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SaturdayMarch 5, 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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AARP Survey of California Latinos: Health Care and Economy Are Top Issues

AARP Survey of California Latinos: Health Care and Economy Are Top Issues

Photo: AARP California

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California Latinos over the age of 50 are concerned about having access to affordable health care as they age, according to a new AARP survey. Yet, while 99% of respondents say adequate health coverage is critical to them, only 34% think they currently have the amount of coverage they need.

“These results confirm what we already suspected,” said AARP California State President David Pacheco. “Latinos, like all older Californians, agree on what they need to live their best lives, but a significant number of them feel those needs are not currently met.”

The telephone survey of 50+ Californians, which was conducted between January 2nd and January 31st, also found that the state of the economy is a top issue of concern. More specifically, 50+ Latinos are worried about potentially drastic cuts to state services. When asked what services should be protected from budget cuts, 93% said funding for K-12 education should be preserved.

Pacheco is not surprised: “50+ Californians of all backgrounds clearly care deeply about their communities and the future of their state – but they care even more about providing a prosperous future for their children and grandchildren. In fact, the idea that older people care only for their own, narrow interests was always a myth,” he said.

Other state services considered vital by large majorities of respondents included firefighters, police and parks (96%); funding for public colleges and universities (91%); home-care services that keep people out of nursing homes (86%); health care access for the uninsured (90%); and transportation, construction and road maintenance (81%).

When asked about potential sources of revenue for the state, large majorities favored increasing the tax on alcoholic beverages (75%), increasing the tax on cigarettes (69%), and raising income tax rates for households earning more than $250,000 annually (65%).

Other potential taxes proved less popular, including increasing licensing and user fees (57% opposed) and increasing the state sales tax rate (45% opposed).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dept of Homeland Security Fence Divides Families and Farms at Rio Grande

Dept of Homeland Security Fence Divides Families and Farms at Rio Grande

Photo: Pamela Taylor - caught between the U.S. and Mexico

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The Rio Grande, which once marked the international boundary, now sandwiches the house that Pamela Taylor and her husband built more than fifty years ago and a tall steel barrier erected by DHS last year a quarter mile north of the Rio; the Taylor’s two acres now lie on a strip of land that neither belongs to Mexico or the United States; Taylor and other residents believe that the government has not accounted for an estimated eight houses stranded on the other side of the fence.

While the border fence almost everywhere else divides Mexico and the United States, here it divides parts of the city. In and around Brownsville, the fence slices through two-lane roads, backyards, agricultural fields, citrus groves and pastures for more than twenty-one miles, trapping tens of thousands of acres, according to some property owners’ estimates. Narrow gaps in the fence allow back-and-forth access for cars and tractors, pedestrians and Border Patrol agents, but they are spaced as much as a mile apart.

“We feel abandoned here,” she said. “That’s why we refer to it as the Mexican side of the fence.”

Eloisa Tamez, 75, who lives on land granted to her ancestors by the king of Spain in 1767, rejected the government’s offer of $13,500 for a 50-foot-wide strip across her three acres west of Brownsville. Despite her rejection, the government seized the land and built the fence anyway. Now, three-quarters of the fallow acreage where her family once grew tomatoes, squash and okra is south of the barrier.

“It represents my heritage. This land here is what gave me life. I didn’t have riches or luxuries, but we had food that was good for us,” said Tamez, who is in a legal battle with the federal government over the seizure of her land. “I didn’t want to let the government have it to build this monstrosity.”

At the Loop farm on the outskirts of Brownsville, dozens of citrus trees were bulldozed to make way for the fence, which splits the family’s 900 acres. On the Brownsville side, Debbie and Leonard Loop tend groves of oranges and grapefruit; on the “Mexican” side, their son, Ray Loop, cultivates soybeans, sunflowers and watermelons.

Things could get more complicated soon. The government is planning this year to install gates at 40 of the gaps, the family wonders about access. Residents will be provided with access codes, according to border authorities. But they have also heard that the gates would be locked during a high national security alert. Debbie Loop, 69, wonders how her young granddaughters would get through to the Brownsville side of the fence under that scenario.

“It’s an eerie feeling crossing that,” Loop said, as she drove with her husband through the fence line onto her son’s farmland. “In the past, if you needed to get out in a hurry, you could. Now you have to find a gap.”

Read more at Homeland Security Newswire →

A Blow to the Diaspora- (it’s All in the DNA)

A Blow to the Diaspora- (it’s All in the DNA)

Photo: Puerto Rico US Flags

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Each time you read a headline that a Puerto Rican born in the United States makes his living in Puerto Rico, there are people who are offended when that person is considered a boricua.

For Congressman Luis Gutierrez, born in Chicago and of Puerto Rican parents, the recent criticisms of New Progressive Party (PNP) legislative leadership and other statehooders are nothing new.

While in the neighborhoods of Chicago he was the “Puerto Rican” guy, in his high school in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico he was considered by some as the “gringo.”

But do not think that prejudice is limited to the statehooders who do not forgive Gutierrez for helping to stop status bills driven by the PNP in the U.S. Congress.

When Joseph Acabá - born to Puerto Rican parents in California - was selected as the first Puerto Rican astronaut in the NASA program, I heard voices from the island that questioned whether he should be considered Puerto Rican.

There are also some who have challenged the Puerto Ricanness of Sonia Sotomayor - the first Hispanic to hold a seat in the United States Supreme Court -  having been born in the Bronx, New York.

The political uncertainty of Puerto Rico is also seen in debates on the cultural identity of a people whose natives are also U.S. citizens.

In the latest political status bill being pushed by the PNP in the U.S. Congress, the idea of allowing the vote on the island’s future political status to those born on the island but living outside Puerto Rico has been incorporated. This plan, however, has given no role to the children of those born in Puerto Rico, although they may have spent much of their lives in Puerto Rico and have returned to the United States.

Somewhere, considered the promoters of the latest status legislation (2499), you had to draw the line.

It is clear that there are Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico who urgently need to be given a tour of major Puerto Rican communities in the United States.

They know that those who claim Puerto Rican cultural identity in America, especially without being born in Puerto Rico, do not do so to make a profit.

They do it because they feel it deep in their DNA and unashamedly proclaim it with pride, even though a few - there and here - insist on looking at them over their shoulders.

Read more at el nuevodia →

Puerto Rican Boxing Champion Broke and Forgotten 35 Years Later

Puerto Rican Boxing Champion Broke and Forgotten 35 Years Later

Photo: Puerto Rican boxer Wilfredo Benitez

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In the thirty-five years since the then 17-year-old Benitez dared to take on Colombia’s Antonio “Kid Pambele” Cervantes for the WBA Light Welterweight title, former Puerto Rican boxer Wilfredo Benitez has become a shadow of the man he was.

Suffering chronic brain injuries and in a wheelchair, the champ has squandered the millions of dollars he earned during his career, which saw him as the youngest fighter ever to win a world title.

Benitez began boxing at the age of 7, today at only the age of 52 the damage his body sustained and the blows to his head in those early years have left him unable to speak.

Veteran boxing writer Mario Rivera Martino told Efe that the Benitez-Cervantes bout was one of the sport’s “greatest events.”

It was a fairly even fight, but Benitez, known as “El Radar,” used more savvy than strength to surprise the then champion and beat him by a split decision in 15 rounds.

After his historic victory, in which Benitez also became the first Latino boxer to win $1 million for a single fight, he continued his spectacular series of triumphs, including the WBC Welterweight Championship that he snatched from Mexico’s Carlos Palomino.

The money piled up by Benitez during his career quickly evaporated supporting the extravagant lifestyle of Benitez and his father. They lavished it all on cars, gifts, women and luxuries of every kind.

Benitez retired in 1990 with a 52-8-1 record and was inducted six years later into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. EFE

Today he survives living with his sister. The champion’s sister said that Benitez gets help with medicines from the Carolina municipality and a pension from the Puerto Rican government, which, however, is not enough to pay for his physical therapy.

Read more at Latin American Herald Tribune →

100 Mexican Navy Men Save Beached Whale in Manzanillo (VIDEO)

100 Mexican Navy Men Save Beached Whale in Manzanillo (VIDEO)

Photo: Stranded Mexican Whale

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After almost 24 hours of work, personnel from the Mexican Navy floated a humpback whale about a year old, 9.40 meters long and weighing six tons, which was stranded on the beach Eden , south of Punta Campos, in Manzanillo.

Over 100 men were involved in the rescue along with two bulldozers belonging to the company DRAGAMEX, which made pools on the beach to provide buoyancy.

Within eight days Mexico’s Department of the Navy has made the rescue of two whales stranded on the coasts of Colima. Biologists report that this situation occurs due to changing sea temperatures when the whales look for warmer water near shore.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Read more at msnbc video

Truck Slams into Bus in Brazil – 25 Dead

The AP reports that early this morning a passenger bus collided head-on with a lumber truck in the southern state of Santa Catarina, Brazil.  At least 25 people are dead with reports of more than 20 people seriously injured.

Highway police officer Rosangela Ogioni says the accident happened early Saturday morning near the town of Descanso.

She says the truck driver apparently lost control of his vehicle on a curve and slammed into the bus, which was carrying 47 passengers.

No further details were immediately available.

Read more at msnbc →

‘Tiger Blood Radio’...Really? Yep, a Channel About Media Favorite Charlie Sheen

‘Tiger Blood Radio’...Really? Yep, a Channel About Media Favorite Charlie Sheen

Photo: Charlie Sheen

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Experts and special guests explore the story the nation is following. Hear all about Charlie Sheen from every angle.

Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) today announced that it has created “Tiger Blood Radio,” a 24-hour limited run channel that will explore the breaking news, facts, fallout and career implications of the Charlie Sheen (born Carlos Irwin Estévez) controversy. “Tiger Blood Radio” will air from March 5 at 6:00 am ET to March 6 at 6:00 am ET on Sirius channel 108 and XM channel 139.

“Tiger Blood Radio” was created in response to the national conversation sparked by the recent events surrounding actor Charlie Sheen. 

“Tiger Blood Radio” will take listeners behind the headlines, exploring the media frenzy/media reaction, as well as the medical, psychological, psychiatric and pop culture and celebrity angles. Additionally, through a recap of news coverage, it will offer a timeline of recent events.

During the exclusive, limited run channel, SiriusXM listeners will hear archival Playboy Radio clips featuring “Goddess”/current live-in girlfriend Bree Olson, a Playboy Radio contributor. In addition, Sheen’s ex-fiancee/Spice Radio host Ginger Lynn shares stories of her relationship with him on Tiffany Granath’s Playboy Radio show; and adult film star Kacey Jordan talks to Playboy Radio’s Night Calls about her times with Sheen.

For more information visit www.siriusxm.com.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Landslides and Floods Threaten Bolivia Residents ( VIDEO)

Landslides and Floods Threaten Bolivia Residents ( VIDEO)

Photo: La Paz Bolivia Mudslides

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A major landslide within the Andean city of La Paz was the latest in a series of crises brought about by heavy rain in the nation of Bolivia.

Late last week, a slow-moving landslide caused chaos in one La Paz neighborhood. The slide, said to be triggered by high rainfall, had reportedly wrecked at least 400 homes. Fortunately, there were no reported casualties.

At least 100,000 people were left without running water, reports showed.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Read more at msnbc

King Momo opened the Rio de Janeiro Carnival Friday Ushering in 5 days of Dancing and More

King Momo opened the Rio de Janeiro Carnival Friday Ushering in 5 days of Dancing and More

Photo: King Momo

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King Momo opened the Rio de Janeiro Carnival on Friday at a festive ceremony where he was presented with the keys to the city, which for five days will dance to the beat of the samba to celebrate Brazil’s most iconic festival.

“I declare officially open this wonderful, fantastic Carnival of Rio de Janeiro,” King Momo said, holding a giant golden key in his hands that had been granted him by Mayor Eduardo Paes.
King Momo, chosen in a popularity contest, must always be a fat, smiley man, and a good samba dancer, with a charismatic personality.

For five days of the Carnival, 575,ooo foreign visitors are expected. Brazil’s Health Minister urged the visitors along with their own citizens to make good use of the 89 million free condoms they would be handing out. (Up from 26 million last year).

The carnival has a reputation of having an abundance of casual sex, which is a concern in the country where an estimated 630,000 Brazilians are infected with aids.

Read more at Merco Press →

IL Young Republicans Seeking to help Wisconsin return 14 fugitive lawmakers- TOO Funny (VIDEO)

IL Young Republicans Seeking to help Wisconsin return 14 fugitive lawmakers- TOO Funny (VIDEO)

Photo: "Wisconsin Criminals"

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Illinois young republicans today re-released their web ad in wake of the action today taken by the Wisconsin State Senate.

Senators in Wisconsin passed a resolution stating that – effective 4pm today- the 14 Democratic Senators who continue to hide out in Illinois in their effort to prevent passage of the budget repair bill, are in contempt and are to be taken “with or without force and assistance from police.”

Illinois Young Republican Chairman Dennis Cook said, “Now that the 14 Democrats are officially fugitives on the run from the law, we feel this is a perfect opportunity to renew our efforts and assist our neighbors in Wisconsin.  We encourage all the residents of Illinois to contact Governor Quinn and demand him to help too.”

The 14 Senators fled their home state of Wisconsin on February 17th to avoid a vote on a controversial piece on budget legislation that would allow the Wisconsin Government more flexibility when negotiating contractual terms with union leaders.

The ad, showing the 14 Wisconsin Senators as fugitives on the run, asserts that the individuals are avoiding making tough decisions and evading their responsibilities as lawmakers.  The ad goes on to state that, “These democratic legislators must be returned to their home state to face their voters and force them to do the job that they were elected to do and the job that they were paid to do.”  The ad ends with an appeal to call Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to tell him to return the Senators to Wisconsin.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hundreds Gather at the Capitol to Demand GA Governor Deal Commit to Arizona Copycat Law

Hundreds Gather at the Capitol to Demand GA Governor Deal Commit to Arizona Copycat Law

Photo: Georgia state capitol

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The battle over how Georgia treats its immigrant communities heated up today when 250 protesters gathered in a loud, high spirited rally to denounce the House of Representatives yes vote on the controversial Arizona style HB 87 and call on the Governor to commit to a veto.

“Beginning in 1757 and until the end of the civil war slave patrols required slaves to produce a pass, which stated their owner’s name as well as where and when they were allowed to be away from the plantation and for how long,” said Everette Thompson, Southern Regional Director of Amnesty International USA.  “It was wrong then and it is wrong now – to demand some people have to carry papers based on nothing more than the color of their skin.”

The crowd cheered loudly when told that Representative Al Williams was reading the text from an old slave pass on the floor of the house in opposition to HB 87.

“This bill is an embarrassment to the people of Georgia.  While everyday Georgians struggle to keep their homes and jobs, the legislature spends its time scapegoating hard working immigrants who contribute to Georgia’s economy and culture.  We can’t afford to be passing racially biased laws that embarrass us in the eyes of the country and the world.,” said Jerry Gonzalez, director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.

The protestors held signs that read “Representative Ramsey, show us YOUR papers,” and “We won’t go back!” in reference to what they say was the last time Georgia had laws that mandated certain people carry and show papers when asked by law officials – slavery times.

As the floor vote was announced, a group of those in opposition to HB 87 delivered a poster-size letter addressed to Governor Deal, asking for his commitment to veto any job destroying, racial profiling law that may land on his desk this year. For a moment it seemed security wouldn’t let the group in, but to the loud chants of “let them in!” from the crowd, they were ultimately able to deliver the letter.

Opposition to the bill has come from many directions.  Labor unions have also joined the anti-HB 87 efforts, noting that the bill’s supporters are not looking for solutions to budget deficits and the need for jobs.  Ben Speight of the Teamsters Union said “When I hear people blaming immigrants for the fact that there are no jobs, that the economy is still terrible, I want to ask: did an immigrant move your plant oversees? Or cut your healthcare?  Or crash the financial system? Or foreclose on your house? Labor in Georgia stands with all workers who are trying to provide for their families.”

The issue even has Republicans fired up.  Attorney Charles Kuck denounced the bill stating that even this new version of HB 87 “causes amazing hardship to private employers through unrealistic E-Verify requirements, violates several provisions of the US Constitution, including the Equal Protection Clause, creates a problem for folks offering assistance to domestic violence victims, subverts voter intent, creates a lawsuit bonanza for lawyers against city and county governments, and, frankly, does not do anything to enforce the laws on illegal immigration to the United States.”

The Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia Restaurant Association, Government Contractors Association, Mexican American Business Chamber, and other business groups are also opposed to HB87.

Representatives Simone Bell and Karla Drenner also came out to address the crowd after the vote and to encourage those in opposition to keep fighting.

Speakers at the Event
Reverend Gregory Williams, Atlantans Building Leadership for Empowerment
Everette Thompson, Amnesty International USA
Bill Nigut, Anti-Defamation League
Ben Speight, Teamsters local 728
Jerry Gonzalez, Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials
Eva Cardenas, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights
Tricia Sung, OCA-Georgia
Teodoro Maus, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights
Xochitl Bervera, Georgia Immigrant Refugee Rights Coalition

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayMarch 5, 2011