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FridayDecember 31, 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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Latin American Economy the Bright Star in 2010, Out Pacing Europe and the U.S.

As a result of the global recession and U.S. financial crisis, Europe and the U.S. had little growth versus Latin America.  Latin America saw a growth rate of 5 percent with country’s like Brazil having a 7.5 percent rate of growth and Argentina a 9 percent rate. 

These robust rates of growth, accomplished in great part to domestic market growth, rapidly expanding trade with Asia, and large direct foreign investment in the region.  Mexico, in spite of its drug cartel violence and proximity to U.S. financial markets had a 5 percent growth rate.

Where as the European Union saw just a 1.7 percent growth rate and the U.S. did slightly better with a 2.6 percent rate. 

Most importantly the region pursued conservative and prudent financial policies within each of their country’s allowing them to escape the full brunt of the global recession. 

Read more at Yahoo News →

In the New Year Turning Bad to Good: Colombian Govt Gives Drug Lord Seized Property to the Homeless

The Minister of the Interior of Colombia, German Vargas Lleras, has just announced that it will relocate thousands upon thousands of people left homeless from massive rains and floods to property owned by drug lords.  They will be allowed to stay there for as long as it takes for them to find permanent housing.

A serious of hastily produced legal decrees, dubbed the ‘drug-lands’ rule, will allow land and property seized from drug traffickers and under government control to be used to build shelters.  In the past narco seized land was required to be used to produce some sort of income for the government.

“These are some of the best properties in the whole country, because the drug traffickers never bought inferior land,” Mr. Juan Carlos Restrepo, head of Colombian Anti-narcotics Agency told the BBC.

“Hardly any of it has flooded, because the narcos made sure to buy land far away enough from the flood plains,” he added.

Read more at BBC.UK →

Effective Jan 1st–Ban on Mexican-American Studies or any Ethnic Studies Takes Place in Arizona

The teaching of ethnic studies in all of Arizona’s public schools will be banned effective January 1st and when children return from their holiday break.  The ban applies to grades kindergarten through 12th grade. 

Arizona HB 2281 bans any classes that “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”  The bill specifically targets Mexican-American studies taught in Tucson public schools and where 60 percent of the student population is Hispanic. 

Therefore any classes that teach the history, struggles or accomplishments of Native Americans, African-Americans or Mexican Americans will not be allowed.  If any public school system challenges the bill it can be heavily fined. 

There are several organizations challenging the constitutionality of this initiative, however, until those law suits find success in the court room the ban will be in effect starting tomorrow. 

Read more at Alter Net →

Marc Anthony in Trouble with IRS Again – To the Tune of $3.4 Million

E! News is reporting that Latin singing sensation Marc Anthony owes the IRS $3.4 million in unpaid taxes, and this isn’t the first time Anthony has messy tax issues.

Apparently the IRS has filed two liens on New York property the singer owns, the first lien was for $1.8 million and another one for $1.6 million.  The singer has not commented on the disclosure so it is unknown if he has a payment plan with the IRS.

This is not the first time Anthony has had a run in with the IRS.  He has had to pay back taxes of $2.5 million for failing to file tax returns and some of his corporate entities have pleaded guilty to various tax crimes. 

Jennifer Lopez, Anthony’s wife, does not appear to be involved in her husband’s sticky tax matters. 

Read more at MSNBC Today →

Beware the Exploding Champagne Cork - Can Reach Speeds of 50 mph

Be careful when opening the champagne bottle on New Year’s Eve—a popped cork can reach a speed of up to 50 miles per hour, warns an eye expert.

“Incorrect popping of champagne corks is one of the most common holiday-related eye hazards. Anything that travels with such force can have a dangerous effect if it strikes your eye,” said Dr. Kuldev Singh, a professor of ophthalmology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, in a news release from the American Academy of Opthalmology (AAO).

Singh, who is also a clinical correspondent for the AAO, added that “champagne cork injuries can have a devastating impact on your vision” by leading to problems such as a detached retina, staining of the cornea and acute glaucoma.

Singh offered the following advice for opening a bottle of champagne safely:

  * Chill the bottle to at least 45 degrees F before opening. The cork of a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.

  * Do not shake the bottle. Shaking increases the speed at which the cork leaves the bottle.

  * When opening the bottle, hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood.

  * Point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and any bystanders.

  * Place a towel over the top and the bottle and grasp the cork.

  * Firmly twist the bottle while holding the cork to break the seal. Keep holding the cork while twisting the bottle and continue doing so until the cork is almost out of the neck. Maintain slightly downward pressure on the cork as it breaks free from the bottle.

  * Never use a corkscrew to open a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine.

Read more at Health Finder →

POLL:  What Will Americans be Doing to Bring in New Year

For some Americans, it’s a big night out of partying while others view New Year’s Eve as just another night. Surveys conducted by Rasmussen Reports found the following plans to say goodbye to 2010 and hello to 2011.

69% will be home at midnight

66% will say a prayer

60% will be awake at midnight

47% will kiss someone at midnight

42% will have a drink

39% are Very Likely to watch the ball drop on television at midnight

28% will be sleeping when 2011 arrives

21% will attend a New Year’s Eve party

18% will go out to dinner with family or friends

7% will be at a friend’s house

5% will be at a restaurant or bar

There is less optimism for the New Year than at any point in the past seven years. Just 35% expect 2011 to be good, excellent, or the best ever. That’s down from 68% in 2007.

Rasmussen Reports tracking polls found that unemployment and job creation were the most followed stories among likely voters in 2010.

As 2010 comes to an end, 31% of voters believe the nation is generally heading in the right direction. Only 13% say that Congress is doing a good or an excellent job. President Obama’s Job Approval rating has remained fairly steady, hovering around the mid-40s all year. Consumer and Investor confidence is up from earlier in the year, but still has a long way to go to reach the levels found as recently as early 2008.

Read more at Rasmussen Reports →

Democrat and Republican View Point on Immigration ‘Almost Irreconcilable’ Lawmakers Say

As Congress gets ready to convene the 112th session next week, and in light of the bipartisan accomplishments of the lame duck session with ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and the Bush-era tax cuts, focus is now turning to finding common ground and bipartisan support for immigration reform. 

Unfortunately, there is none says senior Republican lawmakers.  Most Republicans see illegal immigrants as criminals while many Democrats want some form of amnesty and take a more lenient view of them.

Two Congressman on opposite sides of the issue recently appeared on CNN and presented how polar opposites Democrats and Republicans are on the issue:  Republican Joe Barton (Texas) said “We have that basic sticking point – the difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration.” 

Where as Democratic Xavier Becerra (California) said its ‘simply unrealistic to round up and deport the millions of illegals already in the country.’ Though he does advocate to deporting those who have committed a crime.

All indicators are that the two political parties have ‘almost irreconcilable’ differences on the issue of immigration reform and therefore nothing will get done in 2011, though the President vowed to pursue the issue this year. 

Read more at The Hill →

Bomb Blast in Argentina Occurs at Greek Embassy

Early Thursday a bomb exploded at the Greek Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina; no one was injured in the blast.

The blast occurred around 2:00 am in the morning when a Molotov bomb was thrown at the building.  The blast caused minor damage to the buildings exterior and windows were broken in nearby buildings. 

The bomb blast in Argentina occurred at approximately the same time a bomb blast occurred in Athens, Greece at a courthouse.  It has not been confirmed that the two blasts are related.

Read more at CNN Edition →

2010 Deadliest Year in Mexico

Since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began in 2006 his offensive on the drug cartels that have long plagued the country, 2010 will go down as the deadliest year with 15,000 murders. 

There are nearly killings every day to remind the country that is in a battle with a very fierce, well funded and violent foe.  There are gruesome death scenes with beheadings, skinned victims on public display and public shoot outs all undermining the Mexican citizens sense of security and damaging the country’s reputation internationally. 

Public officials, mayors, federal agents, beloved citizens and children have not been spared.  This year in Mexico also saw 10 journalists killed and several more reported missing.  The rate of human trafficking has also increased in the country with Central American governments blaming Mexico for the death of many of its citizen migrating through Mexico.  The massacre of 72 migrants with their bodies found in heaps in Mexico highlighted this problem. 

The government asserts that it remains in control and not the drug cartels and that only 162 municipalities are suffering high crime rates out of 2,456 municipalities. Either way 2010 is the Deadliest Year in Mexico.

Read more at AFP →

Separate Attacks in Monterrey Mexico Target Police, Leaving Four Dead and One Doctor Killed

Bold gunmen presumed to be linked to drug cartels killed four Mexican police officers and a doctor in separate but possibly coordinated attacks in Monterrey, Mexico.

In the first attack, gunmen entered a Monterrey police station and started shooting.  Two police officers were killed and a doctor that was employed by the Police Department was also killed.

Shortly after two other attacks occurred in Monterrey targeting Mexican police.  One attack, in the suburb of Guadalupe, killed another two police officers. 

Monterrey, which is Mexico’s third largest city, has become another battle site for rivaling drug cartels, resulting in a burst of violence. 

Read more at Fox News →

23 Church Workers Killed in 2010, Most were in Latin America

The Fides list avoids use of the word “martyr,” the Church has not officially ruled on the circumstances of the deaths. Most of the deaths appear to be the result of ordinary criminal activity rather than hatred for the Catholic faith.  But Fides lists all those who died while engaged in full-time work for the Church.

Latin America accounted for most of the deaths: 14 pastoral workers were killed there this year (5 in Brazil, 3 in Colombia, 3 in Mexico, 2 in Peru, and 1 each in Venezuela and Ecuador). There were 6 killings in Asia (2 in Iraq, 2 in China, and 1 each in Turkey and India); 3 in Africa (all 3 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo); and 1 in Haiti.

The Fides list provides the names of those who died, with the dates and circumstances of their deaths. Along with a number of botched robberies and assaults attributable to personal grudges, several incidents offer more disturbing details:
  * Father Carlos Salvador Wotto was found dead in Oaxaca, Mexico, on July 28. He had evidently been bound and tortured before being suffocated. He died in a region marked by frequent violent clashes between drug traffickers and police.

  * Father Herminio Calero Alumia was killed at a police roadblock in Colombia on August 20. Confused reports from the scene indicate that the priest’s traveling companions had been engaged in a scuffle with the police—for reasons that are not clear—when a shot was accidentally fired, killing him.


Read more at Catholic Culture →

ICE Seizes $48 million in Cocaine on Speed Boat from Panama

Special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took custody of three suspected maritime drug smugglers in Miami on Wednesday and helped U.S. Coast Guard crewmembers offload 62 bales of cocaine weighing 3,400 pounds and worth an estimated wholesale value of $48 million.

On Dec. 17, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Thetis intercepted a speed boat 160 nautical miles off the coast of Colon, Panama. The cutter Thetis launched a small boat crew and was assisted by aircraft from the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Branch, to stop the speeding vessel.

“We are ready to stop all contraband on the high seas with our partners, not only in the U.S., but those international agencies that work with us day to day,” said Thetis commanding officer Cmdr. Douglas Schofield, U.S. Coast Guard.

“We are seeing more and more of these kinds of smuggling attempts, as organizations react to increased pressure on the southwest border,” said Anthony V. Mangione, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Miami. “And we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to put more and more pressure on the organizations that attempt to carry out these and other types of drug smuggling activities.”

ICE HSI’s investigation into the three suspected smugglers is being conducted by the Miami Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST). BEST was established in Miami in November 2008 and at other major seaports because U.S. ports and maritime borders are subject to significant threats to national security.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Peru Has Third Highest Death Rate for Traffic Accidents in the World

According to an official report from Peru’s Ministry of Health, traffic accidents caused 17,025 deaths and 233,718 injured people between 2005 and 2009, reported RPP news service.

As a result, Peru ranks third worldwide as the country with the highest amount of deaths in traffic accidents, said the Ministry of Health.

Likewise, according to official reports from Peru’s National Police, there were 2,220 death adn 15,794 injured people between January and April of 2010.

Lima región, where the capital city is situated, concentrates the highest percentage of death, nationwide.

The regions of Áncash, La Libertad and Ayacucho concentrate 51 percent of traffic accidents.

Peru has a death rate of 21.5 casualties per a thousand inhabitants, according to the World Health Organization, ranking third in the world.

Venezuela and Mexico have the first and second highest death rates, respectively, with four times as much automobiles than Peru, said the Ministry.

Read more at Living in Peru →

FridayDecember 31, 2010