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WednesdayDecember 1, 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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Latinos Honor World Aids Day Around the Globe

Today is World Aids Day that highlights the plight of some 33.3 million people around the world that have HIV that causes AIDs. 

According to the Latino Commission on AIDS the HIV epidemic is a serious threat to the Hispanic/Latino community.  At some point in life, 1 in 36 Hispanic/Latino men will be diagnosed with HIV, as will 1 in 106 Hispanic/Latina women.  In 2008, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for more than 19% of the 42,439 new diagnoses of HIV infection in the 37 states and 5 US dependent areas with confidential name-based HIV infection reporting.

This year’s World AIDS Day theme, “Universal Access and Human Rights,” is being highlighted in events around the globe.  The most innovative and new campaign is “Digital Death” that aims to raise awareness by having celebrities pose in a coffin and not text or tweeter until fans donate to bring “them back to life.”

The Latino celebs Swizz Batz, Maxwell, La La Vasquez and Carmelo Anthony have joined Lady GaGa, Justin Timberlake, Kim Kardashian and Alicia Keys amongst others in the Digital Death campaign. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hollywood Actor Viggo Mortensen Presents his New Book in Buenos Aires

Viggo Mortensen was in Buenos Aires this week promoting his new photo and poetry book “Canciones de Invierno” as well as another poetry book written by Argentine poet Talo Kejner, edited by Mortensen and published by the actor’s own publishing house Percival Press.

Watch the Hollywood actor who spent his early years in Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Chaco, Argentina, read text of his own and Kejner’s book “Las pequeñas grandes cosas” below.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Illinois Approves Equal Rights for Same-Sex Couples

The Illinois Senate today voted 32-24 to grant gay couples the same legal rights as married couples in the state.  Yesterday, the state’s legislative body approved the measure moving it to the Senate today.

Governor Pat Quinn has publicly stated he supports the measure and his intention to sign it into law.  The vote count was not a surprise and measured right along party lines - Democrats for it with Republicans against it.  The Catholic Conference of Illinois was one of the most vocal and powerful opponents. 

Some Republican’s stated their opposition seeing this as an affirmation of same sex marriage.

Illinois becomes the sixth state in the union to allow gay couples to enter into civil unions allowing them to make health-care decisions for their partner, allow partners to handle the estate of their partner and be eligible for health insurance on their partner’s plan.  Heterosexual couples will also be allowed to enter civil union if they choose not to be legally married. 

Read more at Herald News →

Republicans Threaten to Block DREAM Act if Taxes Not Addressed First

A letter signed by every Republican senator sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Ried (D-Nev.) states that the GOP will block the DREAM Act in Congress’ lame-duck session until a deal on tax cuts is worked out.

“One thing I think we all agreed on at the White House is that we ought to do first things first,” Mitch McConnell, Senate GOP leader, said in an interview with ABC News. “And what the American people want to know is, ‘Are our taxes going up, and how are you going to fund the government?’ Let’s do those things first, and see what kind of time is left.”

When directly asked if he thought Congress would have time to take on any issues including the DREAM Act, the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, and the extension of unemployment benefits before the end of the lame-duck session, McConnell responded, “No, I don’t think so.”

Reid’s top spokesman, Jim Manley, “tweeted”, “Anyone looking for the GOP’s strategy in lame duck, here it is.”

COUNTDOWN: Only 29 days to go before the GOP take over the House…

Read more by HS News Staff →

UPDATE “No Permits, No Candy”  Madonna’s Hard Candy Fitness in the Tightrope


A month after pop icon Madonna announced the launch of her new chain of gyms—Hard Candy Fitness, Monday saw the diva open her first branch in Ciudad de México, but the borough chief where she opened Hard Candy Fitness said Wednesday that the singer’s fitness center does not have the proper permits to operate.

Demetrio Sodi, an authority of the Miguel Hidalgo borough of Mexico City, said Madonna’s gym obtained a permit for the posh inauguration party held on Monday night, but lacks every other other permit necessary to open.

“They only let us know Friday that they were going to have an inauguration, and when we had a meeting, they didn’t have a single permit ... to operate,” Sodi said. “No protection program, no license, not even a certificate assuring they have parking.”

“If they don’t have a land use permit, they will not be able to operate,” Sodi told Televisa reporters.

Madonna, 52, walked a red carpet and using a hefty pair of red scissors cut the ribbon herself.


Hard Candy, which is also the name of the star’s 11th studio album, is a combination of the phrases “hard body” and “eye candy,” Madonna explained in a questions session after the inauguration ceremony. 

“It’s a sexy name that gives you the opportunity to have fun and to build strength as far as the imagination will allow,” she said.

Following the red carpet events, Madonna hand picked 20 members, and gave them a personalized aerobics class.



Read more by HS News Staff →

WIKILEAKS: American Government Concerned about ties Between Cuba and Venezuela

Cuban intelligence agents are deeply involved in Venezuelan affairs, according to a 2006 US diplomatic cable, one of the many leaked by WikiLeaks and published by the Spanish newspaper, El Pais.

The US Ambassador at the time, William Brownfield, wrote in the communication that Cuban spies had “direct access” to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
Brownfield writes that the ties between Cuban and Venezuelan intelligence are so close that the agencies of both countries “appear to be competing with each other for the Venezuelan government’s attention”.

Another wire sent in 2010 said Cuban agents manned and monitored spying operatives against the US embassy in Caracas.  The governments of Chávez and Castro have been traditionally close and outspoken opponents of the US. Similar accusations of the presence and influence of Cuban intelligence in Venezuela have been made by Venezuelan opposition groups, but US officials kept their comments secret.

The former ambassador concluded that the Cuban influence in Venezuela’s affairs could impact US interests directly.  Just what is the extent of the Cuban involvement in other agencies of the Venezuelan government was harder to confirm, he wrote.

The embassy “had received no credible reports of extensive Cuban involvement in the Venezuelan military”, but there were reports that Cubans were training Hugo Chavez’s bodyguard.

Cuba’s biggest and most public quid-pro-quo with Venezuela has to be the island providing tens of thousands of health care professionals that provide basic services in poor areas.  In return, Venezuela provides Cuba with subsidized oil.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Who is Justin Bieber’s “Latin Girl?”

Canada’s own piece of teenage pop “culture,” Justin Bieber, just released another one of his gems, this one titled “Latin Girl.”

It is not unlike any of his other gems; ten ludicrous pre-pubescent pseudo-romantic lines that sort of rhyme (the genius star rhymes “caught my eye” with “looking super fly”) peppered with “oooh’s” and “yeah’s,” laid over an average dance beat.

We’re no quinceañeras here to understand the appeal, but we can’t help but wonder, who is this Latin Girl that became the adolescent’s muse?

Image Rumors are it might be 17 year old Jasmine Villegas, Bieber’s opening act since September.

Unlike with Bieber, we do have a vague idea, and sort of care about who this girl is. She has sung the Star-Spangled Banner before the last three Manny Pacquiao fights in Las Vegas, and had a brief role in Kanye West’s video for “Jesus Walks.”

Bieber, whose twitter picture features him dancing mid-concert with an infant, took Villegas to Hawaii, where the pair reportedly became make-out buddies and genius struck Bieber in the back of the head, prompting him to gargle out in his perma-falsetto tone the “song” below:

We can only hope the next thing that strikes Justin Beiber in the back of the head, is puberty and not Manny Pacquiao.



Read more by HS News Staff →

Arizona Economy Staying Afloat Due, In Large Part, to Latinas

According to a recent study by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, more than $31 billion of the money being put into the state’s economy is a result of Arizona’s Latino population which makes up more than 30 percent of the state’s total population.

Latinas were found to be the powerhouse spenders in the state being the top spenders on cosmetics and personal hygiene products, and Latina mothers were also found to be more likely to buy fresh good to cook rather than order take-out/pick up food.

Percents and Cents

1 in 4 children born in U.S. in 2008 was of Hispanic decent
63% of Arizona’s population lives in Maricopa County
42% of Phoenix residents are Latino
$47.9 billion: expected to be spent by Arizona Latinos in 2013
$951 billion: buying power of Latinos in the U.S. (excluding Puerto Ricans: buying power $50 billion)

Read more at New America Media →

Adios to CBS’ Morning Anchors: Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez – He’s Reassigned, She’s Not

The third-place CBS morning show “The Early Show” that continues to struggle to find its voice and place has announced another shake up. 

The show anchors Harry Smith and Latina Maggie Rodriquez will be replaced by Erica Hill and Chris Wagge.  Smith has been reassigned as a substitute anchor for the evening news and Face the Nation while Rodriguez has not been reassigned.

Rodriguez was the only Latino anchor on a major television station’s morning show.  Natalie Morales on NBC is the co-host of their Today Show but not an anchor.  Rodriguez was previously with Univision and joined CBS three years ago.

Read more at Media Life Magazine →

Texas Firefighter Arrested For Transporting Undocumented and Money Laundering

Texas Firefighter Arrested For Transporting Undocumented and Money Laundering

Photo: Jones and wife after daughter,Abigail was born last Christmas on Corpus Christi's Harbor Bridge

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Four people, including a Portland, Texas, firefighter, have been indicted and charged with alien smuggling and money laundering. The charges were announced Monday by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas José Angel Moreno and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) arrested 26-year-old firefighter and U.S. citizen Peter Jones, Lorena Martinez, 36, a legal permanent resident alien, Beatrice Rodriguez, 39, an Army National Guard reservist, and Josesantos Zacarias, 42, a Mexican national on November 23rd. Jones, Martinez and Rodriguez are also charged with structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements.

The indictment also seeks to forfeit any interest each of the four defendants may have in two real properties alleging the properties were obtained with proceeds from the alleged conspiracy to transport undocumented aliens.  Each of the four counts alleged in the indictment carry a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine or both, upon conviction.

Jones and his wife are well known in the community due to the birth of their youngest daughter occurring on the Harbor Bridge on the way to the hospital on Christmas day last year. Jones’ wife was initially arrested along with her husband, but no information could be found on her case at this time.

Read more by HS News Staff →

DREAMers Demonstrate at Military Recruiting Office in D.C.

Tuesday, outside a military recruiting center in Washington D.C., a group of undocumented immigrants arrived and asked to serve in the U.S. military.

This display was to implore legislators to support the DREAM Act by showing that many undocumented immigrants wish to join the U.S. military, but right now, cannot.  Some of the demonstrators said they only learned of their undocumented immigrant status a few years, and the way they see it, they are Americans, and they want to serve their country.

“Since (the terrorist attacks against the U.S. in) September 2001…I wanted to serve the country I call my land, my home,” said Mexican-born Cesar Vargas who hopes to join the Marine Corps one day.

Vargas and the other demonstrators spoke with a recruiter in private, as reporters are not allowed inside, but Vargas told the reporters that the recruiter was supportive of their cause and “told us that he knows many immigrants who have a greater sense of patriotism than many Americans born here.”

The DREAM Act is a piece of legislation that presents a path to citizenship to children who entered the U.S. before age 16, lived in the country for a minimum of five years, graduated from high school, served at least two years in the U.S. military or attended two years of college, and had no serious criminal record.

Tuesday’s demonstration was just one of many being held across the country recently. In San Antonio on Monday, 15 DREAM Act supporters were arrested outside the offices of State Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison on day 20 of their hunger strike. Protests and demonstrations have been held in Washington state, California, Illinois, and on college campuses by leaders at M.I.T., Northwestern (Illinois), Harvard, and Brown.

Read more by HS News Staff →

OVERNIGHT IN MEXICO:  Illegal Immigrant Sweep Nets 125 Central Americans

Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) is reporting that an immigration sweep in Oaxaca has netted 125 illegal aliens mostly Central Americans.  The illegal immigrants were located in train cars and it is assumed they were traveling through Mexico to enter the U.S.

The majority were male with 15 women and 8 children arrested.  The migrants have been taken to immigration holding facilities for repatriation to their country of origin.  100 of the individuals were from Guatemala, 11 from El Salvador, 13 from Honduras and one from Nepal.

Mexico has been cracking down on illegal immigration to avert them from becoming victim of traffickers or kidnappers.  It is estimated 300,000 Central Americans cross Mexico annually to reach the U.S. 

Read more at LAHT →

Florida Professor Opposed to Negative Latino Stereotypes Loses Job

Dr. Nancy Rudner Lugo is fightng for her academic professional career saying that ther term at the University of Central Florida abruptly ended when she refused to use a textbook with negative Latino stereotypes.

Dr. Lugo alleged that she was disinvited to teacher at the University in 2008 when she complained and then refused to use the “Guide to Culturally Competent Health Care” textbook in her classes.  She was opposed to language that described “Mexicans use alcohol to make them emotionally and socially extroverted” and went on to describe Cubans as “being overweight seen as positive, healthy, and sexually attractive.”

Dr. Lugo has now filed a complaint against the school in federal court and is seeking damages.  As far as the textbook is concerns the author, Larry Purnell, advocates its benefits as a teaching tool.

Read more at Fox News →

Illegal Aliens - Calls for Help

U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Falfurrias Texas station rescued two illegal aliens Monday.

The event transpired when the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from an illegal alien who claimed to be lost in the brush and in need of assistance. The sheriff’s office contacted the Falfurrias station and requested assistance in locating the subject. Agents responded and were able to locate a man and a woman in an isolated area in a ranch south of Falfurrias.

Both subjects appeared to be in good health and declined medical treatment. They were transported to the Falfurrias station for processing.

During fiscal year 2010, agents of the Rio Grande Valley Sector rescued a total of 133 illegal aliens. The rescues varied in nature but were predominantly environmentally related, such as exposure to heat and cold. Rescues also included numerous river related events, among others. The rescue of this man and woman are the first two rescues for fiscal year 2011 for U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector. Agents of the Rio Grande Valley Sector patrol more than 320 river miles, 250 coastal miles, and encompass 19 counties equating to more than 17,000 square miles.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Poverty in Latin America Stabilizes per UN Report

The number of poor people in Latin America will fall this year to 180 million – the pre-crisis levels seen in 2008 – thanks to robust economic recovery in most of the countries of the region, says a United Nations report released today.

The “Social Panorama of Latin America 2010,” produced by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), predicts that poverty and extreme poverty will be 1.0 percentage points and 0.4 percentage points lower, respectively, than in 2009, which was when the region bore the brunt of the international financial crisis.

The report emphasizes that, despite the major repercussions that the global economic crisis has had in the region, poverty rose by just one tenth of a percentage point in 2009, from 33 per cent to 33.1 per cent.

The Commission says in that poverty decreased between 2008 and 2009 in most of the nine countries in the study, including in Brazil, Paraguay, Dominican Republic and Uruguay, while it rose in Costa Rica, Ecuador and Mexico

Read more by HS News Staff →

Six Simple Ways to Make DREAM Act a Reality

The Latino Policy Forum, located in Chicago, Illinois, has put together an easy TO DO list for those wanting to help the passage of the DREAM Act during the lame duck session of Congress:

1. Call 866-587-3023 and ask to be connected to Illinois Senator Durbin, Senator Kirk or your local representative and urge them to support the DREAM Act when it comes up for vote in Congress.

2. Sign onto the Latino Policy Forum’s DREAM Statement of Support.

3. Approach your local college, university or alma mater ask them to release a public statement in support of the DREAM Act.  For background information, click here

4. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and voice your support for the DREAM Act.

5. Make a one-minute video asking our leaders to support the DREAM Act, for more information contact the Immigrant Youth Justice League.

6. Pass on the message and forward this e-mail.  Rally your friends, family, and colleagues to make calls, emails text, Twitter or on Facebook. .


Read more at Latino Policy Forum →

U.S.-Panama Sign New Tax Exchange Agreement

In a ceremony at the U.S. Department of the Treasury today, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Panamanian Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Juan Carlos Varela signed a new tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) between the United States and Panama.

“Today, we are ushering in a new era of openness and transparency for tax information between the United States and Panama” Secretary Geithner said. 
Upon entry into force, the new TIEA will provide the United States with access to the information it needs to enforce U.S. tax laws, including information related to bank accounts in Panama. 

The TIEA will permit the United States and Panama to seek information from each other on all types of national taxes in both civil and criminal matters for tax years beginning on or after November 30, 2007.  Information exchanged pursuant to the TIEA shall be used for tax purposes, although the information may also be used for other. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Central American Bishops Create Radio Network for Region

The Bishops of Central America decided, at their annual meeting, in Costa Rica to create a network of Catholic radio stations in the region. “There are 60 radio stations broadcasting in Central America and they fulfill a key role in the public relations of the life of the Church,” said Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini of Guatemala.

“These broadcasts will help in the fight against crime and corruption and are invaluable when it comes to humanitarian aid and human development,” he added.

Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini has encouraged all priests in Central America to invite the faithful to listen to the radio broadcasts in their homes and, as far as possible, to create a place for listening in their parishes.

Read more at Agenzia Fides →

WednesdayDecember 1, 2010