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TuesdaySeptember 21, 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: GOP Block of “don’t ask , don’t tell” Holds up DREAM Act

In a vote of 56-43, the Senate fell short of the 60 required votes to begin a debate on a bill regarding the policy of gays in the military and also to begin discussions on the DREAM Act that would have been added as a amendment had the bill made it past the first hurdle.

Although Democrats control 59 votes in the Senate they could not muster the needed 60.

No Republicans voted to advance the bill, and two Democrats from Arkansas, Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln, voted no. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, voted no in a procedural move so he could bring the bill back to the floor in the future.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the Republican who was waging a write-in campaign after losing her primary election, did not vote.

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate Democratic whip, vowed to bring the Dream Act back for another vote.

Read more at Los Angeles Times →

Julia Roberts Given Lifetime Achievement Award in Spain

Last night, Oscar winning actress Julia Roberts was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain.  Spanish actor Javier Bardem and Robert’s co-star in Eat, Love, Pray, gave her the award at the 58th annual festival. 

The Donostia Award is given to an actor or actress for their body of work; past recipients include Bette Davis and Woody Allen.  The San Sebastian Film Festival is the oldest and most prestigious event of its kind in the Spanish-speaking world. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Message of Hope for Miners from Isabel Allende and Country’s President

Sunday, the trapped Chilean miners were sent a message of hope from President Sebastian Piñera and famed writer Isabel Allende.  The message comes after the news that the miners may be out within a few weeks, instead of an additional few months as originally thought.

Piñera said, ‘This is my fifth visit. I hope the next one will be to embrace the 33 miners as president and in the name of each and every Chilean citizen.’  ‘The miners were steadfast, they stayed united and fought for their lives,” Piñera said with admiration.

The president traveled to the mine site with writer Isabel Allende who was recently awarded the National Literature Prize. About a month and a half ago, Isabel expressed her wish to visit the trapped men.  ‘I’m coming from overseas, and on all the TV screens in the world are the faces of the 33 miners and the name of Chile,’ she said.

Allende shared that she receives messages each day from people concerned about the miners.  ‘They Pray for them, they send them messages of encouragement and also send messages of gratitude to the people who are there working tirelessly night and day to rescue their fellow workers. That for me is very moving.’  Besides books, the author also brought 33 t-shirts used by swimmers who recently swam across the San Francisco Bay to Alcatraz Island. One of the swimmers was her son.

Over video chat with the miners, President Piñera and Allende sent messages of encouragement, hope, and patriotism.

On August 5th, when a landslide caused a tunnel to collapse several hundred feet above them, the miners were trapped, but they managed to survive by taking refuge in a large underground shelter.  Rescuers made contact on Aug. 22 with the trapped miners, who have been receiving food, water, medical supplies and extra oxygen via small bore holes.  A larger shaft that is to be used to bring the men to the surface has reached the area where they are trapped but must still be widened, a process expected to take several weeks.

Read more at LAHT →

Ecuadorian Boy Held In U.S. By Human Smugglers is Rescued

A 9-year-old Ecuadorian boy was rescued Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents after allegedly being held hostage by a human smuggler for more than four months.

On Thursday, ICE HSI agents assigned to the Drop House Response Group in Phoenix received information from the ICE tip line about the youth, who became separated from his mother while they were illegally crossing the border in southern Arizona May 4. The smugglers demanded $4,000 for the child’s release, which his parents were unable to pay.

On Friday, the HSI Assistant Attaché in Guayaquil, Ecuador arranged for ICE HSI agents in Arizona to discuss the case with the boy’s mother and Ecuadorian law enforcement officials. The information they provided led Phoenix investigators to an apartment in the 900 block of West Main Street in Mesa. Agents initiated surveillance and confirmed the boy was being held there. Investigators then moved in, rescued the boy, and took custody of the suspected smuggler, Mario Fernandez-Fernandez.Image

The 25-year-old Mexican national made his initial appearance in federal court in Phoenix Monday where he was formally charged with human smuggling violations. A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Parents who contract with human smugglers should remember they are delivering their children into the hands of criminals, criminals who are often all too willing to put a child’s welfare at stake for their own personal gain,” said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Arizona.

“Collaboration between the authorities and the exchange of information is very important for the fight against organized crime affecting all our nations, so we stand together to fight these organizations operating in our country,” said Renan Velasco, chief of the Judicial Police in Azuay Province, Ecuador.

ICE is working with the Ecuadorian consulate to reunite the boy with his parents.

ICE established the Drop House Response Group in September 2009 to aggressively target the infrastructure supporting drop houses and human smuggling organizations in Phoenix. Since its inception, the group has investigated hundreds of leads involving drop houses in the metropolitan area.

Read more at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Lance Armstrong Continues LiveSTRONG Outreach to Hispanics Touched by Cancer

Joined by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Lance Armstrong today made a surprise visit to the San Francisco General Hospital’s Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Center. Together they toured the infusion center, where patients were receiving treatment, and a portion of the oncology center. They also met with hospital doctors to discuss the Hispanic/Latino cancer burden and the need for programs and resources that are tailored to address their needs.

“There is a great need for resources that improve the quality of life for Hispanic and Latino cancer survivors and San Francisco’s community groups and medical professionals are working to fill that need,” said Armstrong. “LIVESTRONG is proud to be a part of the effort to provide Hispanic families affected by cancer with customized tools and support they need to live life on their own terms.”

Earlier this year, LIVESTRONG expanded its outreach to the Hispanic and Latino community through promotion of its free Spanish-language resources, including LIVESTRONG.org/Espanol and LIVESTRONG SurvivorCare. LIVESTRONG aims to provide more support to a wider number of Hispanics and Latinos who are affected by cancer and those closest to them through increased visibility or access to the most common places people go for information: the internet, cellular devices and media outlets.

LIVESTRONG also recently launched the Promotores program comprised of community health workers who provide health-related information and support to cancer survivors in their community. To date, LIVESTRONG has trained more than 400 Promotores nationally.

The Latino population, which represents a mosaic of cultures, is the fastest growing population in the United States at an estimated 50 million. By 2050, the population is projected to skyrocket to more than 132 million, accounting for nearly one-third of the United States’ total population. Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Hispanics and cancer rates for Latinos are projected to increase by 142% by 2030 compared to 45% for the overall U.S. cancer incidence. Latinos, who as a demographic tend to have lower incomes, less education and less insurance, have lower survival rates for most cancers, which may reflect less access to timely, high-quality treatment.

Read more at Live STRONG →

NASA Seeks Partnerships in Latin America

NASA hosted government representatives from several Latin American countries in Washington to share information about the agency’s work in that region and discuss potential future partnerships.

The event highlighted potential opportunities for cooperation with NASA in Earth science, space and International Space Station research, applications and education initiatives.

The participants discussed some of NASA’s ongoing work in Latin America, including the NASA and U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Regional Visualization and Monitoring System. The satellite system provides information from Earth observations to help local decision makers respond to natural disasters, and environmental threats, such as air pollution and fires.

“Our future in space is of global interest,” said Michael O’Brien, NASA’s associate administrator for International and Interagency Relations. “NASA has a long history of cooperation in Latin America, and our agency stands ready to continue that cooperation with interested partners in the region. This symposium was an excellent opportunity to continue our dialogue on areas of mutual interest with an eye toward future cooperation.”

Symposium attendees also discussed how to access data from NASA’s many space-based resources and how to pursue new partnerships with agency-sponsored researchers. NASA has more than 30 agreements with 20 Latin American countries covering Earth and space science, research on the space station, new uses for groundbreaking technology and education.

Read more at NASA →

U.S. Army Champions Hispanic Higher Education

The U.S. Army today reinforced its ongoing support for Hispanic higher education through its sponsorship of the 2010 Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Annual Conference. At the conference – Sept. 18-20 in San Diego –Army met with HACU officials and other academic leaders and educators to address their common goal of increasing opportunities and resources for Hispanic students to pursue a college education.

Attended by more than 1,000 educators and school administrators, the HACU conference allows the Army to showcase the financial and educational benefits available through its ROTC program. Last year, the Army provided more than $285 million in scholarships to help young men and women reach their academic potential. The Army also highlighted the more than 70 free educational programs to students, teachers and parents that help students succeed in the classroom and prepares them for college. From internships to test-prep tools, the Army has created a wealth of educational programs designed to enhance learning and foster education.

The U.S. Army’s education Web site, ArmyEdSpace.com, provides students, parents, educators and soldiers with access to a wide variety of free Army resources, programs and areas of support. Whether considering the military as a future option or learning more about the no-cost programs available, the site is designed to familiarize users with a variety of educational opportunities and effective tools to empower the youth of America to make informed decisions regarding their future.

Read more by HS News Staff →

22 Killed As Colombia’s FARC is Dealt a Serious Blow

A serious blow was dealt to the leftist guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on Sunday by the Colombian military.

At least 22 FARC guerillas were killed while fighting National Police near San Miguel, Colombia. The site of this incident is the same one where 8 police officers were just killed in an ambush on September 10th.

The FARC guerillas were killed in an operation coordinated by the National Police with help from the army and air force.

President Juan Manuel Santos thanked Ecuadorian officials for their help as well, and said the deaths of the 22 guerillas, “is the biggest blow in recent times against” the FARC.

The guerillas killed were members of the FARC’s 48th Front who were also responsible for the deaths of the 8 officers.

Last Monday, the United Nations condemned the guerillas’ use of gas cylinders to attack police in San Miguel, the placing of explosives on the bodies of fallen officers, and the planting of landmines as they withdrew. The U.N. said FARC’s tactics could constitute “war crimes.”

Currently, FARC is estimated to have about 8,000 fighters, who cover a large portion of Colombia.

Read more at LAHT →

Brevan Howard to Set up New Office in Brazil

Hedge fund manager, Brevan Howard, handling assets of approx. 32 billion is looking to expand in Latin America. The Financial Times reports the new Brazil office is to be lead by Mario Mesquita, a former deputy governor of Brazil’s central bank, who is already a member of Brevan Howard’s staff.

The FT writes: Lackluster returns from strategies trading in U.S. and European securities and difficult Asian markets are now pushing more managers to consider bulking up in Latin America…
A significant rise in cross-border mergers and acquisitions in the region is also driving interest among merger arbitrageurs, which have likewise seen a spike in the number of Latin American deals contributing significantly towards profitability over the past 12 months.

Read more at The New York Times →

Suramérica Ejerce Medidas de Presión Contra Medios

Las disputas de gobiernos contra la prensa opositora y la violencia del crimen organizado encendieron focos rojos para la libertad de prensa en América Latina, en constante lucha por consolidar ese pilar de la democracia ante la creciente intolerancia de las autoridades.

Desde Argentina hasta Venezuela, medios de prensa reciben acusaciones del Gobierno y enfrentan mayores regulaciones. En México periodistas han sido asesinados por bandas de nacotraficantes, indicó Reuters.  La lucha de poder entre clases gobernantes y medios de comunicación no es cosa nueva y es natural hasta cierto punto, pero en Latinoamérica ha sacado en los últimos meses chispas que encendieron preocupación en organizaciones.

Gobiernos de izquierda como el del venezolano Hugo Chávez, el del ecuatoriano Rafael Correa y el de la argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner mantienen francas batallas con empresas de comunicaciones críticas, a las que acusan de manipular la información en función de sus intereses.  Las fricciones también surgieron con gobiernos de derecha como el de Álvaro Uribe en Colombia, al que la organización Reporteros sin Fronteras denunció por supuestas escuchas a periodistas poco antes de que terminara su mandato.

“Creo que hay un hilo común y ese hilo común es querer someter a los medios de comunicación social a que cedan a la voluntad del Gobierno”, dijo Alejandro Aguirre, presidente de la Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa (SIP).

Read more at El Universal →

“We are Soldiers in Battle…This is the Final Offensive” calls Venezuelan President

Chavez called upon his supporters to see next Sunday’s legislative election as a battle, a battle to ensure control with 2/3 of the assembly seats. Chavez needs at least 110 of the 165 benches in the National Assembly for important legislation that will “reform the state”.

“Imperial forces in their determination to take control of Venezuela again and make us a colony of the ‘gringos’ have launched a new offensive and are trying to have their lackeys take hold of the National Assembly benches”, added the president.

The last legislative election was held in 2005 and ended with the opposition party walking out, claiming fraud but leaving Chavez with an undisputed majority. Next Sunday the Democratic Unity Table is prepared to challenge Chavez and the United Socialist party for the benches. Opinion polls show the two parties only a few points apart.

Chavez said,” This is the only way to ensure the continuity of peaceful and democratic transition in our motherland to Socialism; that style of life which will make truth the teachings of our Christ Redeemer and the noble purposes of Simon Bolivar”

Next Sunday’s election is also seen as a test vote for the presidential ballot in 2012 when Chavez will be running again.

Read more at Merco Press →

¡Felicidades! Belize on Your 29th Year of Independence

Today, all of Belize is celebrating and rejoicing its 29th-year old independence from England.  The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for nearly 300 years as it occupied the region, enslaved native populations and gave occupation rights to the British. In 1862 it was declared a British colony until it was granted the right to self govern in 1981. 

Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, was a Mayan stronghold which enabled them to hold off Spanish conquest efforts in the 1500’s when the majority of Mexico and Central American was colonized.  However the Spanish did give British the right to occupy the land until the decisive battle of St. George’s Caye where Belize was successful against removing Spanish rule. 

September is a festive time of year in Belize. People all over the country gather at public venues to enjoy entertaining and educational performances in honor of two very important national holidays in the month of September. These are the Battle of St. George’s Caye Day- September 10th and Independence Day- September 21st.  It is tradition in Belize for celebration to begin at the beginning of September and continue through Independence Day, extending festivities to almost three weeks.

Read more by HS News Staff →

TuesdaySeptember 21, 2010