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ThursdayDecember 9, 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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Benicio del Toro Will Debut as Director Next Year With “7 Days in Havana,” a Seven-Director Effort

Puerto Rican-American Benicio Del Toro will debut as a director next year , with the film “7 Days in Havana,” a Spanish-language film about contemporary Cuba.

Del Toro has agreed to join France’s Laurent Cantet and Gaspar Noé, Argentina’s Pablo Trapero, the Palestinian Elia Suleiman, Spain’s Julio Medem and Cuba’s Juan Carlos Tabio, all whom will direct a 15 minute short portraying a day in cuba. Ultimately the film will wrap with 7 Directors having directed one of the seven days.

Even though the script has not been finished yet, sources have said the main characters in one short will appear as secondary characters in others.

“This is one connected and collective film. Each director shoots one episode, which takes place from morning to night,” said Producer Didar Domehri.


The tagline of the film defines it loosely as a view inside the day-to-day lives of Cubans in Havana, as perceived by visiting tourists.  Variety magazine ellaborates:

“Benicio Del Toro will helm a sometimes fictionalized documentary on a U.S. tourist’s first 24 hours in Cuba; Julio Medem (Sex and Lucía) portrays a love triangle; Pablo Trapero (“Carrancho”) tracks an actor who arrives in Havana to receive a prize; Elia Suleiman has a foreigner, whom he will play, wandering through Havana, waiting for something to happen; Laurent Cantet (“The Class”) chronicles a family’s offering to the ancient religion of Yoruba; Juan Carlos Tabio looks at Cubans’ daily trials and joys; Gaspar Noé (Enter the Void)follows an exorcism.”

Cuban actors Ana de Armas, Mirta Ibarra, Vladimir Cruz and Jorge Perugorria have been signed for roles in the flick that should start shooting as early as January of next year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The Texas Film Commission:  Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete” Makes Texans Look Bad

The production budget for the Texas-produced film Machete was estimated at $10 million; based on that amount, the project qualified to receive state art incentive funds close to $2 million for producing the movie in the state.  As matter of fact Governor Rick Perry announced the arts funding incentives at Robert Rodriguez film studio, Troublemaker Productions, last year.  One year later he doesn’t want to give Rodriquez’ Machete film the art’s incentive.  Why?

In a letter released Wednesday by a spokesperson for Governor Rick Perry, the Texas Film Commission quoted part of a state law that states that requests for film incentives can be denied “because of inappropriate content or content that portrays Texas or Texans in a negative fashion.”

A representative for “Machete”  said Wednesday that producer Elizabeth Avellan and director Robert Rodriguez were traveling after finishing shooting “Spy Kids 4” and that they were unavailable for comment.

The letter said that the commission’s ruling “does not affect…other grant applications from Troublemaker, now or in the future.”

Austin screenwriter and author Si Dunn , who was featured as an extra in “Machete,” said Wednesday, “Texas needs to do a much better job of politically supporting its movie and television industry….The notion that state legislators somehow can protect Texas’ image from ‘negative light’ is just laughable — and sadly naive.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Vargas Llosa: First Nobel Winner To Cry In Stockholm (VIDEO)

Peruvian Novelist Mario Vargas Llosa has became the first ever Nobel Prize winner to cry at the podium; the author broke into tears towards the end of his prize acceptance speech at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm.

The speech was so eloquent and tenderly penned, that the emotional delivery forced tears out of most audience members, the writer’s editor cried, his family cried, even Vargas-Llosa’s Swedish translator cried.

The speech covered politics, his thoughts about nationalism, his evolution from Marxism to liberal democracy, his disappointment with the Cuban Revolution, his love for Perú and his attempt to become its president.  He spoke of his childhood, literature and the writers that influenced him and spoke beautifully written praises, thanks and anecdotes that were far more open, frank and full of sentiment than what is the norm for the usually reserved Vargas Llosa.

The whole speech in Spanish is available here, but if you don’t speak Spanish, we’ve translated the bit that is at the beginning of the second video; the moment when the author started crying as he spoke about his wife, who at the time was allegedly very upset with him, being as he showed drafts of his speech to his sons, but refused to show anything to her.

“Perú is Patricia, the cousin with the straight little nose and the indomitable temper who i had the fortune to marry 45 years ago and that still to this day bears the manias, neuroses and tantrums that help me write. Without her my life would have dissolved long time ago in a chaotic whirlwind and Álvaro, Gonzalo and Morgana wouldn’t have been born, nor the six grandchildren who prolong and make our existence happy. She does it all, and all she does well. Solves all problems, manages the economy, makes order in the chaos, keeps journalists and intruders in line, defends my time, decides appointments and trips, does and undoes the luggage and is so generous, that even when she thinks she’s scolding me, she’s paying me the best of compliments: “Mario, the only thing you’re good for, is for writing.”




Read more by HS News Staff →

40 Million in U.S. Driving Drunk or Drugged

Despite massive efforts to curb drunk driving, some 30 million Americans are driving drunk and another 10 million are driving drugged each year, federal officials report.

In fact, in some states the number of drunk and drugged drivers tops 20 percent, according to a report released Thursday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Other SAMHSA officials noted that thousands of people are killed and maimed yearly by drunk and drugged drivers, even though the entertainment industry, in some movies such as Due Date, portrays drunk and drugged driving as “harmless fun.”

According to the survey, an average of 13.2 percent of people aged 16 and older drove under the influence of alcohol and 4.3 percent drove under the influence of an illegal drug in the past year.

In addition, levels of drunk and drugged driving varied among age groups, with younger drivers much more likely to drive while impaired. Drivers aged 16 to 25 had a much higher rate of drunk driving, compared with those aged 26 and older (19.5 percent vs. 11.8 percent). Those aged 16 to 25 also had a higher rate of drugged driving than those aged 26 and older (11.4 percent vs. 2.8 percent).

Read more at Health Finder - Government →

Hispanics are Twitter Crazed

A study released by the Pew Research Center shows that Hispanic’s are Twitter crazed.  18 percent of all Hispanics use Twitter versus 5 percent of the general population and 13 percent of the African-American demographic. 

These minority users are more than twice as likely to use Twitter as are white internet users.

Overall, eight percent of the American adults who use the internet are Twitter users. It is an online activity that is particularly popular with young adults, minorities, and those who live in cities. This is the first-ever survey reading from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project that exclusively examines Twitter users.

Read more at Pew Research →

BREAKING NEWS: DREAM Act Senate Vote Tabled Until Next Week

It has just been announced that the DREAM Act vote has been delayed. The bill has now been pushed to next week at the earliest.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called a last minute vote to hold off on the Senate’s vote on the DREAM Act until next week for the purpose of mirroring the Senate’s version with yesterday’s passed House version. Reid’s motion passed, and the bill has been set aside until later in the month.

The DREAM Act would allow children of undocumented immigrants who meet specific requirements, such as attending college for at least two years or serving in the military for two years, to apply for U.S. citizenship.


∙The Senate will convene at 9:30am and proceed to consideration of the motion to proceed to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2010 (S.3992), with ten minutes reserved for Senator Durbin, and the remaining time until 11:00am equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders, or their designees.

∙At 11:00am, the Senate will proceed to a series of up to three roll call votes on the following:

o The motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2010 (S.3992).

o The motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (H.R.847).

o Reconsideration of the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (S.3454).

What is “Cloture”?

In parliamentary procedure, cloture (pronounced KLOH-chər) is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end.
The procedure for “invoking cloture,” is as follows:
• A minimum of sixteen senators must sign a petition for cloture.
• The petition may be presented by interrupting another Senator’s speech.
• The clerk reads the petition.
• The cloture petition is ignored for one full day during which the Senate is sitting (If the petition is filed on a Friday, it is ignored until Monday, assuming that the Senate did not sit on Saturday or Sunday.)
• On the second calendar day during which the Senate sits after the presentation of the petition, after the Senate has been sitting for one hour, a “quorum call” is undertaken to ensure that a majority of the Senators are present. However, the mandatory quorum call is often waived by unanimous consent.
• The President of the Senate or President pro tempore presents the petition.
• The Senate votes on the petition; three-fifths of the whole number of Senators (sixty with no vacancies) is the required majority; however, when cloture is invoked on a question of changing the rules of the Senate, two-thirds of the Senators voting (not necessarily two-thirds of all Senators) is the requisite majority.
After cloture has been invoked, the following restrictions apply:
• No more than thirty hours of debate may occur.[9]
• No Senator may speak for more than one hour.
• No amendments may be moved unless they were filed on the day in between the presentation of the petition and the actual cloture vote.
• All amendments must be relevant to the debate.
• Certain procedural motions are not permissible.
• The presiding officer gains additional power in controlling debate.
• No other matters may be considered until the question upon which cloture was invoked is disposed of.

Read more at MSNBC →

Panama Canal Closes Due to Flooding – Third Time Ever in Its History

Panamanian officials, for the third time in 96 years, have closed the Panama Canal due to local river flooding.  The last time the canal closed was 1989 when the U.S. invaded Panama and captured President Manual Noriega.

The canal is one of the most critical passages for shipping in between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.  The Chagres River and Lake Gatun rose from heavy rains that have been plaguing Central and South America.

Officials expect the canal to be opened later today or early tomorrow. 

Read more at CNN →

DREAM Act Vote Pending in Senate: Senate Bill S. 3992 vs HR.6497- What is the Difference?

-The Senate is scheduled to take up the DREAM Act next week. Though both chambers are voting on slightly different bills under different procedures. The House voted last night and passed H.R. 6497, while the Senate moves to a vote on whether to proceed to its own version of the DREAM Act, S. 3992. 

Both bills are strong pieces of legislation which would allow the 65,000 young undocumented students who graduate high school each year to start a pathway to citizenship after completing two years of college or military service. Organizations and individuals from across the country-from California to Kentucky, Oklahoma to New York-have joined together to support the DREAM Act.  Thousands of undocumented students and their supportive classmates and teachers have met with their members of Congress, sent letters, held rallies, and staged hunger strikes and other activities in pursuit of making the DREAM Act a reality.

While both bills are similar to the original versions of the DREAM Act introduced in each chamber, they differ in key ways.
Under the Senate version of the DREAM Act, applicants are treated as conditional nonimmigrants for ten years before being allowed to apply for permanent residence. 
The House version breaks this status up into two five-year periods, and requires students to apply for an extension of their conditional nonimmigrant status after the first five-year period has elapsed. The applicants would have to pay a $525 surcharge on the initial application and a $2,000 surcharge at the beginning of the second five year period.
S. 3992 establishes one ten-year period of conditional nonimmigrant status without either fee.

These differences resulted in two different CBO scores, both of which find that DREAM reduces the deficit during the ten year period for which bills are scored:

• According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the House version of the DREAM Act (H.R. 6497) would reduce deficits by about $2.2 billion and increase revenues by $1.7 billion over the 2011-2020 period.

• The CBO estimated that the Senate version of the DREAM Act (S. 3992) would reduce deficits by about $1.4 billion and increase revenue by $2.3 billionover the 2011-2020 period.

These CBO scores affirm what we have known all along-that the DREAM Act is good for the economy, and that legalization leads to higher wages and therefore more tax revenues and higher consumption levels, and supports American jobs.
• A 2010 study by the UCLA North American Integration and Development Center estimates that the total earnings of DREAM Act beneficiaries over the course of their working lives would be between $1.4 trillion and $3.6 trillion.
In a 2010 report released by IPC and the Center for American Progress, Dr. Raul Hinojosa found that comprehensive immigration reform that includes a legalization program for unauthorized immigrants and enables a future flow of legal workers would result in a large economic benefit-a cumulative $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years. The higher earning power of newly legalized workers would mean increased tax revenues of $4.5-$5.4 billion in the first three years.  Higher personal income would also generate increased consumer spending-enough to support 750,000-900,000 jobs in the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

$165 Million to Modernize Colombia’s Leading Airport

The Inter-American Development Bank announced the approval of a loan for up to $165 million for a project to modernize and expand Bogota’s El Dorado international airport, Colombia’s leading air terminal.  Last year 13 million passengers and half a million tons of cargo passed through Bogota’s airport.

The project foresees the construction of a new terminal for international, domestic and regional passengers, a new control tower, new infrastructure for international and domestic cargo, and a new facilities for Colombia’s civil aviation agency.

The upgrades, due to be completed in 2014, will increase El Dorado’s operational capacity and efficiency, reducing delays, fuel consumption and maintenance costs. Services for passengers, airlines and cargo clients will also see improvements, as well as security levels.

The project is due to generate 1,500 direct and indirect jobs.


Read more by HS News Staff →

NARCO BLOG: “El Ponchis” Mother Arrested and Due to Be Deported from San Diego (VIDEO)

Border Patrol agents in San Diego arrested Yolanda Lugo Jiménez, the mother of the man-child hit man Edgar “El Ponchis” Jimenez Lugo and charged her in federal court with illegal re-entry after being previously deported, according to court documents.

The documents note that Yolanda Lugo Jimenez was arrested along with her husband, Gabriel Aguirre Manuel on Monday night at their home in the Logan Heights neighborhood in San Diego after admitting to the officers that they are Mexican citizens and hold no documents to be in the United States legally.

Edgar Jiménez Lugo and his two sisters were arrested last Thursday in the Mariano Matamorros airport, south of Morelos, when they planned to board a plane to Tijuana, and from there move on to San Diego, to visit their mother,  her husband and their two step sisters.

Logo’s two sisters are being held in a Mexico City detention facility for 30 days while the investigation continues into their ties to organized crime. “Ponchis”, who has admitted publicly to participating in four beheadings, is being held in an undisclosed location for his protection for 60 days while Mexican authorities decide how to proceed.

Lugo Jimenez sold make-up products door to door in her neighborhood, and would often invite neighbors to church, or talk to them about God.

See the official police report on Ponchis’ mom’s arrest here.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Supreme Court Hearing Constitutionality of Arizona’s 2007 Immigration Law

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court began to hear arguments on the legal challenges to Arizona’s 2007 immigration law that punishes employers for knowingly hiring undocumented workers.  The Legal Arizona Workers Act “requires employers [to use a federal database] to verify the eligibility of new workers” and failure to do so can result in the revocation or suspension of business licenses.

The Legal Arizona Workers Act “requires employers [to use a federal database] to verify the eligibility of new workers” and failure to do so can result in the revocation or suspension of business licenses.

The National Immigration Law Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund,  and the the U.S. Chamber of Chamber (USCC) filed suit against Arizona for this immigration law.  Federal government officials say immigration law is a federal matter and Arizona’s law is outside the scope of their responsibilities.  Some Justices have commented that the law could lead to anti-Hispanic discrimination.

Outside the courthouse, Arizona’s controversial governor, Jan Brewer, had this to say:

“Well the bottom line is that we believe that if the government isn’t going to do the job, that Arizona is going to do the job, and we are faced with a crisis. And in regards to today’s hearing, certainly we do issue licenses, we do do that, and if we giveth, we can taketh away.”

With Justice Elena Kagan declining to participate, the vote appears to be split 4-4, and should that be the final vote the appeals court ruling that upheld the 2007 law before it was brought to the Supreme Court would be “automatically affirmed” and the law would remain in effect.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Bar Association Commends Advancement of Latino Judicial Nominees

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HBNA) commends President Barack Obama for nominating the Honorable Esther Salas for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Similarly, the HNBA applauds the Senate Judiciary Committee for reporting out of committee by voice vote on December 1st The Honorable Edward Davila and The Honorable Diana Saldaña.  Having been approved by the full committee, these two nominees now await full Senate confirmation.

Before her appointment as a federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Judge Salas served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, where she was a member of the Hiring Committee for the Office of the Federal Public Defender.  Judge Davila has served since 2001 on the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, where he oversees cases in the criminal, civil, family and juvenile justice divisions.  Judge Saldana is a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Texas dealing with narcotics and immigration cases.

Diana S. Sen, President of HBNA noted that, “The HNBA has supported the candidacy and nominations of these three exceptional attorneys and individuals, and I am very pleased that the Senate is taking the necessary steps to advance them through the confirmation process. The HNBA is hopeful that they will be confirmed before the end of this Congressional session.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Officials Travel to South America to Discuss Trade and Security Issues

United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns is traveling to Chile, Argentina, and Brazil today through December 13. The purpose of his trip is to expand relations with key regional partners.

In Chile, Under Secretary Burns plans to meet with Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter to discuss our increasingly close partnership in a range of areas, to include trade issues, nuclear security, and cooperative projects to develop regional capacity in rule of law. He will also meet with civil society representatives. In Argentina, Under Secretary Burns will hold discussions with Foreign Minister Hector Timerman as well as civil society leaders on issues of bilateral and regional importance, such as nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, and economic growth. In Brazil, Under Secretary Burns is scheduled to meet with representatives of the incoming and current administrations to discuss bilateral initiatives on economic, nuclear nonproliferation, and regional affairs, including the Global Partnership Dialogue launched by Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Amorim last March.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Breaking News: DREAM Act PASSES in the House of Representatives 216 Y- 198 N

Breaking News: DREAM Act PASSES in the House of Representatives 216 Y- 198 N

Photo: Statue of Liberty

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

After a lengthy debate this evening on the DREAM Act, it finally went to vote at 7:35 pm CMT Wednesday. After allowing several minutes for the vote to be taken, the final result was 216 Y -198 N. The Motion Passed.

A Bill needs support of a simple majority to move to the Senate. That means that 208 of the 414 Representatives voting must support the bill to pass the bill and move it to the Senate.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said it makes no sense to punish children whose parents illegally brought them into this country.

“If you’re pulled over for a speeding ticket and you have a child in a car seat next to you,” he said, “that 2-year-old doesn’t get a speeding ticket. If there’s a bank robber who robs it with a toddler on their back, that toddler doesn’t spend a life in prison.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), who heads the House Immigration subcommittee, spoke on the House floor. She described the beneficiaries of the Dream Act as kids who grew up in the United States, and who often speak no other language but English, yet face dead ends once they graduate from high school.

“Their immigration status prevented them from working, paying taxes, serving in the military,” she said. “They could never get right with the law, even though they had done nothing wrong. The only thing they did was to obey their parents.”

It is expected that the Senate will take up the measure tomorrow.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ThursdayDecember 9, 2010