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SaturdayAugust 7, 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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What Is More Rare Than a Pink Diamond, Winning the Lottery…?

What is more rare than finding a flawless pink diamond or winning the lottery when there are million-to-one odds?  The Answer:  finding a Republican, yes we said Republican, candidate running for elected office that advocates ‘open the doors’ to legal immigration.  This Republican candidate is not running for a minor office, like sewage commissioner or dog catcher but for Governor of the State of Illinois, Land of Lincoln.

Illinois State Senator and Republican candidate for governor Bill Brady is running against the incumbent Governor Pat Quinn.  Pat Quinn was Lieutenant Governor when the infamous but loveable Rod ‘Blabbo’ Blagojevich was removed from office in an impeachment vote in early 2009.

Brady was speaking to the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce yesterday when he stated proudly “The birthrate in this country will not allow us to grow at a rate we need to grow at.  And we need to bring real reform to immigration policy, and open the doors, so we can see a growth rate in this country of 4% or greater.”  The statement was later modified slightly when Brady was questioned by local press – Brady clarified he wants the door open but not entirely wide open.  Nonetheless he stands by creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.  Rare indeed. 

Read more at My Fox Chicago →

Unemployment Numbers Remain High

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced on Friday that the unemployment rate for July remained at 9.5% same as last month and only one tenth less than it was in July, 2009 at 9.4%.  There are 14.6 million Americans still not working.

BLS current numbers show 12.1% of Hispanic Americans and 15.6% of African Americans are with out work.  The rate could actually be higher with “discouraged” workers not counted in the work force, they are the workers that can work but have stopped looking.  Not surprisingly the number of “discouraged” workers almost doubled from last year.  Teenage Americans have the highest rate of unemployment at 26.1%.  Most job sectors are slowly adding jobs except the federal government that let go of 143,000 temporary Census workers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Guest Workers File Claims with BP

Although thousands have lost their jobs as a result of BP’s massive oil spill, for those workers here as guest workers, primarily hotel workers and shellfish processors, the problems are unique.  Under an H-2B visa, you are allowed to work only for the employer listed on the visa and you are obligated to leave the US within 10 days of discontinued employment.

Ramada Beach Resort in Fort Walton Beach Fl laid off five Mexican housekeepers on June 30, although they had contracts guaranteeing work until Nov 1. Most Mexicans take out a loan of $1000 or more to pay for the trip to the US with plans of paying it back with their earnings. To furtherer complicate matters, if they do not pay back the loan they loose all future hope of being sponsored for another visa and job. Many guest workers are stuck waiting in the US for some relief from BP and ultimately some employment.

“What they face is basically a guillotine the moment they’re laid off,” said Saket Soni, executive director of the Alliance of Guest workers for Dignity, a grass-roots New Orleans organization that is helping the laid-off housekeepers, and other guest workers laid off from a Baton Rouge seafood processor, file claims with BP. “We would like to see them treated not as disposable workers, but as people who deserve relief in a disaster.”

The alliance helped Mr. Luna Espinoza filed a BP claim for lost wages of $5,498.63, backed up by a letter from Ramada saying that his layoff was due to the oil spill. He has not yet received compensation, though. On July 9, the alliance filed a petition with the Labor Department, asking that it issue a formal policy directing those in the spill zone who employ guest workers to pay all the wages due under the contract, as well as the guest workers’ fare home.

“It shouldn’t be on the guest workers’ shoulders to bear the costs of the spill,” Mr. Soni said. “The employers are in a much better position to get BP to reimburse them.”

And for now, the wait continues.

Read more at The New York Times →

Paga el Narco Mil 270 Millones de Pesos al Mes Para Corromper a Policías Muncipales

El narcotráfico destina mil 270 millones de pesos al mes para corromper a policías municipales, informó Genaro García Luna, secretario de Seguridad Pública (SSP) federal.

En el foro internacional Hacia un modelo policial para el México del siglo XXI, el funcionario afirmó que la diferencia entre lo que gana un agente local y lo que debería percibir para tener una vida digna la está abonando el crimen organizado: “Tenemos un déficit que si no se paga por el Estado mexicano, lo paga el hampa, lo financia la parte delictiva. Eso es igual a corrupción. Hoy siguen operando los policías que ganan dos mil o tres mil pesos; es decir, el coche camina y la gasolina alguien la pone”.

García Luna explicó que un policía debe ganar, cuando menos, diez mil pesos al mes. Sin embargo, 40% de los uniformados municipales —alrededor de 60 mil— ganan entre mil y cuatro mil pesos, y otra quinta parte —aproximadamente 33 mil— ganan menos de mil pesos.

Read more at Excelsior →

Adios to Outgoing President Alvaro Uribe - Latin American Style

Was it nostalgia or was it spite? Was it bordeom? Or was it simple courtesy? Or perhaps the novelty of the service? No one knows for sure what led four Latin American Presidents to serenade the outgoing Alvaro Uribe of Colombia.  Four traditional Mexican mariachi ballads were sent to the man who led Colombia for eight years with a steady hand many say.

The leaders selected traditional ballads from Serenata4u.com that allows friends and lovers to send electronic serenades in the form of music videos. Each song is personalized with a message and two photos uploaded by the person sending them.

So, Hugo Chavez, with whom Uribe exchanged harsh words on several occasions, sent “El Rey” (The King), a selection that some may read as confrontational. A link to Hugo Chavez selection can be heard here.  Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, in a message a bit nostalgic, sent the song “Volver, Volver, Volver” (Come Back, Come Back, Come Back).  Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, with whom Uribe had border disputes, sent “Serenata Huasteca”, that contains lyrics “I really love you, can’t ever forget you”, accompanied by a photo of him playing guitar. Very weird.

The final serenade choice came from Brazil’s President Luis Inacio da Silva, Lula sent “Las Mananitas”, the traditional Mexican birthday song, which makes it an odd selection.  Lula’s video serenade was accompanied by warm praise and reflective words.

Frightening but true, we can not make this stuff up.  Nice to know they all have a sense of humor. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

No Surprise - Mexican Tourists Are Visiting Arizona Less

One of the unintended results of Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 and all the negative publicity associated with it has resulted in less legal Mexican visitors, the majority being tourists, coming to the state.  The majority of Mexican tourists dropped by 17%, compared to last year, after Governor Jan Brewer signed the law in April. 

This is a problem for the state with 24 million legal foreign visitors spending $2.7 billion on hotels, shopping and restaurants.  Arizona for its part said the drop off has more to do with the economy than with SB 1070.  Regardless of the attributed cause Mexican tourists coming to Arizona sustain 23,400 jobs in the state. 

Read more at AZ Central →

1.5 Million Colombian Families to Receive Aid for Health and Education

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) approved a $220 million loan to support Colombia’s Familias en Acción conditional cash transfer program aimed at improving the health, nutrition and education of poor families.

Familias en Acción, Colombia’s highly-successful conditional cash transfer program, was established in 2001 with the dual objective of contributing to poverty reduction through direct cash transfers to families, and stimulating household investment in child health and education.

The program provides financial assistance to households provided they meet a series of school attendance and medical checkup requirements for their children. It operates in virtually all municipalities, covering more than 2.6 million families, including displaced and indigenous households, or nearly one-quarter of Colombia’s population.

The Bank has been a financial and technical partner throughout the nearly 10 years of the program’s implementation, playing a key role in providing technical assistance for the design and evaluation of Familias en Acción in the past decade. The current loan will finance the second stage of the program’s expansion to urban municipalities and targets 1.5 million families.

Among goals of the second stage of Familias en Acción is to cut chronic malnutrition in children between 0-5 years to 6.6 percent from 8.6 percent and boost use of preventive health care services to 75 percent from 71 percent in children between 3-5 years as well as increase the rate of children under 2 receiving full immunization to 86 percent from 83 percent.

Read more at IADB →

El Salvador to Improve Water Services

El Salvador, with international aid and loans will spend $44 million on programs for water and sanitation in the country.  The project’s main goal is to improve living conditions in El Salvador through the provision of adequate water and sanitation services. It will finance the expansion of coverage in rural areas with high levels of extreme poverty, the sustainable management of water resources and improvements in efficiency and sustainability of services provided by ANDA, the leading water utility.

Under the Rural Water and Sanitation Program, 85 water systems will be built, benefiting more than 6.000 households in poor areas. The program will help the Salvadorian government make progress toward its goal of increasing water service coverage to 80 percent in the country’s 100 poorest townships, according to its 2010–2014 development plan.

Read more at Inter-American Development Bank →

SaturdayAugust 7, 2010