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WednesdayMay 11, 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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El Salvador Set to Improve Living Conditions of Women in Country

El Salvador Set to Improve Living Conditions of Women in Country

Photo: Women of El Salvador

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $20 million loan to help El Salvador finance the Ciudad Mujer (Women City) Program to be carried out by its Ministry of Social Inclusion to improve the lives of low-income women.

The program seeks to offer essential services, such as health services with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health, treatment and prevention of gender-based violence, vocational and business skills training, promotion of women´s rights, and childcare. The centers are to be strategically located in 12 areas across the country.

The first center, located in Lourdes-Colón, in the department of Libertad, was officially inaugurated on March 28 of this year with presence of Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director and Under-Secretary General of UN Women and was also recently visited by Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States. This center was built with national funds.

The IDB loan of $20 million with national counterpart financing for $9.2 million will finance the expansion of Ciudad Mujer, including the construction and adaptation of six additional Ciudad Mujer Centers. The IDB’s technical assistance in the project will also include a rigorous monitoring and evaluation plan designed to improve the delivery of services offered by Ciudad Mujer over time and thereby maximize their impact.

By delivering key services to women, the project addresses crucial development issues. Violence against women affects almost half the female population in El Salvador, and 82 women die in childbirth for every 100,000 live births. Salvadoran women, on average, earn only 57 percent of what men earn.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Foreclosures, Rentals Prime Real Estate for Drug, Human Sumgglers

Foreclosures, Rentals Prime Real Estate for Drug, Human Sumgglers

Photo: Foreclosured homes are prime real estate for drug and human smugglers

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Law enforcement officials say that as the number of foreclosure and rental properties rises in Santa Cruz County in Arizona, drug and human smugglers are finding it easier to obtain places to use for their illegal operations.

Local law enforcement officials are now busting at least one house a month full of either Mexican marijuana or people awaiting transport to locations throughout the U.S.

“It’s happening in Santa Cruz County, and not necessarily only in Nogales (or) only in Rio Rico,” Lt. Geraldo Castillo of the Santa Cruz County Metro Task Force said. “Wherever there are houses available, rentals, that’s what they’re looking for, available homes – good neighborhoods are not exempt.”

Castillo said smugglers tend to prefer renting houses over buying them outright, and as more people are renting their houses in attempts to avoid foreclosure, the market is prime for smugglers looking for locations to house their operations. And with Santa Cruz County having one of the highest foreclosure rates in the state, combined with it’s proximity to the border, it provides the smugglers with opportunity.

Around 1 in every 246 homes in the county went into foreclosure in January of 2011, with the national average being 1 in 494 homes.

Read more at Nogales International →

23 Cuban Illegals Land on U.S. Island Territories

23 Cuban Illegals Land on U.S. Island Territories

Photo: Mona Island

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Between Sunday and this morning, 23 aliens, claiming to be Cuban citizens, landed in both Mona Island and Monito Island after entering illegally into United States territory.

On Sunday Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol agents were notified by Park Rangers of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources of an incursion of a group of nine alleged alien Cubans that arrived in Mona Island from the Dominican Republic.

Today at noon, the Ramey Border Patrol Station received a call from the United States Coast Guard reporting an incursion on Monito Island.

USCG Cutter Key Largo stated that 14 subjects, 11 males and three females, had made landfall in the early morning hours, and identified themselves as Cuban nationals.

USCG Cutter Key Largo transferred the group to the Mayaguez Port where Border Patrol agents assumed custody and transported the Ramey Border Patrol Station to conduct the appropriate immigration interviews.

After admissibility processing at the Border Patrol Station, the 23 Cuban adults will receive a Notice to Appear (NTA) before an Immigration Judge, for further proceedings under the Cuban Migration Agreement of 1995 and the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.

Read more by HS News Staff →

REPORT:  Only 150 Latinos Hired by Illinois State Government Since 2000

REPORT:  Only 150 Latinos Hired by Illinois State Government Since 2000

Photo: Illinois State Government Hires Few Latinos

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Over the past decade, just 150 Latino employees have been added to the state workforce, according to analysis released in Springfield today by the Latino Policy Forum and the Illinois Association for Hispanic State Employees (IAHSE). More than 14 percent of labor force in Illinois, Latinos were only 4.7 percent of the state government workforce in 2010, with just over 2,000 state employees.

Employment disparities are particularly troubling given that Latinos accounted for more than 100 percent of the population growth in Illinois over the last decade. The nearly 500,000 more Latinos in Illinois compensated for White and African American population declines. Overall, Illinois grew by just over 411,000 people.

The Latino Policy Forum analysis is based on fiscal year 2010 employment data for the ten largest state agencies, on file with the Secretary of State, which represent 93.3 percent of the employees in coded state-level positions. Of the 44,841 employees, less than five percent were Latino. Of new hires, only 7.6 percent were Latino.

“Race-based hiring practices are illegal—race or ethnicity should not be a factor in any hiring decision, at the state level or otherwise,” said Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Latino Policy Forum. “But the bottom line is that the state has cited workforce diversity as a priority, and it is falling woefully short of its goals in this area.”


Even with this small gain, the workforce remains overwhelmingly white: Nearly 72 percent of employees are Caucasian. At 21 percent of the workforce, African Americans hold five times more jobs than Latinos, the largest minority in the state.

Read more at Latino Policy Forum →

Central American Migrants Sue Mexican Immigration Agents

Central American Migrants Sue Mexican Immigration Agents

Photo: Central American migrants sue Mexican immigration agents

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A group of Central American migrants are suing Mexican immigration agents after they allegedly pulled them off a bus and handed the migrants over to criminal gangs.

The Federal Institute for Public Defenders said officials from the National Migration Institute led the migrants off a bus headed for the U.S. border, and gave them to armed men. The federal government has said that at least six agents from the Migration Institute have been arrested in the case.

“We must emphasize that there will be zero tolerance of anyone who calls themselves a civil servant and breaks the law or participates in these crimes,” said Alejandro Poire, the government spokesman for security issues.

The migrants, who hail from various countries, were among 120 freed by Mexican soldiers in several raids in the last month in the northern state of Tamaulipas, which has seen a significant surge in violence over the last year as the drug gang, Los Zetas battle their former bosses, the Gulf Cartel.

Of the 120 kidnapped migrants, 81 were Mexicans, 33 were from Central America, and 6 were Chinese nationals.

Read more at AP →

Who is Latino? EVERYBODY is Latino! (VIDEO)

Who is Latino? EVERYBODY is Latino! (VIDEO)

Photo: Who is Latino? EVERYONE!

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The census reports that there are over 50 million Latinos in the United States! Watch this hilarious video by Kamikaze School’s Latino Rock, showing just how many celebrities are Latinos!

Read more by HS News Staff →

HAPPY 51, Bono! Por ser Día de tu Santo, te las Cantamos a ti! (VIDEO)

HAPPY 51, Bono! Por ser Día de tu Santo, te las Cantamos a ti! (VIDEO)

Photo: Bono is 51!

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U2 frontman Bono celebrated his 51st birthday in México yesterday, where locals gathered around to sing him “Las Mañanitas”

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

College Affordability in California at Risk for Latinos and Other Minorities

College Affordability in California at Risk for Latinos and Other Minorities

Photo: Scholarships for Latinos

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The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA today released two studies showing that college affordability in California is at risk and financial aid is urgently needed. 

Across the board students are found to be working too many hours to keep up with their studies and a huge proportion (30%) of those surveyed may abandon their studies and hopes of getting a college degree. The lowest income students are now getting a smaller share of the CSU’s State University Grant (SUG) than they received in the past, says the Civil Rights Project study, and middle-income students need increasingly more aid to keep up with rising costs. Although the federal Pell Grant has grown in recent years, the recent budget agreement means that it will not grow as tuition rises in the next several years and it will not be available for summer study after this year.

Although the Master Plan for Higher Education called for tuition-free affordable college for all qualified California students, the fiscal reality of California has led to the abandonment of that promise and rapidly rising tuition and other costs of college.  Over the last decade, the Civil Rights Project reports, the California State University (CSU) has sustained a substantial decrease in state general funds and has offset these decreases by increasing tuition and fees by over 166 percent.  In 1967 the state paid approximately 90% of a student’s education while today it pays approximately 64%.  As costs associated with college rise for students, including housing and books, attending and financing college may become too difficult for students with the greatest financial need, the reports find, particularly the state’s majority of Latino and African American youth.

The first study, by San Jose State University Professor Amy Leisenring, says that due to rising college costs and budget cuts, 86% of students surveyed in the study work for pay while in college, with underrepresented minority students comprising a large majority of students who work while in college.  Leisenring’s study explores the impact of recent budget cuts on Latino, African American and American Indian students, their views on tuition/fee increases and the affects of working in paid employment on their academic success.  Higher Tuition, More Work, and Academic Harm:  An Examination of the Impact of Tuition Hikes on the Employment Experiences of Under-represented Minority Students at One CSU Campus is based on survey data of 163 underrepresented minority students (URM), as well as in-depth interviews with 16 URM students.

Leisenring reported, “Many students spoke about the challenges of being told right before the semester started that they had to pay higher fees or face being dropped from all of their classes. Even students whose tuition was mostly or fully covered by financial aid were impacted by this as the university expected the students to come up with the funds for the fee increase before many students’ financial aid was processed.”

Key Findings:

86% of students reported working for pay; the majority working only one job (76%), while others held more than one job. 
The average number of hours worked was 27 hours per week.

83% of students worked 15 hours per week (83%); 36% reported working over 35 hours per week.  (Other research shows that students working more than 15 hours a week suffer in their academic performance).


60% of students report not being able to take the classes they need due to their work schedules.


Students report taking longer to graduate (62%) due to work, lacking time for school work (86%), lowered grades (70%), and multiple students reported missing many opportunities for on-campus support programs (65%), including faculty office hours. 


30% of students responded that they are considering dropping out of college.

The report concludes by urging policymakers to increase state funding for the SUG program so that it can prominently help those students with the greatest financial needs. Santos states, “In a state with extreme income inequality and flat or declining wages for many families, but where middle class status is increasingly limited to college graduates, this is an urgent priority.”

Read more at Civil Rights Project/UCLA →

In the Face Staunch Opposition, Chile Panel Approves Plan to Build Dams along Patagonia Rivers

In the Face Staunch Opposition, Chile Panel Approves Plan to Build Dams along Patagonia Rivers

Photo: Plan to build dams along Chile's Patagonia rivers is approved, many angered

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A panel in Chile has approved a plan to build dams along Patagonia rivers at the estimated cost of $7 billion in order to harness the rivers’ power for electricity.

At the end of a three-year environmental review, the Chilean government commission received the approval to build five dams on the Baker and Pascua rivers in Aysen, the mostly roadless area of southern Patagonia. The commission is hoping the dams, along with the country’s ever-growing economy and vast mineral wealth will bring it up to the rank of first-world nation.

The commission has long met opposition to the dams, and the site of Monday’s vote, Coyhaique, was no different, as protesters gathered outside the hearing. Some threw rocks at the commissioners’ cars. The police responded with a water canon and tear gas. Protesters also met in downtown Santiago, where several thousand people blocked a main road in protest. They were also met with tear gas and water cannons.

The protesters, along with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a lawyer for the U.S.-based National Resources Defense Council, are upset by the plan, because it would required roads to be carved through the heart of Chile’s remaining wilderness, and would run thousands of miles of transmission lines through it as it powers Santiago.

Kennedy kayaks the rivers every year, and said, “It’s the most beautiful place, I believe, on the planet. I don’t know any place like Patagonia.”

The opposition of the dams has grown to 61 percent of Chile’s population, and the government has stated they do worry about the backlash.

Tortel Mayor Bernardo Lopez said, “They should advocate for the citizens, but it seems that what really matters here is drawing foreign investment.”

Read more at San Francisco Gate →

The Cat Speaks English, But Purrs in Spanish (VIDEO)

The Cat Speaks English, But Purrs in Spanish (VIDEO)

Photo: Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek in 'Puss in Boots"

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Watch the trailer for the upcoming DreamWorks animated 3D feature “Puss in Boots,” voiced by Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek.

Remember the slick-yet-suave feline with the captivating huge eyes that first made an appearance in the 2004 Shrek 2?

Well, he got his own spinoff film!

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg was joined by Driector Chris Miller, Hayek and Banderas at Cannes Film Festival this Wednesday, where the group offered a 15 minute sneak peek into “Puss in Boots.”

“I feel very proud, actually. I never pretended when I first went to Hollywood to be a guy from Oklahoma,” said Banderas, when asked how he felt about representing Latino-Americans in Hollywood.

Hayek, who plays Puss’s rival/love interest Kitty Softpaws remarked that in the past, Latinos in Hollywood were relegated to token roles, but that is no longer the case.

“What’s interesting and great about it is it’s not contrived, it’s not like, ‘Oh, there’s a good Spanish market. Let’s now target them because we have not yet done the Mexican princess.” She added the film “got a life of its own, and that’s what created this, organically.”

“Fortunately, the Spanish community in the United States has grown,” said Banderas. “It’s been an explosion, not just in Hollywood, but other parts of society too. We have different positions of authority in society, we have senators, we are on the supreme court.”

“Puss in Boots” is the tale of the cat’s efforts to steal some magic beans from bandido outlaws Jack and Jill ( played by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris). Kitty Softpaws, wants the beans for herself, while Puss’ two-faced old acquaintance Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) shows up to join the heist.

The film opens next November.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Women Still Paid Less Than Men, With Minority Women Paid Even Less

Women Still Paid Less Than Men, With Minority Women Paid Even Less

Photo: Women earn an average of just $.77 for ever $1 men are paid, Latinas paid

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According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, the average woman in the United States, working full-time, is paid $10,622 less than their male counterparts, with minority women being paid even less.

The study was done in conjunction with the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and examined data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Examples in Alaska, California, Connecticut, and Michigan were given to illustrate what the difference in pay would equate to if the wage gap were closed.

In Alaska: 1.7 years’ worth of food

In California: 2,100 more gallons of gas

In Connecticut: 15 more months of rent

In Michigan: 10 more months of mortgage and utility payments

Debra L. Ness, president, National Partnership for Women and Families said, “This new data illustrate the very real harm unequal wages are doing to America’s working families. It is long past time to close the gender-based wage gap. With women playing an increasingly important role as family breadwinners, there is no time to waste.”

On average, women are only paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to full-time working men. Since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was passed, the wage gap has decreased by about half a cent a year, which, if continuing at this pace, would mean women will not earn the same as men until 2058.

For African-American and Latino women, the gap is even greater. In 2009, African-American women working full-time throughout the year were only paid 61 cents for every dollar paid to men, and Latino women only earning 52 cents for each dollar paid to non-Hispanic white men.

Read more at Hispanic MPR →

JUST IN:  Strong Earthquake Rocks Spain, Thus Far 7 Reported Dead (VIDEO)

JUST IN:  Strong Earthquake Rocks Spain, Thus Far 7 Reported Dead (VIDEO)

Photo: Earthquake in Lorca, Spain

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The Spanish government is reporting two strong earthquakes, this afternoon affecting the areas of Lorca and Murcia, Spain and leaving 7 dead thus far.  The 4.3 magnitude quake was felt in the afternoon followed by an aftershock of 5.3 in the southern region of Spain.

The after shock was felt 2 hours after the first one centered in Lorca, where a state of emergency has now been declared.  Two buildings are reported to have collapsed, including the belfry of the Santiago church in Lorca.  Most of the deaths were the result of falling debris.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Giant Galapagos Tortoise Has Been Seeking Partner for Over Half a Century - OUCH!

Giant Galapagos Tortoise Has Been Seeking Partner for Over Half a Century - OUCH!

Photo: Lonesome George

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Meet 100 year old Lonesome George, the giant Ecuadorean tortoise, who has been looking for a partner for half a century!

Despite not having spent a single day by himself in the last 40 years, George seems to have problems with commitment, or super high standards; every female his caregivers bring gets rejected by the enormous reptile, whose taste in tortoises apparently is limited to Pinta females.

Problem is, there are no Pinta females anywhere.

“We’re always sending out letters to see if there might be one out there, somewhere,” said Fausto Llerena, Lonesome George’s main caretaker. “But all the searches have been in vain.”

Since George was discovered in 1971, on Ecuador’s Pinta island, several scientists, park rangers and zoo officials have paraded tortoises of similar species in front of the centennial George to no avail.

The island’s vegetation had been devastated by feral goats, dogs and pigs brought by foreigners, who prayed on the tortoise egges, reducing the population to a single individual. George.

In 1991, George’s caretakers decided to place him with female tortoises from Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island. Two laid eggs, but none hatched. It was later determined that the Española tortoises were genetically closer to the Pinta, and in January, two Española females replaced the ones from Isabela Island.

“He’s getting to know them,” Llerena said. “Lately he seems more animated.”

We certainly hope he is able to get out of his shell a bit, and get a girlfriend!

Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

30 Senators Led by Senators Durbin, Reid & Menendez Introduce the DREAM Act

30 Senators Led by Senators Durbin, Reid & Menendez Introduce the DREAM Act

Photo: Dream Act Reintroduced

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Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and 30 other Senators introduced the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act today - a narrowly tailored bill to give undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing.

The Senator’s are looking at the U.S. Armed Forces and American economy as the biggest beneficiary if the DREAM Act passes: 

Tens of thousands of highly-qualified, well-educated young people would enlist in the Armed Forces if the DREAM Act becomes law.  The Defense Department’s FY 2010-12 Strategic Plan includes the DREAM Act as a means to help “shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force.”  Defense Secretary Gates, who supports the DREAM Act, says it “will result in improved recruitment results and attendant gains in unit manning and military performance.”  General Colin Powell has also endorsed the DREAM Act, saying, “Immigration is what’s keeping this country’s lifeblood moving forward.”

Whereas, a UCLA study concluded that DREAM Act participants could contribute $1.4-$3.6 trillion to the U.S. economy during their working lives.  New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who supports the DREAM Act, says, “They are just the kind of immigrants we need to help solve our unemployment problem.  It is senseless for us to chase out the home-grown talent that has the potential to contribute so significantly to our society.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Federal Authorities Warn School Districts: Do Not Ask Student, Parents About Immigration Status

Federal Authorities Warn School Districts: Do Not Ask Student, Parents About Immigration Status

Photo: Officials remind schools to not ask about a student's immigration status

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Public schools across the country are being warned by the federal government that they are not to ask their students about their immigration status, and are being reminded that all children must be educated regardless of status.

In the warning sent to Friday, the U.S. Justice and Education departments said, “Recently, we have become aware of student enrollment practices that may chill or discourage the participation, or lead to the exclusion, of students based on their or their parents’ or guardians’ actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status. These practices contravene federal law.”

The letter also states that a school districts may not deny students enrollment to school if they or their parents choose not to provide their Social Security numbers.

In Georgia, however, lawmakers are trying to pass legislation that would counter these warnings with bills like HB 296, which failed to even make it out of committee earlier this year.

Despite HB 296 being shot down, the state’s lawmakers are still planning to push it next year. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Josh Clark (R-Buford), said, “As policymakers, we need to have an accurate tally of what it is costing the taxpayers as we educate those who are here illegally. We can then have our options whether we perhaps sue the federal government and say, ‘Hey, you know what. This is your responsibility. This burden should not be on the backs of Georgia citizens, who are playing by the rules.’ “

Read more at Atlanta Journal-Constitution →

With No Minorities or Women in the Boardroom, Urban Outifitters is Being Pressured to Change

With No Minorities or Women in the Boardroom, Urban Outifitters is Being Pressured to Change

Photo: Urban Outfitters needs to diversify boardroom, say shareholders

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In March, Atlantic magazine pointed out the “23 Global Companies With No Women on the Boards,” and now, one of those on the list, Urban Outfitters, is under pressure from shareholders to include more women and minorities in their boardroom.

“Unlike its five leading category competitors (by market value) – The Gap, Inc. (GPS), Limited Brands, Inc. (LTD), Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN), Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST), and Abercrombie & Fitch Company (ANF) – all of which have at least one woman and/or minority group member on their boards of directors, Urban Outfitters, Inc. has no diversity in its boardroom and is actually opposing a shareholder resolution that would allow owners of the company to affirm that diversity is valued at URBN,” a news release stated.

The retail chain sells products as Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN, Leifdottir and Terrain.

Analyst Aditi Mohapatra said, “Diversity is an essential measure of sound governance and a critical attribute to a well-functioning board.”

Mohapatra is from Calvert Investment Management Inc. from Bethesda, Md, which is co-sponsor of the shareholder resolution that is urging Urban Outfitters to “affirm that diversity is valued.”

Adding, “Urban Outfitters’ current approach to diversity is particularly notable given that its Anthropologie store chain is marketed heavily to women. Nearly all major U.S. retailers have made major strides to embrace more diversity in the board room, making it rare for such a company to take the step of publicly opposing a shareholder resolution affirming diversity as a corporate value.”

Read more at Philidelphia Business Journal →

Cuba to Allow Citizens to Travel Abroad

Cuba to Allow Citizens to Travel Abroad

Photo: Cubans allow to Travel as Tourists

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For the first time in 50 years, the Cuban government will allow its nationals to travel the world as tourists.

The government led by Fidel Castro’s younger brother, Raúl, made the official announcement on Monday, though it didn’t provide more details on the new travel policy.

The change means that Cubans who wish to travel won’t have to provide government officials with a formal invitation from the country they wish to visit or pay the mandatory $150 fee for an exit request, which might be denied. Currently, Cubans must limit their foreign visits to 30 days, and spend an average of $400 in paperwork and red tape, when the monthly wage in Cuba is $20.

The announcement made on Monday, included a promise to allow residents to buy and sell homes, automobiles and pledged to make bank loans readily available.

Read more at Business Insider →

IDB Aims to Save 350,000 Lives in Latin America thru Road Safety Instruction

IDB Aims to Save 350,000 Lives in Latin America thru Road Safety Instruction

Photo: Car Accidents in Latin America

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The Inter-American Development Bank today participated in launching the first Decade of Action for Road Safety that the World Health Organization is carrying out with the objective of saving 350,000 lives in Latin America and the Caribbean between 2011 and 2020. The initiative seeks to prevent deaths and injuries from traffic accidents, which claim millions of lives worldwide, mainly of young people aged 15 to 29.

The economic cost of these road accidents and injuries is estimated at between 1 percent and 3 percent of the countries’ gross domestic product. These costs include health insurance, pensions, logistics, and lost productivity, among others.

The IDB announced that it will work with a variety of stakeholders to mobilize resources and carry out measures required to cut numbers of deaths from accidents in the region by 50 percent. According to the Global Road Safety Facility, the 130,000 deaths projected for 2020 would be reduced to 65,000; as such, 350,000 lives would be saved over the 10-year period.

The Bank is working closely with governments to design and implement plans and strategies for road safety. It is also participating with other multilateral development banks to join forces and mobilize resources and establishing partnerships with private entities.

Katzman and Cecilia Ramos, IDB Executive Director for Mexico, are participating in road safety events taking place in Mexico City under the auspices of the Minister of Health and Transport. Mexico is hosting the launch of the Decade of Action in Latin America. Similar events are taking place simultaneously in different parts of the world.”

The IDB is promoting a more comprehensive and multisectoral approach for addressing road safety problems in the region through links among the transport, health, education, and finance sectors,” said Ramos during the launch event.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, traffic accidents claimed the lives of 100,000 people in 2010. If no action is taken, the region will have the highest rate traffic fatalities by 2020―17 to 31 deaths per 100,000 population, which is nearly four times the rate in developed countries.

Unlike in most developed countries, about half of the people in Latin America who die in road accidents are not the drivers, but rather pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, who are usually known as vulnerable users.

Read more at IADB →

Hispanic Americans Less Likely to Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

Hispanic Americans Less Likely to Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

Photo: Hispanic Stroke Patients

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While stroke, heart disease and other cerebrovascular diseases are the fourth leading cause of death in Hispanics – stroke and heart disease account for one in four deaths among Hispanic men and one in three deaths among Hispanic women - findings suggest that a stroke knowledge deficit is more pronounced among this population.

In recognition of Stroke Awareness Month, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is working to increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke and the urgency of seeking medical attention among the Hispanic community.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries blood and oxygen to the brain is blocked by plaque or a blood clot (acute ischemic stroke), or breaks (hemorrhagic stroke), destroying up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute. Approximately 795,000 strokes occur each year.

According to the Office of Minority Health, Hispanics between the ages of 35 and 64 are more likely to suffer a stroke than non-Hispanic whites. In a survey of 2,000 women about stroke, Hispanics were less aware of the signs and symptoms of stroke than Caucasians.

Furthermore, in a separate study of 25,426 individuals, non-English speaking Hispanic Americans, compared to those who speak English, were also less likely to identify the signs and symptoms of stroke or recognize the need for immediate medical attention.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Re-introducing the DREAM ACT- Sen Durbin and Rep. Gutierrez standing together LIVE FEED

Re-introducing the DREAM ACT- Sen Durbin and Rep. Gutierrez standing together LIVE FEED

Photo: Sen Durbin and Rep. Gutierrez

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The DREAM Act would allow a select group of immigrant students with great potential to contribute more fully to America. These young people were brought to the U.S. as children and should not be punished for their parents’ mistakes. The DREAM Act would give these students a chance to earn legal status if they:



Came to the U.S. as children (15 or under)
Are long-term U.S. residents (continuous physical presence for at least five years)
Have good moral character
Graduate from high school or obtain a GED
Complete two years of college or military service in good standing



The DREAM Act would benefit the U.S. Armed Forces. Tens of thousands of highly-qualified, well-educated young people would enlist in the Armed Forces if the DREAM Act becomes law. The Defense Department’s FY 2010-12 Strategic Plan includes the DREAM Act as a means to help “shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force.” Defense Secretary Gates, who supports the DREAM Act, says it “will result in improved recruitment results and attendant gains in unit manning and military performance.” General Colin Powell has also endorsed the DREAM Act, saying, “Immigration is what’s keeping this country’s lifeblood moving forward.”


The DREAM Act would stimulate the American economy. A UCLA study concluded that DREAM Act participants could contribute $1.4-$3.6 trillion to the U.S. economy during their working lives. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who supports the DREAM Act, says, “They are just the kind of immigrants we need to help solve our unemployment problem. It is senseless for us to chase out the home-grown talent that has the potential to contribute so significantly to our society.”


The DREAM Act includes important restrictions to prevent abuse. DREAM Act participants are not eligible for Pell and other federal grants and are subject to tough criminal penalties for fraud. DREAM Act applicants must apply within one year of obtaining a high school degree/GED or the bill’s enactment; and must prove eligibility by a preponderance of the evidence. To be eligible, an individual must submit biometric information; undergo background checks and a medical exam; register for the Selective Service; demonstrate the ability to read, write, and speak English; and demonstrate knowledge of the history and government of the U.S. An individual cannot qualify if he or she is ineligible for immigration relief on criminal or national security grounds.


The DREAM Act has broad bipartisan support in Congress and from the American people. In the 111th Congress, the DREAM Act passed the House and received a strong bipartisan majority vote from 55 Senators. According to a recent poll by Opinion Research Corporation, 70% of likely voters favor the DREAM Act, including 60% of Republicans.


The DREAM Act is supported by labor, business, education, civil rights and religious groups, including the AFL-CIO, the National PTA, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the CEOs of Fortune 100 companies like Microsoft and Pfizer, and dozens of colleges and universities.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. and Colombia Sign Open Skies Agreement

U.S. and Colombia Sign Open Skies Agreement

Photo: Open Skies Agreement with Colombia

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On May 10, in Bogota, Under Secretary of State William J. Burns and Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin signed a new air transport agreement which, following a subsequent exchange of notes between the two countries, will establish a bilateral Open Skies air transportation relationship.

The Agreement will strengthen and expand the already strong trade and tourism links with Colombia, benefiting U.S. and Colombian businesses and travelers by expanding air service and encouraging vigorous price competition by airlines, while safeguarding aviation safety and security.

On May 10, in Bogota, Under Secretary of State William J. Burns and Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin signed a new air transport agreement which, following a subsequent exchange of notes between the two countries, will establish a bilateral Open Skies air transportation relationship.  The United States has achieved Open Skies with over 100 partners from every region of the world and at every level of economic development.

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Missouri’s 11th Hour Attack on Immigrants

Missouri’s 11th Hour Attack on Immigrants

Photo: No English only

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The MO state legislature has less than a week before they adjourn, but House Bill 167—the bill that would make it next to impossible for thousands of Missouri’s immigrants to get a driver’s license—has resurfaced at the eleventh hour. 

For years, the state has allowed people with limited English proficiency to take the written driver’s exam in their own language.  HB167 would change all that, requiring that the test only be given in English.  For thousands of Missourians, this is the difference between getting their license or not. 

Without a license, how can someone get to work, take kids to school, and be a contributing member of the community?

Tell your senator to vote no on anti-immigrant attacks! Click Here to send an email to your senator telling them you oppose discriminating against immigrants.  Tell your senator to VOTE NO on HB167!

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12 Illegal Aliens Rescued Inside Cargo Truck with No Ventilation

12 Illegal Aliens Rescued Inside Cargo Truck with No Ventilation

Photo: Illegal Border Crossers

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents assigned to the Falfurrias Station saved the lives of 12 illegal aliens, who were confined in a cargo truck with no ventilation on Saturday.

Agents working at the Falfurrias Checkpoint were conducting an inspection on the truck when a CBP Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the presence of suspected contraband. The cargo truck was sent for an X-ray scan that indicated the possible presence of humans inside the vehicle. Agents opened the truck and found 12 people hidden inside. One person who was fainting from heat exhaustion and lack of ventilation was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

The rest of the group was sweating profusely and asked for water. They all stated that they had difficulty breathing inside the truck.

The driver was arrested on alien smuggling charges and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations special agents for further investigation. The illegal aliens were processed for removal to their countries of origin.

For the current operating year, CBP Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector have rescued more than 60 illegal aliens whose lives were in jeopardy due to a variety of circumstances.

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WednesdayMay 11, 2011