Saturday, April 23, 2016

April 23, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

    The feared Cosa Nostra are desperate to maintain supremacy after African crime gangs arrived with the migrants - and they are engaged in a deadly turf war.

      An innocent Gambian man was shot through the head by an assassin in broad daylight sparking fears of a wider bloodbath. 

        Mayor Leoluca Orlando told MailOnline: 'Palermo is no longer an Italian town. It is no longer European. You can walk in the city and feel like you’re in Istanbul or Beirut.'
        • "'El Mencho' the deportee who became the bloodiest narco trafficker"--Borderland Beat. An illegal that was arrested in Sacramento at age 25 for distributing heroin. After his release and deportation, he reportedly reentered the United States many times, was detained on numerous occasions, using different aliases, and released. He now leads the C├írtel de Jalisco Nueva Generaci├│n (CJNG), which traffics drugs not only into the United States, but also Europe, Asia and Australia, and is described as Mexico's most powerful crime boss. He is also a bloody man: "One of the most heinous acts that will be remembered in the history of drug trafficking, and was attributed to CJNG, was on September 20, 2011, when they left the bodies of 12 women and 23 men outside a shopping center in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, as a message to the rival group Los Zetas." The article also mentions: "Another violent episodes was an attack by 'El Mencho's' hitmen on May 1, 2015, when the city of Guadalajara (the country's third largest) was besieged by the CJNG where vehicles, banks and gas stations were set on fire to block roads and prevent a military operation. On that occasion they also shot down an army helicopter with a grenade launcher, killing three soldiers."
        • "Venezuela cuts power for four hours a day to save energy"--BBC. The article indicates that "[t]he cuts will last for 40 days as the country struggles under a severe drought limiting hydroelectric output."
        • "China’s President, Xi Jinping, Gains a New Title: Commander in Chief"--New York Times. From the article:
          Mr. Xi, who is general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, which runs the country’s armed forces. After his visit on Wednesday, a new title was unveiled in the state and party news media: commander in chief of the joint battle command center.

            Although predecessors like President Hu Jintao delegated operational responsibilities to professional soldiers, the new title reflects Mr. Xi’s desire to have a more direct role, said You Ji, who oversees the department of government and public administration at the University of Macau.
              Chinese espionage against the United States is in the news again. Recently in this column I explained the sensational case of Edward Lin, the Taiwanese immigrant turned U.S. Navy officer who stands accused of committing espionage against his adopted homeland. This story raises many troubling questions about the dismal state of security in our navy, which seems unable to keep secrets anymore.

                Although the navy is staying tight-lipped about Lieutenant Commander Lin, it’s already evident that the damage he perpetrated—thanks to his high-level access to some of the navy’s best-guarded secrets—is daunting. Damning, too, is the news that Mr. Lin was arrested while boarding a flight bound for China, the beneficiary of his alleged betrayal. No wonder top admirals want to keep as much of his impending trial classified as possible, to prevent public discussion of how much damage this traitor wrought on our national security.

                  Yet this is no isolated incident. In the two weeks since the Lin story broke, we have still more cases of Chinese immigrants accused of spying against their adopted country on behalf of their ancestral one. Szuhsiung “Allen” Ho, a Chinese immigrant and naturalized American, faces a raft of charges for running an espionage ring aimed at stealing nuclear secrets for Beijing. According to the Federal indictment, at the direction of a Chinese state-owned nuclear power company Mr. Ho recruited a half-dozen engineers to get nuclear secrets that Beijing wanted but could not obtain legally from the United States.
                  The article describes how the Chinese prefer to use ethnic Chinese for their spying. Read the whole thing.
                  • "Indian Army Debates New Gun: Kill (7.62) or Wound (5.56)?"--The Truth About Guns. You would think that this debate (and the idea of "bigger is better") would be dead by now. Tests and battlefield evidence show that the tendency of the FMJ 5.56 to yaw when striking a target makes it deadlier than the fairly stable 7.62 in FMJ--at least at ranges where the velocities of the 5.56 result in it "tumbling" upon striking soft tissue. If you want the 7.62 to live up to its potential, you need to use a soft-point or expanding bullet of some type. There is a military manual on field medicine which features an illustration of a significant wound channel from a .308 bullet, which I've seen used as an example of how much deadlier the 7.62 NATO round is, but the caption indicates that it was from a soft-point bullet, not a full metal jacketed (FMJ) bullet. 
                  • "Do Genes Time One's Loss of Virginity? A U.K. study links the varying onsets of sexual activity to genes and personality traits"--Scientific American. From the article:
                  The team found that 38 specific regions of the genome contributed to the age at which people first had sex. Those regions roughly fell into two groups, Perry says: genes that act on reproductive biological processes such as estrogen signaling and genes that appear to play a role in behavior and personality. One gene that the team associated with early sexual behavior, CADM2, influences risk-taking behavior, and another, MSRA, leads to irritability.
                  A study looking at the genetic makeup of 895 criminals in Finland has discovered a pair of genes linked with extreme violent behaviour. 
                  The research, carried out by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and published in the journal Molecular Pyschiatry, compared the genes of non-violent offenders with a group of 78 individuals convicted of violent crimes.  
                  Experts involved in the study say that the majority of violent crime in any society is usually carried out by a small group of repeat offenders who resist attempts at rehabilitation. 
                  The group of 78 were responsible for a total of 1,154 murders, manslaughters, attempted homicides or batteries and the geneticists concluded that between 4 and 10 per cent of all violent crimes in Finland could be traced back to individuals with these genotypes. 
                  All those in the study that had committed murder (including a secondary group of 114 individuals who had all killed at least one person) possessed the MAOA gene, with a variant gene of cadherin 13 or CDH13 also found to be common among violent offenders. 
                  The MAOA gene is sometimes known as the “warrior gene” and is associated with higher levels of aggression in response to provocation, while studies into CDH13 have associated it with substance abusers and low impulse control. The "warrior gene" is controversial because it is more common among black men--almost 10 times as many black men have the gene than whites. See also the following article at Conservative News.
                  • Related: "Male Impulsivity & Addiction Linked to One Gene"--Live Science (2011). "The gene, a snippet of DNA called NRXN3, has previously been linked to nicotine dependence, as well as alcohol dependence, opiate addiction and obesity. The new research suggests a common denominator of impulsivity underlies all of these troubles."

                  Looking at the photographs and diagrams of the drive, I can't help but observe a similarity to something else:
                  An artist's conception of the semi-mythical "Nazi Bell" (Source)

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