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WednesdayMarch 30, 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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4 Yr Old US Citizen Emily Ruiz Back On American Soil

4 Yr Old US Citizen Emily Ruiz Back On American Soil

Photo: Emily Ruiz

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Emily Ruiz, the 4-year-old U.S. citizen who was sent back to Guatemala earlier this month, is back with her family on American soil. Her family’s lawyer, David Sperling, even tweeted photos of the reunion with the caption “mission accomplished.” Meanwhile, lawmakers and lawyers are still trying to figure out exactly how, in the words of LI congressman Steve Israel, “This bureaucratic overreach and utter failure of commonsense left a little girl, a U.S. citizen no less, stranded thousands of miles from her parents.”

Emily Ruiz, who is an American citizen but whose parents are not, had been in Guatemala for five months to alleviate her asthma. When she was flying back to New York with her grandfather on March 11, customs questioned her grandfather’s visa over a two-decades-old issue. After some confusion customs agents claim they eventually told Emily’s father Lionel Ruiz, who speaks only limited English, that he could either send Emily back to Guatemala, put her in a government juvenile facility or he could come and pick her up. However, according to Sperling, that isn’t true: “The parents were not given the option to be reunited.”

Legal associates of Sperling are arguing that Emily’s parents did not send her back to Guatemala because they feared questions about their own immigration status. “If that’s the case, why would the father take his story national?” Jeanne Butterfield, a former executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, asked while pointing out that Lional Ruiz has been interviewed in the Times and on Univision. “He told the story, had his picture published. He is easily findable. I think it only buttresses the father’s credibility.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Oregon Senate Approves In-State Tuition for some Undocumented immigrants

Oregon Senate Approves In-State Tuition for some Undocumented immigrants

Photo: Oregon Session 2011

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In an 18-11 vote on Tuesday, the Oregon Senate has voted to allow some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Oregon public universities.

To be eligible, the Immigrants must have completed at least three years of high school education in Oregon to be eligible.

Supporters of the legislation say students shouldn’t be punished because their parents brought them to the United States illegally. Furthermore they point out that the state should help students be productive residents after investing in years of public education.

Opponents say illegal immigrants shouldn’t get a benefit that isn’t available to American citizens who live in other states and are required to pay out of state tuition.

The measure now goes to the House, where a bipartisan group of lawmakers has signed on to support it.

Read more at East Oregonian →

Former Gang Members Take Advantage of Tattoo Removal Clinics in El Salvador

Former Gang Members Take Advantage of Tattoo Removal Clinics in El Salvador

Photo: Former gang member gets tattoos removed

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In the U.S., tattoos have become relatively mainstream and somewhat accepted, but in countries like El Salvador, tattoos are mostly signs of gang affiliations. Now, thanks to free government laser treatments, those wishing to put their gang days behind them can.

“The culture here is that whoever has tattoos is a criminal,” said one former gang member.

As former members try to start new lives and get on the straight and narrow, they are often confronted with the reality of their pasts. Potential employers often shut the door on anyone with visible tattoos, making it difficult for past gang members to get legitimate jobs. Even getting on buses causes panic, with people either changing seats when they see them or getting off the bus completely. Gangs have firebombed buses as part of their campaigns for extortion and turf.

Gladis Pacheco, a psychologist at the Tattoo Removal Clinic run by the National Council of Public Security said, “People panic when they see these guys. In this country, is it just a primordial requirement to get rid of one’s tattoos.”

The majority of those with tattoos in El Salvador are in the province of the two big street gangs, the MS-13 and the 18th Street, but eight years ago, the time of the heavily tattooed gang members began its end.

In 2003, the first of a series of mano dura (hard hand) law enforcement crackdowns intended to breakdown criminal gangs began, as the U.S. was deporting Salvadoran gang members in droves. From July 2003 to June 2004, police arrested around 18,000 gang members, though only five percent saw any prison time.

Since being heavily tattooed was a give-away to police, gang leaders began telling members to restrict their tattoos to places less visible. Previously, young gangsters would get tattoos on their faces and hands to serve as angry warnings to any who opposed them.

“They aren’t getting so many tattoos now,” said National Civil Police commissioner Gersan Perez Mendez. “They definitely don’t put them on their hands and faces.”

As the violence in South and Central America continues, those with the tattooed reminders of their past lives are grateful for the removal clinics.

Those entering the clinics tend to be 20 to 30 years old. Each tattoo takes from eight to 10 sessions to be completely gone, but Dr. Maydee Ramirez said, “You can see a difference after six sessions.”

She also said that the number of sessions depends on the age of the tattoo, how big it is, and color of the ink, black being the easiest to remove.

Though removing gang-related tattoos is a major step in reforming their lives, Luis Lechiguero, a member of a European Union delegation, which helps finance programs to reduce gang activity, says it is only one part of the process.

“Getting rid of tattoos alone isn’t enough to get you back to normality,” he said. “You need a job, family and community support, and individual willpower.”

Sadly, though removal of the tattoos is a good thing for reformed gangsters, it is not without risk, as removing them is forbidden by the gangs without strict approval.

“If they find out…,” said Lechiguero, “they will come after you.”

Read more at McClatchy →

‘Illegals’ Fly the Coup into U.S. - Parrots Seized at Border

Border Patrol agents are reporting that they have seized ‘illegal’ parrots at the U.S.-Mexico border.  The wild birds were found in a bird cage that was being carried by two individuals walking along the border.  When agents (patrolling the U.S. side of the Rio Grande) approached the men they fled into a brush area.  Upon investigation the agents found some kind of bird cage with the wild parrots inside.

The birds are considered illegal since its assumed they are from Mexico and entered the country without the proper customs papers necessary, also it is illegal to capture wild birds like these parrots.  The Rio Grande authorities believes these birds are worth $500 each. It is unclear if the birds were snuck across the border to be sold as someones house pet.

The authorities are not reporting if the parrots are fluid in Spanish or English or are bilingual.

 

 

 

 

Read more at CBS News →

Introducing: The World Map Of Average Breast Size

Introducing: The World Map Of Average Breast Size

Photo: World Map of Average Cup Size Powered by Google.

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This map settles the question of which Latin American country has the women with the largest breasts?

Surprisingly, the largest breasts in the world—in average, are not in Brazil, but in Russia and Northern Europe.

In general, Latin America seems to have a very healthy diversity when it comes to breast sizes; Colombia and Venezuela have in average the bustier women, while Perú and Bolivia women seem to own the smallest cup size.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Leaders Urge Sen. Reid to Defund Gainful Employment Rule

A National Latina Organization, joined with leading Hispanic organizations and concerned state legislators in urging Senator Reid (D-NV) to stand as a leader for Latinos and fight to defund the Department of Education’s controversial “Gainful Employment” rule. The Latino Coalition, the Hispanic Leadership Fund and two state legislators, Representative Pedro Marin (GA-96) and Assemblywoman Lucy Flores (NV-28), expressed their concerns for the rule in a letter that encouraged Senator Reid to follow the lead of the House of Representatives and pass an amendment similar to the version passed by the House.

In February, Representatives John Kline (MN-2), Virginia Foxx (NC-5), Alcee Hastings (FL-23) and Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4) sponsored an amendment to defund Gainful Employment that was supported by eight members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus: Reps. Baca (CA-43), Cardoza (CA-18), Costa (CA-18), Cuellar (TX-28), Pastor (AZ-04), Reyes (TX-16), Serrano (NY-16), and Sires (NJ-13).

In the letter to Senator Reid, MANA President and CEO Alma Morales Riojas raises the concern that Gainful Employment will limit students’ options to pursue a degree in higher education:

“We feel that this rule is too broad; rather than protect students, it’s going to take valuable and essential programs away from students who depend on them. Where else are our students going to turn: to community colleges that are over burdened and over capacity; or traditional universities to study history or philosophy? No! What these students want and need is to learn skills that will help them get meaningful jobs that help them get on track to lifetime careers.” 

MANA has spoken in opposition of the proposed rule, which was written with the good intention of helping students who attend career colleges from taking on too much debt, but in reality will deny students access to financial aid to attend proprietary colleges based on an arbitrary loan debt-to-income ratio.

Defunding the implementation of the rule will ensure that access is not restricted for Hispanic, African American, women and other students needing financial aid to invest in their futures and subsequently on the future of our nation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

RE: Ten Essential Records of Pop/Rock en Español

RE: Ten Essential Records of Pop/Rock en Español

Photo: Top 10 Rock En Español Albums

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Have you ever wondered what is the equivalent in the Hispanic world to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band? GibsonGuitar.es writer Kiko Jones penned an article compiling in a top ten the most important records of Rock/Pop in Spanish.

Here at HS-News, we think this list is worthy of debate. Not because we disagree with Kiko Jones, or because we think his picks are wrong, but because we believe every Spanish speaker has their own top ten, and we are all about finding new music, based on other people’s taste.

Below, our top ten Essential Records of Pop/Rock en Español. Please post your own in the comment section!


SODA STEREO Canción Animal (Sony Music 1990)

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When Argentines are blown away by something greater than what they expected, is not uncommon to hear them say “grande, che.” Canción Animal is ‘grande’ because of the so many hits within (De Musica Ligera, Hombre al Agua, Entre Caníbales etc.) and because when it was released, it set the trend for Spanish Speaking bands to move away from the post-punk/new wave sound, and infuse Latin sounds and original flavors to more alternative genres, like grunge.
 
ATERCIOPELADOS Oye (Nacional Records 2007)

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Oye is the seventh album by this amazing duo from Colombia. The lyrics are both a criticism to the situation of the South American nation, as well as to the current environmental policies and human rights issues. Their sound and profound social commitment earned them a Latin Grammy, as well as two “Lo Nuestro” awards.


HOMBRES G Hombres G (Producciones Twins 1985)

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“Sufre mamón, devuélveme a mi chica, o te retorcerás entre polvos pica pica,” is arguably the slogan, the tagline for the Rock en Español of the 80’s. It catapulted the modest quartet from Spain into worldwide stardom, overnight; fans camped out from 4am to see their first midnight show and ‘Sufre Mamón” became so popular… it even spawned a movie!
 
MOLOTOV Donde Jugarán Las Niñas? (Universal/MCA International 1997)

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In the history of music, very few debut albums are as solid, complete, explosive and emblematic as Molotov’s first; Only two come to mind, and incidentally both are self titled first efforts: Queen and Bad Brains.
An ‘enfant terrible’ record from it’s inception, controversy begins at the title (a play on words on Mana’s “Donde Jugarán los Niños?) and doesn’t stop until the last chord of “Perra Arrabalera.” Literally. Way too ahead of its time, the album almost got them banned from Mexico (The Molotovs relocated to Spain for a while following numerous lawsuits and protests), but effectively set the band “where everyone takes turns playing everything” atop Mexico’s music acts.

FABULOSOS CADILLACS Vasos Vacíos (Sony Music, Columbia 1994)

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Having a bad day? Play this album back to back! it is so hard to frown listening to the Cadillacs! This album compiles tracks from their first seven albums (1986 to 1992), new arrangements of previous songs, and new instant classics like “El Matador” and the title track, a collaboration with Celia Cruz.

HÉROES DEL SILENCIO Senderos de Traición (EMI 1990)

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This, the second album by the Zaragoza based band, is considered by its four members, as their finest work. In August of 2009, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it number 2 in their Best Rock En Español Albums list.

LOS PRISIONEROS Pateando Piedras (EMI 1986)

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The second album by Chilean band ‘Los Prisioneros’ features a number of anthems of the generation like “El Baile de los que Sobran” “Muevan Las Industrias” and “Porqué no se van?” According to the magazine Rolling Stone Chile, Pateando piedras is in the fifteenth place of the best Chilean albums.

CAFÉ TACVBA Re (Warner Music 1994)

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Considered by the New York Times as “the Beatles’ White Album of Rock en Español,” ‘Re’ is one of the most remarkable albums of this list, for it not only became an inspiration and influence to many bands to come, but it was the first time the Tacvbos introduced audiences to their oh so neat antics: genre switching, on-the-nose nods to different folkloric music styles, the remarkable lung capacity of their frontman Rubén (who changes names every album) and the subtle humor of their lyrics. 

FITO PÁEZ Euforia (Warner Music 1997)

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This, Fito’s unplugged venture, is not only a fantastic sounding album offering some of the Rosarine’s best renditions of his work, but the perfect conglomeration of songs to get to know one of the giants of Rock en Español.
Highlights start early, with “Cadáver Exquisito” and continue with lovely version’s of hits like “Circo Beat” “Mariposa Technicolor” and “11y 6.”

SUI GENERIS Vida (Talent Microfón 1972)

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1972, a leap year that saw some of the most important releases in the history of music: Deep Purple’s “Machine Head”, Led Zeppelin’s “ZOZO”, Carole King’s “Tapestry”, John Lennon’s “Imagine” and The Stones’ “Exile on Main Street” all came out that year, just as Pink Floyd was recording “The Dark Side of The Moon”, and Queen, their debut album. A great year for rock indeed. 
So it would be a crime to not include on this list, the Rock en Español album that aside from debuting in 1972, mirrored almost eerily the musical tendencies of the time, only adapted to the South American experience. “Vida” is a sweet, almost innocent album that like its UK and US counterparts, became the stuff that Rock is made out of, the first link in the Rock chain, if you may.


It really is an unfair task to try and fit fifty plus years worth of Rock en Español music, in ten albums. It’s almost blasphemous to leave out albums like “Honestidad Brutal”, by Calamaro, “Mar adentro en la Sangre”, by Santa Sabina, “Vueltas y Vueltas” by Poligamia and “Guerra Gaucha” by the Enanitos Verdes. A second, completely different top ten can be compiled at the speed of light using albums by legendary bands like Toreros Muertos, La Unión, Caifanes, Vilma Palma, Ekhimosis (Featuring a teenage Juanes) Jarabe de Palo, Bersuit Vergarabat, Plastilina Mosh and Illya Kuryaki; not to mention the so many fabulous albums of Pop en Español, Trova Cubana, and Latin fusion out there.

What is your personal top ten? Post your comments; let’s see how many lists we can get going!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Ivy League-bound Daughter Pistol-Whips Mom for Not Signing Car Loan

Ivy League-bound Daughter Pistol-Whips Mom for Not Signing Car Loan

Photo: Rachel Hachero: hit and threatened her mother for not signing a car loan

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A Florida teenager allegedly hit her mother with a gun after she refused to cosign on a loan for the car the girl wanted.

Rachel Hachero, 17, really wanted a 2004 black Nissan 350Z, but when she called her mother from the dealership wanting her to come down and cosign for a loan, her mother refused. That’s when Hachero got angry, very angry, and threatened to kill her.

On March 24, around 7p.m., Hachero came home carrying a 9 mm Sig Sauer handgun. She then hit her mother over the head with it and at gunpoint, forced her to drive to dealership where she signed the loan. Hachero then drove off in her new used car.

While Hachero was at school the next day, the mother found drugs, drug paraphernalia, and a gun in her daughter’s purse. The mother, not wanting to jeopardize her daughter’s Ivy league school acceptance and scholarships, did not wish to pres charges and only called the police because he was frightened by the girl’s behavior.

After arresting Hachero at her school, police still pressed charges, and she was transported to the Lee County Juvenile Assessment Center. A judge has ruled that she must remain there.

That Friday, Hachero was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, unlawful possession of a firearm by a person under 18 and battery.

Making the case against Hachero even worse for her is that fact that the gun recovered from her purse was stolen from the home of a Lee County Port Authority officer in Fort Myers last July. It was one of three guns taken from the home.

The teenager was a student at Fort Myers’ exclusive Canterbury School, and was a member of the school’s Model United Nations team, which won third place awards at a Harvard competition.

Police did not give the mother’s name, and did not identify the drugs found in Hachero’s purse.

Read more by HS News Staff →

What the U.S. Hispanic Population Surge Did for the Vehicle Market

What the U.S. Hispanic Population Surge Did for the Vehicle Market

Photo: U.S. Hispanic Population Surge changed the Vehicle Market

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New 2010 Census Bureau data released March 24 includes the fact that there are now 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S., a record-setting level and one-sixth of the total U.S. population. Also, Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population growth during the past decade.

This data begs the question of whether there has been similar growth in Hispanic new vehicle purchases in this country. The answer is, “No.” The percentage of new vehicle buyers in the U.S. who are Hispanic has actually declined 1.5 percentage points from 2006 to 7.1% in 2010. And, only two makes, Ferrari and Buick, enjoyed a growth of one percentage point or more in Hispanic buyer mix. Aside from those two makes and three others that exhibited even smaller increases, every other make in the industry suffered a decline in percentage of Hispanics from 2006 to 2010.

ImageA look at a list of the 10 makes with the highest volume of Hispanic buyers suggests at first glance that these makes are similar to those with the greatest number of new vehicle buyers, regardless of ethnicity. But a closer look shows that the domestics lag behind their Asian rivals in appealing to Hispanics. Chevrolet and Ford each have less than half the number of Hispanic buyers when compared to Toyota, a far lower ratio than their industry-wide positions. And Honda and Nissan both have more Hispanic buyers than either Chevrolet or Ford, while industry-wide the opposite is the case.

Lastly, the 10 makes with the highest percentage of Hispanic buyers are all Asian or European.

These new vehicle data suggest there is a large opportunity for all makes – particularly the domestics – to capture additional new vehicle business if they can effectively appeal to the surging Hispanic population.

Read more at The Polk Blog →

STUDY:  Latinas More Worried About Breast Cancer Recurrence

Race and ethnicity have a significant impact on the amount women with breast cancer worry about recurrence, with less acculturated Latina women being especially susceptible to high levels of worry, according to a study published online March 28 in Cancer.

Nancy K. Janz, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, and colleagues investigated how women’s race, ethnicity, and health care experiences affect their level of worry about breast cancer recurrence. A total of 2,290 women with nonmetastatic breast cancer responded to a survey evaluating race/ethnicity and levels of worry about cancer recurrence in the same breast, occurring in the other breast, or spreading. Worry was measured after adjusting for sociodemographics, clinical/treatment, and health care experience factors.

The researchers found that, compared to whites, less acculturated Latinas reported significantly more worry, and African-Americans reported less worry. Race/ethnicity remained significantly correlated with the amount of worry, even after controlling for confounding factors. Younger age, being employed, having more pain and fatigue, and radiation treatment were all independently associated with more worry. Greater ease of understanding information, improved symptom management, and better coordinated care were all significantly correlated with lower worry.

“Less acculturated Latina breast cancer patients are vulnerable to high levels of worry. Interventions that improve information exchange, symptom management, and coordinating care hold promise in reducing worry,” the authors write.

Read more at Health Day News/Southeastern Health Services →

Many Hispanics Remain Opposed to Organ Donation

Many Hispanics Remain Opposed to Organ Donation

Photo: Ann Lopez donated a kidney to her soon-to-be ex husband George Lopez, and is now an donation advocate

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When it comes to organ donation, it appears there is still a cultural divide among Hispanics for and against it.

Organ donation experts say that Hispanics, predominantly first- and second-generation Mexicans, are less likely to donate organs than the overall American population.

Esmeralda Perez of the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance said, “We find that the Hispanic community tells us, ‘My religion says not to donate,’ and ‘I can’t have an open casket because my body will be damaged.’ They feel that their loved one will be disfigured, or the person will not be able to get into heaven because their body will not be whole.”

The source of most hesitance about organ donation comes from religion, said Nuvia Enriquez, the Donor Network of Arizona’s Hispanic outreach coordinator.

“A lot of work that we do is to go out and try to dissolve some of these myths,” she said. “We talk to them about the Catholic Church’s position on donation, which is very positive. Pope John Paul II was actually the first pope to declare donation to be an act of love, and Pope Benedict, when he was Cardinal, was a card-carrying organ donor.”


One mother, whose 13-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident, said she faced staunch opposition from her family when she made the decision to donate her daughter’s organs.

“The majority of my family had a belief that, ‘How could you do that? How could you allow her to be mutilated? How could you let them take her heart out?’”

However, that was in 2001, and since then her family has become more informed about the process and has since changed their opinions, and are no strong supporters of organ donation.

“After we all got more educated, and the family started attending these events where donors’ families meet organ recipients, and seeing how much of a difference this has made in the lives of others and the good they could do for all these people … I think they realized it was the right decision.”

Along the Rio Grande in South Texas, where the large majority of the residents are Latinos, organs from only 19 people were donated in 2010

Read more at Reuters →

Brazil Votes Against Iran at The UN For the First time in a Decade

Brazil Votes Against Iran at The UN For the First time in a Decade

Photo: Brazil Seeks Investigations on Iran

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Not once during his eight years as President did Luis Inácio Lula agree to condemn or impose sanctions on Teheran, citing those were not “effective instruments” to solve the problems of Iran.

President Dilma Rouseff has redefined the foreign policy of Brazil toward Iran; the nation’s representative at the Human Rights council of the United Nations was instructed to manifest full support to an initiative proposed by the US government, of sending a special delegation to Iran to investigate alleged violations to universal human rights under the government of Mahmud Ahmadineyad.

Rousseff has cited as one of her main objectives as president of Brazil, to make of her government an emblem, a poster example of defense of human rights, for which she considers her government “against all dictatorships in the planet,” a sharp contrast to the government of former president Lula, who never condemned or voiced discontent with Iran’s oppressive policy and sketchy arms and nuclear deals, and who once compared the revolts following the latest Iranian elections, with the mêlées between soccer fans at a stadium.

Political analysts speculate that Rousseff is after something Lula wasn’t able to conquer: a permanent seat at the United Nations’ Security Council. “It is unthinkable,” Rouseff said, “to restructure [the Council] not keeping Brazil in mind.”

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Penélope Cruz To Have a Star in Hollywood’s Walk of Fame

Penélope Cruz To Have a Star in Hollywood’s Walk of Fame

Photo: Penelope Cruz New Star in the Walk of Fame

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The Madrid born star will have a star to call her own next Friday.

Cruz, who received an Academy Award in 2009 for her part in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, will be honored with the 2436th star from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Director Rob Marshall, who has directed the actress in both ‘Pirates of The Caribbean’ and ‘Nine’ will MC the event and present the actress with her star, located at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard, in front of the Captain Theater.

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

UN Seeks Latin American Support in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

UN Seeks Latin American Support in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Photo: United Nations Security Council

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A United Nations regional meeting to support Israeli-Palestinian peace opened in Uruguay today, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for a halt to Israel’s settlement building in occupied territory, an end to all expressions of violence and the punishment of those perpetrating it.

The talks have been suspended since Israel ended a settlement moratorium last September. Under the Road Map, promoted by the diplomatic Quartet comprising the UN, European Union, Russia and the United States, Israel and an independent State of Palestine established on territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War would live side by side in peace and security within recognized borders.

The Secretary-General called on Israel to further ease its blockade of Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction. He also condemned escalating rocket fire from Gaza towards Israel, noting that it indiscriminately targets civilians, as well as the killing and wounding of Gaza civilians – including children – by Israeli fire. He reiterated his “strong condemnation” of the recent deadly bomb attack in West Jerusalem.

“Both sides must protect civilians and act in conformity with international law to prevent further escalation and loss of life,” he said. “Time is of the essence in realizing the two-State solution. The occupation that started in 1967 is morally and politically unsustainable, and must end. The Palestinians have a legitimate right to the establishment of an independent and viable State of their own.

The two-day meeting will focus on issues linked to encouraging support from Latin American and Caribbean States for restarting the Israeli-Palestinian political process, including the impact of settlement expansion, the question of Jerusalem, building trust, and diplomatic recognition of Palestinian statehood by governments of the region, including Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

The Committee was set up in 1975 by the General Assembly to enable the Palestinians to exercise their rights to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and to return to their homes and property from which they were displaced.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Watch Maria Aragon’s Birthday Message to Lady Gaga

Watch Maria Aragon’s Birthday Message to Lady Gaga

Photo: María Aragón with Lady Gaga

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María Aragón, the ten year old who became an internet sensation after posting on YouTube her rendition of “Born This Way,” Wished Lady Gaga a Happy Birthday with this adorable video.

“A birthday dedication to none other than Lady Gaga, the person who got me here today. A perpetual thanks to you, Ms. Gaga! I love you and happy birthday girrl! Love, Maria smile

Read more by HS News Staff →

People of Mexico Feel Cartels are Winning Drug War, Says Poll

People of Mexico Feel Cartels are Winning Drug War, Says Poll

Photo: Mexicans discouraged about drug war

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A recent poll of Mexicans revealed that many believe the cartels are winning the drug war in their country.

The Demotecnia poll, released Tuesday, reported that six out of 10 Mexicans believe that drug cartels are maintaining control in the drug war that President Felipe Calderon began when he took office in 2006.

Demotecnia director Maria de las Heras said the poll shows the frustrations the people of Mexico have over the president’s policies on organized crime.

“The drug war has not worked out well, according to the poll,” De las Heras told McClatchy. “He has put all his political capital into this, and the perception at least, maybe not the reality, is that it is going very badly. The majority of people are not satisfied.”

Calderon, is in his fifth year of his six-year presidential term, and his party – The National Action Party – is scrambling to find a candidate for elections in 2012. In Mexico, presidents only serve one six-year term.

When Calderon took office he began an army-back offensive against the drug cartels. Though the initial attacks destabilized the drug organizations, it resulted in rising number of deaths. In 2009, about 9,600 Mexicans were killed, and last year that number jumped to 15,273. In total, more than 35,000 people have died in drug-related violence since Calderon became president.

De las Heras said Mexicans feel discouraged, as demonstrated by the fact that 59 percent of those polled said Mexico is either worse or just as bad off as when Calderon first took office.

Also, when asked if they believed Calderon had firm control of the country or if he was losing control, 67 percent said he was not in control.

“The sense is that we’re in a tunnel where it is hard to see the other side,” De las Heras said, adding that the negative outlook of Mexico’s people is, in part, due to the fact that they see few better strategies.

Read more at McClatchy →

Pope Tells Latin American Bishops:  Building Strong Families Key

Pope Tells Latin American Bishops:  Building Strong Families Key

Photo: Pope Benedict

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Made public today was a Message written by the Holy Father for a meeting of bishops who head episcopal commissions for the family and life in Latin America and the Caribbean. Their meeting is taking place in Bogota, Colombia, from March 28 to April 1 under the presidency of Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

“As I reiterated during the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean”, the Pope writes, “the family is the value the people of those noble lands prize most highly. For this reason, the pastoral care of families has an important place in the evangelising activity of each one of the particular Churches, promoting a culture of life and working to ensure the rights of families are recognised and respected”.

“Nonetheless, we sorrowfully note that families are increasingly suffering from adverse situations brought about by rapid cultural changes and social instability, by migratory flows, by poverty, by education programmes which trivialise sexuality and by false ideologies. We cannot remain indifferent before such challenges”.

Benedict XVI assures the prelates that “no effort is in vain if it helps to ensure that each family, founded on the indissoluble bond between a man and a woman, carries out its mission as a living cell of society, seedbed of virtues, school of constructive and peaceful coexistence, instrument of harmony and a privileged area in which, with joy and responsibility, human life is welcomed and protected, from beginning to natural end”.

After then highlighting how the continental mission promoted during the fifth general conference in Aparecida, Brazil, “will serve to launch pastoral care of marriage and the family in the beloved countries of Latin America and the Caribbean”, the Pope affirms that “the Church puts her trust in Christian families, calling them to play a role in evangelisation and the apostolate, and inviting them to an awareness of their valuable mission in the world”.

He also encourages participants in the Bogota meeting to develop “the broad pastoral guidelines laid down by the bishops gathered in Aparecida, thus helping families to experience a profound meeting with Christ by listening to His Word, by prayer, sacramental life and the exercise of charity. In this way you will help the family to practice a solid spirituality which fosters in all its members a firm aspiration to sanctity, unafraid to express the beauty of exalted ideals and the ethical and moral requirements of life in Christ”.

The Holy Father concludes by expressing his “affection and solidarity to all the families of Latin America and the Caribbean, especially those experiencing difficult situations”.

Read more at Vatican News →

Gibson Guitars Launches Official Spanish Language Website

Gibson Guitars Launches Official Spanish Language Website

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GibsonGuitar.es includes daily updates on featured products, interviews, news, contests and all in Spanish.

Gibson made an official announcement on their webpage: They are launching a website dedicated to their Spanish speaking fans.

“GibsonGuitar.es already features exclusive interviews with a variety of Latin and international stars, including the Puerto Rican Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Kany Garcia; Pablo Hurtado, guitar player and producer for the acclaimed Mexican band Camila; Carlos Leongómez, guitar leader of Don Tetto, one of the most promising new acts in Latin America; The Pinker Tones from Barcelona; the legendary guitar player Manuel Cabezalí  from Spain; and Tommy Torres, renowned songwriter and producer. These are just a few of the musicians from Latin America and Spain who are now communicating directly to their fans through Gibson’s Spanish-language website. Some of these interviews have been conducted by the fans themselves, who sent their questions via Facebook and Twitter.”

The Spanish Gibson site is not just an online store for Mariachis to get their gear; the site’s web-design is as elegant as a Gibson instrument, and the information within is concise, informative, entertaining and eloquently written.

In fact, an article inside, penned by Kiko Jones initiated a debate of sorts that you’re welcome to participate in, just leave your comments and don’t forget to visit Gibson Guitar.es to get the latest on the Guitar World, in Spanish.

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Man Guilty of Harboring 100 Illegal Aliens for His Mexican Restaurants & Paying Low Wages

A man from Mexico pleaded guilty on Tuesday to harboring as many as 100 illegal aliens for commercial advantage. The plea was announced by U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr., Western District of New York. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Erie County Sheriff’s Department.

Simon Banda-Mireles, also known as Jorge DeLarco, 50, a native and citizen of Mexico, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski, who is handling the prosecution, stated that the defendant, who at one time owned and operated several Mexican restaurants in western New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, admitted to employing and harboring between 25 and 100 illegal aliens in those businesses between 2006 and 2008. Banda-Mireles further admitted that he paid those employee substandard wages and thereby gained a commercial advantage over other restaurants who paid workers at least minimum wage.

As part of his plea agreement, Banda-Mireles, who entered the United States illegally using an assumed identity of Jorge DeLarco, agreed to forfeit cash and other assets seized when he and 10 of his managers were arrested in April 2008, in connection with this case. Six of Banda-Mireles’s managers have been convicted; four others are scheduled to go to trial in May.

“Our office will continue to actively and vigorously enforce immigration laws,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “This case should serve as a warning for anyone seeking to exploit any individuals for commercial profit, especially vulnerable persons such as undocumented aliens.”
“Today’s guilty plea of the principal target of this investigation is an outstanding example of the ICE worksite enforcement strategy which focuses on criminal aliens and employers who knowingly hire illegal workers,” said Lev Kubiak, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Buffalo. “ICE will use all of our resources to target criminal enterprises that break the law, exploit workers, and gain an unfair advantage over businesses which chose to operate within the law.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chicago Streets Scene of Mayhem with Street Shootings Resulting in Bus Crash, 11 Injured

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The crime ridden neighborhood of Englewood that is not easily shocked was taken back by the bold actions of two gunmen strolled the streets then opened fire at another vehicle causing a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus to crash, injuring 11 people.

The incident occurred at 9:30 a.m. at 75th Street and Vincennes Ave. when two unidentified gun man got out of a vehicle to shoot at another vehicle, as they were following that vehicle on foot.  They peppered the streets with gun shots at times shooting randomly in the open air with what some witnesses describe as an Uzi.

As the vehicle attempted to flee it crashed into a CTA bus causing it to crash into a light pole.  Of the eleven people injured two were bystanders that were standing outside a local Englewood restaurant.

Two people were reported in serious-to-critical condition and 9 others were sent to local Chicago hospitals in fair condition.  Somehow in all the mayhem the two gunmen made their escape.

 

Read more at Wire Update →

EPA Releases U.S. - Mexico Border Environmental and Health Report

EPA Releases U.S. - Mexico Border Environmental and Health Report

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mexico’s Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment just released the Border 2012 Accomplishment Report for 2010. The report highlights projects taking place within border communities through the Border 2012 program that ensures the protection of people’s health. The bi-national program focuses on cleaning the air, providing safe drinking water, reducing the risk of exposure to hazardous waste, and ensuring emergency preparedness along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The Border 2012 Program showcases what two neighboring countries can do when they have a shared goal to protect health and clean up the environment. This program continues to be a model of collaboration and this report highlights what can be accomplished when we work together for one mission,” said Michelle DePass, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of International and Tribal Affairs. “As the national program coordinator, I am glad to collaborate with our state and local government partners, U.S. tribal nations and Mexican indigenous communities, and other stakeholders as we work to improve public health and the environment in our border communities.”

Some of the highlights include:

· Bi-national watershed awareness: “Dia del Rio” is an initiative to restore bi-national community awareness and public participation in the Colorado-Rio Grande watershed. More than 25,000 participants from the U.S. and Mexico participated in river cleanups, tree plantings, art exhibits and educational talks.

· Partnering with academia for solutions towards improving air quality: Through Border 2012, the University of Texas at El Paso examined options in bi-national traffic flow at the Bridge of Americas in order to determine the impact on air quality and pollution exposure.

· Engaging industry to recycle obsolete electronics: Through project leadership and public engagement at the local level, this Border 2012 effort to begin programs on recycling obsolete electronics has led to additional partnerships with bi-national universities and further expansion.

· Pesticide collection through bi-national state-level partnerships: More than 56,460 pounds of unused liquid and solid agricultural pesticides were collected through cooperation between state and federal agricultural agencies.

· Capacity development through tri-national tribal partnerships: Through cooperation of the Tohono O’odham Nation Office of Environmental Protection, the Border Environment Cooperation. Commission and Border 2012, the San Francisquito community was able to access clean drinking water.

Border 2012 is a U.S.-Mexico program that protects people’s health and the environment for 10 states on both sides of the 2,000-mile border, including 26 U.S. tribes and seven groups of Mexican indigenous people. The Border 2012 program continues to be a model of cooperation and collaboration between neighboring nations and continues to achieve tangible, on-the-ground health and environmental results within U.S.-Mexico border communities.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Leaders Urge Sen. Reid to Defund Gainful Employment Rule

Hispanic Leaders Urge Sen. Reid to Defund Gainful Employment Rule

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MANA, A National Latina Organization, joined with leading Hispanic organizations and concerned state legislators in urging Senator Reid (D-NV) to stand as a leader for Latinos and fight to defund the Department of Education’s controversial “Gainful Employment” rule. The Latino Coalition, the Hispanic Leadership Fund and two state legislators, Representative Pedro Marin (GA-96) and Assemblywoman Lucy Flores (NV-28), expressed their concerns for the rule in a letter that encouraged Senator Reid to follow the lead of the House of Representatives and pass an amendment similar to the version passed by the House.

In February, Representatives John Kline (MN-2), Virginia Foxx (NC-5), Alcee Hastings (FL-23) and Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4) sponsored an amendment to defund Gainful Employment that was supported by eight members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus: Reps. Baca (CA-43), Cardoza (CA-18), Costa (CA-18), Cuellar (TX-28), Pastor (AZ-04), Reyes (TX-16), Serrano (NY-16), and Sires (NJ-13).

In the letter to Senator Reid, MANA President and CEO Alma Morales Riojas raises the concern that Gainful Employment will limit students’ options to pursue a degree in higher education:
“We feel that this rule is too broad; rather than protect students, it’s going to take valuable and essential programs away from students who depend on them. Where else are our students going to turn: to community colleges that are over burdened and over capacity; or traditional universities to study history or philosophy? No! What these students want and need is to learn skills that will help them get meaningful jobs that help them get on track to lifetime careers.” 

MANA has spoken in opposition of the proposed rule, which was written with the good intention of helping students who attend career colleges from taking on too much debt, but in reality will deny students access to financial aid to attend proprietary colleges based on an arbitrary loan debt-to-income ratio. Defunding the implementation of the rule will ensure that access is not restricted for Hispanic, African American, women and other students needing financial aid to invest in their futures and subsequently on the future of our nation.

About MANA

MANA, A National Latina Organization, is a nonprofit advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. With chapters across the country, it is the oldest national Latina membership organization in the United States. MANA, whose mission is to empower Latinas through leadership development, community service, and advocacy, envisions a national community of informed Latina activists working to improve the quality of life for all Hispanics. MANA also has the only national Latina mentoring program for girls 11 to 18, known as “HERMANITAS®”.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican National Receives 70-Month Sentence for Narcotics Trafficking Conviction

Earlier this week in federal court in Albuquerque, Erik Alonzo-Martinez, 28, was sentenced to a 70-month term of imprisonment for his narcotics trafficking conviction. Alonzo-Martinez, a citizen of Mexico, will be deported after he completes his prison sentence.

United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Alonzo-Martinez and his two co-defendants, Jorge Lozoya, 26 and Alejandro Alvarado-Aleman, 27, were arrested as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and New Mexico State Police (NMSP) during which an undercover NMSP officer purchased cocaine and cocaine base, also known as crack cocaine, from Alonzo-Martinez and his co-defendants.

The three defendants were arrested on narcotics trafficking offenses on September 17, 2009 and have been in federal custody since that time. They were indicted in a five-count indictment on October 8, 2009 charging them as follows: Count 1 charged all three men with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, also known as crack cocaine; Counts 2 and 3 charged Alonzo-Martinez and Lozoya with distributing more than five grams of cocaine base on August 21, 2009 and September 3, 2009, respectively; and Counts 4 and 5 charged all three men with possession of more than five grams of cocaine base and cocaine with intent to distribute.

Alonzo-Martinez entered a guilty plea to Counts 1, 2, and 3 on October 18, 2010 under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office. In his plea agreement, Alonzo-Martinez admitted selling two ounces of cocaine and two ounces of crack cocaine to an undercover officer in exchange for $4,000 on August 21, 2009 and September 3, 2009. Alonzo-Martinez also admitted that when he and his co-defendants were arrested on September 17, 2009, they were en route to deliver another two ounces of cocaine and two ounces of cocaine base to the undercover officer. The court dismissed Counts 4 and 5 of the indictment after sentencing Alonzo-Martinez.

Co-defendant Alvarado-Aleman pled guilty to Counts 4 and 5 on August 2, 2010, and was sentenced to a 30-month term of imprisonment on February 3, 2011. Co-defendant Lozoya pled guilty to Counts 2 and 3 of the indictment on August 11, 2010, and was sentenced to a 37-month term of imprisonment on February 28, 2011. Alvarado-Aleman and Lozoya are both citizens of Mexico and each will be deported when he completes his prison sentence.

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayMarch 30, 2011