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SaturdaySeptember 25, 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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Mexico FATTEST Nation in the World, Followed by the U.S.

Obesity has risen to the top of the public health policy agenda worldwide. Before 1980, rates were generally well below 10%. They have since doubled or tripled in many countries, and in almost half of the countries, 50% or more of the population is overweight. A key risk factor for numerous chronic diseases, obesity is a major public health concern.  A report, released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), says that “soaring obesity rates make the US one of the fattest country in the developed world.” More alarmingly, the problem of obesity in the U.S. is not limited to adults: America also has the highest rate of child obesity among developed nations.

However, the fattest country in the world is Mexico with 69.5% of all the adult population obese followed by the U.S.  Other Spanish speaking nations were listed in the top 15 including Chile #9 with almost 60% of its adult population obese and Spain at #13 with 54.8%.

There is a popular perception that explanations for the obesity epidemic are simple and solutions within reach. But the data reveal a more complicated picture, one in which even finding objective evidence on the phenomenon is difficult. Policy makers, health professionals and academics all face challenges in understanding the epidemic and devising effective counter strategies.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Post-Quake Chilean President Vows to Build Better Country

February’s deadly earthquake in Chile provided an opportunity to forge a better country, the country’s President Sebastian Piñera told the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s annual high-level debate this week.

The 8.8-magnitude quake claimed the lives of more than 500 people and injured nearly two million others, he said.  One in three of Chile’s children and young people – numbering some 1.25 million – could not start the school year because their schools had been destroyed or damaged.  Losses from the earthquake totaling $30 billion, equivalent to 18 per cent of Chile’s gross domestic product (GDP) and representing the country’s largest-ever property loss.

“But from the ruins rose a people with qualities of solidarity, brotherhood, unity and heroism,” the President said.

Just 45 days after the quake, all children were back in school, while in 60 days, access to health services in affected zones had been returned.  Three months following the disaster, more emergency housing than had ever been erected in Chile’s history had been built, while by the four-month mark, the economy was growing once again.  The nation will not rest until each house, school, hospital and road are repaired, he said, “because for a country like Chile, forged by adversity, rigour and hard work, any crisis, however painful, represents an opportunity: the opportunity to build a better country.”

This generation of Chileans, the leader said, is poised to make the nation poverty-free and “with the opportunities for material and spiritual development for all its sons, such as has never been seen in our Latin America.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gutierrez Hopeful Vote on DREAM Act still Possible

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is confident that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) will bring the DREAM Act back before the Senate breaks for the fall.

“I’m really really hopeful [that the DREAM Act will come up before the end of the year],” Gutierrez told The Hill after the measure stalled in the Senate this week. “I’m happy that the senators have used the procedural rule 14. Their clear intent is to give it another try. When? That’s up to them.

I’m very proud of Reid. I just re-enlisted for another long weekend, Saturday through Tuesday, in Nevada for the middle of October because you’ve got to go help him.”

Reid currently leads his Tea Party Challenger Sharon Angle by only 2 points in a recent Reuter’s poll.

“The White House helped. I think they did. When we were with the president we were thinking 54 or 55 [votes in favor of the bill], but we got 57,” Gutierrez said. “I kept saying that we had to have at least 55, so that they could proceed. This close to an election. Knowing that the DREAM Act is going to come up. That’s 57 Democrats that say let’s move it on.”

There is a Senate Rule that allows a bill, with two-day notice, to be brought to the chambers floor for consideration at any time. Gutierrez has suggested that the Senate hold an up or down vote on the measure alone instead of attaching it to an existing bill.

Read more at The Hill →

Department of Veterans Affairs Salute Latino Veterans

In conjunction with National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) hosted a “A Salute to Latino Veterans” to honor and recognize Latino Veterans in Illinois for their dedicated military service.  Governor Pat Quinn also issued a proclamation declaring Friday Latino Veterans Recognition Day in Illinois.
Marine Corps Veteran Rodrigo Garcia, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was also honored as September 2010 Veteran of the Month.

The program was held at the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago, and also recognized decorated Chicago-area Latino Veterans from World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

“During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we take time to recognize and honor the brave men and women who answered our nation’s call to duty, and continue to serve with distinction,” IDVA Director Dan Grant said. “Today, and always, we proudly salute the accomplishments made by these courageous men and women. Their contributions and sacrifices will never be forgotten.”
State Sen. Antonio “Tony” Munoz, an Army Veteran and member of the 82nd Airborne Division, served as the program’s keynote speaker.

Director Grant presented the Veteran of the Month Award to Rodrigo Garcia, 28, of Bolingbrook. Garcia, a Chicago native, is a decorated veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and served three tours of duty between 2001 and 2006. After deployment he founded the Student Veterans Club at Northeastern Illinois University and helped erect a tribute for fallen servicemembers at that school. Garcia is also board chairman of the Student Veterans of America and is currently employed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lynchings in Bolivia are Denounced

The bishops of Bolivia have issued a statement denouncing the widespread phenomenon of lynchings in the South American nation. European media have reported that eight lynchings take place in Bolivia every week.  The tragic phenomenon is of great concern to everyone in the country. 

Last week, three men suspected of murder were tortured and buried alive by residents of a village near the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba.

“For some time these crimes have been occurring, but in recent years they have increased in number and the characteristics of the violence have become more brutal and inhumane, being justified with untenable arguments,” the bishops said. “What is even more worrisome is the fact that the authorities responsible for law enforcement and defense of the rights of citizens, cannot adequately prevent or punish the perpetrators of such acts.”

Many analysts have attributed the rise in lynchings to President Evo Morales’s recognition of “community justice”—a revival of the justice system which predates European colonization—in indigenous communities. Others, however, have stated that such lynchings are a perversion of community justice. 

“It is important to note that these cases are also due to a misunderstanding of so-called ‘community justice,’ perhaps fueled by ambiguity in the existing legislation, which does not regulate the scope of applications and responsibilities and which offers protection to many of the perpetrators of these crimes,” the bishops said.

Read more at Agenzia Fides →

Colombia Touts Latin America as Part of Solution for Global UN Goals

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, at the gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly, promoted the vital role that the resources of Latin America can play in achieving many of the global goals that the United Nations has set, from providing food to fighting climate change. 

“In these times, when the world demands food, water, biofuels, and natural lungs for the Earth such as the tropical forests, Latin America has millions of hectares ready for cultivation, without affecting ecological balance, and all the willingness, all the willingness, to become a supplier of all the goods that humanity needs for its own survival,” he told the General Assembly on the second day of its annual session.  In addition President Santos met with U.S. President Barack Obama for their first face-to-face, the meeting took place on the sidelines of the General Assembly meetings.

“More than 925 million people living in hunger and malnutrition in the world are an urgent challenge. Latin America can and wants to be part of the solution. Ours is the richest region in biodiversity of the planet,” he said citing Brazil as the most mega-diverse country in the world and Colombia as that with the highest biodiversity per square kilometer.

“Just in the Amazon region, we can find 20 per cent of the global supply of freshwater and 50 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity… Latin America as a whole must be a decisive region in saving the planet.” He called for a new climate change agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, to ensure the commitment of all, starting with the big industrial powers, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“With the appropriate economic compensations, we have an enormous capacity to reduce deforestation and for growing new forests, changing not only the history of the region but of the world as a whole,” he said. “This is Latin America’s decade.”

Turning to drug trafficking which once wracked his country, Mr. Santos said Colombia was more than willing to cooperate with States that require it, as it is already doing with countries in Central America and the Caribbean, Mexico and Afghanistan, but he pleaded for a coherent global strategy, noting that some countries were considering legalizing some drugs.  “We note with concern the contradictions of some countries that, on the one hand, demand a frontal fight against drug trafficking and, on the other, legalize consumption or study the possibility of legalizing the production and trade of certain drugs,” he said.

“How can someone tell to a person living in rural areas of my country that he or she will be prosecuted and punished for growing crops for drug production, while in other places of the world this activity becomes legal?”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Get Ready for Free Museum Day in the U.S.

Today is Museum Day an annual event hosted by Smithsonian Media in which participating museums across the country open their doors for free to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket.  One ticket will enable an entire family to go to over 1,000 museums throughout the U.S. for FREE. 

In Illinois alone there are over 30 museums participating and many well-known cultural institutions in Chicago like the Adler Planetarium and the Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Click here for your free admission ticket and to find a museum near you.  HS-News is a proud supporter of Free Museum day and host to Chicago’s Largest Free Event Calendar.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Deportation of Undocumented Mexican Called Off

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano cancelled the deportation of an undocumented Mexican who has been living more than 20 years in southern Arizona, officials said Thursday.

Napolitana’s decision came in response to heated demonstrations by the Hispanic community in Arizona, which flooded her office with phone calls, faxes and e-mails asking her to suspend the deportation of Alfonso Morales Macias, scheduled for Friday.

In September 2007, Morales Macias, 40, was arrested by Border Patrol agents in a raid on a shopping mall in Tucson where he was cleaning floors. The father of two U.S.-born children, the immigrant was 19 when he arrived in the United States from the Mexican state of Nayarit.

In all that time he has paid his taxes, is buying his own home and has no criminal record.

“I’m very grateful to Secretary Napolitano who gave me the chance to stay with my family,” Morales Macias told Efe.

The Mexican immigrant was given permission to remain another year in the country, while Morales Macias hopes that immigration reform will be approved during that time. Margot Cowan, the immigrant’s attorney, told Efe that this is just one example of what hundreds of families are suffering every day while the federal government fails to approve a way for them to get legal residence.

“The Morales family has contributed to our community, paid their taxes and are good citizens - like many others, all they want is to see their kids grow up and give them a better life,” Cowan said.

Read more at EFE, La Prensa →

SaturdaySeptember 25, 2010