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MondayNovember 15, 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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Town Hall Meeting on Immigration and Latino-America- Tonight on MSNBC

This evening, MSNBC, in partnership with Voto Latino, will present a special two-hour town hall event taking an in-depth look at the complex issue of immigration in America and the emerging role of the Latino population in American life and politics. The event, hosted by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell with Voto Latino’s Executive Director Maria Teresa Kumar, will air on 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. (EST) live from the University of San Diego.

The special town hall event will examine the state of immigration in the United States including the influence of the Latino voting block on the 2010 midterm elections, how Arizona’s immigration laws have affected national progress, and if the American Dream is still attainable for new generations of immigrants. The discussion will also present viable solutions for moving the country forward. Guests for the town hall will include actress and activist Rosario Dawson, Telemundo’s Jose Diaz Balart, Executive Director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles Alfonso Aguilar, Democratic strategist and pollster Celinda Lake, and Dr. David Shirk, Director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego.

Read more at Voto Latino →

Brad Pitt Seeks Rights to the Chilean Miners Story

Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment is currently in talks to bring the story of the trapped 33 Chilean miners to the big screen, and has reportedly made a multimillion-dollar offer to not only buy the film rights, but possibly cast some of the miners themselves, according to Santiago newspaper, El Mercurio.

Edgardo Reinoso, the lawyer who represents the miners, added that there has been an average of ten offers per day to buy the rights to the story, but that the miners want to form a holding company to split profits before they sign with a producer.

While trapped in the mine, the miners requested “Troy” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” among the movies to be sent down, so the head of Plan B productions is definitely a favorite among the 33.

Coincidentally, the miners were rescued by a Plan B, so if this unfolds with the same serendipitous undertones than the rescue (remember the infamous number 33?) we might just see the miners in a Hollywood production.

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter broke the news last week that yet another “33” production is already filmed called “The 33 of San José,” from director Antonio Recio.  Reportedly, the film has been shot in a mine shaft close to the real one in Chile where the original accident took place, and features a cast of 32 Chilean actors and one Bolivian star, identically reflecting the national makeup of the trapped miners.

Read more by HS News Staff →

BREAKING NEWS:  White House Considering Immigration Reform during Lame-Duck Session of Congress

BREAKING NEWS:  White House Considering Immigration Reform during Lame-Duck Session of Congress

Photo: White House

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Politico is reporting New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez plans to meet with President Obama this week to discuss how to pass comprehensive immigration reform during the lame-duck session of Congress.

The breaking news indicates that the White House is “ready and willing” to take on this controversial legislation while it temporarily controls Congress and BEFORE the next session in January starts with a Republican majority.

“He made it clear that he is willing to move forward if there is bipartisan support.” Senator Menendez said to reporters today. 

Read more at Politico →

No Link Between Obesity, Breast Cancer in Mexican-Americans

Obesity isn’t linked with breast cancer risk in Mexican-American women, a new study has found.

Researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center studied 155 Mexican-American breast cancer patients and 333 women of similar ages without breast cancer. The women reported what they weighed at ages 15, 30 and, if they were diagnosed with breast cancer, their weight when that occurred.

They also reported their weight gain between age 15 and diagnosis.

Previous research has found that obese postmenopausal white women are at increased risk for breast cancer. But this study found no association between obesity and breast cancer in Mexican-American women, regardless of menopausal status.

Interestingly, weight gain during adulthood seemed to lower the risk of breast cancer, regardless of menopausal status.

“We found that for every 5 kilograms [11 pounds] of weight gain there was a significant 8 percent decrease in the risk for breast cancer,” Krystal Sexton, a breast cancer disparities researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston School of Public Health, said in an American Association for Cancer Research news release.

“However, it is important that we do not send the message that gaining weight prevents breast cancer,” she added.

The reduced risk of breast cancer among overweight and obese Mexican- American women may be due to a shorter lifetime exposure to estrogen, which is associated with breast cancer, according to the researchers. They noted that previous studies have shown an association between obesity and earlier age of menopause among Mexican-American women.

“Women in our study who did not have breast cancer were actually experiencing menopause at an earlier age—especially women who were overweight and obese—compared with women who were overweight and obese and did have breast cancer,” Sexton said.

The study was presented Monday at the AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, in Philadelphia.

SOURCE: American Association for Cancer Research, news release, Nov. 8, 2010

Read more at MedLine Plus →

BREAKING NEWS: California Supreme Court Rules Undocumented Keep In-State Tuition

After much debate, the California Supreme Court has ruled that undocumented immigrants will still be eligible for in-state tuition in the state’s colleges and universities.

The ruling stated that a California law that guarantees lower tuition for undocumented immigrants who attend a California high school for a minimum of three years and graduate does not conflict with the federal law that gives unauthorized immigrants educational benefits based on residency.

A group opposed to undocumented immigration says it challenged the California law on behalf of U.S. citizens that have to pay higher tuition as out-of state students. The group had won their case in a lower, but today, they lost in the state appeal.

Students in college and in the country illegally are still not allowed participation in financial-aid programs.

The court’s ruling also said that the state law also benefits U.S. citizens who live in other states but attend and graduate from a high school in California.

Read more at LA Times →

WANTED:  National Latino Leader


By their own reckoning, Latinos living in the United States do not have a national leader. When asked in an open-ended question to name the person they consider “the most important Latino leader in the country today,” nearly two-thirds (64%) of Hispanic respondents said they did not know. An additional 10% said “no one.”

These findings emerge from the 2010 National Survey of Latinos, a bilingual national survey of 1,375 Hispanic adults conducted prior to this month’s mid-term elections by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

The most frequently named individual was Sonia Sotomayor, appointed last year to the U.S. Supreme Court. Some 7% of respondents said she is the most important Latino leader in the country. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) of Chicago is next at 5%. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa draws 3%, and Jorge Ramos, an anchor on Noticiero Univision, the national evening news program on the Spanish-language television network Univision, drew 2%.

No one else was named by more than 1% of respondents in the 2010 National Survey of Latinos conducted August 17 through September 19, 2010, by landline and cellular telephone. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

For a complete copy of the study visits our HSN Library. 

Read more at Capital Wire PR →

Vehicle Bulletproofing: The new Boom Business in Mexico (VIDEO)

A growing number of Mexicans see bulletproofing their vehicles as a necessity and not a luxury;  in a country that has an “alarming” rate of carjackings and ransom abductions, these days, Carlos Nader, owner of Protecto Glass International says,  “everyone’s a target in Mexico.”

Nader drives the traffic jammed streets of Mexico in a bulletproof Mercedes-Benz, equipped with pepper spray and a 120-decibel alarm.

He has had bullets ricochet off his car and one time,  scared away a criminal by blasting his alarm, which is as loud as a jet engine.

With the increasing street violence, the number of people seeking protection has grown exponentially, and if bullet-proof vehicles were once a high-class precaution, Nader says he’s been getting approached by the common folk more and more:  “is regular guys that work, maybe they have a small business and have been approached by criminals to steal their car.”

Twenty years ago, armored cars barely existed in Mexico. Bulletproofing was only for the wealthiest businessmen and most powerful politicians. Today, armoring companies say they armor Ferraris for celebrities, SUVs for executives and politicians, and even Nissans for young professionals and small-business owners.

“You’ll see Hondas, small SUVs ... pickups,” Nader said of some of the vehicles arriving at his business.

Even though exact figures for the industry are not disclosed, the Mexican Association of Automobile Armorers, reports an annual growth rate of 10% in recent years and values the market at $80 million per year.

New bulletproof cars cost around $70,000. Bulletproofing your otherwise vulnerable vehicle can take up to 12 weeks and cost up to $80,000. The demand for bulletproofing has created a bonanza for U.S. companies. sThe rise in kidnappings helped the business as well. Anti-crime groups say Mexico City is No. 1 in the world in kidnappings, both ransom-abductions, and kidnappings where victims were forced to withdraw money from an ATM.

Nader suspects that the spread of such “express kidnappings” was a big reason for the rise in demand for his services among people of more moderate incomes.

“Bulletproofing became more democratic,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

November 15th Marks Opening of Medicare Enrollment

Nov. 15 marks the opening of the Medicare enrollment period where people can review their drug and health plans and if they want to, switch to another plan with better benefits or lower costs.

There may be dozens of choices where you live — all with different costs and benefits. Though regulated by the federal government, these plans are all run by private insurance companies.  To help you choose the one that is best for you Medicare offers some tools.

The most effective way is to use the plan finder program on Medicare’s website. There, you can compare cost and benefit details for all the plans available to you. If you’re looking for your best deal on drug coverage, the program automatically does the math to find the one that covers your drugs at the least cost, according to your own prescribed medications.

The following AARP links also help simplify the process, taking you step by step through the online program to directly find the information you need and avoid pitfalls:  Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Health Plan 2011

You can also call the Medicare help line at 1-800-633-4227 and ask a customer service representative to make the same search for you. You also can request to have information on plans that seem suitable sent to you by e-mail or regular mail.

Read more at AARP →

Gael Garcia Bernal with Amnesty International Highlight the Plight of Illegal Immigrants

Gael Garcia Bernal with Amnesty International Highlight the Plight of Illegal Immigrants

Photo: Amnesty International

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Attempting to bring awareness to the humanity and truth of immigration, Gael Garcia Bernal, in partnership with Amnesty International, has filmed a number of conversations with immigrants all over Mexico as they attempt to cross into the United States.

The four-part film called, The Invisibles chronicles the hardships of immigration for those traveling from Latin American countries through Mexico. Every year, these travelers, looking for a better life for themselves and their families face any number of horrid experiences. Rape, murder, and kidnapping are extremely common for immigrants.

“People leave their countries to find a better future,” says one of the men interviewed, “But instead of finding a better future, they come across things they would never expect to find. It’s very sad for all of us because we are all suffering.”

The Invisibles exposes the truth behind one of the most dangerous journeys in the world and reveals the untold stories of the people who make the journey north through Mexico.

In Part One, titled Seaworld, García Bernal born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, speaks with a family traveling from El Salvador with three children, the youngest just a year and eight months old. One of the children, a little girl, carries around pictures of Seaworld and looks forward to the day she can one day visit the beauty in her photos. Her father expresses something often overlooked by anti-immigration proponents when he says, “I would prefer us to be in our country, for there to be more work in El Salvador, that things were better so that we wouldn’t have to travel and start another life.” Many immigrants have traveled to the U.S. attempting to escape the poor conditions, but they would still give anything to have the same opportunities in their homelands, as they do in the U.S..

You can view the documentary here.

Read more at Amnesty International →

Whales in México Are Getting Sunburn

As if the marine ecosystem wasn’t threatened enough by oil spills and excessive noise, the thinning of the ozone layer may be scarring the world’s whales from severe sunburn, experts said Wednesday.

A study of whales in the Mexican coast over the past few years, shows that the biggest mammals have blisters and other typical damage of exposure to the ultraviolet radiation. Simply put, whales are getting sunburned.

Whales seem to be particularly susceptible to sunburns, partly because they must spend extended periods of time on the surface of the ocean in order to breathe, socialize, and feed their calfs. Lacking fur or feathers, whales sunbathe naked.

Laura Martinez-Levasseur, the lead author of the study puts it: “Humans can put on clothes or sunglasses — whales can’t.”

Photographs were taken of the whales to examine any visible damages, and small skin samples were collected to analyze the state of their skin cells.


Her study confirmed suspicions first raised by one of her colleagues: The cetaceans are showing lesions associated with sun damage, and many of their skin samples revealed patterns of dead cells associated with exposure to UV radiation.

As with humans, the lighter-skinned whales seemed to have the most trouble dealing with the sun. Blue whales had more severe skin damage than darker-skinned mammals—like fin whales and sperm whales—even though the latter spend bigger chunks of time at the surface.

Fortunately, the study found no indications of skin cancer among the whales studied, although Martinez-Levasseur, who is also a Ph.D. student at Queen Mary, University of London, noted that only tiny samples were taken of the massive animals.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Drug Cartel Violence Costing Oil Industry $350,000/Day in Lost Revenue

Threats and violence by Mexican drug gangs are preventing some government oil workers from reaching installations in northern Mexico and costing state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) about $350,000 every day in lost production, a company official said.

The official said Pemex has shut down the equivalent of about 100 million cubic feet of natural gas production per day. That amounts to about $10.5 million per month, or about 2.3 percent of Mexico’s $450 million per month average in monthly natural gas revenues.

The lost production is centered in the Burgos gas field near the east Texas border in an area where drug gangs have threatened and kidnapped Pemex workers at some of the company’s installations. The problem came to a head in May 2010, when five workers at a plant were abducted by armed men, the kidnapped men have not been heard from since. 

However, army troops are now helping Pemex provide increased security. “This has allowed us to start partially recovering the production we had stopped for this reason,” the Pemex exploration and production division chief told local media.

Read more at The Eagle →

Peru Spending $100 Million to Combat Poverty

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $100 million loan to help Peru further reduce poverty through the strengthening of its principal social protection and labor programs.

The country plans to improve essential health services for the poor mother-child population and is looking to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations and of service delivery to its beneficiaries. The labor component aims to generate jobs, improve the labor market for the poor and protect their level of consumption during adverse economic shocks. It looks to strengthen the youth employment training program and to implement a labor information system.

An additional component of the program supports the strengthening of the country’s ‘targeting system’ so that the country’s social and labor programs are able to direct their benefits to the populations that need them the most.

Although poverty and extreme poverty have fallen steadily from 48.6 percent and 17.1 precent to 34.8 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively, between 2004 and 2009, based in part on Peru’s strong economic performance, efforts to substantially improve the living conditions of Peru’s poor remain a challenge. The current program bolsters Peru´s plan to accomplish this goal, by combining reforms in two key sectors for poverty reduction. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

MondayNovember 15, 2010