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FridayMay 13, 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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Heinous & Random Crime in Spain: Shopper Beheaded in Grocery Store (VIDEO)

Heinous & Random Crime in Spain: Shopper Beheaded in Grocery Store (VIDEO)

Photo: Beheaded on Tenerife Island in Spain

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Spanish authorities are reporting a gruesome and apparently random crime on the Spanish island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

A homeless man known to authorities to have psychiatric issues, entered the local grocery in the Vales Shopping Centre, where he proceeded to steal a knife that he used to behead a local female shopper. 

Deyan Valentinov, as some reports have identified him, was chased and eventually restrained.  He was found carrying the unidentified victims head. The victim is thought to be a British citizen in her 60’s.


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Read more at Sky News →

Social Security Benefits Remain a Vital Source of Retirement Income for Latinos

Social Security Benefits Remain a Vital Source of Retirement Income for Latinos

Photo: Social Security Benefits Remain a Vital Source of Retirement Income for Latinos

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New report by the University of Southern California (USC) Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging underscores the importance of Social Security to Latinos

Social Security is a critical income source for elderly and disabled Latinos because of their socioeconomic condition, higher rates of disability and longer life expectancy, according to a report published by the University of Southern California (USC) Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging.

"Social Security is currently the only robust, reliable source of retirement income for low-income workers, underscoring the importance of ensuring the program's viability for current, future and retired Latino workers," said USC Roybal Institute Executive Director William A. Vega, who co-authored the primer, commissioned by AARP, with Pre-Doctoral Fellow Zachary D. Gassoumis.

Latinos represent a significant percentage of working-class laborers in sectors with fluctuating seasonal employment, where occupational injuries and disabilities are common, and where there are fewer opportunities to participate in a workplace savings program. Both working age and older Latinos have higher rates of disability than non-Latino whites. Accordingly, the primer said, increasing the retirement age for Social Security would impose a significant and disproportionate financial burden on Latinos who retire early due to work-related health issues.

Noting that Latinos' average life expectancy exceeds that of Americans overall, the report highlighted the importance of ensuring benefits to qualified Latinos are not eroded over time by inflation and continue to allow families to meet their basic financial necessities.

"We must stay true to the original intention of Social Security, and provide adequate resources for a sustainable and dignified retirement," Vega said. "Given current unstable economic conditions, this will require a sufficiently flexible policy framework that will not render people with low incomes vulnerable to hardships that other Americans are not expected to endure."

Almost half of all older Latinos would live in poverty without Social Security benefits; 25 percent of Latino men and 27 percent of Latinas aged 65 or older relied on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their family income, the report said.

Although Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the nation, they remain a relatively young population and will contribute to the Social Security system for many years to come without receiving benefits until decades later, the primer said.

"The promise of retirement security that Social Security provides for millions of Americans today is particularly significant to Latinos, both now and in the future, as demonstrated by this important research," said AARP board member Fernando Torres-Gil. "This Roybal Institute report underscores the need for our elected officials to consider what impact any proposed changes to the program will have on all Americans as they work to strengthen retirement security for future generations."

The primer, "Impact of Social Security and Proposed Benefit Changes on the Latino Population," is available online at:

http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/build/templates/issues/advocacy/socsec/usc_latino_ss_primer_vega.pdf

Read more at AARP →

Enrique Iglesias Announces Tour With Pitbull and Prince Royce

Enrique Iglesias Announces Tour With Pitbull and Prince Royce

Photo: Prince Royce, enrique Iglesias and Pitbull

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“We each have our own style. When you combine it, it will be a great show,” Iglesias said. “Being on tour with Enrique Iglesias and Prince Royce proves that unity through music is still a driving force in our community,” Pitbull added. “It will be a show full of energy and the fans will have a good time.”

Tickets go on sale May 20.

See the tour dates below:


Thursday, Sept. 22           Boston, MA
Saturday, Sept. 24             Newark, NJ
Tuesday, Sept. 27             Washington DC
Thursday, Sept. 29           Toronto, ON
Friday, Sept. 30               Detroit, MI
Saturday, October 1           Chicago, IL
Thursday, October 6           Los Angeles, CA
Friday, October 7             San Jose, CA
Saturday, October 8           Las Vegas, NV
Wednesday, October 12       Houston, TX
Thursday, October 13         San Antonio, TX
Saturday, October 15         El Paso, TX
Sunday, October 16           Laredo, TX
Tuesday, October 18         Dallas, TX
Thursday, October 20         Atlanta, GA
Friday, October 21           Orlando, FL
Saturday, October 22         Miami, FL

Read more by HS News Staff →

Criminals Target Texas Hispanic Community with Fake Antibiotics

Criminals Target Texas Hispanic Community with Fake Antibiotics

Photo: Fake Antibiotics Sold to Hispanics

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Criminals targeting the Hispanic community in Texas distributed fake over the counter medicines described to be children’s antibiotics to pharmacies across the state, sparking a state investigation and a warning to parents.

The products, dietary supplements sold under names that very closely resemble the names of legitimate antibiotics and marketed primarily to Spanish-speaking consumers, have caused adverse reactions that require hospital visits, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)

“This targeted attack on the Hispanic community is alarming and dangerous, which is why we are working with PSM to alert members of our community in Texas to this public health threat. We have to ensure that parents are aware of this fraud and the fact that some of these products may still be on the shelves or in their medicine cabinets at home,” said Gus West, chairman of The Hispanic Institute . “We urge consumers who are concerned about medicines they have purchased to contact the DSHS for assistance.”

Officials say the products are available in capsule, syrup and other forms and sold under names such as Amoxilina, Pentrexcilina, Ampitrexyl, Citricillin, Amoximiel and Pentreximil. DSHS is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate the situation and identify the source of the products and if they have been found in other states. Stores have been asked to remove the products from their shelves, and consumers should discard any that they have purchased.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Juárez Police Chief Seeks Political Asylum in the US (VIDEO)

Former Juárez Police Chief Seeks Political Asylum in the US (VIDEO)

Photo: Marisol Valles Garcia,

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Marisol Valles Garcia was forced to flee her country due to continuous threats, she says from the safety of the United States “My country is so close, but so far away”.



Read more by HS News Staff →

Sofía Vergara to Star in “The Paperboy”, Project Developed by Pedro Almodovar

Sofía Vergara to Star in “The Paperboy”, Project Developed by Pedro Almodovar

Photo: The cast and Director of "The Paperboy"

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Billed as a sexual thriller, the Colombian actress will star next to Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and Tobey Maguire.

The film, based on a novel by Pete Dexter, follows a Miami Times reporter as he returns to his Florida hometown to investigate the imprisonment of a death row inmate accused of murdering the town’s Sheriff.

The project was developed by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, and will be directed by Lee Daniels (“Precious”).

“This is a good film for us, a project that has Pedro Almodovar attached, is set in the steamy South, directed by Lee Daniels, Hilary Shor producing, and with the incredible cast of Matthew, Tobey, Sofia and Zac.”  Said producer Avi Lerner.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Illegal Organ Transplants in Latin America Exploit the Poor as Patients Grow Desperate

Illegal Organ Transplants in Latin America Exploit the Poor as Patients Grow Desperate

Photo: Latin American illegal organ transplants continue to exploit the poor

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As many are looking for any means of escaping poverty, the illicit market of organ transplants is growing.

Every year, about 5,000 gravely people form the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel pay others to donate an organ, but in some cases, the donor, patient, or both die from complications, begging the question: Is it worth the risk?

While affluent and often desperate patients travel to the Philippines, Peru, and Egypt, to ask poverty stricken people to donate their organs, Latin American transplants tend to be arranged by unlicensed brokers. For a fee, these transplants are performed by accredited surgeons, some having trained the best in the world at top medical schools.

Desperation has driven the sick patients to seek donors abroad, as the U.S. has 110,693 people on waiting lists for organs, with only about 15,000 donors found each year.

Illegal organ traders prey on the less fortunately and search the world’s slums to try to entice potential donors with the price of enough money that can carry them and their families out of the immense poverty.

In Colombia, according to the their National Health Institute, 321 foreigners got transplants from 2005 to 2010. Sadly, says Juan Lopez a doctor who oversees Colombia’s organ transplant system as NHI director, the surgeries are driven by profit for hospitals, doctors, and brokers.

Lopez has gone to court to try to stop 23 transplants in 2010.

“I don’t want my country to be a Mecca for transplant tourism.”

Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have passed laws restricting or banning organ donations by people who aren’t related to the patient.

Read more at Bloomberg →

POLL: Americas Young More Tolerant & Accepting of Immigrants and Minorities

POLL: Americas Young More Tolerant & Accepting of Immigrants and Minorities

Photo: Youth Pro-Immigrant Views

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A new national survey of Americans’ attitudes on immigration, race, ethnicity and religion shows a large majority of Americans (60%) support allowing legal immigrants to vote in local elections, with the strongest support coming from young Americans and opposed only by a majority of those over age 60.

The poll, conducted by Hamilton’s Survey Research class under the direction of Professor of Government Philip Klinkner, found that almost half of all young people feel the government should focus more on integrating illegal immigrants into American society, and 60% of youth strongly or somewhat approve of President Obama’s performance compared with only 40% of those age 60 and older.

Klinkner, the James S. Sherman Professor of Government,  and his students collaborated with the research firm, Knowledge Networks, to conduct the national poll which queried more than 1,000 Americans, including 443 young people aged 18-29. 

The online survey, conducted from March 12 - March 21, included 941 individuals who took the survey in English and 66 respondents who took the survey in Spanish. 

To measure attitudes toward immigrants, respondents were asked a series of questions that measure different dimensions of perceived character of immigrants and their impact on American society including whether they commit crimes or follow the law, contribute to the economy or hurt it, and are more likely to go on welfare or pay taxes. These are some of the significant findings:

• Overall, most Americans hold a neutral position toward immigrants with perhaps a slight tilt toward negative views.  Broken down by age, young people are slightly more positive toward immigrants. When asked what kind of impact immigrants had on their community as opposed to the country, all respondents are less negative in their responses and young Americans are significantly more positive in their assessment of the impact of immigrants than are older Americans.

• When asked whether the United States should focus more on integrating illegal immigrants into American society or should it do more to enforce laws against illegal immigration, almost 50% of young people feel the country should focus more on integrating illegal immigrants into American society. Similarly, young people are more likely to believe that the United States is spending too much on trying to stop illegal immigration.

• There exists a distinct dichotomy on whether or not illegal immigrants can become citizens if they meet special circumstances. Although almost 50% of all respondents feel that illegal immigrants should not become citizens even if they meet special conditions, all age groups are strongly supportive of allowing illegal immigrants who serve in the military to become citizens. This holds true even among those who had earlier stated that they thought illegal immigrants should never be allowed to become citizens.

• Surprisingly, a large majority of Americans (60%) support allowing legal immigrants to vote in local elections, with the strongest support coming from young Americans and opposed only by a majority of those over age 60.

• A majority of respondents, regardless of age, felt that English should be made the official language so that all government forms (driver’s test, election ballots, etc.) would only be available in English.

• A majority of Americans, even those under 30, are likely to support amending the Constitution to end birthright citizenship although young Americans are less likely.

• Likewise a majority, even those under 30, support the new Arizona anti-illegal immigration law, including a provision that requires people to prove to police officers that they are citizens or legal immigrants.

• When asked about the impact on the United States when, 20 years from now, the majority of the U.S. population will be non-whites or members of current minority groups, young Americans are much more positive about the impact. Even among whites, young Americans are more likely to see these changes as positive, while almost half (47%) of Americans over age 60 feel strongly or somewhat that the impact will be negative.

• Among all age groups, support for building a mosque is significantly less than for building a church.  Nonetheless, the difference among young Americans is significantly lower than for other groups. Nearly half of young people would support the building of a mosque, versus only 19% of those over age 60.

Klinkner and his students at Hamilton devised the poll questions, which were distributed via the Knowledge Networks Panel, an online, non-volunteer access panel whose members are chosen through a statistically valid sampling frame covering 99% of the U.S. population.       

Previous polls funded by the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center have addressed youth attitudes exclusively and have focused on the environment, abortion, patriotism, immigration, politics and the U.S. Senate, Muslim Americans, gay issues, gun regulation and race issues.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanics File Suit After Memphis Trailer Park Floods, Leaving Many In Shelters

Hispanics File Suit After Memphis Trailer Park Floods, Leaving Many In Shelters

Photo: Trailer parks in Memphis completely under water after Mississippi River Flood

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The devastation caused by the flooding of the Mississippi River has left a number of Mexican immigrants that were living in Memphis-area trailer parks struggling to put their lives back together.

Last year’s flooding resulted in a lawsuit in which residents say they were not told about the frequently-flooding park. Now the Mississippi has overflowed once again, and the initial community, Memphis Mobile City, has flooded all once more.

This time however, more trailer parks have flooded, many also with Hispanic residents, resulting in two of the four emergency shelters being made up of more than 90 percent Hispanic evacuees.

That 90 percent it alarming considering that recent statistics indicate that Hispanics only make up about 6 percent of Memphis’ population. Some of those displaced are in the country are undocumented, as mobile homes appeal to them since only limited documentation is required ad it’s a way of owner your own home.

Local authorities have advised those displaced, immigrants – legal or otherwise – to seek help said Mauricio Calvo, head of Latino Memphis.

Calvo questions why people were told they could place their mobile homes in areas that were unsafe, and why the residents were not warned of the dangers.

“It just doesn’t make any sense, because this doesn’t just cost money to the homeowners. It costs money to the entire community.”

Commericial Appeal wrote:

After a May 1, 2010, flood pushed trailer park residents, many of them Mexican, out of Memphis Mobile City, the Mexican consulate in Little Rock asked Memphis attorney Charles Blatteis to represent residents. Attorney Webb Brewer is also participating in the lawsuit.

Twenty-nine people filed suit on May 2, alleging the trailer park markets almost exclusively to Hispanics, doesn’t tell prospective buyers about the likelihood of flooding and exploits their weak English to lock them into unfair contracts.

In the lawsuit, it also states that the UHM Properties, owner of Memphis Mobile City, made no attempt to improve the residents’ situation, since the mobile homes are not allowed to be moved until fully paid for. The park has been flooded 6 times in the last 10 years.

Read more at Commercial Appeal →

Miner who Wrote “We’re Ok” Message Wants it back from Chilean President

Miner who Wrote “We’re Ok” Message Wants it back from Chilean President

Photo: Piñera Snubs Miner

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The Chilean miner who wrote the famous message “We’re Ok” message wants that little piece of paper back from Chilean President Sebastian Piñera.  ImageJosé Ojeda can only hope Piñera returns the little paper with the survival message, as he once promised.

When José Ojeda came out from his underground nightmarish odyssey, he was certain President Sebastián Piñera would return to him the little paper that saved his life, and those of his 32 mining co-workers.

He didn’t and it wasn’t for lack of trying on Ojeda’s part.  He even asked the President directly when they first met after the rescue.

Piñera didn’t return the little paper next time when they saw each other, at the presidential palace—La Moneda, last October. Instead, Ojeda says, the president gave him a really strange answer after telling him he had to make an appointment to pick it up.

“I really don’t want to create a controversy here, but he told me he could make an identical copy, and that I would have to recognize mine, that he would scan the little paper and I’d have to guess which was the original, and which the copy,” said Ojeda.

What the fudge, Piñera? The man just wants to donate the paper to a museum in Copiapó dedicated to remembering the tragedy and the 33 miners. That’s all!  It’s not like he is going to sell it on eBay or Craiglist.

The miner said that he has sent emails and letters, but has gotten no answer, as many of his miner friends when they call or write to ask about the pension compensations the government promised and has not delivered.

Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Launches Ads in U.S. in Hopes of Increasing Tourism

Mexico Launches Ads in U.S. in Hopes of Increasing Tourism

Photo: Mexico's ads

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Hoping to turn around their image as a drug- and violence-filled country, Mexico has launched an ad campaign to highlight the country’s assets, as it tries to increase tourism as the summer months quickly approach.

“Those travel alerts that were headlining ‘If you want to stay alive, don’t travel to Mexico,’ we felt they were not only totally inaccurate but irresponsible,” Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete, the Mexico Tourism Board’s CEO told Reuters on Thursday.

Millions of dollars are being spent on print media and billboard ads in U.S. cities displaying Mexico’s beautiful beaches and ancient pyramids in hopes that U.S. vactioners won’t cancel their trips.

Lopez-Negrete said that despite the publicized violence, the number of people coming to Mexican resorts its back up to 2008 levels, but revenue is down, as hotels and resorts offered lower rates to entice travelers to visit.

“We were able to drive volume upwards at a cost of lower pricing but we are happy with that because as in any other business, volume comes back first, then you start escalating to the proper pricing,” he said. “That’s the strategy.”

He adds that inaccurate travel warnings have hurt Mexico’s tourism business, which is the country’s third largest source of foreign currency.

Earlier this year, ahead of Spring Break, the Texas Department of Public Safety warned college students about he dangers of traveling to Mexico, and often included the message: “Stay Alive.”

ImageThough Mexico is seeing an influx of violence in recent years, the resort towns of Cancun, Huatulco, Ixtapa, and Puerto Vallarta are far form the border where the majority of the violence is occurring as drug cartels fight to take control of ideal drug routes in along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Lopez-Negrete said that while resorts were half earlier in the year, at Easter, they were almost full.

“The appetite continues to be there, because investors know tourism has always been very profitable in Mexico and the quality and value is second to none,” he said. “There is confidence in initiatives President Calderon has taken.”

Read more at Reuters →

State Officials to Travel to Argentina & Brazil to Discuss Academic Exchanges

State Officials to Travel to Argentina & Brazil to Discuss Academic Exchanges

Photo: Fulbright Discussions with Latin American Officials

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In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Deputy Assistant Secretary Romanowski will inaugurate the Fulbright Regional Network for Applied Research (NEXUS) Program. The NEXUS initiative brings together early career scholars, professionals, and mid-career researchers from the United States and other Western Hemisphere nations for a series of seminars and a Fulbright exchange experience.

While in Buenos Aires, Deputy Assistant Secretary Romanowski will also meet with Argentine university administrators, Fulbright Commission Board members, scholars and alumni, ACCESS English Micro-scholarship students, English teachers and Education USA staff at the U.S.-Argentine Cultural Institute (ICANA.)

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, Deputy Assistant Secretary Romanowski will meet with Brazil’s Fulbright Commission Board members and Fulbright alumni, and attend a round-table with university administrators and scholars at the University of Sao Paulo. In Rio de Janeiro, she will meet with the Education USA staff, U.S. and Brazilian exchange participants and administrators, and other educational officials. In Brasilia, she will meet with Brazilian Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government officials.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Fulbright NEXUS program, announced in August 2010, draws on U.S. foreign policy priorities to promote the sharing of best practices to fight poverty and encourage innovation in creative and socially responsible ways. The Fulbright NEXUS Program is a collaborative model for regional scholarly exchange that enables program participants to explore public policy research questions while involving governments, NGOs, businesses, and communities in the implementation of their projects. Participants are expected to develop effective strategies related to their research at the local, national and regional levels.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 300,000 participants from more than155 countries with the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared concerns.

Read more by HS News Staff →

It’s a Latino PanderFiesta Says Stephen Colbert (VIDEO)

It’s a Latino PanderFiesta Says Stephen Colbert (VIDEO)

Photo: Stephen Colbert from the Colbert Report

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It’s a Latino PanderFiesta Says Stephen Colbert

Read more by HS News Staff →

Carlos Santana to go on Tour With George López This Fall (VIDEO)

Carlos Santana to go on Tour With George López This Fall (VIDEO)

Photo: Divine Rascals George López and Carlos Santana

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Carlos Santana to go on tour with George López this fall.  No joke folks! Or actually, jokes aplenty from funnyman George López, accompanied by musical interludes by Carlos Santana!

The tour titled “Divine Rascals” will see G. Lo and guitar extraordinaire Carlos Santana take turns performing; a night of stand up comedy mixed with virtuoso string picking might indeed sound unorthodox, but as Carlos Santana points out, it has been done successfully in the past:

“I am delighted to be going on the road with George Lopez! Besides giving me the chance to perform alongside a dear friend, these shows take me back to the grand old Bill Graham days, when different kinds of entertainment were featured on the same bill. Divine Rascals will be a joyous experience.”

“Divine Rascals” certainly sounds like a show worth seeing; but if you still have your reservations, which is perfectly understandable, watch the video below.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Big Oil Doing Something Right – ConocoPhillips Pulls Out of Amazon Project

Big Oil Doing Something Right – ConocoPhillips Pulls Out of Amazon Project

Photo: Oil drilling in Peruvian Amazon

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ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva announced at its Annual General Meeting of shareholders that the company has withdrawn from its controversial co-venture with Repsol-YPF in Oil Block 39 of the remote northern Peruvian Amazon.

Oil drilling in Block 39 and neighboring Block 67 has come under fire from human rights groups due to the presence of indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation in this region, and the risk of forced displacement and deadly epidemics.

This affected region of the northern Peruvian Amazon is one of the most biodiverse in the world and is home to at least two uncontacted indigenous tribes.

More than 50 international non-governmental organizations signed a letter asking oil companies involved in the project to withdraw from the region.

ConocoPhillips held a 45% interest in block 39, which is majority owned by Spanish-Argentine company Repsol-YPF. ConocoPhillips is yet to announce who will buy their stake in the oil block.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Meet “Eduardo Fresco” Wilmer Valderrama’s BIZARRE Music Alter-Ego (VIDEO)

Meet “Eduardo Fresco” Wilmer Valderrama’s BIZARRE Music Alter-Ego  (VIDEO)

Photo: Er... What Is Going On Here, Wilmer Valderrama?

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It is unclear to us whether this video is the musical debut of That 70’s Show’s Fez, or a twisted joke called “The Way I Fiesta”

Valderrama, better known for his role as Fez, and his 2004 fling with train wreck Lohan has released a incredibly weird video, demonstrating his questionable music abilities.

Valderrama, under the name “Eduardo Fresco” (!!!???) performs “The Way I Fiesta” a short that looks like a rip off of a Ricky Martin video, directed by David Lynch on tons of Nitrous Oxide.

The actor, seems to be attempting to woo sexy young women in a club with his over the top routine, when out of left field, a muscular man in a leather mask (TATTOOED ON HIS FACE) feeds him grapes by hand. Also puzzling is the man with the horse head, the cameo by cousin “it” and the general loco ambiance throughout.

What the flying fudge, Fez?

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Thought of the Day: Are Immigrants For Sale? (VIDEO)

Thought of the Day: Are Immigrants For Sale? (VIDEO)

Photo: Are immigrants for sale?

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¿Could it be possible that somebody actually profits from incarcerating and keeping immigrants locked up?

Cuéntame, a campaign sponsored by the Brave New Foundation, is a groundbreaking platform for the Latino community and the public at large which interacts with people through videos on social justice issues, the arts, and culture.

The team at Cuéntame sent out the video below. watch it, read the press release and please, leave us your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of the page!

Dear Friend,

Immigrants are for sale in this country. Sold to private prison corporations who are locking them up for obscene profits!

Here are the top 3 things YOU need to know about the Private Prison money scheme:

The victims: Private prisons don’t care about who they lock up. At a rate of $200 per immigrant a night at their prisons, this is a money making scheme that destroys families and lives.

The players: CCA (Corrections Corporation of America), The Geo Group and Management and Training corporations—combined these private prisons currently profit more than $5 billion a year.

The money: These private prisons have spent over $20 million lobbying state legislators to make sure they get state anti-immigrant laws approved and ensure access to more immigrant inmates.
How is all this possible? They profit from locking people up.

Will you stand with Cuéntame’s “Immigrants For Sale” campaign and become part of a nationwide network of Prison Watchers as we follow and expose the players, the money and the victims in this corrupt money making racket? YES, I WANT TO!

Yours,
Robert Greenwald, Axel Caballero, Ofelia Yañez
and Brave New Foundation’s Cuéntame team

I invite you to join Cuéntame on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

City Streets of Durango, Mexico Littered with Beheaded Bodies

City Streets of Durango, Mexico Littered with Beheaded Bodies

Photo: Durgano, Mexico Site of Multiple Beheadings

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The state of Durango got more bad news with the finding of bodies of eight decapitated men littered throughout the state capital – this finding on the heels of the mass grave body count increasing.

Yesterday Durango police found six naked decapitated bodies on a local highway that services the capital city of Durango with the heads found nearby.  On another Durango city street police found the decapitated body of a local prison warden that had been kidnapped earlier in the week and another unidentified male.  The head of the warden was found on a different city block.

This northern state is still in shock over the mass graves found around Durango city last month and where the body count keeps increasing – the count currently stands at 196 corpses.  Surpassing the mass graves of Tamaulipas where 183 bodies were recovered from 40 graves.

The most recent grave uncovered in the vicinity was found Wednesday with eight bodies one of which was a woman.


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Read more at USA Today →

5 Undocumented Student Protesters Will Not Face Deportation in IN

5 Undocumented Student Protesters Will Not Face Deportation in IN

Photo: DREAM Act Dreamers

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Five student protesters arrested during Mondays protest at the Indiana Statehouse will not face deportation.

The five students who are illegal immigrants—Uriel and Erick Gama, 20; Ana Ruiz-Tovar, 23; Guadalupe Pimentel, 18; and Sayra Perez, 19 – were detained Monday at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They were all released on Wednesday morning, after ICE lifted detention orders.


The students were arrested Monday afternoon as they protested Senate Bill 590, which would penalize businesses for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants, and House Bill 1402, which would deny undocumented students lower in-state tuition fees.

Gov. Mitch Daniels signed both bills into law Tuesday, the day after the protest and arrests.

ICE issued a statement Wednesday, saying that the agency’s first priority is deporting “serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities.”

“Based on these priorities, ICE determined that pursuing removal proceedings against these individuals was not the best use of the agency’s resources,” the statement said.

Read more at Indystar.com →

Dominican Sentenced to 24 Yrs in Prison for Drug Smuggling Through Port of Savannah

Dominican Sentenced to 24 Yrs in Prison for Drug Smuggling Through Port of Savannah

Photo: Drug Smuggling through Port of Savannah

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Jose Orlando Garcia Duran, 33, a native of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced Wednesday to 286 months in federal prison for his role in smuggling cocaine and heroin through the Port of Savannah.

The case was the result of a joint investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Georgia Ports Authority Police Department. These agencies are members of the Maritime Interagency Center of Operations (MICO), created in 2007 to prevent and deter criminal activity and acts of terrorism in the Georgia Ports of Savannah and Brunswick.

Garcia Duran and codefendant Angel Gomez were convicted after a two-day jury trial on several charges relating to the smuggling of $500,000 worth of heroin and cocaine through the Port of Savannah. The evidence at trial showed that in March of 2010, Georgia Ports Authority Police became aware that three men disguised as longshoremen, who had disembarked the M/V Cosco Boston, a Chinese merchant vessel arriving from Panama, had boarded a taxi to take them to the gate of the Garden City Terminal.

When the taxi driver advised the men to have their identification ready, they jumped out of the taxi and ran into a wooded area. The three men, including Garcia Duran and Gomez, were eventually apprehended in the woods, where approximately four kilograms of cocaine and two kilograms of heroin were also found. At the time of arrest, Gomez confessed that he had been involved in bringing the drugs into the United States. The third man, Rodrigo Temple Wood, testified against Gomez and Garcia Duran at trial, explaining that the three men brought the drugs from Panama, each carrying two kilograms inside the back support belts they wore as part of their disguises. They were to meet the recipient of the drugs in Savannah.

Garcia Duran is the second of the three defendants indicted for the smuggling conspiracy to be sentenced. Wood pled guilty and was sentenced in August of 2010 to 76 months in prison. Gomez still awaits sentencing. Both Gomez and Garcia Duran have previous drug trafficking convictions and were previously deported from the United States. Mr. Tarver noted that there is no parole in the federal system. All three defendants will face deportation after completion of their prison terms.

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FridayMay 13, 2011