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ThursdayMay 5, 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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Dominican Republic Set to Expand Lending to Corporate Sector

Dominican Republic Set to Expand Lending to Corporate Sector

Photo: Dominican Republic Businesses

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Banco BHD of the Dominican Republic signed the contracts for $17.5 million financing facility that will strengthen Banco BHD’s capital to further expand its long-term lending to the corporate sector, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The facility consists of a seniorfive-year loan of up to $5 million and aneight-year subordinated loan of up to $12.5 million from the IDB’s Ordinary Capital.

The transaction will provide long-term financing to Banco BHD, which will in turn on-lend to corporate and SME clients – key market segments that drive sustainable economic development in the Dominican Republic. The subordinated loan will strengthen Banco BHD’s capitalization, further promoting lending activities as the loan will meet Tier II capital criteria according to the country’s banking regulator.

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and Banco BHD President Luis Molina Achecar signed the loan agreements in a ceremony held Wednesday at the IDB headquarters in Washington, DC.

This project is a strategic component of the beyondBanking program carried out by the Financial Markets Division of the IDB’s Structured and Corporate Finance Department. Through its program pillars, beyondBanking recognizes the catalytic role of banks in promoting economic growth and corporate change and in deepening capital markets. It seeks to contribute to the Bank of the Future – a banking business model that balances financial with social returns in order to foster an inclusive, environmentally friendly and transparent financial sector. This project is specifically aligned with the program’s accessBanking pillar, which targets financial deepening strategies for those traditionally under-served by the financial system.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Europes Largest Bank, Santander, Suspends Funding of Controversial Brazil Dam

Europes Largest Bank, Santander, Suspends Funding of Controversial Brazil Dam

Photo: Brazil Tribes of Madiera River

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Europe’s largest bank, Santander, has suspended its funding for Brazil’s hugely controversial Santo Antonio dam, citing environmental and social concerns.

The decision is a serious blow to the project, one of a series of dams planned for the Amazon that have prompted protests in Brazil and around the world. Earlier this year, three indigenous leaders from the Amazon traveled to Europe to protest against the dams.

Santo Antonio and another dam, Jirau, are both being built on the Madeira River, at an estimated cost of US$15 billion. Both dams will devastate large numbers of indigenous people, including isolated Indians whose presence near the dams has been documented by the government.

Santander (parent bank of Sovereign in the US) had reportedly been due to provide approximately US$400 million for the scheme, but has now suspended its funding pending further environmental and social impact studies from the Brazilian authorities.

Many organizations around the world, including Survival International, have called for the project to be scrapped. Valmir Parintintin, leader of a Parintintin Indian community, stated, ‘The government has still not come and spoken to us about what impacts the dam will have. The market, the supermarket of the Indians is the river. If the dam is built, what will happen to the Indians’ way of life? Will anybody bring us food? No. Nobody will bring us anything. We are very worried.’

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The only thing this dam has generated so far is a huge surge of public outrage at the way the government is apparently prepared to ride roughshod over indigenous people in the name of ‘development’. We hope Santander’s move will send a powerful signal to the authorities in Brazil, and that they might now actually listen to the people on whose lands these dams are being built.’

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mayor Daley at Final City Council Meeting: “I Love Chicago More Than You Can Imagine”

Mayor Daley at Final City Council Meeting: “I Love Chicago More Than You Can Imagine”

Photo: Mayor Richard M. Daley says farewell to "best job in America."

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Thursday, Chicago’s Mayor Daley presided over his last City Council meeting. The emotional farewell had the mayor he “loved every minute” of his public service job.

“I love Chicago more than you can imagine. It’s been a great honor for me to serve with humility,” the soon-to-be former Mayor Daley said. “Thirty-two years on a schedule. I loved every minute of public service. It’s a great calling. … I don’t know if I could rest. I’m not one who just sits around. I’ll be doing things.”

When asked if he would miss his job he said, “Anything that you love and you have passion about — sure you miss it because you give your heart and soul into it, your body and your mind. You give everything possible to make the city [better]. ... You have to have passion. It isn’t a 9-to-5 job. It isn’t posters. It isn’t headlines. You have to really love the city regardless of what is said about you and what people may do. Just move forward. That’s why I never went on tangents. I always stayed focused on what I wanted to accomplish.”

ImageThe mayor even mentioned that he’d miss the media, even if they did print stories about corruption at City Hall.

“I’ve enjoyed it. You have a job to do. ... I understand that. I’ve always understood that. ... This press has been very open to me continually. I don’t designate that, today you can ask a question and tomorrow, you can’t,” he said.

A smiling Daley even joked that driving himself will be interesting, admitting he hasn’t done so since 1980. Laughing, he said, “That’s gonna be something. That’ll be an experience. [Watch me] go down Michigan Avenue.”

So with emotion in his words, Mayor Daley bid farewell to what he called the “best job in America.”

Read more at Chicago Sun Times →

Sen. Menendez Introduces Bill to Recognize Importance of Cinco de Mayo

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced bipartisan legislation to recognize the significance of the date May 5, 1862, when the Battle of Puebla was fought by Mexicans who were struggling for their independence and freedom.  Menendez, who is the Chairman of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force and one of two Hispanics in the Senate, congratulated all of the Mexican Americans who have enriched this country for decades with their contributions.

The key goal of the resolution is for the Senate to —

(1) recognizes the historical struggle for independence and freedom of the people of Mexico; and (2) calls upon the people of the United States to observe Cinco de Mayo with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

“I want to join millions of Mexican Americans in this festive celebration and also highlight the importance of their contributions to American society,” said Sen. Menendez. “New census figures show the significant growth of the Hispanic community in the nation, and Mexican Americans, as do many Hispanics, remind us of the importance of strong family values and hard work.  As Chairman of the Hispanic Task Force, I will continue to work toward creating jobs and fostering economic growth in the nation, so that Latinos and all Americans can continue to pursue the American dream.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Mexico Student Paper Apologizing for “Racist” Obama Cartoon

New Mexico Student Paper Apologizing for “Racist” Obama Cartoon

Photo: Obama cartoon found racist by University of New Mexico students

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Wednesday, the editor of a student newspaper at the University of New Mexico apologized for what some students are calling a lack of discretion.

The apology from the editor-in-chief of the Daily Lobo, Chris Quintana, came after the paper printed a picture of President Obama holding up the head of Osama bin Laden. The problem, and what many are calling offensive, is that some say the president is depicted as a monkey.

Prior to the apology Wednesday, several students protested on the UNM campus.

“We demanded the Daily Lobo show some accountability and print an apology and retraction,” UNM student Christina Foster said. Foster’s fellow protestors said the cartoon resembled images formerly used to justify slavery.

“Me personally and the paper, we are sorry for the cartoon. It was not our intent to be racist or offend anyone,” said Quintana, who signed off on the cartoon, and subsequently took full responsibility for its publication.

“I understand now, and like I said, I’m deeply sorry and intend to rectify the situation.”

In Thursday’s edition of the Daily Lobo, Quintana wrote an article explaining the intent of the cartoon, and again apologized for it.

“By no means is an editorial going to fix everything,” Quintana said, “But it’s a step in the right direction.”
Image

Read more at KOAT →

Latinos Likely to Reach for Bud Light, Not Corona This Cinco de Mayo

Latinos Likely to Reach for Bud Light, Not Corona This Cinco de Mayo

Photo: Bud light

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Cinco de Mayo, the relatively minor holiday in Mexico, has grown to be a big celebration for those in the United States. And as Arizona party-goers head to the liquor store to buy beer, it may surprise some to learn that Mexican beer, like Corona, will more than likely be bought by non-Hispanic whites, while Bud Light is what the Latinos will reach for.

According to Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bud Light in the by the most popular beer in the country. Experts say that while the Mexican-beer imports are soaring, the popularity of Bud Light stands out.

Ray Arvizu, says the eagerness to embrace American culture, as well as brilliant marketing has made Bud Light so popular among U.S. Latinos.

“I call it that Americana effect,” said Arvizu, president of Arvizu Advertising and Promotion, which specializes in the Latino market. “People feel like it’s a well-known national brand. It makes them feel good. It represents part of the American dream.”

But wanting to “fit in” isn’t the only reason Bud Light is so popular with Latinos, it’s cheaper, and according to one study out of Arizona State University, Latinos, especially immigrant Latinos, found Bud Light to be “the nearest thing to Mexican beer (in taste) at a lower price.”

And while beer and other alcoholic beverages have sort of become the stars of the celebration, the day is actually to commemorate the Mexico’s 1862 defense of Puebla from the French – the strongest military power at the time.

Read more at AZ Central →

Foreign Born Hispanic Grounds Workers Suffering Fatalities at High Rates

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that fatal injuries among grounds maintenance workers is disproportionately higher for Latinos born outside of U.S. but equal for U.S. born Hispanics and the general work force.

The study found that overall grounds maintenance workers in the U.S. are at excess risk for occupational fatalities. Between 2003 and 2008, 1,142 grounds maintenance workers died from job-related injuries, accounting for one in every 30 occupational fatalities from traumatic injuries during that time.

While fatalities among Hispanics or Latinos were not disproportionately higher than deaths among non-Hispanics or Latinos, most of the deaths among Hispanics or Latinos (five out of every six) had been born outside the U.S., and Hispanic or Latino workers who died were nine years younger, on average, than non-Hispanic or Latino workers who died.

Transportation incidents and tree work were leading causes for the fatalities yet many deaths resulted from falls, electrocutions and drowning. Enforcement of regulations, outreach, and training are vital for preventing such deaths, including culturally meaningful safety training for Hispanic or Latino workers who comprise much of the grounds maintenance workforce.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rick Gonzalez is…Jesus in Lady Gaga’s Leaked “Judas” Video? (VIDEO)

Rick Gonzalez is…Jesus in Lady Gaga’s Leaked “Judas” Video? (VIDEO)

Photo: Lady Gaga and Rick Gonzalez

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Bound to offend, Rick Gonzalez (The Rookie, Coach Carter, Reaper [tv], War of the World) portrays what appears to be Jesus in Lady Gaga’s (leaked) video for her latest single “Judas.”


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Mexico Quietly Buys $4.6 Billion In Gold

Mexico Quietly Buys $4.6 Billion In Gold

Photo: Mexico buys nearly 100 tons of gold

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Throughout February and March of 2011, Mexico’s central banks quietly bought 93.3 tons of gold, likely as a way to diversify their “reserves away from the faltering U.S. dollar,” wrote the Financial Times.

The nearly 100 tons of gold is valued at $4.6 billion, which is about 3.5 percent of all the gold mined in a year. However, Mexico is not the only country buying large amounts of gold. China, Russia, and India have done the same, with Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Bolivia making smaller but substantial purchases.

Read more at Business Insider →

Asthma Affecting 3 Million Hispanics – Many Living Near Polluted Areas

“The simple act of taking a breath is a challenge for three million Hispanics with asthma,” said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance), the nation’s leading Hispanic health advocacy group. Commenting on Vital Signs data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Delgado stated, “Data released today by the CDC to mark World Asthma Day demonstrates how vital it is to the health of Hispanic communities to have a strong Clean Air Act and enforcement of air quality standards.”

Asthma is a respiratory disease that causes the airways in your lungs to become swollen, narrowed, or blocked making it difficult to breathe. For those with asthma, an attack can be triggered, among other causes, by indoor and outdoor allergens, tobacco smoke, or air pollutants such as smog or ozone. According to the Alliance, more than two-thirds (70%) of Hispanics live in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards for one or more pollutants. Some 15 percent of Hispanics live within 10 miles of a coal-fired power plant — well within the distance resident’s asthma can be triggered by contaminants in the smoke plume.

About one in ten children have asthma making it the most common chronic disease for U.S. children and a leading cause of childhood hospitalizations and school absences. The issue is particularly pronounced for Puerto Rican children with almost one in five (18.4%) currently having asthma. Studies also show that Hispanic children with asthma are less likely to have an asthma management plan or medication to control their asthma.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Eva Mendes New Star Ambassador of Pantene

Eva Mendes New Star Ambassador of Pantene

Photo: Hollywood Star Eva Mendes

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Beginning in July, Mendes will be Pantene’s spokesperson on TV and print advertising, in-store displays, iMedia and public relations campaigns.

The stunning star of such Hollywood blockbusters as “Hitch” (2005) and “The Other Guys” (2010) said that Pantene has helped her repair her overworked strands to bring them back to health.

“The amount of torture I put my hair through with flat irons, blow dryers and curling irons leaves my hair extremely damaged,” said Mendes. “With Pantene I can use all of these tools and still keep my hair healthy,” she continued. “It’s amazing to be working with a brand like Pantene that is so honest; there were no tricks on the set of the photo shoot. Each look was natural and never manipulated and my hair looked healthy and beautiful for every shot. Pantene products truly live up to what they promise.”

Eva will be joining Pantene’s other start ambassador Naomi Watts.  The Australian and Latin beauty don’t look anything alike but do share beautiful hair.  Both ladies will be featured on print and TV advertisements.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Diversity Capital of the World No Longer Los Angeles but New York

Diversity Capital of the World No Longer Los Angeles but New York

Photo: New York City Most Diverse

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The definition of diversity means ‘having or being composed of variety’ so when a minority has become a majority like the Hispanic population in Los Angeles – they are no longer deemed diverse.

The current census analysis has found that New York, especially areas like Brooklyn, are the most diverse with no one ethnicity dominating. 

Both Los Angeles and New York city experienced about the same growth in population (approximately 2.3%), both saw increase in Asians and Hispanic populations and declines in white and black populations.  So why is one more diverse than the other? 

It’s the mix of the ethnicities that has changed in New York.  The Asian population in New York grew by 31.8 percent buffering the growth of 8.1 percent by Hispanics – i.e. there is a little bit of everything in New York.

Regardless of which city is the most ethnically diverse the nationwide trend that came out of the 2010 census is that more than 50 percent of all U.S. cities have non-white majorities. 

Read more at Bloomberg →

Jalapeno Eating Champion Crowned - Fourth Win (VIDEO)

Jalapeno Eating Champion Crowned - Fourth Win (VIDEO)

Photo: Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti - Jalapeno Eating Champ

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Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti claimed victory for the fourth time at the fifth annual La Costena “Feel the Heat” Jalapeno Eating Championship Challenge. Bertoletti, currently the second world ranked competitive eater in the sanctioned sport of Major League Eating (MLE), ate 275 whole jalapenos in eight minutes. The fifth annual challenge was a highly anticipated rematch between the reigning champ and his fiery arch nemesis: five-foot-tall, 100-pound Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas. Thomas is the only other competitive eater, besides Bertoletti, who has won La Costena’s grueling competition.

Stems were removed from the jalapenos this year for the first time in the history of the eight minute contest. Bertoletti benefitted from this update and ended up shattering his 2010 record of 225 jalapenos to his current 2011 record of 275 jalapenos. “My goal coming in today was just to dominate and beat the record. That’s what I came here to do,” said champion Bertoletti. “It was a great day. The jalapenos were fast. La Costena always makes delicious jalapenos and that makes it easier.”

Thomas placed second by consuming 224 jalapenos, Eric “The Red” Denmark placed third by eating 121 jalapenos, and San Antonio local Alexander Hernandez ranked fourth, having eaten 113 jalapenos. “In this eight minute competition Pat Bertoletti ate 50 whole La Costena jalapenos more this year than last year. 275—it was nothing short of phenomenal,” said George Shea, MLE chairman and emcee. “When Pat was eating, his hands were a blur. You couldn’t tell where the jalapenos ended and the fingers began.”

To continually recognize both the skill and perseverance required to be among the top four competitors in the challenge, La Costena had increased the event’s prize offering for 2011 to a $6,250 cash purse. The champion was awarded $3,000, while the second- through fourth-place finishers were awarded $2,000, $750 and $500, respectively.


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Immigration Law: Florida Passes SB 2040. A Racial Profiling Bill

Immigration Law: Florida Passes SB 2040. A Racial Profiling Bill

Photo: Immigration Activist ordered to leave Fl State Capital

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Florida SB 2040 Passes in Florida. In a surprise move, the Senate voted on the immigration bill SB 2040.

Without debate, the Florida Senate unexpectedly voted Wednesday morning 23-16 to approve SB 2040, a controversial immigration crackdown bill.

The measure looked dead late Tuesday after senators shot down an amendment that would have made the bill tougher by pushing for a broader use of the federal government’s E-Verify system to check the immigration status of workers.

Dozens of immigration activists were ordered to leave the state Capitol building for violating an order by the Sergeant-at-Arms Donald Severance to not engage in any singing while sitting in the Senate’s visitors gallery. The activists and immigrants, wearing matching orange “We Are Florida” T-shirts, began singing immediately after the vote.

For the House to take up the Senate’s bill, it would require a two-thirds approval from the House chamber, because it is so late in the annual lawmaking session. It could be difficult for the House to meet that standard, with the legislative Hispanic and black caucuses—and most, if not all, Democrats—opposing SB 2040 and HB 7089.

Image Senator Jim Norman, R- Tampa, center, watches immigration protestors leave the visitors gallery in the Senate, Wednesday. The protesters sang in protest after the Senate passed the bill.

Read more at Tampa Bay.com →

Raft Made of Wood & Intertubes Intercepted on U.S. Waters with Cubans Attempting to Reach U.S.

Raft Made of Wood & Intertubes Intercepted on U.S. Waters with Cubans Attempting to Reach U.S.

Photo: Raft Made of Wood with Cuban Immigrants on Board

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection marine interdiction agents thwarted an attempt by four Cuban citizens to reach the U.S. on a crude raft Thursday morning.

While conducting marine operations in the waters south of Key West, agents aboard a CBP vessel received radio messages from the operator of another vessel in the area reporting a sighting of a slow-moving raft.

When the agents responded to the area they intercepted a raft made of wooden planks buoyed by automobile inner tubes and powered by a simple sail. Four people – two adult males, one adult female and a child – were aboard the raft. The agents pulled the CBP vessel alongside the raft and brought the four subjects aboard.

Initial interviews with subjects indicated they were residents of Cuba who were attempting to reach the U.S. All of the subjects appeared to be in good condition and did not require or ask for medical assistance.

The subjects were turned over to a U.S. Coast Guard cutter for further processing and possible repatriation.

“Moving through these waters in a well-built and well-equipped vessel can be difficult and dangerous so there are tremendous risks involved in attempting to traverse the open sea in this type of craft,” said Noel Mannheimer, director of marine operations for CBP’s Air and Marine Branch. “These people were very lucky that something did not happen to them before our vessel intercepted them. This is yet another case that shows why no one should ever attempt to illegally enter the United States.”

Read more by HS News Staff →



ThursdayMay 5, 2011