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SaturdayApril 2, 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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Argentinean Women Saves Shelter for Abandoned Animals

Argentinean Women Saves Shelter for Abandoned Animals

Photo: Abandoned Horses

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Ranches have not been spared from the tidal wave of foreclosures. Horses, pigs, goats and dozens of other animals have been abandoned on ranches across California’s Inland Empire, after their owners lost their property in the housing crisis.

Animal shelters like Meadowbrook Animal Sanctuary & Haven (MASH) now have more than 50 horses, many of them rescued from abandoned pastures, where their former owners left them tied up, starving and often with infected wounds.

The Meadowbrook animal shelter, which operates on a volunteer basis, nearly went into foreclosure itself. But thanks to several anonymous donations, it was able to stay open.

“There was an Argentine woman who lives in Los Angeles who gave us the largest donation. Without her, none of this would have been possible,” says Montoya-May.

Beyond revealing that the woman grew up on a ranch in Argentina, is over 70 years old and loves animals, the identity of the donor is unknown.

The woman preferred to remain anonymous, even though she contributed more than $200,000 to the animal shelter.

“Hispanics have been key to this center. Another Latina, Irma Flores, talked with politicians and activists and managed to stop the bank from foreclosing on the shelter.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Intern Daniel Hernandez Speaking to Rep. Gabby Giffords on Phone

Intern Daniel Hernandez Speaking to Rep. Gabby Giffords on Phone

Photo: Daniel Hernandez, Rep Gabby Giffords

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Intern Daniel Hernandez, who applied pressure to the wound on Giffords’ forehead and pulled her into his lap, holding her upright so she would not choke on her own blood, said he has had “short interactions and long interactions” on the phone with her.

His most recent phone conversation with her was on Wednesday, he said. “It’s great hearing her voice,” said the 21-year-old intern, who was on his fifth day as an aide to Giffords when the shooting occurred.

He would not reveal the details of their discussions out of respect for Giffords’ privacy, but said, “Pretty soon you will be able to ask her yourself because she’s just doing extremely well and recovering very quickly.”

Daniel Hernandez wears a gift from Gabrielle Giffords Mother gave him, promising to keep it on until his boss is well enough to return to work. The medallion is the virgin of Guadalupe that Gabby Gifford had given to her mother. Interesting considering Giffords is Jewish.

Giffords was critically wounded by a gunshot to the head 12 weeks ago during a shooting rampage in Tucson. Six people died and 12 other people were wounded.

Her doctors say she is making significant advances in speech, motor skills and life skills.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Ramirez Shines on Grey’s Anatomy Musical (VIDEO)

Ramirez Shines on Grey’s Anatomy Musical (VIDEO)

Photo: Sara Ramirez on Grey's Anatomy

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Sara Ramirez—better known as Dr. Callie Torres on TV’s Grey’s Anatomy—soared in a special ‘musical’ episode of the Emmy Award winning ABC drama Thursday night.

Ramirez—an accomplished singer who won a Tony in 2005 for her show-stopping role as the Lady of the Lake in Broadway’s hilarious Spamalot—literally took center stage in the episode titled “Song Beneath the Song.”

The episode prominently featured the very talented Ramirez, but several castmates also sang, including Broadway vet Chandra (Dr. Miranda Bailey) Wilson, Kevin (Dr. Owen Hunt) McKidd, Chyler (Dr. Lexie Grey) Leigh, and Daniel (Nurse Eli) Sunjata.

(‘Grey’s’ leads including Patrick Dempsey, Jesse Williams, and Sandra Oh apparently opted not to belt out a tune).

The episode began with an extremely graphic scene of pregnant Callie near death - and having an out-of-body experience—after a horrifying car accident, shortly after her lover, Arizona Roberts (played by Jessica Chapsaw) proposes.

The episode ends with Callie, who’s premature baby survives an early birth waking up to accept Arizona’s proposal.

While Ramirez is getting good reviews for her performance, overall reviews for the show have been mixed.

Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Petition on Anti-Immigrant Laws in GA! Please sign and spread!

Petition on Anti-Immigrant Laws in GA! Please sign and spread!

Photo: anti-immigrant Arizona-style laws, HB 87 and SB 40

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Please sign and pass the word!!!! 

We need 10,000 signatures by NEXT WEEK!

Por favor firma y pasa la voz!!! 
Necesitamos 10,000 firmas para la próxima semana.

Please take 2 minutes to sign change.org’s petition against anti-immigrant Arizona-style laws, HB 87 and SB 40.  It is our first on line petition that we are issuing and we need thousands of people to sign.

Por favor toma 2 minutos de tu tiempo y firma la petición en change.org en CONTRA DE LAS LEYES ANTI-INMIGRANTES ESTILO ARIZONA, HB87 y la SB40. 
Esta es nuestra primera petición y necesitamos miles de personas firmando.

Haz click en el LINK (abajo)

And then, please take 5 minutes to PROMOTE AND SPREAD THE WORD to your friends, networks, listserves and all over facebook, twitter, and more.

Y tómate otros 5 minutos para promover y correr la voz entre tus amigos y redes de facebook, twitter etc.


Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights

We are at a critical moment and we need your help. Georgia - with a long history of oppression and an equally long history of fierce resistance - is on the brink of implementing Arizona-style anti-immigrant legislation.

These bills have already passed out of the state House of Representatives (as HB 87) and state Senate (as SB 40). As the bills inch closer to reality, we must call on Georgia’s governor, Nathan Deal, to commit to veto them.

The bills would drive immigrant workers, families, and businesses out of the state. They would encourage racial profiling and turn Georgia back into a “show me your papers” state, telling police to check on immigration status during routine legal “stops.” The bills would also force private employers to use the flawed E-Verify database.

Arizona’s SB 1070 has already cost the state millions of dollars in lost tourism and litigation. With the economy as it is, Georgia cannot afford these laws morally or economically.

Sign the petition to urge Governor Nathan Deal to commit to veto these destructive, hate-filled bills if they land on his desk.


For more information or to get more involved, visit www.altogeorgia.org.

Petition Letter

Read more by HS News Staff →

“Border Security First” Advocates Block Real Immigration Reform

“Border Security First” Advocates Block Real Immigration Reform

Photo: Border fence

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The “border security first” mantra is a popular refrain in Congress these days. The Republican-led House of Representatives has held numerous border-focused hearings and many more are expected. House Republicans are expected to introduce legislation soon that would require the Department of Homeland Security to provide a five-year plan to establish operational border control within 180 days. For their part, a number of Republican senators have flatly declared immigration reform dead until the border is secured.

This singular focus on border security is shortsighted. Border security is a concern shared on both sides of the aisle and by all Americans. But the current statutory definition of operational control—prevention of “all unlawful entries into the United States”—is unattainable. And this myopic focus also obscures the tremendous strides toward enhanced control made by the DHS under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.

More importantly, by focusing solely on border security and enforcement, lawmakers are ignoring the devastating impact on workers, families, and communities that results from an enforcement-only policy. Enforcement on top of a broken system creates more dysfunction and more suffering without solving the problem. Only a comprehensive approach to immigration reform can achieve real solutions.

Proponents of the “border security first” agenda are hindering solutions that would enhance security while restoring the rule of law and our values. According to a new report from the Center for American Progress, the main arguments by border security first proponents rely on three assumptions: that “total control” of the border is realistic and achievable; the American public will only support immigration reform once the borders are fully secured; and that the current administration is not committed to border security.

These assumptions are false.

Congress’s current definition of “operational control” demands total control of every inch of our northern and southern borders, and our coastlines. But evidence and common sense confirm what every leading expert says: Absolute control is impossible. Instead, an effective border security policy should facilitate the flow of goods and people while identifying and stopping those who mean to do us harm. It should maximize control and minimize risks in a constantly changing environment. And effective risk management must include reforms to how we regulate the flow of legitimate entrants into the United States while dealing with the current undocumented population.

Polls show Americans prefer a pragmatic approach to fixing the broken immigration system, even in highly conservative states. For instance, in Idaho, 73 percent of the population registered support for a program enabling undocumented immigrants to permanently remain in the United States. And Utah recently passed legislation that mixes harsh Arizona-style enforcement measures with measures that would allow the state’s undocumented population to seek legal status. Public opinion research consistently demonstrates the public’s desire for a “both-and” approach, enforcement plus reform.

Moreover, while conservative pundits claim that immigration and border enforcement is recklessly lax under the Obama administration, evidence shows that the administration’s enforcement efforts actually exceed President George W. Bush’s. The Obama administration has deported 779,000 people over the last two years, which is 18 percent more than the Bush administration deported in its last two years. The Secure Communities Initiative—a controversial strategy that aims to enhance identification methods for criminal aliens—and the 287(g) program deputizing certain local law enforcement officers have both expanded dramatically under the current administration.

In addition, the DHS has already met or surpassed the benchmarks border first proponents outlined in a failed 2007 bill that called for certain enforcement levels to be satisfied before continuing with immigration reform. We now spend $17 billion a year on border enforcement, compared to approximately $12 billion in 2007. The number of Border Patrol agents has increased tremendously and is augmented by 1,200 National Guard troops the president has deployed. The 2007 legislation called for 20,000 border patrol agents. Now there are 21,370 Border Patrol agents and more than 20,600 Customs officers stationed at ports of entry. Technology and the construction of physical barriers have fortified our borders, and identification tools for workplace enforcement have strengthened them.

Border security first proponents are preventing needed reforms to our immigration system and enhancements to our national security. The administration’s commitment to immigration and border enforcement is indisputable. The American public’s desire for realistic solutions is clear. Federal legislators can no longer reasonably hide behind their border security first calls. The only real solution to our dysfunctional immigration system is through comprehensive immigration reform.

Marshall Fitz is the Director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress. Raúl Arce-Contreras is a Press Assistant for Ethnic Media at the Center for American Progress.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Last Minute Tips for Filing Your Taxes from the IRS

Last Minute Tips for Filing Your Taxes from the IRS

Photo: IRS Tax Tips

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The deadline for filing your taxes is approaching quickly.

April 15 is usually the last day to file your taxes, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the 2011 deadline to Monday, April 18.

The extension probably brings little relief to the millions of taxpayers who always wait until the last minute, regardless of the deadline. The following tips will help you file your taxes on time and avoid mistakes.

File an extension

If you cannot file your taxes by the April 18 deadline, apply for an extension. This gives taxpayers six additional months to meet their tax obligations. It’s better to file later than to rush and file your taxes with mistakes.

Although the extension gives you more time to file your taxes, it does not mean you have more time to pay your taxes. The deadline for paying is still April 18. The IRS offers payment plans and installment agreements if you have trouble paying your taxes.

To apply for an extension, you need to fill out the form 4868 and follow the instructions.

The extension can be filed in three ways:

Electronically, on a personal computer by using the IRS’s FreeFile online service
Online or by phone, if you are able to pay part or all of your tax bill using a credit or debit card
By sending the form by traditional mail

File your taxes online

Filing your taxes online is not only secure and convenient, but it is also a good option if you don’t have enough time to find a tax preparer. The IRS has several programs to help all taxpayers file their taxes online for free.

So far, the 2011 tax season is showing a 6 percent increase in online filing as compared to 2010.

If you’re planning to file your taxes online, visit the FreeFile section on the IRS website since not all private industry software is compatible with the service.

Check the application

The rush to file your taxes on time might increase the chances of making mistakes. While tax software might detect some errors, it won’t pick up typing mistakes or other information that’s incorrectly entered.

To avoid the most common mistakes when filing your taxes, the IRS suggests the following:

Double check the information on the application and pay close attention to the math.
If you want to get your refund via direct deposit, make sure the bank or financial institution information is correct.
Don’t forget to include accompanying documents such as your W-2.
Sign and date your tax return.

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

Read more by HS News Staff →

Remarks by the President at Univision Town Hall on Latinos and Education( and more)

Remarks by the President at Univision Town Hall on Latinos and Education( and more)

Photo: President Obama, Jorge Ramos

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FACT SHEET: Winning the Future: Out-Educating Our Global Competitors by Improving Educational Opportunities and Outcomes for Hispanic Students

MR. RAMOS: Mr. President, I have the first question. As a newscaster and as an anchor, I have to ask first. And I would like to ask something that everybody wants to know. I don’t know if you can give us something about the speech you’re going to give later on for us to listen to here at Univision. And we are going through a very difficult time. We’re going through three different wars at the same time. I was looking at the education budget in the country and it amazes me that every dollar that is being spent on education we spend $10 for war and the Department of Defense. Do we need to change that? What would you do?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I just want to say, Jorge, it’s wonderful to be with Univision. It’s wonderful to be here at Bell Multicultural. (Applause.) You guys are doing outstanding work.

I also want to make a confession, and that is that although I took Spanish in high school, I’m receiving translation through this earpiece. (Laughter.) But for all the young people here, I want you guys to be studying hard because it is critical for all American students to have language skills. And I want everybody here to be working hard to make sure that you don’t just speak one language, you speak a bunch of languages. That’s a priority. (Applause.)

MR. RAMOS: Let’s talk about Libya.

THE PRESIDENT: Jorge, with respect to Libya, I am going to be addressing this issue tonight, and I’ve already discussed it on several occasions, including on your program.

Our involvement there is going to be limited both in time and in scope. But you’re absolutely right that we have a very large defense budget. Some of that is necessitated by the size of our country and the particular special role that we play around the globe. But what is true is that over the last 10 years, the defense budget was going up much more quickly than our education budget.

And we are only going to be as strong as we are here at home. If we are not strong here at home, if our economy is not growing, if our people are not getting jobs, if they are not succeeding, then we won’t be able to project military strength or any other kind of strength.

And that’s why in my 2012 budget, even though we have all these obligations—we’re still in Afghanistan; I have ended the war in Iraq, and we’ve pulled 100,000 troops out—(applause)—but we still have some commitments there—despite all that, my proposed budget still increases education spending by 10 percent, including 4 percent for non-college-related expenses. But we also increased the Pell Grant program drastically so all these outstanding young people are going to have a better chance to go to college. (Applause.)

So the larger point you’re making I think is right that we have to constantly balance our security needs with understanding that if we’re not having a strong economy, a strong workforce and a well-educated workforce, then we’re not going to be successful over the long term.

MR. RAMOS: Okay. Mr. President, one of the main problems here in the United States is that—with Hispanics especially—is that only one out of three of Hispanic students actually graduates from high school. They drop out. And Iris Mendosa, a student from this school has the first question. Iris?

Read more by HS News Staff →

“Light it up Blue” More than 200 buildings in The World will Light Up Blue For Autism Awareness Day

“Light it up Blue” More than 200 buildings in The World will Light Up Blue For Autism Awareness Day

Photo: Light up Blue For Autism Awareness

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Several buildings around the world will turn their lights blue to raise awareness for autism and to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day on Saturday, April 2.

The historical and government houses in Tucuman, Argentina, the Colpatria tower and the Mayor’s house in Colombia, the emblematic Christ the Redeemer of Corcovado, Brazil as well as the Obelisk in Buenos Aires, are just a few of the more than 200 buildings around the world that will turn on their blue lights for autism.

On December 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 62/139, declaring April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day, with the goal of bringing the world’s attention to autism, a disorder that affects tens of millions worldwide.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Top 10 Companies for Latinos- DiversityInc.

Top 10 Companies for Latinos- DiversityInc.

Photo: Top Latino Companies

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DiversityInc has conducted an analysis of top employers in the US to determine which companies are the best employers for Latino Professionals.  The list focused on recruitment, retention, and promotion of Hispanic employees.

Here are some facts about The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Latinos:

• Their workforces are on par with U.S. census percentage of Latinos (about 13 percent), but they have 7.5 percent of managers who are Latino, compared with 6.8 percent nationally. Even more important, 9 percent of management promotions on average went to Latinos at these companies
• Their boards of directors are 10.3 percent Latino, compared with 3.1 percent nationally (Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility)
• On average, 9.4 percent of their employees are members of their Latino or Hispanic employee-resource groups

No. 1 :  Colgate-Palmolive Co.

No. 2 :  Kaiser Permanente

No. 3 :  Sodexo

No. 4 : Automatic Data Processing

No. 5 : Procter & Gamble

No. 6 : AT&T

No. 7 : JCPenney

No. 8 : Deloitte

No. 9 : PG&E Corp.

No. 10 : Ernst & Young

Read more at DiversityInc →

Sofía Vergara and David Beckham Together in Diet Pecsi Ad (VIDEO)

Sofía Vergara and David Beckham Together in Diet Pecsi Ad (VIDEO)

Photo: David Beckham and Sofia Vergara on the Diet Pecsi ad set

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Watch behind the scenes footage of the shooting of the new diet Pecsi ad featuring Colombian actress Sofía Vergara, and soccer star David Beckham.

Beckham said he and his wife are huge fans of Modern Family, and also said Vergara’s sense of humor made shooting the commercial easy for him “She just mad me laugh, it was impossible not to,” said the soccer man in regards to a silly scene of Vergara with a giant hat on.

It is not the first time the pair meet, as Vergara explained “I’ve seen him at parties”. It is also not the first time Sofía works for Pecsi; A very young Sofía was the image of the cola beverage, in the campaign that made her an international star seventeen years ago. “Now I’m doing DIET Pepsi,” she said with a chuckle. 

The ad is expected to begin airing on April 16.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Man Escapes Jail Not Once but Twice When Wife Faxes in Bogus Note

Man Escapes Jail Not Once but Twice When Wife Faxes in Bogus Note

Photo: Jail escape

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Spanish police say they have arrested a man who twice escaped from custody by having his wife send fake faxes ordering his release.

Fifty-seven-year-old Jose Carlos Serna was taken into custody at his home in San Lorenzo del Escorial, a suburb north of Madrid, on Friday, police said. Serna was currently pretending to be an Italian university professor.

In December, he was in a cell at Arganda del Rey courthouse awaiting trial when officers got a fax supposedly from a regional court. It was followed up by a phone call from a female court official, corroborating the release order.

Officers tried to verify the order, but their calls went unanswered. When they received a second call confirming Serna’s release, he was freed to a waiting taxi.

Both calls came from his wife, Gema Maria Serna, whom police tracked down to a house in the northern suburb and arrested on March 3.

It was not the first time Serna used the trick on police. He escaped from Valdemoro jail in October using the same tools.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Yet Another State Leaves Immigration Enforcement Bill on Cutting Room Floor

Yet Another State Leaves Immigration Enforcement Bill on Cutting Room Floor

Photo: Immigration News Flash

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The legislative graveyard got a little bit bigger this week as lawmakers in Mississippi pronounced a series of restrictive immigration measures dead. More than 30 immigration-related bills—including an Arizona-style enforcement bill—failed to meet a legislative deadline due to disagreements over the laws’ impact on the business community.

Mississippi joins nine other states (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Virginia, Wyoming) where legislators have cut Arizona-style enforcement bills—bills that are, according to the Washington Post editorial board, causing many businesses to speak out for fear of sharing Arizona’s economic fate.

Mississippi’s legislature killed more than 30 immigration-related bills this week that would have, among other things, required people to speak English before receiving a state license, denied public benefits to the undocumented and attached an additional fee to all wire transfers going out of the country. The most controversial of the package, however, was SB 2179—Mississippi’s Arizona-style bill which would require police to investigate the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.

Although separate versions of the bill passed the state’s House and Senate earlier this year, the bill did not make it out of conference. According to the Associated Press, the House replaced language that would have allowed residents to sue cities and local law enforcement for not enforcing immigration laws with language that would impose large fines against employers who hire undocumented immigrants—language which ultimately turned out to be a deal breaker.

Bill Chandler of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance called the bill “xenophobic” and a “continuation of the kinds of things that really hold Mississippi back.” The Clarion Ledger also celebrated the defeat, acknowledging that “illegal immigration is a serious national problem,” but a problem that calls for a “national comprehensive solution, not piecemeal, punitive, ineffective state laws.”

Also this week, Georgia’s House replaced language in a Senate’s immigration bill (SB 40) with language from the House version (HB 87) which already passed the chamber. Both Arizona-style bills still need to be reconciled by the other chamber—SB 40 now goes to the House Rules Committee and HB 87 still needs a committee hearing in the Senate.

While there is support for the bill in both chambers, Georgia attorney Arturo Corso said he would like to hear the authors of the bills answer the question, “What part of economic disaster don’t you understand?” Like many in the state, Corso worries that bill “will damage the state’s economy and reputation” at a time when legislators should be working about “restor[ing] the economic vitality of Georgia.” To date, seven immigration-related bills have stalled in Georgia this session.

Although many states have dropped, stalled or killed restrictive immigration bills this year due to looming economic consequences and court challenges, they aren’t out of the woods yet. According to the Arizona Republic, there’s still time for bad ideas to be resurrected. Hopefully, legislators in states still considering restrictive measures will take Arizona’s economic lessons seriously or they, too, might find large parts of their state’s economy on the cutting room floor.

Read more at Immigration Impact →

Hugo Chávez’s Meeting in Colombia with Santos Postponed Because Chavez Can’t Find Plane Parts

Hugo Chávez’s  Meeting in Colombia with Santos Postponed Because Chavez Can’t Find Plane Parts

Photo: Chavez's Plane broke in Bolivia

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The meeting was postponed from the early morning, to 4:00 PM and then to next Saturday, because Señor Hugo’s plane broke in Bolivia, and no one can’t find the parts to fix it.

“They have spoken, and concluded that they’ll meet next Saturday, here in Cartagena, because it is uncertain if the plane will manage to take-off tonight, so as to meet tomorrow” Said María Angela Holguín, Colombia’s Foreign Relations Minister.

According to Holguín, Hugo Chavéz confimed president Juan Manuel Santos that it has not been possible to find the spare parts needed to fix the aircraft.

The Latin American leaders had planned today’s encounter to discuss bi-lateral efforts in the war against drugs, and trade relations between the two countries.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayApril 2, 2011