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WednesdayMarch 23, 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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Community Mural Unveiled Honoring Latino Babies in Los Angeles

Community Mural Unveiled Honoring Latino Babies in Los Angeles

Photo: Every Little Miracle Latino Mural in Los Angeles

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Pampers, today announced the unveiling of a mural that honors Latino babies with real-life miracle stories as told by their families. The community mural is part of the brand’s “Every Little Miracle” Hispanic campaign that provides Latina moms with ongoing support and resources for their babies’ happy, healthy development.

“At Pampers, we are proud to debut a mural that can help inspire a community to celebrate and join in our belief that every baby is a little miracle,” said Laina Majnovic, marketing Brand Manager, North America Baby Care at Procter & Gamble.  “Our community mural not only depicts the special relationship between a parent and child, but honors the Latino families that shared their special stories and journey with us.”

With the debut of the “Every Little Miracle” campaign last December, many families throughout the U.S. were inspired to share their own miracle stories with the brand through the Pampers Latino Facebook page (facebook.com/pamperslatino). To capture the essence of the miracle stories, Pampers collaborated with the two artists known for their creative and modern artwork, Retna and El Mac, to create a mural that honored these Latino babies and families.

“The inclusion of my daughter in this beautiful community mural that recognizes the importance and joy of having a child, is a special honor,” acknowledged Gabriela Pestanas, mother of an honorary baby. “I hope this mural serves as a reminder to every parent that no matter what the situation may be, a baby is a true blessing.” 

Pampers donated the community mural to the MacArthur Park Primary Center, a pre-school and kindergarten center in Los Angeles with a 95 percent Hispanic student population, and also contributed $1,000 to help fund the school’s art program and curriculum.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Comcast-NBC Fills its National Hispanic Advisory Council with Many High Profile Hispanics

Comcast-NBC Fills its National Hispanic Advisory Council with Many High Profile Hispanics

Photo: Comcast NBC Merger

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Comcast Corporation/NBC Universal, one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information, and communications products and services, today announced it has created a Joint External Diversity Advisory Council to advise the senior executive teams at Comcast and NBCUniversal as the company takes steps to become an industry leader in diversity.

The Joint Diversity Council consists of four, nine-member Diversity Advisory Councils, representing the interests of African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and Women, respectively. The Joint Diversity Council also has members representing veterans, Native Americans, people with disabilities, and the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (“LGBT”) community, as well as representatives of Comcast’s and NBCUniversal’s internal diversity councils.

They will provide advice on the five Focus Areas stipulated in the Memoranda of Understanding entered into by the companies and various national diverse leadership organizations: (1) Corporate Governance; (2) Employment/Workforce Recruitment&Retention; (3) Procurement; (4) Programming; and (5) Philanthropy&Community Investment.

Comcast said the Joint Diversity Council will conduct its first meeting in May 2011 and will meet formally semi-annually.

National Hispanic Advisory Council

· Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, Council Chair, President, Hispanic Federation (New York, NY)

· Alba E. Martinez, Vice Chair, Principal, Vanguard (Philadelphia, PA)

· Martin J. Chavez, Executive Director, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA (Washington, DC)
· Guarione M. Diaz, President & Chief Executive Officer, Cuban American National Council (Miami, FL)

· Beni Matias, Educator, Filmmaker (New York, NY)

· Janet Murguía, President & Chief Executive Officer, National Council of La Raza, Incoming Chair, HACR Board (Washington, DC)

· Alex Nogales, President/Chief Executive Officer, National Hispanic Media Coalition (Pasadena, CA)

· Javier Palomarez, President & CEO, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (Dallas, TX)

· Brent Wilkes, National Executive Director, League of United Latin American Citizens (Washington, DC)

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Model Vida Guerra Poses Nude for PETA (VIDEO)

Cuban Model Vida Guerra Poses Nude for PETA (VIDEO)

Photo: Cuban Model Vida Guerra Poses for PETA

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The Cuban Model took it all off, and frolicked in a bed of Chili Peppers, to advocate veganism on behalf of PETA.

“I was born in Cuba, where there are only pigs and chickens to eat,” Guerra said. “It’s what so many Latin families grow up eating, because we’re so used to it. Our parents instill it in us and we continue the tradition, which turns into a vicious cycle.”

“We’re so used to eating meat, and being vegan offers so many more benefits, including the reduction of cholesterol and heart disease, if we eliminate red meat and dairy from our diets. I challenge people to try it for 30 days, and afterward evaluate their lives and see if they don’t feel a little healthier, more energetic and able to sleep better.”

She agreed to promote veganism and her Latino roots with this photo spread for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also known as PETA.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dept. of Transportation Report Could Put Holes In Obama’s US-Mexico Trucking Solution

Those opposed to President Obama’s proposed deal with Mexico regarding the re-opening of U.S. borders to Mexican trucks to increase trade believe that a recent report from the Department of Transportation shows a substantial jump in trade with our southern neighbors without the border being completely opened.

Last week, officials announced that surface-transportation trade between the U.S. and Mexico grew 27.6 percent last year. NAFTA trade grew by more than 24 percent, and had the biggest year-to-year increase since the agreement was implemented in 1994.

The proposed deal President Obama reached with Mexican President Felipe Calderon last month would resolve the conflict surrounding the access for Mexican trucks to the U.S.. It is intended to encourage more trade, something Obama says would greatly benefits the economy. The 1994 NAFTA agreement was supposed to allow for the passage of the Mexican trucks, but the U.S. blocked them due to safety and environmental concerns. The block resulted in Mexico imposing tariff on imports of produce from the U.S.

Supporters of lifting the ban, and opening the border noted that truck-based trade with Mexico plummeted by more than $27 billion in the year the full ban was reinstated in 2009, resulting in a decrease in NAFTA revenue.

However, with the recent release from the Department of Transportation showing an increase in last years surface-transportation trade opponents of lifting the ban say it demonstrates that the lift is unnecessary.

Also, Obama’s proposal would require Mexican trucks to carry electronic monitoring devices, with U.S. taxpayers covering the cost. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), in a letter to the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, said, “Electronic, on-board recorders keep our highways safe by enforcing hours-of-service laws and keeping fatigued drivers off the road. While I support these measures, it is unfair to ask taxpayers to pay for these devices in Mexican carriers, particularly in light of our current economic climate.”

So while some like Pryor don’t necessarily disagree with lifting the ban, they do disagree with having taxpayers cover the cost of doing so.

Read more at National Journal →

Only in Texas: Old Mexican Joint Turned Into ‘Fat Ho’ Burger Joint

Now available in Waco, for all of y’all crazy Texans: the epic Supa Fly Ho Wit Cheese, and much, much more.

23 year-old Lakita Evans is the owner of this picturesque once-a-Mexican-joint hamburger place, famous for their ho’s.

Evans, who was heavily criticized by locals for her colorful name choice, calls the burgers and sandwiches she sells “ho’s.”Image

ImageFat Ho’s offers a variety of fast food staples like the Supa Fly Ho Wit Cheese, the Sloppy Ho Brisket and the Fat Chicken Ho. She even has Tiny Ho Meals, specially for the kids. 

Most items range between $3-$4, with the most expensive item being the ho rib meal, complete with ranch-style beans and mash for $11, and the cheapest anything from the dollar menu.

Who would ever want Texas to secede??

Read more at Waco Tribune →

U.S. Beef Gains Greater Access to Country of Chile Thanks to Recent Presidential Visit

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced today that U.S. producers are now eligible to ship a larger array of U.S. beef and beef products to Chile. The market opening in Chile follows months of bilateral meetings between officials from the Chilean government, USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

President Obama recently visited Chile to meet with Chilean leaders to discuss how the United States can create jobs in America by deepening our economic relationship and expanding exports to South America.

“Expanding our market for U.S. beef exports to Chile is an important advance,” said Kirk. “Having just attended the meetings between President Obama and President Pinera in Chile, I know how vibrant and deep our trade relationship is. The commitment of Chile and the United States to work together to promote science-based trade rules while providing our consumers with safe and wholesome foods is a win-win for both countries.”

The United States exported approximately $6.2 million in beef and beef products to Chile in 2010. Worldwide, the United States exported nearly $4.1 billion of beef and beef products in calendar year 2010, up 32 percent from 2009.  Currently, more than 100 markets are open to U.S. beef.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Race or Ethnic Discrimination Has no Place in Advertising Says FCC

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that regulates television and radio stations has issued an ‘enforcement advisory’ banning advertising contracts that contain ‘no urban/no Spanish’ clauses.

This rarely used enforcement clause, is an effort to stop discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity when broadcasters sign advertising contracts. 

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said,

“It should be clear from today’s advisory that the Commission will vigorously enforce its rules against discrimination in advertising sales contracts.  As the Commission stated in its order adopting the rule, discrimination simply has no place in broadcasting.” 

Minority Media and Telecommunications Council applauded the initiative that would stop the practice that intentionally by-passes urban and Latino stations, supposedly because the client has dictated that its ads not be placed with those outlets.  The no-Spanish clause results in $200 million a year loss to those minority centric media outlets. 


Read more at Radio Info →

U.S. Citizen Girl, 4, Remains Seperated From Her Parents in NY Due to Immigration Issues

U.S. Citizen Girl, 4, Remains Seperated From Her Parents in NY Due to Immigration Issues

Photo: Emily Ruiz, 4, is a legal US citizen, but was sent back to Guatemala

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A four-year-old U.S.-born child is at the center of yet another immigration battle, and remains stuck in Central America as her parents fight to bring her back to New York.

Emily was staying in Guatemala with extended family because her parents were worried the New York winter would aggravate her asthma. She was on her way back with her grandfather when the plane they were on was diverted to Washington D.C. due to bad weather, and that is where the nightmare began. Emily’s grandfather, a Guatemalan traveling with a valid work visa, was told he would not be allowed to stay in the country due to an immigration infraction more than 20 years ago.

As this was happening in Dulles International Airport, Emily’s father Leonel Ruiz was waiting at Kennedy International Airport in New York. The plane had already been delayed for a few hours, but when it finally arrived he was worried to see that neither Emily nor her grandfather were on it. Several more hours when by before he was able to find out what happened.

What complicates the situation further is the fact that while Emily was born in the U.S., her parents are both undocumented immigrants from Guatemala.

What followed is where the story split in two. Customs and Border Protection officials said Luis was offered the chance to pick Emily up at the airport, but they claim he “elected to have her returned to Guatemala with her grandfather.” They added that they always strive “to reunite U.S. citizen children with their parents.”

Though Luis acknowledges that going to get Emily would have put him in danger of being deported he said he would have done it, but that he was never told he had that option. He said an agent told him over the telephone that he had two options. Emily could either enter the custody of the State of Virgina, or she cold return to Guatemala with her grandfather.

Worried that she would be put up for adoption once she entered state custody, Luis had her put on a place to head back to Guatemala.

“We were very worried,” said Ruiz. “My wife was crying and crying at what was happening.”

David M. Sperling, the family’s lawyer, said, “She was treated like a second-class citizen or worse. She’s a U.S. citizen, and she’s entitled to the same rights as any other U.S. citizen.”

Sperling is planning to travel to Guatemala to bring Emily back to her parents in Long Island next week.

In 1996, Ruiz came to the U.S. illegally from Guatemala, because, he said, “we were in a very situation in my country.” After settling in Long Island, he tended lawns, and eventually met fellow Guatemalan immigrant, Brenda Dubon. They married and had two children. Emily’s younger brother is three.

The Ruiz’s case is just one of many happening across the country. As state and federal governments argue over who has the right to enforce immigration laws, sparks are flying, and caught in the fire, are families like the Ruizes.

Read more at New York Times →

Angry Birds Rio the Game That Turned iPods , iPhones and iPads into Gaming Consoles

Not too long ago, iPods were just glorified walkmans, and the smallest gaming console was a plastic brick with a monochrome 2x2 screen, known as GameBoy.

Today, iPods not only play music, but have become the leading way to play music, to listen to music and music is just a small fraction of what iPods are capable. Image

Apple reinvented the musical experience, and moved on to reinvent the telephone experience, and then the internet surfing experience, with great success; now, the computing giant is delving into the gaming world, partnering with world renowned developers to offer significant video gaming experiences via the Apple App Store.

Every gaming console has a mascot. Nintendo has Mario, Sega has Sonic the Hedgehog and the X-box was pretty much created to play Halo.

One only needs to spend two minutes in the App Store to realize, Angry Birds is to I-gadgets what Super Mario is to Nintendo.

Rovio Mobile’s newest creation, Angry Birds Rio, quickly became the number one paid App in less than 24 hours, shattering the misconception that publishers cannot use Apple’s platform as a vehicle to create a superstar launch.

“The quick ascension of Angry Birds Rio shows that mobile devices are just as capable of building strong brands and franchises as consoles,” said Brad Hilderbrand who is the PR manager at Sourcebits. “Just as Mario or Master Chief are considered companions to their respective consoles, Angry Birds is quickly becoming the mascot of mobile devices.”

Piotr Babieno, from iFun4all, agrees. “The popular belief is that you’ll have a much higher possibility of success on consoles, but I can’t think of any console games reaching the massive amount of popular culture exposure that iOS games, such as Angry Birds, achieved on mobile devices. In this case, Rovio opened a completely new door for the entire games industry.”

ImageRovio partnered earlier this year with 20th Century Fox, to create a new Angry Birds that mirrored the studio’s next animated movie, Rio, which revolves around a rare species of macaw that winds up in Rio de Janeiro to meet Jewel. The movie is set to open on April 15th. 

The team even put together an Angry Birds in Rio’s Super Bowl commercial, where interested gamers slowed down the footage to locate a code that, when redeemed, gave them access to new levels in the game.

The game not only became the number one paid App in less than 24 hours, but also has gotten 5 star reviews for over 90% of reviewers.

“A few years ago, the thing you would talk to your friends about was the latest episode of a popular TV show,” said Babieno. “Now, people are talking to their friends about what high scores they were able to get. From a marketing perspective, this IP is no longer just a game. It is a part of the collective consciousness.”


Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Med School Graduates Plan to Give Back to the Hispanic Community

The Hispanics in UCLA medical school’s graduating class are looking forward to helping those is the Hispanic community, as they are best equipped to understand the culture and assist with the language barrier that keep many from seeking medical attention.

Born in Fresno, California to Mexican immigrant parents, Ricardo Salas, a soon-to-be graduate said he is excited to continue his studies at a “hospital frequented by many poor people…like me” for the next three years.

“At Olive View Hospital in Sylmar (a district in East Los Angeles), where I’m going to work in Spanish and try to get people their medicines, there are a lot of patients who have no medical insurance, many undocumented immigrants, people who have lost their jobs, and those people need Hispanic doctors.”

Salas, along with 159 students will graduate on June 3. About 10 of the graduates will be Hispanic.

“Speaking English and Spanish can be a big help in low-income communities, but I also [know] a third language, because to talk to my brothers I learned American Sign Language, so I’ll be able to speak with patients who can only communicate in sign language, “ Salas said. “The reason I’m going to be a doctor is because, in my family, we are five brothers, and I always wanted to understand from a medical point of view why the three youngest are deaf – that’s why I studied neurological sciences and then took a doctorate in medicine.”

Census Bureau data shows that Hispanics make up about 15.1 percent of the total U.S. population, yet according to the American Medical Association, in the U.S. only five percent of physicians are Hispanic.

“I’m going to use my profession to help whoever needs me, people who get no aid from the government and the less fortunate including Hispanics,” said Jose Luis Ocampo. His parents emigrated from Mexico to work in California factories. For the next three years, he will be working at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

“I feel a commitment to help them and it is with them I want to work.”

Read more at LAHT →

Boardwalk Empire’s Paz de al Huerta Arrested for Assault, Lindsay Lohan Serves as Witness

Boardwalk Empire’s Paz de al Huerta Arrested for Assault, Lindsay Lohan Serves as Witness

Photo: Drunk Paz de la Huerta

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Last night New York Police arrested boozy floozy Paz de la Huerta for assault on former reality show star (we’re being kind) Samantha Swetra of The City, all while Lindsay Lohan looked on.  Paz (Spanish for peace, doesn’t quit fit, does it) stars on the HBO hit series Boardwalk Empire.

Sources are reporting that Paz was making a move (maybe it was more like a slur) on Swetra’s boyfriend, whereby Swetra and her entourage (well maybe not entourage but other D-listers) which included Lindsey Lohan started insulting Paz.

Paz threw a glass at Swetra and went on to punch her.  Lindsey stayed out of the fray (how refreshing) and helped remove glass shards from her pal’s leg.  Clearly with Lindsey’ dad being charged today with domestic violence against his live-in girlfriend she didn’t want two Lohan’s in the clinker at once - then people would really start talking trash about the family. 

All this happened on Sunday but it wasn’t until after police investigated and interviewed witnesses that Paz was arrested late last night.  NY Daily News is reporting she actually fell with her boobs out for all to see when Swetra yelled out “triple axel.” 

Clearly this was an elegant evening for everyone.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Architect Award Recipient Looks to Curb Homelessness with “Haven for Hope” Project

Architect Award Recipient Looks to Curb Homelessness with “Haven for Hope” Project

Photo: Haven For Hope

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Like the years before, the American Institute of Architects housing awards were given to those who showed a functional grasp of urban sustainability traits, but this year, there was a real stand-out. One award recipient’s housing design looks to give hope to the homeless.

The Haven for Hope project out of San Antonio, Texas, is working to not only provide the homeless with a place to stay, but also provide education, job training, and behavior health services. A “best practice study reviewing the homeless services in 12 states and over 200 shelter operation” was conducted by Haven, and

According to their site, the campus, which is currently working with 78 non-profit and government Partner Agencies, is the “largest comprehensive Homeless Transformation Campus” in America.

A “best practice study reviewing the homeless services in 12 states and over 200 shelter operation” was conducted by Haven before the project was started. The now 15-building campus sits on 37 acres, and has almost half a million square feet of roofed service space. The buildings used, were actually old abandoned warehouses

The Haven For Hope campus, which resembles a scaled down city, can provide housing for roughly 1600 people at a time, and was created to not just give the homeless a home, but to address and treat the root causes of homelessness.

The campus researched and traveled the country to find “the best practices in the world of homeless services,” and developed seven guiding principles to ensure the success of Haven.

1. Change the culture of warehousing to a culture of transformation
2. Co-locate and integrate as many services as possible
3. Master case management
4. Reward good decision-making
5. Consequences for bad decision-making
6. Align as many external services with the campus as possible
7. Separate the panhandlers from the truly homeless


Read more at Haven For Hope →

Hispanic and Black Workers Have Less Access to Paid Sick Days

Hispanic and Black Workers Have Less Access to Paid Sick Days

Photo: Paid Sick Days

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The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) has found that black and Hispanic workers do not get the same amount of paid sick days as their white counterparts, though both employees and employers have considered the days non-negotiable.

Using information from the 2009 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the IWPR estimates that whites and Asian Americans have the highest rates of access to paid sick days at about 60 and 67 percent, whereas only 42 percent of Hispanics and 56 percent of black workers have that same access.

It was also noted that white women are less likely than white males to have access to paid sick days, but surprisingly, Hispanic and black women have higher rates of coverage when compared to their overall populations, but still lower than that of the entire U.S. population, on average. Also, white women have lower rates of coverage than the entire white and Asian American populations.

“Wage and earnings inequality have been and continue to be linked to race, ethnicity and gender, but these estimates document an additional source of economic inequality in the U.S. – the ability to affordably take time off work in order to care for yourself or your family,” said IWPR research director, Robert Drago. “Equal access to paid sick days is important because anyone may become ill, or have a family member who suffers injury or illness.”

Executive director of the Women of Color Policy Network C. Nicole Mason said, “Access to paid sick days is a racial justice issue. The economic security of low-income families and communities depends on the passage of state and federal policies that ensure work-life balance.”

Coinciding with the IWPR findings, the NHIS released data that showed the average rate of access to paid sick days is 58 percent, and that a mere 23 percent of food service workers and 38 percent of personal care workers (primarily those working with the elderly) have access.

The NHIS data was collected from a survey of private sector workers.

Read more at Live Science →

Illegal Immigrants Wearing U.S. Marine Uniforms Arrested at Border Checkpoint

U.S. Border Patrol spokesman, Michael Jimenez, has announced the arrest of 13 illegal immigrants wearing U.S. Marine uniforms at a border checkpoint in California.

A white van with a faux U.S. government license plate was being driven by two U.S. citizens when it was stopped last week at the San Diego border check point.

Upon inspection agents discovered 13 illegal immigrants wearing U.S. Marine uniforms all donning the name ‘Perez’ on the shirt tags.  All the immigrants were male and had military style buzz cuts.  All the men, except for three, were deported back to Mexico.  The two U.S. citizens driving the immigrants have been arrested on suspicion of smuggling and the three detained immigrants are being questioned as witnesses.

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Read more at CNS News →

Hollywood Icon Elizabeth Taylor Dies. Adios Amiga! Thanks for Putting Puerto Vallarta on the Map

Hollywood Icon Elizabeth Taylor Dies. Adios Amiga! Thanks for Putting Puerto Vallarta on the Map

Photo: ELizabeth Taylor 02-27-1932 03-23-2011

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Elizabeth Taylor, the violet eyed twice Best Actress Oscar winner passed away surrounded by her children at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in the city of Los Angeles.

“My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love,” Taylor’s son, Michael Wilding, said in a statement. “Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world. Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

Dame Elizabeth Taylor was born on February 27th 1932 in Hampstead, England to American Parents. The family relocated to Los Angeles, where the nine year old was discovered by studio executives and shot her first film, There’s One Born Every Minute.

By age 12, Taylor was a successful film star having lead a long list of box office successes like, National Velvet, where she plays a young girl training her show horse for a Grand National Jumping competition. Image

Not something many teen stars these days can say, her transition into onscreen adulthood was incredibly successful, landing several Academy Award nominations for classic films like Raintree Country, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly, Last Summer.

ImageBut it wasn’t until 1961 when she received her first Oscar for Butterfield 8. Taylor is one of 11 actresses who won two leading actress Oscars, the other one for her brutally astounding performance of Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? opposite Richard Burton.

Burton and Taylor popularized Puerto Vallarta, Mexico as a tourist spot, after their 1964 Night of the Iguana film. Burton purchased a house dubbed “Casa Kimberley,” with an ocean view to the Bay of Banderas for Taylors 32nd birthday. 

Many say that Burton, who died in 1984 at age 58 of a cerebral hemorrhage, was the great love of Taylor’s life, a love life unlike many: she had a fling with director Howard Hughes, wed hotelier Nicky Hilton when she was 18, then actor Michael Wilding, who she would then do a quickie-divorce in Acapulco to marry producer Michael Todd.  Several days after obtaining the quickie Mexican divorce she married Todd in a firework studded wedding performed by the mayor of Acapulco and attended by Mexican humorist Cantinflas.

Taylor then divorced Mike Todd, and married singer Eddie Fisher, to whom she was married when she met Burton. Following her union to Burton, Taylor married Sen. John Warner and construction worker Larry Fortensky, whom she met at the Betty Ford Center in 1988 when they were both battling drug dependencies. Longtime friend Michael Jackson escorted Taylor down the aisle at her 1991 nuptials to Fortensky at Neverland Ranch. The pair divorced in 1996.

Her AIDS work brought her the Legion of Honor, France’s highest civilian award, in 1987 and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1993. In 2000, Queen Elizabeth made her a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, an honor on the level of knighthood.

Randy Shilts, who wrote the pioneering AIDS chronicle “And the Band Played On,” said Taylor made a profound difference.
“Elizabeth Taylor got AIDS on ‘Entertainment Tonight,’ and you can’t underestimate the value of that kind of exposure,” Shilts said. “It made the disease something that respectable people could talk about.”

Through her various efforts she would eventually raise more than $270 million for AIDS prevention and care.

“AIDS is both my passion and my obsession,” Taylor said. “I was there at the beginning, and I pray I’ll be there at the end.”

Taylor is survived by four children, Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton; 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A private family funeral will be held later this week. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Students Now the Majority in the Texas Public School System

Hispanic students attending the Texas public school system from prekindergarten to senior year in high school total 2.48 million making them the majority at 50.2%.

There are approximately 4.9 million children in the Texas school system and this is the first year they edge above the general population to become the majority.  10 years ago white students made up 43% of the students while Hispanics represented 40% of the student population and African-Americans made up the rest.

Education experts site the declining number of non-Hispanic white students enrolling in public school as the cause.  In addition in Texas like other areas in the U.S. the young Hispanic population is the fastest-growing demographic.

Regardless of attaining majority status Hispanic students continue to lag in high-school graduation rates and some of the ‘least educated’ counties in the U.S. are located on the Texas-Mexico border. 

Read more at El Paso Times →

Michelle Obama Visits Ciudad Mujer Project to Benefit Women in San Salvador

Michelle Obama Visits Ciudad Mujer Project to Benefit Women in San Salvador

Photo: Michelle Obama in Latin America

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As part of United States President Barak Obama’s official visit to Latin America, First Lady Michelle Obama together with Salvadoran First Lady and Minister of Social Inclusion Vanda Pignato, visited the first of what is to be 12 centers of the Ciudad Mujer project.

The center is located Lourdes, Colón, in the department of Libertad.Ciudad Mujer is an initiative supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and carried out by the Salvadoran Ministry of Social Inclusion of El Salvador. The project seeks to improve living conditions of women through a comprehensive approach that includes the promotion of women’s rights.

Michelle Obama visited facilities that will provide services in prevention and response to violence, economic self-sufficiency, sexual and reproductive health, education, and child care.

Participating in the visit was the IDB representative in El Salvador, Rodrigo Parot, and the chief of the Bank’s Gender and Diversity Unit, Andrew Morrison, in addition to officials from the Ministry of Social Inclusion.

The IDB is a key partner in the implementation of the six Ciudad Mujer centers, which will be funded by a Bank loan of US$20 million and national counterpart financing for US$9.2 million. The project will also provide technical assistance for improving the quality of services and the incorporation of a rigorous impact evaluation.

“Ciudad Mujer is a bold and intelligent bet,” said the IDB’s Morrison. “It is an investment in improving the ability of Salvadoran women to contribute to national development.

“When I had the idea to develop Ciudad Mujer, I had only one purpose in mind: to recognize the specific needs of women,” said Pignato. “My main objective was to provide visibility to women and their rights in the formulation of public policy, and demonstrate that diversity and the differences between men and women are factors that enrich our country,” she said.

The center will be inaugurated March 28 in a ceremony that will include former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet and several Latin American first ladies

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Citizenship Test Questions—Do You Know the Answers?

U.S. Citizenship Test Questions—Do You Know the Answers?

Photo: Uncle Sam Citizenship Test

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The U.S. Citizenship Test is making news today as many Americans are discovering how little they know about their country. The test, administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is a requirement for those looking to become naturalized immigrants recognized in our country.

For years, these questions have been selected from a list of 100 questions. Some are relatively simple, while others are not so easy.

Below is a list of the kinds of questions you’d find on the U.S. citizenship test:

1.) What are the colors of our flag?

2.) What color are the stars on our flag?

3.) What do the stars on the flag mean?

4.) What do the stripes on the flag mean?

5.) How many states are there in the Union?

6.) What country did we fight during the Revolutionary War?

7.) Who was the first President of the United States?

8.) Who is the vice-president of the United States today?

9.) Who elects the President of the United States?

10.) Who becomes President of the United States if the President should die?

11.) For how long do we elect the President?

12.) What is the Constitution?

13.) Can the Constitution be changed?

14.) How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution?

15.) What is the legislative branch of our government?

16.) What is the Congress?

17.) Can you name thirteen original states?

18.) Who said: Give me liberty or give me death?

19.) Who signs bills into law?

20.) What is the name of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America?

21.) What kind of government does the United States have?

22.) Where does Congress meet?

23.) How many times may a Senator be re-elected?

24.) How many times may a Congressman be re-elected?

How would you do if you were taking the test today?

Check Your Answers Here

Be sure to comment below and share your thoughts!

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Unauthorized Population in U.S. Remains Unchanged at 11 Million, 60% Here More than a Decade

Recent estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicate that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained unchanged at roughly 11 million since 2009. 

This comes after a two-year decline of approximately one million that corresponded closely to the most recent recession, which ran from December 2007 to June 2009.  Despite that decline, the new data make clear that the current population of unauthorized immigrants is very much part of the social and economic fabric of the country. 

Three-fifths of unauthorized immigrants have been in the United States for more than a decade.  Unauthorized immigrants comprise more than one-quarter of the foreign-born population and roughly 1-in-20 workers.  Approximately 4.5 million native-born U.S.-citizen children have at least one unauthorized parent.  While the largest numbers of unauthorized immigrants are concentrated in California and Texas, there also are sizable unauthorized populations in Florida, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina, and Maryland. 

In short, unauthorized immigrants who are already in the country have become integral to U.S. businesses, communities, and families.

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that there were 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the country as of 2010, nearly the same as the previous year’s estimate of 11.1 million.  This was down from a high of 12 million in 2007, but up from 8.4 million in 2000.

The DHS Office of Immigration Statistics estimates 10.8 million unauthorized immigrants as of 2010, virtually unchanged from the previous year.  This was down from a high of 11.8 million in 2007, but up from 8.5 million in 2000.

Read more at Immigration Policy Center →

Connie Mack: Avoiding Panama & Colombia on Latin America Trip Maintains Unfocused Foreign Policy

Avoiding visits to key U.S. allies Panama and Colombia on his trip to Latin America which wraps up today, President Obama has made clear that the Administration has no intention of moving ahead with Free Trade Agreements with Panama and Colombia, weakening our position in the Hemisphere and letting dictators like Hugo Chavez push the envelope on regional security.

Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Connie Mack (FL-14) stated: 

“Given the seriously mismanaged foreign policy message coming from this Administration, it’s no wonder our adversaries like Hugo Chavez continue to think they can push the envelope of the regional security in our Hemisphere. The President’s domestic political calculations are dangerously hurting our presence in the region. While the stated focus of the President’s trip was ‘strengthening the nation’s economic relationship with its neighbors and improving regional security,’ it would appear the President failed on both fronts.”

Mack added:  “Why is anyone surprised that Secretary of State Clinton has said twice in the past week she wants out.  I indeed share Secretary Clinton’s frustrations with the Administration’s ambiguous foreign policy, especially in the Western Hemisphere.” 

Colombia and Panama are vital allies in the U.S. fight against drug trafficking organizations throughout the Hemisphere. Disengagement by the Obama Administration last fall led to the Colombian announcement that drug kingpin Walid Makled-Garcia would be extradited to Venezuela and Hugo Chavez instead of the United States. This is not the first of such actions embarked on by a Colombian nation questioning their alliance with the U.S. 

While President Obama was in Latin America, Chavez demanded a halt to the no fly zone and condemned Obama’s actions. Chavez has also offered asylum to Dictator Muammar Gaddafi and has undertaken steps to allow the Iranians to place missile sites in Venezuela.

Read more by HS News Staff →

WednesdayMarch 23, 2011