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SundayJanuary 23, 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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The Problem With The “Hispanics Will Become White” Argument

The Problem With The “Hispanics Will Become White” Argument

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A few progressive bloggers have reacted positively to former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s recent comments to the Wall Street Journal on Hispanic immigrants’ willingness to assimilate:

One problem for Republicans, [Bush] says, is that “the tone of our message is one of ‘them and us’ sometimes.” At least that’s what gets “magnified in the press,” with immigration policy being the flash point. It’s “a shame,” he says, because Republicans and immigrants have a lot in common. “But if you send a signal that we really don’t want you as part of our team, they’re not going to join.” ...With regard to assimilation, he says, Hispanics have much to be proud of. “Second-generation Hispanics marry non-Hispanics at a higher rate than second-generation Irish or Italians. Second-generation Hispanics’ English language capability rates are higher than previous immigrant groups’.”

In response, Jamelle Bouie from TAPPED says, “I’m not sure if it’s a good sales pitch, but it’s basically the truth. Hispanics, like Italians and Irish before them, are on the path to becoming ‘white,’ and as intermarriage rates increase—and the racial divide moves from white/black to non-black/black—odds are good that the children of these unions will be perceived as white.” Others agree.

They’re giving Bush too much credit, though: He’s not actually addressing race. He’s just talking about the successful economic assimilation of recent Hispanic immigration, not the very real racial divide that certain anti-Hispanic nativists in his party, like Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, have exploited for political gain.

Hispanics, after all, aren’t one race. That’s why there’s a separate question for them on the Census! Many Hispanic immigrants are white, even without their parents having intermarried with non-Hispanics. Many of them are of African descent. The majority are mestizo, a word used in Latin America to refer to anyone of mixed European and Native heritage. Throughout its history, the United States has seen myriad immigrant groups from different Latin American countries, each characterized by distinct racial balances. The wave of Mexican immigration over the past three decades that has so politicized the immigration issue mostly comes from very mestizo Southern Mexico.

It’s instructive that the Irish and the Italians are the examples of immigrant assimilation that Bush uses. What about East and South Asian immigration, or Arab immigration? It would be hard to make a case that any of these groups, who have all had distinctly successful economic assimilation histories, are considered or will ever be considered “white.” Generally, the people we call white are descended from Europeans. White Hispanics are no exception. Therefore while it’s heartening that there are Republicans willing to praise the successful assimilation of Hispanic immigrants, the underlying political issue that remains unexplored by members of the GOP is their party’s continued reliance on racial polarization as an electoral strategy. Even as successive generations of darker-skinned Hispanics lose their accents and fully assimilate in their own way into American culture and society, they probably still won’t be considered white. The burden will be on the political leaders to steer clear of exploiting the racial divide, instead of hoping that the divide will disappear by itself.

Nicolas Mendoza is a staff writer with Campus Progress. You can e-mail him at nicolas.f.mendoza@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @nicmend.

Read more at Campus Progress →

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Visit Mexico

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Mexico at the invitation of Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa on Monday, January 24, 2011.

Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary Espinosa will meet in Guanajuato to discuss key issues that the United States and Mexico face individually and as partners, including joint cooperation to combat organized crime, strengthening the competitiveness of our two economies, modernizing the border between our countries and advancing the global climate change agenda after the Cancun Summit.

The United States and Mexico share many opportunities and challenges and work collaboratively on a wide range of issues. This visit is an opportunity to reinforce the close relations between the two nations and to identify common objectives and strategies to ensure greater security and well-being for the citizens of both countries.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Report Finds H1N1 Vaccination Rates Lower for Hispanics, While Hospitalization Rates Higher

H1N1 flu hospitalization rates for African-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indian/Alaska Natives were nearly two to one higher than rates for Whites during the 2009-2010 flu season, according to a new report, Fighting Flu Fatigue,from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH). At the same time, both H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccination rates were lower for African Americans and Hispanics than for Whites.

During the 2009-2010 flu season:
• H1N1 vaccination rates were 11.5 percent lower for Hispanic adults than for Whites, although rates were 5.5 percent higher for Hispanic children; and
• Seasonal flu vaccination rates were 21.7 percent lower for Hispanic adults and 2.6 percent lower for Hispanic children than for Whites.

The flu is preventable with a vaccine - yet, each year, between 3,000 and 49,000 Americans die from flu-related illnesses (based on a review of deaths from 1976 to 2007) and the flu contributes to more than $10 billion in lost productivity and direct medical expenses and $16 billion in lost potential earnings each year in the United States.

This year, for the first time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that all Americans older than six months should get vaccination against the flu.

Read more at Healthy Americans →

The Green Bay Packers clinched a berth in Super Bowl XLV with a 21-14 win against the Chicago Bears

The Green Bay Packers clinched a berth in Super Bowl XLV with a 21-14 win against the Chicago Bears

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The 182nd meeting between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears came down to the final minutes. Just what you’d expect from a rivalry game.

The Packers stormed to a big lead, then held off a Chicago rally for a 21-14 win on Sunday in the NFC Championship game.

The Bears did it with third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie, who came in after starter Jay Cutler sat out most of the second half because of a knee injury, while backup Todd Collins was pulled after two ineffective series.

The Green Bay Packers clinched a berth in Super Bowl XLV with a 21-14 win against the Chicago Bears.

The Packers, who didn’t clinch a playoff berth until Week 17, became the first sixth-seeded NFC team to earn a trip to the Super Bowl. They won three straight playoff games on the road to get there.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UN Urges Mexico to Investigate Claims of Missing Migrants, Cite Possible Police Wrong doing

The United Nations human rights chief voiced deep concern over the fate of a group of about 40 migrants who have been missing since they were abducted in Mexico last month, and death threats to a prominent human rights defender assisting other migrants who escaped the kidnapping ordeal.

“The migrants were abducted in highly questionable circumstances a month ago,” said Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Since then there has been no trace of them, and human rights defenders working with other members of the same group have been repeatedly threatened.”

According to human rights groups following the case and who have been interviewed by staff of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Mexico, on December 16th, a group of some 250 migrants from Central America were traveling on a north-bound freight train in the state of Oaxaca, southern Mexico, when it was stopped in a joint operation by police and migration officials who detained 92 of the migrants. Military personnel were also involved, according to some accounts.

An unclear picture has emerged about what happened next, but it seems that around 150 migrants were able to get back on the train, run by the State-owned company Ferrocarril del Istmo de Tehuantepec, but were then subjected to demands for money by the driver.

Dissatisfied with the sum received, the driver allegedly threatened the migrants – believed to be mostly from El Salvador and Guatemala – with “more problems ahead.”

About half an hour later, the train was reportedly boarded by unidentified gunmen who assaulted and robbed some of the migrants, and then abducted around 40 of them, including at least 10 women and one child.

Two days later, some of those who had escaped managed to reach a migrant shelter called “Hermanos en el Camino” in Ciudad Ixtepec, Oaxaca. The manager of the shelter, Father Alejandro Solalinde, who is a well-known defender of migrants’ rights, informed the authorities and publicly denounced the kidnapping. Since then, he has received multiple death threats, Ms. Pillay said.

Mexico’s interior ministry has announced that investigations are under way, and that the migrants who witnessed the kidnapping have been given humanitarian visas and taken to Mexico City for protection and further interviews.

Ms. Pillay urged the Mexican authorities “to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation of the alleged ill-treatment and abuse of the migrants by the Federal Police and the National Institute of Migration staff who conducted the original joint operation, as well as the circumstances surrounding the subsequent abduction of the migrants, and the threats received by Father Solalinde and his colleagues.

The High Commissioner said that the human rights of migrants have been drastically deteriorating in Mexico in recent years.

The country, she said, has also been suffering a wider wave of crime and violence, resulting in over 15,200 violent deaths in 2010 alone.

Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have stated that many thousands of transiting migrants have been kidnapped over the past two years, mostly for the purpose of extortion, Ms. Pillay said.

In one of the worst incidents, last August the Mexican Navy discovered 72 corpses, including 14 women, who had allegedly been executed by members of a criminal group. Two government investigators deployed to the scene of the crime were reportedly abducted. Their bodies were found two weeks later.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama Establishes New Federal Research Center for Medicines

Obama Establishes New Federal Research Center for Medicines

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The Obama administration concerned by the cutting back on research by large drug manufacturers has created a new Federal Research Center.  The new billion-dollar government drug development center will help research new medicines, in hopes of attracting commercial interest .


The job of the new center, to be called the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, is to do as much research as it needs to do so that it can attract drug company investment.

The issue is that it can cost as much as 1 billion dollars to bring a new drug to market including research and marketing. Manufacturers say that the cost of research prohibits them from pursuing many leads.

The center will not compete with the private sector but rather aid in the research that has typically been handled by the drug companies. The project is hoping to offset the trend of drug makers shying away from new technologies or research they deem as cost prohibitive.

“I am a little frustrated to see how many of the discoveries that do look as though they have therapeutic implications are waiting for the pharmaceutical industry to follow through with them,” said Dr. Collins, who once directed the agency’s Human Genome Project.

Under the plan, more than $700 million in research projects already under way at various institutes and centers would be brought together at the new center.

Read more at The New York Times →

The Young Guns of Football at Game Time:  Sanchez v. Roethlisberg and Cutler v. Rodgers

Today when it is determine who is going to Super Bowl 2011 four young men will help guide that decision and they are unique in many ways but alike in so many others.

All of them are younger than 30; Chicago Jay Cutler and the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers are both 27, Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger is 28 and Jets Mark Sanchez, the darling of the growing Latino NFL audience, is the youngest at 24.

All four were first-round picks which is a clear indicator of their enormous talent and why they mark the new era of NFL quarterbacks leaving behind Tom Brady, 33 and Peyton Manning, 34, this season.

The AFC championship pits Sanchez v. Roethlisberger, with the later having won two Super Bowl championships.  With his gruff edge and tabloid exploits, Roethlisberger is a well-known entity.  Whereas Sanchez or ‘Sanchise’ in Spanglish, as some of his Mexican-Americans fans like to call him is the poster boy (at the moment) for good behavior and even better p.r.  This game will be played today at 6:30 EST at Heinz Field and airs on CBS.

The NFC championship pits two legendary rivals Bears v. Packers, making the Cutler v. Rodgers battle a little less prominent.  Both of these quarterbacks won their first playoff games this month and haven’t won the audience accolades like the AFC quarterbacks.  Rodgers had been Brett Favre’s back up for three seasons and Cutler who has many critics due to his 26-interception-season last year is still trying to prove himself in some ways.  This game will be played at 3:00 EST at Soldiers Field and airs on Fox.

Read more at Philadelphia Enquirer →

Kalimba Claims His Innocence, Has 6 Days to Present Evidence He didn’t Rape Minor

As Mexican pop star, Kalimba faced a judge for the first time on his rape charges; his fans were holding a vigil outside of the Quintaa Roo prison he is being held in.

Kalimba, 28,  is in jail after a warrant was issued on Wednesday for his arrest and after being returned to Mexico on Thursday from the U.S. via a deportation process.  Kalimba went to El Paso to record an album and visit his sister according to insiders, while others allege he went there to avoid detention.

Nonetheless, Kalimba stoically faced the Judge yesterday and signed a statement asserting his innocence in the December 19th event that lead to accusations he raped a 17-year old girl in a hotel after a performance.  In turn the judge gave the Mexican pop star, and former member of OV7, six days to present evidence in his case.

Read more at CNN Edition →

Last Remains Recovered from Puerto Rico National Guard Helicopter Crash

Last Remains Recovered from Puerto Rico National Guard Helicopter Crash

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The remains Puerto Rico National Guard Carlos Acevedo have been recovered today following the helicopter crash of Dec 20. The remains of the pilot were found along the coast of Loiza, a beach community near the U.S. Island’s capital of San Juan, said National Guard Gen. Antonio Vicens.

The Puerto Rico National Guard Helicopter with six people aboard went down in the ocean last month on the way to a drug raid on the outlying island of Vieques. Crews have already found the bodies of Col. Victor Torres Rodriguez, who was second in command of the Puerto Rico National Guard; Sgt. Jose Omar Sostre; pilot Hector Ramierez; and prosecutors Mario Torres Marin and Francisco Mujica de Leon.

“Now Acevedo’s family and the National Guard of Puerto Rico will be able to bury this valiant man,” Vicens said in a statement.

 

Read more at Yahoo News →

GM, Wrigley, Taco Bell and H&R Block all Pull Ads from MTV show ‘Skins’ (VIDEO)

GM, Wrigley, Taco Bell and H&R Block all Pull Ads from MTV show ‘Skins’ (VIDEO)

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“It was never our intent to endorse content that would offend consumers,” the folks at Wrigley said in a statement released Saturday.  The company had advertised its Extra and Orbit chewing gums in the premiere episode last Monday.

The first episode last Monday reported 3.3 million viewers which is a fantastic number for the cable show. This week however, the show has come under attack from groups like Parents Television Council have been attacking Skins for its sexy content in a show being “marketed directly to children.”

Critics say the show glamorizes promiscuous sex, drug use and drinking.

MTV defended the program.

“We review all of our shows and work with all of our producers on an ongoing basis to ensure our shows comply with laws and community standards. We are confident that the episodes of Skins will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers,” MTV said. “We have also taken numerous steps to alert viewers to the strong subject matter so that they can choose for themselves whether it is appropriate.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bronx President Ruben Diaz Pissed at Jennifer Lopez for Dissing Her Hometown on American Idol

We don’t think the Bronx will be warmly welcoming one of its most famous native born, Jennifer Lopez, if borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has anything to do with it.

Last week “American Idol” featured contestant Travis Orlando, highlighting his upbringing in the Bronx at a homeless shelter and it was a blink portrayal:  gritty, dirty “badlands”, violent, gang infested.  Missing from this was J Lo’s version of the Bronx and all that is positive.

Diaz feels the Bronx has been very good to J Lo supporting her early in her career and offering a lot of opportunities to her and many aspiring artists.  He is miffed she didn’t bring any of this up and allowed the American Idol millions of fans to believe such a one-sided negative view of the borough. 

Good news is that Orlando advanced to the next show and Diaz is planning on voting for him and hopes everyone else does also. 

Read more at NY Daily News →

Justice Thomas Omitted His Tea Partying Wife’s Income From Financial Disclosure Forms

Justice Thomas Omitted His Tea Partying Wife’s Income From Financial Disclosure Forms

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Federal judges and justices are required by law to disclose their spouse’s income — thus preventing persons who wish to influence the judge or justice from funneling money to them through their husband or wife. Yet, as the Los Angeles Times reports, Justice Clarence Thomas has not complied with this requirement for years:

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas failed to report his wife’s income from a conservative think tank on financial disclosure forms for at least five years, the watchdog group Common Cause said Friday.

Between 2003 and 2007, Virginia Thomas, a longtime conservative activist, earned $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, according to a Common Cause review of the foundation’s IRS records. Thomas failed to note the income in his Supreme Court financial disclosure forms for those years, instead checking a box labeled “none” where “spousal noninvestment income” would be disclosed. [...]

Virginia Thomas also has been active in the group Liberty Central, an organization she founded to restore the “founding principles” of limited government and individual liberty.

In his 2009 disclosure, Justice Thomas also reported spousal income as “none.” Common Cause contends that Liberty Central paid Virginia Thomas an unknown salary that year.

This revelation that Justice Thomas failed to comply with his disclosure obligations comes as he is caught up in another ethics scandal regarding his participation in fundraisers for far-right political groups. Thomas once attended a gathering of wealthy corporate activists convened by billionaire Charles Koch to raise money for right-wing political causes, and he also attended at least one fundraiser hosted by the far-right think tank that used to employ his wife.

A Supreme Court justice lending a hand to a political fundraising event would be a clear violation of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, if it wasn’t for the fact that the nine justices have exempted themselves from much of the ethical rules governing all other federal judges. Under the Code of Conduct, “a judge should not personally participate in fund-raising activities, solicit funds for any organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of judicial office for that purpose,” except in certain very narrow circumstances that don’t apply to the Koch and Heritage fundraisers.

Nor is Thomas the only justice engaged in ethically questionable activities. Justice Antonin Scalia also attended one of Charles Koch’s right-wing fundraising and strategy sessions, and Justice Samuel Alito is a frequent speaker at fundraisers for groups such as the Intercollegiate Studies Institute — the corporate front that funded the rise of Republican dirty trickster James O’Keefe and that used to employ anti-masturbation activist Christine O’Donnell.

Worst of all, today’s revelation that Justice Thomas has been submitting incomplete financial disclosures suggests that the conservative justices’ engagement with corporate political advocacy could be much more widespread than previously believed. If the justices are not disclosing their activities, it’s anyone’s guess what they could be hiding.

Read more at Think Progress →

An Argentine and Spaniard Mountaineer rescued on Aconcagua

An Argentine and Spaniard Mountaineer rescued on Aconcagua

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The two mountain climbers headed out on January 4th and were due back on Monday.  When they did not return or initiate any contact, a search mission was begun. Belen Pedernera age 22 and Tomas Gomez, age 31 were hiking in the Aconcagua Mountains in the Mendoza province, on the border with Chile.

20 people and a helicopter began the search operation. The two were located at 5200 meters on the Piramide slope were temperatures are well below zero. Food was dropped to the climbers on Wednesday and the rescue patrol reached them Friday.

The two climbers were reunited with family in Mendoza city .

Read more at Merco Press →

Venezuela-Cuba Fibre-Optic Cable Project Begins

Venezuela-Cuba Fibre-Optic Cable Project Begins

Photo: The cable will connect Camuri in Venezuela to Siboney in Cuba, with a side link to Jamaica

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A fibre-optic cable stretching from Venezuela to Cuba has begun being laid and should be in place by February with operations beginning in July. It will stretch 1000 miles and greatly improve Cuba’s telephone and Internet services.

Currently Cuba relies on expensive and slow Satellite service. The new cable will increase the data capacity by 3000 times.

Cuban officials praised the cable for breaking the country’s “historic dependence [on the United States] in the sphere of telecommunications”. And Venezuelan Minister for Science and Technology Ricardo Menendez was heard shouting “Venezuela’s breaking the embargo!”.

Today in Cuba only 16% of the population has access to the Internet. Although Cuba blames the US for its Internet deficiency, it is the Cuban government’s internal regulations that limit the citizens from the Internet. One must obtain official Internet permission from the government to be on the web.

In November the official communist party newspaper Granma drenched the hopes of Cuban individuals hoping for better excess. In an article, talking about how vastly improved the islands communication will be , “but not necessarily mean a broader extension of the same”.

Read more at BBC →

Laugh Out Loud This and Every Sunday With HS-NEWS SUNDAY COMICS

Laugh Out Loud This and Every Sunday With HS-NEWS SUNDAY COMICS

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SundayJanuary 23, 2011