1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary content



TuesdayApril 19, 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.

Read More


Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Basilica Victim of Arson

Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Basilica Victim of Arson

Photo: Barcelona's Sagrada Familia Basilica Arson

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Spanish authorities are reporting that one of the country’s most favored tourist attractions, the Sagrada Familia basilica was the victim of arson.  This attack comes one week after the tabernacle and statute of Virgin Mary were destroyed by vandals in another part of the country.

There were approximately 1,500 tourists in this UNESCO world heritage site when fire and smoke was detected in the sacristy.  BBC is reporting a ‘disturbed man’ was apprehended shortly thereafter with lighters in his pocket. 

The basilica, which receives over 2 million visitors a year, was just consecrated by the Pope last November.  The basilica’s story is quite unique in that it remains under construction more than a century after architect Antoni Gaudi started it.  He lived at the church toward the end of his life working on it almost as a virtual recluse dying when a work tram ran him over.

This act of arson toward a religious building comes one week after several intruders broke into a Spanish church in Ciempozuelos destroying the tabernacle and statue of the Virgin Mary.  The church of St. Mary Magdalen is also a historic landmark of Spain.

Read more by HS News Staff →

61% of Americans Oppose Granting Automatic Citizenship to Children of Illegal Immigrants

Several Republican senators are seeking to amend the law that grants full U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants in this country, and voters strongly support such an effort.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 61% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that a child born in the United States to a woman who is here illegally should not automatically become a U.S. citizen. That’s up slightly from last August but is the highest level of support for a change in the existing law found in five years of Rasmussen Reports surveying.

Twenty-eight percent (28%) disagree and feel that children born to illegal immigrants in this country should automatically become American citizens as is currently the practice. That’s down six points from August. Another 11% are undecided.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of voters believe that before anyone receives local, state or federal government services, they should be required to prove they are legally allowed to be in the United States. Only nine percent (9%) oppose such a requirement.

Most voters continue to feel that the policies of the federal government encourage illegal immigration, but voters are now almost evenly divided over whether it’s better to let the federal government or individual states enforce immigration laws. At least one state, Arizona, has been considering a law that would deny full citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 17-18, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Read more at Rasmussen Reports →

CAUGHT ON CAMERA Chilean Soccer Player Jorge Valdivia Takes A Whiz Mid-Game! (VIDEO)

CAUGHT ON CAMERA Chilean Soccer Player Jorge Valdivia Takes A Whiz Mid-Game! (VIDEO)

Photo: Jorge Valdivia Needed to go to the loo

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

As the game was stopped for a few seconds, The Palmeiras de Brasil player decided to go do number one on the sidelines.

The soccer player known as El Mago, denies having relieved himself, and says his thigh hurt… You be the judge

Read more by HS News Staff →

Castro Steps Down from his 50-Year Reign as Leader of Cuban Communist Party

Castro Steps Down from his 50-Year Reign as Leader of Cuban Communist Party

Photo: Castro Resigns from Communist Party

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

True to his word, President Raul Castro at the Community Party conference in Cuba, promised sweeping changes and a ‘rejuvenation’ of the Communist party – and it happened.

Starting with his brother Fidel Castro announcing his resignation as leader of the Cuban Communist Party, a role he has had for over 50 years.  In addition, Raul announced sweeping changes to fiscal policy.

In addition to allowing the private sector to grow, Cubans will be allowed to buy and sell private property.  Since the Cuban Revolution people were forced to pass their homes on to relatives and realize no value on the property.

Party delegates gave their wholehearted support to this change as well as a slew of other economic changes aimed at revitalizing the island’s economy.  In total Raul Castro proposed 300 different economic proposals. 

Fidel and Raul helped create the Cuban Communist Party and have held the top two leadership positions since then. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Demi Lovato Says No More “Sonny With A Chance” for Me (VIDEO)

Demi Lovato Says No More “Sonny With A Chance” for Me (VIDEO)

Photo: Demi Lovato Leaves sonny with a Chance

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The young star, Demi Lovato, has confirmed she’ll leave the show to focus on her health, recovery and her career as a singer.

“We respect Demi’s decision to focus full-time on her music and not immediately return to her acting career,” said Disney in a statement.

“She is a talented young woman and our hearts are with her as she continues to take action to improve her health and bounce back from adversity.”

Disney will reinvent the series as a sketch comedy show called “So Random!” debuting in June.

Disney said the “Sonny” spinoff has “allowed them to save over 75 full-time jobs and of course, business for the many vendors who get work from the production.”

 

Read more at VIdeo courtesy of Enews →

U.S. and Panama Finalize Tax Information Exchange Agreement

U.S. and Panama Finalize Tax Information Exchange Agreement

Photo: U.S.-Panama Tax Agreement

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

As part of the President’s broader trade agenda, the Obama Administration has worked closely with the government of Panama to resolve outstanding issues related to the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. 

Yesterday, a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) went into effect between the United States and Panama.  The TIEA will permit the two countries to improve their tax information exchange transparency networks globally.  The Government of Panama has also taken a series of legislative and administrative actions to further strengthen its labor laws and enforcement.  The completion of action on transparency and labor clears the way for the Obama Administration to begin discussions with Members of Congress about the draft implementing bill for the Agreement. 

Panama is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, expanding 6.2 percent in 2010, with similar annual growth forecast through 2015.  The U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will support American jobs, expand markets, and enhance U.S. competitiveness by eliminating tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports and expanding trade between our two countries. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tijuana Police Officers Released For Lack of Evidence

Tijuana Police Officers Released For Lack of Evidence

Photo: Police officers from Tijuana suspected of having ties to narco traffickers

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

On July 29th, 62 active and former Tijuana police officers and Baja California agents were targeted for allegedly having ties to organized crime. Now, 8 months later, the case against most of them has fallen apart due to lack of evidence.

About 40 of the suspects, who were held at a penitentiary in the southern Mexico state of Veracruz, were ordered to be let go by the Mexican federal magistrate. Many are heading back to Tijuana.

Shortly after his release, one suspect, José Francisco Castillo Fermín, 38, said, “More than anything, I felt humiliated. They treated us like criminals. Despite his ordeal, he said he still wants his job back.

The arrests were made after an investigation by the organized crime unit of the federal Attorney General’s office, SIEDO. Recently, Mexico has been trying to clean up its corrupt police force; the country’s violence continuing to spread as the drug cartels fight for control.

The arrests and now releases of these officers is similar to those that occurred in 2009, when three dozen public officials were accused of collaborating with drug traffickers in the state of Michoacan. None were convicted, and the final suspect in that group was released last Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, it’s another example of the deficiencies of authorities in investigating and proving such serious accusations against public servants,” said Guillermo Zepeda Lecuona, a researcher at the Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara, known as Iteso.

Georgetown University professor Daniel Sabet, said that such significant cases falling apart exemplifies the need to verify information obtained from informants before any suspects are arrested.

“Rather than use information from protected witnesses and confidential informants to conduct further investigations and build a strong case against suspected officers, the informant becomes the entire case,” Sabet said.

Before arriving in Tijuana, the recently released suspects held a news conference.

Sergio Díaz Santiago, 35, who was on the police force for 12 years, said, “This was a defamation of my character.” He added, “I have never belonged to organized crimes, and I would never hurt my country. I want my good name restored.”

Unfortunately, though they were cleared, those wishing to go back to work, cannot, as Mexico’s law’s ban reinstatement of officers who have been dropped from the police force.

Read more at Sign on San Diego →

Mexico Govt. Makes History as Felipe Calderon’s Entire Cabinet Twitters

Mexico Govt. Makes History as Felipe Calderon’s Entire Cabinet Twitters

Photo: Felipe Calderon's Cabinet is On Twitter

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

History is being made in México as Twitter offers a direct line of communication between the public, and those in Public Office.

Mexico is at the forefront of connectivity in Latin America with 30.6 million Mexicans connected to the internet and the highest number of Facebook subscribers in the region.  Mexico is the first country in the world to have a President and its entire cabinet on Twitter. 

ImageA report by Maria del Carmen Cortés for El Universal titled “Timidos, muchos secretarios para expresarse en Twitter,” distinguished between the public servants who already had active accounts and significant followings on Twitter, those brand new to the platform.

“But the truth is that many of them prefer to go unnoticed, to keep quiet, not to comment on this instantaneous platform” Cortés says
“The initiative is part of a new form of communication on the part of the presidential cabinet, whose objective is to maintain direct communication with citizens.”Image

The secretary of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr. Javier Lozano—@Jlozano , a prolific twitter user, with over 37 thousand followers and more than eleven thousand tweets to his name. Lozano tweets regularly about subjects as diverse as soccer and labor reform, recommends readings, etc.

The Secretary of Public Education, Alonso Lujambio, @LujambioAlonso, often draws enthusiastic responses from his twitter followers.

The Mexican Attorney General, Marisela Morales tweeted the following, on April 13, her first and so far only tweet:

“Only With The Active Participation of Society, Will We Ever Subdue Delinquency”

Image

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pres Obama Holding Immigration Meeting to Get Ideas on Reform

Pres Obama Holding Immigration Meeting to Get Ideas on Reform

Photo: White House Meeting on Immigration

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

President Obama is holding a meeting today with various leaders to discuss how best to overhaul the country’s current immigration laws.  The afternoon meeting is said to include numerous politicians outside of Washington like NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Former Governor Arnold Scharzenegger and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

In a statement released by the White House, in the meeting they are looking for ideas on how to fix the broken immigration system.  No current senior House or Senate Republicans appear on the list, which the President claims he needs to get anything done on the issue.  The list of 19 people invited include several people from the Presidents cabinet and the White House itself, including Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

Also missing from the list is one of immigration reforms greatest supporters and amnesty proponents, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.  Just this weekend he told MSNBC that the lack of progress on the issue and the lack of action by the President is making it hard for him to support the President’s re-election bid. 

Here’s the full list of attendees, as provided by the White House:

Leith Anderson, President, National Assn. of Evangelicals
Hon. Michael Bloomberg, City of New York
William J. Bratton, Former Police Chief, City of Los Angeles and City of New York
Hon. Julian Castro, Mayor, City of San Antonio
Michael Chertoff, Former Secretary Homeland Security
Gov. John Engler, President and CEO, Business Roundtable
Hon. Eric Garcetti, City Council, President City of Los Angeles
Carlos Gutierrez, Former Secretary of Commerce
Raymond Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department
Mel Martinez, Former United States Senator/Chairman, Florida, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean JP Morgan Chase
Greg Page, Chairman and CEO, Cargill
Federico Pena, Former Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Energy
John Podesta, CEO, Center for American Progress
Charles Ramsey, Chief of Police, City of Philadelphia/President, Major City Chiefs
Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network
Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Former California Governor
Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO
John C. Wester, Bishop, Archdiocese of Salt Lake City

Read more by HS News Staff →

Inter-American Air Force Academy Creates U.S.-Latin America Partnership

Inter-American Air Force Academy Creates U.S.-Latin America Partnership

Photo: Inter-American Air Force Academy

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Established in 1943, the Inter-American Air Force Academy (IAAFA) was opened at Albrook Air Station, Panama to train Peruvian cadets. Though it has changed locations twice since then, the academy allows Air Force personnel to train officers and enlisted service members from Central and South American countries.

At any given time, the IAAFA’s 240 students, from as many as 22 countries, are enrolled in 37 professional military education and technical courses – each class taught in Spanish.

Lt. Col. Reyes Colon, commandant of IAAFA, and other officials see the academy a way to establish relationships with foreign air forces.

“Building partnerships, that’s what we’re all about. We get these countries together through education and training,” said Colon. “By getting them together in a classroom, you’re breaking down barriers. The uniformed service member usually doesn’t bring that political baggage with them. They’re apolitical.”

A small number of U.S. airmen attend IAAFA as well.

“These airmen get first-hand knowledge of our partner nations’ military, political and cultural issues that affect our inter-American relationships,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Roy told the Air Force Times. “These partnerships provide our airmen experiences that they can use throughout their Air Force careers.”

This August, about a dozen U.S. captains are scheduled to graduate from the Inter-American Squadron Officer School (ISOS), though 56 applied to attend. As for those enlisted, six U.S. airmen will complete the Inter-American Noncommissioned Officer Academy (INCOA) this year. Two finished in March, two will graduate in August, and two more with finish their work in December.

Unlike for ISOS, enlisted airmen do not have to apply for INCOA; they are selected. However, each must be proficient in Spanish, and have a degree from the Community College of the Air Force.

“In a perfect world, IAAFA would grow,” said Maj. Jorge Nunez, the training operations flight commander. “That’s what’s going to build partnerships. That’s what’s going to keep them coming back.”

In September, the IAAFA will move into a new $20 million complex on Lackland Air Force base which houses all IAAFA operations currently at Kelly Field which is near Lackland in Texas.

Read more at Air Force Times →

Fla. Puerto Rican Population Growth Means State’s Hispanics Are No Longer Primarily Republicans

Fla. Puerto Rican Population Growth Means State’s Hispanics Are No Longer Primarily Republicans

Photo: Florida Hispanics not so "red" anymore

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Republicans have long counted on the Hispanic voters of South Florida – primarily of Cuban decent – to vote red in elections, but as the number of Puerto Ricans moving to Central Florida increases, Republicans are losing that hold, as many of them are Democrats.

Florida is a swing state, and strategists like Ana Navarro, say, “the Hispanic vote has diversified.” The GOP strategist adds that national candidates looking to woo the state’s Hispanic voters, “it means coming down to Miami and having a Cuban coffee is still a must, but now there’s got to be more to it than that.”

The Sunshine State’s additional Democratic voters means that the state is now more balanced than it was before, and it shows with milestones like that of 2008, when more Hispanics registered as Democrats than as Republicans.

“You used to be able to say Florida Hispanics are Republicans,” said former state GOP executive director and current Sarasota-based Republican consultant, Jamie Miller. “Now that’s not necessarily the case. The Puerto Rican community is much different from the Cuban community from an electoral standpoint. They vote Democrat rather than Republican, for the most part.”

Read more at Politico →

$1.2 Billion in Fines for Brazilian Beef Companies Who Deforest or Employ Slave Labor

$1.2 Billion in Fines for Brazilian Beef Companies Who Deforest or Employ Slave Labor

Photo: Brazil issues $1.2 Billion fine to beef Companies

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Brazilian authorities have announced fines for 14 companies that buy beef from slave labor farms, or ranches illegally exploiting deforested areas in the Amazon.

The punishment includes the Ministry of Environment, which is accused of not fulfilling its supervising duties.

“We’ve been gathering proof for over a year, and through this time we tried to have these companies commit to an agreement to not buy beef from illegal deforestation haciendas, or slave labor farms,” said Attorney General Anselmo Henrique Cordeiro Lopes “but time passed, and they just wouldn’t sign it.

Cattle ranches are estimated to have caused 80% of recent deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

 

Read more at Terra →

VCU’s Joey Rodriguez Recognized by Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Pres. Obama

VCU’s Joey Rodriguez Recognized by Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Pres. Obama

Photo: Joey Rodriguez (left) and VCU coach Shaka Smart

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Star guard for Virginia Commonwealth University’s basketball team, Joey Rodriguez is always being recognized, but at the 8th annual gala at the Virginia Science Museum he wasn’t just receiving praise for helping his team win the NCAA Southwest regional title, earning them a shot in the Final Four.

Rodriguez, 21, received the Latino Impacto Award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for his making a difference in the Latino community. Basketball has long been a sport dominated by African-American and white players, so for young Latinos to see Rodriguez and the VCU Rams garner a spot in the NCAA Final Four, it’s a real treat.

The Chamber’s founder and president, Michel Zajur, said the 5’10 guard has made a big impact and is a great role model for young Latinos, especially for those that think they can’t succeed in basketball, or anything for that matter.

Rodriguez said he wants Latino children to believe in themselves. He and his brother are the first generation of his family to graduate from college. Joey, a criminal justice major, will graduate from VCU in May.

And the accolades don’t stop there.

 

President Obama, a known NCAA basketball fan, has invited Rodriguez to the White House for dinner. He will be a guest at the White House’s Cinco de Mayo dinner, on May 5th (of course).

“I’m blown away by this and really can’t believe it,” said the humbled Latino. “This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m truly honored. It’s really a testament to all my teammates and the way we pushed each other to reach goals that only we thought were possible. The past month is something that I’ll never, ever forget.”

Read more at Prep Zone →

Two Palestinian Men Have Been Living in Colombian Airport for 9 Days

Two Palestinian Men Have Been Living in Colombian Airport for 9 Days

Photo: Agmeth Amous and Somer Resar

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Agmeth Amous and Somer Resar, both 30,  have been stranded at Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport for over a week.

The twosome told Colombia’s El Tiempo that their tribulations started two months ago, when a man who had promised them asylum in Spain, stole their passports, bags, and $18,000 at the airport in Madrid.

The men’s trip started on Lebanon, where they flew to Syria, then Habana, Quito, Guayaquil and finally Bogotá.

The director of Colombia’s leading airline, Avianca, said that the Palestinian citizens have been attempting to contact the Palestinian authorities so as to try an solve this problem, since Palestinians need a passport to travel anywhere in the world. The airline has also been providing them with food.

 

 

Read more at El Tiempo →

Retired Salvadoran General to Face Torture Charges, Deportation

Thirty years ago, during the civil war in El Salvador, Gen. Eugenio Vides Casanova was the top military officer in the nation. He was once closely allied with the U.S., but he has since been accused of a number of human rights violations. Now, in U.S. immigration court this week, the Obama administration will charge that Vides took part in torture when he was commander of the Salvadoran armed forces. They seek to have him deported.

Since retiring honorably in 1989, General Vides has lived as a permanent legal resident South Florida, so to be charged now is a reversal of the United States’ position. He has denied any torture, and the former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, Edwin G. Corr, is among the witnesses he plans to call on his behalf.

The U.S. valued General Vides for the way he ruthlessly dealt with Marxist guerrillas during El Salvador’s civil war, and was even awarded the military honor of the Legion of Merit by President Reagan. However, trouble for Vides started in 1998, when he was contacted by a lawyer for the families of four American churchwomen killed 18 years earlier by Salvadoran National Guard troops when General Vides was in command.

In 2000, General Vides and General García, another former defense minister, were acquitted by a Florida jury of civil charges in the killing of the churchwomen. In spite of that acquittal, the justice center filed a suit claiming they were responsible for torture during the civil war.

Then in 2002, another Florida jury found the men liable and ordered them to pay $54.6 million to three torture victims. That verdict was later upheld in an appeals court in 2006.

Illinois Senator Richard Durbin (D) and Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R) pressed the Department of Homeland Security to deport both generals, and in 200, immigration charged were brought against General Vides.

The hearing is expected to last at least a week. General García is having his own immigration proceedings.

Vides’ lawyer points out that though the generals are being accused of being responsible for actions that occurred during the war, no one in the U.S. government is being accused of the same, despite their involvement.

“All these events were taking place when there was extreme concern in this country regarding the spread of communism north from Central America,” said Mr. Handel, General Vides’ lawyer. “It is ironic that the winds have changed, but no one in the United States government has been called negatively to account for any of these cases.”

Read more at New York Times →

Wow! Take a Peek into Medellin’s New Amazing Sports Coliseum

Wow! Take a Peek into Medellin’s New Amazing Sports Coliseum

Photo: New Medellín Sports Coliseum

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

In just 18 months, Mazzanti and Plan:b constructed the dazzling New Medellin Sports Coliseum in Colombia, ahead of last year’s South American Games.

If taken into account how short of a time it was built, the Medellin Sports Coliseum is quite an accomplishment. The 493,000 square foot complex has a multi-layered roof design and an open-air skin which helps to reduce the dependence of large buildings on air conditioning.

Mazzanti and Plan:b covered the exterior with pale green laser cut partitions, which provide a glamorous aesthetic to the venue while allowing the local breeze to cool the inside naturally. The bold architecture and design of the complex also maximizes viewing areas for fans, and invites pedestrian traffic to take a peek at its interior.
Image
Image
Image
Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards Continues to Add to Its Line-Up of Superstars

2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards Continues to Add to Its Line-Up of Superstars

Photo: 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Juanes, Lucero, Marc Anthony, Chino y Nacho, Dyland & Lenny, and Roberto Tapia, are among the list of Latin music artists confirmed to perform at the 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

They join the star-studded line up of performers that include Mana, Enrique Iglesias, Luis Fonsi, Cristian Castro, Jencarlos Canela, Gloria Trevi, Pitbull, Camila, Don Omar and Banda El Recodo. The 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards presented by State Farm is the longest running awards show in the Latin music industry and it will take place on Thursday, April 28 in Miami, Florida, airing live on Telemundo.

These artists join previously announced performances by Mean, Enrique Iglesias, Luis Fonsi, Cristian Castro, Jencarlos Canela, Gloria Trevi, Pitbull, Camila, Don Omar and Banda El Recodo.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Meet Rocky Ramírez, the 2 and a Half Year-Old Who can Read and Name Every State Capital (VIDEO)

Meet Rocky Ramírez, the 2 and a Half Year-Old Who can Read and Name Every State Capital (VIDEO)

Photo: Rockford Ramírez

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Rockford Ramírez is a very special toddler. At two and a half years old, he is able to read, has been featured in FoxNews, and is rapidly going viral with his adorable rap about the 44 United States presidents.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chilean Police Seize Vatican Documents on Priest Abuse Case

Chilean Police Seize Vatican Documents on Priest Abuse Case

Photo: Father Fernando Karadima

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Files on the abuse case of Chilean priest, Fr. Fernando Karadima, have been seized by police after the Catholic Church refused to turn their files over on the case.

Fr. Karadima was found guilty of sexual abuse by the Vatican and ordered to retire from the priesthood with punishment being a life of prayer and penance.  The civil case on the matter was going nowhere until the Vatican’s case concluded.

The Archdiocese of Santiago and Vatican refused to turn over files when local officials requested them claiming the Vatican to be a sovereign state not subject to Chilean law.  Police seized them from the offices of Karadima’s attorney. 

Fr. Karadima was one of Chile’s most respected and influential priests for his work training new priests through his Catholic action youth movement and for his work amongst Chile’s most elite Catholics.  It was during these training sessions that four men now accuse the 80 year old priest of sexual abuse. 

Read more at EWTN News →

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Vetoes Birther Bill – ‘A Bridge too Far’ even for Arizona

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Vetoes Birther Bill – ‘A Bridge too Far’ even for Arizona

Photo: Gov Jan Brewer Vetoes Birther Bill

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed the state Republican endorsed birther bill, as well as the guns on campus legislation.  If she would of signed the birther bill, Arizona would of become the first state to require Presidential candidates to produce their birth certificates before getting on the ballot.

The measure deemed by state Republicans as necessary to maintain “election integrity” was viewed by many others as something aimed directly toward President Obama and no one else.  The measure passed in a 40-16 vote count four days ago. 

The ‘birther’ issue is centered around the belief that the current President was not born in this country and therefore is not constitutionally qualified to hold office.  The constitution requires the President to have been ‘naturally’ born in the country in order to hold office.  Thirteen other states have said they are considering the measure and four states have defeated such proposals when they came up for vote.

Gov. Brewer said in part “this is a bridge too far.” “This measure creates significant new problems while failing to do anything constructive for Arizona.”

Read more at My Fox Phoenix →

Two Illegal Aliens Sentenced to Prison for Attempting to Export Weapons

Two Illegal Aliens Sentenced to Prison for Attempting to Export Weapons

Photo: Gun smuggling into Mexico

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Two illegal aliens from Mexico were sentenced to federal prison for their roles in attempting to export munitions from the United States without a license, announced U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno, Southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Sergio Perez-Contreas, 72, was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment, while Jose Jesus Miramontes-Duarte, 59, received a 30-month sentence by Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa during a hearing held on Thursday. Both defendants were convicted of attempting to export munitions without a license in June 2010 after pleading guilty to the felony offense.

According to court documents, the convictions and sentences stem from an investigation by ICE HSI agents. On March 5, 2009, they observed Perez-Contreras leaving the business of a local federal firearms licensee (FFL) with several packages. He then entered a taxi, and ultimately arrived at a warehouse in south McAllen. Once he arrived at the warehouse, Perez-Contreras met with Miramontes-Duarte and transferred the packages from the taxi to the cab of a tractor trailer driven by Miramontes-Duarte. Perez-Contreras then left in the taxi and ultimately arrived at the Hidalgo, Texas, Port of Entry.

At the port of entry, Perez-Contreras was stopped by ICE HSI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents as he attempted to depart the United States. In his possession, Perez-Contreras had a receipt for the purchase of 5,000 small pistol primers, 1,400 large pistol primers, 1,100 assorted calibers of rifle bullets, 19 pounds of smokeless power, and two rifle barrel blanks from the FFL where he had been seen earlier in the day. With these munitions, about 7500 rounds of pistol and rifle ammunition could be manufactured.

Meanwhile, Miramontes-Duarte left the warehouse area and was seen driving to another location where he rearranged the firearms parts and ammunition components in the cab of his truck. When Miramontes-Duarte attempted to depart the United States through the Pharr, Texas, Port of Entry, he was also stopped by ICE HSI agents and CBP officers. The ammunition components for which his co-defendant had the receipt were discovered in the cab of his truck. Further investigation revealed that Perez-Contreras had illegally exported munitions 12 other times.

Perez-Contreras and Miramontes-Duarte are subject to deportation after they complete their prison sentences. The court has further ordered each man to serve a two-year-term of supervised release. These conditions will be enforceable if either man returns to the United States, even illegally. If they fail to abide by any condition, an additional prison sentence may be added.

Read more by HS News Staff →



TuesdayApril 19, 2011