title> Health: Secrets of HIV-Aids Ebola Zika and other man-made diseases 'description'/>”description” content=”Health analysis and the latest news on HIV-Aids, Ebola, Zika, the origins of man-made and deliberate spread of diseases HEALTH: SECRETS OF HIV-AIDS, EBOLA, ZIKA, AND OTHER MAN-MADE DISEASES

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

THE KU KLUX KLAN IS STILL ACTIVE IN AMERICA


Members of the Ku Klux Klan participate in cross burnings after a white pride rally in rural Paulding County near Cedar Town, Georgia in April, 2016. (AP PHOTO/JOHN BAZEMORE)

Members of the Ku Klux Klan participate in cross burnings after a white pride rally in rural Paulding County near Cedar Town, Georgia in April, 2016. (AP PHOTO/JOHN BAZEMORE)


Who are the Ku Klux Klan?



Founded in 1866, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) extended into almost every southern state by 1870 and became a vehicle for white southern resistance to the Republican Party’s Reconstruction-era policies aimed at establishing political and economic equality for blacks.

Its members waged an underground campaign of intimidation and violence directed at white and black Republican leaders. Though Congress passed legislation designed to curb Klan terrorism, the organization saw its primary goal–the reestablishment of white supremacy–fulfilled through Democratic victories in state legislatures across the South in the 1870s.

After a period of decline, white Protestant nativist groups revived the Klan in the early 20th century, burning crosses and staging rallies, parades and marches denouncing immigrants, Catholics, Jews, blacks and organized labor. 

The civil rights movement of the 1960s also saw a surge of Ku Klux Klan activity, including bombings of black schools and churches and violence against black and white activists in the South.



KKK Groups Are Still Active in These States in 2017


By Megan Trimble



The organized Ku Klux Klan movement saw a boost in its membership in 2017.

In fact more than half of today's Klans formed in the last three years.

Some 42 different Klan groups were active in 22 states as of June 2017, a slight increase from early 2016, according to a report from the Anti-Defamation League, a nonpartisan civil rights advocacy group. The Klan, known for promoting white supremacist and white nationalist ideas, has captured recent public attention amid fallout from a weekend marked by race-fueled clashes.

President Donald Trump mentioned the movement by name on Aug. 14 during a speech from the White House in response to the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The rally resulted in clashes with counterdemonstrators that left one woman dead and more than a dozen injured.

"Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans," Trump said.

The president's comments followed mounting criticism of what many considered a weak initial response to the weekend violence, and several politicians called on Trump to explicitly name the KKK and other white nationalist groups. Current KKK groups have continued to be linked to criminal activity and violence reminiscent of the earliest waves of the Klan.

In addition to the more than 40 identified Klan groups, the ADL tracked Klan activity to 11 other states during that same time, including some states perceived to be more liberal, like California. The ADL tracked the movement from January 2016 to June 2017.

Nationwide, there are still an estimated 3,000 Klan members and unaffiliated people who "identify with Klan ideology," according to the ADL. Membership, though, remains spread across dozens of groups. The largest Klans reportedly don't have more than 50 to 100 active members, and most have fewer than 25.

Keeping with historical trends, the ADL noted the groups and activity are largely concentrated in the southern and eastern parts of the nation. Mississippi was found to house the most with five groups, followed by Alabama with four.

The group over time has proved outspoken on a number of issues, pushing anti-immigration and anti-antisemitic views and advocating for "purification" of American society. Most recently, the Klan has denounced other activist social movements, such as Black Lives Matter.

The viewpoints are often publicly permitted under free speech protections.

Among its recent activity, the KKK movement has included small rallies and protests in parks, at courthouses and during LGBT pride marches. In some cases, groups have joined forces to bolster numbers at different events.

Still, some groups have promised marches that haven't materialized, and the organized movement has rarely proven stable, according to the ADL.

"The organized Ku Klux Klan movement continues to struggle due to several factors, including infighting, the perception among adherents that current Klan groups (or their leaders) are not authentic, as well as competition for membership from other white supremacist movements," the ADL notes. "These include the surging 'Alternative right' and a rising number of white supremacist prison gangs."

Here's a look at the states that have housed KKK groups, based on a June 2017 analysis from the Anti-Defamation League:


State
Klan Groups Based in State
Mississippi
5
Alabama
4
Kentuck
3
Tennessee
3
Texas
3
Arkansas
2
Georgia
2
Maryland
2
Missouri
2
North Carolina
2
Virginia
2
West Virginia
2
Florida
1
Illinois
1
Louisiana
1
Maine
1
Michigan
1
New York
1
Ohio
1
Oklahoma
1
Pennsylvania
1
Washington
1


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

BLUE EYES AFRICANS: WHERE DO THEY ORIGINATE?


According to scientists all blue-eyed people can be traced back to one ancestor who lived 10,000 years ago near the Black Sea

According to scientists all blue-eyed people can be traced back to one ancestor who lived 10,000 years ago near the Black Sea




It is generally believed that black people do not possess blue eyes. The blue eyes have always been associated with the Caucasians (whites). In many scientific studies and a more recent one conducted by the Copenhagen University the genetic mystery of “blue eyes” is said to have originated from the northeast coast of the Black Sea.



So why are some few black people have “blue eyes’ nowadays?  The answer according to scientists could only be attributed to genetic mutation or Waardenburg Syndrome (WS), which is a rare (1/40,000) disease characterized by sensorineural deafness in association with pigmentary anomalies and defects of neural-crest-derived tissues.

However, it is also a historical truth the Africans colonized Europe over 10,000 years ago and they were, in fact, the first homo sapiens to cross Europe to Asia and South Pacific. Could it also be that some blacks with blue eyes may have gotten blue eyes from their ancient  African ancestors and whites that interbred during Africa`s colonization of Europe? This question has become more relevant as some few children born of both African/100% black parents possess “blue eyes.”

There are four types of Waardenburg Syndrome, with a mix of possible characteristics as the determinant. Medical challenges increase with type. The boy in the picture is displaying two major symptoms of type 1, as does the previous boy (perhaps) (); bright blue eyes and dystopia Canthorum, a condition where the inner corners of the eyes are set more widely apart, but with normally distanced eyes.

Waardenburg occurs once in every 42,000 births and is a deficiency inherited from a single parent, who may or may not display similar characteristics. Regarding the eye, color abnormalities come in three forms; heterochromia (multiple colors), bilateral isohypochromia (pale blue eyes), or fundus (reflective) pigmentary alterations (spottiness).

So, besides naturally occurring genetic blue eyes in dark skinned people, as previously discussed, understanding Waardenburg’s is another avenue of accurately recognizing phenotype (gene expression) in eye color.



ORIGIN OF BLUE EYES:



Everyone with blue eyes can be traced back 10,000 years to the Black Sea region. Throughout history, they have been the eyes that are prized.

Frank Sinatra’s were legendary, Paul Newman’s melted a million hearts while Cameron Diaz’s dazzle in modern Hollywood.

But how – and why – blue eyes arose has always been something of a genetic mystery. Until now. According to a team of researchers from Copenhagen University, a single mutation which arose as recently as 6-10,000 years ago was responsible for all the blue-eyed people alive on earth today.

The team, whose research is published in the journal Human Genetics, identified a single mutation in a gene called OCA2, which arose by chance somewhere around the northwest coasts of the Black Sea in one single individual, about 8,000 years ago.

The gene does not “make” blue in the iris; rather, it turns off the mechanism which produces brown melanin pigment. “Originally, we all had brown eyes,” says Dr. Hans Eiberg, who led the team. And most people still do. 

The finding that a rare mutation, probably dispersed in the rapid wave of colonisation that followed the end of the last ice age, highlights one of the great mysteries of human evolution: the oddness of Europeans.

Those from Europe and the Near-East have many characteristics that set them apart from the rest of the human race. Not only are Europeans far more likely to have blue eyes (95 per cent in some Scandinavian countries), they also have a far greater range of skin tones and hair colour than any other ethnic grouping.

It is only in Europe that you will find large numbers of blondes and redheads, brunettes, pale skins and olive skins, blue eyed and green-eyed people living together in the same communities. Across the rest of the world, people are almost uniformly dark-haired and dark-eyed.

Why this should remain unknown, and in particular how such mutations can have arisen so quickly since Europe was colonised by Africans just a few tens of thousands of years ago. One theory is that Europe’s cold weather and dark skies played a part. Fair skin is better at making Vitamin D from the 8 per cent of the world’s population have blue eyes weak sunlight found in northern latitudes.


Another suggestion is that the strange skin, eye and hair colours seen in Europe are down to ancient interbreeding with the Neanderthals, who died out about 25,000 years ago. Maybe the Neanderthals were blonde or red-haired and it is their genes which we have inherited. 

The trouble with this theory is that there is no evidence, from the scraps of Neanderthal DNA that have been recovered from bones, that there was any substantial interbreeding between them and Homo sapiens at all. Perhaps the most plausible theory is that blonde hair and blue eyes arose because of a mechanism called sex selection.

This is where males and females choose as their mates those who have one unusual physical characteristic, not necessarily associated with “fitness” per se but simply something unusual. The gigantic (and otherwise useless) tail of the peacock is the best example.

Sex selection comes to the fore when there is a lot of competition for mates of one sex or the other. The theory is that in Europe, where men had to spend weeks at a time out on the hunt, males were in very short supply. 

In such societies, women who had flaxen locks stood a better chance of standing out and attracting the attention of the few men that would have been available for mating. Even back then, the blue-eyed blonde was not only in demand, but also definitely would have had more fun.




Source:  vozAfric

BILL GATES’ CONCERN OVER THE CUT OF AFRICA’S AID BY THE US GOVERNMENT


Bill Gates signs visitor's register at the Ahentia Health Centre in the Awutu Senya district, the central region of Ghana on March 26, 2013.

Bill Gates signs visitor's register at the Ahentia Health Centre in the Awutu Senya district, the central region of Ghana on March 26, 2013.  Photographer: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images



The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man.


Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital.

“It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to debate.”

The Trump administration has proposed a 13 percent cut to development aid for Africa, according to the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C.-based policy center. Gates said he talks with U.S. “representatives, senators” after he returns from visits to the continent and was left optimistic after meeting Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. “They continue to think long-term and see the U.S. relationship in Africa as being pretty important,” he said.

‘More Attention’

At the same time, the administration’s focus on domestic issues and challenges in the Middle East make it unlikely that new aid programs will emerge under Trump, he said, referring to examples such as George W. Bush’s anti-AIDS project Pepfar and Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative.

“The chance of some new additional programs coming out of this administration, I wouldn’t want to rule it out, but I don’t think it’s that likely,” Gates said. “So I hope I am surprised and Africa gets more attention than it’s gotten to date.”

The 61-year-old billionaire philanthropist visited Tanzania as co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has given away more than $34 billion since its creation in 2000 and become an important sponsor of health and anti-poverty programs in Africa. 

While the charity funds projects ranging from nutrition to curbing neonatal deaths, almost half of its health money goes toward funding the development of vaccines for infectious diseases, most of which could be eradicated in the next 25 years, Gates said.

The foundation is “by far” the biggest funder of developing vaccines for malaria and tuberculosis, and together with the U.S. government is the main provider of HIV vaccine financing. Still, more money is necessary to speed things up, Gates said.

“Europe puts some money into these things but not a huge amount. And the rest of the world, hardly anything,” he said. “Fortunately, we’ve got science on our side and the understanding of human biology including things like the microbiome, how the immune systems work, is advancing at quite a rate.”

Fertilizers Research

While the foundation is perhaps best known for its work in health, Gates also funds agriculture programs worldwide and is an advocate of genetically-modified seeds to improve productivity on African farms. Another priority is fertilizers, he said.

“We do a lot of soil sampling to understand in all of Africa what types of fertilizers should we do and where ” Gates said. “Getting exactly the right fertilizer for the right place, and getting those at a reasonable price is a huge challenge. Of course, it varies from crop to crop. But it’s key to the economy.”




Source: Bloomberg Politics-By Omar Mohammed