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TuesdayJanuary 25, 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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CONGRATULATIONS to Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem For Their Baby!

CONGRATULATIONS to Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem For Their Baby!

Photo: Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem have a Baby!

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Spanish actress Penélope Cruz gave birth to her first son at the Cedars-Sinaí hospital in Los Angeles.

More wonderful news for the couple, who just found out Javier Bardem is nominated for an Academy Award.

Cruz and Bardem got married last July in Bahamas.

We wish to congratulate the couple for their baby, the second Hollywood baby of 2011!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Leaders Release State of the Union Policy Priorities Wishlist

Latino Leaders Release State of the Union Policy Priorities Wishlist

Photo: Obama State of the Union

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On the eve of the State of the Union address by President Barack Obama, representatives of three of the nation’s leading Latino organizations have issued a set of policy priorities they would like the President to address in his State of the Union speech before Congress. These policy priorities represent key issues facing Hispanics in the areas of Education, Health Care, Immigration, Social Security, and Economic Empowerment.

The Hispanic Federation, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) are urging Congress and the President to work with Latino leaders to effectively address these concerns and to ensure that the wellbeing of the Latino community is being addressed.

Many of the priorities reflect the same concerns of communities throughout the country. However, Latino communities have been particularly hard hit by the recession and the President and Congress should commit to providing the additional resources to communities that are in most need of help. “Our Latino communities are still in a severe recession,” stated Margaret Moran, LULAC National President. “The President and Congress must target federal programs to those areas that have borne the brunt of our economic slump.”

“Strategies to build a better future for America must directly contribute to the progress and prosperity of the burgeoning Latino community. The priorities we have outlined are ultimately complementary and merit immediate attention by both Congress and the Administration,” stated Milton Rosado, National President of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).

“The President has moved certain federal programs and initiatives that stand to benefit the Latino community such as health care reform and certain financial consumer protections. Our community cannot afford to lose these positive gains,” stated Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez, President of the Hispanic Federation. “We seek an aggressive approach by the Congress and White House to close the Latino education gap, meet the workforce development needs for the 21st Century and finally pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

The following are our recommendations:

Economic Empowerment: The recession and ongoing recovery has emaciated the economic security of the Latino community and widened economic gaps. Jobless rates increased faster for Latinos than for whites, while homeownership decreased faster. Between 2009 and 2012, 1.3 million Latino families are expected to lose their homes to foreclosure. Two years ago today, Latino unemployment reached 9.2 percent and since then, joblessness among Latinos has escalated to 13.0 percent, 3.6 points above the national average (9.4%). Latinos hold lower-quality jobs and earn less money per week relative to white and Asian-American workers and 25.3 percent of our community lives below the poverty line. To improve the economic wellbeing of the Latino community, alleviate poverty and reduce unemployment, Congress and the President must commit to target socially and economically disadvantaged communities in any plan for job creation. Training investments to help dislocated workers gain the skills and credentials needed to acquire quality jobs and careers with family sustaining wages and opportunities for advancement should be the Nation’s top priority. In states and localities with limited English proficient populations, programs must integrate job training with language and skills training. To protect the Latino workforce, it is critical that the Administration ensures adequate enforcement of workplace laws to reduce workplace safety, health and wage violations that disproportionately affect the welfare and economic advancement of Latino and immigrant workers.

Health Care: Historically, Latinos have had disproportionately low rates of health insurance. Socioeconomic status, educational attainment, cultural and linguistic differences, and racial and ethnic barriers have prevented Latinos from obtaining life-saving services through the public health system. With the passage of the historic Affordable Care Act, all Americans will have a greater opportunity to obtain health coverage and access quality health care. Latinos in particular will benefit from increased preventative care and expanded access to the public health system, as nine million Latinos will be eligible to receive health coverage and exercise greater control over their own health care. Currently, one in three Latinos have no access to health care or experience poor quality of care when they access the health care system; thus, the President should urge Congress to fully fund and implement the Affordable Care Act. The elimination of health disparities is a priority for all communities of color and the Latino community encourages the President to call for the expansion of health initiatives that increase the racial and ethnic diversity of health care professionals as well as cultural competency training for health care providers.

Education: Data show that Hispanic students tend to underperform in reading and math when compared to their non-Hispanic peers. Amplifying the concern is the alarmingly high dropout rate of Latino youth. Only 53% of Hispanic students graduate in four years. To help bridge this gap and reduce the dropout rate, the Administration must provide significant additional resources to schools, support high expectations for Latino, migrant, and ELL student through a complete and thorough reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this year. In addition, 187 TRIO programs, funded through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, will be eliminated if $57 million is not included in the FY 11 TRIO appropriation base, without this funding, 12,000 current Upward Bound students will lose their services before the next competition. The President must urge Congress to fund federal education programs at sufficient levels, and encourage the development of open educational courses which will help ensure equal access to high quality resources. Funding education programs will raise school quality and close the achievement gap in educational outcomes between Latino students and others.

Immigration: A large majority of Americans recognize that our current immigration system is broken. The failure of the 111th Congress to pass meaningful reform that will provide a clear process for legal migration, mitigate the inequities and failures of our current immigration laws, and create a coherent strategy for addressing the labor and economic needs of our country while embracing our ‘nation of immigrants’ welcoming societal ethic leaves little legislative options that Congress will likely approve. The President should announce a new approach to retooling our immigration administrative infrastructure in a manner that will reduce the backlog of current applicants for legal permanent residency (LPR) status, provide relief for those currently in the country without documentation until our immigration laws can be brought to conformity with the country’s current economic needs and values of family reunification, fairness, justice & equality for all, and continue to pursue those bad actor employers who exploit undocumented immigrants and perpetuate an underground economy of indentured workers. This limited package of immigration reforms should include the DREAM Act and AgJobs legislation that has received strong bipartisan support as part of previous immigration proposals.

Social Security: Social Security is central to the economic security of all Latinos, young and old alike. For 75 years it has played a vital role in providing a safety net for the protection millions of retirees, disabled workers and aged widowers. As the youngest and fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, Latinos stand to lose if Social Security benefits are cut. By 2050 Latinos will comprise 17.5% of the U.S. elderly population and on average, Latinos earn less than the average U.S. worker (median earnings of $30,000 compared to $40,000) limiting the benefits available to them during retirement and savings they can accrue. Without Social Security, the poverty rate among Latino elderly would triple. Latinos are less likely to have an employment-based pension since 6 out of 10 whites over 65 have some type of retirement account while only 1 out of 10 Latinos over 65 have any type of retirement account at all. To prevent an exacerbation of financial hardship in the Latino community, Congress and the President must protect Social Security and oppose privatization, benefit cuts and a raise in the retirement age.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Will Senator Rubio Stick With the Tea Party at the Senate Caucus?

Will Senator Rubio Stick With the Tea Party at the Senate Caucus?

Photo: Sen. Marco Rubio

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Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, has the Tea Party to thank for his win this past year, but on the eve on the of the first ever Tea Party senate caucus, it has become likely that Rubio will not attend.

The junior senator does not have the session on his schedule, but in a statement from January 17th, his spokesman Alex Burgos stated, “Senator Rubio is proud of his relationship with the tea party movement and shares its commitment to tackling the debt, defending the free enterprise system and restoring our limited government tradition.”

Rubio’s expected no-show is a “little bit of a disappointment,” Amy Kremer Tea Party chairman said. ““Ultimately what matters is his vote, but there is concern, “All these new members should know that we are watching. If anybody thinks they can play this movement, that’s not going to happen. We’re watching what they say, what they do.”

What has some Tea Party members worried is that in the past, Rubio had cast some doubt on about his full commitment to the party when, in July, he told CNN that he saw no point to a Tea Party caucus in the Senate.

“I don’t know what the need for that would be,” he said. ‘‘I’m more interested in being part of a caucus that would lower taxes in America and create an environment where jobs are going to be created by the private sector.”

Bringing him a win after being 30 points back, Tea Party members say they’ll be watching his decisions closely.

Vice president of Tea Party Manatee, Steve Vernon said, “It would be nice if he joined Rand Paul’s caucus, but as long as Marco continues to vote in the way we’d like to see him vote, that’s the most important thing. As long as his vote and his actions and his word continue to essentially mirror our principals, then we’re not really upset.”

Read more at McClatchy →

Leo Messi Should Have Gotten his Mother A Card Instead

Leo Messi Should Have Gotten his Mother A Card Instead

Photo: Leo Messi Fined for lifting his Jersey mid-game

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The Argentine soccer star lifted his Barcelona shirt after scoring a penalty in Barca’s 3-0 home win over Racing Santander on Saturday, to show a birthday message written to his mother in a red under-shirt. 

“Happy Birthday Mommy” was written with a black marker on Leo Messi’s under-under shirt.

The problem is that under article 91.1 of the RFEF (Spain’s Soccer Federation) “Any soccer player who, celebrating a goal, or by another cause related to the match lifts his shirt to display any publicity, quote, legend, acronym, drawing or art, whichever its meaning, or objective, will be sanctioned, and fined with a sum between 2.000 and 3.000 Euros (between $2,500 and $4,000).”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colorado Bill Would Make Obtaining Bail Bonds Difficult For Those Suspected of Being Undocumented

A new bill being introduced in Colorado will make it harder for anyone merely suspected of being in the country illegally to attain bail bonds.

Currently, Colorado law states that, should a bond agent’s client be removed from the country, the agent is exempt from forfeiture of the bond money, but this new bill would remove that exemption.

The bill, HB11-1088, sponsored by Rep. Mark Barker and Sen. Kent Lambert, both Republicans out of Colorado Springs, states:

The bill requires the bail bond agent to execute a waiver that states he or she understands that if the defendant is removed from the country the bond is forfeited and requires the bond of the bail bond agent to be forfeited if the defendant is removed from the country.”

“A defendant or OTHER person, INCLUDING a professional bonding agent, who posts bond on a felony or a class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor, either pretrial or post-conviction, for a defendant who is illegally present in the country shall not be entitled to recover the posted bond or fees if the defendant is removed from the country, and the bond or fees shall be forfeited.”

If passed, HB11-1088 would make it mandatory for law enforcement agencies to inform bond agents that their potential clients may be in the country illegally, and could be removed. If this were to happen, under the new law, the bond agent would lose that money.

In the end, the number of bondsmen willing to grant bail bonds to anyone suspected on being in the country illegally will likely drop, making it harder for any immigrants, especially Latinos, to post bail.

Barker claims the bill was not meant to deny bond to anyone, it was only meant to inform the courts and bondsmen of the risks that go along with granting bond to certain individuals.

“It doesn’t mean that they don’t get to bond. It doesn’t mean that when they get to the immigration facility they don’t get to bond either. The purpose is not to deny them bond, it is just to factor their status into the decision-making process,” Barker said.

Read more at The Colorado Independent →

Dominican Amiga of Berlusconi Speaks Out: Had Sex as a Way of Saying Gracias

A Dominican woman, 25-year old Maria Esther Garcia Polanco involved in the sex scandal surrounding Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told La Republica newspaper on Saturday that she did have sex with the 74-year old PM and did so just to thank him for paying her five-year old daughter’s medical bills.

She denies doing this for money. She says he also helped her find work as a television showgirl on a program called “The Hot Chick and the Dork”. She says she thanked him with sex also for this.

Maria Esther Garcia Polanco is one of 14 women, the so-called “bunga bunga girls”, who were reportedly kept in rent-free accommodation by Berlusconi in an apartment complex, Villa San Martino, on the outskirts of Milan in exchange for striptease and sex services.

Polanco along with the other ‘bunga bunga girls’ were recently served with eviction papers for ‘disturubing the peace’ and ‘lower[ing] the tone’ of the Milano district where the apartments are situated.  They have eight days to leave. 

Read more at DR1 →

Redistricting Attorney Rios Rehired to Ensure Latinos Are Properly Represented

Redistricting Attorney Rios Rehired to Ensure Latinos Are Properly Represented

Photo: Hildalgo County

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Once again, Hidalgo County, in the Rio Grande Valley, has hired a San Antonio-based redistricting attorney to ensure the Texas residents are properly politically represented in Washington D.C. and Austin.

Rolando Rios has spent the last 30 years fighting for the rights of Latinos, and has been rehired to address the redistricting of Hidalgo County in Texas following the new counts from the 2010 Census.

“This is going to be an important year for South Texas and Hidalgo County. The Census count an redistricting are very important issues for the Valley. They translate into money and political power,” Rios told the Guardian.

Rios warns that in D.C., when the Census Bureau issues the 2010 census count for all U.S. counties, it could conceivably undercount Hidalgo’s quickly growing population. He adds that in Austin, the state’s lawmakers will use the new population information from the census to redraw the boundaries of state and congressional districts. If the population was not counted properly, Hidalgo could lose a congressional seat.

“Every decade, 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000, the state of Texas has redistricted in ways that have discriminated against Latinos,” Rios said. “Every decade we have had to go to federal court and every decade we have found them to violate the rights of Latinos.”

Rios has been hired to make sure that, if the Census Bureau reports Hidalgo County has a lower population than correct, discussions are had and the numbers are updated.

The fear of an undercount comes from the fact that the Census Bureau failed to send census forms to no less than 100,000 colonia residents of Hidalgo County.

“I believe the colonias provide some peculiarities that the Census Bureau may not be attuned to,” Rios said. “We have to see if there are flaws in that and make sure the rights of that community are properly protected. People in Washington sometimes do not understand the peculiarities of the border area.”

Read more at Rio Grande Guardian →

Christina Aguilera To Sing the Star Spangled Banner on Super Bowl XLV

“I am really excited to be part of such an iconic event,” said Aguilera, who is no stranger to the Super Bowl: She was the half-time act of Super Bowl XXXV.

“I have been performing the anthem since I was seven years old and I must say the Super Bowl is a dream come true.” 

This year, the Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Green Bay Packers at Cowboys Stadium for the NFL title. The half-time performers will be “The Black Eyed Peas.”

Watch the broadcast on Fox.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Disparity in Medical Research Participation Amongst Hispanics Persists

Amid concerns over recent research highlighting that clinical trial participation among Hispanics and Latinos is disproportionately low compared to their percentage of the U.S. population, community and industry healthcare leaders will come together on Feb. 12 in Dallas to participate in Todos Juntos por la Salud (All Together for Health), a forum hosted by global patient recruitment and retention company MMG.

The moderator of the forum will be Dr. Elena Rios, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), a participating advocacy group, which represents over 45,000 Hispanic physicians across the U.S.

Although Hispanics and Latinos represent 16 percent of the U.S. population, they make up only 3 percent of the approximately 260,000 Americans who volunteer to participate in medical research each year. With the U.S. Hispanic population expected to triple by 2050, steps are needed now to achieve greater Hispanic and Latino representation in medical research.

At the forum, MMG will collaborate with community leaders and industry stakeholders, such as the NHMA, to gain a better understanding of the reasons for the disparity in clinical research participation in the U.S. Hispanic and Latino populations. The goals of the forum are to identify barriers that prevent these populations from participating in clinical research and to develop strategies to increase their access to and representation in medical research.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera Runs Out of Gas - LITERALLY (VIDEO)

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera Runs Out of Gas - LITERALLY  (VIDEO)

Photo: Sebastián Piñera Emergency Lands a Helicopter in South Chile

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Citizens of Quilicura Bajo, a small town in South Chile had an unexpected visitor precariously land a helicopter on the side of the road.  The unknown visitor also happened to me the most known and powerful man in the country.

“Look, we are 30km. (18.5mi) south of Conquecura, in a place called Quilicura Bajo,”  the president can be heard saying at the beginning of the video.

Piñera was flying from Valparaíso with his friend Andrés Navarro, when the men realized that their fuel reserve was barely enough to take them to their final destination, where the president is on vacation.

“We looked at the gauge and calculated that we had just the bare minimum, just enough fuel to make it… but if we were wrong, the cost would have been to plunge. instead, we decided to stop, and have the pleasure to meet you and share a good time with you” said Piñera to the small crowd that came to greet him.

Locals took pictures and shared a good time with the leader indeed, as well as local strawberries “The best I’ve had in my whole life” according to the president, who basically found himself stranded in the zone during his lunch hour, and gorged on the fruit even taking some with him “for the wife.”

Presents for the wife in this case might be in order, since reportedly, Mrs. Piñera is not a fan of her husband taking helicopter rides, or being an extreme sports fan.

Apparently Cecilia Morel keeps a tight leash on the president as a local kid found out when he asked Piñera if he had the “33 miner little paper” with him. “The wife won’t let me show it, how’s that?” said Piñera.

Eventually, a second helicopter carrying fuel landed next to Piñera’.  There was even a three stooges moment, when several men fumbled about trying to figure out a way to funnel or syphon fuel from a barrel and into the helicopter’s tank, a local brought a pickup, where the men propped the barrel and finished fueling the chopper.

The incident, as per law has to be investigated by The Civil Aeronautical Direction, and has sparked a huge controversy by government officials who urged the president to behave like a president, and desist from practicing high risk sports and flying his toys.

Piñera replied that he is on vacation, and said that the things that the president does to relax , unwind and entertain himself on his vacation, are private and shouldn’t be news. Piñera also said that he partakes in scuba diving and other extreme sports with responsibility and with security as a priority, and proof of that was his decision of taking the safe route and landing that helicopter.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Where’s the Beef? Not at Taco Bell, Accused of Stuffing Us with Faux Taco Meat

Where’s the Beef? Not at Taco Bell, Accused of Stuffing Us with Faux Taco Meat

Photo: Taco Bell Dog

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We don’t know how many people are going to say ‘Yo Quiero Taco Ball’ after they learn Taco Bell is only using 36% beef or something close to beef in their beef tacos.  Or as their critics allege in a class action law suit, 36% ‘meat filling’ which doesn’t meet the definition by the U.S. government of ‘beef’.

A class action law firm out of Montgomery, Alabama is alleging Taco Bell is using something commonly known as ‘taco meat filling’  or non-meat substances.  The suit is charging Taco Bell with ‘false advertising’ and wants them to change their menu to reflect the true ingredients.

Taco Bell is showing it is thinking ‘outside the bun’ by issuing the statement as follows: 

“Taco Bell prides itself on serving high quality Mexican inspired food with great value. We’re happy that the millions of customers we serve every week agree.  We deny our advertising is misleading in any way and we intend to vigorously defend the suit.’

Read more at WTOL →

Marijuana Cultivation Not Only Dangerous For Hunters, but Wildlife As Well

Marijuana Cultivation Not Only Dangerous For Hunters, but Wildlife As Well

Photo: Marijuana

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Next time Californians go out hunting on public land they better beware of the gun-toting illegal marijuana growers.

A panel of law enforcement at the 24th International Sportsmen’s Exposition at Cal Expo gave warning to hunters and stated that Mexican drug networks have turned to planting in the Mediterranean and California.

These marijuana operations are a major threat to wildlife enthusiasts who may accidentally stumble upon them.

However, the danger to the outdoorsmen is not the only concern. The chief of the Law Enforcement Division of the Department of Fish and Game, Nancy Foley says the marijuana cultivation is the “No. 1 destroyer of habitat in the United States.”

To help with the growth of the plants, the growers use fertilizers and chemicals that regularly kill animals of all sizes, and the runoff from these “pot fields” pollute nearby water sources and can affect the downstream drinking water.

It is said that 10 acres of habitat are destroyed for every one acre of marijuana cultivated.

Fish and Game warden Patrick Foy says that while much of the fields are used by Mexican-run organizations he’s encountered California residents, claiming to me medicinal marijuana growers, that are just as destructive.

“I’ve investigated some that use copious quantities of pesticides and fertilizers,” Foy said. “They look you in the eye and say they run an organic operation. But you can see the pesticide residues.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Il St Supreme Ct Decision–Rahm’s Name to be on Chicago Mayoral Ballot Pending Resolution

Il St Supreme Ct Decision–Rahm’s Name to be on Chicago Mayoral Ballot Pending Resolution

Photo: Rahm Emanuel

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The Illinois State Supreme Court issued a stay of the Appellate Court Order banning Rahm Emanuel’s name from the Chicago Mayoral Ballot.

Emanuel’s lawyers cite six “fundamental reasons” the lower court decision should be reversed.

1.) The ruling is “squarely inconsistent” with prior high court decisions on residency.
2.) the restrictive view of the majority has no precedent.
3.) the ruling infringes on the rights of those in Emanuel’s situation to vote.
4.) there should only be one legal definition of “resided in” in state and municipal code.
5.) the new appellate court residency requirement creates too much uncertainty for candidates going forward.
6.) and it strips candidates of the provision that government service does not have a negative impact on residency.

This emergency decision allows for the printing of ballots and the preparations needed for early voting that begins next Monday .

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Firefighter Allegedly Threated at Work, Called “Beaner”

Monday, federal authorities were asked to sue the Houston Fire Department (HFD) after a Latino firefighter reported that he was being threatened at his station.

Though they have not been in contact with him, the Greater Coalition for Justice and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) have asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to file a lawsuit against the HFD, and have also asked the FBI and the Department of Justice to look into the incident as a possible hate crime.

Over two months ago, Joseph Salcido reported to the city’s Office of the Inspector General that, in his locker at the station, he found a photograph of his equipment hanging by a noose from the fire station’s ceiling along with a sign that reportedly read, “Learn your f—-ing job, Mexican. You should be glad you don’t live in Arizona.”

After the seven-year fireman reported the alleged incident, he agreed to be transferred to another station in Houston.

LULAC and the coalition said they have chosen to act because they say nothing has resulted from the Inspector General’s investigation of the allegations.

City Attorney David Feldman, said the city and HFD cannot comment on the investigation until it is complete, but said, “We take any allegation of racial harassment very seriously.”

Not only did Salcido get the photo and sign, he received another note with just one word. “Beaner.”

Salcido’s case is only the latest in a long line of complaints of racism within the department.

“This has got to stop,” said civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen. “The city won’t do it and we need the federal government to come in.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Holy Mistaken Ethnicities, Batman!

Holy Mistaken Ethnicities, Batman!

Photo: Latino Bat-Foe Bane will be Played by British Actor Tom Hardy

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In these times of WikiLeaks and bats dying en masse, news from the bat-cave has been leaked to the world, about the two new bat-villains plaguing Gotham City, and we are not particularly pleased with some of this news.

Christopher Nolan’s take on the super hero with no super powers has so far taken the breath away of millions of people around the world. It’s last installment, “The Dark Knight”  was made for under $200m, and made $400m on its first three days.

“Let’s put a smile on that face” became instantly the new “Hello, Clarice.” “Wanna see a magic trick?” became more memorable than Sam Jackson’s “English, Mother****. Do you speak it?” Whoever plays any future bat-villain has immense shoes to fill after the Oscar winning super performance of the late Heath Ledger as the Joker.

Maybe that’s why the next movie will have two, come to think of it.

Cat-woman, once before played by Michelle Pfeiffer will make a comeback in the next film. Remember that scene in “Batman Returns” where she backflips one, two three times towards the camera, and after the last one takes a breath and says, “Meow” queuing in a bomb blast? 

Ok, take Michelle Pfeiffer out of the cat-suit, and put Anne Hathaway in it. Does it work? let us know your opinions.

And as for the other baddie, you might not have heard of this foe, so here’s a bit of info straight from Wikipedia:

“Bane was born in the fictional Caribbean Republic of Santa Prisca, in a prison called Peña Duro (“Hard Rock”).”

So the man is basically a Latino born in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba… Right?

“His father had been a revolutionary and had escaped Santa Prisca’s court system. The corrupt government however decreed that his young son would serve out the man’s life sentence, and thus Bane’s childhood and early adult life are spent in the amoral penitentiary environment.”

That sounds more like something that would happen in 80’s Nicaragua, but heck, still Latino… right?

“During his years in prison, Bane carries a teddy bear he calls Osito (Spanish for “little bear”), whom he considers his only friend. It is revealed that Osito has a hole in his back to hold a knife that Bane uses against anyone who bullies him.”

Alright, so it is confirmed. The man speaks Spanish, and like the stereotypical token psychotic Latino men, hides his weapon (not a fire weapon, a “chuzo”) inside his “comfort blanket.”  Mexican “Machete” star Danny Trejo, and Spanish Héctor Eliozondo have both voiced bane in the animated series, and even Joel Schumacher, who hacked the character to pieces for “Batman and Robin,” kept his heritage and called “Antonio Diego” the prisioner that would become Bane.  Do you get the trend here Latino, Latino, Latino.

Now comes “The Dark Knight Rises,” and the “Luchador”  mask and uniform wearing Bane, will be portrayed by none other than-the non-Latino British actor Tom Hardy.

What have you done, Chris Nolan?

“The Dark Knight Rises” will be the last Batman that Nolan will helm, he has stated this on numerous occasions. So these weird bat-foe choices come as a even weirder way to close the cycle, a daring gamble for a production that can’t redeem itself in a sequel.

As for Latinos, we were all ready to see Javier Bardem as Bane, with the authentic acento.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico’s “Biutiful” and Javier Bardem- Latino Nominees at the 2011 Oscars

ImageImage Following a cold response from American shows this Award season, Spanish Actor Javier Bardem is finally awarded a nomination for his gripping role in “Biutiful,” and the movie is nominated for Best Foreign Film as well.

It would be the second for Bardem who got his first statuette for his embodiment of the chilly and ruthless villain in the Coen’s “No Country For Old Men” and his odds for getting his second are not that far fetched, considering he got Best Actor at Cannes, for his portrayal of terminally ill Uxbal in “Biutiful.”

Iñárritu is the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. He is also the first and only Mexican born director to have won the Prix de la mise en scene or best director award at Cannes (2006). His four feature films Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006) and Biutiful (2010) have gained critical acclaim worldwide including 10 Academy Award nominations.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Many Pets Who Survived Brazil’s Rains & Mudslides Find New Homes and Lots of Attention

The death toll continues to climb in Brazil as a result of the torrential rains and mudslides, 809 and climbing.  In addition to human loss and property devastation approximately 500 pets died with another 300 living in shelters with their owners.

Several Brazilian animal protection organizations stepped up to help the other animals that did survive but were either left homeless because their owners died or were living on the streets of the now ruined Serrana region.

The organizations provided free veterinary care and sponsored an adoption fair resulting in 60 dogs and 40 cats finding new loving owners and homes to live in.  The fair was held in Rio De Janeiro and was well attended.  All animals adopted will continue to receive free vet care after their adoption from the dedicated vets who are volunteering their services.

Read more at LAHT →

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Welcomes Members of 112th Congress

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) welcomed Hispanic American members of the 112th Congress at a reception in early January at Union Station in Washington, D.C. The event gathered a bipartisan crowd in support of the organizations’ missions to develop the next generation of Latino leaders and advance the diversity of thought in the Hispanic community, respectively.

“I look forward to working with these two superb organizations on the issues that matter to Hispanics, because our issues of importance are also the issues that matter to all Americans,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, CHLI Board Member and CHCI Advisory Council Member.

“As we begin a new session in Congress, it is critical that we rededicate our support for CHCI and CHLI as they promote education, public service and civic engagement among Latino youth,” said CHCI Chair Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez. “As the Latino youth population continues to grow, we must rise to the challenge to meet its needs and shape the Latino community leaders of tomorrow.”

The beginning of the 112th Congress equals the largest number of Latinos in history, with 31 members in the House and the Senate, the same number that entered the 111th Congress.

New Hispanic American members include: Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), Rep. Francisco Canseco (TX-23), Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17), Rep. Jaime Herrera (WA-3), Rep. Raúl Labrador (ID-1), and Rep. David Rivera (FL-25).

Returning members include: Sen. Robert Menendez (NJ), Rep. Joe Baca (CA-43); Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA-31); Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA-18); Rep. Jim Costa (CA-20); Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28); Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (FL-21); Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez (TX-20); Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-7); Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-4); Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15); Rep. Ben R. Luján (NM-3); Rep. Grace Flores Napolitano (CA-38); Rep. Devin Nunes (CA-21); Rep. Ed Pastor (AZ-4); Res. Comm. Pedro Pierluisi (PR); Rep. Silvestre Reyes (TX-16); Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18); Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34); Del. Gregorio Sablán (NMI); Rep. Linda Sánchez (CA-39); Rep. Loretta Sánchez (CA-47); Rep. José E. Serrano (NY-16); Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-13); Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-12).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Truck Driver that Killed 19 Illegal Aliens He Was Smuggling Sentenced to 34 yrs in Prison

The driver of the insulated tractor trailer used in a smuggling operation which left 19 aliens dead in the deadliest smuggling operation ever in the district was re-sentenced on Monday to 33 years and nine months imprisonment without the possibility of parole, announced U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno, Southern District of Texas.

Tyrone Mapletoft Williams, 40, was re-sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal to 405 months imprisonment on each of 19 counts of conviction - counts 40 through 58 of the indictment - relating to the 19 deceased victims of the ill-fated smuggling operation in May 2003. Williams was the driver of a tractor trailer discovered abandoned at a truck stop in Victoria, Texas, during the early hours of May 14, 2003.

Victoria law enforcement officers who arrived at the location came upon the bodies of 17 smuggled foreign nationals in and around the trailer who had died as a result of being transported inside Williams’ insulated trailer. Two additional trailer occupants subsequently died of their injuries at Victoria-area hospitals. The resulting 19 deaths associated with this smuggling operation established it as the deadliest in the district.

Williams was originally sentenced to life imprisonment on each of these 19 counts of conviction by a jury’s verdict. However, the case was remanded to the District Court for re-sentencing after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion finding that Williams’ punishment on these counts of conviction should have been assessed by the court and not the jury.

Williams was convicted by a jury of conspiring with others to transport and harbor illegal aliens for commercial advantage and financial gain. Williams’ actions caused serious bodily injury, placed a life in jeopardy or caused death as alleged in count one of the indictment and further found his conduct placed a life in jeopardy. Judge Rosenthal previously sentenced Williams to 405 months imprisonment for this count of conviction which was upheld by the appellate court.

In counts 21 through 39, Williams was charged with unlawfully transporting 19 of the 55 surviving aliens. Judge Rosenthal had previously sentenced Williams to the statutory maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment on each of these counts. These sentences were also upheld on appeal. The sentences on all counts of conviction are to be served concurrently. Williams has been in federal custody since his May 2003 arrest. He will remain in custody to serve out his sentences. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Wyoming Imm. Bill called “Unfunded Mandate” by Police Auth, Bill Sponsor says “Tough”

Wyoming Imm. Bill called “Unfunded Mandate” by Police Auth, Bill Sponsor says “Tough”

Photo: Wyoming Flag

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Wyoming’s proposed House Bill 94 allows for Wyoming citizens to sue local and state officials for not fully enforcing federal immigration laws, with fines ranging from $500 to $5000 per day that enforcement is not in effect.

Police Chiefs in Casper , Teton County and Cheyenne have expressed their concerns on both funding and manpower capabilities if the bill is approved.

“I don’t think that makes much sense to me,” said Casper Police Chief Tom Pagel. “To suggest that an individual is going to bring a suit ... that’s ridiculous. Do I have enough people that I would send them out to find illegal aliens?” he said. “No.”

Cheyenne Police Chief Brian Kozak said local law enforcement does not have the authority to enforce federal immigration laws.
That authority falls to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Teton County Sheriff Jim Whalen said that if HB94 were passed, the Teton County Sheriff’s Office would need more resources to help enforce the law.

“I think that this kind of a thing could affect us from an economic standpoint,” he said. “I do believe that would impact the jail, housing, feeding (inmates) ... a whole host of things would come to play.”

“It’s an unfunded mandate, or it would turn into an unfunded mandate,” Whalen said. “I guess I am opposed to local law enforcement being mandated as a remedy for the failings of the federal government.”

Rep. Pete Illoway, R-Cheyenne, the bill’s prime sponsor, brushed off concerns when asked about it Friday afternoon.

“Oh well,” said Illoway. “Oh well, tough.”

Read more at Billings Gazette →

North Carolina Woman Faces Slavery Related Charges of Illegal Immigrant (VIDEO)

North Carolina Woman Faces Slavery Related Charges of Illegal Immigrant (VIDEO)

Photo: Lucinda Shackleford

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Lucinda Shackleford , a north Charlotte woman, has been indicted on one count of forced labor and another charge accusing her of withholding the illegal immigrant’s birth certificate in furtherance of slave trafficking.

According to the indictment, the Department of Health and Human Services put an illegal immigrant referred to as CRB—who Lucinda identifies as Carlos Alberto Montes Salvador—in Lucinda’s care in February 2009. Carlos was 17 and not authorized to work.

It is charged that Shackleford made Carlos clean up approx. 60 yards in the trailer park she lives in, and of making him sell beer and food out of her trailer.

“I didn’t know what all I was getting into,” Lucinda said, “but I can tell you it’ll be a cold day in hell before I help somebody else.”

“I tell you what, if there’s another American any damn stupider than I am, I feel sorry for them, because I won’t help another one of them if the damn sky fall on ‘em,” she said.

Shackleford faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted on both charges.

Read more at wbtv.com →

Brazilian Phishing Scam Targets MasterCard Rewards Program

Security researchers warn of a new phishing attack that targets Brazilian credit card owners by spoofing e-mails from MasterCard’s Surpreenda (surprise) program.

Spam analysts spotted the new campaign from Commtouch, who notes that unlike classic phishing schemes where users are threatened into exposing their sensitive information, this attack tries to lure them with rewards.

In order to achieve this they spoof communications related to MasterCard Surpreenda, an advantage program that lets credit card owners earn reward points when making purchases. These points can then be spent in “pay one, take two” promotions, where the second product can be sent as a gift to someone.

The rogue e-mails purport to come from surpreenda@redecard(dot)com.br and bear a title of “Participate in the MasterCard Surprise Promotion - RedeCard” [translated].  It is likely the phishers hijacked legit e-mail advertising the program and only changed the destination of the link inside.

Read more at DHS Gov →

TuesdayJanuary 25, 2011