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WednesdaySeptember 29, 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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Cuba Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Vigilance Committee Used to Cement its Power During Revolution

The Committee in Defense of the Revolution (CDR) was created 50 years yesterday as a neighborhood watch-dog network during the early days of the Cuban Revolution.  CDR’s recruited Cuban locals to report on their neighbor and any “counter-revolutionary” tendency they might have.  Now the committee also works as a large social service agency helping the government in times of natural disasters by supplying volunteers.

Most of Cuban’s government leaders were in attendance including the committee’s creator, Fidel Castro.  He gave an hour long speech in front of thousands of Cubans where he extolled the virtues of the revolution and repeated certain elements of the speech he gave 50 years ago.

“In the face of the imperialist aggression, we’re going to implement a system of collective vigilance,” he said. “So that everybody knows who lives on the block, what they do, and what relations they have with the tyranny, and with whom they meet.”  No mention was made of the many political prisoners incarcerated as a result of CDR’s existence.

Read more at CNN Expansion →

If Your Latina Maid is Suing You, Can You Be Elected Governor in California?

The erstwhile Whitman housekeeper has been identified and has come forward in an afternoon press conference.  Nicky Diaz Santillan, is Mexican and was Whitman’s housekeeper for 9 years.  Santillan is alleging Whitman knew she was undocumented and had provided false documents to secure employment in her household, something Whitman has denied.  Santillan believes Whitman did this because she was ‘cheap labor’ at $23/hour.  WTF - that’s not cheap and way above average for house keeping duties.  Of course she might of been getting paid the $23/ hour to tolerate ‘exploitation, disrespect and humiliation’ she allegedly suffered in the Whitman household.  Shame on you Santillan there are indeed many undocumented workers being exploited it doesn’t appear you are one of them if you can afford Gloria Allred and are coming out with these allegations one year after you were let go of. 

What are the chances of being Governor if your Latina maid is suing You – Meg Whitman is About to Find Out.

TMZ, the website for true lies and gossip, is reporting that Meg Whitman’s housekeeper, also known as your Mexican Maid or cheap labor for billionaires, is suing her.  Meg Whitman in case you hadn’t read the news is the former President of eBay and billionaire Gubernatorial Republican candidate for California.

The yet to be unidentified former housekeeper has hired Gloria Allred as her lawyer.  At least we now know that Gloria Allred is not a racist because we thought here at HS News she only represented whor-e-zontically gifted women, like Tiger’s ex-girlfriends. 

The housekeeper is claiming she “suffered” and was discriminated against while working for Whitman.  Not good news for a California candidate for any office, since the state is one-third Hispanic and the majority being of Mexican descent.  Since California was originally part of Mexico we don’t know if the housekeeper, assuming she is Mexican, as part of her suit will ask for it back on behalf of her native homeland.  We just hope she has legal status, Whitman is not known for her pro-immigration stance.  Allred has scheduled a news conference for this afternoon to disclose the allegations and pending lawsuit.

Many thought that scowl permanently etched on Meg’s face was because she forgot her botox shots well no folks its because she’s an alleged meany.  Housekeeper beware Whitman has spent a record $119 million on her campaign and therefore really wants this governorship. 

Read more at TMZ →

Data Highlights Homeownership Setbacks for African Americans and Latinos

As expected, the 2009 mortgage data results reflect the general downturn in the housing market.  However, the latest Home Mortgage Disclosure report (HMDA) reveals far-reaching and highly disturbing mortgage trends for people of color, especially when viewed in conjunction with existing data.

African-American and Latino families are less likely to receive sustainable home loans; they pay more for the mortgages they do get; they are more likely to experience foreclosure; and, as a result, the gap in home ownership is rapidly growing wider between white families and families of color.

Consider these facts:

• Unsustainable loans: African-Americans, Latinos and other communities of color received a large, disproportionate share of abusive sub-prime mortgages—even after controlling for risk factors such as income and credit score.

• Disproportionate foreclosures: Among recent borrowers, the Center for Responsible Lending estimates that nearly 8% of both African Americans and Latinos have lost their homes to foreclosures, compared to 4.5% of whites.

• Less access to credit.  Consistent with previous HMDA reports, the most recent report shows that across all categories of loans, African-American and Latino borrowers were more likely to be turned down for a mortgage compared to whites, even after controlling for factors such as income and location of property.

• Shrinking home ownership: The disproportionate impact of abusive lending, tight lending, and foreclosures is taking its toll, as the home ownership gap between non-Hispanic white borrowers and borrowers of color has widened.

Read more at Center for Responsible Lending →

Monarch Butterflies You See in Illinois Today You will See in Mexico Next Week (VIDEO)

Illinois nature lovers are getting the last glimpses of the regal monarch butterfly as it sips nectar from the native vegetation like the goldenrod and aster.  Enjoy because our annual visitors are getting ready to leave for a 2,500 journey back to the forests of Mexico.

The monarch that come to the U.S. and goes to California tends to ‘overwinter’ there and stay longer while the monarchs that come to Illinois leave when autumn begins and has been doing so for centuries.  When they go to Mexico it will be to the Mexican oyamel forests located in the mountainous central region of the country and stay for five months. 

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Read more at Triblocal →

Colorado Conducts Large Statewide Roundup of Criminal Aliens and Immigration Violators

In the largest operation throughout Colorado this year, 78 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested last week during a three-day targeted enforcement operation by immigration and custom agents (ICE).

During the operation, which ended Thursday evening, ICE officers located and arrested 64 aliens with prior criminal convictions, including five gang members. Some of the criminal aliens taken into custody had prior convictions for serious or violent crimes, such as homicide, selling illegal drugs, sexual crimes against children, resisting arrest and assault, vehicle theft, and drunken-driving convictions. In addition, 12 of the individuals ICE officers took into custody were illegal aliens with outstanding orders of deportation who had failed to leave the country.  The foreign nationals detained during the operation who are not being criminally prosecuted will be deported.

ICE’s Fugitive Operations Program is just one facet of the Department of Homeland Security’s broader strategy to heighten the federal government’s effectiveness at identifying and removing dangerous criminal aliens from the United States.

Largely as a result of these initiatives ICE, this year,  has removed a total of 176,736 criminal aliens from the United States, which is a record number.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Congratulations to MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows Jorge Pardo and Carlos D. Bustamante

The MacArthur Fellows Program is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations. In keeping with this purpose, the Foundation awards fellowships directly to individuals rather than through institutions. Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work, or, if they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their careers.

Among the 23 winners of what many refer to as the “Genius Grant”, were Hispanic-Americans Jorge Pardo and Carlos Bustamante. 

Jorge Pardo, 47, is an installation artist that challenges the boundries between art and design. His paint, sculpture, and architecture work are simply stunning.  Pardo never seemed to see the world the way most do. He saw what he could do with just his imagination and his hands and never looked back, but he is certainly not your average artist. He’s never seen fit to limit himself based on what others expect.Image

“I come from a working class background, so I never really understood that there were these cultural professions that people could sort of assimilate in to.”

A highly regarded population geneticist, 35 year-old Carlos D. Bustamante, was certainly not expecting a $500,000 phone call from the MacArthur Foundation.

Image“Receiving the MacArthur Fellowship was a complete shock and obviously just a wonderful surprise. I was incredibly flabbergasted when I received the call,” he said.

Bustamante explores DNA in order to gain insight to the dynamics and migration of populations and mechanisms of evolution and natural selection.

He said, “The other major goal of our work is to break down, in many ways, the traditional concepts and notions of race. I think one of the really key ideas that’s come about in the last 30 years of human genetic variation is that there aren’t [many] human races. Every population looks very similar to the population next door and there’s a continuum of human genetic variation and that continuum happens across a broad geographic range.”

The recipients just learned, through a phone call out of the blue from the Foundation, that they will each receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years. MacArthur Fellowships come without stipulations and reporting requirements and offer Fellows unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reflect, create, and explore. The unusual level of independence afforded to Fellows underscores the spirit of freedom intrinsic to creative endeavors. The work of MacArthur Fellows knows neither boundaries nor the constraints of age, place, and endeavor.

“This group of Fellows, along with the more than 800 who have come before, reflects the tremendous breadth of creativity among us,” said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. “They are explorers and risk takers, contributing to their fields and to society in innovative, impactful ways. They provide us all with inspiration and hope for the future.”

Read more at The MacArthur Foundation →

Matthew deja Inundaciones en Guatemala; se Enfila a México

La depresión tropical Matthew dejó el sábado en Guatemala inundaciones, derrumbes en carreteras y más de 500 personas albergadas mientras se movilizaba hacia México, donde podría degradarse aún más, hasta convertirse en un sistema de baja presión que puede sin embargo seguir provocando lluvias intensas, informaron meteorólogos.

El Centro Nacional de Huracanes en Miami había degradado más temprano a Matthew, de tormenta a depresión tropical.

La Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres de Guatemala (Conred) ofreció una conferencia de prensa la noche del sábado para informar sobre los daños ocasionados por el meteoro.

Read more at Terra News →

Mexico Urges UN Leaders to Ratify Protection Rights for Migrant Workers

Mexico urged all United Nations Member States to ratify the international convention that calls for the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families, deploring what it described as a global tendency to criminalize international migration.

“Legislative initiatives and actions singling out minorities in different countries unacceptably codify racism and xenophobia, establishing new barriers between communities and nations,” Claude Heller, Mexico’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said in his statement to the high-level debate of the General Assembly. “This is inadmissible,” he added. He said migration was a reality of the modern world and cannot be ignored by the UN.

He said that Mexico will in November host the 4th International Forum on Migration and Development and that the outcome of the conference will be presented to the General Assembly.

Referring to the challenges posed by the problem of drug trafficking and organized crime in his country, Mr. Heller said that Mexico had re-established State authority in areas where impunity had prevailed.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UPDATE:  Oaxaca Landslide Not as Deadly as Originally Feared

UPDATE:  Yesterday’s mudslide outside of Oaxaca City where many were feared dead was less deadly than originally thought.  When rescue workers were finally able to access the village of Santa Maria de Tlahuitoltepec they reported four dead and 11 missing.  The early morning mudslide occurred after heavy rains was expected to have 500 to 1,000 victims since some 300 homes were buried by the mudslide.  The rescue effort was hampered as heavy rains continued to produce unstable ground. 

ORIGINAL STORY:  The Governor of Oaxaca, Mexico, Ulises Ruiz, has issued a statement that a early morning mudslide due to heavy rains occurred in Santa Maria de Tlahuitoltepec burying everywhere from 500 to 1,000 villagers.  Emergency personnel from Mexico City is being flown in to aid in the rescue and open roads that have been closed due to rivers overflowing.  Santa Maria is 50 miles east of Oaxaca city. 

Televisa is reporting that a 650 foot wide hill collapsed around 4:00 am on some 300 houses in the village trapping many while they slept. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Abercrombie & Fitch Fined For Immigration Violations

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) announced today a $1,047,110 fine settlement reached with the clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch for violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act related to an employer’s obligation to verify the employment eligibility of its workers.

The settlement is the result of a November 2008 inspection of Abercrombie & Fitch’s retail stores in Michigan. The audit uncovered numerous technology-related deficiencies in Abercrombie & Fitch’s employment verification system. The company was fully cooperative during the investigation and no instances of the knowing hire of unauthorized aliens were discovered. Since the initial inspection, Abercrombie & Fitch has taken measures to revise its immigration compliance program, and has begun to implement new procedures to prevent future violations of federal immigration laws.

Read more at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement →

Colombia’s Terrorist Group FARC names New Chief- US Offers $2.5 Million Reward

Colombia’s Terrorist Group FARC names New Chief- US Offers $2.5 Million Reward

Photo: New commander Felix Muñoz, alias Pastor Alape

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The FARC’s top military commander was killed in an air strike five days ago. The guerrilla group has named a successor and vowed to intensify their fight to overthrow the Columbian government.

Felix Munoz (51) will become the new FARC Chief. Munoz has been the head of the Magdalena Block in central Colombia and US authorities report he is responsible for shipping hundreds of tons of cocaine out of Columbia.

President Jose Manuel Santos, who only took office last month, describes the death of the FARC leader as “the hardest blow” in the nearly half-a-century-old history of the rebel movement.

In the same message, FARC reiterates its willingness to begin peace talks with President Santos. However, FARC rejects the conditions that all kidnap victims be released, an end to hostilities and the hand over of all weapons that the government has established as pre-requisites to any dialog.

Read more at Merco Press →

WednesdaySeptember 29, 2010