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WednesdayDecember 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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Diego Forlán and Iker Casillas Receive Their World Cup Awards (VIDEO)

Diego Forlán, was chosen the best player of the World Cup, and Iker Casillas, best goalie receiving along with the German Thomas Müller (more goals scored) their respective golden trophies from the hands of soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer.

Forlán, from Uruguay received the Golden Soccer Ball, Casillas from Spain, the Golden Glove, and Müller the Golden Cleat at a glittering ceremony in Nuremberg yesterday.

“It is a privilege to be a part of such a select group of people that already own a golden soccer ball” said Forlán in reference to players like Diego Mardona, Pelá and Johan Cryuff, who have received the award in the past.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain Donates $20 Million to Help Haiti Combat Cholera

The Inter-American Development and the government of Spain will provide $20 million in emergency grants to help Haiti fight cholera, which has claimed more than 2,300 lives since late October.

The IDB approved a $15 million grant while the Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean will provide a $5 million grant for the program, which will be carried out by the Haitian Ministry of Public Health (MSPP), the Haitian water and sanitation regulating agency DINEPA and UNICEF.

The grants will enable the MSPP and its partners to establish and operate a network of 2,000 oral rehydration posts, 190 cholera treatment units and 10 cholera treatment centers in priority areas, such as the poor coastal neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince.

In addition, the MSPP will hire more specialists to build up its emergency response teams, as well as to strengthen its surveillance systems to track cholera cases around the country.  In November the IDB and the Spanish Cooperation Fund financed a purchase by DINEPA of 90 million water purification tablets, enough to meet the drinking water needs of 2 million people for a month.

Separately, the IDB and the government of Spain are providing Haiti more than $250 million in grants to finance long-term investments to expand and improve water and sanitation in Port-au-Prince, five mid-size cities and rural communities.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The US Version of “La llorona” Future House Speaker John Boehner via Jimmy Fallon

The US Version of “La llorona” Future House Speaker John Boehner via Jimmy Fallon

Photo: John Boehmer

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Future House Speaker John Boehner is quickly becoming as legendary as Mexico ‘La LLorona’ (The Cryer) sung by Chavela Vargas.  Case in point Jimmie Fallon has already mastered a very adept mimic of the soon to be Speaker and his propensity to cry on cue. 

Related Videos

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CENSUS:  22% of Hispanics Living Below Poverty Line

The American Community Survey, a five year annual study from the U.S. Census, shows that 9.8 million or 22 percent of Latinos are living below the poverty level. The figures released yesterday still peg the Native Americans as the poorest minority group in the nation with 25.9 percent of them living in poverty followed by 25.1 percent for the Black population.  Whites had the lowest percentage of their population living in poverty with 23.6 million people or 10.8 percent.

The report covers the period between 2005 and 2009 and provides interim statistical reports on the U.S. population, so no one has to wait for the official 10-year Census.  The report also pegged the Hispanic population in the U.S. at 44.5 million through 2009.

Read more at LAHT →

As the DREAM Act Lingers in Congress, Scholarships for Immigrant Youth Bring Hope

While DREAM Act supporters are worried about the bill’s passing after its delayed Senate vote, others are bringing hope and help to immigrant youth.

According to their website, Washington D.C.’s Esperanza Education Fund “is a community-financed college scholarship program founded and operated by a diverse, all-volunteer group of young professionals in the capital region,” and since its founding in 2009, they have awarded $125,000 in college scholarships.

The scholarship’s requirements are that recipients must have been born outside the U.S. or have two parents born outside of the U.S., are graduating seniors in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia or are enrolled in GED programs, and they must also attend a public university in one of these areas. 

What is important to note is that these scholarships are open to all who meet the above requirements regardless of their immigration status.

Esperanza’s $5,000 scholarships for those attending two-year colleges and $10,000 for those attending four-year schools are an attempt to lower the number of obligations these students face so that they are able to study.

“Many of these students don’t have time to build up their extracurricular resumes because they’re working 50 hours per week in the family restaurant,” said one of Esperanza’s co-founders, 28-year-old Alvaro Bedoya.

To date, scholarships have been awarded to students from Bolivia, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Guinea, Honduras, India, Mexico, and Vietnam.

Read more at Esperanza Education Fund Inc. →

NARCO BLOGGER: Three People Executed in Ciudad Juárez, More Than 3,100 in 2010

Three people were killed Tuesday in a neighborhood in southeast Ciudad Juárez; federal police are conducting investigations.

The number of murders in Ciudad Juárez, the most violent city in Mexico, has exceeded 3,100 after this incident, according to data from the Attorney General’s Office, making 2010 the bloodiest year of this border city located in the state of Chihuahua.

Ciudad Juarez used to have a low murder rate before 1993, but it rose steeply after the local leader of the Juarez Cartel, Aguilar Guajardo, died, and Amado Carillo replaced him. The rate of murders attributed to organized crime in the border area started spiking in 2008, as shown in the graph below.


Read more by HS News Staff →

No Latinos Among Time Magazine’s ‘People Who Mattered’

Time Magazine has published this year’s ‘Person of the Year’ and its ‘People Who Mattered’ list and apparently no Latinos mattered this year. Not sure if this is a sign of the times or no one looked hard enough. 

We wonder what Time Magazine’s definition of “matter” is, since Justin Bieber mattered, the casts of Glee and Jersey Shore mattered, and Sandra Bullock and Lady Gaga mattered this year, but not a single Latin American personality was mentioned.

Times did mention the Chilean Miners as a runner-up for Person of the Year, an honor deservedly bestowed on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg.  The Tea Party and Julian Assange were also on the runner up list for Person of the Year. 


Read more by HS News Staff →

New Initiatives Available to Increase Leading for Hispanic-Owned Businesses

With small business owners and entrepreneurs in traditionally underserved communities continuing to face challenges accessing capital, the U.S. Small Business Administration today announced two new initiatives aimed at increasing SBA-backed loans to small businesses in these markets.

The two new loan initiatives – Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage – are aimed at increasing the number of lower-dollar SBA 7(a) loans going to small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities.

Both will offer a streamlined application process for SBA-guaranteed 7(a) loans up to $250,000. These loans will come with the regular 7(a) government guarantee, 85 percent for loans up to $150,000 and 75 percent for those greater than $150,000.

“These two new loan initiatives tackle a couple of factors we know exist when it comes to the challenges small business owners face,” Mills said. “First, to add more incentive for lower-dollar loans in these communities, we are providing a streamlined process for lenders along with the regular 7(a) government guarantee. Second, we are taking steps that will increase the number of places small business owners in underserved communities can go to get loans.

Read more at SBA →

BREAKING NEWS: Secretary Napolitano Reacts to Border Agent’s Death

Secretary Napolitano, before her trip to Arizona on Friday, has released the following statement regarding the shooting death of Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry:

“The fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry last night is an unconscionable act of violence against the men and women of the Border Patrol and all those who serve and defend our country.

Agent Terry was killed in the line of duty while confronting several suspects near Rio Rico, Ariz. It is a stark reminder of the very real dangers our men and women on the frontlines confront every day as they protect our communities and the American people.

We are working with other federal, state and local authorities to ensure those responsible for this horrendous act are held responsible. We will leave no stone unturned as we seek justice for the perpetrators.

I want to extend my deepest condolences to Agent Terry’s family at this difficult time. We will honor his memory by remaining resolute and committed to the serious task of securing our nation’s borders. I ask that all of us keep Agent Terry and his family in our prayers.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

World Largest Airlines No Longer in U.S. or Europe – Now in Latin America and Asia

The world’s largest airlines now call Latin America and Asia home, which reflects the diminished role of U.S. airlines and the emerging power of high-growth countries. 

The International Transport Association revealed the world’s biggest carriers (measured by market capitalization) are:  1) Air China 2) Singapore Airlines 3) Cathay Pacific 4) China Southern and 5) LATAM.  U.S. carrier Delta was next on the list.

LATAM is the conglomerate created from the recently announced merger between Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM airlines.  LATAM has a market capitalization value of $11 billion tying it with China Southern and ahead of Delta Airlines that came in at $10 billion. 

Latin American air carriers posted profits close to $1.2 billion thus far this year, but like all other carriers face an uphill battle with rising fuel prices and budget minded travelers.

Read more at AP News →

Argentina’s ‘Dancing for a Dream’ Plays out like a Bristol Palin Dance Saga

Model Vanina Escudero showed an Argentinian audience a move that we would have liked to see Bristol Palin try on Dancing With The Stars, at least the staying in tune to the music part.

It all happened live on one of the most popular shows of Argentine TV, “ShowMatch,” during a contest segment titled “Dancing For a Dream.”

The News Paper “La Nación” reported that Escudero and her partner were supposed to execute a complicated country dancing maneuver, but apparently the pair misread each other’s movements.  Following a brief but spectacular challenge to gravity poor Vanina was flipped and tossed to the ground like a sack of lima beans.  Immediately, and while the cameras were still rolling, the model was assisted by the show’s doctor, who decided to take her to a hospital, to run tests and X-rays.

The audience feeling sorry for Vanina and hoping she would embarras herself again, much like U.S. audiences felt about Bristol Palin’s performance, she was voted a finalist by TV audiences, thereby eliminating the current favorite.  Vanina has danced and fallen her way to the finals which are tomorrow where she faces her sister - all playing out like a fabulous Spanish telenovela. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

“Don’t Tase Me, Bro!” Tasings by Chicago Police Increased in 2010

In 2009, the Chicago Police Department used their Tasers on people 197 times. In 2010 however, that number more than tripled to 683 according to the Independent Police Review Authority.

The huge jump is likely due to the number of available Tasers doubling over the year, jumping from 280 to 660, and also due to Taser-use no longer being investigated after each officer’s use of the “defusing tool”.

It was reported that “the agency said it has decided against investigating every time an officer uses a Taser, saying the hundreds of incidents were ‘overwhelming’ its resources. Instead, it will do so only if allegations of misconduct are made, serious injury or death resulted, or a minor or senior citizen was targeted.”

In 2005, CPD temporarily stopped the usage of the “stun guns” when a 54-year-old man died after being shocked with the electrical weapon, and a teen went into cardiac arrest after being stunned.

In 2007, a University of Florida student was famously Tasered and arrested when he caused a disturbance at a town hall forum with Senator John Kerry. The incident, caught on a cell phone camera, went world wide, and struck a cord with people over the proper use of Tasers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Revenue and Number of Minority-Owned Business Firms on the Rise

While the government just released figures that the private-sector only created 159,000 jobs in October the real growth under those numbers is coming from minority owned firms.  Those firms grew an impressive 46 percent from 2002 through 2007 and continue to contribute to the recovering economy.

There were approximately 5.9 million people working at minority owned firms in 2007, the last time these figures were available.  The job growth from these firms averages 5.4% annually vs. no growth for general market employers.

The revenue of minority-owned firms is also growing faster than their non-minority counterparts.  During the 5-year period,  the government tracked a 56% jump in revenue vs. 21% for everyone else.  Nonetheless the average income earned at these minority owned firms is only $300,000 with a cumulative contribution of $1 trillion to the economy.

Read more at Ponte al Dia →

BREAKING NEWS: Border Patrol Agent Killed in Arizona

A Border Patrol agent was shot and killed around 11 PM, near Rio Rico, Arizona, while attempting to apprehend a group of armed subjects.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) named the deceased as Brian A. Terry, an agent based out of the Nogales Border Patrol Station, which is responsible for covering 32 miles of International Border, and is just ten miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Four of the suspects are in custody and the search continues for a fifth. Officials are urging anyone having seen any suspicious activity to report it immediately.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Terry family for their tragic loss,” Commissioner Alan Bersin of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said in a statement. “Our commitment to Agent Terry and his family is that we will do everything possible to bring to justice those responsible for this despicable act.”

The investigation is being led by the FBI and Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.

Just yesterday, under heavy guard, Mexico’s president Felipe Calderon inaugurated a new border bridge from Mexico’s Rio Bravo to Donna, Texas.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Homeland Sec. Napolitano Checks in with Southwest Border Sheriffs and Police Chiefs

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today held a quarterly conference call with sheriffs and police chiefs from 30 jurisdictions along the Southwest border to discuss the Department’s ongoing support for state and local law enforcement in their efforts to keep their communities safe from violence and other threats.

On the call, Secretary Napolitano underscored the vital role played by state and local law enforcement agencies in securing the U.S.-Mexico border and emphasized DHS’ commitment to working with them to confront ongoing border challenges.

The number of agents have doubled from approximately 10,000 in 2004 to more than 20,500 today. In addition, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has doubled the number of personnel assigned to Border Enforcement Security Task Forces; increased the number of intelligence analysts working along the U.S.-Mexico border; quintupled deployments of Border Liaison Officers; and begun screening 100 percent of southbound rail shipments for illegal weapons, drugs, and cash—for the first time ever.

Secretary Napolitano also highlighted critical programs that assist state and local law enforcement in making their communities safer. In July, DHS announced more than $47 million in fiscal year 2010 Operation Stonegarden grants for Southwest border states. Based on risk, cross-border traffic and border-related threat intelligence, 82 percent of 2009 and 2010 Operation Stonegarden funds went to Southwest border states—up from 59 percent in 2008.

DHS has also expanded the Secure Communities initiative—which uses biometric information and services to identify and remove criminal aliens in state prisons and local jails—from 14 jurisdictions in 2008 to more than 800 today, including all jurisdictions along the Southwest border.

In fiscal year 2010, ICE set a record for overall removals of illegal aliens. Half of those removed—more than 195,000—were convicted criminals. These statistics represent an increase of more than 81,000 criminal removals compared to fiscal year 2008—a more than 70 percent increase in removals of criminal aliens from the previous administration.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New York Hispanic State Senator & Son Charged with Embezzling from Non-Profit Health Centers

Earlier Tuesday, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn returned an indictment charging Pedro Espada, Jr., a New York State Senator for the 33rd Senatorial District in the Bronx, New York, and his son, Pedro Gautier Espada, with five counts of embezzlement from a nonprofit health care network receiving federal funding, and one count of conspiracy.  They will make their first appearance in court Wednesday afternoon. 

As detailed in the indictment, from 2005 through 2009, the defendants allegedly abused their positions at Soundview Healthcare Center,  a network of health care clinics located in the Bronx, through a number of schemes designed to divert funds to their personal use and for the benefit of favored family members and friends. Pedro Espada founded Soundview in 1978 as a charitable not-for-profit organization. Soundview receives more than $1 million per year in federal grant money from the U.S. government as well as millions of dollars more in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

The total amount allegedly embezzled by the defendants exceeded $500,000.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo stated, “As alleged, Pedro Espada and his son spent years secretly siphoning money from a healthcare clinic in order to fund Espada’s lavish lifestyle. Taxpayer funds meant for the sick and poor were instead used for Broadway shows, fancy meals, and other opulent personal expenses of Senator Espada. Elected officials are supposed to serve the people not themselves, and this indictment should send a strong message: In New York, no one is above the law.”

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment on each of the embezzlement counts and five years’ imprisonment for conspiracy, as well as a fine of $250,000 on each count of conviction.

Read more by HS News Staff →

WednesdayDecember 15, 2010