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TuesdayApril 26, 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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Economic Mobility Remains Out of Reach For as Much as 42% of Latino Youth

Economic Mobility Remains Out of Reach For as Much as 42% of Latino Youth

Photo: Latino Youth

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Latino youth are one of the fastest-growing segments of the population in the United States, poised to fill the workforce gap as millions of baby boomers retire over the next decade. Yet, achieving economic mobility remains out of reach for as much as 42% of Latino youth who face numerous barriers to academic and career success and are dropping out of high school at persistently high rates.

Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) released Plugged In: Positive Development Strategies for Disconnected Latino Youth, a report that profiles disconnected Latino youth and the programs that serve them, including NCLR’s Escalera program that helps prepare Latino high school students for college.

Disconnected youth are identified as young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are out of school with or without a high school diploma or in danger of dropping out, and are detached from the labor market and postsecondary education. Fortunately, community-based initiatives such as NCLR’s Escalera Program: Taking Steps to Success provide the necessary reinforcements to reconnect Latino youth to academic progress and economic well-being.

“Unique life circumstances such as language barriers and questionable immigration statuses are factors that play heavily in the ability of Latino youth to succeed at the rate of their counterparts,” said Delia Pompa, NCLR Senior Vice President of Programs.

The report finds that the following core competencies are central to the success of disconnected youth:
• Reconnection is a crucial first step for the majority of disconnected youth and is facilitated by positive relationships developed through case management.

• Foundational skills, or effective communication, conflict resolution, problem-solving, and critical-thinking abilities, are necessary to healthy social relationships and to the workplace.

• Leadership and personal development activities empower Latino youth to demonstrate and strengthen individual skills by setting their personal, educational, and career goals and devising a plan of action to meet them at their own pace.

• Educational attainment is an integral part of Latino youth’s success. All sites profiled for the report ensure that participants attain a GED or high school equivalency and enroll in some form of post secondary education or vocational training.

• Workforce readiness skills, which encompass workplace etiquette, responsibility, self-esteem, time management, and social networking, are essential to Latino youth’s economic mobility.

• Career exploration helps Latino youth set, prioritize, and meet their personal, educational, and career goals.

The NCLR Escalera Program: Taking Steps to Success was created in collaboration with the PepsiCo Foundation and PepsiCo, Inc. and currently operates in seven communities throughout the U.S., helping Latino youth who may need additional support to achieve academic and career success. The 15-month program offers career exploration, leadership development, personal development, and academic enrichment. Customized programs offer additional services targeting younger students, emphasize science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and focus on youth who are disconnected from school or work. The Escalera program has served approximately 1,200 Latino youth, with 92% of enrolled students completing graduating from high school and 89% enrolling in postsecondary education.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

MX Government Rescues 51 Migrant Hostages at Border, Chinese Migrants Amongst Them

MX Government Rescues 51 Migrant Hostages at Border, Chinese Migrants Amongst Them

Photo: Mexico's Security Ministry - Migrant Rescue Photos

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Mexican authorities are reporting the federal police rescued 51 kidnapped migrants at a house in the border city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, located across the border from McAllen, Texas.

This is the federal police’s, under the auspices of Mexico’s Public Security Ministry, second high profile rescue the other occurring last week.  In that incident 68 hostages were rescued also in the border city of Reynosa.

This most recent migrant rescue found the majority to be Mexican nationals, however there were also 14 Guatemalans, two Hondurans, two Salvadorans and six Chinese.

No one was arrested at the site.  Reynosa is in the same state and 90 miles north of San Fernando where numerous mass graves were found of kidnapped bus passengers, thus far 177 bodies have been found – the search for more bodies continues.

Read more by HS News Staff →

PEW:  Record Number of Latinos Voted in 2010 Midterm Elections

PEW:  Record Number of Latinos Voted in 2010 Midterm Elections

Photo: Record Number of Hispanic Voters

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A new study out by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that a record 6.6 million Latinos voted in last year’s mid-term elections.  This finding disputes some earlier reports that Latino’s stayed home and also signals the influence they can exert in the upcoming Presidential elections.

The last Pew study taken in 2006 showed that 5.6 million Hispanic voted in the preceding mid-term elections.  Pew attributes the increase to a substantial amount of Latinos reaching vote age and exercising their right to vote.

Hispanics also made up a larger portion of eligible voters.  In 2006 they represented 5.8 percent of 96 million voters now they represent 6.9 percent of the 96.1 million eligible U.S. voters. 

The rate of population growth recorded in the census will be providing new voters to the eligible electorate for years to come.  Between 2006 and 2010, 600,000 Latinos turned 18, while 1.4 million foreign-born Hispanics became citizens.

Read more at Pew Hispanic Center →

U.S. Government Looks to Change the U.S.‘s Broadcasts in Cuba

U.S. Government Looks to Change the U.S.‘s Broadcasts in Cuba

Photo: Obama administration looking to change U.S. programming in Cuba

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U.S. government radio and TV broadcasts in Cuba are under new management, and it is being promised that an effort will be made to make the station more relevant and try to reach a younger audience.

While President Bush pushed for the use of the radio station to try to persuade the overthrow of the government, the Obama administration is taking a different tack. This current administration, with the help of the stations’ new managers, wants to encourage more cultural and economic exchanges in order to bring about political change from within the island’s own population.

Carlos Garcia-Perez, a 43-year-old Cuban-American attorney, who took over the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in October, said, “To enable the free flow of information to our audience (in Cuba), that’s what we’re all about. It would be great if other commercial broadcasts had complete access, but that’s not the reality.” He also noted that in January, Cuban officials removed CNNs Spanish service from a package of channels intended for hotels and foreign companies. They gave no reasoning for the action.

Though there are program changes on the stations, Garcia-Perez maintains that the purpose of the stations is to provide listeners/watchers with another view of the Cuban government.

“We don’t try to tell the people in Cuba ‘Fidel and Raul are bad.’ They know that,” he said. “We want to be the number one station to bring the news to the Cuban people about what’s happening inside the island first and then a window to the rest of the world.”

Read more at Miami Herald →

Spike TV’s Repo Games Crew Shot At by Crazy Latino

Spike TV’s Repo Games Crew Shot At by Crazy Latino

Photo: Repo Games Hosts Tom DeTone and Josh Lewis

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The brand new show, Repo Games,  got the scare of a lifetime, when a contestant opened fire, before he realized he was a contestant!

Watch the video below. It is a promo for Spike’s new show “Repo Games” where contestants about to have their vehicle repossessed, get the chance to answer 3 out of 5 questions correctly and win the title of their car. 


ImageDuring last night’s filming of the show in North Las Vegas, the man on the right, Carlos Barrón, apparently became disgruntled, violent, and eventually opened fire on the show’s crew, before they were able to explain all they wanted was to give him the chance to get his vehicle entirely paid for.

When police arrived, Barrón threatened to commit suicide from inside his home.

He was eventually talked into surrendering, and was arrested, charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and obstructing a police officer.

Apparently the crew never stopped filming, and producers intend to air the attack just as it happened. Reality TV at its best? 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Just Released Picture Of Juanes in The Oval Office

Just Released Picture Of Juanes in The Oval Office

Photo: President Obama and Juanes

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Juanes met President Barack Obama earlier this month at the White House and the White House just released the photo op.

The pair talked about landmines, Obama’s visit to Colombia next year, US immigration reform, and just how much Obama loves listening to Juanes on his Ipod.

The President presented the Colombian singer with an autographed copy of his book, while Juanes gave the president two “mochilas” or indigenous hand bags,  one from the Arahuac population, and one crafted by Wayú natives.

Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

USDA Meets with Hispanic Farmers to Discuss Discrimination Claims

USDA Meets with Hispanic Farmers to Discuss Discrimination Claims

Photo: Hispanic Farmers

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As part of continued efforts to close the chapter on allegations of past discrimination at USDA, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Ed Avalos held an outreach meeting in Phoenix today with farmers and ranchers to talk about the process that has been put in place to resolve the claims of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who assert that they were discriminated against when seeking USDA farm loans.

The program USDA announced earlier this year with the Department of Justice provides up to $50,000 for each Hispanic or woman farmer who can show that USDA denied them a loan or loan servicing for discriminatory reasons for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000. This claims process offers a streamlined alternative to litigation and provides at least $1.33 billion in compensation, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief to eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers.

Hispanic or women farmers who provide additional proof and meet other requirements can receive a $50,000 reward. Successful claimants are also eligible for funds to pay the taxes on their awards and for forgiveness of certain existing USDA loans. There are no filing fees or other costs to claimants to participate in the program. Participation is voluntary, and individuals who decide not to participate may choose to file a complaint in court. However, USDA cannot provide legal advice to potential claimants, and persons seeking legal advice may contact a lawyer or other legal services provider.

Today’s event is part of a series of outreach meetings that are being held across the country to let Hispanic and women farmers or ranchers know about this process.

Under the leadership of Secretary Vilsack, USDA is addressing civil rights complaints that go back decades and through these outreach meetings, we are taking steps towards achieving that goal. USDA is committed to resolving allegations of past discrimination and ushering in “a new era of civil rights” for the Department. In February 2010, the Secretary announced the Pigford II settlement with African American farmers, and in October 2010, he announced the Keepseagle settlement with Native American farmers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin American Car Market Doing Well Overall, Mexico Still Struggling

Latin American Car Market Doing Well Overall, Mexico Still Struggling

Photo: Latin American Car Market Doing Well Overall, Mexico Still Struggling

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These days, China is the number one car market, with their spike in car sales making world news, but now, Latin American countries are seeing their sales go through the roof as well.

Last year, in Brazil, over 3.5 million cars and light trucks were sold; an increase of about 86 percent since 2006. Experts believe higher wages and a growing economy account for such a drastic jump.

“In a macroeconomic sense, Brazil has greater stability, more per capita income, more jobs and more credit than before,” said a spokesman for ANFAVEA, Brazil’s largest car manufacturers association. “And consumer confidence is rising, so people are more likely to join the ranks of car owners.”

Brazil is not the only country seeing the car boom. Colombia’s car sales saw a 51 percent gain since 2006 as well. Chile saw a 37 percent jump from February 2010 to the same month this year.

Mexico, however, is not fairing as well, as its economy is closely tied to that of the U.S. While seeing an increase from 2009, numbers are still down from 2006. Dealers blame the opening of Mexico’s market to U.S. used cars for the drop in the country’s sales.

Venezuela’s car market is not fairing much better since President Hugo Chavez began applying higher duties and import restrictions to help with inflation. Venezuela’s inflation is the highest in South America.

GM South America President Jaime Ardila has stated that “the carmaker’s Latin America operation is its most valuable asset in terms of return on investment and growth.”

The increased number of cars on the road, while assisting the economy, is causing a stir in the region as well however. In Bogota, the traffic is so terrible that it has all but halted public transit projects, making the mayor very unpopular.

In Lima, Peru, the air pollution is a point of contention, and laws now require owners to get rid of their cars once the vehicles are 20 years old. Groups in the city are also asking that the government restrict the number of taxis and buses on the road, and to better enforce vehicle emission laws.

Read more at LA Times →

Kansas Passes Law Requiring Voters to Show IDs, ACLU Angered

Kansas Passes Law Requiring Voters to Show IDs, ACLU Angered

Photo: New law now requires all Kansas voters to show a photo ID prior to voting

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Last week, Republican Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill that now requires all Kansas voters to show a photo ID prior to voting, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is speaking out against it.

While Gov. Brownback said the new law establishes “reasonable steps” to protect citizens’ rights, the ACLU claims it is a “giant leap backwards.”

To vote at elections in the state, voters must present an photo ID. For those submitting mail-in ballots, a copy of the person’s ID or the number must be included. Also, proof of citizenship will be required for voters who register on or after January 1, 2013.

The ACLU is angered that the new law offers free birth certificates only to Kansas-born residents, while residents born outside the state “would bear the financial burden and trouble of contacting their home states to attain birth certificates” in order to meet the new law’s terms. Adding, “the costs associated with meeting the new law’s requirements are especially burdensome to low-income voters.”

In the 2010 general election, only 41 percent of eligible people voted, and percent that the ACLU said must have been “too high” for Republicans.

“Theirs is an extremely nearsighted view of just how difficult it will be for remote, marginalized, and under-resourced individuals to obtain a valid photo ID and evidence of citizenship,” the ACLU expressed.

However, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and the governor have said they prefer a system where voting rights are secured “by jumping through hoops,” and says the state has done more “to secure the integrity of the voting process” than any other state.

The ACLU says an additional 32 state legislatures have introduced similar bills.

Read more at CNS News →

Mexican Girl Trying to Witness Royal Wedding not Allowed in the UK

Mexican Girl Trying to Witness Royal Wedding not Allowed in the UK

Photo: Estibaliz Chávez

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Estíbaliz Chávez stood on hunger strike for 16 days in México before a kind hearted philanthropist took an interest and paid for her ticket. Now, she’s stuck in limbo, as she’s been denied access to the UK for the Royal Wedding.

Currently in Madrid, where she has been deported to, Estíbaliz still clings to her dream. She will have to leave behind the oversized oil painting of the royal couple she painted, her sleeping bag, and a tent, as these objects were the cause of her denial into the UK.

Without a place to stay in the UK, and unable to prove she had enough money to pay for her expenses while in London, immigration officials denied her entrance into England.

“Well, being here in Spain, I can’t stop doing all I can to be at the wedding,” she said.

Her persistence and somewhat quixotic adventure has been the center of mean jokes, insults and name calling on the internet; she shrugs them all off, “I wouldn’t waste my time writing to another person what they must do, or how to live.”

Estíbaliz pointed out that she has received several proposals from individuals, media groups and other sources, but the main condition, is she has to arrive into London.

“TV stations don’t want to gamble alone the fact that I could be considered a security threat, but all I want is to see the wedding,” she said.

Estíbaliz has little under four days now to make her dream come true, and she very well might. She’s in Europe, after all, and her persistence apparently, knows no bounds.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Animal Trafficking in Mexico and Around the World Continues to Endanger 100s of Animals

Animal Trafficking in Mexico and Around the World Continues to Endanger 100s of Animals

Photo: Animal trafficking is endangering a number of animal species

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Tigers, rare birds, and other exotic animals have long been used as tourist attractions and symbols of success for the wealthy with little or no regard for the well-being of the animals and their need for a natural or effectively synthesized habitat.

Just last week, Mexican authorities rescued 10 tigers and jaguars that were being held at restaurant and in a piece of private land. They were being used as tourists attractions in Cancun, and were clearly malnourished, according to press releases.

And a few months ago, officers from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa) rescued a California King snake, a macaw, two foxes, and four lemurs from a Mexico City mansion.

Mexico currently ranks third among the countries in which animal trafficking is the most intense. The only trafficking bringing in more money than the animals is that of drugs and weapons.

The Latin American country is one of 12 countries that hosts 60 to 70 percent of the world’s biodiversity, yet Mexico was also ranked number one amongst countries with the most threatened endemic species in 2010. Currently, 287 animals are in serious danger.

The Defenders of Wildlife in Mexico said, “It is estimated that between 65,000 to 78,000 parrots are caught illegally every year and from them, 77 percent die before they arrive in to the hands of a buyer. The mistreatment these animals suffer explains the high mortality rate.”

The money for these animals is so enticing to the traffickers, that the punishment of 1 to 9 years in prison is not enough of a deterrent to stop them. The Defenders of Wildlife says that animal trafficking trade worldwide makes more than $25 billion annually.

So with that amount of money on the line, it has proven difficult to get the traffickers to stop, and the animals are the ones who continue to suffer.

Read more at El Paso Times →

UN:  Housing at Risk as Brazil Prepares for World Cup and Olympics

UN:  Housing at Risk as Brazil Prepares for World Cup and Olympics

Photo: Brazil Housing

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An independent United Nations human rights expert today voiced concern about alleged displacement and evictions in various cities across Brazil as the country prepares to host the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

“I am particularly worried about what seems to be a pattern of lack of transparency, consultation, dialogue, fair negotiation, and participation of the affected communities in processes concerning evictions undertaken or planned in connection with the World Cup and Olympics,” said Raquel Rolnik, the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing.

Allegations concerning displacement and evictions potentially leading to rights violations were received from different cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Recife, Natal and Fortaleza.

Numerous evictions have already been executed without the families concerned being given sufficient time to propose and discuss alternatives, and without adequate plans for relocation. “Insufficient attention is being given to access to infrastructure, services and means of subsistence in relocation sites,” she said in a news release.

The Special Rapporteur also voiced concern about the very limited compensation offered to the affected communities, which is even more striking given the increased value of real estate in locations where building is taking place for the sporting events.

Ms. Rolnik called on federal, state and municipal authorities involved in World Cup and Olympics projects to engage in a transparent dialogue with Brazilian society, particularly with the sectors of the population directly affected.

Ms. Rolnik reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council in an independent and unpaid capacity.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Psychologists Find Unintentional Racial Biases May Affect Economic an Trust Decisions

Psychologists Find Unintentional Racial Biases May Affect Economic an Trust Decisions

Photo: Unintentional racial bias could be swaying our big decisions

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Psychologists have found that people may make economic and trust decisions based on unconscious or unintentional racial biases. The study, conducted in the laboratory of New York University Professor Elizabeth Phelps, is published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Decisions in the worlds of business, law, education, medicine, and even more ordinary daily interactions between individuals, all rely on trust,” the researchers wrote. “In an increasingly globalized economy, that trust must be forged between individuals who differ in background, shared experiences, and aspirations.”

“These results provide evidence that decisions we may believe to be consciously determined are, in fact, not entirely so, and suggest that this may have a very real cost for individuals and society,” they continued. “Whom we trust is not only a reflection of who is trustworthy, but also a reflection of who we are.”

The field of psychology has generally concluded that there is a distinction between explicit and implicit mental processes, including attitudes, beliefs, and self-perceptions. Explicit mental processes involve intentional decisions or judgments while implicit mental processes occur relatively automatically and without awareness.  In the PNAS study, the researchers focused on implicit social bias, a measure of how strongly one associates a concept—for instance, “pleasant” or “unpleasant”—with different social groups. Recent scholarship has shown implicit biases are pervasive and can predict social behaviors, including the decisions of highly trained professionals such as doctors.

Employing a commonly used Implicit Association Test (IAT), researchers asked 50 racially diverse participants to rate the trustworthiness of individuals depicted in just under 300 photographs of Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, and mixed race men on a scale from one (“not-at-all trustworthy”) to nine (“extremely trustworthy”). The participants were instructed to report their initial “gut impressions.”

The researchers found that the participants’ implicit race attitudes, measured in a subsequent test, predicted disparities in the perceived trustworthiness of Black and White faces. Individuals whose tests demonstrated a stronger pro-White implicit bias were more likely to judge White faces as more trustworthy than Black faces, and vice versa, regardless of that individual’s own race or explicit beliefs.

In a similar experiment using another group of participants, the researchers assessed how implicit racial biases may affect economic or business decisions. Participants were shown the images of the same individuals used in the first experiment and told these individuals were the subjects’ partners and had been previously interviewed by the experimenter. Participants then had to make decisions about how much money they would risk with these partners.

The researchers found that participants’ implicit racial biases predicted racial disparities in the amounts of money participants were willing to risk in this trust-based interpersonal economic interaction. Specifically, individuals whose IAT scores reflected a stronger pro-White implicit bias were likely to offer more money to White than Black partners and vice versa.

According to the authors, the results suggest that implicit biases toward social groups may drive rapid evaluations of unfamiliar individuals in the absence of additional information, despite our conscious desires and intentions.

While the study’s subjects in both experiments included multiple racial groups, the race of the participants did not account for the findings.

“There is not a simple correspondence between individuals’ implicit racial attitudes and their own race,” the researchers explained.  “Implicit attitudes are thought to result from many sources beyond one’s own race, including environmental exposure and personal interactions.”

The authors were: Damian Stanley and Peter Sokol-Hessner, graduates of NYU’s doctoral program in neural science and now post-doctoral research fellows at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech); Mahzarin Banaji, a professor in Harvard University’s Department of Psychology; and Phelps, a professor of psychology and neural science.

The research was supported by grants from the MacArthur and Third Millennium foundations.

Read more at New York University →

DREAM Act Foes in Maryland Plan to Sue and Others Want Ballot Referendum

DREAM Act Foes in Maryland Plan to Sue and Others Want Ballot Referendum

Photo: DREAM Act Maryland

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The DREAM Act in Maryland, that passed two weeks ago in the state’s General Assembly, is already under fire on several fronts from a referendum request to potential lawsuits. 

The Maryland DREAM Act would give illegal immigrant students in-state tuition rates under certain conditions.  In order to be eligible for the discounted tuition rate the student’s family must prove they are taxpayers and qualified students must have attended public high school in Maryland.

The bill will become law when Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley signs the measure.  Opposition has been loud and swift and coming mostly from Republican factions.

For example, Republican state delegate Neil C. Parrott is seeking permission to put the matter on a statewide referendum – he needs 55,736 signatures in order to do this.  If he is able to get the matter on a state wide ballot the law in essence would freeze until it comes to vote.

Another Republican, Pat McDonough plans to sue the state on grounds the law violated federal law, all in hopes of overturning the benefits to the students. 

Read more at Washington Times →

Dominican Republic First Lady Won’t Run After All

Dominican Republic First Lady Won’t Run After All

Photo: Margarita Cedeño With husband Leonel Fernández

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Dominican Republic First Lady Margarita Cedeño, said today that she is withdrawing from the presidential race.

The wife of President Leonel Fernandez sent a letter to the Dominican Liberation Party stating she did not wish to create friction within the party.

“Our Lord, and those who know me, know that nothing I do or have done, has been based for personal gain,” said Cedeño, who added that she made the decision without sadness or resentment.

Just two weeks ago, the Dominican Liberation Party said it had approved Cedeño as a candidate in internal elections to determine who will be the party’s nominee for the May 2012 election.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Director Juan José Campanella To Produce Animated 3D Film

Argentine Director Juan José Campanella To Produce Animated 3D Film

Photo: Juan José Campanella

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Juan Jose Campanella’s first animated venture, “Futbolín” is based on a short story by writer/cartoonist Roberto Fontanarrosa.  The Argentine director won the best Foreign Film 2010 Academy Award for his breathtaking “El Secreto De Sus Ojos.”

During the weeks preceding and following the 2010 Oscars, Campanella cited the adaptation of Fontanarrosa’s “Memorias de un Wing Derecho” as a possible future endeavor.

Production has already started, with the support of Plural-Jempsa, a Spanish-Argentine conglomerate, Antena 3 films, and the collaboration of Canal +. Campanella has also chosen as his right hand man, one of the creators of “Despicable Me,” Sergio Pablos, who will supervise the animation process, after working through the years in animated films like Hercules, Tarzan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Futbolín will tell the story of Amadeo, a shy but talented young boy who must face the most frightening rival on a soccer field: “El Crack.”

To prepare for this clash, Amadeo will count with the help of a Foosball team led by Wing, the team’s charismatic right forward.

In addition to filmmaking, Campanella is an accomplished Television director, having worked in popular series like “Law and Order” “30 Rock” and “House.”

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Host Merida Initiative with Mexico

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Host Merida Initiative with Mexico

Photo: President Obama and Mexico's Felipe Calderon

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As part of the broader strategic partnership between the United States and Mexico, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host the Merida Initiative High-Level Consultative Group on April 29, 2011. This third meeting of the High-Level Group follows earlier meetings held in November 2008 in Washington, D.C., and March 2010 in Mexico City.

Under the leadership of Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Espinosa, and comprising cabinet secretaries from across each government engaged on security-related issues, the High Level Consultative Group will focus on the four areas of cooperation identified by U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa in August 2009 in Guadalajara, Mexico, and reaffirmed during President Calderon’s State Visit to Washington in May 2010 and his working visit to Washington in March 2011.

These areas are: Disrupting Organized Criminal Groups; Institutionalizing the Rule of Law; Building a 21st Century Border; and Building Strong and Resilient Communities.

The High-Level Consultative Group will renew a shared commitment to achieving long-term solutions to challenges to the rule of law driven by transnational organized crime, underscoring that the United States and Mexico will meet these challenges through enhanced engagement and shared responsibility.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Judge Rules: Hispanic Men Were Illegally Stopped at Work Raid by Sheriff Arpaio

Judge Rules: Hispanic Men Were Illegally Stopped at Work Raid by Sheriff Arpaio

Photo: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Loses in Court

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Yesterday an Arizona federal judge gave a victory to two Hispanics men recognizing that their rights were violated and also putting a dent in how infamous anti-immigration Sheriff Joe Arpaio does his job.

Last year Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio stopped Julian and Julio Mora’s pick up truck near the site of where he was conducting an work site immigration raid.  Judge Campbell ruled that Arpaio and his men had no reasonable suspicion to stop them nor had they committed a crime – except that they were Hispanic and had brown colored skin.  Arpaio determined after detaining the men for hours that they were in the U.S. legally.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona took up the case as did the Immigrants’ Rights Project not only to defend the rights of both Mora’s but in hopes that significant changes happen as to how Arpaio carries out his immigration enforcement. 

Arpaio remains under investigation on charges he and his deputies racially profile Hispanics when conducting immigration investigations. 

A later court proceeding will determine if Arpaio, Maricopa County or the state are liable for damages the Moras will receive. 

Read more at Google News →

Mexico’s Peso Rising to Highest Levels in Years, While Amassing Foreign Reserves

Mexico’s Peso Rising to Highest Levels in Years, While Amassing Foreign Reserves

Photo: Mexican Peso

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As Mexico closed its financial markets for the Easter holiday last week, the peso reached 11.5960 per dollar, a peak it hadn’t reached since 2008.  The peso is at these high levels thanks to its improving export-economy and flows of capital by foreign investment portfolios.

In addition, the Mexican central bank is holding more than $124 billion in reserves.  The government is also preparing itself for a ‘more constrained U.S. monetary policy’ that would see less flow of capital from there. 

Should that happen Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero said his country is prepared.  The nation is counting on their strong foreign reserves and a $72 billion line of credit with the International Monetary Fund to weather the storm. 

Read more at Reuters →

Mexican Brothers Wanted for Mother’s Day Killing Caught In U.S., Now Deported

Mexican Brothers Wanted for Mother’s Day Killing Caught In U.S., Now Deported

Photo: Mexican Mendoza Brothers Extradiated

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Two Mexican brothers wanted in their native country for a murder three years ago were turned over to Mexican law enforcement officials at the San Ysidro border crossing here Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, four days after their capture in Monterey County.

Miguel Mendoza-Sarabia, 33, and Alonso Mendoza-Sarabia, 25, were transferred to the custody of representatives from the Mexican Attorney General’s Office by ICE officers. Mexican authorities allege the brothers gunned down Heraclio Soto Felix in the streets of the Sinaloan community of Nuevo Mundo on May 11, 2008, as he walked home from a Mother’s Day gathering.  Several witnesses observed the shooting. The motive for the killing is still unknown.

The brothers’ repatriation to Mexico follows their arrest April 18 on a ranch south of King City, Calif. The men were taken into custody on administrative immigration violations by special agents from ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The brothers’ capture came after Mexican authorities alerted the U.S. Marshals Service about the fugitives’ possible whereabouts. The brothers, who entered the United States illegally, agreed to accept a voluntary return to Mexico, paving the way for their repatriation Friday morning.

Friday’s return of the two Mexican murder suspects comes less than two weeks after ICE’s repatriation of another high-profile Mexican fugitive captured in northern California. Fausto Perez-Rafael, 42, a former Mexican federal police officer wanted for cocaine trafficking, was turned over to Mexican authorities April 13. Perez-Rafael was arrested in the East Bay community of Pittsburg, Calif.

Since April 2009, ICE ERO officers nationwide have coordinated the removal of more than 175 foreign nationals being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder.

Read more by HS News Staff →



TuesdayApril 26, 2011