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MondayFebruary 28, 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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DOL Announces Grants to Improve Employment of Young Adult Offenders in High-Crime Neighborhoods

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced the availability of approximately $17 million in funds for two grants to support the employment prospects of young offenders, ages 16 to 24, in high-poverty, high-crime communities.

“Our nation’s young people are one of our greatest resources,” said Secretary Solis. “Helping to improve the job prospects of young offenders is one of the best ways to reduce recidivism while strengthening America’s future.”

The grants will be awarded through a competitive process open to national and regional intermediaries with experience in conducting multi-site projects and serving young adult offenders. The Labor Department expects to award two grants of $8.5 million each. Grantees will be required to competitively select local subgrantees to operate the programs in a minimum of five high-poverty, high-crime communities across at least two states.

Each year, juvenile courts in the United States handle approximately 1.6 million delinquency cases, and an estimated 144,000 youth are placed in juvenile correctional facilities, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Young people placed in these facilities face severe educational and labor market barriers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

National Hispanic Media Coalition Files FCC Complaint for Obscene Spanish-Language Program

The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today filed a joint complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against Liberman Broadcasting, Inc. and KRCA, a broadcast television station serving the Los Angeles area.

The complaint is in response to a string of broadcasts of the Spanish-language television talk show “José Luis Sin Censura,” which often contains indecent, profane, and obscene material, offensive language, nudity, and on-air verbal and physical attacks against women as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The organizations also launched an online action with the Women’s Media Center (WMC) where concerned community members and allies can send e-mails to the FCC supporting the complaint or file their own complaints based on episodes they have witnessed.

In over twenty episodes that aired between June 18 and December 7, 2010, the program contained images and language of the nature that is never displayed or is bleeped out of pre-taped English-language programs of the same nature, including the words “pinche” (“f*cking” in English) and “culero” (“assf*cker”), anti-gay language, including epithets such as “maricón,” “joto” and “puñal” (or “f*ggot”), and anti-Latino slurs, such as “mojado” (“wetback”). 

The program frequently featured blatant nudity and female guests have been shown in violent fights. Hypersexualized images of women’s breasts and genitals while stripping for male guests and audience members also make up routine offerings. Guests and audience members were often incited to engage in verbal and even physical attacks, especially against people perceived to be LGBT. Many episodes showed the audience standing and shouting anti-gay epithets and profanity at guests.

“This is certainly not the standard being set by other Spanish-language news and entertainment media, most of which continue to improve in presenting stories of the LGBT community that grow acceptance,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “It is extremely disturbing to see a show like ‘José Luis Sin Censura’ air this violent language with impunity and without any regard for the safety of our community. At a time when LGBT youth and adults face harassment and violence, it is unacceptable for media to fuel such a climate of intolerance about our community.” 

“I am outraged that Liberman Broadcasting is airing this filth at any time of day, no less in the middle of the day when our children are likely to be in the audience,” stated NHMC’s President and CEO, Alex Nogales.  “This program is WAY overboard, and goes far beyond a fleeting moment of expletives or nudity.  This is pre-taped, pre-meditated smut, designed to do nothing more than titillate and shock the audience.  I have never seen anything like this on English-language television - José Luis makes Jerry Springer look like Mr. Rogers.”  Nogales added, “I am alarmed that José Luis seems to normalize violence and hate against LGBT people.  At a time when so much hate is being directed towards Latinos in this country, we know firsthand that hate and violence have no place in our dialogue.” 

Nogales, a long-time critic of what he sees as a pattern of weak FCC enforcement of its rules against Spanish-language broadcasters, was also responsible for urging the FCC to levy the largest fine ever against a Spanish-language broadcaster, Univision, who in 2007 paid $24 million for failing to follow FCC rules.

Julie Burton, President of the Women’s Media Center said that “Programming that is this misogynistic can’t even be called television anymore - This is pornographic, and we’re here to ensure it’s no longer flying under the radar. As women fight for representation and rights internationally, we need to make sure we’re modeling equality in the United States. Such objectification harms all women, but has a disproportionate impact on girls.”

“José Luis Sin Censura” airs twice daily, Monday - Friday, in thirty-seven markets throughout the country. The show is produced and distributed by Burbank, CA-based LBI, Liberman Broadcasting Inc.

Read more by HS News Staff →

One of Puerto Rico’s Most Wanted Jailed in Cleveland

Wanted fugitive Roberto Rivera-Amezquita, age 27, was arrested early this morning at approximately 7:15 am on Cleveland’s west side. Rivera-Amezquita had been on the run and eluding law enforcement since December 2007.

Rivera-Amezquita was wanted out of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on charges of murder and weapons law violations. It is alleged that in October of 2006, Rivera-Amezquita and another suspect brutally beat Pablo Rivera-Rivera with an aluminum baseball bat leaving him unconscious. At the time, Rivera-Amezquita was originally charged with assault and battery charges. The victim subsequently died a few months later as a result of the beating turning the assault charge into a murder charge. Rivera-Amezquita immediately fled and became a fugitive from justice.

The U.S. Marshal Service in Puerto Rico became involved in the case and through its investigation eventually uncovered information leading Rivera-Amezquita to the Cleveland area. The information was relayed to the U.S. Marshal’s led Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force and the investigation continued locally. It was discovered that Rivera-Amezquita had assumed the identity of his brother Martin Rivera-Amezquita who is currently incarcerated in Puerto Rico. It is not known exactly how long Roberta Rivera-Amezquita had been living in Cleveland until his arrest this morning; however he was arrested on a drug charge in 2009 under his brother’s identity.

U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott stated, “This was a great example of cooperation between our task force and the task force in Puerto Rico. This fugitive will now finally be brought to justice.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

California Group’s TV Ads Say Immigrants Are Taking All the Jobs, Want Immigration Stopped

Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) has launched a TV campaign in Bakersfield, California calling for on the government to lower the number of legal immigrants and temporary workers allowed in until Californians are working again. The group says the ads were be launched because the federal government continues to allow around a million immigrants and temporary workers a year to “take American jobs despite.” 

In Bakersfield, the unemployment rate is just over 16% but went over 18% at points in the last year.  The national unemployment rate is around 9%.  CAPS says that recent studies by the Pew Hispanic Center and Northeastern University indicate that new immigrants are landing American jobs while Americans are losing jobs.

More legal immigrants reside and settle in California permanently than in any other state.

The TV ad dipicts the lack of attention to legal foreign workers by first presenting the word “illegal”, since illegal immigrants have been the primary media focus.  The spokesperson then separates the word “legal” out, saying, “But what about these workers; legal foreign workers?”  The commercial ends by combining the letters to form the word “ill” to describe California’s economy and joblessness, partly attributable to legal and illegal immigration. 

The campaign was initially launched in the San Francisco area because the region takes in more legal immigrants on a permanent resident basis than all but a handful of metropolitan areas in America.  The campaign will continue for months throughout various markets in California.

Read more at Californians for Population Stabilization →

Latin American Leaders Stand With Libya’s Gaddafi, Making “An Old Boys Club”

Latin American Leaders Stand With Libya’s Gaddafi, Making “An Old Boys Club”

Photo: Gaddafi and Chavez

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As leaders all around the world side with the people of Libya and not its leader, Moammar Gaddafi, leaders in Latin American are standing by his side, and it is even rumored that Gaddafi has fled to the country of one of these colleagues.

Fidel Castro, the former Cuban dictator, has long had relations with the Libyan leader, and has even stated that it is far too early to a criticize the government in Libya. Castro has even warned of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) invasion of Libya, and said U.S. “imperialism” is behind it.

“What for me is absolutely clear is that the U.S. government is not concerned with absolute peace in Libya and will not hesitate to give NATO the order to invade this rich country, perhaps within hours or very short days, Castro wrote in his column in the state-run newspaper Granma.

In Nicaragua, President Daniel Ortega – who recently had to face his own protesters – has reportedly been calling the Libyan leader and offering his support of the battle he is raging against his own people, as thousands have taken to the streets, and demand Gaddafi step down.

What surprised many, was the relative silence from Gaddafi’s long-time friend, Venezuelan President Hugó Chavez. However, Thursday, Chavez tweeted, “Viva Libya and its independence. Kadafi* is facing a civil war!!!” It was even been rumored that the close relationship between the men has sent Gaddafi into hiding in Venezuela. (Those rumors were squelched

Chavez’s neighbors however, are not as friendly with the Libyan strongman, as Peru’s President Alan García has condemned Gaddafi’s actions.

The head of the Western Hemisphere studies at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University Riordan Roett, said the group of leaders is “an old boys club. They all believe in the same stuff – that they are in power for life, that their people love them, and that the U.S. is behind all their problems.”

Analyst Ray Walser adds, “They claim that they are on the side of popular change, that they stand with the people—and yet that’s not what they’re doing.”

*Arabic translations allow for a number of spellings of the Libyan leader’s name.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal →

Cristiano Ronaldo: Engaged? Pregnant…. Again? Which Is It

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo could become a father for the second time; according to the Daily Mail, since Ronaldo’s girlfriend Irina Shayk has been seen sporting a little belly bump.

26 year old Ronaldo is believed to have flown form Spain to New York on Valentine’s day, to propose to Shayk on the backstage of the David Letterman Show. Oh So True or False - We aren’t sure.

The futboler’s representatives, refused to dissipate the doubts however:

“We’re not authorized to talk about this,” said his management company Gestifute.

A close friend of Ronaldo’s gave an interview, in which he talked about the couple’s alleged pregnancy, and wedding plans.

“Cristiano loves being a father,” said the “friend.”

“Although they weren’t planning having a baby so soon, the truth is that nothing makes him happier than his son […] and the birth of the boy awakened Irina’s desire to become a mother.”  According to other sources. 

Former Manchester United star Ronaldo became a father last year, on June 17, when a mystery woman gave birth to Cristiano Ronaldo Jr. The identity of the woman has never been revealed, while the star’s mother Dolores is helping to raise the child.

According to Ronaldo’s friend, Dolores wants the wedding to take place in the footballer’s home town of Funchal, on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

“They had been talking about marriage. Cristiano wanted something very special and romantic, and on Valentine’s Day he traveled to New York to surprise Irina […] he asked her to marry him.”

“Cristiano and Irina are going through an avalanche of emotions, and it’s not easy for them to manage their relationship with such demanding careers […] getting married and having a family has always been one of his objectives, and the time has come; he’s always talking about Irina, and you can see in his eyes how much he loves her.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Professional Golf Association Reaching Out to Hispanics through Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa

The Professional Golf Association (PGA) is committing funds and efforts to reach out to the U.S. Hispanic market in hopes there will be more interest from them in the sport.  Only 6 percent of golfers in the U.S. are Hispanic.  The PGA is planning on creating a network of golf teaching facilities and offer low-priced golf lessons in predominantly Latino neighborhoods.  There are also plans in the works to offer mobile golf experiences in those neigbhorhoods. 

The PGA is hoping their partnership with the Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation will provide Hispanics with the opportunity to learn, play and seek careers in golf.  Ochoa, one of Mexico’s young and most well known golfers, was number 1 in the world for three years in a row.

She is officially retired from the sport but spends a lot of her time on her foundation and is committed to seeing more minorities take up the sport she loves.

Read more at Portada →

Brazilian Government to Give Away 84 Million Condoms at Carnival

Brazilian officials behind this initiative aim to give one free condom per every two Brazilians.

“This is the largest campaign of its kind developed by the Brazilizn government,” said Health Minister Alexandre Padilha, at a press conference at a samba school in Rio de Janeiro.

Padilha also said that this year’s campaign is focused on women and girls from 15 to 24 years old since, they are the demographic most affected by AIDS, according to research from the Ministry.

“For every ten infected girls, we have eight boys with the illness. It is the only age group where more women than men are infected with HIV” said Padilha.

In a television ad that is part of the campaign one young woman is seen telling two of her friends: “Carnival is almost here so make sure to carry condoms. If you don’t, then don’t do it.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Two Phoenix Men Arrested for Attempting to Have Sex With Dogs

Two men have been arrested in Arizona for allegedly arranging to have sex with dogs.

Authorities say one of the men, Patrick Stephen Trejo of Phoenix, 25, is a music teacher at a middle school. The other is 47-year-old Keith D. Kiefer of Mesa. The men have each been charged with conspiring to have bestial-sexual contact with an animal.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies say the men went online and found dog owners who offer their pets for sex. The men allegedly arranged a meeting with a dog handler for Thursday.

Trejo is on administrative leave from the west Phoenix school he was working at. Keifer in an unemployed handyman. The two much now wear electronic monitors, and are not allowed to have contact with animals.

It is currently unknown if the men have attorneys.

Read more at LA Daily News →

Government Report: Health Care Disparities Remain Along Racial and Ethnic Lines

Improvements in health care quality continue to progress at a slow rate – about 2.3 percent a year; however, disparities based on race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other factors persist at unacceptably high levels, according to the 2010 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report issued today by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The reports, which are mandated by Congress, show trends by measuring health care quality for the nation using a group of credible core measures. The data are based on more than 200 health care measures categorized in several areas of quality: effectiveness, patient safety, timeliness, patient-centeredness, care coordination, efficiency, health system infrastructure, and access.

“All Americans should have access to high-quality, appropriate and safe health care that helps them achieve the best possible health, and these reports show that we are making very slow progress toward that goal,” said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. “We need to ramp up our overall efforts to improve quality and focus specific attention on areas that need the greatest improvement.”

Gains in health care quality were seen in a number of areas, with the highest rates of improvement in measures related to treatment of acute illnesses or injuries. For example, the proportion of heart attack patients who underwent procedures to unblock heart arteries within 90 minutes improved from 42 percent in 2005 to 81 percent in 2008. 

Other very modest gains were seen in rates of screening for preventive services and child and adult immunization; however, measures of lifestyle modifications such as preventing or reducing obesity, smoking cessation and substance abuse saw no improvement.

The reports indicate that few disparities in quality of care are getting smaller, and almost no disparities in access to care are getting smaller. Overall, blacks, American Indians and Alaska Natives received worse care than whites for about 40 percent of core measures. Asians received worse care than whites for about 20 percent of core measures. And Hispanics received worse care than whites for about 60 percent of core measures.  Poor people received worse care than high-income people for about 80 percent of core measures.

Of the 22 measures of access to health care services tracked in the reports, about 60 percent did not show improvement, and 40 percent worsened. On average, Americans report barriers to care one-fifth of the time, ranging from 3 percent of people saying they were unable to get or had to delay getting prescription medications to 60 percent of people saying their usual provider did not have office hours on weekends or nights.  Among disparities in core access measures, only one – the gap between Asians and whites in the percentage of adults who reported having a specific source of ongoing care – showed a reduction.

Each year since 2003, AHRQ has reported on the progress and opportunities for improving health care quality and reducing health care disparities.  The National Healthcare Quality Report focuses on national trends in the quality of health care provided to the American people, while the National Healthcare Disparities Report focuses on prevailing disparities in health care delivery as it relates to racial and socioeconomic factors in priority populations.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NARCO BLOG: Decapitated Bodies Desecrate War Memorial in Nuevo Larredo, Mexico’s City Square

Four bodies with their heads cut off and human fingers inserted in the victims mouths were found grisly displayed in Nuevo Larredo, Mexico.

Beheadings have become a trademark of the violent Mexico drug cartel wars but rarely are victims so openly displayed, let alone displayed on monuments. 

This time the four male bodies were nude and left on the sidewalk on top of a ‘narco manta’ or narco message banner.  The narco mantas are used to send warnings to rival gangs. 

The severed heads were left on one of the city’s memorials – the Christopher Columbus Monument - dedicated to Mexico’s Independence and located on one of the busiest thoroughfares.  This occurred while this border city is still reeling from the murder, earlier this month, of their police chief Manuel Farfan. 

Read more at Pro8News →

Facebook Brings Nicaraguan Youth Together Against President Ortega in “Virtual March”

Facebook Brings Nicaraguan Youth Together Against President Ortega in “Virtual March”

Photo: Cyber Activismo en Nicaragua

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Friday, thousands of Nicaraguan youth activists came together to protest President Daniel Ortega’s reelection bid.

Around 16,000 young people, following in the footsteps of Egypt’s revolutionaries, joined forces to create the largest demonstration against Ortega’s rule in well over a year.

But what was so unique about this “march” was that it was all done on Facebook in what is being called a “virtual march.” All day, activists joined what Time called the “cyber revolt” named “Marcha Virtual en Nicaragua!!!!”  The protest involved the “marchers” changing their profile photos to certain protest images, and setting all of their statuses to ““Our Heroes and Martyrs Didn’t Fight and Die to Replace One Dictatorship with Another!”, “Down with Mubarak, Gaddafi, and Ortega!” or “No to Idolatry!”

The comparison to Mubarak and Gaddafi (see also Gadhafi) is not a far stretch at all as all three of the nations under their rule are unhappy and demanding a change in leadership.

While the virtual protest did not have the same impact as the Egyptians’ weeks-long demonstration, its significance should not be downplayed, say analysts. They believe it is just another example of the impact social media and the internet can spread influence and change the world.

ImageCarlos Tunnermann, a leader of the pro-democracy Movement Por Nicaragua said, “The virtual march is creating conscientiousness and animating youth who many thought were indifferent to politics. The message of the youths who participated in the virtual march was one of total rejection and repudiation of the candidacy of Daniel Ortega, which is illegal and illegitimate. I think this energy will translate into greater youth participation in upcoming street marches and at the polls on election day in November.”

The organizer of the Facebook virtual march, Javier Baez, 27, said Ortega’s government has been able to keep its opposition silent and/or afraid, but this Facebook revolt gave young people the opportunity to come together in a safer manner and let the administration know that many of the Nicaraguan people are not happy.

“There will always be some brave people who protest in the streets, but this government have been good at creating apathy and fear among the rest of the population. Every time a protest march is organized, the Sandinistas call for a countermarch that ends in violence.”

The Sandinistas are the members of the socialist political party in Nicaragua known as the Sandinsta National Liberation Front (or Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, FSLN).

Baez, a political science graduate said he never imagined such overwhelming support for protest that went viral in a matter of days. In a country with only 60,000 people on Facebook, the group sent out about 100,000 invites to people in less than two weeks, and included the large Nicaraguan communities in the U.S.

Though the internet allowed the people of Nicaragua to protest in a safer way, social commentator Martin Mulligan said he does not believe Nicaragua will fully follow in Egypt’s footsteps and take to the streets.

So while the change in the Middle East may be influence people all around the world, Nicaragua and many other countries may not be ready to stage street marches, but in the mean time, Baez, by way of his Facebook page, Cyber Activismo en Nicaragua, is planning more cyber protests stating, “Do something. Act on your Ideas.”

Read more at Time →

Staten Island Chorus Dazzling Performance at the Oscars (VIDEO)

ImageThe members of a Staten Island chorus were given a dream opportunity, and dazzled with their rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.

In December, the 5th grade chorus of Staten Island’s Graniteville P.S. 22 was informed by actress and Academy Award show Host Anne Hathaway that they would be performing at the star-studded event.

Already YouTube stars, the children have more than 27 million views to their videos, which were posted by their director Gregg Breinberg who said watching them perform is “an emotional experience.” He told The Wall Street Journal “There is a certain sound that you get by not singing properly, and I look for that sound. That’s a sound that I love.”

The ensemble closed the award show with the 1939 Oscar winner for Best Song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” after the performance, the chorus got a standing ovation from the audience.

The 64 student YouTube superstar singers, are scheduled to join Oprah Winfrey for her Oscar special Monday.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Once Again Leader in Silver Production, Bypassing Peru

In 2010 Mexico has once again gained the top spot for being the world’s leading producer of silver, bypassing Peru that had the top spot for the last five years.

Mexico’s lead in silver production outpaces Peru by a mere 3.3 tons.  Mexico produced through November of 2010 3640.7 tons while Peru registered 3637.4 tons.

Mexico has been producing silver since the 16th century and a key reason the Spanish stayed to conquest the country.  Mexico was able to reclaim its top stop thanks in great part to new technologies and new mines opening. 

The silver mining sector is expected to grow by 23 percent in 2011 assuring that Mexico remains the top silver producer in the world for the foreseeable future. 

Read more at CNN Expansion →

6.0 Earthquake Shakes Chile on the Aniversary of Last Year’s Earthquake

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit central Chile on late Sunday evening, 10.29 p.m. local time (0129 GMT Monday) seismologists and officials said, causing some power outages on the one year anniversary of the huge earthquake/tsunami that rocked the region on February 2010. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the strength of a Chile earthquake at 6.0 on the Richter scale with a depth of 10 miles.

The quake’s epicenter happened about 17 miles north of Lebu, a port city in the Biobío region and about 19 miles deep, which is considered a shallow earthquake, according to the country’s National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry (ONEMI).

It has been estimated that around 248,000 people likely felt strong shaking, there were few damages reported.

ONEMI said the earthquake was not strong enough to generate a tsunami. “The Bio Bio region has partial power outages in Cañete and Chiguayante,” ONEMI said, without providing further details.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Cruise Lines Cancelling Stops to Mazatlan in Light of Hotel Shootings

Two popular cruise lines have canceled future stops at the Mazatlan, Mexico port in light of the shooting of two men at a local hotel parking lot.

The Norwegian Cruise line cancelled all future calls to the port and Carnival Splendor is skipping the port during this week’s travel itinerary.  The Splendor is now spending an extra day at Cabo San Lucas.  Norwegian will also be expanding its stay at Cabo for all future Mexican cruises.

Cruise lines were already weary about the Mazatlan stop in light of a surge in petty crimes in the port city that involved cruise tourists.  Holland America, Princess and the Disney Cruise already had avoided the port as of last month.

This past week’s shooting of two men, neither were tourists, happened at a hotel frequented by cruise tourists. 

Read more at Travel USA Today →

You May Have to Cross a Picket Line to Get It, but Chipotle’s Offering FREE FOOD

You May Have to Cross a Picket Line to Get It, but Chipotle’s Offering FREE FOOD

Photo: America's Next Great Restaurant

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Chipotle’s CEO, Steve Ells, is backing a new show on NBC and he wants people to watch its promo video on Facebook, so much so that he’s offering viewers free food.

The CEO is one of the people behind the new show America’s Next Great Restaurant, and in an effort to garner interest, Ells has offered up a “Buy One, Get One” burrito, bowl, salad, or tacos deal from Chipotle for watching the promo on Facebook.

ImageWhile the deal is to promote the show – premiering March 6th, 8/7c – one can’t help but wonder if this isn’t to try to win back a few people who have boycotted the chain after the mass firing of suspected undocumented immigrants in December and January. The firings were in response to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement audit of the food chain.

So maybe you’ll have to get past a few protestors to get it, but hey, it’s free food, right?

Click here, to watch the promo video.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Panamanian Soccer Player Who Kicked an Owl Could Get Three Days in Jail (VIDEO)

Panamanian Soccer Player Who Kicked an Owl Could Get Three Days in Jail (VIDEO)

Photo: Owl Gets Kicked At Soccer Game

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Animal Rights Organizations will begin investigations as to what sanctions Luis Moreno who plays for the Colombian Pereira should get for his kick of an owl.

A half hour into the second period of the game, with the score 2-1, the game was stopped after the ball accidentally hit an owl that apparently has lived in the stadium for a few years.

Frustrated because his team was losing with only 15 more minutes in the clock, Luis Moreno approached the hurt bird, and kicked it out of the field.

Opposite team striker Luis Pérez reprimanded the Panamanian, while a member of the Civil Defense entered the field to assist the bird.

The referee didn’t sanctioned the player, despite the screaming of the audience who called him “Murderer, Murderer” until the game ended.

Fortunately, the bird survived the incident; a veterinarian that happened to be watching the game, put a splint on its leg.

The owl is the symbol of the Junior soccer team, as it is believed that the team wins when the bird flies over the stadium.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Government Officials on Refugees and Migration Traveling to Ecuador and Colombia

Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Eric P. Schwartz will travel to Ecuador and Colombia today through March 4, 2011.

For decades, illegal armed groups have forced hundreds of thousands of Colombian civilians to flee from their homes to more peaceful parts of Colombia and to neighboring countries. The situation has been further aggravated by drug trafficking. The Government of Colombia has made strides over the past several years in re-establishing security and state presence in many areas of Colombia, and violence has decreased significantly.

Displacement continues, however, due to continued clashes between Colombian security forces and illegal armed groups, and among illegal groups for control of territory.

In Ecuador, Assistant Secretary Schwartz will meet with Ecuadorian government officials to express the United States’ solidarity with the government and people of Ecuador as they host more than 180,000 thousand refugees from Colombia, and to learn about the impact of the refugees on the host communities.

He will also meet with officials from the international organizations and NGOs that are providing support to the Colombian refugee population in Ecuador, and whose projects are funded by the Department of State. Assistant Secretary Schwartz will travel to Ecuador’s northern border to talk with Colombian refugees there about their current humanitarian needs, and to observe Department-funded assistance activities.

In Colombia, Assistant Secretary Schwartz will discuss humanitarian issues with government officials, and with officials of the international and non-governmental organizations whose Department of State-funded projects assist internally displaced Colombians. He will also visit Tumaco, the capital of Nariño Department, which has been a destination for many internally displaced persons (IDPs) seeking refuge from violence in rural areas.

In Tumaco, Assistant Secretary Schwartz will meet with IDPs, particularly Afro-Colombians; monitor the distribution of humanitarian assistance; and also talk with government officials responsible for response to displacement.

Read more by HS News Staff →

First Archbishop of Mexican Descent to Lead a N. American Archdiocese Installed in LA Sunday (VIDEO)

First Archbishop of Mexican Descent to Lead a N. American Archdiocese Installed in LA Sunday (VIDEO)

Photo: Archbishop Jose Gomez

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Cardinal Roger Mahony will turned over the reins of the Los Angeles Archdiocese to Archbishop Jose Gomez when he retired Sunday at the age of 75.

In masses celebrated in Spanish and English at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown LA, transitional ceremonies were held where Mahony passed over his pastoral staff to Gomez.

Gomez is chief shepherd of more than 5 million Catholics, of about which 70 percent are Hispanic, in the archdiocese’s coverage area of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara. It ranks as one of the Nation’s most populous.


Read more at CBS LA →

Treausry Targets Cocaine Supplier for Sinaloa Cartel over 70 Individuals Involved

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of Colombian national Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa (a.k.a. Elkin de Jesus Lopez Salazar) and more than 70 individuals and entities in Cifuentes Villa’s drug trafficking and money laundering organization as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs). 

Today’s action, taken pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these entities and individuals and freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction. 

“Targeting the corporate empires of narcotics traffickers is at the core of our efforts to degrade these dangerous organizations,” said OFAC director Adam Szubin. “By designating Cifuentes Villa and his extensive network – operating across a variety of economic sectors in six countries – OFAC is denying him the opportunity to profit from these entities or use them to launder the proceeds from his narcotics trafficking activities.  Going forward, Cifuentes Villa will no longer be able to masquerade as a legitimate businessman while supplying cocaine to the Sinaloa Cartel.” 

Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa, a native Colombian who also holds Mexican citizenship, leads a drug trafficking organization with operations in Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Panama and Spain that is closely allied with the Sinaloa Cartel headed by Mexican national Joaquin Guzman Loera (El Chapo).  Guzman Loera and the Sinaloa Cartel were identified by the President as Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2001 and 2009, respectively.  In November 2010, Cifuentes Villa and Guzman Loera were indicted on drug trafficking and money laundering charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. 

Alfredo Alvarez Zepeda (a.k.a. Gabino Ontiveros Rios), who acts as a drug trafficking liaison between the Cifuentes Villa organization and Guzman Loera,  and key criminal associates who provide material support to Cifuentes Villa’s drug trafficking activities, Jaime Alberto Roll Cifuentes, Winston Nicholls Eastman, David Gomez Ortiz, and Shimon Yelinek were also designated today. 

Juan Pablo Antonio Londono Ramirez, a business partner of Cifuentes Villa, is among the other individuals designated today.  Londono Ramirez owns stored value card company Monedeux with locations in Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Spain, and the United States. 

Multiple family members of Cifuentes Villa were also designated today for materially supporting his drug trafficking activities and/or for helping to manage his companies.  Two of today’s designees, Dolly de Jesus Cifuentes Villa and Hildebrando Alexander Cifuentes Villa, are also charged with drug trafficking and money laundering in the Southern District of Florida in the same indictment as Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa and Guzman Loera. 

Cifuentes Villa owns or controls 15 companies operating in Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador that are involved in a variety of economic sectors, ranging from Linea Aerea Pueblos Amazonicos S.A.S., a recently-created airline operating in eastern Colombia, to Red Mundial Inmobiliaria, S.A. de C.V., a real estate company located near Mexico City, to Gestores del Ecuador Gestorum S.A., a consulting company located in Quito, Ecuador.

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Justice Department Renewing Commitment to Reaching Individuals with Limited English Proficiency

Whether in an emergency or in the course of everyday business, government agencies must always be ready and able to communicate effectively with all members of the public. Events such as the H1N1 influenza pandemic, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Gulf oil spill, and the 2010 Decennial Census highlight the need for effective communication, including communication with persons who are limited English proficient (LEP).

Recognizing the critical need for effective communication with LEP individuals, in August of 2000, President Clinton issued an Executive Order, directing each federal agency to develop and implement systems by which LEP persons could meaningfully access the agency’s services.  The order also directed those agencies offering federal financial assistance to issue guidance to recipients of such assistance on their legal obligations to ensure meaningful access for LEP persons under the national origin nondiscrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

However, a 2006 language access survey of the federal government revealed that not all federal agencies were aware of, and fully in compliance with, principles of language access. An April 2010 Government Accountability Office report on language access at federal agencies further confirmed these findings, and offered concrete suggestions for improving the federal government’s efforts to comply with the Executive Order. 

Further, interagency language access conferences held over the last few years have revealed that, while the federal government as a whole has taken considerable strides toward providing language access in some areas, the implementation of comprehensive language access programs remains uneven throughout the government and among recipients of federal financial assistance, especially in the face of limited resources and personnel.

In order to address these deficiencies and ensure that all federal agencies are providing the language access necessary to communicate effectively with LEP individuals, Attorney General has issued a memorandum asking each federal agency to renew its commitment to implementing the Executive Order.  The memo outlines specific steps agencies should take to improve language access, which will be monitored by the Civil Rights Division.

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OSCAR BUZZ:  English Win Big While Mexico and Spaniard Bardem Go Home Empty Handed

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards was short on surprises with early favorites winning:  Natalie Portman for Best Actress for Black Swan and Colin Firth for Best Actor for The King’s Speech that also won for Best Film.  The English themed movie, The King’s Speech, in total won 4 Oscars while being nominated for 12.

There were few Latino or Hispanic contenders which is typically the case in most award shows in Hollywood.  The few Oscar contenders named went home empty handed but still honored for the privilege of a nomination.

Javier Bardem’s leading performance in Biutiful lost out to Colin Firth for Best Actor but not before presenter Sandra Bullock called his performance “haunting’ and the audience greeted his name with loud applause.

The Best Foreign Film Oscar did not go to Mexico’s Biutiful but rather to In a Better World, the third movie from Denmark to do so.

While the Best Documentary presented by Oprah Winfrey went to Inside Job by Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs and the moving entry about Brazil’s larges garbage dump, “Waste Land” went home empty handed.

We’re not sure that seeing alot of Jennifer Lopez promoting Venus Pro-Skin shavers during commercial break was enough of a consolation prize.  Oh well, there is always, mañana or tomorrow.


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MondayFebruary 28, 2011