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TuesdayDecember 21, 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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Jessica Alba and Twitter Mom Working Together on New Sitcom About What Else: Crazed Mom’s

Jessica Alba, and writer Jhoni Marchinko, have begun work on a show tentatively titled The Mother of All Something.

The idea for the show comes from Twitter mom, Kelly Oxford (@kellyoxford), whose hilarious Twitter updates (tweets) have caught the attention of nearly 70,000 followers, and the eye of actress and mother Jessica Alba.

Oxford says Alba had been looking for a writer with a sarcastic and funny outlook, and when the actress found Oxford she contacted her through her Twitter page.

“She wanted a script written by a woman that was funny, and liked my voice,” Oxford says. “So I told her: ‘I did write something. I wrote this pilot.’”

Oxford was already acquainted with former Will & Grace writer Jhoni Marchinko, as the two had written the pilot she spoke of together.

Alba will be the executive producer for the show and many are speculating she may make a guest appearance, though no casting announcements have been made.  The show will focus on Oxford’s life as a mother, something mommy Alba can surely relate to.

“The scariest part of the American Dream is the fact that Sarah Palin is living it.”

“Adulthood, in a nutshell, is making your kids finish their fruit while you hide in the pantry and eat milk duds for breakfast.”

“Lazy + Smart = Efficient”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Elected Leaders Urge Recognition of Latino Contribution to U.S. Population Increases

With the release today of Census 2010 reapportionment data, an analysis conducted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund shows that the growth in Latino numbers is fueling the population increase in states which will gain seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The analysis suggests that the percentage increase in the Latino population during the last decade contributed significantly to the overall growth of such states as Texas, Florida, Arizona and Nevada (see Table 1).

NALEO Educational Fund Executive Director Arturo Vargas stated, “The growth of the Latino population is reshaping the political geography in states that are gaining Congressional seats.  Even in states such as California, Illinois or New York, which are not gaining or are losing seats, the increase in Latino numbers has helped minimize Congressional losses.”

Today’s release of Census 2010 population data only determines the number of Congressional seats for each state.  The Census Bureau will be releasing the data that states will be using to draw district lines on a rolling basis during February 2011 and March 2011.

Mr. Vargas continued, “The 2011 redistricting will map the future of our representative democracy for the next ten years.  Those who are responsible for drawing district lines must recognize the growth of the Latino population, and new maps must ensure that Latinos can choose their elected leaders.  The federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) prohibits states from creating districts that may dilute and or divide the votes of Latinos and other under-represented groups.  We call on all states to comply strictly with VRA requirements during the 2011 redistricting.” 

Mr. Vargas concluded, “While we will not know the actual size of the nation’s Latino population until early next year, today’s numbers suggest that Latinos across the United States placed a high priority on being counted in the 2010 Census and of being full participants in the American political process.  It is now time to make sure that Latinos can embrace the opportunity to translate those Census numbers into full and fair representation.” 

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Read more by HS News Staff →

President Obama Meets with Hispanic Caucus Vows Immigration Reform is 2011 Priority

President Obama met this morning for 45 minutes in the Oval Office with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus where he vowed his commitment to passing some form of immigration reform legislation. 

At the meeting, where Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Sen. Bob Menendez amongst others were in attendance, the President reaffirmed his commitment to the DREAM act that was defeated this weekend in the Senate.  Obama gave next year’s 2011 legislative session as the timeframe in which he wants to see comprehensive immigration reform.

Regardless of the President’ commitment to immigration reform and his desire to create a path to citizenship for undocumented individuals already here, it is highly unlikely to pass with a Republican majority Congress. 

As a sign of his commitment, the President stated he would include immigration reform in his State of the Union speech that typically lays out the legislative agenda for the year. 

Read more at Politico →

Jorge Ramos the “Latino Silver Fox” Is Back in the Dating Game!

Exactly four years after they were first seen hand in hand, posing and dancing for the cameras, deeply in love, Jorge Ramos and Ana De La Reguera have decided it to break it off.

Despite neither one officially confirming the breakup,  Univision.com (his employer) disclosed the news citing distance (he lives in Miami, while she lives in Los Angeles) as a possible reason why they decided to part ways.

De la Reguera hinted at distress in the relationship when she was asked a few days ago what she was planning to give her boyfriend for Christmas.

The actress answered “I just wish him happiness, peace and success.”

What would you give him for Christmas, ladies?

Read more by HS News Staff →

“From Prada To Nada.”  A South of the border Version of “Sense And Sensibility” (VIDEO)

You know the story, Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen.  Two super posh English spoiled sisters must reinvent their lives after their very very well off dad kicks the bucket and leaves them penniless. They move into the humble abode of a far away aunt, where they discover love, their heritage, and what not, and everyone lives happily ever after, except the father, because again,  he dies toward the beginning of the novel.

Now change “posh English” with “airhead Mexican-American” and change the locale from English country side to Beverly Hills, California you have the plot of “From Prada to Nada” the new hispanicized spin on the Austen tale, coming to theaters January 28 2011.

The sisters Nora and Mary will be played by Camilla Belle and Alexa Vega, and their grandmother will be portrayed by Mexican actress Adriana Barraza and Wilmer Valderrama is billed as ‘Bruno,’ one of the girls’ love interest, all under the direction of Angel García.

Watch the video below for more information directly from the stars.

 

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Televisa, Univision Deal Started in October Now Complete

Televisa, Univision Deal Started in October Now Complete

Photo: Televisa invests in Univision

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Monday, Grupo Televisa, announced it has finally completed its $1.2 billion investment deal started in October with Univision Communications Inc.

Univision is the largest Spanish-language television network in the U.S., and this deal seeks to increase its success among the rapidly growing population of Hispanics in America. Over the last few years, Univision has often placed 4th among the U.S.’s five major networks, outranking The CW.

Televisa, the world’s largest Spanish-language media group, now owns a 35 percent stake in Univision, and the deal extends their program licensing agreement (to 2025), which allows them to distribute Televisa content on traditional and digital platforms. Inversely, the deal also allows for Televisa to air Univision programs in Mexico.

Eventually, Televisa can increase its stake in Univision to 40 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Preliminary FBI Stats Show 2010 Crime Rates Lower

The FBI has just released their first peek into crime in 2010—with a snapshot of the first six months of the year.

The early returns are encouraging. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January-June, 2010, the nation saw a 6.2 percent decrease in the number of reported violent crimes and a 2.8 percent decrease in the number of reported property crimes compared to data for the same time frame during 2009.

The report specifically covers the violent crimes of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault…and the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. It also includes arson, which is considered a property crime but is tracked separately for this report.

Some of the preliminary findings:

• Reported incidents of violent crime as a whole decreased in all four regions of the country—falling 0.2 percent in the Northeast, 7.2 percent in the Midwest, 7.8 percent in the South, and 7.2 percent in the West.

• In the Northeast, reported incidents of murder were up 5.7 percent, forcible rapes were up 1.1 percent, and aggravated assaults were up 2.4 percent.

• Reported incidents of property crime as a whole declined in all four regions of the country—dropping 0.2 percent in the Northeast, 2.5 percent in the Midwest, 3.6 percent in the South, and 3.1 percent in the West.

• In the Northeast, however, reported incidents of burglary rose 3.9 percent.

• Population-wise, cities with 500,000 to 999,999 residents saw the greatest decline in reported violent crimes (8.3 percent) and in property crimes (4.8 percent).


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Read more at FBI →

Whales in Argentina Dying in Mass (VIDEO)

A sharp increase in the amount of whale carcasses that have been washing ashore in Argentina, has scientist puzzled.  They are trying to figure out what has gone so wrong in the local ecosystem and why.

It is the largest yearly number of whale deaths documented in Argentina. Scientists speculate that global warming, poisonous algae or some infectious disease might be behind the ample loss of the large marine mammals in the zone.

Read more at Al Jazeera →

There’s a New Revolution in Cuba - The Zombie Revolution and Its Everywhere (VIDEO)

The last couple of years have shown a sharp surge in the Cuba’s passion for brain eating zombies in art, video games, film and more.

ImageThe art world got a taste of zombie-ism in 2008 with Spanish sculptor Eugenio Meriño’s piece “Viva Fidel Zombie” (right). The silicone art piece shows the leader dressed in a torn track suit, his face distorted in a flesh eating grimace, and one eye bulging out.  “Everybody in forums, newspapers etc. have referred to him as a zombie. I thought ‘why hasn’t anyone thought of this yet!?’ said the sculptor.

More recently we saw the dictator this time as a zombie hunter in the latest release of the ‘Call of Duty’ saga, where alongside JFK, Castro (as manned by players in a Pentagon map) must repel endless waves of cold war era zombies using a vast array of weapons. 

This week, zombies and parts of zombies started crawling out of every corner of Havana. The local salsa and bachata has been replaced with chomping noises and disturbing groans and moans. 50 years after the Cuban revolution, Cuba is buried knee deep in a Zombie Revolution.  And the hero is called Juan.

‘Juan of the Dead’ is the biggest budgeted movie in the history of the island, but a very low budget film by Hollywood’s standards.

The hero Juan is a bit of a slob who sees a chance to make a buck in the midst of zombie madness. For a fee, he and his even dimmer partner Lorenzo, will eliminate those loved ones gone monster for you.  For a little extra, they also clean up the mess.

The writer-director Alejandro Brugues calls it a zombie comedy, but also a very Cuban movie.  “We [Cubans] always do the same thing in the face of trouble, first we try to make some money out of it. Then we try to leave the country. And so, that’s what our heroes do throughout the film.”

In the movie, Cubans suddenly turn violent after 50 years of Fidel. They’ve run out of food to eat, so they turn to human flesh. In response to the zombie outbreak, the government blames dissidents and imperialist yankees. Cubans try to flee the island, but they can’t.

The movie will be ready to hit theaters next year, but filmmakers are hoping to secure a coveted spot at one of the prestigious film festivals first.

Read more by HS News Staff →

BREAKING NEWS: Jenni Rivera’s Son Michael Arrested on Sex Charges, Currently Out on Bail (VIDEO)

Michael Rivera, son of Mexican-American singing superstar Jenni Rivera,  is out of jail after posting $50,000 bail, but will have to face a judge and answer to the charges of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Rivera, 19 was arrested last Tuesday and held at the Robert Presley correctional center in Riverside County in California after being accused of having sex with a minor.

This is the latest in a long list of public scandals involving Jenni Rivera and her family, including sex tapes of the artist and one of her band mates, an alleged attack on an audience member by Jenni and her ex-husband’s sexual abuse of her daughters.

Jenni Rivera admitted on Twitter to be going through difficult moments, spacially as a mother. She wrote on the social network “Dear fans, twitters, soldiers, friends and media, since Tuesday on, I’ve lived through very difficult personal moments, specially as a mother. ”  “To make things worse, rumors have started to go around about a case involving my son Michael.” she continued.

Despite being out of jail, Michael Rivera faces charges for sexual misconduct, sodomy, and other sexual charges against a minor.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanics Increase Use of Cell Phones/Smartphones

According to a study from Scarborough Research, use of cell phones by Hispanic adults has increased 26 percent since 2006, compared to only 18 percent in the general public.

Overall, the study reveals that cell phone usage across the entire Hispanic population is approximately 82 percent, which is about the same level as the general population’s 84 percent. Actually, overall statistics for mobile usage by Hispanics is higher than the general population’s average.  Many Hispanics make their smart phone their first ‘computer’ purchase due to affordability and bypass the home computer which tends to be more expensive to purchase. 

Among adults with cell phones


Using phones to text message:

Hispanics: 64%
General Population: 56%

Using phones to download/listen to music:

Hispanics: 22%
General Population: 15%

Using phones for gaming:

Hispanics: 19%
General Population: 15%

Using phones for social network access:

Hispanics: 12%
General Population: 10%


The use of smartphones is spreading quickly among Hispanics as well. The number of Hispanic adults in a household with smartphone access jumped to 19 percent, whereas, in 2005 that percentage was only 5 percent.

There are regional differences that seem to have a large effect on Hispanics’ use of the devices. In Atlanta, Georgia the percentage of Hispanics using cell phones is at 96 percent, while in Colorado Spring, Colorado, the number is only 68.

Scarborough Research’s finding also points out that use of these smart devices is lower among the Hispanic population than it is among the general population, but it also shows that they are increasing use quickly.

In a separate study, eMarketer implies that Hispanics are more likely to research prices and buy products and services.


Using Phones to Compare Prices:

Hispanics: 32%
Non-Hispanic whites: 23%

Would Use Phone to Buy Products, Services:

Hispanics: 16%
Non-Hispanic whites: 11%

Would Access Information About an Item:

Hispanics: 33%
Non-Hispanic whites: 18%

Read more at Media Post →

BREAKING NEWS:  U.N. Security Council and Headquarters being Evacuated

Farhan Haq, U.N. spokesperson, has announced the evacuation of the UN Security Council, General Assembly and all other individuals that were in the U.N. headquarter building.

The evacuation is currently being labeled a “precautionary measure” as a result of a ‘suspicious odor’ coming from the basement.  No other details are available. 

Read more at Washington Post →

It’s Official, U.S. Population Grew by 9.7% to 308,745,538


Check out our interactive map that highlights the history of apportionment and our country’s changing population throughout the past century.  You can also learn more about apportionment through the video The Amazing Apportionment Machine on YouTube channel

Read more by HS News Staff →

Current Illegal Alien Border Apprehensions Down by 17%

Statistics on apprehensions represent one of the few indicators available regarding illegal entry or presence in the United States. This Office of Immigration Statistics provides information on trends in U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions. 

Apprehension statistics measure the number of foreign nationals who are caught for being in the United States illegally. Persons apprehended are subject to removal from the United States for violating the Immigration and Nationality Act.
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Read more by HS News Staff →

Horoscope for Tuesday December 21, 2010

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Kiefer Sutherland, 44; Ray Romano, 53; Samuel L. Jackson, 62; Jane Fonda, 73

Happy Birthday: Don’t take on responsibilities that do not belong to you. You must be firm about what you will and will not do this year if you want to move forward with the projects, people and interests that are most important. Cut back in some areas so you can nurture the friendships and relationships that mean the most to you. Your numbers are 4, 6, 18, 20, 26, 32, 44

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Don’t let the little things get to you. Anger is a waste of time. If you really want to get to the bottom of something that is bothering you, open, honest communication is all that’s required. 2 stars

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Think about what might please you and you will come up with the perfect surprise for someone you love. Lots of traveling about and communication with friends and relatives will help you firm up your plans for end-of-year festivities. 4 stars

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Take care of money matters and the little things that you promised to do for others. Set your goals for the upcoming year. Tell someone special exactly how you feel. Touch base with people you don’t get to see often. 3 stars

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dear Abby- 12/21/10- PARENTS WHO LOST A DAUGHTER ARE NOW IN A DIFFERENT PLACE

Dear Abby- 12/21/10- PARENTS WHO LOST A DAUGHTER ARE NOW IN A DIFFERENT PLACE

Photo: Dear Abby

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

DEAR ABBY: My beautiful 20-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. I am writing this not only for myself, but for all parents who have lost a child, and to all of the wonderful people who asked, “What can I do for you?”
At the time there wasn’t much anyone could do to help, but after two years I have an answer: Accept me for who I am now.
When Rachel came into my life, it changed me profoundly. Losing her did the same. Her father and I work hard to honor her memory, but we will never “get over it” to the degree of being who we were before. I am different now. In some ways—I think—better. I am kinder, more patient, more appreciative of small things, but I am not as outgoing nor as quick to laugh.
I know people mean well when they encourage me to get on with my life, but this is my life. My priorities have changed. My expectations of what my future will hold have changed. Please extend to me again the offer of “anything I can do” and, please, accept me as I am now.—DIFFERENT NOW IN RIVERVIEW, FLA.

DEAR DIFFERENT NOW: Please accept my profound sympathy for the tragic loss of your daughter. I hope that your letter will help anyone who doesn’t understand that the death of a child is the most devastating loss parents can suffer and that the experience is life-changing. They may get beyond it, but they never get “over” it. To expect that they would is unrealistic, because it’s a wound that may become less visible but never goes away.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I struggled for years to have children. After many attempts and disappointments we have exhausted all our options. It has been extremely difficult for me to accept.
My husband recently found his daughter from a previous relationship. He knew she existed, but his ex had kept the girl from him for many years. He is now ecstatic and wants to spend every minute with her. He tells me how happy he is to have a daughter. I want to be supportive, but it kills me.
The girl appears to have no desire to have me in her life. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to view her as my stepdaughter. Yes, she’s my husband’s—but she is his, not “ours.”
I accept that my feelings are somewhat selfish, but I am not sure how to deal with them. I have been in and out of counseling with no change. Please help.—NOT A “REAL” MOM

DEAR NOT: Stop beating yourself up for having unpleasant feelings. If your description is accurate, your husband has allowed his daughter to “clique” you out. While it’s understandable that because of their long separation his daughter could be fixated on him and vice versa, he should let her know that both of you will love her if she’ll give you the chance.
Look at it from her perspective. If she’s a young woman, she is dealing with a lot of emotions right now. Try to be patient, treat her warmly when you see her, and give her a chance to get to know you. Good relationships aren’t hatched fully formed; they take time to build.


See Our Daily Horoscope Here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Wedding Ends in Tragic Murder-Suicide

Brazilian authorities report that a bridegroom killed his new wife, his best man and then himself after telling guests he had a “surprise” for them.

The 29-year-old groom Rogerio Damascena gave no indication that anything was wrong at his wedding reception. The sales manager retrieved a gun he had hidden in his father’s pick-up truck and murdered his 25-year-old bride, Renata Alexandre Costa Coelho. He also killed his best man Marcelo Guimaraes at the wedding reception on Saturday before turning the gun on himself.

The brother of the bride was also injured but he was treated at the hospital and released.

Read more at Washington Post →

‘Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark’ Performance Stopped After Injury (VIDEO)

The musical “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark” was abruptly closed early last night as an actor was injured during the play. A 31-year-old actor fell 20 to 30 feet during the performance and was taken to the hospital.

Jonathan Dealwis, a tourist from New Zealand told CNN that the actor playing Spiderman fell about 6 meters, or 20 feet.

“Spider-Man was on a bridge, and Mary Jane was dangling from it,” Dealwis said. “She drops down, as is meant to happen. Spider-Man went to the end of the bridge there. I think he was meant to sort of swoop over there, but he just fell off. ... The harness, you could see it just flick off his back and fly backward.”

Afterward, Dealwis said, “it just went black, and the producer came on and said we’re going to pause for a moment. You could hear Mary Jane weeping.”

Spider man is played by nine stuntmen while masked and spokesman would not confirm the identity of the injured but he was alert when taken on a stretcher to the hospital.

As HS News has reported, the play is in preview performances and not officially opens yet. There is no word on when the next scheduled performances will take place. The show is the most expensive in Broadway history with music and lyrics by U2’s Bono and The Edge, but has had the opening delayed several times due to injuries and technical issues.

Mexican Movie producer Billy Rovzar is making his Broadway Debut in the 66 Million dollar scheduled to open officially this January.

See the Behind the Scenes at the Preview Performance produced by 60 minutes.-VIDEO


Related Videos

Read more at CNN →

Adios Favre, Hola NFC Champs Chicago “Da Bears”! (VIDEO)

Monday night football not only saw frost and snow but the Chicago Bears clinch the NFC North title by defeating the Minnesota Vikings 40-14.

Quarterback Jay Cutler was in top form, throwing three touchdown passes, helping the Bears clinch a title they hadn’t seen since 2006.  Brett Favre didn’t have as much gusto and wasn’t even expected to play due to injuries, of which he suffered another possibly sidelining him for good.  He was not able to finish the game after getting slammed on his non-throwing shoulder.  See video as Favre is hit by rookie Corey Wooton and appears unable to move for a couple of minutes. 

Though the Vikings were celebrating their 50 years in the NFL when it was done there wasn’t much celebrating. The Bears needed some good news after a horrible defeat at the hands of the presumed Super Bowl bound New England Patriots.


Related Videos

Read more at NBC Sports →

SEE IT HERE:  Lunar Eclipse - Next Eclipse 2014

UPDATE:  And here it is the Lunar eclipse as most saw it around the world last night. 
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ORIGINAL STORY: This year’s winter solstice, the longest night of the year, also brings us a full lunar eclipse!

Watch it tonight, it won’t start until 1:30 a.m. in the midwest, it is the first full lunar eclipse visible in Chicago since February 2008, and the next total lunar eclipse visible in the Chicago area won’t happen until April 15, 2014!  The eclipse will be visible to everyone in North and Central America as well as Alaska and Hawaii. 

A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth passes directly between the sun and the moon causing the moon’s surface to darken and also possibly turn a reddish color. The total eclipse will last for 72 minutes while the moon will be partially eclipsed for about an hour. 

“This one is weird in terms of its coincidence with the winter solstice,” said Larry Ciupik, an astronomer with the Adler Planetarium. “There is no particular significance that it occurs on a winter solstice, it just works out that another total lunar eclipse won’t fall on the longest night of the year again until the year 2094.”

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Read more by HS News Staff →

324 Days Later the Honorable Albert Diaz Gets Senate Confirmation to U.S. Court of Appeals

The Senate confirmation of the Honorable Albert Diaz as Judge to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, has happened after 324 days, or almost 11 months from first being voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate confirming Judge Diaz on December 18, 2010.  Despite this delay, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) applauds the Senate’s action in confirming Judge Diaz prior to the adjournment of this Congress.

Diana S. Sen, HNBA National President, noted that “The HNBA is thrilled to hear that Judge Diaz has finally been confirmed and looks forward to his work on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.” “He is an excellent jurist and together with his broad range of judicial, private sector, and military justice experience, Judge Diaz will shine as the next Judge on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.”

For the last eight years, Judge Diaz has served as a Superior Court Judge in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was the first Latino to hold a Superior Court seat in his State. Since 2005, he has also served as one of three North Carolina Business Court Judges. In addition, he teaches courses during the orientation for new superior court judges and presents continuing education courses at the Conference of North Carolina Superior Court Judges.

After retiring from active service, Judge Diaz served as reserve appellate defense counsel in the Office of the Judge Advocate General, representing over 200 clients in criminal appeals before the military appellate courts. He received the Reserve Navy Judge Advocate General’s “Award of Excellence” for outstanding meritorious service.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NARCO BLOG:  41 Prison Guards & Prison Director Implicated in Escape of 151 Mexican Inmates

Eugenio Hernandez, governor of the state of Tamaulipas announced that the Attorney General’s Office has identified the 41 guards that collaborated with the 151 inmates from a prison that escaped, in his state.

The records of the inmates who fled have been given to authorities in different states of Mexico and the United States. The governor is reporting that a relentless search is underway to capture the fugitives.

While there is still no news on Efrain Hernandez Llamas, director of the prison, who is now wanted by the authorities.

“My administration is working in coordination with federal authorities to clarify the case, start the investigation of the 41 guards and punish the culprits responsible for the mass escape took place last Friday,” Hernandez concluded.

To read in Spanish, click here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dr. Ana Maria Polo of ‘Caso Cerrado’ Writes First Book Sharing Behind the Scene Secrets of Hit Show

As the host of one of TV’s most popular court shows, Dr. Ana Maria Polo is known for barring all secrets. Her popular Caso Cerrado presents scandalous and shocking legal battles. The show is watched by millions of people in the United States and in over a dozen countries. Viewers love the real-life drama and eagerly anticipate Dr. Polo’s verdicts, as she gavels a final opinion and calls out “Caso cerrado!” (Case closed.) 

Dr. Polo’s top-selling book goes several steps farther, however, revealing details about cases so outrageous they were deemed unsuitable even for her essentially-uncensored daily show. Undoubtedly, these over-the-top secrets are a big part of the book’s success.  But also compelling, is the strong, no-nonsense advice of the doctor herself.

“Querida Dra. Polo: Las cartas secretas de Caso Cerrado” is the most recent of Santillana, the publishers,  titles on the nation’s Spanish-language bestselling lists. Other 2010 favorites include “Come, reza, ama”, the Spanish-language translation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s blockbuster memoir, “Eat Pray Love”, Ingrid Betancourt’s “No hay silencio que no termine”, and “Pide mas, espera mas y obtendras mas”, by popular Latina motivational speaker and radio host, Maria Marin.

Ana Maria Polo (1959) is a Cuban-American lawyer who has become famous among Hispanic television viewers in the United States as the tough-love arbitrator of the Telemundo’s show.  Since 1989, Dr. Polo has helped families and individuals through divorces, adoptions, paternity suits, custody suits, and other family related cases. Dr. Polo is an advocate of domestic and child abuse victims, as well as a supporter of the fight against breast cancer, a disease she battled and survived. She was nominated for a national Emmy award in 2010. “Querida Dra. Polo: Las cartas secretas de Caso Cerrado” is her first book.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Justice Department Settles with Puerto Rican Cosmetology School on Allegations of HIV Discrimination

The Justice Department today announced the settlement of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaint against Modern Hairstyling Institute Inc. in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.

The Justice Department initiated its investigation in response to an allegation that Modern Hairstyling Institute Inc. discriminated against an HIV-positive applicant by denying her enrollment.  Modern Hairstyling Institute Inc.’s cooperation in arriving at this agreement was an important factor in resolving the matter promptly, the department said. 

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Modern Hairstyling Institute Inc. made an offer of enrollment to the complainant, will cease requesting information about HIV/AIDS status from future applicants and will provide training to all employees about discrimination on the basis of disability. Modern Hairstyling Institute Inc. will also pay a $5,000 civil penalty to the United States and $8,000 in damages to the complainant.

Title III of the ADA prohibits public accommodations, such as Modern Hairstyling Institute Inc. from excluding people with disabilities, including people with HIV, from enjoying the services, goods and accommodations provided. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Texas Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Smuggling Firearm into Mexico for Cash

A Cameron County sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty on Friday to attempting to permit of semi-automatic firearms to be unlawfully exported from the United States into Mexico. The plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno, Southern District of Texas.

Jesus A. Longoria, 31, of Brownsville, Texas, has been a Cameron County sheriff’s deputy since March 2006. On Dec. 17, before U.S. District Court Hilda G. Tagle, he pleaded guilty to the federal felony charge. He admitted that while assigned to the border ports of entry to prevent stolen vehicles from leaving the United States, he attempted to send and export 13 semi-automatic firearms from the U.S. into Mexico.

According to court records, Longoria contacted the driver of a vehicle via cellular telephone to instruct him when he could cross into Mexico without inspection by state and federal authorities. Longoria did not know that the driver of the load vehicle was actually an undercover federal agent (UC). When the load vehicle driven by the UC arrived at the bridge, Longoria, while standing at the federal inspection station, waived the vehicle through the inspection area and directed the vehicle to enter Mexico via the Veteran’s bridge. Longoria admitted he knew the vehicle contained firearms and the driver did not have a license or legal permission to export firearms. He believed the firearms were unlawful for export and were intended for use by a Mexican drug cartel. In return, Longoria accepted payment of $4,000.

Smuggling goods from the United States carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Read more by HS News Staff →

BREAKING NEWS:  U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Crashes in Puerto Rico En Route to Drug Raid Operation

UPDATE:  Justice Secretary of Puerto Rico, Guillermo Somoza has informed reporters that all six people aboard the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter are feared dead. “It is an extremely sad, difficult and painful day,” Somoza said. It is also being confirmed that the officials, that included three local justice officials and four National Guard, were serving a total of 43 arrest warrants for island wide drug dealing. The U.S. National Guard has been assisting local authorities combat the island’s rising crime rate and illegal drug distribution. 

The helicopter was flying 400 feet above the coast line of Rio Grande en route to Vieques, when it is believed to have crashed into the ocean.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Puerto Rican government is announcing that a U.S. National Guard helicopter crashed late last night as it was en route to the island of Vieques on a drug raid mission. There were six people abroad the helicopter including two local law officials from Puerto Rico. The helicopter had already changed courses due to bad weather in the area. 

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TuesdayDecember 21, 2010