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SaturdayJanuary 15, 2011

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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Green Bay Women Finds $280K of Drugs in Vacuum

Green Bay Women Finds $280K of Drugs in Vacuum

Photo: refurbished vacuum

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A Green Bay Wisconsin woman opened her refurbished vacuum cleaner she received for Christmas and discovered a load of drugs.

The woman found two pounds of crystal methamphetamine and 2.2 pounds of cocaine shrink wrapped inside the box,  with a street value of about $280,000. Authorities believe a smuggler likely inserted the drugs in the box before it was shipped from the Juarez, Mexico, area, where it had been reconditioned.

The vacuum was purchased at a department store that is assisting in the investigation.

Read more at Star Tribune →

Mexican Police Commander Abducted in Veracruz Mexico

Mexican security authorities are reporting police Commander Raul Espinoza and his bodyguard were kidnapped this morning in Boca del Rio in the port city of Veracruz.

The two men were traveling in a police vehicle when an unidentified SUV pursued them, whereby the car chase forced them off the road, where then they were abducted.  Police reacted to the kidnapping immediately locating the suspected kidnappers car and exchanging gunfire with the occupants, they eventually eluded police. 

It is not known if this kidnapping is related to Thursday’s six-hour gun battle between soldiers and drug cartel members that left two Mexican soldiers dead, in the Veracruz capital city of Xalapa.

Read more at Google news →

When Are You Too Old To Smuggle Drugs?  68-Yr Old Nabbed in Cocaine Bust at Border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the El Paso port of entry last Wednesday, made a 38.9 pound cocaine seizure with a value of approximately $1,244,800.

The seizure was made at the Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) at 4:15 p.m. when a 1993 Dodge Caravan arrived at the port from Mexico. CBP officers and canine teams were conducting a sweep of vehicles waiting in line at the international crossing when CBP drug sniffing dog “Outlaw” alerted to the vehicle.

CBP officers launched an exam and located a non-factory compartment in the firewall area of the car. They drilled into the compartment and removed a white substance that tested positive for cocaine. CBP officers removed a total of 15 cocaine-filled bundles from the compartment.

CBP officers arrested the driver, 68-year-old Concepcion Bertha Montoya of El Paso. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents took custody and booked her into the El Paso County jail to face federal prosecution. She remains in custody and is being held without bond.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dakar Rally   Off-Road Race in South America

Dakar Rally     Off-Road Race in South America

Photo: Dakar Rally

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Famed as the longest, most brutal off-road race in the world, the Dakar Rally is open to amateur and professional entries. Fifteen stages are driven over a two-week period. In 2011, 430 participants from 51 countries are competing in four classes: motorcycles, quad riders, car teams and truck teams. The rally takes place over 5500 miles where competitors will battle desert sands, high altitude and precarious mountain passes. Only 40 percent of the entrants typically make it to the finish line.

On this last special stage of the Personal Dakar Argentina Chile, Marc Coma reached his third Dakar victory by keeping Cyril Despres under control. The easy route turned into a nightmare for “Chaleco” who lost a third place on the podium and in the standings to Helder Rodrigues due to mechanical breakdowns. In the car category, Nasser Al Attiyah gets his very first final victory in a Dakar way ahead of Giniel De Villiers. As for Vladimir Chagin, he wins his seventh Dakar and finishes the raid ahead of three of his Kamaz team mates.

This years race boasts 57 Cars, 94 Bikes, 14 Quads and 41 Trucks.

The adventure began back in 1977, when Thierry Sabine got lost on his motorbike in the Libyan desert during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. Saved from the sands in extremis, he returned to France still in thrall to this landscape and promising himself he would share his fascination with as many people as possible. He proceeded to come up with a route starting in Europe, continuing to Algiers and crossing Agadez before eventually finishing at Dakar. The founder coined a motto for his inspiration: “A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind.” Courtesy of his great conviction and that modicum of madness peculiar to all great ideas, the plan quickly became a reality. Since then, the Paris-Dakar, a unique event sparked by the spirit of adventure, open to all riders and carrying a message of friendship between all men, has never failed to challenge, surprise and excite.

In its South American guise, it begins in Buenos Aires, on the Plaza de la Republica and runs through Patagonia, the Andes Mountains, along the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Chile and back to Argentina through the Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth.


Read more at The Dakar →

Is Golden Globe Nominee and TV Star Sofia Vergara Ready to be a Senator’s Wife?

The Hill is reporting that television sitcom actress Sofia Vergara’s boyfriend, Nick Loeb, is mulling a bid for a Republican Senate run in Florida in 2012.  Vergara is the very sexy star of ‘Modern Family’ and Loeb an heir to the Loeb Rhoades banking family. 

Loeb had a previous brush in the political arena back in 2009 when he attempted to run for Senate, also in Florida.  He dropped out of the race when his personal life was heading south and he was going through a divorce.

According to Loeb, the Colombian beauty is “very supportive’ of his potential Senate run, even though they would be operating out of opposite coasts, she in Los Angeles and he in Florida and Washington, D.C.  Clearly her Hispanic roots would be a big boom to his candidacy with the large Hispanic population in Florida.

Read more at the Hill →

Tensions High in Greece over Building Anti-Immigrant Fence

Tensions High in Greece over Building Anti-Immigrant Fence

Photo: Riots in Greece

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Over 1000 people marched in Athens Greece to protest the controversial plan to build a fence at the border with Turkey to stop illegal immigrants from entering Greece. “Over 100 members of neo-Nazi groups and about 200 local residents attacked the leftists and other protesters with stones. The police used several rounds of teargas and flash grenades,” a police official said.

An estimated half a million illegal immigrants and asylum seekers live in the Mediterranean state of about 11 million inhabitants, many of them in Athens, and an increasing share of those trying to reach the EU come in through Greece.

A poll conducted by the Alco poling group for the Thema Newspaper showed today that 73% of those responding support the plan to build a 12.5 km ( 7.7 miles) fence at the border with Turkey.

Greece has a growing Muslim population and tensions between the locals and immigrants have been escalating.

Read more at Yahoo News →

Executives in Latin America have Highest Level of Confidence in Regions Economy

A global survey conducted by business consultants Grant Thornton has found that executives in Latin America have the highest level of confidence in their respective economy. 

The survey was conducted with 5,700 senior global executives to gauge the confidence they have in their countries or regions economy.  78 percent of Latin American executive are positive and hopeful of the region’s economy in 2011.

This high level of confidence is in contract to a 44 percent confidence level in North America and 50 percent in Europe.  Within Latin America Chile had the highest level of confidence than any other in the region with a 95 percent level. 

Read more at Investors Business Daily →

Coffins by Truckload in Brazil- All Must be Buried This Evening Regardless if Identified (VIDEO)

The northern region of Rio de Janiero remains muddy and in shatters after approximately 560 people died from mudslides and rains that over took the area several days ago.  The towns are seeing coffins being loaded by the truckload with victims quickly buried to avoid spread of disease.  Some towns have burial mandates that must be completed by this evening, 5:00 p.m. even if the victims have not been identified. 

Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Another Canseco in the News – Twin Ozzie Arrested for DUI

Just as Jose Canseco was reveling in the news that he would be part of the Celebrity Apprentice 2011 cast, the lone Latin, his twin brother Ozzie was arrested for DUI this early morning.

Canseco (looking at the photo can you tell the difference) was arrested at 2:13 a.m. with a alcohol level of .109, slight over the legal limit, in Florida.

Ozzie like his twin is also a former professional baseball player born in Havana, Cuba.  He has also had a limited TV life appearing as his brother’s double on The Surreal Life

This is not Ozzie’s first brush with the law but rather one of a long list:  aggravated battery in 2002, possession of steroids 2003 and driving on a suspended license. 

Read more at TMZ →

Hispanic Women Charged with Running Illegal Breast & Butt Silicone Clinic in Bronx, Used Krazy Glue

A Dominican Republic native and Bronx resident has been charged with running an illegal cosmetic enhancement clinic out of her apartment where she did boob and booty silicone injections.

Whalesca Castillo, 36, who is not a medical professional according to police reports has been ordering silicone from the Dominican Republic and using that in injections on unsuspecting women to enhance their breast and butt size, she is also alleged to have used Krazy Glue to seal up the wounds.

Castillo, who is eight months pregnant, would charge $1,000 for each procedure and would obtain clients that came to her nail salon and were looking for more than a manicure.  Police suspect she has been operating illegally since 2009.

Read more at Ny Post →

Indiana’s SB 590 Attacks Immigrants and their Languages

Indiana’s SB 590 Attacks Immigrants and their Languages

Photo: State of Indiana

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Indiana State Sen. Mike Delph, R- Carmel not only wants to implement a Arizona style bill but wants to bar the use of any language but English in most government transactions.

“We’re taking the handcuffs off of law enforcement. We’re holding employers who are thumbing their noses at the law accountable. And we’re lifting up the English language,” Delph said Friday.

Opposition groups fear the bill will lead to profiling and hurting businesses in the state.
“I’m worried that the unintended consequences of what he’s doing is to put a sign on our state saying we don’t want immigrants,” said John Livengood, co-chairman of the Alliance for Immigration Reform in Indiana, a coalition of groups that want to see immigration reforms left to the feds.

Senate Bill 590 is a thirty page proposal and includes:

-requires state and local law enforcement officers who stop anyone for violating a law or ordinance to ask for proof that the person is here legally if the officers have “reasonable suspicion” that the person is not a citizen or legal visitor
- Businesses that hire illegal immigrants can be shut down.
- Most government transactions, documents and meetings would be in English. The state would shut down their Spanish language portal and printing forms, ballots in other languages
-The state will bill to Congress for reimbursement of all costs for undocumented residents in Indiana.
-No financial aid, scholarships or grants for education at U of I and would have to pay out of state tuition.
- Cities and counties would be barred from limiting the enforcement of federal immigration laws.( No Sanctuary Cities)

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Indiana was estimated to have 120,000 illegal immigrants in 2009, up from 10,000 in 1990.

“This is going to lead to profiling almost surely,” Livengood ,  Alliance for Immigration Reform in Indiana co-chair, said. “Our biggest fear—my biggest fear—is that Indiana becomes known as a state where immigrants aren’t welcome.”

Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, a Hammond Democrat who is one of two Hispanics in the legislature, agreed.
“While I don’t condone illegal activity, it’s pretty foolhardy to pass a bill modeled after a bill being litigated in federal court,” she said.

The bill has already been promised a hearing in the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee. Ten senators have signed on as co-sponsors, and Delph expects more.

He predicted: “This is going to fly.”


Read more at Indy Star →

Sen. Menendez Blasts Obama’s Cuban Policy Changes

Sen. Menendez Blasts Obama’s Cuban Policy Changes

Photo: Sen Robert Menendez

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U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, D-N.J., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after the Obama administration today announced changes to policy to Cuba travel and remittances policy:

“I am deeply disappointed by President Obama’s decision today to extend an economic life line to the Castro regime. This gift to the Castro brothers will provide the regime with the additional resources it needs to sustain its failing economy, while ordinary Cubans continue to struggle under the weight of more than fifty years of economic and political oppression.

“The decision to permit additional travel to the island and allow nearly unlimited resources to flow to the regime is bad policy and will only serve to prolong the repression of the Cuban people. These changes, purportedly taken in hope of advancing a democratic opening on the island, ignore the reality that it is not U.S. policy, but Cuban policy, that is responsible for the Castros’ political and economic tyranny. This opening will do no more to advance political freedom in Cuba then our economic engagement with China has done for political dissidents in that nation. You can’t buy political reform.

“The fact that the Administration offered this concession to the regime despite their continued imprisonment of an American citizen is simply outrageous. Unless new efforts are undertaken to limit the impact of these policy changes, the sole result will be to enrich the Castro regime and enhance the political and economic impoverishment of the Cuban people.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Gunman Fire Shots Across Border at U.S. Workers

Texas officials are reporting that at least one or more Mexican gunmen fired shots at a road crew working at Fort Quitman, Texas in an isolated part of Hudspeth County with a high-powered rifle. 

Around 10:30 a.m. yesterday, Hudspeth County Sheriff had reports of shots being fired at four road workers coming from the Mexican side of the border, where the nearest community is Banderas, Mexico.  A Texas rancher observed a white pickup truck fleeing at the same time of the shooting.  None of the four workmen were injured.

The bullets were collected about half a mile from the border fence.  The town of Fort Quitman is sparsely populated with ranchers and El Paso, Texas is 80 miles southeast.  U.S. Border Patrol, Governor Perry’s office and the Texas Rangers are investigating.

Drug cartels use this isolated area as a smuggling corridors between the Quitman Mountain and Chihuahua.  This is the first time in Hudspeth County something like this has happened, though last August in El Paso a stray bullet struck a University of Texas building – it was not believed anyone was being shot at in that particular case. 

Read more at El Paso Times →

Wildlife Service Determined to Reintroduce Endangered Mexican Grey Wolves to Wild

Wildlife Service Determined to Reintroduce Endangered Mexican Grey Wolves to Wild

Photo: Mexican Grey Wolf

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Though years have passed since federal wildlife officials began attempts to reintroduce the endangered Mexican gray wolf to the Southwest, officials say this year, it will happen.

Benjamin Tuggle of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says this year, the wolves reintroduction is at the top of his list of things to accomplish this year. He said he’s brought scientists, ranchers, conservationists, and anyone else he thinks he may need to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Trying to get the wolves back into New Mexico and Arizona has been a challenge due to court battles, illegal shootings, concerns from environmentalists, and complaints from ranchers who say the wolves have killed their livestock anytime reintroduction is attempted.

Last year, six wolf deaths were reported, and only one wasn’t under suspicious circumstances.

These wolves were once all over New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Mexico, but as the human population grew, the wolves’ dwindled due to conflicts between wolves and ranchers and their livestock.

The wolves were added to the endangered species list in 1972, a recovery plan for the wolves began in 1982, and the first 11 wolves were released in 1998. It was hoped that by 2006, there would be more than 100 wolves in the wild, but as of the start of 2010, there were only 42.

Read more at The Duarango Herald →

Ten Places in South America to Escape the Northern Winter

Ten Places in South America to Escape the Northern Winter

Photo: Ilha Grande, Angra Dos Reis, Brazil

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Although it seems as if the whole world is being hammered by icy winds and brutal snowstorms, it is winter only in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s summer, and in South America, there is plenty of warm weather, sun, sandy beaches perfect for snorkeling, surfing and sunbathing and lush, green forests and mountains for hiking and camping.

In the mild summer weather of Patagonia in the southern part of the continent, you can zip-line through forest canopies or jet-ski across crystalline, azure lakes. In the tropical rainforests of Colombia and Venezuela, you can trek through steamy jungles to catch a glimpse of colorful birds and exotic animals. Most of South America lies in the Southern Hemisphere, but even in the Northern Hemisphere countries, the weather is generally much warmer at this time of year than in North America or Europe. Head south both to escape the cold and to have the adventure of a lifetime. Here are ten suggestions to get you started:

Los Roques Archipelago National Park, VenezuelaImage

By far, the most pristine and lesser-known group of islands in the Caribbean, Los Roques (pronounced los RO-kays) is an atoll of 350 beach-fringed islands and cays lying 80 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. A 546-acre nature reserve was created in 1972 to protect an extensive ecosystem of islands, beaches, coral reefs, sea turtles, seabirds, marine life, mangroves and sea grass beds. The dazzlingly white sand beaches and shallow, turquoise warm waters are excellent for snorkeling, scuba diving, wind-sailing, kite-surfing, sport fishing and boating and the wide, shallow flats allow beach-goers to stroll into the ocean knee-deep far from the beach.

Most people travel to Los Roques in organized groups, specifically for fishing or diving trips, but it is possible to travel independently. Using a travel agency is advisable, given the currency-exchange, security and logistical challenges of traveling within Venezuela, but if you prefer to go it alone, flights leave daily from Caracas or Isla Margarita (Margarita Island) and hotels at various price levels are plentiful.

San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina Image

The stunningly beautiful, forested lake district of Argentina known by locals as simply Bariloche, is famous for its crystal blue lakes and rivers dotted with green islands and its backdrop of emerald hills and the snow-capped Andes Mountains. In the Southern Hemisphere winter, it is a mecca for skiers and winter sport enthusiasts, but it is still lively during the summer months of December through April as a center for trekking, camping, forest canopy zip-lining, boating, Jet-skiing, rock-climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, paragliding, scuba diving, canoeing, horseback riding and 4×4 off-road excursions.

Located in the center of Patagonia, with a quaint Bavarian-themed town center famous for its chocolate and dulce de leche (caramel sauce), Bariloche is an excellent base for exploring nearby mountain trails and nature reserves such as Nahuel Huapi National Park, the oldest in Argentina. Bariloche has many direct flights from Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago de Chile and can also be reached easily from most towns and cities through the expansive and generally reliable long-distance bus networks of South America.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Change for America and Cuba

President Obama has directed the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Homeland Security to take a series of steps to continue efforts to reach out to the Cuban people in support of their desire to freely determine their country’s future.

The President has directed that changes be made to regulations and policies governing:  (1) purposeful travel; (2) non-family remittances; and (3) U.S. airports supporting licensed charter flights to and from Cuba.  These measures will increase people-to-people contact; support civil society in Cuba; enhance the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people; and help promote their independence from Cuban authorities.

The President believes these actions, combined with the continuation of the embargo, are important steps in reaching the widely shared goal of a Cuba that respects the basic rights of all its citizens.  These steps build upon the President’s April 2009 actions to help reunite divided Cuban families; to facilitate greater telecommunications with the Cuban people; and to increase humanitarian flows to Cuba.

The directed changes described below will be enacted through modifications to existing Cuban Assets Control and Customs and Border Protection regulations and policies and will take effect upon publication of modified regulations in the Federal Register within 2 weeks.

Purposeful Travel.
To enhance contact with the Cuban people and support civil society through purposeful travel, including religious, cultural, and educational travel, the President has directed that regulations and policies governing purposeful travel be modified to:

  *  Allow religious organizations to sponsor religious travel to Cuba under a general license.
  *  Facilitate educational exchanges by:  allowing accredited institutions of higher education to sponsor travel to Cuba for course work for academic credit under a general license; allowing students to participate through academic institutions other than their own; and facilitating instructor support to include support from adjunct and part-time staff.
  *  Restore specific licensing of educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program under the auspices of an organization that sponsors and organizes people-to-people programs.
  *  Modify requirements for licensing academic exchanges to require that the proposed course of study be accepted for academic credit toward their undergraduate or graduate degree (rather than regulating the length of the academic exchange in Cuba).
  *  Allow specifically licensed academic institutions to sponsor or cosponsor academic seminars, conferences, and workshops related to Cuba and allow faculty, staff, and students to attend.
  *  Allow specific licensing to organize or conduct non-academic clinics and workshops in Cuba for the Cuban people.
  *  Allow specific licensing for a greater scope of journalistic activities.

Remittances.  To help expand the economic independence of the Cuban people and to support a more vibrant Cuban civil society, the President has directed the regulations governing non-family remittances be modified to:

  *  Restore a general license category for any U.S. person to send remittances (up to $500 per quarter) to non-family members in Cuba to support private economic activity, among other purposes, subject to the limitation that they cannot be provided to senior Cuban government officials or senior members of the Cuban Communist Party.
  *  Create a general license for remittances to religious institutions in Cuba in support of religious activities.

No change will be made to the general license for family remittances.

U.S. Airports.  To better serve those who seek to visit family in Cuba and engage in other licensed purposeful travel, the President has directed that regulations governing the eligibility of U.S. airports to serve as points of embarkation and return for licensed flights to Cuba be modified to:

  *  Allow all U.S. international airports to apply to provide services to licensed charters, provided such airports have adequate customs and immigration capabilities and a licensed travel service provider has expressed an interest in providing service to and from Cuba from that airport.

The modifications will not change the designation of airports in Cuba that are eligible to send or receive licensed charter flights to and from the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayJanuary 15, 2011