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WednesdayFebruary 9, 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 Georgia Latino Alliance For Human Rights Condems HB 87 That Criminalizes Immigrants

The Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), a grassroots organization that advocates for the human rights of Immigrants, opposes the implementation of “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011” HB 87.

Georgia has already implemented the controversial 287(g) program in several counties. 287(g) also encourages racial profiling when authorizing local police to enforce federal immigration law. Policy makers who supported the 287(g) program argued that it would enhance our security and improve the economy. First, the negative result of the program has demonstrated that actually damages the economy and does not increase safety in our communities, and in fact diminishes it Gwinnett, Cobb, Hall and Whitfield counties have implemented this program, only making it more difficult to create a form a positive relationship between police authorities and Latinos because of broken trust.

HB 87 would help bring about a downturn in Georgia’s economy. According to the Immigration Policy Center (IPC), Georgia Latino’s purchase power which was around $16 billion in 2009, is decreasing due to the fear created by the implementation of the 287(g) program. It demonstrates the importance of our community to create jobs and provide revenue for the local, state or private sector. Nowadays, there are around 20,000 Latino owned businesses, whose sales are over $4 billion and provide more than 21,000 jobs. (U.S. Census Bureau)

According to a report by the Perryman Group, the state would lose more than $21 million in economic activity, $9.5 billion in gross state product, and approximately 132,460 jobs if this controversial immigration law is enacted.

Implementing laws and programs that are based on discrimination only brings negative outcomes. The same workers that were welcome, respected and even applauded when they came to save Atlanta’s image on 1994 and enriched the economy of the State with their business, are suddenly attacked with false accusations.

In this declined economy, GLAHR supports a solution that respects the human and civil rights of individuals, such as a comprehensive immigration reform. HB87 will not improve us, but will be a deterrent for the individual to pursue a better quality of life in areas such as education and employment. We must stimulate our economy with more highly skilled people by raising the wage level, and by demonstrating to the world that we live in a country that truly encourages equal opportunity for competition. HB87 will do exactly the opposite Latino immigrants are essential for the stability of the State of Georgia given their labor force capacity in different sectors of the State’s economy. To harm one group you will harm all of us!

Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights firmly opposes the implementation of this racial profiling and pro-economic recession law; and decries the ideas of those legislators who claim themselves to be “saviors” or “heroes” of the state with “ their ideas” that will only bring about are the failure of the state.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LA Mayor Villaraigosa Uses Marachis, Movie Stars and Michael Bloomberg in an Effort to Get NFL Team

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa uses marachis, movie stars and even disses Michael Bloomberg all in an effort to get an NFL team for the city.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office shot a one-minute video spot to promote the city’s quest for an NFL team reminding everyone that he is no Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In the video, which features firefighters, mariachis, a surfer and, of course, the mayor himself, Villaraigosa promises viewers that taxpayer money will not be used to build a football stadium downtown, close to the Staples Center.

“This project will be 100% privately funded, but not by me. Who do you think I am? Mayor Bloomberg?” 

So is the NFL ready for LA???  Villaraigosa sure hopes so.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Picasso Painting Homage to His Under Age Lover “La Lecture” Fetches $40.7 Million

Their love affair started as a secret decades ago: the married 45 year-old Spanish painter Picasso and the 17 year-old French Marie-Therese Walter meeting accidentally at Galeries Lafayette – now his painting homage to his muse ‘La Lecture’ fetched $40.7 million at a Sotheby’s art auction yesterday.

There was much excitement in the art world for the 1932 painting that depicts Walter asleep in an armchair.  Last year Picasso’s ‘Nude, Green Leaves and Bust’ painting of Walter commanded $106.5 million.  Nothing sanctifies illicit love over time like high priced art.

There were seven bidders vying for the painting, at London’s Sotheby auction house, finally selling after six minutes of bidding to an anonymous buyer over the phone. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Low-Income Groups Could Delay California’s Pollution Legislation

Low-Income Groups Could Delay California’s Pollution Legislation

Photo: California Pollution

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As California officials get ready to implement their historic climate-change legislation they’re being met with expected challengers.

Groups representing low-income residents have filed a motion that could possibly delay the effectuation of portions of the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) because they say the law violates the California Environmental Quality Act because the air board did not provide any alternatives, and have risked the welfare of many residents.

The low-income residents’ representatives, along with six environmental agencies, say that allowing companies to purchase carbon offsets to meet emissions limits instead of reducing the pollution could actually increase the amount of toxic chemicals released into the air. The industrial facilities would just have to pay, or promise to reduce pollution at their other locations. The problem is that companies’ offsets can be “transferred” to other locations outside of the state or even Mexico under the cap-and-trade program. This means that the pollution may not even be reduced in California, in fact, it could increase.

Brent Newell, the attorney representing the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment said because companies are allowed to buy offsets in other states, pollution reduction “doesn’t happen in California and doesn’t happen in the community that is burdened by this pollution. Cap and trade makes poor people into sacrificial lambs.”

He added that those he represents “support reducing greenhouse gasses because they know global warming has negative and disproportionate effects in their communities; they are refusing to be sacrificed.”

Read more at California Watch →

Spaniards Living in a Pollution Fog and Officials Appear to be Doing NADA

The contamination indexes, which measure pollution levels, in Spain’s most important cities—Madrid and Barcelona, are at an all time high. What are the authorities doing to purify the air?

Madrid’s city council called on commuters to take public transportation as part of a “day without car” initiative in more than 200 Spanish cities.  But cars in Madrid are seen as necessities, something commuters can’t give up, and so the “day without a car” saw as many cars in transit as any other day.

Government as well as environmental initiatives are all on the table, but the City Council as well as the mayor refuse to take enact measures, seeing the issue as “an issue much too important to be tackled by a government ending its term in office”.

Madrid’s city council is already under scrutiny for failing to tackle air pollution, and apparently distorting data; city council officials reportedly moved air pollution sensors from heavy traffic areas, to parks, where the readings were significantly “purer,” throwing the average off, but still not under 40 micrograms of NO2 (Nitrogen dioxide) per cubic meter, the EU suggested average annual level.

Levels of NO2 in Madrid - mainly the result of car exhausts - are consistently over the EU hourly limit of 200 micrograms per cubic meter.

Proposals include creating more “Taxi Cab Stops” so as to reduce the number of empty cabs in transit, to reduce the emissions from boats docked in the city’s port, and making the loading and unloading of cargo in the city to be performed with electrical vehicles.

No measure will be implemented however, until after municipal elections since these are “important issues, not to be approved in the last days of an administration”.

Read more by HS News Staff →

‘Cesar Chavez’ Holiday Reinstated at Univ. of Texas After Student Protests

Earlier this year when the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) abruptly canceled Cesar Chavez Day as a holiday, the protest amongst the Hispanic students was loud and clear.  And now it appears those protests have been heard and the holiday has been reinstated.

Yesterday, UTEP’s administration voted to reinstate Cesar Chavez Day on March 31st as a ‘no class day’.  They noted that they now fully understood ‘state requirements for staff holidays’ and meant to disrespect to the civil rights leader. 

UTEP’s Latino population is 76 percent and no in put was asked of them or of any of the students when the school made the decision.

“The removal of Cesar Chavez Holiday from the list of days dedicated to mark important events or leaders is not merely administrative, but an act with deep consequences. Texas has already banned Cesar Chavez from elementary and secondary textbooks. 

This makes UTEP’S leading role even more important.” said Adrian Rivera, a Bilingual Education student who is the coordinator for Students for Cesar Chavez.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chipotle Fires More Undocumented Workers

Chipotle Fires More Undocumented Workers

Photo: Chipotle fires more workers

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Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. underwent a two-year-long audit by he U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and beginning in Minnesota, they laid-off hundreds of workers unable to clear up questions about their immigration status.

Tuesday, the Denver-based chain said the layoffs have reached Virginia and Washington D.C. as well. Spokesman Chris Arnold said the dismissals have been “difficult and even heartbreaking because these were really good employees,” and pointed out that this is just an example of the fact that the system isn’t working. He added that Chipotle “has done more than is required” to ensure that its employees are properly documented by checking two documents for each hired individual.”

All applying to work in the U.S. have to fill out I-9 forms, and Chipotle says they received one from each employee. The problem is that some falsified information, and were not in fact eligible to work in the U.S.

Employers often have the difficult task of confirming potential workers’ eligibility to work in the states, and discriminating against them.

To add to the food chain’s troubles, Chipotle is now fighting a lawsuit from former Minnesota employees that say, after being fired, the company did not pay them their wages on time.

Arnold stated that all workers have been paid everything they were owed.

The company plans to open another 135 locations in 2011.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Central American Countries Working to Reduce Childhood Anemia, Some Areas have Rate as High as 25%

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will help to reduce the rate of anemia in children under age five in El Salvador and other Central American countries with a loan of US$1.1 million approved today. The program seeks to increase the capacity of the pharmaceutical establishment Ancalmo S.A. de C.V. to produce micronutrients.

Micronutrient deficiency is a form of malnutrition caused by lack of vitamins, iron, and zinc that are essential for health, growth, and development. In El Salvador, the anemia rate for children under five is 18.4 percent for the nation as a whole, 25 percent for rural areas, and 27 percent for poorest one-fifth of the population.

The project will help Ancalmo modernize and improve its production capacity of micronutrient powder under the supervision of the Global Initiative for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Ancalmo exports 46 percent of its production to Central America, Mexico, and the United States. The modernization project will help spur the local production of micronutrient powder and make distribution more efficient in the region.

The loan to Ancalmo, which is part of the IDB’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative, will support El Salvador’s efforts to reduce anemia in preschool children. The Opportunities for the Majority Initiative promotes market-based sustainable business models in which private companies, governments, and local communities provide quality products and services designed to improve the quality of life of low-income people.

This loan will be accompanied by a technical cooperation grant to incorporate the Salvadoran Foundation for Health and Human Development’s “Pounds of Love” program into the micronutrient project. The foundation’s program has served 65,000 people in western El Salvador since 2004.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Meet QB Mark Sanchez’s 17-Year-Old-Valentine. Her Name, Her Words, Her Pictures.

Meet QB Mark Sanchez’s 17-Year-Old-Valentine. Her Name, Her Words, Her Pictures.

Photo: Mark and Eliza Image By Juan Laverde for HS-News

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Her name is Eliza Kruger and she is the 17-year-old high school student that contacted sports blog site Deadspin.com with the story of her few-night-stands-romance with Jets Quarterback and Latino heartthrob Mark Sánchez.

It all started in New York, during a New Year’s eve celebration at Club Lavo.

Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio wrote:

E.K. told me that Sanchez sidled up to her, and the two talked for a while. She gave him her BlackBerry number and flirted a bit. “You know I’m 17, right?” she remembers saying. Sanchez kept his cool. “Well, we can still talk, but I can’t see you until you’re 18,” he said. “Actually,” E.K. replied, “17 is legal in New York.” Poise all around.

How is a 17-year old girl hanging out inside one of the most expensive and exclusive nightclubs in New York City? We don’t know from the part of the establishment, but from the part of Eliza, it shouldn’t be hard to purchase a fake ID and a class ride, complete with hundred dollar bills for VIP treatment inside when your father is Connecticut hedge funder and millionaire Konrad “Chip” Kruger. 

A few days later, Sánchez contacted her via text message. Kruger, like any good 17-year-old would, spilled the beans on Facebook.


Mark, in a totally altruistic and zero creepy move got his new girlie and her friends tickets to the Bills VS Jets season finale game on January 2, and later took her to dinner at Nobu, a restaurant in midtown, after which, the pair took their party to the Quarterback’s personal quarters, in Northern New Jersey, where the pair allegedly “hooked up.”

At that point it became evident to the young girl, that nobody would believe her story, so she took a number of pictures inside the Jets Quarterback’s room, to prove their love affair, was real. ImageImageImage

Kruger told Deadspin, the only times she’s heard from Mark Sánchez since their time together has been texts at 2 in the morning asking her if she’s going out.  She passed on the offer since she had high school in the morning.

As creepy as it may sound, no laws were broken. The pair made sure to check the law in both New York and New Jersey, where its perfectly legal for a 24 year old, to have few-night-stands with a 17 year old.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Texas Gov. Perry Invites Falcon Lake Widow to State Address as He Speaks of Border Security

At Texas’ State of the State Address, Gov. Rick Perry chose an interesting guest to join him as he spoke on the issue of border security.

This past fall, Tiffany Hartley’s husband was allegedly murdered by Mexican pirates while the Hartley’s rode Jet Skis at Texas’ Falcon Lake. The area sits between Texas and Mexico.

When the Falcon Lake incident happened, many questioned the credibility of Hartley, because at first, there were no witnesses, and David Hartley’s body was never found, but a witness finally came forward.

After the address, Hartley spoke with reporters about the need for greater security at the border saying, ““I feel Gov. Perry is right alongside what I’m fighting for today — that what happened to David brings some light to what’s happening on our border. These people are killing our citizens.”

Hartley is under less scrutiny these days, but says she no feels ignored by officials in Washington who she said need to “stand up and do something.”

While initially, Mexican officials doubted Hartley’s story, when the lead Mexican police commander was beheaded, they understood the seriousness.

Read more at Texas Tribune →

Latino California Activist Wants Spanish-Language Billboard be Taken Down

Latino California Activist Wants Spanish-Language Billboard be Taken Down

Photo: Adriana's Insurance billboard

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Just south of Bear Valley Road in Victorville, California near Interstate 15, sits a Spanish—language that (translated) says, “More for your money,” and local activist is outraged by its presence.

The billboard is for Rancho Cucamonga-based Adriana’s Insurance, and it has caught the angry eye of Raymond Herrera, founder We The People, California’s Crusader a group strongly against undocumented immigration.

“It’s a blight and affront on our language,” said Herrera about the billboard. “Adriana’s Insurance should cease its divisive campaign of erecting Spanish language billboards on American soil.”

Herrera is protesting the sign and is demanding the city pass an ordinance mandating that all signs and billboards be only in English.

Mayor Pro Tem Rudy Cabriales sees no problem with the billboard stating, “Who are we to tell them how to run their business? I don’t think the city has any business getting involved in that. We have enough to deal with. If a business wants to do that, it’s their money. And they make their decisions based on the market.”

In 2009, Herrera led a protest to have local Wells Fargo Spanish-language signs removed. Two weeks later, four of the bank’s ads were removed and replaced with all English-language signs. He is also a supporter for Arizona’s controversial SB 1070, and the government’s information-sharing program E-Verify.

Read more at Victorville Daily Press →

List of Top 10 Ordered Movies in U.S. Hotels, Next Years List to Include Latin American Hotels

LodgeNet Interactive, the biggest provider of pay-per-view entertainment to Marriott, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Best Western and soon hotels in Latin America have announced the list of top ten on-demand movies ordered in hotels nationwide.

These are:

1. The Blind Side (Warner Bros. Pictures)
2. Couples Retreat (NBC Universal)
3. Date Night (20th Century Fox)
4. Robin Hood (NBC Universal)
5. 2012 (Sony Pictures)
6. It’s Complicated (NBC Universal)
7. The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Summit Entertainment)
8. Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros. Pictures)
9. Avatar (20th Century Fox)
10. Salt (Sony Pictures)

Company officials, according to their website, announced a partnership between LodgeNet, and WiFi Entertainment LTDA (a supplier of wireless broadband solutions for major hotel chains and others) that will allow LodgeNet to provide advanced interactive TV (iTV) services to hotels in Colombia and other Latin American countries.

“This is a welcome opportunity to expand our international footprint and offer our major hotel customers the same quality of iTV service for their Colombian properties as we provide in the U.S. and other countries worldwide,” said Peter Klebanoff, Vice President International & Hospitality Business Development for LodgeNet. “WiFi Entertainment is a well qualified partner for this effort because of their established hotel relationships and their bilingual 24/7 support center specializing in telecommunications and customer service.”

“We are happy to join with LodgeNet in offering Colombian hotels the world’s leading interactive television solution,” said Alejandro Bernal, Accounts Manager for WiFi Entertainment. “We believe the positive global recognition associated with the LodgeNet name will give hotels confidence in adopting our portfolio of solutions, now including iTV, for the benefit of all parties.”

The company cited “The Hangover” as the most popular film of 2009 among pay-per-view users in hotels and resorts.


Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY:  Latinos and Digital Technology 2010

Latinos are less likely than whites to access the internet, have a home broadband connection or own a cell phone, according to survey findings from the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.  Latinos lag behind blacks in home broadband access but have similar rates of internet and cell phone use also.

While about two-thirds of Latino (65%) and black (66%) adults went online in 2010, more than three fourths (77%) of white adults did so. In terms of broadband use at home, there is a large gap between Latinos (45%) and whites (65%), and the rate among blacks (52%) is somewhat higher than that of Latinos.

Fully 85% of whites owned a cell phone in 2010, compared with 76% of Latinos and 79% of blacks.  Hispanics, on average, have lower levels of education and earn less than whites.

Hispanics are less likely than whites to use any non-voice applications on a cell phone (58% vs. 64%), and they are also less likely than whites to send or receive text messages (55% vs. 61%). However, Hispanics and whites are equally likely to access the internet and send or receive email from a cell phone.

This report is based on two national surveys. The first, the Pew Hispanic Center’s 2010 National Survey of Latinos is a nationally representative bilingual telephone survey of 1,375 adults ages 18 and older.  The second, the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s August 2010.

To view the entire study go to the HSN Library

Read more by HS News Staff →

Undocumented Immigrant Told to Go Back to Mexico for Medical Care

Undocumented Immigrant Told to Go Back to Mexico for Medical Care

Photo: UTMB John Sealy Hospital

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Last month, a woman was preparing for a surgery to remove a potentially life-threatening tumor from along her spine, but after almost a week in the hospital, she said a doctor told her to go have her surgery in Mexico. She was then given discharge papers.

Maria Sanchez, 24, had already spent six days at the University of Texas Medical Branch’s John Sealy Hospital (UTMB) being prepped for surgery that would remove a banana-sized tumor from her spine that has lodged itself between her vertebrae. The tumor is now causing her to lose functionality in her right hand and making it harder to use her other hand and her legs.

Sanchez is an undocumented immigrant, and UTMB documentation says she was discharged because she was “an undocumented [patient] with no insurance,” and also shows that she had at least one procedure done, with a scheduled surgery date, before she was discharged without warning on January 12th, when she says a Spanish-speaking doctor came to her room and told her she should go have surgery in Mexico

When she received her surprising discharge papers, Sanchez called her husband Luis Aguilion.. When he arrived, he found his wife and his mother crying on the bed. Understandably, Aguillon, a legal U.S. resident, was angry.

“They treated us like animals, like dogs or something,” said 36-year-old Aguillon, an unemployed welder. “It’s like saying to that black lady, because she is black, go to Africa.”

While hospitals have the right to deny care to undocumented immigrants at all facilities except emergency care centers, this case still raises both legal and ethical questions.

Dr. Bill Nealon, a former UTMB general surgeon who is now at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee said, “If we are going to be brutally honest, this is a practice that takes place at other hospitals. The real problem for UTMB is that it was documented, and they have a commitment for care to the indigent.” He added that there is no legal basis for refusing a patient care on the basis inability to pay.

Ethically, hospitals are obligated to provide care to any patient they have already accepted, regardless of immigration status.

Medical records show that Sanchez was admitted to the emergency room at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center on January 5th, and the next day transferred to UTMB because, as the records state, Clear Lake doctors did not have the neurosurgical skills to treat her. The records also show that a UTMB neurosurgeon accepted Sanchez as a patient after speaking with a Clear Lake doctor. Therefore, UTMB took responsibility of Sanchez’s care and was then ethically obligated to continue with her care. Legally, however, the hospital could determine that a patient is stabilized then terminate their care by sending them a return-receipt letter and provided them with enough time to make other arrangements.

Aguillon said he and his wife were given no referrals, only the discharge document.

In the end, Aguillon moved to from Galveston to Houston so he could qualify for care a Ben Taub General Hospital where she is now receiving treatment, but only after he took his wife to five hospitals and three clinics.

Read more at Houston Chronicle →

Undocumented Students Fearful After Dream Act Failure

Undocumented Students Fearful After Dream Act Failure

Photo: Dream Act Rallies were students "came out"

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Last summer, many students “came out” as undocumented immigrants but after the failure of the Dream Act in the Senate, these same students are experiencing uncertainty about their future. 

Maricela Aguilar, a junior at Marquette, is one of these students.  “It’s all about losing that shame of who you are,” said Aguilar, who was born in Mexico but moved to the US when she was 3 years old.  She is just one of thousands who “came out” last year who now find themselves in a unique legal situation.  After last summer, their status as an undocumented immigrant is public information and now many of these student fear being targeted for deportation. 

“If your name is out there immediately attached with ‘undocumented,’ then there is always this fear of being deported,” said Aguilar.  However, immigration agents have been told to focus of finding immigrants who have been convicted on criminal charges, and encouraged to use discretion when dealing with students who do not have a criminal past. In fact, when students are apprehended, officials are becoming involved in order to postpone or cancel deportations.

According to Brian P. Hale, the senior spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency “uses discretion on a case by case basis, as appropriate.”

Read more at The New York Times →

Unprecedented’ Efforts to Secure Arizona Border With Mexico Deemed a Success by Obama Administration

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) today announced results to date from a collaborative enforcement effort put in place in September 2009 that leverages the capabilities and resources of over 60 federal, state, local and tribal agencies in Arizona and the government of Mexico to combat criminal organizations that pose a threat to communities on both sides of the border.

Since its inception, ACTT has resulted in:
• The seizure of more than 1.6 million lbs. of marijuana, 3,800 lbs. of cocaine, and 1,000 lbs. of methamphetamine;
• The seizure of more than $13 million in undeclared U.S. currency and 268 weapons;
• Nearly 14,000 aliens denied entry to the U.S. at Arizona ports of entry due to criminal background or other disqualifying factors; and
• Approximately 270,000 apprehensions between ports of entry;

According to the Obama administration the Border Patrol is better staffed than at any time in its history, having doubled the number of agents from approximately 10,000 in 2004 to more than 20,700 in 2010.

These investments have also produced significant results. Border Patrol apprehensions—a key indicator of illegal immigration—have decreased 36 percent in the last two years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Confession?  There’s an App for That- and It’s Got The Church’s Blessing

Confession?  There’s an App for That- and It’s Got The Church’s Blessing

Photo: The first Church-Approved app

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The Catholic Church has approved its first app, a guide for the act of confession.  Confession: A Roman Catholic app describes their product as a “personalized examination of conscience for each user.”

“Our desire is to invite Catholics to engage in their faith through digital technology,” said Patrick Leinen.  He is one-third of the company Little iApps.  Oddly enough, their desire to reengage Catholics in their faith comes with a price tag of $1.99 per person. 

The app was created with the assistance of Reverend Thomas Weinandy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as well as Reverend Dan Scheidt, pastor of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mishawka, Indiana.

The app does not actually absolve the user of their sins but rather is a step-by-step guide for the act of confession.  All one needs to do is find a priest, use the guide, confess, and personal salvation is in one’s sights! 

“We hope many more will take advantage of this new confession resource,” said Leinen. 

Read more at Comcast News →

Controversy in Mexico due to Alleged Alcoholism of President Felipe Calderon (VIDEO)

Controversy in Mexico due to Alleged Alcoholism of President Felipe Calderon (VIDEO)

Photo: Does Felipe Calderón Have an Alcoholism Problem?

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Controversy in Mexico is stirring due to an alleged alcoholism problem of President Felipe Calderon, while a deputy of the Labor Party assures that the Mexican leader has problems with alcohol.

Gerardo Fernández Noroña, a firm opponent of the government of Felipe Calderón, ignited a controversy when he showed up to a session of the Chamber of Deputies with a banner depicting a drunken Calderón that read, Image “Would you allow a drunk man to drive your car? No, right? Then why do you allow him to drive a country?”

Renowned journalist Carmen Aristegui commented on the incident on her radio show for the MVS Network on February 4 2011.

“[…] Let’s pay attention to the issue, and leave the question opened; It is not the first time that word is out about Calderon’s alleged alcoholism problem, if you’re a user of social networks, it is not unusual to see comments that allude to that circumstance, which we cannot verify, there’s no specific information that we can use to support whether or not the president has an alcoholism problem,” Aristegui said on the air. 

“Does the president have alcoholism problems, or not?  The Presidency of the Republic should issue a clear, official, formal answer to the question. There’s nothing offensive—I think, when somebody (if it’s the case), is going through a problem of this nature; alcoholism, which is a health phenomenon very studied, has different explanations when it happens to people, requires treatment, it is not a situation that should be caricaturized. If it is the case, if there are firm elements that reveal a problem of alcoholism in the president, it should be treated with all the seriousness of the case.”

A Twitter message sent on Sunday and signed by Kirén Miret, Aristegui’s personal assistant, said that the journalist was no longer going to be in the air as MVS had cancelled her contract.

The network said that Aristegui had “transgressed our Ethics Code, reason why we terminated our contractual relationship”

Journalist Lydia Cacho twitted that she had learned by Aristegui’s staff that the Presidency had written an apology letter and demanded the journalist read it on the air.

Aristegui refused.

Colombian newspaper El Tiempo spoke with Ferardo Fernández Noroña, the deputy that started the fire.

Why are you so sure president Calderón has an alcoholism problem?
It is a long story that started since Calderón was Deputy Coordinator. He has always been fond of partying and with the secretary of government Francisco Blake, the two went and partied hard.  We have always been aware of the dependency to alcohol that the current president, who by the way, stole that title.

It has been a permanent problem that can’t keep happening, It is not possible that someone with a responsibility so important, takes decisions in such a state.

Why bringing up the subject right now?
It was my decision. I’ve been a firm opponent, I think we should force him to resign; he’s doing a terrible damage to the country. He’s connected with drug trafficking, to the auctioning of oil, of electric energy, of the national patrimony!

I’ve accused him of selling the nation; I’ve demonstrated his level of corruption, and now, this additional fact, his problem with alcohol. A fact that really carries not much importance, but which the president seems to be hurt about, he even shut down journalist Carmen Aristegui from the radio, barely for asking whether my allegations were true or not.

Are you trying to say that the Mexican Government ordered the dismissal of Carmen Aristegui from the MVS network?
I don’t have the slightest doubt about it. It was undoubtedly the pressure of the government to the radio network what produced the exit of one of the best, most important journalists in Mexico, and the demise of one of the radio shows in México with the most faithful audience.



Read more at El Tiempo, Colombia →

More Hispanic Students Experience Success in Advanced Placement (AP) Classes than Ever Before

The College Board announced its Advanced Placement (AP) results for the class of 2010 and there was a lot of good news for minority students. 

More than half a million public school students from the class of 2010 scored a 3 or higher on at least one Advanced Placement (AP) Exam during high school, nearly double the number of successful students from the class of 2001, and more minority students experienced success in AP than ever before.  More importantly more low-income students participated and succeeded in AP than in previous years. 

AP enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Through more than 30 college-level courses, each culminating in a rigorous exam, AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both.

Over the past 10 years, the number of traditionally underserved minority students graduating with a successful AP experience has more than doubled— Black/African American graduates with scores of 3 or higher increased from 7,764 in 2001 to 19,675 in 2010; Hispanic/Latino graduates with scores of 3 or higher increased from 33,479 in 2001 to 74,479 in 2010; and American Indian/Alaska Native graduates with scores of 3 or higher increased from 988 in 2001 to 2,195 in 2010

Despite increases, Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American and American Indian/Alaska Native students remain underrepresented both in AP classrooms and within that group of students experiencing success in AP.

Read more by HS News Staff →

44 Kidnapped Central American Migrants Rescued in Mexico

Mexico’s Army staged a bold rescue of kidnapped Central American migrants in the northern border city of Reynosa yesterday.

The Army following leads on drug trafficking located 37 men and 10 women at a safe house in Reynosa, which is across the border from McAllen, Texas.  The majority of the kidnapped migrants were from Guatemala and three were Mexican nationals.  It is assumed the kidnapped migrants were enroute to entering the U.S. illegally and were either kidnapped by those paid to bring them illegally into U.S. or they were kidnapped while they were trying to cross the border.

Incredibly when the Army raided the safe house they were not able to arrest anyone.  The city of Reynosa is located in the state of Tamaulipas that has been the site of numerous migrant-for-money-kidnappings and murders. 

Last August 72 Central Americans were found murdered in a farm allegedly by the Zeta drug cartel, who held them for ransom that was never paid.

Read more at Washington Post →

U.S. Bishops Urge Homeland Security to Stop the Resumption of Haitian Deportations

In a joint letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, Archbishop José H. Gomez, Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, and Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, chairman of the Board of Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ international humanitarian agency, expressed opposition to the recent resumption of deportations to the nation of Haiti.
“We are disturbed and dismayed over the January 20, 2011, deportation of 27 Haitians, one of whom is reported to have died from cholera. We ask that you cease these deportations indefinitely,” they wrote.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of DHS announced the resumption of deportations to Haiti December 9th. Since then, about 300 Haitians have been transferred to Louisiana in advance of deportation to the stricken island nation. DHS also announced that it intends to deport 700 Haitians by the end of the year.
Citing the slow recovery from the January 12, 2010 earthquake, the outbreak of cholera, and recent civil unrest, the bishops stated that Haiti is not prepared to receive deportees.
“Now is not the time to resume deportations to Haiti, nor would it be morally or politically appropriate to do so in the foreseeable future,” they wrote. “To continue deportations in the face of such conditions would represent a knowing disregard for the life and dignity of Haitians scheduled for deportation.”
The bishops also argued that resuming deportations could communicate the wrong message to the Haitian people, who are depending upon the United States for long-term support in their effort to recover from the earthquake.  The bishops outlined several steps DHS should take to assist Haiti, including a re-designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haiti so that Haitians who arrived after the earthquake could qualify; the extension of humanitarian parole to family members of Haitians brought to the United States for medical care; and the implementation of a family parole program for 55,000 Haitians with approved family petitions into the United States as they wait for their priority dates to become current.
The bishops argued that the adoption of these measures would ensure the continued flow of remittances to the country and would “send an important signal to the Haitian people that the United States remains committed to their long-term welfare.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Anti-14th Amendment Bills Fail in Arizona

Anti-14th Amendment Bills Fail in Arizona

Photo: Protesters outside Arizona State Capitol

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Arizona State Senate legislation that would disallow automatic citizenship to those born to undocumented immigrants did not have enough support in a committee meeting yesterday.  Consequently, the bill’s sponsor pulled the two bills for the time building. 

One of the bills attempted to define who could be considered as a legal citizen of Arizona, while the other seeks Congressional approval for states to differentiate between children of undocumented immigrants and other children when issuing state birth certificates.  Two identical bills have also been filed in Arizona’s house.

These four bills are part of a larger crusade by conservative state legislators to create bills that would force a review of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution by the Supreme Court. 

Several children spoke critically about the bill, including 12-year-old Heide Portugal, a natural-born citizen, who pointed out that if this bill had been in effect at the time of her birth, she would have been denied citizenship. 

Read more at First Arizona anti-birthright citizenship bills falter in state Senate →

WednesdayFebruary 9, 2011