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ThursdayApril 14, 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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Justice Dept Files ADA Lawsuit Against Puerto Rico Justice Dept for Discriminatory Practices

Justice Dept Files ADA Lawsuit Against Puerto Rico Justice Dept for Discriminatory Practices

Photo: Puerto Rico and U.S. flags

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The Justice Department today filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Juan, Puerto Rico, charging the Puerto Rico Department of Justice (PRDOJ) with employment discrimination for failing to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The complaint alleges that the PRDOJ knowingly relocated an employee who uses a wheelchair to an office building that was not accessible to her.  As a result, the employee could not park her vehicle and enter the building without the assistance of others, and could not use the restroom during her work day.  After the employee filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the PRDOJ eventually relocated the employee to a more accessible office building, but continues to require her to attend long meetings on a regular basis at an inaccessible facility. 

Title I of the ADA prohibits employers, such as the PRDOJ, from discriminating against a qualified individual on the basis of disability in regard to job application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, employee compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. In addition, an employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of an employee if it would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of the employer’s business.

Read more by HS News Staff →

More Counties in Ohio Participating in ICE Program to Remove Criminal Aliens

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today began using the Secure Communities program in Crawford, Miami, Shelby and Wayne counties to help federal immigration officials identify criminal aliens in state prisons and local jails by running their fingerprints against federal immigration databases when they are booked into the system.

“Secure Communities enhances public safety by enabling ICE to identify and remove criminal aliens more efficiently and effectively from the United States,” said Secure Communities Acting Assistant Director Marc Rapp. “As we expand ICE’s use of biometric information sharing nationwide, we are helping to keep communities safe and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.”

With the expansion of Secure Communities to these four counties, ICE is using this capability in 60 Ohio jurisdictions. Across the country, ICE is using this capability in 1,188 jurisdictions in 41 states. Since ICE began using this enhanced information sharing capability in October 2008, Secure Communities has resulted in the removal of more than 72,000 criminal aliens-more than 26,000 of whom were convicted of violent crimes, such as murder, rape, kidnapping and the sexual abuse of children. ICE continues to work with its law enforcement partners across the country to responsibly and effectively implement Secure Communities and plans to reach complete nationwide deployment by 2013.

Prior to the implementation of Secure Communities, fingerprints taken of individuals charged with a crime and booked into state or local custody were checked for criminal history information against the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) criminal history records. Once Secure Communities is activated in a jurisdiction, the fingerprints that jurisdiction submits to DOJ’s biometric system to check for criminal history records are also automatically sent to DHS’ biometric system to check against its immigration law enforcement records. When a match is discovered, ICE evaluates the specific case to determine the individual’s immigration status and takes appropriate enforcement action. ICE prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens convicted of serious crimes such as major drug offenses, murder, rape and kidnapping, as well as other threats to public safety, such as those with known gang affiliations, drunk driving arrests, or who are fugitives or frequently try to game the immigration system.

The biometric systems are maintained by DHS’s US-VISIT program and the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS).

“US VISIT is proud to support ICE by providing comprehensive, reliable information to assist in the smart and effective enforcement of our immigration laws,” said US-VISIT Director Robert Mocny. “By enhancing the interoperability of DHS’s and the FBI’s biometric systems, we are helping federal, state and local government better protect our communities and our nation.”

“Under this federal information sharing initiative, ICE will be utilizing FBI system enhancements that allow improved information sharing at the state and local law enforcement level based on positive identification of incarcerated criminal aliens,” said Daniel D. Roberts, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division. “Additionally, ICE and the FBI are working together to take advantage of the strong relationships already forged between the FBI and state and local law enforcement necessary to assist ICE in achieving its goals.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Lime Farmers Fight to Keep Business Going Despite Cartel Interference

Mexican Lime Farmers Fight to Keep Business Going Despite Cartel Interference

Photo: Mexican lime farmers atre forced to pay cartels

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Though the most devastating effect of the drug war in Mexico has been the loss of so many lives, there are many other related issues that plague the region.

In fact, local drugs traffickers have invaded the lives of lime farmers now, and require some to pay as much as 800 pesos for every truckload of the citrus they ship from the heated state of Michoacán. (800 pesos is about $66)

Due to war, bad weather, and now the constant drug battles, the price of limes at markets in Mexico City almost quadrupled in December and January. Gangs set market prices and restrict harvests to limit the supply.

“We feel like someone else controls our lives,” said Tania Tamayo. “But you have to learn to live like this.”

Tamayo is from a family of lime farmers, and though the price of the fruit has gone down in the last few months, the price of avocados has now gone up, and avocado farmers are feeling the same pinch.

TheChristian Science Monitor was reportedly told by an avocado distributor that drug traffickers have started to target Michoacán’s avocado farmers, which is driving up the prices.

At times, the drug cartels are not directly interfering with farmers’ supply, but due to the violence, border inspections are more thorough and in turn, take more time, causing trips to take longer and produce to the U.S. to decrease. “There are security costs that companies have had to absorb,” admitted Beatriz Léycegui, deputy minister at Mexico’s Economy Ministry.

As prices on various food products increase, theft is increasing as well. In fact, cargo theft increased by 50 percent between 2009 and 2010, said the director general of the National Cargo Shipping Chamber, Refugio Muñoz Lopez.

And though the violence continues, farmers and market sellers still need to make a living, and are doing what they can to hold it all together. In the end, said Tamayo, “All packing companies pay the money.”

Read more at Christian Science Monitor →

Paul McCartney’s Rio Show Sells Out in One Hour

Paul McCartney’s Rio Show Sells Out in One Hour

Photo: Paul McCartney sells out Rio show

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This morning, after one hour of being open to online buyers, the website selling the tickets informed the 45,000 seats had been purchased.

Rio de Janeiro will be the last date of the former Beatle’s Latin American tour.

It had been 21 years since the last time the artist visited Rio, he’ll be playing at the emblematic Engehnao Stadium, home of the local soccer teams Flamengo and Fulminense, who will have to find a different stadium to play their May 22nd games.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Church Condemns Ricky Martin’s “Promotion of Homosexuality”

Puerto Rican Church Condemns Ricky Martin’s “Promotion of Homosexuality”

Photo: Ricky Martin Bashed By The Church

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Cardinal Luis Aponte Martínez, from San Juan bashed the pop star in an interview with Primera Hora.

“Personally, I have admired Ricky for the great artistic gifts that the Lord has donned him with, but I beg of him, for the love of his children, for whom I imagine he wants the best, try and try to set an example to our youth of the great values we all share, besides sex. That way, he’ll be thanking the Lord for the gifts he was given,” said cardinal Luis Aponte Martínez, in an interview with Primera Hora.

At 88 years old, and with 61 years of service to the church, the only cardinal in Puerto Rico added that the church “doesn’t reject homosexuality, but the actions and conducts which go against morality.”

The cardinal’s comments come just after pastor Wanda Rolon used Facebook to present Martin with hell in a (embassy) hand basket:

“This weekend Puerto Rico will receive a man who God rescued from hell,” Rolon wrote, referring to evangelist Nicky Cruz. “On the other hand, there is another one who wants to take people to hell! RM is its ambassador.”

Martin hasn’t commented, but gay activist Julio Serrano came out to defend Martin:

“Sexual orientation is an innate characteristic of the human condition, it can not be changed, is not a behavior, not a disease, and is not synonymous with promiscuity, as Cardinal Aponte says”, Serrano said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

American Households Becoming “More Ethnically Diverse”

American Households Becoming “More Ethnically Diverse”

Photo: American households are getting smaller, growing more slowly and becoming more ethnically diverse

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According to a new report from The Nielsen Company that looks at family dynamics, media and purchasing behavior trends, American households are getting smaller, growing more slowly and becoming more ethnically diverse than at any point in history. Diversity in all its dimensions defines the emerging American Family archetype, with no single cultural, social, demographic, economic or political point of view dominating the landscape. In short, Ward and June Cleaver have left the building. The white, two-parent, “Leave It to Beaver” family unit of the 1950s has evolved into a multi-layered, multi-cultural construct dominated by older, childless households.

The report highlighted specific points on media usage and factors in demographic preferences such as income, ethnicity, and age.

  * High income families view less TV but spend more time viewing with kids, using time-shifted media four times more often than low income households. These families are also the heaviest internet users, spending 17 percent more time online than the average family.
  *The Hispanic community mobile devices serve as a main source for connectivity. They are more likely than the average household to have cell phones with Internet (55%) and video (40%) capabilities and text more than any other race or ethnicity, sending 943 texts per month. Home internet acces is a different story, with only 62 percent of Hispanic households having it in their homes. The U.S. average is 77percent.
  * African-American media habits are TV- and mobile-centric. They own four or more sets per household and spend almost 40 percent more time watching TV, especially premium cable channels, than the U.S. average. African Americans also run up more mobile voice minutes per month—1,261—than any other group.
  * Asian-Americans exhibit a huge appetite for online media, logging 80 hours on the Internet and viewing 3,600 web pages, 3.5 times more than any other ethnic group.
  * Marriage is so 20th century! In 1960, 72 percent of the adult population was married. By 2008, that number plummeted to 52 percent. The college educated have the highest marriage rates; those with a high school education or less, the lowest rates.

To view the entire report, click here.

Read more at Nielsen Wire →

Bolivia’s President Morales Plans to Expropriate All Mines

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales is set to announce on May 1st that he will be ‘dismantling the privatization model’ thereby expropriating privately owned zinc, silver and tin mines.

The Bolivian governments plans to place these mines under government control will reverse the actions of previous administrations that sold the mines to private interests.  The Corp Minera de Bolivia, known as Comibol will operate all the newly expropriated mines.

During Morales presidency several mines have already been expropriated like the Vinto tin smelter.  In 2006 he took over gas and oil refineries - all in a bid to have the government control the country’s natural resources. 

The result thus far of the left-leaning President’s expropriation activities is that foreign private investment has plummeted by 69% from $865 million to $271 million. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Did You Know INS No Longer Exists? Thousands Doing Internet Search Don’t

Did You Know INS No Longer Exists? Thousands Doing Internet Search Don’t

Photo: INS Badge

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Each month, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) publishes a report on traffic to their website, which includes statistics on popular search terms people use to find the site. And every month, tens of thousands of visitors search “INS” to find them. In January 2011, that monthly report registered nearly 30,000 searches for the term “INS.”

This has left USCIS, wondering why. After all, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has not existed since March 1, 2003. On that date, most INS functions were transferred from the Department of Justice to three new components within the newly formed Department of Homeland Security. USCIS is one of those three components. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are the other two.

So if INS was abolished eight years ago, why do so many people think it still exists? Why are so many people still searching for it online? Why has the word not gotten out to everyone?

Their blog team wonders if media’s portrayal of “INS Agents” is to blame.  The bottom line is they want you to tell them why here.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Marketers Beware: Not All “Hispanics” Identify Themselves as Such

Marketers Beware: Not All “Hispanics” Identify Themselves as Such

Photo: Not all "Hispanics" identify themselves as "Hispanic" or "Latino"

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The Hispanic population in the U.S. is the fastest-growing demographic, but marketers have to be careful how they address the community, because not everyone defines themselves as “Hispanic” or “Latino(a)” or by race, says a new study.

Communispace and Starcom MediaVest Group Multicultural (SMG), in the hopes of gaining insight from Hispanic consumers, have created an online insight community called “Me entiendes? (“Do you understand me?”)
– Revisiting Acculturation.”

A study from the joint venture says the old way of gaining insight using parameters like Spanish-language dominance, Spanish-language media consumption, and the amount of time a person has been in the U.S., is too narrow. They state that with parameters like these, a number of those identifying themselves as Latino are being excluded.

We sense that a primarily demographic approach was narrow, one-dimensional and irrelevant to the very audience we were trying to reach,” wrote authors Manila Austin and Josue Jansen.

The firm polled 638 self-identified female Hispanics living in the U.S., and asked them to pick one national, ethnic, or racial label to describe themselves. It was revealed that very few identified as “white,” “black,” or “brown.” Instead, most identified themselves by country of origin, then it was “Hispanic,” followed by “Latina”, then “American.” Race and religion were much further down the list.

“National pride transcends generations and remains centrally relevant even after decades of acculturation,” said the authors. “If marketers want their products and messages to resonate, then targeting and tailoring to specific countries is imperative.”

It was also reported that while the trend right now is for Latinos to retain Spanish while becoming fluent in English, 70 percent of Latino youth use “Spanglish” with family and friends. They stated that “the use of Spanish – when done well – has been shown to be very effective with this group.”

It was also found that “many Latinas actually preferred English when it came to participating in our […] survey.”

“Unless the business goal is to test Spanish-language advertising marketing initiatives, we needlessly shut out the majority of people who identify with being Latina or Hispanic when we limit our scope to those who prefer to participate in Spanish,” said the authors of the report. “In general, we are moving to a more fused culture where language is only a subset of a larger Latina cultural identity.”

Read more at Media Post →

Auteur Showdown at Cannes Sees Almodóvar as the Only Hispanic Competitor

Auteur Showdown at Cannes Sees Almodóvar as the Only Hispanic Competitor

Photo: Terrence Malick, Pedro Almodóvar and Lars Von Trier

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“La Piel Que Habito,” Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film, will compete in the Cannes Film Festival against masterpieces by giants like Terrence Malick and Lars Von Trier.

This year’s Cannes competition is expected to be a battle of titans, as submissions pair some of the best-established auteurs in contemporary cinema with some of the most important performers of today.

Picking this year’s winner is likely a very tough choice, as the list of favorites includes the genius of Lars Von Trier, directing Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Udo Kier and Keifer Sutherland in “Melancholia,” a film about the end of the world written by Von Trier himself; “The Tree of Life,” written and directed by Terrence Malick, promises to be an existential piece set in the 50s, features Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, and deals with loss of innocence, the coming of age, and the meaning of life.

Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s submission to this year’s festival is the psychological thriller/horror film “La Piel Que Habito” (“The Skin I Live in), which marks the director’s reunion with Antonio Banderas. Based on Thierry Jonquet’s novel “Mygale”, it is, as put by Almodóvar “a story of terrible vengeance, with a very diabolical character (Banderas),” a plastic surgeon on the hunt for the men who raped his daughter.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Study: HIspanic Children Learn Inactive Lifestyles from Parents at Young Age

Study: HIspanic Children Learn Inactive Lifestyles from Parents at Young Age

Photo: Inactive overweight parents = inactive overweight children

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“Lead by example.” A new study is showing that Hispanic children are following in their parents’ healthy (or unhealthy) footsteps.

The study, published in Pediatrics this week, stated that “Hispanic parents play a critical role in setting physical activity patterns in their children.” It noted that compared to non-Hispanic white children, Hispanic children between the ages of 6 and 17 are “much more likely to be physically inactive. I stated that 22.5 percent of immigrants Hispanic children, 17.2 percent of U.S.-born Hispanic kids with immigrant parents, and 14.5 percent of U.S.-born Hispanic children with a single immigrant parents are considered sedentary, inactive. Comparatively, non-Hispanic whites had an inactivity rate of 9.5 percent.

Researchers at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville got 85 Hispanic parents and 80 of their preschool-aged children to participate in a study to determine if habits of inactivity are learned at home at an early age. The sedentary study required all of them to wear a small device that measured how often and how long each spent doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

The researchers found the results to be extreme.

“For parents, the near-perfect lack of vigorous activity is essentially a constant,” they wrote. According to the data, the average amount of waking hours the children spent inactive was 69.8 percent, while parents spent 82 percent of their time in sedentary behaviors.

The study concluded: “…parental activity levels are a powerful explanation of preschool-aged child activity levels, except for vigorous activity, which children do on their own without parental participation. Hispanic parents play a critical role in setting physical activity patterns in their children.”

Today, about 30 percent of all Mexican-American children in the U.S. between the ages of two and five are overweight or obese, which is significantly higher than the general population at 24.5 percent.

The authors stated that the “figures should not be taken lightly,” as those who are overweight and obese by the time they enter preschool tend to retain that status as they get older.

Read more at Pediatrics →

50 Years Later, Congress Finally Honors Bay of Pigs Vets (VIDEO)

50 Years Later, Congress Finally Honors Bay of Pigs Vets (VIDEO)

Photo: Congress Members Honor Bay of Pigs Veterans

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Five decades after these brave Cuban men volunteered to participate in what turned out to be a giant blunder, Congress has decided to honor their courage.

“Though the operation was not successful, the dedication and commitment that these brave individuals illustrated during the conflict was exceptional,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said on the House floor. “The men who fought courageously on that historic day came from many backgrounds, but all cared for the freedom and liberty of Cuba.”

These men, survivors of the 2506th brigade are an example of true courage. Despite finding themselves waging a war against a local army 50 times their size, they did not lost their resolve for even a second. Today, 50 years later, they still dream of a democratic Cuba.

“I never have lost my hope, not at all,” said 75-year-old vet Jorge Gutierrez-Izaguirre. “That’s the last thing they can take away.”

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hardest Working People on the Planet:  Mexicans in Mexico

Hardest Working People on the Planet:  Mexicans in Mexico

Photo: Mexicans Work Most Hours

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Mexicans work longer days than anyone else in the Organizations for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, devoting 10 hours to paid and unpaid work, such as cleaning or cooking at home. Belgians work the least, at 7 hours, compared with an OECD average of 8 hours a day.

These are among the insights in the latest edition of Society at a Glance, which gives an overview of social trends and policy developments in OECD countries. Using indicators taken from OECD databases and other sources, it shows how societies are changing over time and compared with other countries.

Most unpaid work is housework. Mexicans do the most, at more than 3 hours per day, and Koreans the least, at 1 hour and 19 minutes. Much of this time is spent cooking. Americans spend the least time cooking each day (30 minutes) and Turks the most in the OECD (74 minutes). Most people spend around 50 minutes a day cooking.

Shopping also makes up a big part of unpaid work. Most people in OECD countries spend 23 minutes a day shopping, with the French spending the most (32 minutes) and the Koreans the least (13 minutes).

The report also attempts to estimate how much unpaid work is worth as a percentage of GDP for the 25 OECD countries for which data are available. It finds that the value of unpaid work is considerable, equivalent to about one-third of GDP in OECD countries, ranging from a low of 19% in Korea to a high of 53% in Portugal.

Other social indicators documented in the report include fertility rates, education and health spending, inequality, migration, tolerance and trust.
Image

Read more at OECD →

Teacher Holds Mock Slave Auction in Virginia, Parents Shocked

Teacher Holds Mock Slave Auction in Virginia, Parents Shocked

Photo: Jessica Boyle (second from the left) with other Sewell Point 4th grade teachers

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A teacher in Virginia is in hot water with parents after her lesson plan on the Civil War included a mock slave trade.

Jessica Boyle, a fourth grade teacher, ordered the class’ black and mixed race children to stand on one side of the class room, and had the white students on the other side. The white students then took turns buying the other students.

Shortly after parents learned of the lesson, the school, Sewells Point Elementary, was flooded with complaints. Principal Mary B. Wrushen wrote parents that Boyle had indeed gone too far.

Image“The lesson could have been thought through more carefully, as to not offend her students or put them in an uncomfortable situation,” Wrushen wrote.

The “slave auction” took place at the school named after one of the Civil War’s earliest battles at Sewells Point. The controversial lesson came less than two weeks before the 150th anniversary of the conflict.

Elizabeth Thiel Mather, spokeswoman for Norfolk public schools, said Boyle “has not conducted a mock slave auction in class before,” and that “appropriate personnel action is being taken.”

Boyle has worked at Sewell Point for six years.

Read more at The Washington Post →

Federal Court Decision Protects H-1B Visa Employees from Wrongful Arrest

A recent ruling from a federal judge in Connecticut confirmed that—as the American Immigration Council (AIC) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) argued in an amicus brief—the government may not arrest H-1B employees for whom timely-filed extension applications remain pending.

The H-1B Visa allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.

The decision in El Badrawi v. United States, by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall, recognized that a federal regulation allows H-1B employees to continue working for 240 days pending the adjudication of their extension applications.

Permitting the initiation of removal proceedings during this period would be unfair to employees and employers alike, according to the decision. 

The plaintiff, a Lebanese national, was gainfully employed as a medical researcher when his employer requested an H-1B extension in early 2004, more than a month before his H-1B status expired. Though his employer paid a $1,000 fee for premium processing of the application, the government never adjudicated it and refused to respond to requests for information.  Nearly seven months after the request was filed, immigration agents arrested the plaintiff for allegedly “overstaying” his initial period of admission.  He was placed in removal proceedings and detained for nearly two months.

In her decision, Judge Hall said the AIC-AILA brief “highlights the substantial interest that employers have in the administration of the H-1B visa program, the lack of notice provided by the regulation at issue, and the hardship that the government’s proposed interpretation would impose upon them.”

Read more at American Immigration Council →

Owl Kicking Panamanian Fined for Kicking Opponent (VIDEO)

Owl Kicking Panamanian Fined for Kicking Opponent  (VIDEO)

Photo: Luis Moreno Kicking Andrés Escobar

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Luis Moreno seems to get a kick out of kicking; an owl, an opponent…what’s next, the ball for a change?

The cleat-slinging Moreno, a defenseman for the Deportivo Pereira was fined with $624,855 Colombian pesos (Just under US$350) for kicking Deportivo Cali’s Andrés Escobar in the abdomen while he was in the ground.

“That one is a bandit, disguised as a soccer player,” said a Colombian live TV commentator not once but twice, after seeing the foul. 

In addition to the fine, Moreno has been sanctioned, and won’t be able to play the next seven games.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish & English Speaking Hispanics Dine Out Often, Go For Different Reasons

Hispanics now make up 16 percent of the U.S. population based on the 2010 U.S. Census, and are an increasingly important customer base for the foodservice industry in light of the some 9.8 billion restaurant visits they make each year, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. How and when Hispanics use restaurants differs depending on their primary language, whether English-speaking or Spanish-speaking, recent NPDfoodservice market research finds.

According to a test study NPD conducted to determine the differences in restaurant usage between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking Hispanics, Spanish-speaking Hispanics are much more likely to depend on restaurants for morning meals and snacks than English-speaking Hispanics and non-Hispanics.

Among restaurant visits made by Spanish-speaking Hispanics, 31 percent occur at the morning meal and 22 percent occur at the afternoon or evening snack daypart. Meanwhile, for both non-Hispanics and English-speaking Hispanics, 18 percent of visits occur at the morning meal and 15 percent occur at the afternoon or evening snack.

When visiting restaurants, Hispanics are much more likely to have children with them than non-Hispanics. NPD finds that more than half of restaurant visits from Spanish-dominant Hispanics and a third of visits from English-speaking Hispanics include parties with children. In contrast, just 29 percent of visits by non-Hispanics include parties with children.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The Number of Minorities in Newsroom Continues to Decline

The Number of Minorities in Newsroom Continues to Decline

Photo: Former CNN Anchor Rick Sanchez

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American newspapers showed a very slim increase in newsroom employees last year, finally halting a three-year exodus of journalists.

The percentage of minorities in newsrooms totaled 12.79 percent, a decline of .47 percentage points from a year ago, according to the American Society of News Editors (ASNE), which has conducted a census of professional full-time journalists since 1978.

This is the third consecutive year that the percentage of African-American, Asian, Latino, and Native American journalists has declined in U.S. newsrooms.

The number of professional journalists rose from an estimated 41,500 in 2009 to 41,600 in 2010, according to ASNE’s most recently completed census of online and traditional newspapers. American daily newspapers lost 13,500 newsroom jobs from 2007 to 2010.
In the most recent ASNE census, minority journalists declined from 5,500 to 5,300.

“At a time when the U.S. Census shows that minorities are 36 percent of the U.S. population, newsrooms are going in the opposite direction. This is an accuracy and credibility issue for our newsrooms,” said Milton Coleman, ASNE president.

ASNE also surveyed the staffs at 61 online only newspapers. Fifty percent returned their survey forms, compared to more than 59 percent response rate from 1,389 daily newspapers.

Highlights of the 2011 Survey

Supervisors:  Minorities account for 11 percent of all supervisors in newsrooms, which remains virtually unchanged for the past four years. Of all minorities, 22 percent are supervisors.

Newspapers with no minorities:  441 newspapers responding to the ASNE census had no minorities on their full-time staff. This number has been growing since 2006.

Where do minorities work:  Sixty percent of minorities work at newspapers with circulations exceeding 100,000. Of minority journalists, 19 percent work at newspapers with greater than 500,000 circulation, 14 percent at 250,001 to 500,000 circulation papers; and 27 percent at 100,001 to 250,000 circulation papers.

Read more at American Society of News Editors →

BREAKING NEWS:  16 Mexican Police Officers Arrested in Mass-Grave Killings

BREAKING NEWS:  16 Mexican Police Officers Arrested in Mass-Grave Killings

Photo: Body recovery from mass graves in Tamaulipas

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Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office is reporting that it has arrested 16 municipal police officers from San Fernando, Tamaulipas in connection with the slew of mass graves they have been finding since last week, with approximately 126 bodies – other reports put the victim count at 140.

According to Mexican authorities these officers were providing protection to the vicious Zeta drug cartel in San Fernando and covered up the massacres.  It is believed that the Zeta’s or their henchmen kidnapped many people off of local buses they stopped trying in hopes of extracting ransom.  The kidnappings started in early March and when police went to investigate they found numerous mass graves containing many bodies within each of the graves. 

The kidnappings occurred close to San Fernando, which is 80 miles south of Brownsville, Texas.  The kidnapped victims were taken to a ranch where they were tortured and eventually killed if ransom was not forthcoming, according to reports. 

Read more at The Monitor →

Fired Employees say Chipotle Ignored Immigration Issues

Fired Employees say Chipotle Ignored Immigration Issues

Photo: Chipotle Mexican Grill

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Undocumented immigrants who were working at Chipotle Mexican Grill say management-ignored signs that called workers immigration status into question.

“They know we’re hard workers and that we are going to do the job the way they want, so they will keep it quiet,” said Jose, 45, an undocumented Minnesota worker who was fired after nearly five years at Chipotle. He asked not to be identified because he has a job at another restaurant.

One employee claims to have been hired twice-using false social security numbers. The second hire came after the employee told her bosses she needed to change her social security because it belonged to someone else.

Illegal immigrants are vital to the work force in U.S. restaurants: estimates of the percentage of illegal workers in the food service industry range from around 10% to as much as 40%. While many restaurants rely on the undocumented, Chipotle was the highest profile company caught when immigration enforcement strategy switched to cracking down on employers rather than workers in 2009.

Read more at Reuters →

ICE Programs to Identify & Remove Criminal Aliens Spreading in Michigan

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today began using the Secure Communities program in seven Michigan counties including Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Muskegon and Ottawa to help federal immigration officials identify criminal aliens in state prisons and local jails by running their fingerprints against federal immigration databases when they are booked into the system.

“Secure Communities enhances public safety by enabling ICE to identify and remove criminal aliens more efficiently and effectively from the United States,” said Secure Communities Acting Assistant Director Marc Rapp. “As we expand ICE’s use of biometric information sharing nationwide, we are helping to keep communities safe and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.”

With the expansion of Secure Communities to Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Muskegon and Ottawa counties, ICE is using this capability in 14 Mich. jurisdictions. Across the country, ICE is using this capability in 1,188 jurisdictions in 41 states. Since ICE began using this enhanced information sharing capability in October 2008, Secure Communities has resulted in the removal of more than 72,000 criminal aliens-more than 26,000 of whom were convicted of violent crimes, such as murder, rape, kidnapping and the sexual abuse of children. ICE continues to work with its law enforcement partners across the country to responsibly and effectively implement Secure Communities and plans to reach complete nationwide deployment by 2013.

Prior to the implementation of Secure Communities, fingerprints taken of individuals charged with a crime and booked into state or local custody were checked for criminal history information against the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) criminal history records. Once Secure Communities is activated in a jurisdiction, the fingerprints that jurisdiction submits to DOJ’s biometric system to check for criminal history records are also automatically sent to DHS’ biometric system to check against its immigration law enforcement records. When a match is discovered, ICE evaluates the specific case to determine the individual’s immigration status and takes appropriate enforcement action. ICE prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens convicted of serious crimes such as major drug offenses, murder, rape and kidnapping, as well as other threats to public safety, such as those with known gang affiliations, drunk driving arrests, or who are fugitives or frequently try to game the immigration system.

The biometric systems are maintained by DHS’s US-VISIT program and the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS).

“Under this federal information sharing initiative, ICE will be utilizing FBI system enhancements that allow improved information sharing at the state and local law enforcement level based on positive identification of incarcerated criminal aliens,” said Daniel D. Roberts, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division. “Additionally, ICE and the FBI are working together to take advantage of the strong relationships already forged between the FBI and state and local law enforcement necessary to assist ICE in achieving its goals.”

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ThursdayApril 14, 2011