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Saturday, May 30, 2009

New trends in the Middle East

A couple of spy stories today at the news. One is placed at Balochistan (and affects Iran and Pakistan) and the other at Lebanon (but has Israel as main affected).


Let's first see what happens in Balochistan. This country is divided between Iran and Pakistan. The Balochis are a distinct people speaking a distinct language but was not lucky in historical destiny and ended up split between the British and Persian empires. It is recognized as stateless by the UNPO (an popular parallel of the UN founded on ethnicities, not states).

Map (from Wikipedia) showing the main nations of Pakistan. Balochis are in pink.

The news is, as you may know, that two successive attacks have taken place in Western Balochistan (Balochistan-Sistan province of Iran): a mass-murdering bomb against a Shia temple, attributed to US agents by the Iranians, followed by a suicidal attack with automatic guns against an electoral office of Iran's President, M. Ahmadinejad. Both took place at Zahedan, a Balochi city which is capital of the province, placed just near the Pakistani and Afghan border.

It is interesting maybe the claim by Iran that US spies have been behind these attacks, even if they sound to the usual propaganda on first sight. This is because of the analysis that Pepe Escobar have been making at Asia Times Online on the US interests in this country. According to him, the USA may well be demolishing Pakistan and wants an independent Balochistan to become its main regional hub, notably for the gasoduct leading, via Afghanistan into Central Asian riches.

If so, the USA might well be targeting not only Eastern "Pakistani" Balochistan but also Western "Iranian" one, adding this nation to the several that are being used (add Kurds and Iranian Arabs) to weaken, and maybe break to pieces, literally, the troublesome fundamentalist Iran.

Lebanon smashes Zionist spy network.

In an apparently distinct development, the Lebanese armed forces have been these days arresting more than 40 alleged spies of Israel, which would belong to at least a dozen different networks. These do not belong to any specific faction or faith, and Israel has not denied its implication, so it does seem it is for real and not just a political campaign. The operation is still ongoing and it seems that it could include top political figures as well.

This may well have destroyed all or most of the Zionist ability to spy and interfere in Lebanon: it is a huge blow to Israel. This kind of large network needs many years, maybe decades, to be built and its annihilation certainly makes Israel significatively less powerful.

Lebanese authorities claim that the operation was possible because of a "technological breakthrough". Or in other words: they or someone else has probably broken into the Zionist headquarters' computers and accessed top secret data - not just a piece but all or nearly so (and probably not just limited to Lebanon operations - we will surely read more on Mossad networks elsewhere soon, I guess).

The question is: who has managed to do such a feat? Probably not Lebanon itself, not Hizbollah either. Nor it's likely an achievement of Syria or Iran, much less besieged Hamas. Who then? Two main candidates seem more obvious: Russia and China. Both have advanced technology and both could have interest in undermining US influence in the area (and hence Israel's). Russia is probably still angered at Israel messing in Georgia, while China has wide and growing interests in the Middle East, that clash with those of the USA and Israel.

But Russia is as dominated by a pro-Zionist oligarchy as it is the USA and China has in the past benefited from the manipulative games of Israel, which sold Patriot anti-missile technology to Beijing not so long ago. This does not exclude them totally but certainly opens the array of options.

I have at least two other candidates and they are surprising ones: the USA and France. Sounds unlikely but the USA might have taken seriously the "two states solution" and may be upset at Netanyahu's and other Zionists' maneouvers, including the current rejection to stop expansion of settlements in the West Bank or the "treacherous" genocidal campaign against Gaza in the presidential interlude some months ago, which may have irked even people within the Zionist mafia itself (as have only caused increased opposition and awareness against Israel).

France is even more unlikely, notably with Sarkozy (of Jewish ancestors himself) taking such an outstanding pro-Zionist stand as of late. But things are not always what they appear and France has recently shown increased interest in West Asia (where Lebanon and Syria are their "natural" allies).

There are even more potential candidates: Latin American nations like Venezuela or Bolivia (who are tired of fascist-zionist attacks on their soil), Turkey (whose regional policy has been once and again undermined by the Wahsington-Tel Aviv tandem), Pakistan (why not? reasons they do have), North Korea, Saudi Arabia (most unlikely, IMO) and even Qatar (main "pro-democracy" player in the Arab League).

It is a most intriguing story and I guess we will soon know, at least by rumor, who is most likely behind this attack against Israel as regional power - and maybe even why.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ireland to persecute anti-religious expression

Ireland is known as one of the most fundamentalist states in Europe, together with the Vatican and Poland, but this is utterly inquisitorial: blasphemy (or whatever the tribunals consider such) will be punishable with a fine of up 100 euros.

Actually this is possible under the ultra-Catholic Irish constitution that explicitly declares that the publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent material is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law. Luckily, so far there was no such law.

But now the Minister of Justice, D. Ahern, wants blasphemy to be included in the new defamation bill in the terms mentioned above. That would surely leave the pious hypocrites and/or idiots very happy but would cause persecuton against everyone who damns God or who questions the sexuality of the prophets, for example. This is obviously unfair as it attacks some ideas with the pretext of defending others: certain ideologies become privileged, while others are attacked.

One even wonders if this is done to merely protect the pedophilic network known as the Catholic Church or what? I guess that accusing a priest of being a pedophile can be considered blasphemy too, right? What next, the canonization of Torquemada?

Watch out: fascism strikes back!

Source: The Register.

Policemen kidnap and beat Basque citizen

Former prisioner Lander Fernández was kidnapped last week by
ertzainak (Basque autonomous policemen) in plain clothes, who threatened him and asked his collaboration. Yesterday, in the populous neighbourhood of Santutxu, Bilbao, four of them, also in plain clothes, atacked and beat him, causing his internation in a hospital. In the meantime he noticed he was being followed at least once.

This is, apparently, not the first case: other people have suffered similar aggressions in the last year.

Source: Gara.

Gaza charity convicted in Texas

The charity Holy Land Foundation and five of its leaders have been convicted of "financing terrorism" because they openly collected money to send it to Hamas social services in Gaza, where it is much needed.

Shukri Abu-Baker (pictured above) declared after being sentenced to 65 years in prision that it is un-American to ignore suffering and starving women and children.

This Kafkian situation where feedom of speech or humanitarian aid is arbitarily determined to be "terrorism" is becoming way too common up to the point that I understand that we are living in a state of undercover fascism and nothing else.

Sources and more information at Al Jazeera and BBC.


Genes and music

A new and surely interesting paper on one of the less studied aspects of intelligence: musical abilities and its relation with specific genes:

L.T. Ukkola et al.,Musical Aptitude Is Associated with AVPR1A-Haplotypes. PLoS ONE, 2009.


Artistic creativity forms the basis of music culture and music industry. Composing, improvising and arranging music are complex creative functions of the human brain, which biological value remains unknown. We hypothesized that practicing music is social communication that needs musical aptitude and even creativity in music. In order to understand the neurobiological basis of music in human evolution and communication we analyzed polymorphisms of the arginine vasopressin receptor 1A (AVPR1A), serotonin transporter (SLC6A4), catecol-O-methyltranferase (COMT), dopamin receptor D2 (DRD2) and tyrosine hydroxylase 1 (TPH1), genes associated with social bonding and cognitive functions in 19 Finnish families (n = 343 members) with professional musicians and/or active amateurs. All family members were tested for musical aptitude using the auditory structuring ability test (Karma Music test; KMT) and Carl Seashores tests for pitch (SP) and for time (ST). Data on creativity in music (composing, improvising and/or arranging music) was surveyed using a web-based questionnaire. Here we show for the first time that creative functions in music have a strong genetic component (h2 = .84; composing h2 = .40; arranging h2 = .46; improvising h2 = .62) in Finnish multigenerational families. We also show that high music test scores are significantly associated with creative functions in music (p<.0001). We discovered an overall haplotype association with AVPR1A gene (markers RS1 and RS3) and KMT (p = 0.0008; corrected p = 0.00002), SP (p = 0.0261; corrected p = 0.0072) and combined music test scores (COMB) (p = 0.0056; corrected p = 0.0006). AVPR1A haplotype AVR+RS1 further suggested a positive association with ST (p = 0.0038; corrected p = 0.00184) and COMB (p = 0.0083; corrected p = 0.0040) using haplotype-based association test HBAT. The results suggest that the neurobiology of music perception and production is likely to be related to the pathways affecting intrinsic attachment behavior.

Not too much too say, as I am admittedly an ass for music.

Mouse and human genome more different than thought

According to a new research paper published by PLoS Biology, mice and humans differ in one out five genes, much more than believed before. This is particularly important because mice are used to research human illnesses and medicines.

One thing that called my attention is that mice appear to have evolved quite faster than us, what I guess is because the generation lapse of most rodents is much shorter than the ones of primates. Whatever the reason, they have accumulated double gene duplications than us in the time since our evolutionary divergence, some 90 million years ago (apparently).

D.M. Church et al., Lineage-Specific Biology Revealed by a Finished Genome Assembly of the Mouse. PLoS Biology 2009.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weed defeats Monsanto

Monsanto, the monopolistic monster that is behind most transgenic crops and related herbicides, notably Roundup, is facing an unexpected enemy: evolution.

After some time of preeminence of genetically modified crops in the USA, crops immune to Roundup, unlike any other plant (in principle), some weeds are taking advantage of the unnatural situation and adapting faster than the mega-corporation can research and react: Amaranthus palmeri, also known as pigweed, has developed immunity to Roundup and is rapidly expanding by the US crop fields, having already caused abandonment of more than 5,000 hectareas, as farmers just don't have any easy solution against it.

The massive use of Roundup in transgenic crop fields has simply exterminated all other plants and weeds, but those who have been able to adapt, in this case this species of amaranth, thrive without competition (as crops are never efficient competitors). The only option would be to supress the weeds manually but that's not any realistic option in the industrialized conditions of US agriculture.

It is suspected that amaranth may have obtained the resistence gene from the very genetically modified crops it is now killing, maybe by crossing or maybe by viral transmission. The massive use of Roundup has only created the perfect conditions in which this weed can now thrive without rivals.

Nature 1 - Capitalism 0 (or did anyone ever believed we could defeat Nature?)

Sources: Rebelión, Wikipedia.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Interview with ETA

Today, Basque newspaper
Gara publishes an interview with two speakers of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), identified as Gaueko (the one from the night, a Basque mythological being) and Argi (light), both in the original Basque (link) and translated Spanish (link- PDF) languages.

It is a lenghty text from which I will translate into English some excerpts:

... before this summer, we will end with a long reflexive and assambleary process that intends to forge an effective political-armed strategy.


The differences between the processes happening in Scotland or Greenland and the one in the Basque Country are not determined by the existence of armed struggle here and not there. The main difference for those processes to be evolving is the different attitudes held by the governments of the United Kingdom and Denmark (...) because Denmark and the UK understand as their political principle the democratic respect they owe to the will of Greenland and Scotland respectively.


[After the latest failed negotiations/truce of some years ago] In political terms, we are now at the highest level ever reached in any process. It is now obvious that this people has already won two arguments: first, that the resolution of the conflict will arrive by means of dialogue and negotiation and second, that Basques have all the right to decide on our future and that making this possible will close forever the gate of the conflict.

(...) ETA is ready to leave armed struggle as soon as the barriers imposed by the states [Spain and France] to Basque self-determination is lifted. In other words, ETA's weapons will go silent when all political options finally become feasible, including independence.


The states are stuck in a demonstration of force. Illegalizations are having much more repercussion in the Basque political picture than what some thought. In the so-called macro-trials a lot of people has been sent to jail on claim that they belonged to ETA, when they actually had no relation whatsoever with our organization.


If the Basque Nationalist Left would have been allowed to run to the last elections, the fascists of López [PSOE] and Basagoiti [PP] would not have got the [Western Basque Autonomous Community's] Presidency; the PNV [right-wing Basque nationalist party] would not have been able to achieve it without the support of the Nationalist Left, IU [Spanish Republican left bloc] would have vanished from that parliament and the results of EA and Aralar [center-left Basque nationalist small parties] would have to be seen. Hence the picture would have been very different, not just in regard to the distribution of seats but on the very essence of the political discussion. (...) The PNV is responsible of this happening (...). Who has transformed the Ertzaintza into uniformed Guerrilleros de Cristo Rey [fascist death squad of the 70s and 80s] has been the PNV.


Since the [negotiation] process of 1998, what have we learnt those among us who want that the Basque country to be a sovereign state? First, that we cannot go behind the PNV, that we cannot wait for the PNV to change... And, second, that structural oppression from the state requires of structural responses. Because otherwise our people is in the way to extinction.


ETA has never made any attack at the University of Navarre in Pamplona. ETA attacked for fifth time the Opus Dei [ultraconservative Catholic cult] that is sworn enemy of the Basque Country. ETA has never hit the University of Navarre or Pamplona. On that action, rulers and media speculated a lot trying to damage our reputation. (...) Following instructions of the Interior Ministry, police has more interest in locating the members of ETA making warning calls than in saving lives. (...) Difficulting or sabotaging our warning calls, the Spanish government is attempting that in some attack ETA injuries or kills citizens, so it would fall on our organization all the responsability of such severe damages.


Finishing ETA by mere policial means has been the dream of all Spanish Interior Ministers so far. (...) This way they attempt to exploit every single arrest of any Basque exiled activist as the fall of the cupola of ETA, and that way the increase the list of the many prisoners that have no relation with ETA at all.


The land-air missiles captured to ETA were employed in three attempts to kill José María Aznar, when he was president of the Spanish state. Sadly these actions did not achieve their objective.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Doctors demand moratory on GM foods because they damage public health

Also from Voltairenet:

In a just-released position paper on GMO foods, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) states that ‘GM foods pose a serious health risk’ and calls for a moratorium on GMO foods. Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes ‘there is more than a casual association between GMO foods and adverse health effects’ and that ‘GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.’ The report is a devastating blow to the multibillion dollar international agribusiness industry, most especially to Monsanto Corporation, the world’s leading purveyor of GMO seeds and related herbicides.


41 US intelligence and counter-terrorism veterans demand a new investigation of 9-11 attacks

From Voltairenet:

Following in the footsteps of well over 1,000 scientists and other professional groups who have already gone on record questioning the official theory, more than 40 U.S. Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Agency veterans have come forward to challenge the Government’s rendition of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Their behind-the-scenes knowledge and experience of sensitive and classified issues places them in a uniquely authoritative position. In this sense, their critical stance is all the more damning for the government. Conspicuously absent from the landscape are the mainstream media professionals, as they continue to provide cover for the government’s totally bankrupt theory and fail to report on landmark developments such as this.

The list is too long and detailed to include here. Please read the original article and the attached PDF.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

All primates may regulate how much we eat based on protein intake

A quite interesting dietary finding has been reported this week: American primates such as spider monkeys and Afrasian primates such as ourselves seem to share a key dietary trait, no matter if we are strictly vegetarian or omnivorous: the main goal of our appetite is to reach a daily target of certain optimal protein ammount.

A.M. Felton et al. Protein content of diets dictates the daily energy intake of a free-ranging primate. Behavioural Ecology, 2009.

The authors have found that spider monkeys, who are strictly vegetarian, do not aim for energy or protein maximum intake, as has been argued sometimes, but for an optimal intake of protein. When their diet is richer in proteins they eat less of everything, when it's low in this key component instead they eat much more until they reach the same daily intake of proteins. This behaviour is the same among humans, so the authors conclude that, unless it is a mere coincidence at both extremes of the ape tree, a separate convergent evolution maybe, this pattern must be general for all apes and maybe even a wider fraction of animals.

It had been argued that this pattern among humans had only evolved with Neolithic. But seems it is not the case after all.

A divulgative article can be found at Science Daily.

General strike, figures and electricity

There has been a huge expenditure of salive and ink on wether the Basque general strike of thursday was a huge success or a total failure. But here there is an interesting figure:
Spanish electrical consumption fell by 4% on that day, what would imply that some 700,000 people did not work the 21st. There is absolutely no other reason for such absentism such as holidays or whatever, though, of course, it could be "a mere coincidence".

Friday, May 22, 2009

Drinking from plastic bottles poisons you

A new research paper notices that drinking from plastic bottles increases in at least 70% the exposure to
Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that causes serious hormonal alterations but is nevertheless allowed for use in the food and beverages industry and is massively used.

J.L. Carwile et al. Use of Polycarbonate Bottles and Urinary Bisphenol A Concentrations. EHP, 2009. Freely available.

A divulgative synthesis of this paper can be found at Science Daily.

The volunteers drank for a week only from glass in order to minimize their exposure to BPA, then they proceeded to drink cold liquids from these plastic bottles for the same time. Urine samples in this second phase had 69% more BPA than in the first phase. The authors note that would the bottles have contained hot liquids or being themselves heated, as is usual with baby bottles, the amount of ingested BPA should be much higher.

BPA is used in most food industry packages, notably plastics of the 3 (PVC) and 7 (others) recycle categories. While acute toxicity is low it does seem clear that chronic exposure to this material, even in small doses, causes serious hormonal disruptions, as has been found in many studies. In animals at least it does cause alterations in genitals, reduction of gender differences, greater risk of prostate and breast cancer, early puberty, etc.

In spite of all these worrisome effects governments are not taking any action as of yet.

Iniciativa Internacionalista "legal" on appeal

After being
declared illegal by the Neoinquisition (Audiencia Nacional), the Spanish left-wing list Iniciativa Internacionalista has been re-legalized by sentence of the Constitutional Court (full sentence in PDF format) and will be able to run at the upcoming European elections.

In press conference, the lawyer of this list, Luis Ocampo, together with two candidates, A. Araque and C. Frabetti (pictured above) demanded the resignation of Interior Minister, A. Rubalcaba, and have announced a demand for damages against him and Justice Minister , F. Caamaño.

In their program it is included the search for a dialogued political and democratic solution to the Spanish-Basque conflict. They denounced that people who have been trying to promote this kind of dialogue are now in prision.

Labor unionist and candidate, A. Araque denounced that while politicians fill their mouths with the insistent rejection of ETA's violence, the systemic violence against workers is completely ignored. We reject the violence that dumps four million citizens into unemployement, that is the violence we clearly reject.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Haplogroup E1b1b1 and Afroasiatic languages

Originally found
at Dienekes.

Andrew Lancaster, Y Haplogroups, Archaeological Cultures and Language Families: A Review of the Possibility of Multidisciplinary Comparisons Using the Case of Haplogroup E-M35. Journal of Genetic Genealogy, 2009. (PDF).

The paper is a very nice and interesting meditation on the state of the art of our knowledge on the important haplogroup E1b1b or its main component E1b1b1, spread through North and NE Africa, West Asia and Europe. As a related issue, the extent and possible history of Afroasiatic languages is also explored in depth.

A must read for anyone interested in West Eurasian and African human genetics.

Socialism, decentralization and participation in Kerala

Just found this interesting e-book (in Spanish) on the Keralan way to socialism and development though decentralization and direct democracy:


Sadly I have not been able to find it in English version by the moment, though I presume that there exists one.

The paper is a critical reflexion on the achievements and limitations of the rather successful Keralan policies of the last half century, marked by a strong interest in decentralization and cooperative and participative development. The Indian SW state of Kerala has got an elected communist government since independence, except for a recent interlude at the hands of the Congress Party, that has applied innovative policies within the Indian and global capitalist frame, including a radical agrarian reform early on. Kerala is the Indian state with the highest human development index and 91% of its inhabitants are literate (compared with only 66% in all India).

Bilderberg meeting in Athens 2009

The secretive Western Capitalist elite club, the Bilderberg Group, held its yearly meeting at Athens this year. The Bilderberg Group is often accused by many of being one of the pillars of the undemocratic Western Imperial government, together with the G8, Trilateral Comission and NATO. It would be some sort of influential and secretive "senate" of the hyper-rich and hyper-powerful. Unlike other imperial pillars but much like NATO, it does not seem to include members from Japan or the Pacific area but only Europe and North America. Researching and reporting on it is rather "discouraged" by the police.

An interesting English language link is within The Guardian, which tried to report on the meeting to the displeasure of Greek police. Another extensive link in Rumanian language is

Spanish language news site Rebelión reports that this year's schedule included the following topics: "the future of US economy and the dollar, unemployement in the USA: solutions and forecasts, depression or chronic stagnation? and the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon" [refurbished European Constitution].

The list of attendants this year was over the hundred, here listed by state of origin (states sorted by GDP(PPP)):

USA: Keith B. Alexander (Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, Director of the National Security Agency), Roger Altman (investment banker, former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton), George David (Chairman and former CEO of United Technologies Corporation, board member of Citigroup), Niall Ferguson (Professor of History at Harvard University and William Ziegler Professor at Harvard Business School), Timothy Geithner (Secretary of the Treasury), Donald Graham (CEO and chairman of the board of The Washington Post Company), Richard Holbrooke (Obama's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan), James Jones (National Security Advisor to the White House), Vernon Jordan (lawyer, close adviser to President Bill Clinton), Henry Kissinger (former US Secretary of State and most influential conservative politician), Marie Jose Kravis (Hudson Institute), Jessica Matthews (President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Craig Mundie (chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft), Richard Perle (American Enterprise Institute), David Petraeus (Commander, U.S. Central Command), David Rockefeller (most influential banker), Dennis Ross (special advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton), Barnett R. Rubin (Director of Studies and Senior Fellow, Center for International Cooperation), Lawrence Summers (economist, Director of the White House's National Economic Council), Paul Volcker (former Federal Reserve director, Chair of Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board), James Wolfensohn (former president of the World Bank), Paul Wolfowitz (former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank, currently AEI scholar), Fareed Zakaria (journalist, author, and CNN host), Robert Zoellick (former managing director of Goldman Sachs, President the World Bank)

Germany: Thomas Enders (CEO Airbus), Mathias Nass (Editor of the newspaper Die Zeit), Cem Özdemir (co-leader of the Green Party and Member of the European Parliament), Jürgen E. Schrempp (former CEO DaimlerChrysler)

UK: Kenneth Clarke (MP, Shadow Business Secretary), Richard Dearlove (former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service), John Kerr - aka Baron Kerr of Kinlochard - (Deputy Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell and an independent member of the House of Lords), John Micklethwait (Editor-in-chief of The Economist), Martin Taylor (former chief executive of Barclays Bank, currently Chairman of Syngenta AG), Martin Wolf (associate editor and chief economics commentator at the Financial Times)

France: Nicholas Bavarez (economist and historian), Xavier Bertrand (politician connected to Nicolas Sarkozy), Henri de Castries (President of AXA insurances), Thierry de Montbrial (founded the Department of Economics of the École Polytechnique and heads the Institut français des relations internationales), Denis Olivennes (director general of Nouvel Observateur), Frederic Oudea (CEO of Société Générale bank)

Italy: Franco Bernabè (Telecom Italia), Mario Draghi (economist, governor of the Bank of Italy), John Elkann, Italy (Italian industrialist, grandson of the late Gianni Agnelli, and heir to the automaker Fiat), Mario Monti (economist and politician, President of the Bocconi University of Milan), Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa (banker, economist and former Minister of Economy and Finance), Romano Prodi (former Prime Minister and former President of the European Commission)

Spain: Queen Sofia, Ana Patricia Botín (President of Banesto bank), Juan Luis Cebrián, Spain (journalist of Grupo PRISA, former director of El País), José Entrecanales (construction magnate, President of Acciona), Bernardino Leon Gross (Secretary General of the Presidency), Miguel Angel Moratinos (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón (conservative politician, former major of Madrid), Pedro Solbes Mira (economist, Second Vice President and Minister of Economy and Finance)

Canada: W. Edmund Clark (CEO TD Bank Financial Group), Frank McKenna (Deputy Chairman of the Toronto-Dominion Bank), J. Robert S. Prichard (CEO of Torstar Corporation and president emeritus of the University of Toronto), Heather M. Reisman (co-founder of Indigo Books & Music Inc.), Indira Samarasekera (President of University of Alberta, Board of Directors Scotiabank)

Turkey: Ali Babaca (Deputy Prime Minister responsible for economy), Mustafa Vehbi Koç (President of industrial conglomerate Koç Holding). See also the "unclear" section, that includes many allegedly Turkish personalities.

Netherlands: Queen Beatrix, Prince Constantijn, Victor Chalmperstant (Leiden University), Ernst Hirsch Ballin (politician, minister of Justice in the fourth Balkenende cabinet, member of the Christian Democratic Appeal), Jaap De Hoop Scheffer (Dutch politician and current NATO Secretary General), Neelie Kroes (European Commissioner for Competition), Jeroen van der Veer (CEO of Royal Dutch Shell), Nout Wellink (Chairman of De Nederlandsche Bank, Board of Directors, the Bank of International Settlements), Hans Wijers (CEO of the multinational corporation AkzoNobel)

Belgium: Prince Philippe, Etienne Ntavinion or Étienne, Viscount Davignon, (former vice-president of the European Commission), Philippe Maystadt (President of the European Investment Bank), Guy Verhofstadt (former Prime Minister)

Sweden: Carl Bildt (former Prime Minister of Sweden, oil magnate with interests in Russia and Sudan), Jacob Wallenberg (chairman of Investor AB and former chairman of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken), Marcus Wallenberg (CEO of Investor AB, former chairman of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken)

Greece: Georgios A. Arapoglou (Governor of National Bank of Greece), Odysseas Kyriakopoulos (Group S & B) (?), Dimitrios Th.Papalexopoulo (Managing Director of Titan Cement Company SA), Peter Thiel (Clarium Capital Management LCC, PayPal co-founder, Board of Directors: Facebook), Dora Bakoyannis (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Anna Diamantopoulou (Member of Parliament for the Panhellenic Socialist Movement), Yannis Papathanasiou (Minister of Finance), George Alogoskoufis (former Minister), George A. David (businessman, president of Coca-Cola)

Switzerland: Josef Ackermann (CEO of Deutsche Bank), Christoph Blocher (industrialist, Vice President of the Swiss People's Party), Daniel L. Vasella (Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Novartis AG)

Norway: Egil Myklebust (Chairman of the board of SAS Group, Scandinavian Airlines System), Eivint Reitan (economist, corporate officer and politician for the Centre Party)

Portugal: Francisco Pinto Balsemão (former Prime Minister), Manuela Ferreira Leite (Portuguese economist and politician), Manuel Pinho (Minister of Economy and Innovation)

Denmark: Eldrup Anders (CEO Dong Energy)

Finland: Jyrki Katainen (Minister of Finance, leader of the Finnish National Coalition Party), Matti Taneli Vanhanen (Prime Minister)

Ireland: Peter Sutherland (Chairman, BP and Chairman of Goldman Sachs International)

Unclear (misspelt, not found in searchs): January Bgiorklount (Swedish Education minister Jan Bjïorklund?), Alexander Bompar, France (Bompard?), Luc Cohen, Belgium (?), Isintro phenomena casket (speculated by Rebelión to be Isidro Fainé, President of La Caixa), Ntermot convergence, Ireland (AIV Group) (?), Robert Keigkan, United States (? - possibly Robert Kagan, neocon historian), Roland GT, Germany (?), Sami Cohen, Turkey (Journalist) (?), Michael Rintzier, Czech Republic (?), Susan Sampantzi Ntintzer, Turkey (?) Guler Sabanci, Turkey, President of Sabanci Holdings (?), Rountol Solten, Austria (?), Sampatzi Saraz, Turkey (banker) possibly Süreyya Serdengeçti (former Governor of the Central Bank of Turkey) (?) , Sanata Seketa, Canada (University of Canada) (?), Agan Ourgkout, Turkey (?)

List mostly from PeaceReporter.

I find particularly interesting the low profile of the German "delegation" (only 4 people in spite of being the second largest Atlantic economy) and also the relatively high number of "journalists", who are obviously there not to report but to take directives on how to sow disinformation and brainwash the public. Another noticeable item is the high presence of US military and Middle East "proconsuls", including Richard Holbrooke, suggesting that, beyond the official schedule, hot issues like Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq have been surely also included.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Even petty thieves are now "terrorists"

Earlier, as I woke from a long nap, I watched
this video at the European public news channel, euronews:

As I watched the men being brutally arrested, still sleeppy, I realized that it was some local police op against petty crime network at my town but... uh?... wait!... this is euronews: we don't get local news in this channel, what the heck!

The information was almost trivial: a small group of immigrants from nearby North Africa arrested for burglary, credit card falsification and drug trafficking.


Why is it sold as an operation against "terrorism"? Why is there a High Inquisitor (Audiencia Nacional judge Eloy Velasco) involved? All you can read is that the police vaguely suspects that maybe these people sent remittances to some alleged "terrorist organization" back at home.


They look like a little local mafia to me and the pretext of "international terrorism" looks like some less famous inquisitor is trying to score some kind of political points by helping some Spanish mafious to get rid of some petty, yet autonomous, competence.

This would be nothing new: since long the big mafias have used the legal system to get rid of less powerful competitors. But this is the first time I know one of those that uses the AN and tries to classify the losing side as "international terrorists". I do not have the feeling, nor the information provides any single factual data that makes it likely that the arrested were anything else than a small criminal gang. So why the "terrorist" speculation? And why has it been hyped that way in the media?

I have the feeling that this is some big mafia boss pulling all the strings at state level to get these people, who may have challenged him, in jail for a very long time.

Probably nothing else but, damn, it sucks that you cannot get any decent contrasted information anywhere.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tamil Tigers lay down arms "to stop the slaughter".

The struggle has reached its bitter end. Against all odds we have contained the Sinhalese army without any help, except the endless support of our people. It is our people who is dying under the bombs and missiles, of starvation and illnesses. We have only one option left to remove the last weak pretext of our enemy to exterminate our people. We have decided to silence our weapons. We only lament the loss of lives, that we cannot sustain for longer. We won't bear anymore watching how the blood of our people is spilled.

We need to do everything on our hands to stop this slaughter. If this implies laying down our arms and get into a peace process, that is something we already said were willing to do. We are living in an unprecedented historical moment that requires unprecedented prudent historical decisions. If that saves the lives of thousands, it must be done.

This is the excerpt published by Gara of the communication of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam, signed by Selvarasa Pathmanathan.

An interview with this leader of the Tamil guerrilla can be watched at Channel 4 as well. He denies surrender but insists in using the expression "laying down arms" instead. He also rejects they have used civilians as human shields claiming instead that the people went with them because they distrust the Sinhalese army.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Out of Africa probably much older

I want here to call attention to a particularly relevant post at Mathilda's Anthropology Blog. She takes a moment to review all the ancient human or likely human remains that seem (in some cases are for sure) older than the usual conservative OoA dates.

Please take a look: My main objections to a recent out of Africa date.

I have already argued here and there that the usual conservative estimates may be too recent. While I am not sure about the certainty of some of the claimed dates, I certainly would argue that is worth taking them into consideration, notably those in the 100-90,000 BP range.

If mtDNA L3 expanded at that remote time, in my opinion, mtDNA M and N would have expanded right after the Toba event, which surely caused a major bottleneck in Asia.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Spanish Inquisition bans EP list

The Spanish political and counter-insurgence tribunal, Audiencia Nacional (Neoinquisition), has banned the list Solidaridad Internacionalista led by writer Alfonso Sastre.

The bulk of the "evidence" seems to be agains Sastre himself, and is totally ideological: he has supported Herri Batasuna in 1987 for the EP, run occasionally with Euskal Herritarrok, asked for support for Basque prisioners and solidarized with earlier victims of the Inquisition. Would these criteria be used on general grounds, and not on arbitrary ones, many other lists and political parties could be baned, like most Basque parties, some Catalan ones, and even the guvernamental PSOE, who has supported pro-Spanish terrorists in the recent past.

Whatever the case, it is clear that what is being judged here are ideas, not any criminal actions of any sort, and that on such merely dieological grounds any attempt of making critical politics institutionally is being just supressed - and not anymore just in the Basque Country.

Source: Gara.
See also this previous post.

European economy plummets

When I was young and even dared to study economics, I was taught that a growth of less than 2% was considered a recession. Negative growth, real shrinking of the economy was unconceivable, at least for yearly terms.

Today we have already become almost accustomed to such figures but the fall of the German economy by 6.9% in the last 12 months really breaks all records, at least in the industrialized world.

Germany, like so many other countries in the Reaganomics Empire, had a structure based on exports, not domestic markets, and that worked fine for a while. But now the global markets have collapsed and the dependence on foreign buyers has caused such a brutal contraction.

Overall, EU economy fell 2.5% only in this last trimester. Similar figures to those of Germany happened in Italy (-5.9% in last year), where the exports sector is also dominant. Even France, that had managed to ride the storm somewhat better has lost 3.2% of its activity in the last 12 months, 1.2% in the last three alone. Spain lost 2.9% in the last year.

The situation is particularly bad in the countries of Eastern Europe, like Latvia and Lithuania, where the contraction has been of a brutal 10% along the year. Only Slovakia shows still some minimal growth among all EU states were recent data is available.

Source: Gara.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Parents' emotions could epigenetically alter their kids genome

Another interesting Mexican research paper:
A. Halabe Bucay, Endorphins, personality, and inheritance: Establishing the biochemical bases of inheritance. The paper, published by Science Direct, is behind a paywall but it is explained in its basics at Science Daily.

No hard conclussions are provided, as the author claims his aim is more to promote discussion than to estabilish any dogma, but the proposal is that as emotional states appear to affect directly the sperm and egg cells, these could cause epigenetic alterations even before conception that could determine the the expression of the child's genes.

I would argue that as germ cells are rapidly produced and spent, I would actually expect the mother's emotional state to be most important after conception. My two cents anyhow.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

European elections: Inquisition strikes again - updated

The new leftist list
Iniciativa Internacionalista-Solidaridad entre los Pueblos (Internationalist Initiative-Solidarity among the Peoples), led by the famous Spanish writer Alfonso Sastre has become the new target of the New Inquisition (Audiencia Nacional) and is being challenged in court for "having links with Batsuna" (major Basque leftist nationalist party, declared illegal some years ago).

The list has the backing of several Andalusian majors and councilors of United Left, who say it is customary in their party to offer formal support to other left-wing lists. Andalusian MP José Manuel Sánchez Gordillo protests that is very dangerous to illegalize ideas, what he considers an anticonstitutional abhorrence.

It seems that these European elections we will again be suffring from the "Spanish democracy" syndrome, an illness characterized by erosion of memory of fascism, extreme permisivity to ugly authoritarian neofascists, neofeudal olygopolistic manipulation of parliamentary seats and Judge Dredd delusions against anything that smells to Basque leftist independentism.

Source: Gara.



The Basque Nationalist Left denies being behind Iniciativa Internacionalista and denounces the witch hunt craze. What began as an attempt to criminalize and displace the Basque Left has now experimented a qualitive jump and extended to any kind of political dissidence anywhere in the state. The show their solidarity with the list and personally with Alfonso Sastre.

Iniciativa Internacionalista itself, represented by Ángeles Maestro, has decried the attempt to ban them as hysteria, panic to have some European MPs who are not gagged and will tell of what is actually happening in Spain. She said that for this state, "ETA's enviroment is larger than the galaxy" and that "there wont be enough prisions for all".

In a parallel developement, the New Inquisition Tribunal (Audiencia Nacional) dropped charges against another list, in this case an Asturian nationalist one, that had avails from Basque councilors of the old antifascist party Basque Patriotic Action (EAE-ANV), which has also been criminalized and declared illegal, no matter it is much older than ETA.

The case is total juridical madness, as you can surely imagine. Just to mention that as "evicence" it has been presented an editorial opinion of Basque newspaper Gara, where this last epysode of the witch hunt is denounced as panic by the regime to a true progressive left-wing may crystalize as real opposition to the post-fascist bipartidism.

"Spanish democracy"? Oxymoron.


New paper on Mexican genetics

An interesting freely available study has just been published: Irma Silva-Solezzi et al. Analysis of genomic diversity in Mexican Mestizo populations to develop genomic medicine in Mexico. PNAS, 2009.

We analyzed data from 300 nonrelated self-identified Mestizo individuals from 6 states located in geographically distant regions in Mexico: Sonora (SON) and Zacatecas (ZAC) in the north, Guanajuato (GUA) in the center, Guerrero (GUE) in the center–Pacific, Veracruz (VER) in the center–Gulf, and Yucatan (YUC)in the southeast. Considering that Zapotecos have been shown as a good ancestral population for predicting Amerindian (AMI) ancestry in Mexican Mestizos (16), we included 30 Zapotecos(ZAP) from the southwestern state of Oaxaca (Fig. 1). For comparative purposes, we included similar data sets from HapMap populations: northern Europeans (CEU), Africans (YRI), and East Asians (EA), including Chinese (CHB) and Japanese (JPT). A HapMap-like database with SNP frequencies in Mexicans and HapMap populations was generated (http://diversity.inmegen.

Some assorted images:

Fig.1. Map showing areas sampled and diversity compared to HapMap standard samples. All populations are Mestizos except ZAP who are Native American Zapotecos.

Fig. 2. Plots of the Mexican and HapMap samples: A includes YRI (Yorubans), B without YRI.

Fig. 3A. Poulation structure of Mexicans and HapMap samples.

No novel conclusions, I'd say. As is known (at least by Mexicans) Northwesterners (represented here by SON) are "whiter" than average. All Mestizo Mexicans are basically a mixture of Europeans and Native Americans with very small apportion of African ancestry (more notable in Guerrero and some Veracruz individuals).

It is interesting to see anyhow how when a true Amerindian sample is introduced, a clear distinction appears with the East Asian HapMap sample that, by itself, can only be a poor approximation to Native American genotype. To a lesser extent surely it could be argued that CEU may not represent well the SW European ancestry of Mexicans but guess the differences are much less extreme (Europeans in general cluster all very close to CEU when in intercontinental contexts).

For further references on medical genomics regarding Mexico check this article at Science Daily.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On trial for reporting tortures

Yesterday began an unprecedented trial here at Bilbao: two people are being judged for reporting to the press a case of tortures by the Spanish police (Ibon Meñika, 2006). The accused are Julen Larrinaga, speaker of the pro-amnesty movement (no official name anymore as they have been illegalized more than once), and Aiert Larrarte, lawyer of Torturaren Aurkako Taldea (TAT, Group Against Torture). They are charged with defamation of the police.

The defendants rejected any agreement with the state prosecutor and also rejected to reply to his questions in court. They denounced that most cases of torture are just dismissed in the Spanish tribunals with ridiculous sentences of about two lines but that in the less biased international forums the name of Spain appears once and again in the reports of tortures and human rights abuses.

They denounced also that in the case of Meñika, the situation was the same: before a likely and consistent report of tortures, the case was filed without any minimally serious investigation (Meñika was not even questioned by the judge).

In a parallel development, Amnesty International reported yesterday that they have serious doubts on wether in Spain tortures are investigated at all. AI asked from the Spanish PM to report to Parliament on this matter and to adopt a protocol for prevention of torture. They demanded the end of the incommunication period, in agreement with what UN and the EC recommend.

Source: Gara.

Monday, May 11, 2009

NATO uses white phosphorus against civilians in Afghanistan

White phosphorus shells have fallen on civilian homes at the eastern province of Kapisa, burning and mutilating children. The foreign contingent in that area is made up of French troops with US support. NATO rejects responsability and is providing healthcare for the injured but it is clear it was not the Taliban.

Read whole story at Yahoo News. Originally found at The Angry Arabs' Comments Section.

200 milennia old human hairs found!

Fascinating news brought
by Mundo Neanderthal: 40 hairs of some Homo indiviual(s) have been found fossilized in a hyena coprolite in Gladysvale, South Africa (not far from Johannesburg). They have been dated to 195-257,000 years ago, what makes our species a good candidate.

The paper by L. Blackwell et al. has been published at the Journal of Archaeological Science, vol 36, issue 6 (paywall - visit Mundo Neanderthal for images and map, and further info in Spanish).

"Antisemitism" (another cartoon)

I know that the few usual Zionist-brainwashed visitors will bring their hands to their heads. In fact it goes for them. I think it's quite funny and I also think that fascism hates humorists.

Source: Desert Peace. Author Carlos Latuff (copyleft).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Israel blackmails ill Palestinians: collaborate or die in Gaza.

From Al Jazeera: 'Go back and die in Gaza'.

According to the Israeli organisation Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), Palestinian patients are increasingly being asked to make an impossible choice: Either to become collaborators with the Israeli intelligence apparatus - or to remain in Gaza without medical treatment.


They may ask just a couple of questions to find out if you know any Hamas members or they may suggest a deal for long term co-operation: "If you help us, we will help you. You need a treatment, we need information. We will give you a number, you call us once a week and give us information about your neighbours."

If you refuse, they become more blunt: "Okay, go back and die in Gaza."

The patients are in a lose-lose situation. If they refuse to co-operate with the Israelis and are sent back, they may die because they can't get appropriate treatment in Gaza.

If they do manage to get the permit, they will be branded as potential collaborators.

Whether you really did it or not is not so important. If people think you collaborated, your life may be at risk. In the end, everyone suspects everyone else. It's like Orwell's 1984.

And this is the objective - humiliation and fragmentation.


(...) the main goal is to break the cohesiveness and solidarity among Palestinians. This way, it's much more difficult for them to unify and to struggle for a common cause.

What already happens between Fatah and Hamas then also happens between neighbours, between families ... and this is good for the one who tries to control you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

"Antisemitism" (cartoon)

An image again worth more than 1000 words, especially if those words begin with "anti-" and end with "-semitism":

Taken from DesertPeace. Toon by Carlos Latuff (copyleft).

Also here there is an interesting list by Joachim Martillo of the absolutely disproportionate of (Zionist) Jews in the US high economic circles. How can a minority that is 2% of the population hold like 60% of all key economic posts? He argues for nationalization, what seems much more logical than giving taxpayers' money to a bunch of corrupt bankers who are not just economically but also morally bankrupt.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

First impressions on Alexe 2009. Scrapping mtDNA R off?

I posted before, a new paper by G. Alexe et al. challenges the existence of the mtDNA macro-haplogroup R as we know it and suggests a very much modified tree for Eurasian mtDNA (while ratifying the basic global tree at the L, M and N levels).

These are my first impressions as I read it.

From a comparison of our haplogroups to two chimp and one bonobo sequences, and assuming a chimp-human coalescent time of 5 million years before present, we find a human mtDNA TMRCA of 206,000 ± 14,000 years before present.

As the actual Pan-Homo split probably happened more like 8 million years ago (not less than 7 in any case) , the correct TMRCA estimate would rather be of 329,000 years BP, which is much older than normally considered.

When we create k + 1 clusters, we do not use the previous clustering into k clusters. Nevertheless, we find that the k + 1 clusters consist of k – 1 clusters from the previous clustering plus two more obtained from the splitting of one of the clusters at level k. These recursive bifurcations as k -> k + 1 are strong, inherent features of the data which we interpret as branch splits on the tree. The polymorphisms on branches are identified by a frequency analysis at each split.

This seems to be the core of their K-means analysis method. However, for what I have seen in the use of k-means clustering within autosomal DNA (where it is widely used), the new k+1 clusters actually show not a split of the previous clusters but a representation of further data ignored in them, this data is generally less important numerically for the whole sample but may be most important locally for specific populations. Of course, against what the authors claim, sample size and pre-selection does usually matter and the K=2 graph will always show the two most important clusters overall, even if they are minimal in some of the populations studied. That is why it is so important to deepen the k-means analysis as much as possible, in order to find all possible clusters and their local relevance.

For example: taking the K-means analaysis used by Bauchet 2007 as reference, a sample of Europeans in general is likely to show two different clusters at K=2 that appear to have a cline along a S-N axis (this may vary depending on the sampled populations) but when you reach K=5 or K=6, these two components have become diluted to very low levels in all but two population clusters: Eastern Mediterraneans and Finnish. They dominate the K=2 because they have a somewhat wider distribution but they are minor in most populations and almost non-existent in some cases (Basques for example).

I also took notice of the following criticisms of the basic k-means method of analysis, from Wikipedia k-means++:

However, the k-means algorithm has at least two major theoretic shortcomings:
  • First, it has been shown that the worst case running time of the algorithm is super-polynomial in the input size.
  • Secondly, the approximation found can be arbitrarily bad with respect to the objective function compared to the optimal clustering.

So I am not really convinced how good is this method, that ignores the standard SNP-based tree building, to describe the real mtDNA structure.

Whatever the case, this is the tree they propose for Eurasian mtDNA (fig. 4 - I ignored fig 4-c because it proposes no changes to known L1, L2 and L3 trees / a = N, b = M):

click to enlarge

Notice how many of the proposed bifurcations have no defining mutation/s. Even if they are right, this really challenges the way we usually think of haploid lineages, as defined by uniquely occurring SNPs, which are the ones defining the tree structure.

I am instinctively horrified by this sugegstion of "haplogroups" with no shared mutations. Maybe I am completely wrong but you get the following pseudo-clades that have no defining SNPs at all:
  • A western neo-R, gathering R0, U and JT.
  • N(xR)
  • N(xR,F)
  • N(xR,F,W)
  • N(xR,F,W,A)
  • B'N9b'R5'X - and others downstream of this "node"
  • M(xG)
  • M(xG,M7b)
  • M7a'8'9'10'Q
  • M7a'9'10'Q
  • M7'a'9'10
  • M9'10
  • Several "nodes" in haplogroup D
I really do not know what to do with this. I'm simly baffled.

However, there are suggestions of novel SNP-defined macrogroups too, though they only appear to share single SNP markers in each case:
  • B'N9b'I'R5'X would share the 52131G mutation
  • B*'B4'R5'X would share the 103928A mutation
  • M7a'8'9'10'D'Q (including C and Z in M8) would be defined by 5460G

Regardless on wether this means anything at all. It is significative that, while it is generally accepted that the genus Pan (chimpanzee and bonobo) diverged from us at a single evolutionary node, fig. 5 shows that the different Pan populations have homogeneously different levels of affinity with Homo mtDNA, with bonobos being slightly more like us also in the mtDNA. Of course, this is very relative, as all Pan groups diverge from us at rates of c. 1350 mutations, while we diverge from the L0'1 consensual root at just a few dozen mutations.

This is all by the moment.

Mitochondrial DNA structure radically challenged

Found at Dienekes. Orignal paper: G. Alexe et al. PCA and Clustering Reveal Alternate mtDNA Phylogeny of N and M Clades (DOI: 10.1007/s00239-008-9148-7) - behind paywall.

This paper, if it actually has any substance behind, threatens to challenge our understanding of the Eurasian mtDNA tree and maybe even our certainties about what is a phylogenetically meaningful mutation.


Phylogenetic trees based on mtDNA polymorphisms are often used to infer the history of recent human migrations. However, there is no consensus on which method to use. Most methods make strong assumptions which may bias the choice of polymorphisms and result in computational complexity which limits the analysis to a few samples/polymorphisms. For example, parsimony minimizes the number of mutations, which biases the results to minimizing homoplasy events. Such biases may miss the global structure of the polymorphisms altogether, with the risk of identifying a “common” polymorphism as ancient without an internal check on whether it either is homoplasic or is identified as ancient because of sampling bias (from oversampling the population with the polymorphism). A signature of this problem is that different methods applied to the same data or the same method applied to different datasets results in different tree topologies. When the results of such analyses are combined, the consensus trees have a low internal branch consensus. We determine human mtDNA phylogeny from 1737 complete sequences using a new, direct method based on principal component analysis (PCA) and unsupervised consensus ensemble clustering. PCA identifies polymorphisms representing robust variations in the data and consensus ensemble clustering creates stable haplogroup clusters. The tree is obtained from the bifurcating network obtained when the data are split into k = 2,3,4,…,k max clusters, with equal sampling from each haplogroup. Our method assumes only that the data can be clustered into groups based on mutations, is fast, is stable to sample perturbation, uses all significant polymorphisms in the data, works for arbitrary sample sizes, and avoids sample choice and haplogroup size bias. The internal branches of our tree have a 90% consensus accuracy. In conclusion, our tree recreates the standard phylogeny of the N, M, L0/L1, L2, and L3 clades, confirming the African origin of modern humans and showing that the M and N clades arose in almost coincident migrations. However, the N clade haplogroups split along an East-West geographic divide, with a “European R clade” containing the haplogroups H, V, H/V, J, T, and U and a “Eurasian N subclade” including haplogroups B, R5, F, A, N9, I, W, and X. The haplogroup pairs (N9a, N9b) and (M7a, M7b) within N and M are placed in nonnearest locations in agreement with their expected large TMRCA from studies of their migrations into Japan. For comparison, we also construct consensus maximum likelihood, parsimony, neighbor joining, and UPGMA-based trees using the same polymorphisms and show that these methods give consistent results only for the clade tree. For recent branches, the consensus accuracy for these methods is in the range of 1–20%. From a comparison of our haplogroups to two chimp and one bonobo sequences, and assuming a chimp-human coalescent time of 5 million years before present, we find a human mtDNA TMRCA of 206,000 ± 14,000 years before present.

I don't have access to the full paper so I can hardly add much more by the moment. Just that this paper basically scraps R as we know it and makes it merely a West Eurasian haplogroup (called "European" in the abstract, no mention of the many South Asian R lineages), placing the Eastern branches of R (notably B, F and P) directly under N.

I can only guess that this article will cause many discussions all around. I will try to follow them and get a more informed opinion. I have just got a copy of the paper and I'm at the moment voraciously reading it.