. I hope they catch some more people" with the DNA database.

Authorities identified the suspect as Richard Thomas, 41, a convict who allegedly raped Dickerson in Jamaica in 1996. He later raped a Far Rockaway girl in 2004, Queens prosecutors said yesterday.

Thomas was serving three years for grand larceny when lawmakers - thanks, in part, to Dickerson's lobbying efforts in June 2006 - ordered all convicted felons to give DNA samples. He was tested in November and results last month showed his DNA matched evidence from both rapes as well as a Nassau County burglary, authorities said.

"It was probably the most horrific thing that ever happened to me," said Dickerson, 42. "I never thought there would be any closure for this ... to face the person who attacked me and, more than that, see him punished for what he did."

Dickerson was stopped at a traffic light on Aug. 17, 1996, with her then-boyfriend when a man with a stocking mask and a gun forced them out of their car. He put the boyfriend in the trunk and took Dickerson to a field and raped her before throwing her in the trunk as well.

Thomas was in and out of jail for years, but was never charged with the rape. Eight years later, he grabbed the girl just four doors from her home as she walked to a school bus stop, authorities said. Prosecutors said he pulled the child behind some bushes, pulled her dress over her head, punched her repeatedly and raped her. He even stole her $3 lunch money, prosecutors say.

With the rapist unidentified and on the loose, the terrified girl and her family moved in with friends.

"If it had not been for the DNA expansion law enacted in 2006, these cases would have remained unsolved," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said yesterday.

Even before the Legislature changed the law, prosecutors and detectives found the girl's rape particularly disturbing and stayed in touch with her and continued to track down leads.

"The greatest moment of my career was when I got to tell the father: 'We got the guy who raped your daughter,'" Assistant District Attorney Denise Tirino said. "He broke down in tears."

In deciding to lobby state legislators last year, Dickerson said, "I really thought I was going to help others, I never thought I was going to help myself."

"I am so sorry for that little girl, just 12 years old," she added.

Thomas was ordered held without bail yesterday by Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron. He is expected to be arraigned today on charges of rape, robbery, unlawful imprisonment, criminal use of a firearm and endangering the welfare of a child. He faces up to 50 years in prison.

Arraigned as Queens rape fiend

Man sets fire to his own dog

Andrew Strickler:

Derick Phanord allegedly confessed that he killed his dog after it attacked a puppy in his home.

Wanting to get rid of his "vicious" dog, Derick Phanord led the pit bull mix up a wooded path about a block from his home, a plastic jug of gas in hand.

After tying Spike to a tree, "I poured the gasoline ... on to the dog. Then I said a prayer for the dog, made the sign of the crucifix," Phanord said, according to a written statement he made to police.

"I took the cigarette I was smoking and lit the gas that puddled on the ground. The gas caught on fire and the dog also caught on fire. I turned my back and walked away."

In his confession, Phanord, 22, of Brentwood, said he got Spike about a month ago and that the dog threatened his pregnant sister and repeatedly tried to bite him.

Phanord was arrested late Monday after the Suffolk Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received a tip that was passed on to Suffolk police. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday in First District Court in Central Islip to aggravated cruelty to an animal and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Phanord, who was held on $50,000 cash bail or bond, faces up to two years in prison on the felony cruelty charge.

"I do know he has a strong family," said his Smithtown attorney, Paul Barahal. "Obviously, they are very concerned about him."

In his confession, Phanord said his family demanded he get rid of Spike.

On the day of the burning, Phanord describes how Spike -- later named Maximus by a vet who tried to save his life -- "locked up" on the head of his pit bull puppy Red, tearing the dog's eyelid. Phanord said he threw bleach and detergent on Spike and banged on the ground with a shovel in an attempt to make him let go of Red, according to his statement.

Later that day, Phanord torched Spike and left him to die, police said.

The 2-year-old dog was discovered, still tied to the tree, on July 12 by a child who called 911. The dog suffered burns over 60 percent of his body and underwent several surgeries before dying on July 17.

Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross said that in addition to burns, the dog had a broken palate. Officials are unsure how much time passed before the dog was found, but it could have been as long as two days. "I've been doing this since 1984," Gross said. "This is one that will stick in my mind forever."

SPCA officials took Red from Phanord's home Tuesday, citing the dog's untreated eye injury, and plan to put the puppy up for adoption.

Thanks goes to Eric Hilf for emailing me this tragic news story.

Long Island man pleads not guilty to setting his dog on fire

A Nigerian college student is being held on charges that he threatened to shoot other students like the massacre at Virginia Tech University


This photo released by the Madison County, Ill., Sheriff shows Olutosin Oduwole, a Southern Illinois University student who was arrested Tuesday

A loaded handgun was found last week in the campus apartment of Olutosin Oduwole, a student at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and he was arrested.

Oduwole was charged with making a terrorist threat and gun possession. He was being held on $1 million bail.

An undelivered note found in Oduwole's abandoned car threatened "a murderous rampage similar to the VT shooting ... THIS IS NOT A JOKE" unless he received $50,000 within seven days.

On April 16, Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured 25 others before killing himself.

Oduwole had purchased four more guns on the Internet but had not yet received them, school officials said.

A gun dealer alerted federal agents because Oduwole appeared impatient to get the weapons, according to a police affidavit.

Authorities found both a U.S. and a Nigerian passport in Oduwole's apartment but school records listed his home address as in Maplewood, New Jersey. He was taking summer classes, and had been placed on academic probation a year earlier.

Southern Illinois University Student Accused of Threatening 'Murderous Rampage'

Nigerian Student Threatens Immigrant Mass Murder–MSM Calls Him “Southern Illinois Student”

Wales: A university tutor from Nigeria who taught students about computer security and identity theft has been jailed for identity fraud offenses

BBC News:

Eni Oyegoke has been told he faces deportation after prison release

Eni Oyegoke, 28, held classes at the University of Glamorgan in Pontypridd after getting the job using a false passport.

Originally from Nigeria, he had been living at an address in Cardiff, but has been told he now faces deportation.

He admitted 13 fraud, deception and theft offences at Newport Crown Court.

Prosecutor Tracey Lloyd-Nesling told the court Oyegoke moved to Britain five years ago on a six-month visa.

The court heard that he enrolled at the university in 2005 as a PhD student but was soon given a part-time position at its school of computing.

"One of his roles was to set students tasks giving them a celebrity and then seeing how much they could find out using a computer," said Miss Lloyd-Nesling.

"Often, it was not a very difficult task."

She told the court that after applying to the DVLA for a British driving licence using a false passport number, immigration officers were alerted and began investigating.

The judge heard how his home in Cardiff Bay was raided by officials where a counterfeit driving licence was discovered. The prosecution said he claimed "it was made as part of his thesis".

The investigation also revealed how he had stolen nearly £20,000 on two credit cards he had taken out in the name of his former landlords while they were in Australia.

Leighton Hughes, defending, said Oyegoke had turned to crime to pay his tuition fees after spiralling into debt.

"He is young man who, on the face of it, has gone off the rails," said Mr Hughes.

Mr Hughes also said Oyegoke's girlfriend was pregnant with his baby.

"He made the gross mistake of taking advantage of his knowledge and knowledge of others to gain two credit cards from Egg," he said.

"He is an intelligent man and he has a talent which he used in the wrong direction."

Judge Roderick Denyer told Oyegoke: "One always has sympathy with somebody who desperately wants to advance their prospects in life through the education system and you clearly are a man of some considerable ability.

"I'm afraid when we come to the Egg credit cards, it seems to be good old-fashioned fraud."

Jane Farleigh, the Border and Immigration Agency's newly-appointed director for Wales and the south-west, said: "This case shows that we are working extremely closely with the police and other agencies to catch anyone flouting our laws."

After the case, the University of Glamorgan said Oyegoke had completed a masters degree at another UK university, he had held a British passport and "the necessary genuine qualifications to be eligible for PhD study."

The university said he had "acted, on occasion, as a tutor, a role undertaken by many PhD students", and his PhD, called Intrusion Detection and Network Security, was unrelated to identity fraud.

The university said it had worked with police during their investigation and his details had been removed from its website after his conviction.

Computer lecturer jailed for identity fraud

England: A Sikh Indian grandmother and her son have been found guilty of murdering his wife in a so-called honor killing

BBC News:

Bachan Athwal and her son Sukhdave, 43, arranged the murder of Surjit Athwal to defend the family honour.

Surjit, 27, who wanted a divorce, went missing in 1998 after going to the Punjab with her mother-in-law.

An Old Bailey judge remanded the mother and son from Hayes, west London, into custody and told them to expect a life term when sentenced in September.

Mother-of-two Surjit, originally from Coventry, never returned from a trip with Bachan Athwal to a family wedding in India in December 1998.

Later, the grandmother of 16 children boasted she had got rid of her by getting a relative to strangle her and throw her body into a river in the Punjab. Her body has never been found.

The pair were only caught when "frightened" members of their own family reported them to police.

"They were frightened that if they told anybody, the same sort of thing might happen to them as they believed happened to the victim," Michael Worsley QC, prosecuting, said.

Mr Worsley said "family honour was at stake" when it was discovered Surjit was having an affair with a married man and wanted a divorce.

Bachan vowed a divorce would could only take place "over my dead body".

Bachan called a family meeting to discuss killing Surjit a month before she vanished, the court heard.

Sarbjit Athwal, another daughter-in-law, said: "My mother-in-law said she wasn't getting on and it was causing too much confusion and problems in the family - and they were going to get rid of Surjit."

After having her killed, Bachan and Sukhdave then pretended Surjit had run away. They forged letters supposed to be from the Metropolitan Police to their Indian counterparts to try and fool them.

Mother and son also faked a document transferring ownership of the home Surjit part-owned into their names.

Sukhdave took out a £100,000 insurance policy on his wife the day she left for India. It was never paid out.

He later divorced Surjit in her absence, claiming she deserted him, and then he married someone else, said Mr Worsley.

Surjit first met her Sikh husband on her wedding day in 1988, when she was just 16.

She later worked as a customs officer at Heathrow Airport where husband Sukhdave worked as a driver.

Judge Giles Forrester remanded the mother and son in custody for sentencing on 19 September.

Grandmother, 70, ordered honour killing execution of 'cheating' daughter-in-law

Honor-killings a thing of ancient history? Increasingly not so in France and England

England: A Somali immigrant has been given a life sentence for murdering 15-year-old schoolboy footballer Kiyan Prince

BBC News:

Hannad Hasan stabbed Kiyan Prince with a penknife

Hannad Hasan, 17, stabbed Kiyan in the heart when he intervened in a play fight outside the London Academy School in Edgware, north London, in May 2006.

Hasan, from Colindale, north London, admitted manslaughter but denied murder, claiming it was an accident.

He was told at the Old Bailey he would have to serve at least 13 years after being convicted of murder on 2 July.

Hasan, who went to the same school as Kiyan but was in the year above, trapped the teenager in a headlock and produced a penknife which he described as a "little toy" which he used to stab the victim in his heart.

The court had heard that less than two weeks before the stabbing Hasan had threatened to stab a girl during a trivial dispute over a bus seat.

The police and the Crown Prosecution Service are holding an inquiry into a "catastrophic" failure which meant the court could not hear evidence about this.

In addition, six days before stabbing Kiyan, Hasan had been excluded from his school for assaulting pupils and urinating in front of a teacher.

At the Old Bailey on Thursday, Judge Paul Worsley said Hasan, who lived with his mother, would only be released when it was clear that he was no longer a risk to the public.

On release, the judge said Hasan, who was said to be obsessed with Somalian gang culture, including the gang that killed Pc Sharon Beshenivsky, would then be deported to his native Somalia.

"This is yet another case of a wholly unprovoked stabbing in a public place, by a person who produced a knife and plunged it into the heart of their unarmed victim."

He added: "Taking the life of another is always a terrible thing, taking the life of a talented, popular 15-year-old schoolboy who was known to you and who had done you no wrong and had everything to live for defies description.

"You have deprived his family and schoolfriends of a role model."

Det Ch Insp Alistair Tully, from the Metropolitan Police said: "Kiyan Prince was a young man with everything to live for. He was a talented footballer and all-round athlete. His life was cut short by another young man who was all too willing to arm himself with a knife in a show of bravado.

"He held Kiyan in a headlock before stabbing him twice, once in the arm, the other in the chest, which resulted in Kiyan's death.

Excluded pupil murdered Kiyan at the school gates

Prosecutors accused failure in Kiyan trial

Britain: 4 Islamic university students and a schoolboy who planned to fight British soldiers and die as martyrs have been sentenced by a court

BBC News:

The judge said they were "intoxicated" by radical Islamist propaganda.

Mohammed Irfan Raja, 19, received two years' youth detention while Aitzaz Zafar, 20, and Awaab Iqbal, 20, received three years' detention.

Usman Ahmed Malik, 21, was sent to prison for three years and Akbar Butt, 20, was given 27 months' detention.

They had all been found guilty of possessing material for terrorist purposes.

According to the prosecution, the group were all planning to go to Pakistan for training before going to fight jihad.

Recorder of London Judge Peter Beaumont said the group had prepared to train in Pakistan and then fight in Afghanistan against its allies, which included British soldiers.

He said the defendants were born in Britain and enjoyed freedom of speech and worship.

The judge said: "You were intoxicated by the extremist nature of the material each one of you collected - the songs, images and the language of violent jihad.

"And so carried away by that material were you that each of you crossed the line.

"That is exactly what the people that peddle this material want to achieve and exactly what you did."

He also said the sentences had to be a deterrent "to stop them and you and, to protect this country and its citizens abroad, a message has to be sent".

The Bradford University students were arrested after schoolboy Raja, of Ilford, east London, ran away from home in February last year.

The trial at the Old Bailey heard that he left a note for his parents saying he was going to fight abroad and they would meet again in heaven.

Raja had been recruited by the students on the internet - Zafar, of Rochdale, Lancashire, Malik and Iqbal, of Bradford, and Butt, of Southall, west London.

Raja had exchanged radical Islamist propaganda materials with them before going to stay with them.

But he returned home three days later after his parents begged him to come back.

Schoolboy guilty of terrorism offences

Britain: A Nigerian-born boxer was shot after asking three black men to stop smoking in a wine bar

This is London:

James Oyebola, 47, was having a drink in the garden area of the venue when a dispute erupted over the new smoking ban.

One of the men pulled out a gun and fired at point-blank range into his face and leg.

Mr Oyebola, a father of two, was critically ill last night on a life support machine. His partner of 15 years and their children are keeping a vigil at his bedside.

The 6ft 9in ex-boxer, known as Big Bad, had been working as a bouncer at the door of another club and had dropped in at Chateau 6 in Fulham, South-West London, for a drink with the owner, who was a friend.

Witnesses said Nigerian-born Mr Oyebola had politely stepped in to help staff who had asked the three men to observe the smoking ban. One said: 'He wasn't being aggressive. He pointed out that smoking was now against the law.

'He was just being a good citizen but the three saw it as a sign of disrespect. On their way out one pulled a gun and started firing at James.'

The suspects, said to be three black men, ran off after the shooting shortly before 1am on Monday. A handgun was found nearby.

Police sealed off the scene close to Fulham Broadway tube station.

Boxer shot over club smoking row

Boxing champion shot in the face after asking men to stop smoking

Black-on-black crime in England: A 16-year-old boy has been shot dead after being chased by youths on bicycles

BBC News:

Officers were called to reports of shots being heard on the Stockwell Gardens Estate in Stockwell, south London, just after midnight.

The teenager was found suffering gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Met's Operation Trident team, which investigates gun crime in London's black community, is investigating.

Det Insp Geoff Whitehouse said: "Initial reports suggest that the victim was running away from a number of youths on bicycles prior to being shot.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out on the boy's body at Greenwich mortuary on Thursday.

Police believe they know who the victim was, but they have not formally identified him.

No arrests have been made.

BBC London's Home Affairs correspondent Guy Smith said there were about seven youths wearing bandanas who chased the victim, who was from Tulse Hill, south London.

He added that police have not ruled out the killing being gang related.

Boy, 16, shot dead by youths on bicycles

Timeline: Teenager killings in the capital

Egypt: Sudanese gangs afflict Cairo streets with violence

Heather Sharp:

Maliah Bekam, 24, came to Egypt to escape the civil war in southern Sudan, but he died in a pool of his own blood in a Cairo street.

The fatal machete blows came from members of his own community. The crowning irony is that the attack happened outside an event marking World Refugee Day.

Maliah is the latest casualty of violence between rival street gangs from Cairo's Sudanese community.

Unofficially (there is no official figure), the death toll is at least four in the last 18 months.

Deng, 22, says he has witnessed two killings. Like others associated with the gangs, he did not want his real name published.

"They fight about nothing. They use knives and sticks. Sometimes you'll see more than 10 people injured," he says.

Clad in silky tank tops, trainers and baseball caps, the Lost Boys, Outlaws and other gangs base their loyalties not on tribe or religion, but on territorial claims to areas of the Cairo.

Members are usually in their late teens or twenties, love rap music, often live together in shared flats and socialise at parties and picnics.

But they also rob fellow Sudanese, attack other gangs and beat up youths in their area who refuse to join.

Teacher David Awo Farajalla, 30, has scars on his head and shoulder from when he was mugged by gang members on his way home from church.

"I just heard a sound in my head, and then started seeing the blood. They took the money and ran away."

Aywel Jonathan, 20, says he was targeted for refusing to join a gang: "I was on the street, they attacked, cut me on my hand and beat me. It was a very big knife."

Gang violence: one more reason to no accept refugees.

Women who oppose Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe are suffering increasing violence and repression

BBC News:

Amnesty International claims that female demonstrators can be subjected to arbitrary arrest, beatings and in some cases torture in police custody.

The human rights group, which interviewed dozens of activists, urged the country's authorities to "stamp out any discrimination against women".

Zimbabwe is in the grip of a severe economic crisis.

Shops are running out of even the most basic items and inflation is approaching 5,000%.

Men live on average for 37 years but life expectancy for women is worse at just 34 years - among the lowest in the world.

Zimbabwe Duped By Mystic

Amnesty International says women suffer most from rights abuses in Zimbabwe

Moves by men to stop women wearing trousers in a South African township have been condemned by politicians and civil rights groups

BBC News:

Earlier this week, a woman in Umlazi township, near Durban, was stripped naked and her shack burnt down.

Men in the township are demanding that all women wear skirts or dresses.

South Africa's Gender and Equality Commission told the BBC that this was the first time something like this had happened in the country.

"It is extreme and the issue around this matter is being investigated by the police," the commission's Mfanozelwe Shozi told the BBC Network Africa programme.

He said it was not uncommon for women to wear trousers in and around Durban.

Correspondents say men in conservative rural communities in southern Africa sometimes harass women for wearing trousers and short skirts.

Describing the incident on Sunday, he said the men tore off a woman's trousers.

"Unfortunately she did not wear any underpants; and they also burnt the woman's shack where she was living, just because she was wearing trousers," he said.

The incident happened in an area of Umlazi called T section which is a hostelry for men.

"Only men are supposed to stay there - emanating from the apartheid era when people were segregated in terms of areas.

"It's a place where men live from the rural areas so that they can be nearer their work environment."

According to South Africa's Mercury paper, after this a community meeting decided to ban women in the area wearing trousers.

Social anthropologist Prof Anand Singh told the paper the incident was a conflict of values.

"If one looks at South African societies, they are all patriarchal and it is difficult for people who assume authoritative roles in homes to adjust to women assuming their own roles and status within society," he said.

The Gender and Equality Commission and local politicians have condemned the actions.

"I was shocked when I learnt of the incident, because I wear pants myself and am not ashamed to do so. It is also not forbidden by our party," the paper quotes Theresa Nzuza from the Inkatha Freedom Party as saying.

Women: Don't dare wear trousers in Umlazi

Only 13% of Hispanics voted in 2006 elections

Esther J. Cepeda:

After hundreds of thousands of Hispanics across the United States marched for immigration law reform on May 1, 2006, the rallying cry in the Hispanic community quickly became "Today we march, tomorrow we vote."

Indeed, an additional 800,000 Hispanics went to the polls during November's 2006 midterm elections compared to four years earlier, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center. But Latinos represented nearly half the total population growth in the United States between 2002 and 2006, the study said.

The 5.6 million votes cast in 2006 midterms by Hispanics represented only 13 percent of the total Hispanic population compared to the 27 percent of all blacks who cast votes and 39 percent of all whites who voted -- a disappointing turnout attributed to a population too young to vote or ineligible because of citizenship status.

Hispanic Republicans – A Media Myth

Bush Didn't Win 44% of Hispanic Vote —The Smoking Exit Poll

Mexican-American Vote Smaller than Many Think

Ethnic Electorate: Myths and Realities


GOP - California Dreamin'

Judge Posner on Hispanic "Rotten Boroughs"

Sailer Strategy Wins Another For GOP—But How Much Longer?

Since the early 1980s, immigrants have done less well than their Canada-born peers and each year, they fall further behind

Carol Goar:

It always surprises Don Drummond, chief economist of the Toronto Dominion Bank, when business leaders tout immigration as the key to Canada's economic success.

Their information is at least 25 years out of date.

Since the early 1980s, immigrants have done less well than their Canada-born peers. Each year, they fall further behind.

Today's newcomers, despite being highly educated, take longer to become self-supporting than their predecessors. Some never do. What is even more worrisome is that their children are dropping out of school, creating an intergenerational cycle of poverty.

"They're pulling the economy down," Drummond said. "I don't think people have really understood that."

Business leaders are right that Canada will have to depend on immigrants to maintain its standard of living. They already account for two-thirds of the country's population growth. By 2030, it will be 100 per cent.

But they are wrong to blithely assume that the 240,000 newcomers who arrive in Canada each year will integrate into the workforce, catch up to their native-born contemporaries and propel the economy forward.

That used to happen.

In the 1970s, it took immigrants an average of 10 years to reach, or exceed, the income levels of people born in this country. They worked hard, saved, bought homes, built businesses and sent their sons and daughters to university. The kids did better than their parents.

But in the '80s, the pattern began to change. By the end of the decade, a male immigrant with 10 years of Canadian work experience was earning 90.1 per cent as much as his native-born counterpart. By the end of the '90s, it had slipped to 79.8 per cent. The trajectory is still heading downward.

Some commentators blame the decline on a shift in immigration flows. They contend that recent newcomers from Asia don't adapt to life in this country as well as their European predecessors.

But a number other factors have also changed:

Ottawa has revamped Canada's immigration system to attract highly educated foreigners, not skilled tradespeople. This has created a workforce that is out of sync with the country's labour needs. It has also stunted the careers of many well-qualified immigrants, who arrive only to find their academic and professional credentials aren't recognized here.

The federal and provincial governments have curtailed the settlement services that immigrants need to get established in this country.

Ontario has skimped on language instruction, making school a daily ordeal for students from non-English-speaking homes.

The province has cancelled anti-racism education, leaving kids to figure out how to deal with stereotypes and ethnic friction themselves.

And, although no one talks about skin colour, employers aren't hiring and promoting immigrants the way they did when most newcomers were white.

Unless these trends are reversed, it is hard to see how immigration will strengthen – or even sustain – the Canadian economy.

What worries Drummond most is the children of today's immigrants. They are the ones who will have to fill the spots vacated by retiring baby boomers. But many of them are failing at school, living in poverty and feeling the tug of gangs and crime. "If we don't succeed with these children, then the cycle is going to go on and on," he said.

Nice to see that there is at least one economist who is prepared to look at the negative impact of immigration.

Scotland: Two men of South Asian background who raped and threatened to kill a young woman have been imprisoned for a total of 12 years

BBC News:

Their terrified 26-year-old victim told the High Court in Glasgow that one of her attackers called her "white scum" during the prolonged ordeal.

Ranna Singh, 26, and Mohammed Yousaff, 35, both from Glasgow, were each jailed for six years after denying rape.

They will be monitored in the community for two years after their release.

Temporary judge Alistair Stewart QC said: "You were both convicted of a nasty, unpleasant crime.

"You put a vulnerable young woman through what must have been a terrifying ordeal.

"At the end of it she was left in the countryside on a cold November night wearing very few clothes."

The court heard that Singh raped the victim first, then minutes later as Yousaff raped the traumatised woman, Singh taunted her by calling her "white scum."

The court heard the ex-prostitute had been forced back onto the streets after three years by her boyfriend to pay for his drug debt.

The ordeal happened on her first night back.

Paul Kearney, prosecuting, said: "This woman was subjected to a forceful and degrading ordeal.

"She was told: 'Just do as we tell you or your going to be murdered and put in the waterfront'. She thought she was going to be killed."

In evidence, the woman said that at first the pair had been pleasant and charming.

But she said that changed when they arrived at the quiet road adjacent to the B776 road, near Bowfield House, Howwood, Renfrewshire.

The court was told that the men threatened to kill her. She was shown a knife and told it would be used on her.

She begged them for a cigarette and used it to burn Yousaff before fleeing.

The court heard that she hid under a hedge until she heard their car drive away. She eventually managed to flag down a passing motorist who took her to Johnstone police station.

Both men were questioned by police after forensic evidence linked them to the crime scene.

When interviewed by police Singh asked: "How can you rape a prostitute?"

During their trial both men denied rape and claimed any sex was consensual.

The jury took around two hours to convict the men of threatening to kill the woman, presenting a knife at her and raping her on 19 November, 2005.

Both men were placed on the sex offenders' register.


Authorities in India's southern Tamil Nadu state plan legal action against the relatives of an elderly woman who was found abandoned in a garbage dump

BBC News:

Chinnammal Palaniappan, who is thought to be 75, told locals who found her she was driven miles from home in a cattle feed cart and dumped by family members.

She is in the care of local officials while they try to trace her relatives.

Tamil Nadu state Social Welfare Minister Dr Poongothai told the BBC she was "horrified" at the news.

"Once we know who the family members are we are going to take legal action against them," Dr Poongothai told the BBC Tamil service.

She said she believed the woman was partially deaf and had not been fed properly for three days.

"She is under the custody of the state at the moment, and she is being looked after. The police are trying to talk to her."

Locals in Erode district of the state told the AFP news agency of their horror at finding the ill woman lying amidst rotting garbage.

"We heard some moaning from the dump yard and when we went over we were shocked to find an old shrivelled woman lying in filth," housewife P Mohanasundari said.

She and her husband took the woman home and fed her before alerting charity workers.

"Chinnammal broke down recalling how her grandsons put her in their motorcart, which they used for transporting cattle feed, and drove a long distance before dumping her in garbage," Mohanasundari told AFP.

She said the grandmother had recalled how her daughter told her grandsons to leave her far away, so she would not be able to find her way home.

Grandmother dumped in garbage dies

Mexican immigrants have been running an elaborate marijuana-growing operation northwest of Chicago


Authorities say an elaborate pot-growing operation has been discovered flourishing on forest preserve land northwest of Chicago.

Local police and federal agents Tuesday chopped down and burned thousands of marijuana plants found growing at the Crabtree Nature Center Forest Preserve near suburban Barrington.

Authorities say over 38,000 marijuana plants were removed from 14 different fields within the nature preserve.

The plants have an estimated street value of $5 to $10 million, according to Gary Olenkiewicz, special agent in charge for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency Chicago Field Division.

Richard Waszak, Cook County Forest Preserve police chief, called the illegal farm "the most sophisticated operation that we've seen."

Waszak said contraband crop was discovered when an intern doing research in the 1,600-acre park found men tending to an irrigation system and contacted forest preserve police.

Investigators say that in addition to the marijuana fields, they also found camps with tents, cots and supplies, including food, a cooking area, shower area, and fertilizer bags. They say one of the encampments has a reinforced underground bunker, lined with four-inch logs and covered with dirt.

During an inspection of one of the cultivated fields, investigators found two men wearing camouflage clothing and sleeping in a tent located in a heavily brush-covered area in the center of yet another cultivated field of marijuana.

Authorities say Bernardo Rangel, a Mexican citizen who has a permanent resident card, and Jose Verra, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, face charges of cultivating marijuana, criminal damage to land and criminal trespass.

The two men have been charged in connection with the growing operation, but authorities say neither suspect is believed to be the mastermind.

For the Chicago area, this is the fourth marijuana eradication in the Cook County Forest Preserves to take place during 2007. The total marijuana plants eradicated and destroyed in this year’s previous operations totaled approximately 17,000 plants and, at over 38,000 plants, Tuesday’s raid clearly surpassed that number.

"This particular marijuana operation shows the sophistication of some traffickers," said Mr. Olenkiewicz. "Instead of smuggling marijuana across the border, this drug organization set up shop in the United States on public property, in the forest preserves, where it was being cultivated for harvest and illegal distribution."

Diversity Is Strength! It’s Also…The Mexican Mafia

Guard numbers on border to be halved

Several Jewish organizations have criticized the U.S. Senate for failing to move forward on immigration reform

Melissa Apter:

On June 28, the Senate voted not to end the debate over immigration legislation backed by President Bush and members of both parties.

Jewish community understands well what it means to come to this country to seek freedom and opportunity and be with family members," said Gideon Aronoff, the president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, in a statement following the Senate vote. "This generation of immigrants must not be denied that same opportunity."

Similar sentiments were expressed by officials at the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, an umbrella group that seeks to coordinate positions on public policy among 14 national organizations and more than 100 local Jewish communities. JCPA had lobbied actively for the bipartisan bill and has pledged to continue fighting for immigration reform.

The bill, which fell 14 votes shy of the 60 needed to advance to a final vote, focused on border enforcement and how to bring an approximate 12 million illegal aliens out of the shadows. It stalled in the Senate after a massive grassroots campaign by conservatives who felt the legislation did not adequately address border security, and was too conciliatory toward those who arrived in the United States illegally and to their employers.

Each of the Jewish organizations agreed that while the bill was not perfect, it progressed from an unacceptable status quo.

Richard Foltin, AJCommittee's legislative director and counsel, said his organization had concerns over the rights of employees under the bill's temporary worker program. Still, he added, the measure held promise.

"The Senate bill could have been a positive first step towards enacting a law that strikes an appropriate balance between increasing the security of our nation's borders and better incorporating newcomers into American society," he said.

Focusing on the immigrants' plight, Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League national director, said: "Illegal immigration will continue, the ranks of the vulnerable, undocumented underclass will continue to grow, and hostile local ordinances will continue to target immigrants and undermine community policing efforts."

His statement added that resistance to immigration reform is being stoked by "anti-foreigner propaganda."

The Republican Jewish Coalition sought to tamp down some of the debate's heated rhetoric.

"On all sides of this debate there is strong passion, and it should go without saying that reasonable people can disagree about how to proceed," the RJC said in a statement on the eve of the vote, noting that its own membership's views were "diverse."

Jewish lawmakers overwhelmingly favored the bill. Of the 13 in the Senate, 11 voted to close debate: Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Senators voting against were Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), facing a tough re-election bid in 2008, and Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), a socialist who excoriated what he said was the bill's failure to protect laborers' rights.

ADL Says Failure Of Immigration Reform Bill "An Enormous Setback" For America

AJC Calls Immigration Bill Failure 'Disappointing'

Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Illegal

Scotland: Police have stepped up their street patrols after a 30-year-old woman was raped by a gang of African-Caribbean men

BBC News:

The victim was attacked while walking her dog in Overnewton Street, in the Yorkhill area of Glasgow, at about 0040 BST on Wednesday.

The rape may have taken as little as six minutes, according to police.

The men were described as being of Afro Caribbean appearance. Officers are studying CCTV footage and carrying out door-to-door enquiries.

One attacker was said to be in his mid-20s and more than 6ft tall, with long dreadlocks.

Police said that they did not know yet if the men were local to the area or had travelled from elsewhere.

The woman did not require hospital treatment but was "extremely traumatised" by the attack.

It is believed the woman was pushed to the ground and held down by two men while another raped her.

The victim was then raped by the two men and a fourth member of the group.

Detective Inspector John Mellon has appealed for anyone with information about the attack to contact his officers.


An 11-year-old Australian Aborigine boy forced two pre-school-aged girls to have sex with him and infected them with sexually transmitted diseases

Tony Barrass:

AN 11-year-old boy forced two pre-school-aged girls to have sex with him, infected them with sexually transmitted diseases, but will not be prosecuted by Western Australian authorities.

Police yesterday confirmed that criminal charges would not be laid against the boy from Balgo, a troubled indigenous community in the northeastern reaches of the Great Sandy Desert 100km from the Northern Territory border, despite his being above the age of criminal responsibility under state law.

Although the incident is part of a continuing investigation, senior police have decided to treat the issue as a health matter, not a criminal one.

The Australian also understands the offender was never removed from the remote community, but was warned by a court not to go near his victims, believed to be aged five and six, and several other vulnerable youngsters.

Balgo's Palyalatju Maparnpa Health Committee chief executive Christopher Cresp said the realities of outback life and the disjointed inter-agency response to such issues meant the boy could remain a danger to young girls in the area.

"If you're asking me if there are workable, practical steps in place to make sure this boy and others like him don't do this again, I must honestly say no," Mr Cresp said.

Nineteen Aboriginal men and juveniles have been charged with 39 child sex offences in just two weeks as police move methodically across the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia in a major police blitz against rampant abuse in Aboriginal communities.

In February, another 15 men from the remote Kalumburu community, in the far north of the state, were charged with 103 offences.

As public concern deepened, the federal Government offered to replicate for Western Australia the package of support it had imposed on the Northern Territory, including army support, but the offer was flatly rejected by the Carpenter Government.

Acting Premier Eric Ripper said last week he wanted financial support, federal police and Medicare-funded doctors, but not the army.

The revelation about the 11-year-old Balgo boy highlights the difficulties police, health workers and child protection officers face trying to uncover the extent of child sex abuse in communities such as Halls Creek and Kalumburu.

Aboriginal children are sexually active at an early age and detectives were trying to separate clear criminal conduct from consensual sexual activity among minors to determine which cases could be successfully prosecuted.

Kimberley Inspector Paul LaSpina was reluctant to discuss the Balgo matter, but confirmed the investigation was continuing.

He said senior police had the discretion to prosecute and although the boy was older than 10 and criminally responsible under law, those who had examined the case believed it would be better handled as a health issue and it was in the public interest to do so. He refused to elaborate.

The Australian understands the incident happened late last year.

Detective Tom Mills, who is heading the Halls Creek investigation, said there were often mitigating circumstances that were not apparent when such a decision was made.

Mr Cresp said court orders meant nothing unless they were enforced.

"Out here, quite often that responsibility rests with the family of the offender, and I can say with some authority that many families are in no position to enforce these orders," he said.

"And to warn someone of that age that they are not to go near someone else in a community this size is a nonsense. Many kids just don't see any problem with this sort of sexual behaviour."

Inter-agency and government responses to many issues facing remote communities were achieving little, Mr Cresp said. This would affect the boy's rehabilitation.

"Apart from the obvious question of why someone so young had an STD to pass on in the first place, what happens when he goes off with his family to another town and doesn't finish his treatment?" he said.

"It's carried on into adolescence and the problem as a whole just never goes away."

Our experiment with apartheid has failed

Myth of the noble savage

Scotland: An illegal Chinese immigrant is to be deported for running a major drugs farm in Angus

BBC News:

Zhi Peng Lin was jailed for 45 months after he admitted growing cannabis with a street value of £84,900.

The 31-year-old was caught when police raided a bungalow in Forfar after an anonymous tip-off.

Forfar Sheriff Court heard he thought the 850 plants were being grown to make air fresheners. His defence claimed he was being used as a "drug slave"

The Crown agreed he was not the one benefiting from the operation.

The court was told Lin arrived illegally in the UK in 2005 and had been trying to save enough money to travel back to his family in China.

He was offered a job as a gardener in Scotland, while he was working as a waiter in Manchester.

Jailing Lin, the sheriff said there was a dererrent element to the sentence because of the value of the drugs involved.

“Gardener” of Forfar cannabis farm jailed

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