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ThursdaySeptember 9, 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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Challenges to Food Spending in Hispanic Households

The good news: Hispanic families are spending proportionally more than non-Hispanic families on food, however, there is ample evidence that their food budgets may be insufficient to meet the nutritional needs of all members of the household—including children.

Hispanics, often with lower median incomes and larger average household sizes than non-Hispanics, are particularly at risk for food insecurity. These pressures are intensified in an era of rising food and energy costs and economic recession. 

Latinos spend 15.3% of their income on food versus 12.5% for non-Hispanics.  While on average Latinos spend a larger proportion of their annual expenditures on food than non-Hispanic’s do, Latinos’ spending week to week on food is lower than that of Whites and may not be sufficient to meet basic nutritional needs. 

Recent increases in the cost of both food and household utilities deplete Latino families’ food budgets and also increase the risk of food insecurity.  Since food spending is more discretionary than other household expenses, families tighten their belts and may do away with healthy nutritional choices or certain food groups all together. 

Read more at National Council of La Raza →

Efforts to Increase Latino Voters Making Headway

Across the country numerous Hispanic organizations are registering and engaging Latinos in the political process.  Most notably Democracia USA has 100,000 new Latino voters registered thus far this year.  The new voters were reached either through canvassing and media outreach.

Democracia U.S.A. was launched in Florida in 2004 to address the civic participation needs of the rapidly growing Hispanic population of the United States and its potential impact on the American electorate.  The organization has focused its efforts in states with growing Hispanic populations that are underrepresented. 

In 2008, Democracia USA became a subsidiary of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). This partnership joined one of the nations largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization with one of the fastest growing grassroots, civic engagement organizations.

Voter drive efforts are entering the most critical phase of the yearlong campaign – getting Latinos to the voting booth.  So don’t forget to vote and register to vote if you haven’t done so already.

Read more at Democria Ahora →

Are Latin American Country’s Generous?

The Gallup World Giving Index has just released its list of the most generous countries for 2010 and no the United States was not number one, it was tied for fifth place with Switzerland.

The index looks at how much individual citizens donate in term of money and time and the number of people willing to help a stranger.  Based on that criteria Australia and New Zealand come out on top with China, shamefully for its economic strength coming in near the bottom.

The Central American region including Mexico came in fifth out of thirteen regions for volunteering time and seventh for both giving money and helping a stranger.  Guatemala was the most generous in the region ranking as the 22nd most generous nation in the world.  While Costa Rica had the majority of its citizens helping strangers, Nicaragua and El Salvador appear to be the least generous and friendly in the region.

Visit the HSN Library for a complete copy of the poll. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Falling Short on its Mission

The most recent annual report by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) shows that they are falling short of their mandate to hold the federal government accountable for equal opportunity practices. 

The EEOC, which is responsible for enforcing laws against employment discrimination, also holds all government agencies accountable for reporting their employments statistics ensuring fair hiring practices.  The annual report shows that only 80% of government departments submit statistics on employment by race and national origin.  Furthermore, only 60% of the U.S. government agencies have formal policies promoting equal employment practices. 

Though many agencies are making improvements to insure a diverse workplace they lag behind the strides made by the private sector, according to Diversity, Inc.  The EEOC is able to enforce equal opportunity standards on corporate America through the legal system but cannot do that with the U.S. government, basically it cannot sue itself.

The federal government remains the largest employer in this country and is facing more complaints of discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin and religion.  Almost 17,000 discrimination complaints against the U.S. government by its own employees were filed in 2009.

Read more at Diversity Inc. →

Castro: “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.”

“The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore”

admitted Fidel Castro to Atlantic Monthly’s Jeffrey Goldberg. His response came after Goldberg had asked him if Soviet-style communism was still worth exporting to other countries.

However, Julia Sweig, an expert on Cuba who was in the room when Castro said this, noted, “He wasn’t rejecting the ideas of the revolution. I took it to be an acknowledgment that under ‘the Cuban model’ the state has much too big a role in the economic life of the country.”

After four years of seclusion following intestinal surgery, Castro reappeared in July and had become an anti-nuclear weapon advocate and expressed concern about the future of the world.Image

He said he fears that if the United States and Israel attempt to enforce international sanctions against Iran for its nuclear activities, nuclear war could break out.

Castro also told Goldberg that he wished the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would just understand that the Jews have dealt with over 2,000 years of being ‘persecuted and mistreated all over the world,’ and that they have a much tougher exist than ours.

Castro even criticized his own actions during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. At the time, he had urged the Soviet Union to launch nuclear weapons against the United States, but looking back now tells Goldberg “After I’ve seen what I’ve seen, and knowing what I know now, it wasn’t worth it all.”

Read more at MercoPress →

Chávez Visita Cuba por Sorpresa; se Reúne con Fidel y Raúl Castro

El presidente de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, se reunió hoy en La Habana con el líder de la revolución cubana, Fidel Castro, y su hermano, el presidente Raúl, durante una visita de varias horas no anunciada previamente, según informaron medios oficiales.

El presidente venezolano, que ya abandonó La Habana, sostuvo primero un encuentro “emotivo y fraternal” con el ex presidente Fidel Castro, que se extendió por unas cinco horas, y declaró su satisfacción por el “magnífico estado” de salud de que goza Fidel, de 84 años, y que parece repuesto de la grave enfermedad que sufrió en 2006.  Chávez y Castro abordaron diversos asuntos de la actualidad internacional, indicó la nota divulgada, junto con varias fotos, por la televisión estatal y el sitio digital Cubadebate.

Ambos líderes trataron en particular sobre “los graves riesgos de una guerra nuclear que se cierne sobre la humanidad”, que es el tema que prácticamente monopoliza las últimas intervenciones públicas de Fidel y sus artículos de “Reflexiones”.  Según la fuente, Chávez “reconoció el destacado papel que está desempeñando Fidel en el logro de una conciencia universal para evitar una conflagración de incalculables consecuencias para el género humano”.

Read more at Excelsior.com.mx →

Mexico Spending $1 billion to Strengthen Finances and Fiscal Management Policies

During 2009 the Mexican economy suffered its worst contraction since the 1930s, due to declining international financial markets and the sharp drop in exports. This caused a sharp drop in fiscal income, both from taxes and from petroleum activity.

To counter these effects Mexico undertook several measures of fiscal stimulus:  modernization of its tax system, implement policies to protect public finances from oil price fluctuations and improve fiscal management in all governmental departments. 

In order to accomplish their fiscal stimulus the government obtained a $1 billion dollar loan from the Inter-American Bank (IDB).  IDB is a bank owned by member countries that helps finance development in Latin America and Mexico. The IDB loan was approved so as to support the consolidation of Mexico’s long-term fiscal sustainability as well as its economic recovery.

Read more at IDB →

Costa Rican Banks Set to offer “Green Loans”

One of Costa Rica’s large banking networks, Banco Promerica de Costa Rica, is getting ready to develop a portfolio of environmentally sustainable loans known as “green loans” which will strengthen the eco-business in the country.  The green loans help increase investment and sustainable banking practices in the country, fostering environmental, social and economic benefits.

Banco Promerica is striving to expand sustainable environmental projects, a growing small business market in the country, that has limited resources to count on for its growth. Costa Rica has one of the most developed eco-tourism sector in the world and tops in Latin America with most of those businesses dominated by large operations such as Four Seasons and Hyatt.  The New Economics Foundation has ranked Costa Rica the “greenest” country in the world.

The country has two million annual visitors with eco-tourism earning approximately $2.2 billion.  Costa Rica is a much sought after destination providing a home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity and is the most visited nation in the Central American region. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico’s Wind Generators bring Electricity to Poor Oaxaca Region (VIDEO)

Architect Porfirio Sanchez helps the Oaxaca Mexico communities use renewable energy sources to provide electricity. Mother Earth Institute holds workshops to help people design a simple generator that coverts wind and sun into electricity.  By teaching people how to install and maintain these simple machines, their lives are transformed; for most it is the first time in their lives they have had electricity. This green program has potential benefits for all rural areas with out electricity and the DIY wind farms are designed with great simplicity.

Read more at Global Post →

ThursdaySeptember 9, 2010