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MondayMarch 14, 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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More Cruise Lines Drop Mazatlan as a Port Stop in Mexico in Light of Incidences of Violence

More Cruise Lines Drop Mazatlan as a Port Stop in Mexico in Light of Incidences of Violence

Photo: Port of Mazatlan

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Other cruise line operators are taking the example that Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney set in dropping the Mazatlan, Mexico port from their cruise itineraries.  Cruise operators Princess and Holland America just announced they will be doing the same.

Both lines, like the other cruise operators, are concerned about their passengers safety in light of an increase in crime in the city’s tourist areas.  There have been incidents ranging from petty crimes like purse snatching to a murder of a cruise musician by a local known to the victim.

The Princess Cruises and Holland America ships will add other Mexican cities to their itinerary or in certain cases extend their stay in cities they are already visiting.  Certain Princess cruises have already announced extended time in Cabo San Lucas as substitution to their Mazatlan stops.

All the cruise operators say they will continue to monitor the situation in Mazatlan and if they feel they can guarantee their passengers safety they will resume travel to that port. 

Read more at USA Today →

A Near Majority of Hispanic Adults Do Not Get Recommended Preventive Health Services

Critical gaps exist between older Americans who receive potentially lifesaving preventive services and those who do not, according to a new report from agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Clinical prevention services examined in the report include vaccinations that protect against influenza and pneumococcal disease (e.g., bloodstream infections, meningitis, and pneumonia), screenings for the early detection of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes, lipid disorders, and osteoporosis, and smoking cessation counseling.

The report also addresses the use of preventive services by diverse populations. It says 49 percent of Asian/Pacific Islanders and 47 percent of Hispanics reported not being screened for colorectal cancer, in comparison to 34 percent of whites. More than 50 percent of Hispanics, 47 percent of blacks and Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 36 percent of whites report never receiving a pneumococcal vaccination.

According to the report, challenges underlying these disparities are complex and reach beyond the traditional health care arena of patient-provider interactions. Older adults may not be aware of the services recommended for their age group or may not know that the services are covered by Medicare, the report said.

About 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day; by 2030, about 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 older.

Contributors to and supporters of this report agree that the use of such services should be a high priority of community and health systems alike. While the benefit of expanded insurance coverage is substantial, it is also important that older adults take advantage of preventive services on a regular basis to ensure good health.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Every Day More Bars and Restaurants In Argentina use “Alcohometers”

Every Day More Bars and Restaurants In Argentina use “Alcohometers”

Photo: Alcohometer machine in Argentina

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Since the launch of the ‘alcohometer’ machine three months ago, 103 establishments in Argentina have already made them available to customers.

The Alcohometers are free and the user inserts a token given to him at the bar (or by a staff member) and the machine gives him a small yellow straw which fits perfectly in a small hole with a legend that reads “insert straw here.”

The user then waits for the machine to warm up, and blows for five seconds when prompted to do so by the machine.  The user steps back and waits for the results.

The results read one of four options: Green means the user is good to go, sober; Yellow means, exercise caution, sober up a bit before going out; Red means the user is inebriated, shouldn’t drive and will inevitably fail a Breathalyzer test. The fourth option, also prompts the color red which means the user did something wrong, and the machine wasn’t able to provide a result, in short, please try again.

“They installed the machine here a month ago,” said a Puerto Madero bar owner. “It is in a private place, and though it is supposed to be a voluntary thing, we suggest it to customers when we think is necessary.

So far, Alcohometers are being used on average 500 times per week in Argentina.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mayan Prophecy Predicted Massive Earthquake for Almost Same Time Japan’s Earthquake Occurred!

Apparently, the Mayans predicted the Earthquake in Japan and therefore many fatalists are asking, could 2012 be the real deal?

Most religions and cultures share a perception that things as we know them, won’t last forever. Countless predictions have been made about how it’s all going to go down and again, most cultures and religions coincide in that it will not be a pretty thing.

According to scholars who have studied what was left of Mayan writings after the Spaniards ravaged them to shreds and burned every book they could find, the Mayans used the movement of the cosmos as tale tell signs of what was going to happen to us here on Earth.

The Mayans created calendars based on their calculations and came up with nine cycles, which span from the origin of the earth, to its “end.”

True or not, we have to hand it to the Mayans: they knew a ridiculous lot about stars. For instance, they calculated the exact duration of a year to a thousandth of a decimal point, before math was a popular subject taught in schools. Also, they were able to predict every solar and lunar eclipse up to this day. Most intriguing, December 21 2012 is, cosmically speaking, a day unlike any other; it will be the winter solstice, and the Sun will sit precisely on the heavenly crossroads between the Milky Way and the galactic equinox, forming a perfect alignment with the center of the galaxy.

According to the Mayan scriptures, the world has gone through all nine cycles each one ending with a bang. The first cycle was ended by a jaguar eating everyone on Earth, the second cycle ended in air, the third cycle, which started 41 million years ago was completed with fire, the fourth cycle, the cycle of “mind” was ended with a flood some hundred thousand years ago… you get the idea.

Here’s where things get spooky:  The last cycle or wave, the “Unity” cycle ended on March 9 2011, and the Mayans predicted it would end with a massive earthquake. The massive Japanese earthquake occurred on the 10th of March. 

In Mayan culture, time was cyclical, meaning that one end, inevitably leads to a new beginning. Each cycle is divided in 13 equal segments that are called days and nights . 1st day, 1st night, 2nd day, 2nd night etc. These days and nights describe how quickly change, cosmic evolution if you may, comes to us. For instance, in the time of the first wave, change would happen at a rate of every 1.2 billion years. The rate of change of the days and nights increase with each progression of new waves of consciousness.

If we go back to the cycle spanning 1755 – 1999, these days and nights lasted about two decades, meaning dramatic changes in consciousness happened every 20 years. During this wave of consciousness the world was learning about power.

Since 1999, days and nights and the great changes in consciousness attached to them have happened every year. The cycle that ended the day before the catastrophe in Japan, was about Ethics – everything coming into integrity. Anything not in integrity was discarded.

We saw this illustrated as citizens of the Middle East teared down corrupt governments, and with Wikileaks exposing the widespread virus that is lack of integrity.

Starting in March 9th, 2011 we begin the Cycle of Unity of Consciousness, with days and nights that last 18 days!

This is the time when humanity will transcend duality – us and them, good and bad, etc. and merge into Unity of Consciousness.

There are some differences in opinion when this new Age officially begins, how many cycles there are, who said what, who interpreted what, what is accurate, what is bologna; At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. Look outside and to the facts that don’t discriminate against cultures or religions, and lets all agree that a great shift is upon the world, and it is happening now.

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

MALDEF Joins Parents, Educators, Policy Makers in Commitment to Improving GA Schools for Latinos

MALDEF Joins Parents, Educators, Policy Makers in Commitment to Improving GA Schools for Latinos

Photo: Campaign for High School Equity

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Georgia parents, educators, community leaders, and policy makers have committed to work together to raise the bar in public education by ensuring all students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and beyond.

The Campaign for High School Equity, a coalition of leading civil rights organizations, along with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, and several other local organizations convened nearly 100 parents, community leaders, and state and local school officials to determine how they can collaborate on the effective implementation of public education reform. Participants questioned State Representative Alisha Thomas Morgan and school officials about the current status of education reform, while challenging them to implement meaningful improvements that take the needs of all Georgia students into account.

“It is our responsibility as parents and community groups to be active in the decision-making process as education reforms are designed and implemented in Georgia,” said Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda. “The most critical work we do on behalf of our children will take place in cities, towns, and schools across the state. We must act now to ensure that all of Georgia students reach their fullest potential.”

Georgia’s public schools continue to face serious challenges as thousands of students, many of whom are students of color or reside in low-income neighborhoods, struggle with low academic achievement. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, Georgia’s high school graduation rate is just 58 percent. The situation for students of color is even more disturbing. Just 48 percent of Georgia’s African American students graduate from high school in four years. The state’s Hispanic and Native Indian students graduate at a rate of 43 percent and 38 percent, respectively. In 2010 more than 61,000 Georgia students failed to earn a high school diploma. If those students had graduated, they would have been in the position to add more than $16 billion dollars worth of lifetime earnings to Georgia’s economy.

“Common core standards and the $400 million dollar Race to the Top grant Georgia will receive offer an incredible opportunity to provide our students with the education they need to thrive in the 21st century marketplace,” said Georgia State Representative Alisha Thomas Morgan. “We have the opportunity. We have the resources. The time to act is now.”

Read more at Campaign for High School Equity →

In the Face of Mexico’s Violence, These Women Offer Smiles and Help

As Mexico’s drug war rages on and international media display alarming and gruesome headlines of kidnappings and beheadings, two groups of women are doing news-worthy deeds, but with very little international recognition.

In the Mexican state of Veracruz, in a town called La Patrona, a group of do-gooders calling themselves Las Patronas are helping those on their journey for something better.

Everyday, dozens of people (usually men) traveling on cargo trains pass La Patrona. Unable to afford safer or more comfortable travel conditions, these men, often called moscas or “flies” pack onto the trains and head to El Norte for a better life.

As the men pass, often on their way out of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and various other Central and South American countries in hopes of escaping poverty or gangs, Las Patronas quickly hand out food.

That’s right, as the trains pass, these women, who prepare at least 200 portions of food a day, hand out food to the starving men, providing just a bit of comfort as they travel aboard El Tren de la Muerte (The Train of Death). For most of them, this will be the only food they eat until they arrive at their destinations.

Las Patronas are not women with a lot of money. They are simply mothers, daughters, and wives, who for the last 15 years, have stood next to the railway and passed out food and drinks to those that pass by.

Bernarda Romero Vazquez, 46, said, “I help them because they are human beings, the same as us, and I don’t think that I have suffered like they have, and that’s why I think they need us.”

Keeping the good deeds going, a 10-women group of bikers, Las Guerreras de Juárez (The Warriors of Juárez) in Ciudad Juarez spend their Sundays helping the poverty stricken just looking for a assistance and a kind heart. During the week, these riders are businesswomen, teachers, and travel agents, but on the weekends, they hand out money, food, medicine, clothes, and anything else they can find to help those in need. Ciudad Juárez is just across the border from El Paso, Texas, and has seen around 7,000 deaths in just the last three years.

Las Guerreras came together two years ago after they heard about seven young people being killed while playing soccer at a park. They are not fighting the drug trafficking, they are fighting the effects of it; poverty, drug addiction, and even families left without fathers and mother.

The women ride pink motorcycles and say they do so to bring life and color to an otherwise gloomy situation. Shooters often ride motorcycles when they gun people down, and Las Guerreras’ pink bikes counter that.

“It is said that after the storm comes the calm. We hope so,” said co-founder Lorenia Granados. “We are trying to do something different and we hope that some day peace will come back to this city”.

Read more at Mercator Net →

Donald Trump’s Comments About Canal Make him “Persona Non Grata” in Panama

Donald Trump’s Comments About Canal Make him “Persona Non Grata” in Panama

Photo: Donald Trump Political Faux-Pas in Panama

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According to Panamanian officials, Trump told CNN that the United States had “stupidly” handed over the Panama Canal to the country “in exchange for nothing.”

Trump, who in June will open a luxury hotel in Panamá was declared “persona non grata” following the remarks he made about the Panamá canal.

“I think it was a political stupidity on the part of Donald Trump. Somebody who has 400 million dollars invested in Panama should not speak this way” said Panamanian Commerce and Industry Minister Roberto Henríquez.

“It is my understanding that he has presidential aspirations, and I think he might be appealing to the far American right.“ Henríquez added.

President Ricardo Martinelli regretted Trump’s remarks, and hopes he retracts them.

The Panama canal was built in the early 1900’s after President Roosevelt financed Panama’s independence from Colombia in exchange for the strip of land connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

“We can demonstrate that the US exploited us and ripped us off with the Hay-Bunau Varilla treaty of 1903” Said Julio Yao, a Panamanian professor and political advisor.  “The US did not pay a single cent to Panamá for the land strip where the canal is, and took 85 years worth of benefits from it.”

In 1999, the canal went back into Panamanian hands, as stipulated in a treaty signed in 1977 by the then Panama leader Omar Torrijos, and U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

In the 11 years that Panama has had exclusive control of the canal, the nation has made more money than it made on the 85 years under US control.

“ We are the owners of the canal, and we don’t have to pay anybody,” said Panamá city councilman Javier Ortega. “Now for once its benefits reach our country-folk and indigenous populations.” 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Many Latin Americans Among the Missing in Japan After the Devastating Tsunami

As officials in Japan continue to seek survivors from the devastating tsunami many foreign nationals remain missing, including those from the Latin American region.  Thus far only one foreign national, from Canada, has been confirmed dead.

According to foreign embassy sources and compilation from The Latin Americanist the following Latin American citizens remain missing:

CHILE:  Chile’s Foreign Relations Minister, Alfredo Moreno, has said there were nine Chileans living in the epicenter of the tragedy – Sandai.  Seven have been located TWO REMAIN MISSING.

COLOMBIA: A statement issued by the Embassy indicates TWO Colombian families maybe missing from Sendai.

MEXICO: At least 30 MEXICANS are missing from the Tohuku region, which was another devastated region of the tsunami.  No confirmation of any deaths thus far. 

On a separate note, Mexico has sent their elite Topos rescue brigade to the devastated region.

PERU:  Ambassador Juan Carlos Capuñay has stated there are 28 Peruvians missing amongst the estimated 60,000 Peruvian nationals that live in Japan. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Naked Bicycle Protest in Peru (VIDEO)

Naked Bicycle Protest in Peru (VIDEO)

Photo: Naked bike ride in Perú to protest against road rage

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Citizen’s of Lima, rode their bikes in the nude to protest against road rage, and lack of security in the streets.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chile Plans to Build New Prisons and Grant Pardons to Ease Overcrowding

Just last year, in an overcrowded Chilean prison, 81 inmates burned to death after a prison riot erupted. Now, to ease said overcrowding, Chile’s government will grant as many 10,000 pardons.

Representatives from all of Chile’s political parties met with Justice Minister Felipe Bulnes and Vice President Rodrigo Hinzpeter to discuss the government’s plan.

Using last year’s San Miguel prison riot and subsequent fire as an example, Bulnes explained the need for change and furthered his explanation of the current state of the prison system, and how the mixing of the inmates during the fire was horrific, as first time offenders came face-to-ace with the some of the country’s most violent criminals.

The plan not only includes the building of new prisons with separate high and low security sections, but also new training for the prison guards. Limited pardons are also being considering. It has been reported that these pardons would result in between 4,000 and 6,000 prisoners being released, though El Mercurio believed as many as 10,000 could benefit.

Currently, to exit a prison in Chile, a person must pay a fee. Under this new proposal, that fee would be eliminated, and could benefit around 1,500 still in prison simply because they can’t pay the fee.

A second change being proposed is a sort of commuting of sentencing, in which prisoners whose sentence is less than one year, will be allowed to exchange their jail time for a specified work commitment.

Conditional freedom procedures would also refined, allowing for a theoretically quicker process. Currently, a panel of judges decides if each prisoner presented is worthy of conditional freedom, and their decision is moved along to the regional acting governor, who only approves about 25 percent of the cases. Under the new proposal, the panel of judges proposal would basically be the final word, and the decision would no longer lie with the acting governor.

Next would be terminally ill prisoners, who have been certified as such by the Legal Medical Service. They would be granted release, as well as those over the age of 8- who have served at least two-thirds of their (non-life) sentence.

Any prisoner benefiting from these changes would have to sign an agreement promising good behavior, which, if broken, would result in additional jail time with more harsh punishment.

Read more at Sanitago Times →

Marketers Scramble After Research Indicates an Increase in Hispanic Wine Drinkers in Texas

Marketers Scramble After Research Indicates an Increase in Hispanic Wine Drinkers in Texas

Photo: The number of Texas Hispanics drinking wine increasing

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Texas is seeing an increase in the number of wine drinkers, but what seems to have surprised marketing execs is that Hispanics make up a large portion of the states increase. This has market researchers scrambling to gather information about a demographic they did not realize was all that interesting in the beverage.

Last week, at a meeting of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association, those in attendance were told by the assistant director of the Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute Natalia Kolyesnikova that “no information is available about the Hispanic wine market.”

In the last year, Kolyesnikova and the institute conducted a study to ask three separate Hispanic-composed focus groups their opinions about how, when, and where they drink wine. Their answers were strikingly varied, and suggest that marketers are wrong to try to market to Hispanic wine drinkers uniformly.

It appears that younger drinkers appreciate a Spanish-language label, while Older drinkers say the label does not matter to them. Spanish-speaking drinkers tend to have ore interest in the health benefits of certain wines, and English-speaking Hispanics do not care.

Though Kolyesnikova stresses that more research is needed, she noted that “acculturation has to be taken into account. [Everyone needs] to be approached differently.”

Those at the institute aren’t the only ones seeing the changes in Texas’ wine drinkers. Winery owners have also noticed a change in those that come in for wine tastings.

According to Kolyesnikova, Hispanics represent about 14 percent of the state’s wine market, with that number expected to rise.

Read more at Dallas Observer →

Untimely: UCLA Student’s Poised Racist Rant Against Asian People (VIDEO)

Untimely: UCLA Student’s Poised Racist Rant Against Asian People (VIDEO)

Photo: Racist UCLA Student Rant against Asians in the library.

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We don’t know what is more disturbing, this girl’s rant, or the fact that she claims to reach epiphanies by reading political science theory.

HS News wants to know what the hell are they teaching out there at UCLA???

Read more by HS News Staff →

Judaic Ritual Conducted by Mexican Nationals Puts Alaska Airlines Flight on Security Alert

A routine Alaska Airline flight from Mexico City to Los Angeles turned tense when three Mexican nationals, all male, started praying aloud in Hebrew and were wearing leather apparatus’ on their bodies.

The three male passengers, who were later cleared of any wrong doing, were participating in what is believed to be a Orthodox Judaic ‘tefillin’ ritual, shortly after take off. 

The tefillin ritual requires participants to tie leather straps and small wooden boxes containing parchment of the Torah on their heads and tie their arms with the same leather straps.  The practice of strapping on the leather binders is to be done during prayer.

When the flight attendants observed the men praying and wearing the leather apparatus’ the cockpit was placed on security lockdown for the rest of the flight.  The men were observed throughout the flight and were met by FBI, immigration officers and fire trucks upon landing at LAX.

U.S. law enforcement determine the men were not doing anything illegal and allowed them to continue traveling out of the U.S. – their names and final destination was not released. 

Read more at CNS News →

Immigrant Advocate Faces Deportation to a Country in Which He Was Tortured By Those in Power

Immigrant Advocate Faces Deportation to a Country in Which He Was Tortured By Those in Power

Photo: Victor Toro

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In the 1970s, a leader of Chile’s Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR) was tortured by the then-dictator, Augusto Pinochet’s government. He was expelled from the country after the torture, and has lived the last 27 years in the United States. Now, he is facing deportation, and lives in fear with the thought of going back to a country in which some of his torturers still remain in power.

Now 68, Victor Toro was tortured by the Pinochet government in Chile for co-founding MIR and called a terrorist. He was blindfolded for months at a time, and had his genitals electrically shocked. He even faced a firing squad twice, but each time the guns were loaded with blanks. When he was released in 1977, he was sent out of the country and declared dead. Toro made his way across the Rio Grande in 1984, and became an advocate for immigrant rights. He has lived in the U.S. ever since.

Things changed when, in 2007, he was arrested on an Amtrak train near Buffalo after not being able to provide immigration documentation. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took him to court where their lawyers argued that MIR, the anti-Pinochet group Toro co-founded, was a terrorist organization.

Earlier this month, Immigration Court Judge Sarah Burr denied Toro’s plea for asylum, and stated that he should have applied for it when he first arrived. She ordered him to return to Chile. She stated that he should have applied for citizenship within a year of arriving or before 1997. In her written ruling, Judge Burr stated that Chile is a different country than it was in the ‘70s and that it was safe for him to return. Burr even called her own ruling “regrettable.”

“I feel scared to go back,” said the now-grayed grandfather. “I’m still legally dead there.”

Toro’s lawyer, Carlos Moreno called the March 2nd ruling a “serious blow,” adding, “This ruling is patently unfair and sets aside the weight of the evidence.”

Toro says he did not apply for asylum, because the U.S. had briefly labeled MIR a terrorist organization, and even backed Pinochet tacitly for years.

President Obama is set to travel to Santiago later this month, and Toro and Moreno are asking the White House to intervene, arguing that the U.S. government owes him after supporting Pinochet while he was murdering and torturing people, including women and children.

The South Bronx activist believes that the judge was swayed by the prosecution claiming he was a terrorist. “The fear of being soft on terrorist activity is probably was caused the judge to make this ruling.”

Read more at New York Daily News →

Discount Airline Spirit Coming to El Salvador and Mexico

U.S. low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has announced new flight service to El Salvador and Mexico starting this summer. 

The flights to Mexico will be nonstop from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the Toluca International Airport near Mexico City and those flights will begin on June 3rd.

The flights to San Salvador, El Salvador will begin sometime this summer and also originate out of Florida.  The company will offer two flights a week to the Central American country.  The news was well received in El Salvador that is hoping to increase its tourism:  “With the arrival of Spirit to El Salvador, an airline known for cheap fares, we hope to attract more international tourists to our country,” said Tourism Minister Jose Napoleon Duarte Duran.

The new flight routes are awaiting regulatory approval and are part of the discount carriers push south of the border. 

Read more at USA Today Travel →

Newspaper Industry Alive and Thriving in Latin America

Newspaper Industry Alive and Thriving in Latin America

Photo: Latin American newspaper

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As American newspapers try to figure out how to stay alive and have long forgotten how to thrive, their Latin American counterparts are thriving.

At a conference for the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers in Bogota, Colombia the Latin American region was proud to announce overall circulation had increased by 5.1% over four years from 2005-2009. 

More importantly newspaper revenue soared by 65% while dropping by 33.1% in North America and 13.9% in the European continent.

The strong performance of Latin American newspapers is only expected to grow thanks in great part to the economic strength in the region.  Another source of growth for newspapers in the region is the boom in mobile market that provides many opportunities for paid content.

The World Association of Newspapers represents 18,000 publications and 15,000 on-line sites representing over 120 countries worldwide.

Read more at Mail & Guardian →

A BAD DAY: Peruvian Soccer Player Gets Crotch Grabbed and Gets Yellow Carded Himself! (VIDEO)

A BAD DAY: Peruvian Soccer Player Gets Crotch Grabbed and Gets Yellow Carded Himself! (VIDEO)

Photo: Peñarol's Darío Rodríguez grabs LDU Quito's Hernán Barco's Crotch!

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Almost twenty minutes into the second half of Wednesday’s match between Peñarol from Uruguay and Peru’s LDU Quito, a foul play lead to some touchy-touchy action….

Hernán Barco from the Quito team, and Darío Rodríguez from Peñarol clashed and fell to the ground following a heated fight for the ball. When Rodríguez was getting up, he viciously clutched and squeezed Barco’s privates, who screamed in pain as the referee raised his flag.

To make matters more painful to poor Barco, not only did he get his manhood twisted by a hooligan who got away with only a yellow card, but.. HE GOT A YELLOW CARD HIMSELF!

ouch! 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Texas High School Basketball Standout, Robert Garza, 16, Collapses During Game and Dies

Texas High School Basketball Standout, Robert Garza, 16, Collapses During Game and Dies

Photo: Robert Garza, 16-year-old Collapses & Dies

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South Texas high school basketball, Robert Garza player, collapses and dies without warning during a tournament in Austin, the 2nd such teen to do so within the last two weeks.

Garza, 16, was a junior at Roma High School (a Texas-Mexico border high school) and was playing this weekend in the AAU tournament representing club team, the Hoopsters.  He was courtside during a time out when he collapsed after getting a glass of water.  Earlier he had been playing and was feeling fine according to his coach Arnold Martinez.

After being administered CPR and taken to a local hospital Garza was pronounced dead an hour later.  An autopsy is planned to determine what happened. 

This tragic incident comes just a little more than a week ago when another 16-year high school athlete died suddenly while playing basketball.  Wes Leonard, a junior at Fennville High School, died on March 3 after cardiac arrest, moments after making a game-winning shot.

An autopsy determined he died of cardiac arrest from an enlarged heart. 

Read more at Suntimes →

Money Transfers to Latin America and Caribbean are Poised to Rise This Year

Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean are likely to rise this year after stabilizing during 2010, although a weaker dollar and higher inflation are reducing their purchasing power in many countries, according to the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

Measured in U.S. dollars, money transfers made by Latin American and Caribbean migrants to their countries of origin reached $58.9 billion in 2010, virtually unchanged from $58.8 billion in 2009, when remittances saw a 15 percent drop due to the effects of the global economic crisis, the MIF said in a report released Monday.

Last year’s total was significantly below the record $69.2 billion reached in 2008. However, during 2010 remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean started to stabilize and even rise.

Mexico remained the region’s leading recipient of remittances at $21.3 billion, a very slight increase from 2009. Guatemala is now the second largest recipient, at $4.1 billion, after recording a 5 percent rise last year.

Going forward, the report added, remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean are likely to continue rising in volume in 2011.


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OPINION: Utah’s Immigration Solution Not a National Model

Late Friday night, the Utah Legislature passed three immigration-related bills that await Governor Herbert’s signature or veto. Utah’s policy discussions
were guided by the principles of a much-lauded Utah Compact, which brought together leaders from political parties, business, labor, and faith-based organizations for a thoughtful dialogue about immigration policy. The Compact was a welcome relief from the angry vitriol that has often dominated the debate and was well-regarded as a rational, solution-based conversation about the complexity of effective immigration reform. It recognizes that the current unauthorized immigrant population is made up of workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and that enforcement strategies must be
coupled with reform of our legal system of immigration in order to meet legitimate labor force needs. Unfortunately, the Utah state legislature was not able to realize the Compact’s aspirations.

The three bills represent one state’s attempt to provide solutions that go beyond the enforcement-only approach of Arizona’s SB1070 and similar copycats being considered in other states. It is noteworthy that Utah’s legislature acknowledged that immigration is a complex issue, and that a realistic solution involves more than asking people for their papers and deporting those who lack legal status. However, what these well-intentioned Utah legislators have created is an aggressive Arizona-style enforcement program with no counter-balance. The provisions intended to create legal work status and visas are clearly at odds with the Constitution and cannot be implemented by state action alone.

The first measure (HB 497) is an SB1070-inspired immigration-enforcement bill that is scheduled to go into effect in early May, but will almost assuredly be challenged in court. The second bill (HB 466) authorizes the Governor of Utah to enter into a pilot program with the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon to facilitate applications for migrant workers to come to Utah through the normal federal process.  The third bill (HB 116) would create Utah’s own “guest worker program,” to take effect on July 1, 2013, or six months after the federal government grants Utah an unprecedented
“waiver” allowing the state to create its own guest worker program. However, the creation and issuance of visas are clearly the sole purview of the federal government, and no “waiver” for states currently exists.

In light of the heavy handed approach to enforcement and the fact that a state-administered guest worker program is clearly outside the authority of the state, what was passed by the Utah legislature is not a model for future state legislation. While states are reasonably frustrated with the lack of federal leadership on immigration, a 50-state patchwork of varying immigration laws is not a solution to the nation’s immigration problems. Despite a laudable effort by a conservative state to engage in a more sensible debate, this latest chapter of state-based initiatives once again demonstrates that Congress and the Administration must heed the call for workable, fair immigration reform, or face continued turmoil and misplaced legislation at the state level.

Read more at Immigration Policy Center →

Latinos Pivotal to Population Growth in Arizona for the Last Decade

Latinos were pivotal to the population growth in Arizona in the last decade, comprising nearly half (48%) of the overall increase in residents since 2000, according to a National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund analysis of newly released Census 2010 data. 

Between 2000 and 2010, while the state’s overall population grew 25% from 5.1 million to 6.4 million, the Latino population grew from 1.3 million to 1.9 million, an increase of 46%.  Arizona is the second-fastest growing state in the nation, and gained one additional congressional seat as a result.  Latinos now represent 30% of the state’s residents and are the second-largest population group.

“There is no doubt that Latinos are a key part of our state’s growth.  These numbers show we will continue to play a larger and larger role in the state,” said NALEO Board Member Mayor Fernando Shipley of Globe, Arizona.  “As the state now undertakes the redistricting process, we have to be sure that these numbers become an opportunity for full and fair representation for the Latino community.”

The Census 2010 data also reveal that 43% of all Arizonans under 18 are Latino, and that the Arizona Latino population is significantly younger than the non-Latino population. 

In addition, figures show significant Latino populations in most of Arizona’s largest cities, including Phoenix (41%), Tucson (42%) and Glendale (35%).  Nearly all of Arizona’s Latinos (96%) live in the state’s ten largest counties, with 60% residing in Maricopa County alone.

However, the 2010 Census data fall below estimates of the population.  For instance, in the state’s most populous county, Maricopa—home of the capital city of Phoenix—the U.S. Census Bureau had estimated there would be 235,704 more residents than what the actual Census count shows.  The estimates also show that the state averaged a -4% difference in population. 

From our extensive work in overcoming barriers to full Census participation, the NALEO Educational Fund knows that fear and distrust of government are among the leading causes of not participating in the Census, and we are concerned the hostile environment in the state during last year’s enumeration may have contributed to a Census count significantly below the projections.  No other state has had such a difference between the 2010 population estimates and the 2010 Census count. 

“It is unfortunate that a climate of hostility toward Latinos could have played a part in our community not participating in the Census and therefore not being counted,” said former NALEO Educational Fund Board Member and Patagonia (AZ) School Board Member Cynthia Matus Morris.  “When we have people who are made to fear being counted, all residents of Arizona lose.”

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MondayMarch 14, 2011