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WednesdayAugust 4, 2010

Latino Daily News: Bringing You the Latest Hispanic Current Events and News Stories 24/7

To reflect the dynamic interests of our audience, Latino Daily News is an online daily news source and virtual cultural center for and about Latinos. We offer the latest news headlines, as well as innovative and insightful Hispanic current events stories, photos, videos, and commentaries from a Latino perspective, 24/7.

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CONGRATULATIONS! A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez, the 35-year old New York Yankee super star just hit his 600th career home run.  The 600 or more home-run-hits club is a rarefied one with only six other players and they include legends like Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.  Rodriguez is the youngest to enter this club at age 35 while Babe Ruth was 36 when he hit his 600th home run.

Barry Bonds holds the home-run record with 762 followed by Hank Aaron at 755.  The third baseman is a native New Yorker born to Dominican parents that is in year three of his 10 year $275 million contract with the Yankees.

Clearly his alleged dalliance with strippers, movie stars and singers is paying off as well as his daily workouts and incredible God-given talent.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Don’t be Overcharged When Calling Mexico

PR Newswire Prepaid cards and similar online services for calling family and friends in Mexico are littered with punishing fees and a confusing array of rates that can jump as high as 1,000 percent depending on the city being called, but shoppers armed with good information can avoid the rip-offs, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) said Wednesday in a report outlining calling-card offers.

CUB’s report, “Avoiding the Potholes: Finding Good Deals for Calls to Mexico,” said the prepaid calling-card industry “can resemble a tangled, congested highway with bumper-to-bumper, often-confusing ‘deals’ and plenty of potholes.”

Calling-card offers, however, can beat other options—such as Internet phone service or traditional long-distance plans—in accessibility and price. To help Chicagoland residents who want to maintain contact with friends and family vacationing or living in Mexico, CUB set up an online “Calling Mexico Center” at the group’s award-winning website here.

The center includes a chart outlining the best deals that CUB uncovered as well as an e-mail address in which consumers can contact CUB to share information about good deals they have found. 

“Shopping for the ideal calling card can be a frustrating experience, to say the least, but it’s not as frustrating as getting slapped with a bad deal,” said Annie Warnock, CUB’s Hispanic Relations & Media Coordinator. “That’s why CUB has set up the Calling Mexico Center, to help consumers avoid rip-offs, take advantage of good deals, and share information.”

CUB’s report analyzed two kinds of prepaid calling offers. Prepaid calling cards, which can be bought at corner stores and gas stations across the Chicago area, offer a set amount of calling time for a certain advertised price. To access the calling minutes, customers have to dial extra digits, called an access number.  CUB also looked at prepaid offers over the Internet, allowing consumers to set up an account and transfer money into it to buy calling time.

CUB’s report found a confusing array of rates to different cities. One card offered rates as low as .7 cents per minute and as high as 9 cents a minute, depending on what city in Mexico a consumer called—a jump of about 1,186 percent. Other factors that can cause your costs to go up include:

 

* Abusive charges and fees. One prepaid offer featured a low 2-cents-per-minute rate to Mexico City, but it was inflated by a 49-cent “connection fee” and a 99-cent monthly “maintenance” fee.

  * Punishing rates for calls to cell phones. CUB found rates 20 times above what the same prepaid offer charged for a call to a traditional landline. Also, calling from a payphone is inadvisable, slapping customers with rates as high as $1 a minute.

  * Higher rates, depending on what type of “access number” a consumer uses. Consumers using a toll-free access number pay rates that are at least a penny-per-minute higher.

  * Cards that can’t be recharged and cards that expire. CUB scanned the fine print of calling card offers and discovered that some cards expire, even if there’s still time on them. Also, some cards can’t be “recharged” with extra minutes.


Despite all these “potholes,” CUB’s report said calling-card offers tend to beat plans from traditional landline long-distance and wireless companies. Internet telephone services, such as Skype, have intriguingly low prices—even offering free calls in some instances—but require a broadband Internet connection, which may be outside some household budgets.

“There are good deals out there,” Warnock said. “Consumers who want to call Mexico have a lot of choices, but good information to make the right choice is hard to come by. CUB wants to help change that.”

CUB is Illinois’ leading nonprofit utility watchdog organization. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, CUB has saved consumers more than $10 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-669-5556 or visit CUB’s award-winning website.

Read more at PR Newswire

Mexican Immigrants: How Many Come? How Many Leave?

The Pew Hispanic Center- The flow of immigrants from Mexico to the United States has declined sharply since mid-decade, but there is no evidence of an increase during this period in the number of Mexican-born migrants returning home from the U.S., according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of government data from both countries.

The Mexican-born population in the U.S., which had been growing earlier in the decade, was 11.5 million in early 2009. That figure is not significantly different from the 11.6 million Mexican immigrants in 2008 or the 11.2 million in 2007.

The current recession has had a harsh impact on employment of Latino immigrants, raising the question of whether an increased number of Mexican-born residents are choosing to return home. This new Hispanic Center analysis finds no support for that hypothesis in government data from the United States or Mexico.

Mexico is by far the leading country of origin for U.S. immigrants, accounting for a third (32%) of all foreign-born residents and two-thirds (66%) of Hispanic immigrants. The U.S. is the destination for nearly all people who leave Mexico, and about one-in-ten people born there currently lives in the U.S.Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

SB 1070 In Effect (VIDEO)

What is thought to be the first filmed detention under the newly enacted SB1070 has been captured on the streets of Tucson.  Portions of SB 1070 went into effect on July 29, 2010 after a temporary injunction barred the most controversial elements of it from being enacted.  Police officers are allowed to ask for someone’s identification and ask the status of citizenship while investigating a crime.  This time the crime in question was running a stop sign.

Arizona police officers pulled over a woman for running the stop sign and asked for her identification and discovered she had an unresolved traffic citation from 2008.  The unidentified woman claimed the traffic ticket had been resolved.  The two officers called border patrol to ascertain her legal status and will be held in detention until it’s resolved or deported if the necessary documents do not exist. 

The video was captured by Pan Left Productions of Arizona.


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Update: Iran Turns down Brazilian President “Emotional” Offer- (VIDEO)

UPDATE- An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says that the Brazilian president did not have enough information when he offered asylum to the Iranian women sentenced to death by stoning. “As far as we know, [President Lula] is a very humane and emotional person who probably has not received enough information about the case,” Ramin Mehmanparast said.
“What can be done is to let him know about the details of the case of this person who has committed a crime and has been convicted accordingly,” he added.

Original-Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva offered Saturday to provide refuge to an Iranian women convicted of adultery. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani , mother of two, was convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. The international outcry put pressure on the Iranian government who eventually withdrew the stoning but she could still face execution by hanging.

During a campaign rally for his party’s presidential candidate, Silva appealed to Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “to allow Brazil to grant political asylum to this woman.”
“If she is causing problems there, we will welcome her here,” Silva added, according to Brazil’s official news service, Agencia Brasil.

Brazil has improved relations with Iran recently by working with Turkey on a proposal to aid Iran with its dispute with the West over their nuclear program.


Related Videos

Read more at msnbc →

Innovative U.S.-Mexico Border Crossing to be Built

Demonstrating its commitment to a 21st century border that promotes economic competitiveness while enhancing security, the Department of State has issued a Presidential permit for an innovative U.S.-Mexico border crossing in California. The permit allows Otay-Tijuana Venture L.L.C., a binational investment group, to build and operate the San Diego-Tijuana Airport Cross Border Facility (CBF). The project sponsor hopes to begin construction in 2011.

The innovative concept is an enclosed pedestrian bridge across the U.S.-Mexico border linking a passenger facility in San Diego (initially containing customs inspection facilities, parking, and ground transportation) with the commercial passenger airport in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. The CBF is intended to provide U.S. originating or destined air travelers quick, secure, and reliable access to flights at the Tijuana Airport, reduce congestion at neighboring border crossings, and curb economic losses associated with border delays. Issuance of the permit by the Department is in support of its efforts to facilitate safe and secure trade and travel between the United States and Mexico.

Read more at U.S. State Department →

Substance Abuse Rates Low in Hispanic Americans: U.S. Report

Hispanic-American adults have lower rates of alcohol and illicit drug use than the national averages, a federal government study has found.  The research revealed that 46.1 percent of Hispanic-American adults drink alcohol and 6.6 percent use illicit drugs, compared with national average rates of 55.2 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.

However, Hispanic-American adults have a slightly higher level of binge drinking (26.3 percent versus 24.5 percent) and a slightly higher past-year need for alcohol treatment (8.7 percent versus 8.1 percent), according to a news release from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The study also found significant differences in rates of adult substance use among various Hispanic-American groups. For example, the level of past month alcohol use among Spanish Americans is above the national average and 50 percent higher than among Dominican Americans (60.8 percent versus 40.3 percent, respectively). And the rate of current illicit drug use among Spanish Americans is nearly three times higher than the level among Dominican Americans (13.1 percent versus 3.9 percent, respectively).

Substance use rates are much higher among U.S.-born Hispanic Americans than those who were born outside the United States. For example, past-month binge drinking was reported by 57.7 percent of U.S.-born Hispanic Americans and 37.2 percent of those born outside the United States, while the rate of past-month illicit drug use was 11.3 percent for those who were U.S.-born and only 3 percent for those who were foreign-born, according to the findings.

Read more at Health Finder USA →

Chile Debate Legalizar Matrimonios Gay

Tres senadores presentaron ayer un proyecto al Congreso en Chile que permitiría el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, lo que levantó polvareda en el poder legislativo y una nueva fisura en el desgastado bloque opositor de centroizquierda, Concertación. Con la iniciativa, los senadores Fulvio Rossi, Guido Girardi y Alejandro Navarro buscan replicar lo ocurrido en Argentina, que legalizó los matrimonios entre homosexuales.

“A nosotros nos anima iniciar un camino, el mismo camino que se inició cuando terminamos con la diferencia entre hijos naturales e hijos legítimos, por lo que hoy día lo que estamos haciendo es profundizar la democracia”, dijo Rossi a periodistas.

El proyecto apunta a una modificación del artículo 102 del Código Civil que establece que el matrimonio es entre un hombre y una mujer. En el gobierno del derechista Sebastián Piñera sólo han manifestado la intención de regular las uniones de hecho, pero no están a favor de los matrimonios del mismo sexo.

Read more at El Universal →

McCain Apoya Audiencia para Quitar Ciudadanía a Niños de Indocumentados

Varios legisladores republicanos han pedido que el Congreso realice audiencias sobre una posible reforma a la décimo cuarta enmienda de la Constitución de EEUU que, desde 1868, establece la ciudadanía automática a toda persona nacida en territorio estadounidense.

“Apoyo el concepto de realizar audiencias”, dijo McCain a los periodistas en el Capitolio.

Más adelante, en un comunicado, señaló que las audiencias son necesarias cuando miembros del Congreso sugieren un cambio en la Constitución del país.

Sin embargo, agregó que debido a la delicadeza y las repercusiones del asunto, los fundadores de EEUU “intencionalmente hicieron extremadamente difícil el proceso de enmendar nuestra Constitución”.

“Creo que la Constitución es un documento fuerte, completo y cuidadosamente elaborado que ha gobernado con éxito nuestra nación durante siglos, y cualquier propuesta de enmendar la Constitución debe recibir una consideración extensa y juiciosa”, afirmó McCain.

Read more at Terra Noticias →

Mexicana Airlines Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Grupo Mexicana de Aviacion, (Mexicana) filed for bankruptcy protection, in Mexico and the U.S., from its creditors after it failed to obtain new labor agreements from its pilots and flight attendants to lower operating costs.  The company has approximately $796million in debt and has had some of its aircraft seized by creditors due to lack of payment.  The filing will protect its assets while it reorganizes it finances.

The company had been struggling financially as a result of higher fuel prices and declining tourism as the result of the global recession and Mexico’s swine flu epidemic.  It has significant assets in the U.S. and flies more than 17,000 flights annually between the U.S. and Mexico. The 87 year old company was sold by the Mexican government in 2005 to Grupo Posadas SAB

Mexicana had hoped to attract new investors with a better performing balance sheet and lower operating costs.  It has one of the highest operating costs for an airline in the country.  The filing will not affect any flights or routes maintained by Mexicana. 

Read more at Bloomberg News →

CNN Poll:  24% of Hispanics Support SB 1070

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll reports that 24% of the Hispanics questioned support the new Arizona SB 1070 law. 71% of Hispanics polled are opposed to the bill while white respondents responded 61% in support of bill with 34% opposed.


SB 1070

Hispanics     in favor   24%                  opposed   71%
Whites           in favor   61%                  opposed   34%

Generational divide

Hispanics 50 years and older     in favor 45%   
Hispanics younger than 50         in favor 17%

Gender divide

Hispanic Women                   in favor 19%
Hispanic Men                         in favor 28%

Will SB 1070 be effective?

Hispanics who feel law will work   35%
Whites who feel law will work       50%

Will SB 1070 increase discrimination against Hispanics?

Hispanics who feel it will increase discrimination   74%
Whites who feel it will increase discrimination       49%


*The surveys overall sampling error is a plus or minus of 3 percentage points

 

Read more at CNN →

Deferring Dreams of Progress a Reality for Most Hispanics

Striving for the American Dream has always been a goal for many Americans, but today three-quarters of African-Americans (75%) and Hispanics (76%), along with over two-thirds of Non-Hispanic Whites (68%) believe “the American Dream is more of a dream than a real possibility for most people,” according to a new multicultural study from The Futures Company.

The loss of some of the economic gains during the recession, coupled with todays realities of lessening economic possibilities, has deferred the economic dreams of many African-American and Hispanic consumers. Today, 56% of African Americans and 63% of Hispanics say, “The recession will change the way I shop forever,” compared to 48% of Non-Hispanic Whites.

Marketers looking to reach and engage these ethnic consumers will need to re-energize them with attractive offers, new product innovations, enthusiastic ways of getting their attention and effective persuasion techniques, according to Sonya Suarez-Hammond, VP, Multicultural Marketing Insights for The Futures Company.

The Yankelovich Multicultural Study 2010, to be released to study client sponsors on August 4, blends proprietary data and cultural insights to explore this central theme of “dreams deferred,” a mindset that is driving several key marketplace trends and dynamics, including how African Americans and Hispanics are: “proceeding with caution” as reality checks in and they engage with the marketplace in a post recession era; Being “tougher on self” as they place even greater demands and expectations on themselves; and experiencing and influencing a nation in which “multiculturalism is still evolving.”

“Despite economic setbacks and marketplace realities resulting in the need to place some dreams on hold, it is important to note that African Americans and Hispanics are not abandoning their dreams,” notes Suarez-Hammond. “For these ethnic consumers the dream will continue, but today they are rethinking priorities and expenditures in order to pursue the dream in a manner that is more responsive to current economic and social realities,” she added.

Read more at Hispanic PR →

BP’s Colombian Assets to be Sold

British Petroleum (BP) has announced it plans to sell 100% of its Colombian assets for $1.9billion in cash, the sale will consist of its Colombian exploration company and its oil and gas exploration division.  Fifty-one percent of the assets will be sold to Ecopetrol, Colombia’s national oil company and the rest to Talisman of Canada. 

BP has had a presence in Colombia for more than 20 years and has played a major role in finding and developing the country’s major oilfields.  Under the terms of the sales agreement, Ecopetrol and Talisman will pay BP a $1.25billion cash deposit with the balance due on completion of the sale.

The sale of the Colombian assets are part of the company’s plan, announced last week, to sell approximately $30Billion of assets over the next 18 months.  BP is anticipated to payout billions for clean-up, litigation and restoration for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, now considered the largest oil spill on record.  Thus far it has announced sell of assets in the US, Canada and Egypt for a total of $7billion.  No other asset sales in Latin or South America have been announced thus far by the company.

Read more at British Petroleum, BP →



WednesdayAugust 4, 2010