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SaturdayMarch 19, 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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Pope’s new book is instant New York Times Bestseller ” Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week ” debuts

Pope’s new book is instant New York Times Bestseller ” Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week ” debuts

Photo: Pope Benedict Jesus of Nazareth

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Pope Benedict XVI’s second volume on Christ’s life debuts on the March 27 New York Times Bestseller List. Released March 10 worldwide, the new volume covers the last week of Jesus’ earthly life—from his entrance into Jerusalem to his resurrection and appearances to his apostles and other followers.

“We’re delighted that Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week is an instant New York Times bestseller. It means that many people across the country are discovering Pope Benedict’s insights into the life of Jesus Christ,” said Mark Brumley, President of Ignatius Press reacting to the announcement. “In this way, more and more people will encounter the real Jesus, which was the Holy Father’s goal in writing the book. It would be great if Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week became the number one book in America!”

Global reaction to the book makes it clear that Benedict XVI has contributed a work on Jesus that is as important and historically significant as it is well-written and thorough.

“It’s a remarkable achievement,” said Protestant scholar Dr. Craig A. Evans of Acadia Divinity College, Acadia University, in Wolfville, N.S., Canada. “It’s the best book I’ve read on Jesus in years. This is a book that I think all Christians should read, be they Protestant or Catholic.”

“(The Pope) asked for the union of theology and critical history, a response to the failure of critical historical scholarship during the last century,” said Dr. Jacob Neusner, Rabbi and Distinguished Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. “And he’s accomplished something that no one else has achieved in the modern study of Scripture.”

“This book fulfills Pope Benedict’s ardent desire—that it would ‘be helpful to all readers who seek to encounter Jesus and to believe in him,’” said Capuchin Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy (O.F.M., Cap.), Executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Doctrine.

Read more by HS News Staff →

What Happens on the Spring Equinox? Coming Monday 3/21

Seasons are major divisions of the year, generally based on periodic changes in weather. They occur due to the changing tilt of the Earth’s axis in relation to its orbit around the Sun (astronomical seasons), and the variations in plant life, animal life, and weather this causes. Earth’s polar and temperate regions, which see a greater variation in temperature, experience four astronomical seasons: spring, summer, autumn (fall), and winter. The planet’s tropical and subtropical regions do not see significant variations in temperature, but rather differences in the amount of rainfall, so these experience only two astronomical seasons: a dry season, and a wet (monsoon) season.

The change in astronomical seasons coincides with days on which the planet’s axis is tilted closest or furthest from the sun (solstices), and those on which the sun is directly over the equator (equinoxes). Seasons in the Northern Hemisphere are opposite of those in the Southern Hemisphere, meaning when one experiences spring, the other experiences autumn. Likewise, when one hemisphere experiences summer, the other experiences winter:

The spring equinox marks the first day of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere, while marking the first day of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. On this day, the Sun is directly over the earth’s equator, and daylight lasts 12 hours in both Hemispheres.

The summer solstice marks the first day of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere, and the first day of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. On this day, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted closest to the Sun and experiences the most hours of daylight in the year.

The autumnal equinox marks the first day of the fall season in the Northern Hemisphere, while marking the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere. On this day, the Sun is directly over the earth’s equator, and daylight lasts 12 hours in both Hemispheres.

The winter solstice marks the first day of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere, and the first day of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. On this day, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted furthest from the Sun and experiences the least hours of daylight in the year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides a list of dates and times for equinoxes and solstices.

Given how long it takes for the Earth to complete an orbit around the sun, the days on which astronomical seasons change vary slightly from year to year. Therefore, meteorologists use whole months to identify the seasons (meteorological seasons). In the Northern Hemisphere, meteorologists identify the three coldest months (December, January, and February) as meteorological winter, and the three hottest months (June, July, and August) to identify meteorological summer. Meteorological spring takes place during March, April, and May, while meteorological autumn takes place during September, October, and November.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Georgia Latino Population Swells

Georgia Latino Population Swells

Photo: US Latino Population

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The Latino population in Georgia experienced exceptional growth since 2000, increasing 96% in the last decade, 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 18% from 8.2 million to 9.7 million, the Latino population increased from 435,227 to 853,689.
Latinos account for 28% of overall population growth in the state over the last ten years, and represent 8.8% of the state’s population. 

“These numbers show that Latinos are an integral part of the state’s future economic well-being,” said State Representative Pedro Marin.  “In order to ensure the prosperity and well-being of all residents of Georgia, our policies must promote the economic and civic progress of Latinos.”

Many of Georgia’s ten largest incorporated areas – which include the state’s cities – also have significant Latino populations, including Roswell (17%), Sandy Springs (14%), and Athens-Clarke County (10%), which the U.S. Census Bureau classifies as the state’s fastest-growing big city.  Additionally, more than half (57%) of Georgia’s Latino residents live in the ten largest counties, including Fulton – home to Atlanta.

The data also found the Latino population is significantly younger than the non-Latino population.

“The newly released numbers suggest that the Latino community in our state placed a high priority on being counted in the 2010 Census and of being full participants in the political process in our country,” said Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO). 

“As Georgia now undertakes the redistricting process, it is time to make sure Latinos can embrace the opportunity to translate those Census numbers into full and fair representation.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Eva Mendes, the New Face of Angel by Thierry Mugler

Eva Mendes, the New Face of Angel by Thierry Mugler

Photo: Eva Mendes

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Thierry Mugler proudly heralds the newest Angel icon to join his celestial stars.

To begin a new chapter in his galaxy, the legendary designer and master perfumer has once again chosen an international star to represent this iconic scent. Strong one moment and demure the next, both femme fatale and spontaneous, Cuban American Eva Mendes personifies the very facets of sensuality encompassing Angel.

While Naomi Watts’ ethereal beauty embodied the angelic aspect of the fragrance, Thierry Mugler chose to reignite the enticing and explosive dimensions of the fragrance with the sultry Mendes.Image

Though her obviously flawless physical beauty is in perfect harmony with the artist’s aesthetic canon - Ms. Mendes mesmerized Mugler with her independence, determination and humor.

From her attention grabbing performance in ‘Training Day’ (Antoine Fuqua) to ‘We Own the Night’ (James Gray), this young American has gone on to undertake many other prestigious roles (The Other Guy, Hitch…), working with the greats Frank Millier, the Farrelly brothers to name a few. There is not a role Eva Mendes cannot play, from drama to comedy, independent films and blockbusters. Her most recent film, ‘Last Night’ (Massy Tadjedin) with Guillaume Canet, Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington, released in 2010.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rep Senator Lori Klein of Arizona Reads Letter Calling Latino Students ‘gangsters” (VIDEO)

Rep Senator Lori Klein of Arizona Reads Letter Calling Latino Students ‘gangsters” (VIDEO)

Photo: Senator Lori Klein

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During a debate at the Arizona State Capitol this week, gasps and anger were the reaction to the actions of freshman senator Lori Klein. Sen. Klein read a letter from a substitute eighth grade teacher that described most Mexican students as wanting to be “gang members and gangsters.” (See Letter Below)

The teacher claimed that most Mexican students in the class refused to say the pledge of allegiance, explaining that “we are Mexicans and Americans stole our land.”

The letter went on to say that most of the students said they were illegal immigrants and described white Americans as racists.

Klein’s floor speech got personal when the letter invoked Democratic Sen. Steve Gallardo as being a key player in supporting illegal immigration policies.

Gallardo, a Cartwright Elementary School Board member, took the floor minutes later and gave an emotional speech.

“I’ve had the honor of being here at the State Capitol since 2003 ... and I don’t think I’ve ever heard any floor speech similar to one that was just given out right now,” Gallardo said. “They do not have dreams to be gang members. They do not want to be thugs or whatever you want to phrase it as. These are good kids.”

“What she was saying was these kids are not here to get an education. They are here to be disruptive. They’re here to be gang members and cause harm to our community,” Gallardo said. “That’s what she is saying and that’s unfortunate.”



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NARCO BLOG: Slaughter in Acapulco Night Club Kills Ten

NARCO BLOG: Slaughter in Acapulco Night Club Kills Ten

Photo: Acapulco Night Club

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A Few minutes after Midnight this morning, another slaughter occurred at an Acapulco Nightclub.  An armed group of criminals attacked a nightclub in Acapulco Guerrero.

The masked armed group entered the bar Las Nenas, which is located at Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas in the colony above Las Cruces. There has been violence at this club before.

The gunmen opened fire with AK-47’s and AR-15’s. Panic immediately broke out as bodies began to hit the floor. Over 100 shell casings were found by police after the attack.

Early reports are that 10 people were killed, and four women were taken to the hospital. The Guerrero State Authorities have not issued an official statement yet.

Authorities have blamed rising violence in Acapulco on fighting between remnants of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel, most of whose leaders have been captured or killed.

Read in Spanish Here


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President Obama Cancels Sunday’s Public Speech at Rio’s Cinelândia

President Obama Cancels Sunday’s Public Speech at Rio’s Cinelândia

Photo: The Municipal Theatre and Cinelandia, Rio do Janeiro’s Hyde Park

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The US Embassy in Brazil has cancelled the Public Speech scheduled for Sunday in Rio at the historic plaza Cinelândia. The embassy gave no explanation for the decision but did say that President Obama will deliver remarks at Rio’s Municipal Theatre instead. It is uncertain if this event will be open to the public or exclusively for invited guests.

Cinelândia is in the centre of Rio, surrounded by important buildings, such as the National Library, the Municipal Theatre and the Rio de Janeiro City Legislative Assembly (“Câmera dos Vereadores”).
The large plaza was originally in front of a convent (“Convento da Ajuda”) built around 1750. At the beginning of the 20th century an urban modernization movement took place in Rio. The convent was demolished (in 1911) and a wide avenue was built (now Rio Branco) along with a series of skyscrapers that all had movie theatres on the ground floor, hence the name, Cinelândia. Most of the cinemas have closed, but the area remains a vibrant and busy area.

Security concerns appears the most likely reason for the cancellation. Security has been an issue in Cinelândia. as it is a very large open area surrounded on almost all sides by skyscrapers.

Read more at Merco Press →

Super Moon to Grace the Skies Tonight   (VIDEO)

Super Moon to Grace the Skies Tonight   (VIDEO)

Photo: March 19 Full Moon

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Tonight the moon will be closer to the Earth than it has been for 18 years.

“It’s going to be big and really bright,” said NASA astronomer Dave Williams. “It should be noticeably brighter than a normal full moon.”

Full moons come in different sizes because of the elliptical shape of the moon’s orbit—one side of the ellipse is about 31,000 miles closer to Earth than the other. When the moon is closest to Earth (at its perigee), it is 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than when it’s farthest from the planet (at its apogee).

For weeks, the rare full moon has sparked interest online, with astrologers and amateur astronomers speculating that the “supermoon” could lead to unusual weather. After Japan’s earthquake, some even wondered if the supermoon contributed to the event.

Related Videos

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Calls for Kansas Lawmaker to Resign over Racist Comment

Calls for Kansas Lawmaker to Resign over Racist Comment

Photo: Rep Virgil Peck

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Democratic Lawmakers in Kansas are calling for the resignation of state Rep. Virgil Peck for racist attacks made earlier in the week.

Peck made headlines on Monday when, during an appropriations committee meeting, he made a reference to an agricultural program that controls the state’s feral hog population by shooting them from helicopters.

“Looks like to me, if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a (solution) to our illegal immigration problem,” Peck said.

“Because of this, we must call upon Representative Peck to resign his seat in the House of Representatives and allow someone who will respect the proper role of a state representative to take his place,” House Minority Leader Rep. Paul Davis said Friday.

Peck gave a brief apology in an on-camera statement to CNN on Thursday, saying, “I’m Virgil Peck, and on Monday, I made an inappropriate comment. For that, I’m sorry, and I apologize to anyone that I offended with my inappropriate comment. I’ll be more careful with my words in the future.”

Read more at CNN →

Taco’s and Tiaras: Miss San Antonio Dethroned Over Weight? (VIDEO)

Taco’s and Tiaras: Miss San Antonio Dethroned Over Weight? (VIDEO)

Photo: Domonique Ramirez

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The mother of a dethroned Texas beauty queen Lorena BriseIno testified Friday that her 17-year-old daughter had a choice between modeling in the show or appearing as Miss San Antonio. She says Domonique Ramirez wanted to model.

Ramirez wants a jury to restore her title as Miss San Antonio. The teen denies pageant organizers’ claims that she gained weight and skipped events.

The pageant’s president told jurors earlier it was inappropriate for a minor to model in a wedding dress. Linda Woods also testified that Ramirez gained so much weight that she no longer had her winning figure.

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How to Learn English FREE with Help from the Government

How to Learn English FREE with Help from the Government

Photo: ESL Resources

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There are many reasons to learn English.

Many consider learning English to be the key to economic success and a way to fully participate in civic life in the United States. It’s also a requirement for some immigrants who aspire to become naturalized citizens, as they must demonstrate a basic level of English.

Of course, the benefits of speaking English go beyond borders. English is a global language that is used in many countries, industries and professions, regardless of whether the person lives in the United States.

One way to learn English is to take advantage of the resources the government has to offer.

Learn English in a classroom
Each state, county and city has its own programs and resources to support aspiring English speakers. If you are interested in learning English, be sure to look for adult classes or English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in the following places:

• Your children’s school. Many schools offer classes for working adults.
• Community colleges or junior colleges.
• Non-profit organizations and local community centers.

The Department of Education provides a page where you can find links to public and private organizations that offer some of these classes in your community.

You can also visit America’s Literacy Directory, a non-profit organization where you can find schools that have civics, citizenship, reading and writing classes.

Learn English online

A great way to learn English for free and on your own schedule is by going to USALearns.org. The site conceived by the Department of Education provides interactive lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced students. The program uses text, audio and video to explore a variety of situations where the user can learn through examples. The program seeks to enrich students’ vocabulary by introducing new words in each lesson.

When registering, students can save their progress and advance to the next lesson when they are ready.

Learning English as a student in the United States

Some people come to the United States just to learn English. Visitors can enroll in courses even if they have a tourist visa as long as it’s a short course of less than 18 hours per week. Students who want to take longer courses need to get a student visa, which they may apply for from abroad through U.S. embassies and consulates.

Students seeking advanced degrees in the United States, such as a masters or PhD, may have to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), to assess their English proficiency. Students who got their college degree abroad from an accredited college in the United States may be exempt.

USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov are the U.S. Government’s official web portals in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cartagena Named New President and General Counsel at Latino Justice PRLDEF

Cartagena Named New President and General Counsel at Latino Justice PRLDEF

Photo: Juan Cartagena

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LatinoJustice PRLDEF today announced Juan Cartagena as its new President and General Counsel. Cartagena will join LatinoJustice PRLDEF on April 11.

Cartagena is a constitutional law and civil rights attorney with extensive litigation experience in the areas of voting rights, employment discrimination, education and language rights. He served as a staff attorney at LatinoJustice in the 1980s.

“Juan is an experienced civil rights attorney with a lot of practice in working for and protecting our community,” said David Arroyo, Chairman of the LatinoJustice PRLDEF Board of Directors. “Our community needs protection right now and our board and staff are very confident that Juan will provide such leadership.”

At present Cartagena is General Counsel and Vice President for Advocacy at the Community Service Society where he supervises public interest law attorneys and a staff of policy experts who conduct strategic research and policy analysis on issues of labor market participation, affordable housing, youth policy and mass imprisonment and reentry.

Cartagena understands the challenges his new role places on him.

“Our nation’s largest minority group continues to face challenges that impede its ability to be accepted as equal partners in American society,” Cartagena said. “Employing legal intervention strategies to ensure equal treatment under law and eliminating unfair stereotypes of the Latino community are the hallmarks of progressive lawyering. LatinoJustice PRLDEF has been doing just that for years and I’m excited and humbled to rejoin those efforts“

Cartagena replaces outgoing co-founder Cesar A. Perales. Perales and two other lawyers founded LatinoJustice PRLDEF in 1973. For the past 40 years Perales has been at the forefront of the battle for Latino civil rights. He hired Cartagena as a visiting attorney fellow at PRLDEF many years ago.

“The Latino community has a great partner in Juan. Someone who knows the law, who works closely with the community and someone whose vision is clear and direct,” said Perales. “He embodies our organization’s work in creating leaders and I know he will bring his usual energy to the job. Our community is in good hands.”

Cartagena is a former Municipal Court Judge in the city of Hoboken, New Jersey and has litigated in various states including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

From 1990 to 1991 he worked at the government of Puerto Rico’s Department of Puerto Rican Community Affairs in the United States where he served as Legal Director. Previously, he was Associate Counsel at the Community Service Society and before that he worked as a Staff Attorney at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund.

Cartagena has taught several college courses and presently teaches a Latino civil rights law course for undergraduate students at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He has also written extensively and conducted research in many areas affecting Latino communities including criminal justice and mass imprisonment, voting rights and redistricting, language rights, and civil procedure .

He has served on numerous boards of community based organizations and government task forces in New York and New Jersey including most recently, Governor Paterson’s Task Force on Transforming New York State’s Juvenile Justice System and Governor Corzine’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy.

His current research interests include the effects of mass imprisonment on Latino, and particularly Puerto Rican, communities, unlawful trespass arrests as an element of the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices, and employment discrimination issues affecting persons with previous criminal histories.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexicans and Jews Fight for the Rights of Immigrant Mercado Workers

Mexicans and Jews Fight for the Rights of Immigrant Mercado Workers

Photo: Rabbi Sheldon Lewis

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Rabbi Sheldon Lewis joined Members of the Progressive Jewish Alliance, the Jeremiah Fellowship, Mexican supermarket (or mercado) workers and union organizers protest the firing of 300 workers by the Mexican market chain, Mi Pueblo.  They sang and protested inside an Oakland California store, and then picketed outside it.

An estimated 10,000 mercado workers work in the Bay Area and most are recent immigrants from Latin America and Asia.  Workers lack proper meal and rest breaks, earn poverty wages, and often endure abuse.  Benefits such as paid vacations and holidays, medical coverage, and pension plans are practically nonexistent.  Overtime and double-time pay violations are common.

Mercado workers are organizing the Mercado Workers Association to take action to improve work conditions.  Together with Local 5 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, they demand that Mi Pueblo’s owners and other markets agree to the Mercado Code of Conduct, which includes:

- Markets will pay no less than the minimum wage and abide by all state and federal laws regarding overtime, breaks and lunch periods, and health and safety.

- Markets will pay in a timely manner with a written record of hours worked, earnings and deductions.

- Workers with a year on the job shall receive at least two days of paid sick leave and five days of paid vacation per year.

- Markets will not discriminate against any employee, and will not retaliate against workers by making them re-verify their work authorization status.

- Markets won’t fire or retaliate against workers for filing complaints under this Code or with a government agency over violations of their rights.

- Markets will abide by fair business, advertising and food safety standards.

- A market representative will attend at least one class on employment rights and standards.

- Markets will recognize workers’ right to join a union of their own choosing, will not retaliate against them, will remain neutral about union representation, and will voluntarily recognize any union workers choose.

- Markets will post this Code in English and the primary languages of workers and will agree to monitoring of their compliance.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayMarch 19, 2011