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ThursdayMarch 24, 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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50.5 Million Hispanics in U.S., Exceeding Estimates - Making Up 16% of Entire Population

The U.S. Census Bureau released today the second in a series of 2010 Census briefs, Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010, which looks at our nation’s changing racial and ethnic diversity and provides a snapshot of the racial and Hispanic origin composition of the United States.

The examination of racial and ethnic group distributions nationally shows that while the non-Hispanic white alone population is still numerically and proportionally the largest major race and ethnic group in the United States, it is also growing at the slowest rate. Conversely, the Hispanic and Asian populations have grown considerably, in part because of relatively higher levels of immigration.

Hispanic Population Growth
More than half of the growth in the total U.S. population between 2000 and 2010 was because of the increase in the Hispanic population. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, rising from 35.3 million in 2000 to 50.5 million in 2010. The rise in the Hispanic population accounted for more than half of the 27.3 million increase in the total U.S. population. By 2010, Hispanics comprised 16 percent of the total U.S. population of 308.7 million.

The non-Hispanic population grew relatively slower over the decade at about 5 percent. Within the non-Hispanic population, the number of people who reported their race as white alone grew even slower (1 percent). While the non-Hispanic white alone population increased numerically from 194.6 million to 196.8 million over the 10-year period, its proportion of the total population declined from 69 percent to 64 percent.

Race Distribution 
The overwhelming majority (97 percent) of the total U.S. population reported only one race in 2010. This group totaled 299.7 million. Of these, the largest group reported white alone (223.6 million), accounting for 72 percent of all people living in the United States. The black or African-American population totaled 38.9 million and represented 13 percent of the total population.
Approximately 14.7 million people (about 5 percent of all respondents) identified their race as Asian alone. There were 2.9 million respondents who indicated American Indian and Alaska Native alone (0.9 percent). The smallest major race group was Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone (0.5 million), which represented 0.2 percent of the total population. The remainder of respondents who reported only one race, 19.1 million people (6 percent of all respondents), were classified as “some other race” alone.

Nine million people reported more than one race in the 2010 Census and made up about 3 percent of the total population. Ninety-two percent of people who reported multiple races provided exactly two races in 2010; white and black was the largest multiple-race combination. An additional 8 percent of the two or more races population reported three races and less than 1 percent reported four or more races.

Three quarters of multiple race combinations were comprised of four groups in 2010: white and black (1.8 million), white and “some other race” (1.7 million), white and Asian (1.6 million), and white and American Indian or Alaska Native (1.4 million).
The population reporting their race as white, either alone or with at least one other race, was the largest of all the alone-or-in-combination categories (231.0 million) and represented about three-fourths of the total population. About 14 percent of the total population reported their race as black, either alone or with at least one other race, which was the second-largest of the alone-or-in-combination categories (42.0 million).  There were 21.7 million people classified as some other race alone or in combination and 17.3 million people classified as Asian alone or in combination in the 2010 Census, making up 7 percent and 6 percent of the total population, respectively. The two smallest alone-or-in-combination categories were American Indian and Alaska Native (5.2 million) and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (1.2 million), making up 2 percent and 0.4 percent of the total population, respectively.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. to Celebrate 100 Open Skies Partners that Include Colombia and Brazil as New Partners

In a March 30 ceremony, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will host a ceremony celebrating the negotiation of agreements between the United States and 100 Open Skies partners. The ceremony will take place at approximately 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30 in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State and will be open to credentialed members of the media.

Open Skies agreements strengthen and expand trade and tourism links, benefitting businesses and travelers by expanding air service and encouraging vigorous competition among airlines, while preserving U.S. commitments to aviation safety and security. The agreements set liberal ground rules for international aviation markets and minimize government intervention. Open Skies Agreements free carriers to provide more affordable, convenient, and efficient air service for consumers. Click here for more information on Open Skies Agreements.

The 100th agreement was reached, ad referendum, on November 11, 2010 between U.S. and Colombian negotiators, which, when it enters into force, will establish an Open Skies air transportation relationship between the two countries. The United States also negotiated an Open Skies agreement with Brazil in December 2010, which was signed in Brasilia on March 19, 2011.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pitbull, Camila, Don Omar and Banda El Recodo to Perform at the 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards

Pitbull, Camila, Don Omar and Banda El Recodo are among the leading musical acts confirmed to perform at the 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards presented by State Farm.  They join the previously announced performance by Mana.  The longest running and most prestigious awards show in the Latin music industry will take place on Thursday, April 28 at 8PM/7c at the BankUnited Center in Miami, Florida, airing live on Telemundo.

A worldwide musical phenomenon that will surely light up the stage with his signature catchy songs is Pitbull.  The Cuban rapper will delight fans with his high energy remixes and spectacular show. His 2010 released album “Armando” reached number two on the Billboard Top Latin Albums.  Pitbull is currently a finalist for seven Billboard Latin Music Awards including Social 50 Latin Artist of the Year and Latin Digital Download of the Year.

Don Omar, an accomplished songwriter and producer who is widely regarded as one of the leading urban acts, and a finalist up for six awards this year will also perform.  His hit song “Danza Kuduro” is the longest running number one single on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in 2011. The song is also a social media phenomenon, and has become the most-watched Latin video on YouTube and Vevo, with over 90 million downloads.

Banda El Recodo, Mexico’s most successful and eclectic band, will infuse the stage with their traditional Mexican sounds and musical explorations from their recent original album “Me Gusta Todo de Ti” that included the smash hits: “Dime Que Me Quieres” and “Me Gusta Todo de Ti.” Banda El Recodo is a finalist for four Billboard Latin Music Awards.

Mexican band, Camila, a finalist for ten awards this year, will surely please fans with a performance featuring their unique romantic pop.  In 2010 with only their second studio album “Dejarte de Amar,” the group enjoyed great success with three singles, “Mientes,” “Alejate de Mi,” and “Besame,” all of which reached number one on the Billboard Latin Pop Airplay chart. The album reached number one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums and Latin Pop Albums in the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Soccer Star Lionel Messi Becomes Best Paid Player in History (VIDEO)

Argentine Soccer Star Lionel Messi Becomes Best Paid Player in History (VIDEO)

Photo: Lionel Messi, Soccer Phenom

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We are surprised it took this long. The kid is not only a kind, charming gentleman, but simply put an artist, when it comes to playing fútbol.

According to France Football, one of the world’s leading soccer magazines, Leo earns a whopping $44.1-million a year in salary and endorsement income, sending Galaxy’s David Beckham to the #2 spot, as he earns 3.4 million less than the phenom.

Close to Messi and Beckham is Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo, with a combined income of $40 million.

The rest of France Football Magazine top 10 money makers are Kaka (Real Madrid), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Ronaldinho (Flamengo), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan), Frank Lampard (Chelsea) and Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan).

One can only wonder why it took this long. Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham sure are great players, but the two combined are still far from the sheer elegance of Messi’s game; A video of Messi’s goals for any given week this year, looks like a compilation of the most remarkable goals of the last ten years.

Messi has a scandal-free career, a genuinely humble demeanor, and is a role model who leads by example. La Pulga Messi is not just the best player of the moment, but without a doubt the most complete player soccer has seen in a long, long time.

The internet is full of videos showcasing Leo’s skills and talents (feel free to post your favorites in the comment section below), we decided to just choose one goal, our favorite of 2011, from a few weeks ago against Arsenal.

Pure Fútbol Art.



Read more by HS News Staff →

End of the Mayan Calendar in 2012 Gives Mexico Reason to Promote Tourism

End of the Mayan Calendar in 2012 Gives Mexico Reason to Promote Tourism

Photo: Mayan Calendar

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Though many are anxious about the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, the Mexican government is using the opportunity to promote tourism.

Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara, during the “Mexico: Gateway to the Americas” seminar in Mexico City, said that the end of the Mayan calendar has people all over the world considering it an apocalyptic omen.

“There’s lots of interest, more than 3 million websites around the world have been discussing what’s going to happen in 2012,” said Guevara. “Mark Dec. 21, 2012, on your calendars, it’ll be important to be in Mexico on that day.”

“We are going to stage a large number of events to let everybody know what’s happening in the Maya world,” the tourism secretary told El Pais, a Spanish-language daily newspaper.

Though no apocalyptic references to 2012 were ever made in the 15,000 existing Mayan texts, people have been speculated about the end of the world since the 1970’s, says the National Anthropology and History Institute.

Read more at LAHT →

Don Omar Breaks YouTube Record (VIDEO)

Don Omar Breaks YouTube Record (VIDEO)

Photo: The artist holds the record for more views of a Spanish Music Video

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Reggaeton superstar Don Omar has recently set a new record with his “Danza Kuduro” video. Reportedly, the video from the homonym single has established a new record:  most watched video for an artist in Spanish language. The video currently has over 95 million views on Youtube world wide.

The video’s succesful performance is just an extension of the popularity that has surrounded the single “Danza Kuduro,” which has been on the top places of the Billboard Latin music charts for 29 weeks. “Danza Kuduro” is a track included on the album Don Omar Presents: Meet The Orphans.

Read more by HS News Staff →

WIKILEAKS: ‘Raw Sewage Everywhere’ In Costa Rica

The American Embassy in San José de Costa Rica, wrote a series of now public diplomatic wires about reasons why the Central American nation does not live to its tourism paradise image.

“Travel brochures do not tell the entire story,” one of the leaked cables says. The subject line of the cable reads: “COSTA RICA NOT PARADISE-RAW SEWAGE EVERYWHERE”.

The communication goes on to describe Costa Rica as practically flooded in sewage due to lack of adequate wastewater treatment facilities; only 2.6 percent of human waste is treated, and waste goes directly to pollute the country’s rivers.

“Nationwide, Costa Rica currently treats only 2.6% of human waste generated, ranking Costa Rica amongst the five worst countries in Latin America. And the country is falling backward,” the cable says.

“While famous for its investment in “green” issues such as national parks and biodiversity protection, Costa Rica does not walk the talk when it comes to “brown” environmental issues such as sewage treatment.  For a tourism-dependent country that relies upon its reputation as an environmental paradise and prime ecotourism destination, the nation’s use of its rivers in lieu of a modern sanitation system, as the conduit for dumping raw untreated waste onto its most convenient beaches and important fishing areas is a shocking revelation.”

Costa Rican officials have not yet spoken publically on the matter.

Read more by HS News Staff →

37 Pre-Incan Tombs Accidentally Found in Southern Perú

60 kilometers away from the city of Tacna in southern Peru, thirty-seven pre-Incan tombs—estimated to be between 2800 and 3500 years old, have been accidentally discovered by construction workers who, as part of the installation of a water system for the Boca del Río settlement were digging trenches last week.

Archaeologist Gladys Barreto, who was hired by the Boca del Río consortium to be in charge of executing the construction, said that half of these newly found tombs contain the remains of children.

Barreto believes that the remains are from the period known as the Late Regional Development; also discovered were ceramics, symbolic depictions of boats, wooden harpoons and copper hooks, evidence of the exchange between the cultures on the coast and those in the Andean valleys in the Tacna sierra.

“We are talking about advanced cultures, whose principal economic activity would have been fishing.” Said Jesús Gordillo an archaeologist who studies Tacna cultures.

Gordillo emphasized that these relics, along with those found further north in Tomoyo, as well as other regions including the Sama valley, Vituña, the beaches Cánepa and Meca, Ite and Punta Picata shown that the Tacna coast was densely populated in between 800 and 1445 AD.

Read more by HS News Staff →

CinemaCon Names Cameron Diaz Female Star of the Year

CinemaCon Names Cameron Diaz Female Star of the Year

Photo: Cameron Diaz, Hispanic Movie Star

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“Since making her debut on the big screen in The Mask, Cameron Diaz has continued to capture the attention of audiences around the world with her inescapable charm, innate comedic timing, and unparalleled screen presence,” Mitch Neuhauser from CinemaCon said in a statement when announcing this year’s Female Star of the Year.

CinemaCon is the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners and will be gathering next week to discuss and promote all things having to do with movies.  Diaz will pick up her award in person on March 30th during the CinemaCon convention. 

Cameron is getting ready to start production on the crime comedy Gambit by the Coen Brothers.  Her other movie Bad Teacher with Justin Timberlake will be in theatres on June 24.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Last Stop: El Salvador. Obama Pledges $200 Million to Central America to Help Fight Drug Cartels

Last Stop: El Salvador. Obama Pledges $200 Million to Central America to Help Fight Drug Cartels

Photo: Presidents Obama and Funes in the the Metropolitan Cathedral, built to honor slain Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero

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At the last stop on his Latin American tour, President Barack Obama pledged to help El Salvador and Central America fight its war against drugs.

Though he cut his trip a few hours short, likely due to a litany of questions being asked regarding the U.S. intervention in Libya, President Obama promised Central America $200 million to help in the battle against drug cartels.

Obama also praised El Salvador’s President Mauricio Funes for his policies and efforts to “overcome old divisions” that remain apparent in the country. Funes is the first leftist leader in the tiny nation’s history.

Funes noted that much like Brazil and Chile, El Salvador has made significant strides towards democracy “in a very orderly and peaceful manner” over the last few decades.

Narcotics, public security, immigration, and even El Salvador’s history were all discussed, before President Obama joined President Funes in the crypt beneath the Metropolitan Cathedral, built to honor slain Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, who was killed by U.S.-linked gunmen over thirty years ago.

Romero was assassinated in 1980, after he denounced death squads from his pulpit. He became a martyr to the leftists and poor of Latin America.

It was later discovered that the gunmen that killed Romero were linked to the U.S.-trained and financed army that had been battling “a Cuba-backed Marxist insurgency.” The Vatican has taken up a cause for the beatification and canonization into sainthood for Romero.

The White House also said it will help El Salvador launch a pilot program known as Partnership for Growth. It would bring private investments, provide jobs, and increase trade in the country. The increase in jobs would allow Salvadoran to remain with their families in their homeland.

Currently, one out of four Salvadorans live in the U.S.,  legally or otherwise.

Read more at McClatchy →

A Small Reminder of Why George Lopez is The Funniest Man on Late Night TV

TV talk show host, George Lopez, had a field day with the season 12 premiere of Dancing with the Stars, making some brutal comments about the show’s famous contestants.

Of Monday night’s leader, Ralph Macchio, Lopez said, “He cut a mean rug, then took the rug that he cut and glued it to his head.”

Lopez also joked that reality star Kendra Wilkinson, who’s appeared in Playboy, “pictured the audience picturing her naked” to calm her nerves.

He twice suggested that Wendy Williams is a man and then compared Kirstie Alley to a pig.

“She did a nice job, her little hooves tapping away,” Lopez said. “Before the show, she went to the market, and then she had roast beef and this is her going all the way home.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Were Arizona Business Leaders Behind the State’s “Time Out” on Anti-Immigrant Legislation?

When Arizona’s Senate rejected five anti-immigrant bills, that included denying citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrants to requiring immigration documentation when buying a car, everyone was asking WHAT HAPPENED. 

Arizona had made a name for its self for its immigrant bashing stance and as the cradle of anti-immigrant legislation – and now a “time out”.

Clearly the legal battles and cost that their SB1070 legislation wasn’t a deterrent, since some of the new legislation was authored after SB1070.  Why then?

Could a letter authored by The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce together with 60 CEO’s from Arizona-based businesses been the reason??  Signers of the letter included the CEO of U.S. Airways, Chairman of PetSmart and the CEO of Arizona hotel & lodging.

Here is the letter in its entirety:

Dear President Pearce,

Thank you for your willingness to serve Arizona as a Member of the Arizona State Senate. We, like you, are concerned about the challenges facing our State, particularly the need to address our structural deficit and insure an economic environment that attracts and retains high quality jobs.

While we recognize the desire for states like Arizona to fill the leadership vacuum left by federal inaction on immigration, we strongly believe it is unwise for the Legislature to pass any additional immigration legislation, including any measures leaving the determination of citizenship to the state.

We agree with you that our borders must be protected first, and now. We also believe that market-driven immigration policies can and should be developed by the federal government that will sustain America’s status as a magnet for the world’s most talented and hard-working people and preserve our ability to compete in the global economy.

If the Legislature believes it is worthwhile to debate the question of citizenship, we believe that debate is best held in the U.S. Congress. Already, Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and Rand Paul of Kentucky have introduced legislation aimed at amending the 14th Amendment to deny ‘birthright citizenship’ to those born to individuals living in the U.S. illegally. Iowa Rep. Steve King has introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House.

Arizona’s lawmakers and citizens are right to be concerned about illegal immigration. But we must acknowledge that when Arizona goes it alone on this issue, unintended consequences inevitably occur. Last year, boycotts were called against our state’s business community, adversely impacting our already-struggling economy and costing us jobs. Arizona-based businesses saw contracts cancelled or were turned away from bidding. “Sales outside of the state declined. Even a business which merely had ‘Arizona’ in its name felt the effects of the boycotts, compelling them to launch an educational campaign about their company’s roots in Brooklyn. It is an undeniable fact that each of our companies and our employees were impacted by the boycotts and the coincident negative image.

Tourism, one of our state’s largest industries and employment centers, also suffered from negative perceptions after the passage of SB 1070. The fact Gov. Brewer directed $250,000 to repairing Arizona’s reputation strongly suggests these efforts - whether fair or unfair - are harmful to our image.

Let us be clear: Our dissension with legislative action on the state level does not translate to our being ‘pro-illegal immigration.’ To the contrary, we believe Congress must address border security, identity theft, sound and implementable employment verification systems and policies and the creation of a meaningful guest worker program. Therefore, we urge the Legislature to redirect its energy by joining us in pressing the federal government for meaningful immigration reform. Together, we can get results.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Prosecutors Apologize For Comments Comparing Seminole Indians to al Qaeda

Prosecutors Apologize For Comments Comparing Seminole Indians to al Qaeda

Photo: Guantanamo Bay Prison

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Guantanamo prosecutors have apologized for documents in which they related Seminole Indians in Spanish Florida to al Qaeda as they attempted to justify military actions at Guantanamo Bay prison.

Trying to cite precedents, the prosecutors reached all the way back to 1818, when Gen. Andrew Jackson ordered U.S. forces to invade then-Spanish Florida to stop black slaves from getting through a weak border. In the end, two British men were executed for helping the Seminole Indians.

Image“Not only was the Seminole belligerency unlawful, but, much like modern-day al Qaeda,” wrote Navy Capt. Edward S. White, “the very way in which the Seminoles waged war against U.S. targets itself violate the customs and usages of war.”

Army Col. Francis Gilligan (retired), defending the 2008 conviction of Osama Bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan, said in the 1818 case, “the substance there was the savage killing of civilians.” Adding, “the goal we know of al Qaeda is the savage killing of Americans wherever they find them throughout the world.”

On the very same day as Gilligan’s comments, the National Congress of American Indians wrote, ““We wish to express our significant concern at the distorted and offensive historical analogy used by the United States in this case when it compared the first ‘Seminole War’ of 1817-18 to the terrorism of al Qaeda. The comparison of Native Americans to al Qaeda is disrespectful” to the nearly 24,000 American Indians serving in the U.S. armed force, and another 380,000 veterans.

Read more at Miami Herald →

El Chupacabra Mystery Solved: It’s Always Been in Your Imagination

Stories of El Chupacabra first surfaced in March 1995 in Puerto Rico, when dead, blood-drained goats began to surface.

In the fall of that year, a newspaper printed an eyewitness description of a bipedal creature, 4 to 5 feet tall with spikes down its back, long, thin arms and legs, and an alienlike oblong head with red or black eyes.

That depiction became associated with El Chupacabra, and it reports of similar creatures began popping up throughout the Caribbean, in Latin America, Mexico and Florida.Image

“By the mid-2000s, anything weird was being called El Chupacabra,” said Benjamin Radford, author of several books on monsters and paranormal phenomena and managing editor of the journal The Skeptical Inquirer. “Mangy coyotes. Dead raccoons. Even a dried fish in New Mexico, which looks nothing like El Chupacabra.”

Radford believes the Chupacabra was never real, not even a hoax, but rather the residual memory that the 1995 film “Species” left in the mind of an impressionable youth.

Radford traced back every Chupacabra mention through the years, and pin-pointed the first physical description of the monster to a single event in the second week of August 1995.

An eyewitness named Madelyne Tolentino ran in a Puerto Rican newspaper an image of the alien-looking animal as El Chupacabra.

alt=“Image” width=“222” height=“380” />The creature, Radford noticed, shared a strong resemblance to the alien/human hybrid in the 1995 sci-fi thriller “Species.”

“You can make a direct connection between the film hitting theaters, her seeing the creature in the film, seeing it in the street, making the report and entering the public conscious,” Radford said.

When Radford spoke to Tolentino, he asked her if the thing that she saw could have been inspired by the film. Indeed, she had seen the movie in the weeks prior to making her description.

Soon after, reports of nearly identical creatures began appearing throughout Latin America. But these can be dismissed, Radford says, because they’re all based on Tolentino’s Hollywood-inspired monster.

“What I’ve tried to do is take the whole El Chupacabra enchilada and break it into small mysteries and then solve those mysteries,” Radford said. “There’s no place else for those mysteries to hide now. If I haven’t solved every piece of it, then I don’t know what I’m missing. It’s all there.”

“That said, if next month or next year somebody finds El Chupacabra that’s sucking blood from animals, I’m happy to eat my crow and add a chapter to the book.”Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

Number of Iowa Workers, Mostly Immigrants, Not Being Paid Wages Increasing

The number of claims that Latino workers are not being paid wages is increasing, particularly in one Midwest state.

Since October, the Iowa’s Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) has been able to recoup over $80,000 from 11 employers who withheld wages from workers.

CCI development director Sharon Zanders- Ackiss, said, ““It’s either a growing problem, or it’s a problem that’s getting exposed, and we’re seeing a lot of it.”

Wage complaints can take months to even reach a state employee, and that person is usually responsible for 175 at a time, said departing state labor commissioner Dave Neil. However, a bill that would speed up the process is currently in the hands of the Republican-controlled House, where its future has yet to be determined. The bill would require employers to notify employees of their wages and deductions in writing, and would not allow an employer to fire or discriminate against an employee assisting in a wage investigation.

Opponents of the bill say it would place more regulations on businesses, but not do anything to stop the dishonest ones from not paying their workers.

In central Iowa, where the problem is concentrated, the Des Moines Register reported that the federal government along with other organizations were investigating the ever increasing number of wage theft cases, most of which involve immigrant workers in already low-paying jobs.

Now, the problem seems to be the long wait for action to be taken. With a backlog of cases, many of the workers are angry, and say they just want the money they worked for. Some companies get away with not having to pay, because they file for bankruptcy.

Neil named Agriprocessors in Postville, IA as an example. The now-closed meatpacking plant, never had to pay the $265,000 it owed in back wages once it filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

“Every worker, I don’t care who they are, is entitled to fair pay and fair wages and to be paid on time, regardless of their nationality. They’re also entitled to a safe and healthy workplace,” Neil said, “regardless of whether they’re legal or illegal.”

Read more at Des Moine Register →

More Crazy Talk From Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez

More Crazy Talk From Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez

Photo: Venezuelan President and Mars Historian Hugo Chavez Says Capitalism Came From Martian Civilization

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President Hugo Chávez was in such a talkative mood on world Water Day, that during his public speech he graced attendees with a history lesson on the obscure roots of capitalism. And no he didn’t give the U.S. any credit for its role in creating and distorting capitalism.  Well at least we now know why there is no life on Mars, and can feel comfortable defunding NASA.

“I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet,”


Read more by HS News Staff →

Congress’ Puerto Rico Delegate was 2010 Big Spender

Congress’ Puerto Rico Delegate was 2010 Big Spender

Photo: Democrat Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico is Congress' top spender in 2010

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A non-partisan group has taken a look at office accounts for each member of the U.S. House and its committees and found that $1.36 billion was spent in 2010, and the delegate from Puerto Rico spent the most.

Non-voting delegate Pedro Pierluisi from Puerto Rico was identified as congress’ top spender in 2010, having spent $2.1 to run his offices in Puerto Rico and Washington. Personnel costs were the reason for the majority of his expenses, taking up $1.2 million, and about $174,000 went to printing and another $60,000 was spent on travel

The Sunlight Foundation, which looked at analyzed the data, shows that Pierluisi even outspent Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat out of California, who spent about $1.9 million to run her congressional district offices. (This total does not include the amount spent

Pierluisi’s office said the size of his constituency and Puerto’s Rico’s distance from Washington D.C. are the two biggest culprits in the high-level spending.

Dennise Perez, told USA Today, ““The resident commissioner of Puerto Rico is the sole representative in Congress of nearly 4 million constituents, which is five or six times as many as any other congressional district … Given Puerto Rico’s lack of full congressional delegation, our office must work closely with the state and local government officials to ensure that Puerto Rico is also we represented before the federal agencies.”

Lawmakers are given allowances to run their offices, though amounts vary depending on distance from the capital and the cost of office space. According to the Congressional Research Service, the average office House member’s allowance in 2010 was $1.5 million.

Since Puerto Rico is an island, Pierluisi’s only reasonable option for getting to and from Washington is by plane, and flight costs fluctuate throughout the year.

Just s few months ago, the Speaker John Boener pushed through a plan to cut all budgets of Congress by 5 percent, resulting in savings of around $35 million.

Behind Pierluisi and Pelosi were, and rounding out the top five spenders were Rep. Jim Costa, (D-CA), and though defeated for re-election last year, former lawmakers Dina Titus (D-NV), and Scott Murphy (D-NY).

Read more at USA TODAY →

66 Percent of U.S. Latinos Living in Poor Air Quality Areas Throughout the Country

66 Percent of U.S. Latinos Living in Poor Air Quality Areas Throughout the Country

Photo: Latinos live in most polluted cities

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Today the Center for American Progress released a new issue brief, “Why the EPA Is Important for Latino Families,” by Jorge Madrid and Valeri Vasquez. The brief details how conservative politicians’ efforts to attack, defund, and even abolish the Environmental Protection Agency would risk the health of many Americans, in particular Latinos. According to the report, Latinos will be disproportionately impacted by cuts to the EPA because they tend to live or work near high-polluting areas and have a higher risk of contracting respiratory diseases.

According to the authors, among other things:

• 66 percent of U.S. Latinos—25.6 million people—live in areas that do not meet the federal government’s safe air quality standards.
• Seven out of the 25 worst-polluted U.S. cities have Latino populations of more than 40 percent.
• The average Latino population in the 10 worst-polluted U.S. cities is 33 percent.
• The vast majority—nearly 88 percent—of our nation’s farm workers are Latino, and these employees and their families are regularly exposed to harmful pesticides in both the air and water.

“Latinos’ problems are magnified by funding cuts to the EPA, since they already live in urban environments where higher levels of air pollution occurs, and are generally underinsured, so they feel the cost of air pollution financially,” said Adrianna Quintero from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentina Church Launches Signature Campaign to Protect the Family

Argentina Church Launches Signature Campaign to Protect the Family

Photo: Argentina Catholic Church

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On March 25th, the Catholic Church in Argentina’s campaign will begin to collect signatures in support of a “Law for the complete protection of the Family”. For its approval, the bill, supported by the “Red de Familias” and the Department for the Laity of the Episcopal Conference of Argentina (DEPLAI) requires 500,000 signatures.

The beginning of the campaign coincides with the Solemnity of the Annunciation and the “Day of the child to be born” (Día del Niño por Nacer), and will be held throughout the archdioceses, in all the parishes, churches, chapels and institutions. Some of the highlights of the Law relate to the basic principles of family policy in Argentina, the recognition of the family as a natural and primary organism, founded on marriage, understood as the stable union between a man and a woman, and open to new life.

Also included: the integral promotion of women and the recognition of maternity as positive, socially and personally, emphasizing the unique role of mother and educator; the respect and protection of life for all human beings from the moment of conception (from fertilization) until its natural end. Among the key points it declares that abortion is a grave violation of the fundamental right to life of every human being.

Read more at Agenzia Fides →

ICE Arrests 130 Undocumented Immigrants in Northern Va

ICE Arrests 130 Undocumented Immigrants in Northern Va

Photo: ICE Arrests

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ICE Reports that more than 130 undocumented immigrants have been arrested in northern Virginia over the period of last Sunday through Tuesday.  The effort was launched as part of a campaign to target and detain criminal aliens.

Of the 163 foreign nationals arrested, approximately 130 of them had criminal records. ICE and other law enforcement officials say that the enforcement effort was focused primarily on illegal immigrants who have criminal records, including convicted sex offenses.

The arrests were announced in Manassas where some local officials have complained that the federal government is not doing enough to enforce immigration laws.

Read more at The Washington Times →

President Felipe Calderon Meets with U.S. Congressional Delegation

Mexican President Felipe Calderón received a bi-party delegation of US legislators led by Representative Kay Granger, President of the Sub-Committee of Foreign Operations in the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations.

During the meeting, President Calderón described the Mexican government’s actions to combat transnational organized crime and discussed bilateral cooperation on the issue with the US legislators.

The legislators highlighted the Mexican government’s commitment in the fight against organized crime, which profoundly affects the societies of the two countries.

A propos of this, the Legislators and the President agreed over the importance of continuing to expand and deepen bilateral cooperation, on the basis of shared responsibility, mutual trust and respect for the jurisdiction of each country.

They also stressed the need to fully implement Plan Mérida, highlighting the US government’s commitment to ensuring the delivery of equipment, technology and training equivalent to $500 million USD in 2011 and to continuing to advance towards the modernization of the common border to enhance the competitiveness and security of both countries.

President Calderón stressed the importance of combating arms dealing and asked the US legislators to adopted stricter measures to stop the illegal trafficking of weapons and cash into Mexico.

Lastly, the President hailed the solid bi-party support in the United States Congress for promoting higher levels of cooperation with Mexico in every sphere of bilateral relations, and the leadership and activism to promote links with Mexico by both Representative Kay Granger (Rep.-TX) and her predecessor in the President’s Sub-Committee, Nita Lowey (Dem.-NY).

The legislative delegation led by Representative Granger comprised Congressmen Silvestre Reyes (Dem.TX), James Moran (Dem.-VA), Mario Diaz-Balart (Rep.-FL), Thomas J. Cole (Rep.-OK), Kenneth Calvert (Rep.-CA), Jack Kingston (Rep.-GA) y Rodney Frelinghuysen (Rep.-NJ).

During the meeting, President Calderón was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Secretary Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, and Interior Secretary, José Francisco Blake Mora.


Read more by HS News Staff →

ThursdayMarch 24, 2011