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FridayMarch 11, 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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EPA Adds Two Puerto Rico Sites to List of Country’s Most Hazardous Waste Sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added the Cabo Rojo Ground Water Contamination site in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, and the Hormigas Ground Water Plume site in Caguas to its Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites.

Sampling at the sites found chemical contamination that is impacting wells once used to supply drinking water to the local communities. Residents of the Cabo Rojo and Hormigas communities currently receive drinking water from different sources that is safe to consume.

The Cabo Rojo Urbano public water system has 6 drinking water wells that serve about 48,500 people. Groundwater samples collected found tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene, solvents used in industrial processes. In an effort to identify the source of contamination, EPA conducted investigations at 68 facilities and collected soil and ground water samples from 13 facilities.

EPA’s investigation has not yet identified the source of groundwater contamination in the drinking water wells and further investigations will be conducted. The contamination detected in the Cabo Rojo wells that are still in operation is below levels of concern.

Read more at Environmental Protection Agency →

Catholic Church in Mexico Appeals to Drug Traffickers to Repent During Lent

Bishop Ramón Castro Castro, Bishop of Campeche, has appealed to members of criminal organizations involved in narcotics trafficking, during Lent, “to repent and take account of the fact that easy money offers a comfortable life but one that is far from God.”

The Mexican Bishop has said “enough” to those involved in organized crime, and through the document “Cristo nuestra paz, para que México tenga una vida digna” he offers an analysis of the reality of public health problems throughout the Country, such as drug abuse. “We all need to be in harmony. Everyone needs to play their part to resolve this problem which is affecting all of society. It is always possible to reach someone’s heart, even though they seem like bad people,” said the Bishop to the faithful.

Bishop Castro Castro lamented the atmosphere of insecurity and emphasized the fact that Lent offers a time of grace to renew hearts by reconciling with God and with our neighbor.

In the last five years the number of Mexican Catholics has risen from 58 to 61.2%, in respect to 11% atheists, Protestants and others.

Read more at Agencia Fides →

Hollywood Studios Aren’t Tapping the Hispanic Market Very Well, With Some Exceptions

Hollywood Studios Aren’t Tapping the Hispanic Market Very Well, With Some Exceptions

Photo: Sofia Vergara for Chasing Papi

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It appears that the more Hollywood tries to get the attention of Hispanics, the worse they are at, and they’re missing out on a huge opportunity that the release of 2009’s Fast & Furious nailed.

Most of the time, when Hollywood has tried to tailor-make movies for Hispanics – Hispanic actors, settings, themes – they fail. Perfect example being 2003’s comedy, Chasing Papi, in which a Latin lothario gets himself in trouble when his three girlfriends, spread across the U.S., find out about each other. Hispanic cast? Check. Stereotypical, yet hilarious plot line involving a womanizing Latino? Check. Latin settings? Meh, you could say so. Sure, it many not have been the best movie, but neither are a lot of movies that somehow make the studios millions. So what was it?

The problem arises from the sheer enormity of the Hispanic market. There are an estimated 48.4 million Hispanics in the United States, and they go to the movies more than any other ethnic group. According to the Motion Picture Associate of America, as of 2009, Hispanic movie goers see an average of eight movies a each a year. That’s roughly 300 million tickets sold.

Hispanics are, on average, ten years younger than the population as a whole, and are twice as likely to see a movie on opening night than the total adult population. Added up, these factors make Hispanics prime movie consumers.

Kathryn Galan, executive director of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers stated, “In one sense, Hollywood is not missing the Latino audience because, in fact, the Latino audience overindexes in moviegoing and broadband and mobile consumption, in disposable entertainment income. It’s very young, it’s upwardly mobile and whole families go to things – the families are large and they bring their grandmother and bring the kids – and they like going to the movies.”

So where’s the problem, you ask? It seems to arise when studios try too hard, and start waving the obvious “Hey look! Latinos!” flag around.

With Fast & Furious the fourthfilm in the series, Universal seemed to do everything correctly. Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez publicized in Latino markets. The movie was filmed in the Panama, Mexico,  the Dominican Republic and the U.S.. The soundtrack included Latin artists, and the movie itself hit on “Latino sensibility,” not to mention that Spanish was used throughout the movie and accents were free-flowing. Better still, was the filmmakers’ use of Spanish-language social networking.

Together, it resulted in a hefty $360 million at the box office worldwide.

But there’s a fine line between smart marketing, and making large generalizations expecting to peak the entire Latino market’s interest. For instance, aside from language, Mexicans, Cubans, and Venezuelans have very little in common, and even language can fail to be a common denominator.

Producer of the Jennifer Lopez film “El Cantante,” Julio Caro said that second, third, and fourth generation Americans are a relatively untouched niche market, but the niche is not the Hollywood blockbuster. “Latinos go to those anyway. You don’t need to make a Spanish ‘Spider-Man.’ But there is a huge opportunity to essentially mirror what Miramax and New Line did in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s but for the Latino market,” he said.

Movies in Spanish-language won’t really work though, as each generation appears to be speaking Spanish less than the one before. While Univision has remained the top rated U.S. network on Friday nights for the last 10 years among 18- to 34-year-olds, since the newer generations are speaking less Spanish, this means Univision may have to shift it’s focus in the coming years.

Now, studios like Lionsgate are being smart about things.

The studio is behind Tyler Perry’s wildly successful movies among the African-American audience, and now, having teamed up with Televisa – the Mexican media big shots – the duo, calling itself Pantelion plans to release between eight and ten movies a year, their first attempt being From Prada to Nada, a revamping of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

Those the movie only gross $2.9 million, Jim McNamara, Pantelion’s chairman said it wasn’t expected to make more.

“Nobody’s crying. We had decent international sales and I think we are all coming away saying we learned a lot,” he said. “It’s our first picture as this new sort of specialty company and we did learn a lot and we were surprised at how well some of the theaters did.”

He noted that studios should keep trying their hands at “Hispanic movies,” and should not expect that they all will fail, and rhe national executive director of the Screen Actors Guild, David White agrees.

“Something will come out and the numbers won’t look good, and that will be a reinforcement of the tape—that ‘Hispanic’ movies don’t do well,” White said. “But the truth is, a a lot of movies don’t do well, and the studios don’t stop making movies.”

Read more at The Wrap →

JUST IN:  NFL Players Union Decertifies with Threat of Legal Action, Work Stoppage Almost Certain

JUST IN:  NFL Players Union Decertifies with Threat of Legal Action, Work Stoppage Almost Certain

Photo: NFL Players Union

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The National Football League Players Union (NFLPA) has just announced it has officially applied to decertified which would basically dissolve the union as the bargaining agent of the players and makes a work stoppage an almost certainty.

The NFLPA just released the following statement:

The NFL Players Association announced today it has informed the NFL, NFL clubs and other necessary parties that it has renounced its status as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the players of the National Football League.

The NFLPA will move forward as a professional trade association with the mission of supporting the interests and rights of current and former professional football players.

Both players and owners had been in mediation for over 16 days in hopes of a compromise over core issues.  With the decertification the players can opt to sue the league and work on their own contractual behalf.  A work stoppage is an almost certainty, the first since 1987. 


Read more at KOAT →

UPDATE: Chile Begins Evacuations, Ecuador Declares State of Emergency Due to Japan’s Tsunami

UPDATE: Chile Begins Evacuations, Ecuador Declares State of Emergency Due to Japan’s Tsunami

Photo: Japan hit by 8.9 magnitude earthquake, Tsunami alerts out for Central, South American, US, and Canada

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The Chilean Government has officially issued a tsunami alert effective immediately, and has started evacuating “flood zones” near the coast, as well as the whole Easter Island. Officials estimate that waves could reach more than 7 feet, and urge the population to evacuate within the next 3 to 5 hours.

In the meantime, Japan has warned of a malfunction in the cooling system of the Nuclear reactor in the 480-megawatt Fukushima No. 1 plant in Fukushima Prefecture, where the level of radioactivity has already exceeded 1,000 times the normal amount; authorities fear a meltdown, and have ordered the evacuation of all personel, and civilians in a 6 mile radius. They plan to release “semi-radioactive” steam to the atmosphere, in order to relieve the pressure inside the reactor, and avoid further complications.

As Chile prepares for the incoming tsunami, officials have just alerted the people that the waves are expected to reach the Easter Island shores earlier than expected. Luckily, there are no schools on the island.

In Colombia, 16 different municipalities have been put on alert, though no one is being evacuated yet.

President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa declared a state of emergency Friday and ordered evacuation of the Galapagos Islands as well as the people in the country’s coastal provinces. The alert will be in effect for as long as 60 days.



As parts of Japan are still in disaster after a horrific 8.9 magnitude earthquake, countries in South and Central American and around the world are alerting their coastal residents that they are at risk of being hit by a tsunami caused by this morning’s earthquake.

In Colombia, President Juan Santos said Friday that the government was making plans to notify residents of the tsunami risks along its western oceanic coast.

“We lament this tragedy and express solidarity with Japan,” Santos said in a statement. “We’re watching out for our countrymen and will be informing them regarding any impact on our Pacific coast.”

In Japan, the 8.9 magnitude quake caused 10- meter waves, and sadly, police have already reported that 200 to 300 bodies have been found. Later, 7-meter waves hit

Tsunami warnings were issued for countries including Russia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.

U.S. President Barack Obama released the following statement:

“Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis. The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial. The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakable, and only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy. We will continue to closely monitor tsunamis around Japan and the Pacific going forward and we are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their state and local officials as I have instructed FEMA to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the U.S. states and territories that could be affected.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

POLL:  63% of Americans Say Border Control is Top Immigration Priority

Little is being said on Capitol Hill about immigration reform these days, but voters remain strongly convinced that border control should come first.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 63% of Likely U.S. Voters think gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living here when it comes to immigration reform. Only 27% put legalizing the status of these illegal immigrants first. Ten percent (10%) are not sure.

Most conservatives (79%) and moderates (59%) think border control should come first; most liberals (52%) say the priority should be legalizing the illegal immigrants who are already in the United States.

Support for border control as a legislative priority has been at this level for years.

But, while Americans want the border secure and a reduction in illegal immigration, most continue to support a welcoming policy of legal immigration.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters now agree with an immigration policy that keeps out only national security threats, criminals and those who would come here to live off America’s welfare system. This is down slightly from 58% last April but is generally consistent with findings for several years. Twenty-seven percent (27%) disagree with a policy like that, while another 19% are not sure about it.

Read more at Rasmussen Report →

Theatrical Production of 24 Hours Sees America Ferrara Sing and Dance on Stage

Theatrical Production of 24 Hours Sees America Ferrara Sing and Dance on Stage

Photo: America Ferrera in 24-Hour Plays

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Honduran-American actress America Ferrera, was a part of the “24 Hour Musicals” show held on this week at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City.

The initiative was the fruit of a partnership between the 24 Hour Company and The Exchange; four musicals were written, cast, rehearsed and performed in a single day, featuring an star-studded line up of Broadway performers, composers, writers, directors, choreographers and musical directors at the Gramercy theatre in New York. Image

Broadway actors Tony Yazbeck, Nat Wolff and Kat Pallardy joined Ferrera on stage for a performance of “The Exact Right Thing.”

The creative process for THE 24 HOUR MUSICALS started on the evening of Sunday, March 6th, when all the participating artists showed up to the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park sporting a prop or costume piece aimed to inspire the writers.Image

The company was briefed, and then actors and directors left the writers to create the script, music and lyrics for four different 15-minute musicals, a task to be completed in less than eight hours.

Early Monday morning, the directors returned to read the completed musicals and cast the short plays. An hour later, the actors returned to begin a twelve-hour rehearsal, in which they learned their lines, their songs, dances, movements on stage etc. in time to perform at 8 pm, without scripts in hand.

Expect to see more of America Ferrera on the stage; she is currently a favorite (along with Julia stiles) to make her London theatre debut in Neil LaBute’s scathing drama, “reasons to be pretty,” a play that explores timilar topics of inner beauty and outer superficiality as her role in “Ugly Betty”.

In addition, Ferrera will soon join actress Katie Holmes for a reading of the play “Extremities,” a play remake of the 1982 off-Broadway production starring James Russo and Susan Sarandon; Sarandon’s leading role was later taken over by Farrah Fawcett who also starred in the 1986 film adaptation.

“Extremities” centers on a woman who turns the tables on a would-be rapist when she is attacked in her home.


Read more by HS News Staff →

“Danbury 11” Day Laborers Reach $650,000 Settlement After Claiming They Were Arrested Unlawfully

“Danbury 11” Day Laborers Reach $650,000 Settlement After Claiming They Were Arrested Unlawfully

Photo: Juan Barrera, one of the Danbury 11 (left), and Yale Law student intern Justin Cox

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A group of day laborers have reached a $650,000 total settlement with Danbury, Connecticut officials, after they filed a lawsuit claiming they had been arrested under unlawful practices.

On September 19th, 2006, 11 men – who would later be known as the Danbury 11 – were approached by what they thought was a contractor looking for workers. When the men got into the man’s van, they were driven only a few blocks. When they arrived at a bank parking lot, the men were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “The contractor” was an undercover officer, and the workers were suspected- undocumented immigrants.

Eight of the men arrested later filed a suit claiming that police had no jurisdiction to enforce federal immigration law, and that their arrests were a result of racial profiling policies put in place by the now five-term mayor Mark Boughton.

The suit named the Republican mayor, the city, specific police officers, ICE agents, and the United States.

Representing the Danbury 11 pro bono were the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services organization at Yale Law School, as well as attorneys with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

“Our clients are thrilled,” said Katie Chamblee, a student at Yale Law School who represented the day laborers. “This is the largest monetary settlement ever paid out to day laborers by any municipality in the country.”

In the end though, both sides are calling the settlement a win, as the 11 men received monetary compensation and the city did not have to admit any wrongdoing and it was not required to change policy or procedure. In fact, Dan Casagrande, the attorney representing the city in the case, said Tuesday, “We view this as a vindication for the city and the actions of the police officers.”

On the other hand, former Danbury mayoral candidate Manuel Bataguas, said he is happy to see the case go the way it did, saying, ““The city has to learn a lesson, and paying the money is probably the only way they will learn. If the city was right, then why is [their] insurance company paying [this money]?”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Watch the Trailer for the Highly Anticipated film “Somos lo que Hay”

“Somos Lo que Hay” or “We Are What We Are” premiers tonight at the 18th annual San Diego Latino Film Festival.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Secretary of UN to Visit Guatemala: Peace Building and Impunity on the Agenda

Secretary of UN to Visit Guatemala: Peace Building and Impunity on the Agenda

Photo: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to Guatemala next week for a three-day visit that will focus on peace building issues and the Central American country’s efforts to combat impunity.

Mr. Ban is set to arrive in Guatemala on Tuesday and will meet with President Alvaro Colom and members of his Cabinet, the Secretary-General’s spokesperson Farhan Haq told journalists today.

Mr. Ban will visit the offices of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, known as CICIG, Mr. Haq said.

The United Nations and the Guatemalan Government set up CICIG as an independent body to support the public prosecutors’ office, the national civilian police and other institutions to investigate a limited number of sensitive and difficult cases regarding illegal security groups and clandestine security organizations and also dismantle them.

Based in Guatemala City, the capital, since it began operations in early 2008, CICIG seeks to bolster the rule of law and is permitted by its mandate to conduct independent investigations and help authorities bring representative cases to trial in national courts.

During his visit to Guatemala, Mr. Ban will also take part in a ceremony to launch the UN Peacebuilding Fund’s engagement with the country and meet with representatives of local civil society, including indigenous groups.

The UN chief will also attend a meeting with the heads of State of Central American countries to discuss regional issues.

This will be Mr. Ban’s first visit to Guatemala since he became Secretary-General at the start of 2007.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Watch George Lopez as Grouchy Smurf in the Trailer for the New Smurfs 3D Film (VIDEO)

Watch George Lopez as Grouchy Smurf in the Trailer for the New Smurfs 3D Film (VIDEO)

Photo: New Smurfs Movie Out on Aug 3rd.

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Image Great smurfnews!  The new smurf trailer for the upcoming Smurfs movie is out, featuring a smurftastically cast George López as Pitufo Gruñon (Grouchy Smurf).

We are blue in the face with excitement, specially since we learned that smurfellicious Sofía Vergara will also be in the film, playing Neil Patrick Harris’ boss, Odile.

Read more by HS News Staff →

40 Pounds of Marijuana Smuggled Through Border Sewer System Clogs Up Locals Bathrooms in AZ

40 Pounds of Marijuana Smuggled Through Border Sewer System Clogs Up Locals Bathrooms in AZ

Photo: Marijuana in Nogales Sewer lines

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Yes, we know that most cities are cutting back on their municipal services, so when something was clogging up the local sewer lines in Nogales, Arizona many could assume city workers were at fault – not so.

Nogales public workers discovered waste-covered bales of pot (40 pounds worth) tied to hundred of yards of rope in their sewer line.  It is believed this is another example of ‘extreme smuggling’ where desperate measures are taken by Mexican drug traffickers to get their product to the U.S.

Authorities suspect the bales of marijuana were dropped down a man hold on the south side of the border with plans to have someone on the north side pick it up. 

This is not the first time Nogales, Arizona officials find surprises in their public works.  Last year in February border patrol found 55 pound of marijuana with a scuba tank and masks in the storm drains that run under water between the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Read more at Nogales International →

UPDATE: Texas Bill That Would Deny MX Consul Officials Entry to State Schools is Heard in Court

UPDATE: Texas Bill That Would Deny MX Consul Officials Entry to State Schools is Heard in Court

Photo: State Rep. José Menendez

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Wednesday, a bill to keep officials from the Mexican Consulate off Texas campuses for the purpose of helping students with their matricula consular applications was heard by a House panel.

The Matrícula Consular de Alta Seguridad (MCAS or Consular Identification Card) is simply an identification card that is issued by the Government of Mexico by way of its consulate offices. It is given to Mexican nationals residing outside Mexico no matter their immigration status.

Though the writer of the bill (HB 428), State Rep. Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball) was not present at Wednesday’s hearing, Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) read a statement on his behalf. The statement included Fletcher’s acknowledgement that he was unaware of any problems the Mexican Consular staff had caused on Texas college campuses, but that HB 428 was more of a preventive measure.

At the hearing, there were no witnesses in favor of the measure, and one of the committee members, state Rep. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio), strongly opposed the bill, saying that “on its surface” this is “a real non-issue bill.”

While the cards are primarily used as just a form of identification and to prove Mexican citizenship – mostly for students studying in the U.S. – it can also be used to open U.S. bank accounts. Menendez pointed to this as a good thing, saying he would prefer that international students have their money in banks, governed by U.S. laws, rather than stuffing “cash under their mattresses.”


A Texas state representative is trying to “send a message” to undocumented immigrants, by drafting and filing a bill that looks to deny entry onto public schools and state universities to foreign consular officials that arrive to help anyone obtain non-U.S. identification cards.

State Representative Allen Fletcher, who wrote House Bill 428 that was just filed, said, “The bottom line is we’re trying to keep foreign consuls from being on our campuses. I don’t like them using our public facilities and our schools to basically access the foreign nationals that are in our country and give them an opportunity to take advantage of our benefits when they’re here illegally.”

The Matrícula Consular de Alta Seguridad (MCAS or Consular Identification Card) is an identification card issued to Mexican nationals residing outside of Mexico regardless of their immigration status. The card is issued by the Government of Mexico through their consulate offices.

During his interview with the Rio Grande Guardian, the state rep., who spent 21 years with the Houston Police Department admitted to not knowing exactly what the cards can be used for, but added, ““Basically a matrícula card is just some legitimate form of ID. I would think that if you have that matrícula card you have an ID that allows you to basically interject yourself into the system,”

Fletcher, a “career enforcement guy” was asked what someone needs to gain the identification cards and said he was unsure, but stated, “…Probably tell them your name is Allen Fletcher, and they crank it out for you. I’m under the impression, based on what I’ve seen that they’re not really requiring (applicants) to provide much of anything.”

In the interview Fletcher mentioned that though he thinks a similar bill will never pass in Texas, he is a supporter of Arizona’s SB 1070.  The controversial law allows for local officers to ask for proof of immigration status if they have “reasonable suspicion” to think someone is in the country illegally. Fletcher expressed that instead of trying to pass big law changing bills like SB 1070, Texas lawmakers are looking to smaller bills to “send a message” to anyone in the country without documentation.

“(HB 428) is a judicious way for us to start putting things in place to make it more difficult for them to access our public benefits illegally. So we’re hoping this will get their attention and let them know: ‘You’re not going to go onto our school grounds, you’re not going to go onto our public facilities and issue these cards, without making sure that folks have a legitimate right to have the card’.”

Read more at Rio Grande Guardian →

Goya Foods to Donate 1 Million Pounds of Food to Local Food Pantries Nationwide

On March 16th, Goya Foods, the leading Hispanic-owned company in the United States, in conjunction with United Way, will donate one million pounds of food across the country. The donation is part of Goya and United Way’s ongoing mission to fight hunger and food insecurity among the communities they serve. As the largest single day donation by a food company, this contribution will help feed more than 3 million people.

Throughout its history, Goya has donated extensively to local and national organizations as well as disaster recovery efforts around the world, including providing aid to the victims of the Haiti and Chile earthquakes. In 2010 alone, the company donated more than 1.5 million pounds of food in the U.S.

The March 16th donation will take place on the 75th day of the year during the company’s 75th anniversary milestone year.

Additionally, Goya and the United Way are launching the Goya Gives campaign, a 75-day effort to enable the public to make their own contribution to fighting hunger and promoting good nutrition through various social media platforms.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Studies Look at Blacks’ and Latinos’ Declining Attendance at Arts Events

Studies Look at Blacks’ and Latinos’ Declining Attendance at Arts Events

Photo: Latino and Black youth attendance down at arts events

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A new study out of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has revealed that black and Latino people have been deprived of an education in the arts since 1982, and as a result, the number of young adult Latino and black students who take advantage of art functions has dwindled.

Whether plays, musicals, art exhibits, dance or art museum events, the University of Chicago’s research team have found that black and Latino youth are not attending the art events as often s their white counterparts.

The researchers stated that a child’s arts education plays, “such a vital role by developing the potential audience, “ for the arts. They added that “ if these trends continue, the health of he arts ecosystem will be in jeopardy.”

On the other hand, an NEA study takes an opposing view and believes that the declining arts attendance over the last few years is a reflection of the failure in recruiting newer generations to follow in the footsteps of their baby boomer generation predecessors. The NEA study makes the suggestion that it is not a lack of interest, but instead the lack of arts events that are keeping the numbers low.

Both studies used information from U.S. Census Bureau surveys from 1982 to 2008. The most recent survey showed that 34.6% of Americans attended an arts event in 2008, with is down from 39.4% in 2002.

The Americano reported the following:

In 2008, 58% of whites ages 18 to 24 reported having taken at least one arts class during their life, a 2% drop from 1982. The drop was much bigger for the nation’s two largest minorities — from 51% to 26% for blacks, and from 47% to 28% for Latinos.

The newspaper added that the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds who said they had attended at least one arts event (jazz, classical music, opera, musical or non-musical plays, dance or art museums) during the year before they were surveyed fell slightly for whites during the 26 years — from 44% to 42%. Attendance rates for nonwhites fell from 38% to 25%.

Among children of college graduates, 73% surveyed in 2008 had taken at least one arts class, down from 88% in 1982. For others — presumably less wealthy — arts education became a rarity, plunging from 70% to 34% for children of high school graduates, and from 54% to 13% if their parents lacked a diploma.


Read more at The Americano →

National Society of Hispanic MBA’s Theme for Year: “Accelerating Hispanic Business Talent”

Though several months away until the next National Society of Hispanic MBA’s (NSHMBA) Conference & Career Expo, preparation for the 2011 Conference & Career Expo in Anaheim, California, October 13-15, 2011, began even as the last one was coming to a close.

“Accelerating Hispanic Business Talent,” this year’s conference theme, will once again provide the backdrop for the many Hispanic attendees making the trip to Anaheim with goals of accelerating their careers.

“We’re excited once again to be preparing for another great conference,” said Manny Gonzalez, NSHMBA CEO. “We’re also excited to be doing so under a new vision, which we believe will allow us to really tailor this year’s conference to the Hispanic business professional and make it perhaps one of the most successful events to date.”

The 2011 Conference & Career Expo will be the target of the organization’s many goals of increasing Hispanic awareness of the influence and relevance of an MBA, building scholarship and professional development so that it reaches all constituents, and collaborating to build and fortify connections and relationships within the Hispanic community.

With attendance that has grown into the thousands over the years, this year’s event expects to top last year’s with an expected attendance of more than 8,000 Hispanic business students, professionals and entrepreneurs participating in the largest Hispanic MBA conference in the country.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jennifer Aniston Launches Perfume in Mexico, Selling Her Home, Goes Viral and All in a Week! (VIDEO)

Jennifer Aniston Launches Perfume in Mexico, Selling Her Home, Goes Viral and All in a Week! (VIDEO)

Photo: Jennifer Aniston Launches her new Fragrance in México

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ImageJennifer Aniston launched her brand new perfume Thursday, at the St. Regis hotel in Mexico City.

The 42-year old Friends star was all smiles as she presented her new fragrance called “Jennifer Aniston” in México, looking stunning in a Valentino couture dress, and Tabitha Simmons shoes. The actress is known to spend a lot of time in Cabos San Lucas, Mexico but it is not known if this is why the actress chose to launch her fragrance in Mexico.

The star, who earlier this week listed her Beverly Hills estate for sale at a whopping $42 million, has gone viral with her new commercial for SmartWater, getting over 6 million hits in four days. It is no wonder, since the video is labeled “Jennifer Aniston’s Sextape”


Read more by HS News Staff →

73 Dominicans Deported from Greece Arrive Home from via Charter at a $630,000 Cost

The Ministry of Foreign Relations of the Dominican Republic (DR) says that 73 Dominicans who were deported from Greece arrived yesterday. They had entered Greece illegally by crossing the Turkish border with a plan to travel to Spain, according to local reports.

Greece paid EUR460,000 ($630,000) to send back 54 Dominican women and 19 men who were under arrest for two months in Greece for illegal entry. The Listin Diario reports that a B767-300 plane was chartered to fly the group back from Athens.

It is the first time Greece chartered a special flight to deport illegal immigrants.  More than 128,000 migrants enter Greece or approximately 400 a day.  They are cracking down on illegal immigration as a result of the country’s economic woes.

They were escorted by 139 Greek police officers and two doctors on the direct flight to the DR, which took 11 and a half hours. Greek and European Union regulations require that two policemen escort each immigrant.

Read more at DR1 →

USDA Offers Hispanic Female Workers an Over $1 Billion Lawsuit Settlement

USDA Offers Hispanic Female Workers an Over $1 Billion Lawsuit Settlement

Photo: HIspanic female farmers lawsuits against the USDA

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The USDA is offering a up a billion dollar settlement in hopes of ending a years-long lawsuit in which hundreds of Hispanic female farmers say they were discriminated against when applying for loans and other assistance between 1981 and 2000.

Late last month, the USDA announced that it would pay up to $50,000 to each plaintiff that could prove “wrongful treatment.” The Hispanic female farmers can either take the settlement which the USDA has set aside $1.3 billion for, or they can continue on with their lawsuits.

Just last year, the government settled with Native American and black farmers over similar discrimination claims. In the end, the nearly 900 Native American farmers who brought the 1999 class-action lawsuit against the government were paid $680 million in damages and $80 million of outstanding farm loan debt. The black farmers received about $2.5 billion in compensation.

However, in this case, at least one of the female farmers, lead plaintiff Lupe Garcia has said she will likely not except the settlement. Garcia sued over 11 years ago, and said a $50,000 settlement will not cover the losses she suffered from discrimination.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vislack told reporters that, “This is an effort to give folks a closure or an option closure.” Saying, “We’ve made an effort to turn the page on what has been a tough chapter for us in civil rights.”

In a USDA blog, Vislack wrote: “We are continuing work to build a new era for civil rights at USDA: correcting out past errors, learning from out mistakes, and outlining definitive action to ensure there will be no missteps in the future. The process has been long and often difficult, but my staff and I have been working hard every day to make USDA a model employer and premier service provider that treat every customer and employee fairly, with dignity and respect.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

French Fashion House HERMES Launches Collection Featuring Mexican Indigenous Art

French Fashion House HERMES Launches Collection Featuring Mexican Indigenous Art

Photo: French Fashion House Hermes Launches Collection Inspired by Otomi Natives

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French Fashion House Hermés has released a collection of scarves and handkerchiefs featuring colorful embroidered designs produced by a community of Mexican Otomi natives. Image

The collection will make available worldwide fashion featuring the traditional “Tenango,”—vibrant embroidered figurines made by the residents of San Pablo el Grande and inspired by the pre-columbine Otomi culture, a community known for its strong beliefs in co-existing in harmony with the natural environment.

The designs are inspired by the plants and animals of the Otomi lands, as well as the rituals performed to be in harmony with the land, such as the harvest, planting and rain ceremonies.

In 2008, French fashion giant Hermés manifested their intentions of working with “the best artisans in Mexico,” a quest that lead them to San Pablo el Grande, a community no larger than a thousand people deep in the Mexican state of Hidalgo, located in the center of the nation.

The couture house contacted the Museum of Popular Art, who in turn put them in contact with Vicente Ezequiel, the only living artisan who is still familiar with the technique for Tenango embroidery, and Elia Tolentino, an expert embroiderer, who happily agreed to work with Hermés, knowing their whole community would benefit from the collaboration.

“Mexican artisans stand for creativity and diversity in their work, and they are now being seen in a different way not just in Mexico but around the world,” a museum official said.

The artisans said they long to “bring about improvement to the school in San Pablo el Grande and create better conditions in the community,”

The Otomi team, or “ñahñu” in the local language, traveled last Thursday to Mexico City and attended the official launch of the collection, promoting their designs internationally.

“We share an interest in preserving and passing on the savoir-faire of the hands that work them. We share an interest in preserving and passing on from generation to generation the ancestral techniques that yield products of excellence,” Hermés Mexico communications director Iveth Lagos said.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Immigration Officals Seize 11,000 Pounds of Marijuana At Border, $6.6 MIllion Street Value

Immigration Officals Seize 11,000 Pounds of Marijuana At Border, $6.6 MIllion Street Value

Photo: 11,000 lbs of Marijuana Seized at Border

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U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations interdicted a large drug smuggling attempt on Monday - seizing more than 11,000 pounds of marijuana in Nogales, Ariz.

During the course of an ongoing investigation, HSI agents in Nogales became aware of two trailers laden with marijuana that smugglers were attempting to move through the Mariposa Port of Entry. Agents identified one of the suspect vehicles near Industrial Park Drive, and then alerted CBP officers at the port of entry to be on the lookout for a second trailer. Agents followed the first vehicle to Bell Road, where the driver pulled over to unhook the trailer. Agents approached the driver and obtained consent to search the vehicle. A search of the trailer revealed a false compartment. A CBP canine unit responded to assist and positively alerted to the trailer.

At the port of entry, CBP officers identified the second trailer and referred it for further inspection. An X-ray revealed a false compartment in the front of the trailer and CBP K-9 positively alerted to the trailer. Further inspection revealed the compartment matched the one found in the first trailer.

“This team effort is a credit to the strong partnerships shared by DHS agencies like ICE and CBP in Arizona,” said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Arizona.

The first trailer contained a total of 260 bales of marijuana weighing 6,013 pounds. The second trailer seized at the port of entry contained a total of 244 bales of marijuana weighing 5,686 pounds. Combined, the trailers contained 11,699 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $6.6 million.

“Significant interceptions of this magnitude involving DHS inter-agency cooperation should send a strong message to criminal organizations: we will not tolerate the exploitation of our borders,” said David Higgerson, CBP Director of Field Operations in Arizona.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rep Barney Frank, “Lazy People Don’t Immigrate”

Rep Barney Frank, “Lazy People Don’t Immigrate”

Photo: Barney Frank

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Rep Barney Frank (D-Mass) received an award from National Council of La Raza at a black tie event ant the National Building Museum this week.

Frank told the Latino group; “There’s a problem in this country with bilingualism. And the problem is that not enough of us are [bilingual].”

Frank also took a witty jab at certain anti-immigration arguments. “Lazy people don’t immigrate. I mean, who gets up and goes to a foreign country where they don’t speak the language and they don’t have any contacts?”

“The lazy people stayed home!” he exclaimed. “I don’t mean to be critical of them, but since they stayed home.”

Read more at The Hill →

Latin America and Caribbean Regions to Invest $500 Million to Prepare for Natural Disasters

Latin America and Caribbean Regions to Invest $500 Million to Prepare for Natural Disasters

Photo: Flooding in Mexico

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Financial disaster preparedness is a growing concern in Latin America and the Caribbean. Last year the region saw devastating earthquakes in Chile and Haiti and an active hurricane season that impacted Central America and Mexico. In addition, the La Niña-related weather phenomenon has brought severe flooding to Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil, among others.

Natural disasters can put a country’s fiscal accounts in disarray, undermining the government’s ability to respond to emergencies and implement actions to restore or mitigate the impact of such catastrophes on human life and the economy.

At the request of the governments of several member countries, the IDB has developed a financial risk management approach for natural disasters, aimed to help the countries be better prepared to deal with emergencies caused by catastrophic natural events.

The IDB approach is focused in developing tailor-made integrated programs to help the countries’ governments to better manage these financial risks, through the implementation of different innovative financing instruments and mechanisms, such as the Contingent Credit Facility and the Natural Disaster Insurance Facilities.

Currently, the Bank is working with 13 member countries to support their efforts to improve their disaster risk management capability and efficiency. Through the mentioned facilities, it is expected to provide during 2011 more than $500 million in financing to help the region meet extraordinary expenditures that may arise during emergencies caused by natural disasters of severe or catastrophic magnitude.

The IDB has already approved a $100 million loan for the Dominican Republic under its Contingent Credit Facility. During this year, the Bank will consider further contingent loans for Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama and Honduras, totaling $500 million.

Read more at IABD →

FridayMarch 11, 2011