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WednesdayMarch 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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Violent Border Gang Indicted, Charged in 2010 Consulate Murders

Violent Border Gang Indicted, Charged in 2010 Consulate Murders

Photo: Barrio Azteca Gang Members

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Thirty-five members and associates of the Barrio Azteca (BA) gang have been charged in a third superseding indictment unsealed today with various counts of racketeering, murder, drug offenses, money laundering and obstruction of justice, announced Attorney General Eric Holder.  Of the 35 defendants, 10 Mexican nationals were charged with the March 13, 2010, murders in Juarez, Mexico, of U.S. Consulate employee Leslie Ann Enriquez Catton, her husband Arthur Redelfs and Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of a U.S. Consulate employee.

Attorney General Holder was joined in announcing the charges by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy for the Western District of Texas, FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry and Administrator Michele Leonhart of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Today, teams of U.S. federal, state and local authorities arrested in Texas and New Mexico 12 of the charged defendants not already in custody.  Seven of the 10 defendants charged with the March 13, 2010, murders, and two other indicted defendants, are in custody in Mexico.  U.S. authorities are working with Mexican authorities regarding extradition and other matters related to this ongoing prosecution. 

“The indictment unsealed today represents our continued action to ensure safety along our Southwest border, to seek justice for victims of violent crime in this region, and to weaken dangerous criminal organizations currently operating in Mexico and the United States,” said Attorney General Holder.  “These arrests and criminal charges will disrupt Barrio Azteca’s current operations, and they reaffirm that we will not tolerate acts of violence against those who serve and protect American citizens.  We will continue to stand with our partners in Mexico, and together, build on our unprecedented joint efforts to combat violence and protect the safety of the American and the Mexican people.”

“Barrio Azteca gang members are cold blooded criminals who show no respect for the law or justice , murdering innocent victims, trafficking drugs and inciting violence,” said DEA Administrator Leonhart.  “But, along with our FBI partners and the support of the government of Mexico, we have shown that the rule of law will prevail, and working together we will bring these individuals to justice to answer for their ruthless criminal activities.”

The indictment alleges that the defendants are members or associates of the BA, which began in the late 1980s as a violent prison gang and has expanded into a transnational criminal organization.  The BA is primarily based in West Texas; Juarez, Mexico; and throughout state and federal prisons in the United States and Mexico.  The gang has a militaristic command structure and includes captains, lieutenants, sergeants and soldiers – all with the purpose of maintaining power and enriching its members and associates through drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion, intimidation, violence, threats of violence and murder.

The indictment alleges that to increase its power and influence, the BA formed an alliance with the Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes (VCF) drug trafficking organization in Mexico.  As part of this alliance, the BA allegedly conducts enforcement operations against VCF rivals and the VCF provides illegal drugs to the BA at discounted prices. 

The indictment alleges a host of criminal activity committed by members and associates of the BA since Jan. 1, 2003, including drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, kidnapping and murder, including the March 13, 2010, consulate murders in Juarez. 

Specifically, the indictment alleges that on March 13, 2010, Ricardo Valles de la Rosa called an individual in the Western District of Texas and received verification of the description of an intended target for murder.  The indictment alleges that 10 named BA members, among others, participated in the murders of Enriquez, Redelfs and Salcido in Juarez.

In addition to the consulate murders, the indictment alleges that in December 2006, a BA member shot and killed Jose Luis Oviedo in El Paso.  In 2007, BA members allegedly kidnapped a man in El Paso and took him across the U.S./Mexico border to Juarez.  In March 2008, the BA allegedly ordered the murder of BA member David Merez, who was killed that same month in Juarez.  The indictment also alleges that the BA caused two persons to be shot and killed in Socorro, Texas, on July 2, 2009.  In August 2010, the indictment alleges that BA members kidnapped the wife and parents of a BA member whom they believed was cooperating with U.S. law enforcement and also killed the BA member’s step-daughter.

According to the indictment, the BA profits by importing heroin, cocaine and marijuana into the United States from Mexico. The indictment points to specific acts in which more than 8 kilos of heroin, more than 100 kilograms of cocaine, and nearly 300 pounds of marijuana are associated with the possession, distribution or importation of controlled substances into the United States. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Flamenco or Mariachi? William Shatner Plays Maracas in Historically Unaware New Priceline Ad (VIDEO)

Flamenco or Mariachi? William Shatner Plays Maracas in Historically Unaware New Priceline Ad (VIDEO)

Photo: Actor and Priceline Spokesman William Shatner

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“Master of Disguise” William Shatner shows his identity concealing skills in the new Priceline ad, where apparently the company forgot Spanish conquistadors invaded and ravaged Mexico back in the day, and therefore a mish-mash costume that’s half mariachi, half flamenco - is culturally inaccurate.  Shatner has to decide whether he wants to be a Spanish flamenco or a Mexican maricachi - they AIN’T the same.  Hopefully no one will be offended that Priceline thinks Spain and Mexico are one-in-the same, they aren’t. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latinos Represent Significant Number of California Youth

Latinos Represent Significant Number of California Youth

Photo: Latino Youth

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More than half (51%) of Californians under 18 are Latino, according to a National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund analysis of newly released Census 2010 data.  The Latino population in California is significantly younger than the non-Latino population.

“The fact that Latinos account for more than half of the youth population in the state is stunning.  It is also a reminder that we must do all we can to support policies that advance the educational achievement and civic engagement of Latino youth,” said State Senator and NALEO Board Member Alex Padilla.  “Clearly, Latinos will continue to play a larger and larger role in our state.  Improving educational and economic opportunities for Latino youth will ensure a brighter future for all Californians.”

Between 2000 and 2010, while the state’s overall population grew 10% from 33.9 million to 37.3 million, the Latino population increased 28% from 11.0 million to 14.0 million.

Latino residents account for an unprecedented 90% of the state’s overall growth over the last ten years, and now represent 38% of the state’s residents. 

“The Census numbers released yesterday confirm that California retained its 53 congressional seats because of the significant growth of the Latino population. Now we need to make sure these numbers result in an opportunity for full and fair representation for the Latino community as the redistricting process gets underway,” said NALEO Educational Fund Board Member Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA).

“In addition, the huge growth of Latino youth in the state highlights the folly of slashing federal, state and local education and training dollars—a recipe for future economic disaster for our state and the nation,” she continued.

Most of California’s ten largest cities also have significant Latino populations, including Anaheim (53%), Los Angeles (49%), Fresno (47%), Long Beach (41%) and San Jose (33%). Three out of four (75%) California Latinos live in the state’s ten largest counties, with 34% residing in Los Angeles County alone.

Read more at NALEO →

60 National Partners Release Roadmap to Improve Latino College Completion Rates

60 National Partners Release Roadmap to Improve Latino College Completion Rates

Photo: Excelencia in Education

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Rep. Charles Gonzalez, Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, former Secretary of Education Richard Riley, and Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, chairman of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, today joined Excelencia in Education and its 60 national partner organizations for a Capitol Hill event to release the Roadmap for Ensuring America’s Future.

“America cannot become the world leader in college degrees, nor will it have a globally competitive workforce in the future, if it does not focus on improving Latino college completion,” said Gonzalez.  “The Roadmap for Ensuring America’s Future is a critical tool that provides us with a clear path forward to achieve that future.”

“America’s continued global leadership depends on producing an educated workforce prepared to compete in the jobs and economy of tomorrow,” said Riley.  “The data is compelling that national, state, local, and community leaders in education, public policy, and workforce development must put particular focus on Latino college completion.  This Roadmap is an important step in that direction.”

Sarita Brown and Deborah Santiago, co-founders of Excelencia in Education, presented findings and recommendations from the Roadmap.  The Roadmap is the result of a collaborative effort led by Excelencia in Education and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation for Education, and the Kresge Foundation.

The Roadmap includes a rigorous statistical analysis of completion to create benchmarks to measure America’s progress toward becoming the world leader in college degrees.  Based on this research, Latinos will have to earn 5.5 million college degrees by 2020 for America to reach 51 percent degree attainment and become the world leader.

Research presented at the event also revealed that Latino students are more likely to be non-traditional students – enrolled part-time, later in life, and at two-year institutions – and they tend to enroll where they live, so state and institutional initiatives that focus on those students can make a big difference.

The Roadmap recommends that colleges and universities focus on policies that increase retention for working students in good standing, increase early college high schools and dual enrollment programs, and guarantee need-based aid for qualified students.  For example, to increase student retention, the Universidad de Sagrado Corazón offers main courses online as a backup system for students in good academic standing with unexpected work schedule changes during a semester.  The University of Texas-El Paso Promise Plan covers all tuition and mandatory fees for students with family incomes of $30,000 or less who are Texas residents, complete 30 credits a year, and earn a grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

At the state level, the Roadmap suggests that leaders simplify the transfer pathway between two-year and four-year colleges, make college accessible and affordable for students of all economic backgrounds, and ensure state higher education leaders specifically address strategies to expand college completion among underrepresented groups.  For example, In California, students who successfully complete 60 units of transferrable coursework at a community college will receive an associate degree and guaranteed admission with upper division junior standing to a California State University system institution.

While institutional and government policy play critical roles, the Roadmap recommends that community leaders do more to inform parents and family members about the pathway to college and to engage their community in supporting college access and degree attainment.  For example, Univision developed a multi-platform education campaign, Es el momento (This is the moment) targeting Spanish-speaking parents and families about the U.S. educational pipeline.

The federal government has focused historically on college access and opportunity through financial aid (Pell grants and Stafford Loans) and support programs (e.g., GEAR Up and TRIO).  However, for America to lead the world in college degrees, the Roadmap encourages the federal government also to focus on college retention and degree attainment by aligning efforts on work-study program offerings in artnerships with states.  Latino undergraduates had the highest average work-study aid award of any racial or ethnic group during the 2007 to 2008 academic year.  Campus-based work-study programs allow students to work and earn income while enrolled and provide financial support beyond tuition and fees, resulting in improved retention to graduation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Opening Friday: Red Riding Hood Featuring Shiloh Fernandez

Opening Friday: Red Riding Hood Featuring Shiloh Fernandez

Photo: Shiloh Fernández in Red Riding Hood

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A new vision in the classic fairytale, this time around from the Director of Twilight and featuring Shiloh Fernández, seen in Dead Girl and several episodes of Gossip Girl. 

Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl played by Amanda Seyfried, falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family’s displeasure.  In Latin America this fable is commonly referred to as Caperucita Roja. 

The film was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and written by David Johnson.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Republican Lawmakers in Texas Attempt to Repeal State’s DREAM Act

Just months after the federal DREAM Act failed to pass in the U.S. Senate, Republicans in Texas are looking to repeal the state’s version, stating the economic impact of the DREAM Act is costing the state millions of dollars.

Strong opponent of the DREAM Act, Texas Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) has consistently stated the undocumented immigrant students cost the state millions of dollars, precisely $42 million. Interestingly, he has never provided where he gets that number from, and while a large amount of money, $42 million is still only one-seventh of a percent of Texas’ almost $27 billion deficit.

Berman’s estimate is part of his argument that taxpayers should not have to pay for non-taxpayers, and that paying for their education is what costs the state so much. However, as The Washington Independent put it, “If Berman wants to say that taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for non-taxpayers’ education, he should limit his argument to the federal income tax the state of Texas receives, accounting for 42.2 percent of its total revenue. His $42 million is therefore funded to the tune of about $17.7 million by payers of income tax in Texas. Given a population of almost 24.8 million people, repealing the DREAM Act would save the average Texan about 72 cents on their tax returns.”

Texas does not have state income tax, and relies heavily on sales tax instead, which is something all consumers, legal or otherwise have to pay.

Back in December, state Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington) filed House Bill 464, which would not allow in-state tuition for Texas colleges or universities to any non-legal resident of the U.S.. The bill has been in the House State Affairs Committee since February. Along with HB 464, is HB 623, which aims to declare the state language English, and was submitted by state Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton). According to the U.S. Census, more than 31 percent of Texans speak a language other than English at home.

Read more at The Washington Independent →

Mexico’s Largest Phone Company Telmex Splits in Two

Mexico’s largest phone company, Telefonos de Mexico SAB (Telmex) has announced its plans to split into two different companies.

Telmex largest shareholder is the world’s richest man Carlos Slim Helu, who has faced a lot of criticism about the near-monopoly Telmex enjoys in Mexico. 

When the company splits in two, one portion will maintain the name Telmex and the other will be called Telmex Social.  Telmex Social will serve underserved rural areas that have largely gone ignored by competitors.  The company currently has 15.6 million lines in operation throughout Mexico. 

The Mexican government said it remains committed to promoting competition and refutes allegations it ignored complaints from Telmex’ competitors and welcomes the company’s decision to split in two. 

Read more at Online WSJ →

LA-area Furniture company Executive Gets Prison Time for Hiring Illegal Workers

The president of a Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., furniture manufacturing business was sentenced Monday to 10 months in federal prison on two criminal counts after a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) revealed the company hired unauthorized alien workers.

Rick M. Vartanian, 57, of Ladera Ranch, Calif., the president and primary shareholder of Brownwood Furniture, was sentenced to 10 months for obstruction of justice and six months for continuing to employ illegal aliens. The sentences will be served concurrently. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Fees also ordered Vartanian to pay a $15,000 fine.

Monday’s sentencing follows Vartanian’s guilty plea in Dec. 2010 to charges arising from an investigation by ICE HSI into the company’s hiring practices. According to court documents, in November 2009, Vartanian told HSI agents that unauthorized workers identified during the agency’s earlier audit were no longer employed by the company. In reality, 18 of those individuals continued to work for the business and the company took steps to shield them from detection by HSI.

In addition to Vartanian, Brownwood Furniture’s vice president was also charged in the case. In Dec. 2010, Michael Patrick Eberly, 48, of Alta Loma, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of continuing to employ unauthorized workers. Eberly was subsequently sentenced to one year’s probation and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

“As these sentences make clear, employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers face serious consequences,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles. “Targeting businesses that flout our nation’s hiring laws is key to reducing the demand for illegal alien labor and protecting jobs for our country’s lawful workforce.”

The charges against the defendants stem from an investigation that began after ICE HSI received an anonymous tip that Brownwood furniture was using unauthorized labor. An audit of the company’s hiring records in July 2009 revealed that 61 of the firm’s 73 employees had submitted invalid documents to obtain their jobs. After ICE HSI notified the company about the discrepancies, the executives told investigators the unauthorized workers had been terminated. However, when ICE HSI agents executed a search warrant at the business in Dec. 2009, they encountered 30 unauthorized workers, 18 of whom had purportedly been terminated following the July audit.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Extraditions from Mexico Increasing

U.S. Extraditions from Mexico Increasing

Photo: U.S.-Mexico Border

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As Mexico’s drug war spills into the United States, authorities are having more violent encounters with criminals. As a result, the number of extradition requests being sent to Mexico are increasing, but so too are the number granted, says a new report.

In last few years, the U.S.’s extradition process and Mexico’s means of implementing it have changed drastically. In 2003, the neighboring countries reached an agreement that people could be extradited from Mexico to the U.S. under the condition that, if convicted, the person could not be executed or imprisoned for life, as it was ruled in 2001 that both sentences violate the Mexican constitution. Still, despite this condition, the number of Mexico-to-U.S. extraditions has gone up.

“In the last four years, the number of extraditions from Mexico has practically doubled. Mexico has been extraditing people at a clip (and) the vast majority were Mexican nationals,” said David A. Shirk, the director of the University of San Diego’s Trans-Border Institute, in a statement corroborated in a recent report by the Congressional Research Service.

And a report by the Congressional Research Service to Congress stated that “President Felipe Calderón has used extradition as a major tool to combat drug traffickers, and over the past several years, Mexico has extradited an increasing number of alleged criminals to the United States.”

In 2005, the Mexican court ruled that U.S. prosecutors could once again, seek a life imprisonment sentence.

Read more at The Monitor →

Illinois Governor Quinn Abolishes Death Penalty, Commutes 15 Sentences

Democratic Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois today signed Senate Bill 3539, which effectively abolishes the death penalty in the state effective July 1st.

Illinois is now the fourth state in the nation to outlaw the death penalty in the last two years and the 16th overall in the country.  He also commuted the sentences of the 15 death row inmates to life without parole.  Amongst the 15 death row inmates whose sentence was commuted is Andrew Urdiales who was convicted in 1996 of shooting and stabbing a woman but had confessed to killing seven other women.  He was also sentenced to die for killing two Chicago area women but that death sentence was commuted by former Governor George Ryan. 

Upon executing the abolishment Quinn made the following statement:

For me, this was a difficult decision, quite literally the choice between life and death. This was not a decision to be made lightly, or a decision that I came to without deep personal reflection.

Since the General Assembly passed this bill, I have met or heard from a wide variety of people on both sides of the issue. I have talked with prosecutors, judges, elected officials, religious leaders from around the world, families of murder victims, people on death row who were exonerated and ordinary citizens who have taken the time to share their thoughts with me. Their experiences, words and opinions have made a tremendous impact on my thinking, and I thank everyone who reached out on this matter.

After their guidance, as well as much thought and reflection, I have concluded that our system of imposing the death penalty is inherently flawed. The evidence presented to me by former prosecutors and judges with decades of experience in the criminal justice system has convinced me that it is impossible to devise a system that is consistent, that is free of discrimination on the basis of race, geography or economic circumstance, and that always gets it right.

Read more by HS News Staff →

International Woman’s Day Celebrations and Manifestations Across Latin America (VIDEO)

March 8 is the international day of the “working woman.” Several cities across Latin America saw women celebrate, as well as march, to raise awareness about violence against women, and women’s issues.

In Argentina, a woman’s group called the “Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo” marched to the government palace, known as the Pink House, where they unveiled a giant graphic that pays homage to president Cristina Fernández; The president is pictured next to Evita Perón, and a legend that reads “love and passion, will lead us to triumph.”

In the meantime, Ciudad Juárez in México saw the mothers of disappeared women stage a pacific manifestation, condemning the lack of results in police investigations, and demanding the government to take action.

In Colombia, women of Medellín ran a bra-less parade, where the only ones wearing bras, were the men. The topless rally attempted to raise awareness about women’s issues, as well as promote equality of rights. Image

TV host Laura Bozzo seems to have gotten out of bed with the wrong foot on women’s day, and said on air that this year she didn’t see a reason to celebrate woman’s day; In the host’s opinion, the current statistics on violence against women and girls, were nothing to be in a celebratory mood. Watch her rant below.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Military Diversity Group’s Report: Too Many White Men in Highest Ranks

Military Diversity Group’s Report: Too Many White Men in Highest Ranks

Photo: U.S. military officers

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Monday, the Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC) released a report stating that there are too many white men in the highest ranking positions of the military.

The report was presented to the U.S. military by order of Congress under the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act seeking to increase diversity.

The report stated, “The commission’s recommendations support two overriding and related objectives: (1) that the Armed Forces systematically develop a demographically diverse leadership … and (2) that the services pursue a broader approach to diversity that includes the range of backgrounds, skill sets and personal attributes that are necessary to enhancing military performance.”

According to the report, 77 percent of the senior officers on active duty are white, eight percent are black, five percent are Hispanic, and 16 percent are women, and the MDLC believes this is unacceptable.

“Leveraging diversity as a vital strategic military resource will require the commitment, vision, and know-how of leaders at every level. Without this commitment to instill respect for diversity as a core value, the needed cultural change may not take place,” continued the report.

To address the issue, MDLC included a list of 20 recommendations in the report, with suggestions like increasing the eligibility pool, allowing women in combat, and requiring an explanation any time a women or minority is not nominated to a three- or four- star position.

Read more at The Daily Caller →

Cesar Chavez’ “Forty Acres” Site Dedicated as National Historic Landmark

Cesar Chavez’ “Forty Acres” Site Dedicated as National Historic Landmark

Photo: Dedication of Cesar Chavez' "Forty Acres"

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On February 21st, Ken Salazar - Secretary of the Interior -  traveled to Delano, California to honor the life and legacy of César Chávez and to designate the “Forty Acres” site as a National Historic Landmark.

Secretary Salazar just blogged about the important event he oversaw. 

We should all be inspired by César Chávez. His leadership, tireless work ethic, and selfless sacrifice helped forge a new era of justice for millions of farm workers and gave them hope for a better future, both for themselves and for their children. He’s an American hero and one of the great civil rights icons of our country’s history. By recognizing the Forty Acres site as a National Historic Landmark we are ensuring that César Chávez’s story, and the story of all who struggled with him, is remembered, honored, and passed along to future generations.

It truly was a momentous occasion to bring recognition to the home of the farm worker movement; the place where Chávez led civil rights and social reform in the 60’s and 70’s.

It was through Chávez’s tireless leadership and commitment to non violent protests that focused national attention on farm workers’ issues. Through boycotts, pickets and fasts, Chávez raised our nation’s awareness to the struggles of farm workers and the quest for fair pay, safer working conditions and the importance and dignity of the migrant laborers. 

Hundreds of people turned out for this dedication, from the many volunteers who marched with Chávez, to the farm workers who gained dignity and respect through the creation of the United Farm Workers union, to those who today, are still inspired and empowered by Chávez’s commitment to improving the lives of our most forgotten.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Groups Look to Increase Alzheimer’s Awareness Among Hispanics

As elderly Hispanics are poised to become the fastest growing of all U.S. racial and ethnic groups over the next few years, Alzheimer’s groups are pushing to raise awareness of the disease to Hispanics.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and as people are living longer these days, they are entering the years in which the risk of Alzheimer’s increases.

The Alzheimer’s Association is holding a workshop in Spanish at 70 of its chapters across the country called “Know the 10 Signs.” In Chicago, the Latino Alzheimer’s & Memory Disorders support group meets twice a month in different locations across the city, and in Milwaukee, the Latino Geriatric Center provides screenings for memory loss as well as support groups.

For Hispanics, complications from Alzheimer’s is the 12th leading cause of death, while it remains 6th among non-Hispanics according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The concern though is that, based on rates of population growth, the number of older Hispanics with Alzheimer’s and related dementias could rise to as many as 1.3 million by 2050.

Experts have said that Hispanics’ reluctance to make doctor’s appointments can cause long delays between when symptoms are initially noticed and when a neurologist is seen, and even in the event that a neurologist is contacted, it can prove difficult to find one that speaks Spanish.

Making it even more difficult to diagnose and treat Hispanics with Alzheimer’s is the stigma and misunderstanding attached to mental illness. In fact, the words for dementia in Spanish is “demencia,” which loosely translates as crazy.

A story from Dr. Elizabeth Crocco, an expert at the University of Miami School of Medicine points to just how ill-informed many still are about Alzheimer’s disease. She recalls one patient who was living in Puerto Rico, whose siblings hid her disease from her adult children in Miami. Her son only learned of a problem when his mother had trouble paying bills and driving. He immediately moved her to Miami for treatment.

“They got angry at him for taking her away,” Crocco says of the older siblings. “It was the professional younger son against the older generation.”

And now, Alzheimer’s awareness groups are looking to change all that with workshops, support groups, and simply the increase in information available to Hispanics.

Read more at Tampa Bay Online →

Charlie Sheen Embraces His Latino Blood, Wields Machete Like a Conquistador

Charlie Sheen Embraces His Latino Blood, Wields Machete Like a Conquistador

Photo: Sheen, Chavez, Noriega, and Machete with their Machetes

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For decades Latin leaders and Latin laborers have enjoyed the use of the machete, and now none other than Charlie Sheen, also known as Carlos Irwin Estévez is brandishing the weapon of choice of his winning pueblo.

Which perfectly insane, poster child for delirium of grandeur, Latino embodiment of chauvinism below, do you think would win in a machete skirmish?


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Eight New Airports Approved for Flights to Cuba, Total of 11 U.S. Airports Offering Flights

U.S. Customs and Border officials have announced that eight new U.S. airports have obtained permission to schedule charter flights to and from Cuba.

In spite of the increase in U.S. airports offering more flights to Cuba the same restrictive travel requirements apply whereby only people with Cuban relatives or people from Cuba and those traveling for educational or religious purposes.

The airports that will now host charter flights are:  Chicago’s O’Hare, Baltimore, Dallas/Fort Worth, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Atlanta and Puerto Rico’s San Juan airport.  Prior to the announcement only Miami, Los Angeles and New York had flight to the island nation.

The expanded list of airports is part of President Obama’s efforts to increase outreach to the Cuban people and make it easier for those who meet the travel requirements to get there.

Read more at Huffington Post →

Republican Women of AL Say State Immigration Bill Too Easy on Employers

Republican Women of AL Say State Immigration Bill Too Easy on Employers

Photo: Alabama State House

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The Alabama Federation of Republican Women disagree with news reports that HB56 is a tough Arizona-style immigration bill.  “There are many good aspects in the bill that are much needed to control immigration,” the state federation president of Alabama Republican Women Elois Zeanah stated, “but the enforcement provisions of E-Verify are so weak that penalties for parking tickets are stronger than penalties for employers who hire illegal aliens.”

“It’s like dealing with a tumor,” Zeanah continued.  “You can treat the symptoms of the disease but you won’t solve the problem unless you remove the tumor.  So it is with illegal immigration.  If you don’t cut out the root of the problem, jobs, you’re left dealing with side effects.”

Zeanah said she’s concerned with the speed of the bill.  The bill is on the House calendar and could be voted on as early as Thursday.  Zeanah said there’s no need to rush this bill through. The substitute bill is not yet online to be read and a companion bill has yet to be introduced in the Senate.  “What’s the rush?” Zeanah asked. 

She said her organization has submitted a summary of the enforcement problems and ways to fix it, and she hopes HB56 will be strengthened on the House floor.

Read more by HS News Staff →

German Scientists on a Quest for Mayan Gold Treasure in Guatemala

German Scientists on a Quest for Mayan Gold Treasure in Guatemala

Photo: Joachim Rittsteig, Looking for Mayan Gold in Guatemala

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A German expert believes he has cracked an ancient code, which will lead him on an expedition to $290 million in lost gold!

Joachim Rittsteig a professor emeritus at Dresden University and Mayan language expert, seems to have cracked the “Dresden Codex,” a document written back in 1250 A.D, which details the exact location of a treasure, buried somewhere in Guatemala.

Rittsteig’s interpretation of the document appears to be legitimate, so much that he was able to get the entire expedition—two reporters, a TV crew and a scuba diver, financed by the German newspaper, Bild.

The expedition is exploring Guatemala’s Lake Izabal with radar imaging, attempting to find the lost treasure.Image

“The Dresden Codex leads to a giant treasure of eight tons of pure gold […] page 52 talks about the Mayan capital of Atlan, which was ruined by an earthquake on October 30th in the year 666 BC. In this city, they kept 2,156 gold tablets on which the Maya recorded in their laws.”

The “Dresden Codex” is an approximately 74 page long document. It took Rittsteig more than 40 years to decipher its contents; as well as the location of the treasure, the Codex is rich with insights about Mayan philosophy, astrology and medicine.

The Codex was discovered in 1739 in the hands of a wealthy man in Vienna, but it is not clear how he got a hold of it. He then donated it to the Dresden Library, where it is kept under bullet-proof glass in a room with other treasured documents.

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Latina “Teen Sex Slave” at the Heart of American Apparel Founders $260M Lawsuit

Latina “Teen Sex Slave” at the Heart of American Apparel Founders $260M Lawsuit

Photo: Irene Morales

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Dov Charney founder of American Apparel, one of the U.S. largest garment factories, is being sued for $260 million for sexually enslaving one of his teen employees.

Irene Morales, 20-years old, is accusing Charney of traumatizing her while she worked at American Apparel with his demand for sexually explicit photos of herself while still attending high school.  She was also the recipient of many text messages and emails of a sexual nature. 

In addition she alleges her 42-year old boss held her captive at his apartment for several hours forcing her into sexual acts when she turned 18-years old and alleges this continued for 8 months.  Somehow being ‘induced’ back to his apartment or Los Angeles home each time.

Charney and American Apparel have responded by labeling this accusation as false.  Though Charney has been accused of sexual harassment in the past he has never been convicted of any crime.  It does not help that on occasion he carries out board meetings in his underwear and has produced very sexually explicit ads. 
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Read more at Daily Mail →

Bill to Stop Undocumented Immigrants From Getting Drivers License Fails In WA Senate

Bill to Stop Undocumented Immigrants From Getting Drivers License Fails In WA Senate

Photo: Washington State Drivers License

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A Bill to restrict the ability of undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses in Washington State was defeated yesterday in the state Senate, the motion failed 23-25.

Washington State is one of two in the country that let illegal immigrants obtain driver’s licenses. New Mexico is the other state that still allows such practice, but lawmakers there are also considering bills to close the access.

The rejected bill would have required applicants for driver’s license to provide proof of residency and a Social Security number. Supporters had said the bill aimed to stop identification fraud.

Opponents, though, had said that it would have led the illegal immigrant community to drive without licenses and car insurance. They also said that the estimated cost of the bill - about $1.5 million in the next two-year budget - is too expensive in a year that the state faces a deficit.

Haugen, who is the chairwoman of the Senate transportation committee, said that for years she had stopped similar bills because she was worried about the impact on the farm industry, which employs a significant number of illegal immigrants using fake identification.

Read more at The Seattle Times →

Maine Business Becomes 1st in State to Sign ICE Agreement

A wreath manufacturing company has become the first business in Maine to sign an agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to strengthen hiring practices and to combat the unlawful employment of illegal aliens.

Whitney Wreath President and CEO David Whitney and the Special Agent in Charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston, Bruce M. Foucart, signed the IMAGE or “ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers,” agreement during a ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Whitneyville, Maine.

“IMAGE is a voluntary program that allows private industry to partner with ICE to reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents,” said Special Agent in Charge Foucart. “We applaud Whitney Wreath for its unwavering pledge to maintain its image in the community as a reputable employer and good corporate neighbor.”

Whitney Wreath is one of the largest producers of fresh holiday wreaths and home decorations in the nation. Since 1984, Whitney Wreath has been providing fresh, full balsam wreaths to families throughout the U. S. In 2009, Whitney Wreath was selected as the provider of holiday balsam products for L.L. Bean. Winning this competitive selection process, along with Whitney’s long-standing relationship since 1993 with QVC, one of the largest multimedia retailers in the world, established Whitney Wreath as the largest mail-order Christmas wreath company in the United States.

To qualify for IMAGE certification, Whitney Wreath performed the following requirements:

+  Conducted self-assessments of their hiring practices to uncover vulnerabilities that could be exploited by illegal aliens;

+  Enrolled in employment eligibility verification programs, such as E-Verify and the Social Security Number Verification Service;

+  Trained their staffs on IMAGE Best Practices and how to use the new screening tools;
Underwent a Form I-9 audit conducted by ICE.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jihad Jane’s Partner, Jamie Ramirez Pleads Guilty to Aiding Terrorists

Jihad Jane’s Partner, Jamie Ramirez Pleads Guilty to Aiding Terrorists

Photo: Jamie Ramriez and Jihad Jane

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Jamie Paulin Ramirez, 32, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Colorado, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.  Ramirez faces a potential maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing.

The guilty plea, which was entered before U.S. District Court Judge Petrese B. Tucker in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was announced by Todd Hinnen, acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Zane David Memeger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; and George C. Venizelos, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division.

Ramirez was first charged in a superseding indictment filed in April 2010, along with co-defendant Colleen R. LaRose, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Montgomery County, Pa.  On Feb. 1, 2011, LaRose, aka “JihadJane, aka “Fatima LaRose,” pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, making false statements and attempted identity theft.

According to documents filed with the court, Ramirez, LaRose and others conspired to obtain military-style training in South Asia and then traveled to and around Europe to participate in and in support of violent jihad. 

Ramirez exchanged e-mail messages with LaRose during the summer of 2009, in which LaRose invited Ramirez to join her in Europe to attend a training camp.  For example, on Aug. 1, 2009, LaRose sent electronic communications to Ramirez stating that “soon i will be moving to Europe to be with other brothers & sisters . . . . when i get to europe, i will send for you to come be with me there . . . . [T]his place will be like a training camp as well as a home.”

Ramirez accepted LaRose’s invitation to travel to Europe and asked to bring along her minor male child.  On Sept, 12, 2009, Ramirez traveled to Ireland with her child with the intent to live and train with jihadists.  The day after she arrived in Ireland, Ramirez married, someone she had never before met in person, in an Islamic ceremony, knowing and intending that her presence in Europe, and her future actions would provide support for the conspiracy.

This case was investigated by the FBI Field Division in New York, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Philadelphia, the FBI Field Division in Denver, and the FBI Field Office in Washington, D.C.  Authorities in Ireland also provided assistance in this matter.

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayMarch 9, 2011