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TuesdaySeptember 14, 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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Breaking News: Next Weeks Defense Bill to Include DREAM Act

Senate Democrats are looking to take on two controversial issues with one piece of legislation next week.

The defense authorization bill scheduled for next week includes the “Don’t ask Don’t tell” repeal amendment and may also include a provision to give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today that he is planning to add the DREAM Act as an amendment to the defense bill.

The tactic is exactly the same that Sen., Dick Durbin (D-Ill) tried in 2001, but the amendment was rejected.

The DREAM Act is a popular bipartisan piece of legislation that provides for young immigrants who plan to go to college or the military to have a path to citizenship. It is the military component that allows it to be attached to a defense bill.

“This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats alike to lead the nation forward and fix our broken immigration system,” said Ali Noorani, chair of the Reform Immigration for America coalition.

Read more at Congress.org →

Brazil Continues to Expands its Worldwide Humanitarian Role

Brazil will step up its assistance to help refugees and those affected by disasters worldwide under a new agreement reached with the United Nations refugee agency.  The pact, signed yesterday in Geneva by UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Brazil’s Foreign Minister formalizes the Latin American nation’s financial support for the work of the agency.

As part of the agreement, young Brazilians will also gain exposure to the work of the Office for the High Commissioner for Refugees at its Geneva headquarters and field offices worldwide.  In recent years, Brazil has significantly stepped up its support for humanitarian assistance throughout the world.

This year, the country donated some $3.2 million to the agency, the largest donation ever made in UNHCR’s history by a nation in the Latin America and Caribbean region. The funds are helping refugees and internally displaced persons in countries such as Sri Lanka, Haiti, Ecuador, Iran and Iraq, and are also being earmarked for areas such as education and food, with priority being given to locally-purchased products.

UNHCR was created in 1950 to protect safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees, and is a two-time recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lionsgate and Televisa Unite to Release 8-10 movies a Year

Lionsgate the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, and Televisa, the largest and most powerful Spanish-language media company in the world, today announced the launch of Pantelion Films, a joint venture designed to target Hispanic moviegoers in the U.S., the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. moviegoer population.  The new venture was unveiled at a New York City press conference today by Lionsgate Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Grupo Televisa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Emilio Azcarraga.

Noting that 26 million U.S. moviegoers are Hispanic and that they represent more than one-fourth of all frequent moviegoers in the U.S., Pantelion will release a slate of eight to 10 films a year over the next five years targeted to Latino audiences, kicking off with the January 2011 release of the comedy From Prada To Nada.  Four to five films will be produced in-house each year, and the other four to five films will be acquired.  Pantelion will be headed by Chairman Jim McNamara, head of Panamax Films and former President and CEO of Telemundo, and CEO Paul Presburger, a longtime Lionsgate international executive and architect of the Pantelion deal and strategy.

“Pantelion is unprecedented in terms of the production, distribution and marketing resources we are focusing on the Latino moviegoer in the U.S. and the consistent pipeline of movies we are offering Hispanic audiences,” said Feltheimer.  “We are delighted to launch this partnership with Televisa, the most powerful entertainment brand in the Hispanic world.  Televisa’s iconic brand and the support of our theatrical exhibition partners give Pantelion immediate impact in the marketplace.  Our Pantelion venture reflects all of our corporate values—entrepreneurial executives, world-class partners, branded content, a targeted audience and a disciplined and focused approach.”
“Lionsgate is an ideal partner for extending Televisa’s reputation for original, quality, commercially exciting filmed entertainment to the vast market of Spanish-speaking moviegoers in the U.S.,” said Azcarraga.  “Lionsgate has a proven track record of supplying hit movies to large niche audiences that have been underserved in the past, and we believe that the Pantelion brand will reflect the best attributes of its partners and quickly become synonymous with commercially exciting films, entrepreneurial innovation and a consistent presence in the marketplace.”

“We are thrilled to have the resources and backing of two global media companies,” said McNamara and Presburger.  “We look forward to bringing Latino moviegoers in the U.S. a slate of films each year that is unprecedented in its scope and unparalleled in its quality and excitement.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Journalist Seeking U.S. Political Asylum (VIDEO)

Alejandro Hernandez Pacheco was kidnapped at gun point, tortured and starved when he was kidnapped back in July allegedly by the Sinaloa drug cartel and now that he is free he wants to make sure that never happens again.

Pacheco, a cameraman for Televisa, was kidnapped along with three other members of the Mexican media covering the drug cartel wars in Gomez Palacio, Durango Mexico.  He was released several weeks later unharmed but very fearful.  He is seeking political asylum in the U.S. with the aid of a Texas based attorney – he will not disclose where he and his family are living. 

The asylum application can take months to review and years for a decision to be granted. 



Read more at El Paso Times →

Latino Women Diagnosed With Breast Cancer are Younger

A study done in Hispanic neighborhoods by the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found that nearly half the women with breast cancer were diagnosed before they turned 50. This is about 10 years earlier than the national average for all women. This study raises new questions about the recent push to delay routine screening.

“This study shows the need to consider all populations when developing prevention and screening strategies,” said Melissa Bondy, an M.D. Anderson epidemiologist and senior corresponding author of the study. “The problem is there simply haven’t been enough studies of minority populations to develop strong risk assessment models necessary for optimal screening strategies.”

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s new screening guidelines issued last year could cause a large number of breast cancer cases would not be caught at early stages. The guidelines changed the age suggested for women to get mammograms from 40 to 50 unless they have known risk factors.

Researchers have long looked at racial disparities in health care, but most of the breast cancer attention has been focused on black women who are doing just as badly as two decades ago despite advancements that have helped whites during that time. Relatively little attention has been paid to Hispanics.

M.D. Anderson has tried to remedy this by having researchers conduct face-to-face interviews with about 22,000 Mexican-Americans since 2001.

The average age of diagnosis was 50.5, and researchers also found that 48.7 percent were diagnosed before 50; 34.8 percent at 45 or younger; and 21.7 percent at 40 or younger.

The average age for all U.S. women is 61 according to the National Cancer Institute.

Read more at Houston Chronicle →

UPDATE: 36 Survive Venezuela Plane Crash

UPDATE: 36 of the 51 passengers on the Venezuela’s state run airline- Conviasa that crashed yesterday have survived. The plane came down near the entrance of the Vast Sidor mill on the banks of the Orinoco River. Employees at the steel plant worked quickly to pull survivors from the wreckage.

Puerto Ordaz hospital received injured people and bodies from the crash site. Hospital director Yanitza Rodriguez said many of the injuries were serious.

Original: A plane owned by the government run airline Conviasa crashed today while on a domestic flight. There were 47 people on board.

The turboprop crashed near Puerto Ordaz six miles after take-off from Ciudad Guayana, Transportation Minister Francisco Garces told reporters.

“We have some survivors who are being taken to hospitals,” added Civil Protection Director Jose Zamora.

A local official confirmed 23 of the 47 people aboard the domestic flight are being treated in hospital.

The plane reportedly went down 12 minutes after taking off from Manuel Carlos Pier Guyana Airport, in the eastern city of Puerto Ordaz. With 43 passengers and four crew were travelling north to Margarita Island.

Read more at msnbc →

Deadly Leptospirosis Making a Comeback in Dominican Republic

Leptospirosis, the relatively rare bacterial infection is making another resurgence in the Dominican Republic.  Over the last four weeks 122 new cases of leptospirosis have been diagnosed and so far this year there have been 34 fatalities as a result of the illness. According to recent statistics published by the Ministry of Public Health Epidemiology Department, there have been 584 suspected cases, a 3% increase over last year.

Leptospirosis is caused by exposure to several types of the Leptospira bacteria, which can be found in fresh water that has been contaminated by animal urine. It occurs in warmer climates.  It is contagious, and can be spread by contact through open wounds or the mouth coming into contact with objects dirtied by the urine, blood or skin of infected animals or humans.

The July rainstorms in Central America and the ensuing floods resulted in the resurgence resulting in 27 of the 34 reported fatalities.

Read more at Dominican Central →

El Mercado Laboral, En Situación “Desesperada”, Advierte el FMI

El director gerente del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, advirtió hoy en Oslo que el mercado laboral enfrenta una situación “desesperada” a causa de la recesión mundial, y llamó a extender las políticas de estímulo para hacer frente al problema.  En su discurso inaugural de la conferencia sobre el empleo organizada conjuntamente por el FMI y la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT), Strauss-Kahn indicó que el mercado laboral está en situación desesperada, incluso en naciones desarrolladas.

“La gran recesión ha dejado atrás un desierto de desempleo, y esta devastación amenaza la vida, la seguridad y la dignidad de millones de personas”, destacó, tras señalar que la crisis financiera mundial ha aumentado “pronunciadamente” el desempleo.  La desocupación afecta a más de 210 millones de personas, lo que representa un incremento de 30 millones desde 2007, cuando se desató la crisis económica internacional. “La pérdida de puestos de trabajo es tan grave porque esta recesión es grave”, apuntó.

El director gerente del FMI indicó que la pérdida de empleos fue mayor en los países donde los mercados inmobiliario y financiero se derrumbaron, pero afectó con más fuerza a los que viven de la manufactura y la construcción.  El desempleo “tendrá repercusiones sociales a largo plazo”, destacó Strauss-Kahn en su discurso, difundido en la página en Internet del FMI.

Entre las repercusiones sociales apuntó que la juventud es la más afectada, no sólo porque se queda sin empleo y pierde sus ingresos, sino porque los daños son de larga duración.  Explicó que la pérdida de empleos no sólo desalienta a la juventud, sino daña sus perspectivas y capacidades, además de que un joven desempleado es más propenso a sufrir problemas de salud o incluso morir mucho antes de llegar a la edad madura.

Read more at El Jornado →

Hispanics Will Form Majority of New U.S. Catholics

Noting a profound demographic shift among different generations of Catholics in the United States, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) has found that 54% of “millennial generation” Catholics (born in 1982 or later) are Hispanics, while 39% are non-Hispanic whites. On the other hand, 76% of “pre-Vatican II generation” Catholics (born 1943 or earlier) are non-Hispanic whites, while 15% are Hispanics. 

The bottom line is that the face of the Catholic Church in the United States in the not-so-distant future is going to look very different. Hispanic, to be precise. Interestingly, the percentage occupied by blacks across the four generations is very constant, hovering around 3-4 percent. The next ethnic group in size — Asian and Pacific Islanders — occupy between 1 and 3 percent of the population across the generations.

Among the things CARA is best known for is an annual national poll of adult Catholics that lets us know with some confidence, for instance, that Sunday Mass attendance for U.S. Catholics has remained at a pretty stable (but dismal) 22 percent for the past decade.  CARA has sifted through the mountain of data collected in the 2010 poll and found that the demography of the U.S. Catholic population is undergoing a seismic shift.  Latinos care present in practically every diocese in the U.S. and more than 80 percent of all diocese have staff coordinating a Hispanic ministry.  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops projects Hispanics will surpass the 102.6 million mark by the year 2050.

Read more at 1964 CARA →

Border Patrol Testing Iris Scanners

The Border Patrol Station in McAllen Texas will be testing iris scan technology for the next two weeks. The Dept. of Homeland Sec (DHS) will be testing machines than can be used from 3 to 4 feet away including one that simply works as people walk by. The test will help the department determine how useful these scanners might be in the future on a broader basis.

Iris scan technology stores digital images of the iris in a database and is considered much quicker than using fingerprints. Recent enhancements have allowed the scanners to be used from further distances instead of the earlier scanners that could only operate from a few inches. This makes them much more viable for government agencies and financial institutions.

The American Civil Liberties Union has expressed concerns that the cameras could be used covertly. ACLU lawyer Christopher Calabrese fears that the cameras could be used covertly. “If you can identify any individual at a distance and without their knowledge, you literally allow the physical tracking of a person anywhere there’s a camera and access to the Internet,” he told Thomas Frank from USA Today.

Financial companies hope the scans can stop identity fraud, said Jeff Carter of Global Rainmakers, a New York City firm developing the technology. “Iris is going to completely reshape the fraud environment,” he said.

Read more at Homeland Security Newswire →

TuesdaySeptember 14, 2010