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MondayMay 16, 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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NARCO BLOG: Parents Play “Execution” with Children in Park

NARCO BLOG: Parents Play “Execution” with Children in Park

Photo: Play Execution

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It was Holy Thursday in the Federal District, normally a city that lives in chaos; it is a hurried, busy, noisy town. This day is much quieter, ideal for relaxing, going to the park and playing with the children.  But they were playing a game of “Execution”.

A photographer was in one of the parks in the colony and it was busy that day. ” It was on Holy Thursday and went to the park eat with friends, “he explained.

”  I thought it was an assault, because they had guns out. And then I saw they were playing. “

” They were all armed with toy guns throwing plastic BBs . “

” Although they were plastic bullets seemed to really hurt. “

Most striking is that they played their parts into submission; the weakest, the father was captured and led to the mother, who gave out the punishment, he murdered with a shot to the head.

In his career the photographer has seen many things, but it affected him because he sees that society is changing. ” Before we played the police or fireman, “says the photographer, and adds:” Today, they play the executioner. “

Read in Spanish Here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cristina to Launch the ‘Cristina Channel’ on Sirius XM Radio

Cristina to Launch the ‘Cristina Channel’ on Sirius XM Radio

Photo: Cristina no w Sirius XM Radio

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National Latino Broadcasting, LLC. (NLB) announced today that it has signed talk show icon Cristina Saralegui to an exclusive contract, and plans to launch the Cristina Channel in the fall as part of their multi-channel deal with Sirius XM Radio. Saralegui’s distinguished career and entrepreneurial initiatives have made her a household name among US Hispanics, and her show, “Cristina,” still remains the most successful Spanish-language talk show in television history. This new phase in Saralegui’s career marks her satellite radio debut.

In April, NLB was selected by SiriusXM to lease two channels on a long-term basis – of which the Cristina Channel is the first one to be announced – to air on each of the Sirius and XM satellite radio platforms. The media entity will specialize in providing programming that targets the Latino market.

“The Cristina Channel on satellite radio will be a powerful addition to SiriusXM’s world-class line-up of iconic talent and channels. NLB is committed to offering compelling programming across its channels, and is proud to welcome Cristina, the most influential name in Spanish media, to its family,” said Nelson Albareda, President and CEO of NLB.

The Cristina Channel will offer listeners a wide array of 24/7 programming on a variety of subjects that include news, entertainment, health and beauty, home improvement, family and relationship guidance, travel, political issues and self-empowerment. While the channel will cater to the ever-growing Latino market in general, it will speak directly to multi-generational Latinas across America. Its unique platform of relevant and relatable talk radio will offer SiriusXM listeners inspiration and information daily, fulfilling a niche which has remained untapped in satellite radio up to now.

In addition to infusing her unique style to the overall channel, Saralegui will air a weekly talk show, and specials on pertinent subjects.

“I’m thrilled about this new affiliation with NLB,” noted Cristina. “I look forward to creating programming on SiriusXM that will entertain, inform and uplift my people.”

In the upcoming weeks, NLB will announce the diverse and lively programming line-up for the Cristina Channel as well as its other channel.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish-Language Networks to See a Large Part Advertising Dollars This Year

Spanish-Language Networks to See a Large Part Advertising Dollars This Year

Photo: Univision and Telemundo to take big chunk of advertising dollars

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As the major television networks – known as the Big Five – except to receive a record-breaking $9.5 billion at the “upfront market” this year, fast-growing Spanish-language broadcasters like Univision and Telemundo are expecting to take a big chunk of that money.

Between the two networks, advertisers are expected to spend 15 to 20 percent more on the 2011-12 schedule than last year.

It is predicted that Univision will nab $1.3 billion, and Telemundo will rake in around $450 million.

Though Telemundo is not yet in a position to take a large portion of money from Univision it does have one leg up. This year, Telemundo will get to sell 2012 Summer Olympics ad inventory, as its sister network NBC has English-language rights, and Univision will not have the World Cup inventory to sell like it did last year.

Read more at The Wrap →

REPORT: Migrants and Minorities Continue to be Discriminated at Work

REPORT: Migrants and Minorities Continue to be Discriminated at Work

Photo: Anti-Migrant and Minority Sentiment Continues

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Migrant workers and minorities are among groups that continue to face discrimination in the labour market as a result of the global economic crisis, despite positive advances in anti-discrimination laws, the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a report unveiled today.

“Economically adverse times are a breeding ground for discrimination at work and in society more broadly. We see this with the rise of populist solutions,” said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia at the release of Global Report on Equality at Work 2011: The Continuing Challenge.

The report warns against a tendency during economic downturns to give lower priority to anti-discrimination policies and workers’ rights in practice.

“Austerity measures and cutbacks in the budget of labour administrations and inspection services, and in funds available to specialized bodies dealing with non-discrimination and equality, can seriously compromise the ability of existing institutions to prevent the economic crisis from generating more discrimination and more inequalities,” the report points out.

The report notes that there has been significant progress in advancing gender equality in the workplace, but the gender pay gap remains, with women’s wages on average 70 to 90 per cent of men’s earnings.

While flexible arrangements of working schedules are gradually being introduced as an element of more family-friendly policies, discrimination related to pregnancy and maternity is still common, according to the report.

It also highlights sexual harassment as a significant problem in workplaces, with young, financially dependent, single or divorced women, and migrants the most vulnerable. Men who experience harassment tend to be young, gay or members of ethnic or racial minorities.

Barriers impeding equal access to the labour market still need to be dismantled, particularly for people of African and Asian descent, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, and above all, women in those groups.

The report recommends a series of steps to combat discrimination, including: promoting the universal ratification and application of the two fundamental ILO Conventions on equality and non-discrimination; developing and sharing knowledge on the elimination of discrimination in employment; developing the institutional capacity of ILO constituents to more effectively implement the fundamental right of non-discrimination at work; and strengthening international partnerships with major actors on equality.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin America Unites in Song for Gustavo Cerati, 1 Yr After He Collapses in Coma

It has been a year since the exceptional Argentine singer and guitarist Gustavo Cerati sung his last show, in Venezuela.

During that performance, 51 year-old Gustavo fell ill, and eventually collapsed, a victim of a “Cardio-Vascular Accident.”

“I don’t dream with seeing my son sing again,” said Lillian Clark, mother of the musician “I dream with him opening his eyes, and calling me mom.” Image

Cerati, who has been in a coma since May 16, 2010, has been surrounded by health professionals and his family during this year. Despite showing small but promising signs of progress, physicians fear there has been irreversible damage to his brain, and that of waking up, there are strong risks he could be paralyzed, or suffer ailments associated with brain damage.

We wish to join Gustavo, his family, and the entire Latin American community who loves and supports the former Soda Stereo front man, in a celebration of his career; hoping from the bottom of our hearts for a rapid and complete recovery.

Fuerza, Gus!




Read more by HS News Staff →

Faces of the DREAM Act: Undocumented Wins Student Senate Seat

Faces of the DREAM Act: Undocumented Wins Student Senate Seat

Photo: Ju Hong, an undocumented student, wins student senate seat at UC-Berkeley

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Born in Seoul, South Korea in 1989, Ju Hong came to the U.S. when he was 11. He is now an elected member of the University of California-Berkeley’s student senate. He’s extensively involved with campus activism, and plans to attend law school. There’s just one problem. Ju is undocumented.

Like so many before him, Hong was unaware he and his family were not authorized to be in the U.S. until the day he was filling out college applications, and realized he needed a social security number. Not knowing the number, he asked his parents, and that’s when they told him.

When he was 11, his family flew to America on tourist visas. Though the visas expired over time, the family remained in the country, and became part of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Though he had been a relatively outgoing person, upon discovering his status, Hong said he withdrew, and would not answer questions about his future.

“I became a totally different person,”he says. “I became totally distant from people. I avoided questions like, ‘what college are you going to?’ ‘Why don’t you have a driver’s license?’ ‘Why don’t you have a job?’ ”

Not wanting to completely write off the continuation of his education, he enrolled at Laney Community College in Oakland, California. He was able to due so through an affidavit under state law AB540, a bill passed in 2001 by then-Governor Gray Davis. The bill allows undocumented students to attend public universities and pay in-state tuition.

Still, Hong kept to himself and avoided any discussions of his immigration status. Then he began hearing about other undocumented students coming forward and speaking up for themselves. That’s when everything changed once again.

“I was inspired—[other undocumented youth] were taking such a great risk,” Hong says. “I realized that there were people out there just like me, who were having a difficult time as undocumented students,” but they came forward.

In 2009, Hong, who was returning to his former outgoing self, “came out” in a YouTube video. With that reveal and new burst of confidence, he ran for student body president at Laney, and won. He was the first Asian-American and first undocumented president of the student body.

He went on to transfer to Berkeley, and ran for the a seat in the student senate there as well. In April, Hong found out he won, and now hopes to be the voice for those that feel like he once did.

“A lot of AB540 students feel like they’re alone, like they don’t have any support. I want to show them that they do. My main constituents were undocumented students. They appreciate the fact that I bring their voices to our campus, and to make sure that they continue to have access to higher education.”

As for the future, Hong hopes to become an immigration lawyer in order to help fellow immigrants find their way through the maze that is the legalization process.

“I’m really at a level where I’m ready to take a risk to push the Asian American community to help push the DREAM Act,” he states. “So many people are suffering in our community. I don’t want that to happen in the next generation.”

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Read more at Campus Progress →

Costa Rica to Spent $132 Million to Address Its at Risk-Youth

Costa Rica to Spent $132 Million to Address Its at Risk-Youth

Photo: At Risk Youth in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica will support children and youth at risk for criminal activities, rehabilitate people in conflict with the law, and strengthen the institutional capacity of the country’s police force through a violence prevention program partly financed by a $132.4 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The program will also support the creation of an agency to manage knowledge on violence prevention, the first of its kind in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Citizen security is a major concern for Costa Ricans, and their government has made it a priority to address the issue before it becomes a threat to governance and the economy.

Costa Rica had a rate of 11.6 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2009. But while this rate is the lowest in Central America, it has been steadily rising. The homicide rate increased 33.3 percent from 2004 to 2006 and 37.5 percent from 2007 to 2009.

The program will impact 39 percent of the vulnerable population in seven cantons―Desamparados, Pococí, Heredia, Santa Cruz, Puntarenas, Cartago, and Alajuela― where social prevention activities for children and youth at risk will be developed.

The program will focus on the following activities:

Children and youth at risk: The program will focus on children and youth who have dropped out of school and who have not completed high school.

Social reintegration for people in conflict with the law: The program will fund training and the treatment of addiction for people within the country’s institutional and semi-institutional system. This includes the design, construction, and equipping of educational and vocational centers, whose business plans will be designed to meet local economic and training needs; the centers will be accredited by the National Learning Institute.

Strengthening institutional capacity: The program will also support measures to increase the effectiveness of the national police force, including construction of the police academy and the development of its curriculum.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin American Filmmaking on the Rise

Latin American Filmmaking on the Rise

Photo: Latin American Film Rising

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New talent, tax incentives, strong local box offices and multi-country collaborations are among the reasons for the current boom in Latin American cinema.

“All Latin American countries have different strengths and weaknesses,” said Mr. Hugo Villa, director of film production at the Mexican Film Institute. “Some have a larger and more experienced local industry, others have an emerging generation of financiers, or a huge base of college students on film related majors.”

Latin American cinema is booming. Almost every Latin American nation has increased their local content production, either by doubling their initiatives to boost film industries, or by excelling in their capacity to attract foreign productions.

Colombia is on the verge of passing a proposal for a new tax incentive plan designed exclusively for international productions, which has attracted many foreign projects to the nation.

Argentina is working on a foreign financing scheme of their own, while in Uruguay, an incentive for production services and co-productions, gives a VAT exemption of 22 percent and helps the export of audio-visual content with up to 75 percent; Brazil offers a whole myriad of filming incentives and leads the continent’s film explosion, by virtue of its many award winning local productions as well as the export of its directors to Hollywood, and being the south American leader in box office returns.

2010 saw Brazil beat their own record of box office sales with 135 million tickets sold, the strongest performance of the 2000’s. The nation’s federal support for film production, distribution and exhibition amounts to approximately $78 million/year.

In Mexico, an incentive introduced last year gives up to 17.5 percent of the production budget spent in Mexico back to foreign films; Argentina is in the drawing-board stages of a similar incentive, “At the moment, we don’t have national incentives for the cinema productions, but in the city of Buenos Aires we are working on the implementation of an Audiovisual Law, which declares the audiovisual sector as an industry and therefore provides a series of tax reductions to the local companies,” said the Argentine film commissioner, Ana Aizenberg. “This, of course, will also benefit international productions, by lowering the costs of producing in Buenos Aires.”

In Colombia, public funding is available for local productions and co-productions.  The 2003 Colombian Cinema Law, created the Film Development Fund to provide financial incentives to festival competition winners, support film-related expenses, and grant incentives for promotion and participation of films in festivals. 

“The greatest challenge for the Colombian film industry is to attract a bigger audience not only nationally but internationally by coproducing more films and incorporating international talent to local films in order to get audience from other countries in Latin America, and the Latin audience in the United States.” Said Colombian Film Comissioner Silvia Echeverri.

In the meantime, Uruguay is living through its largest boom ever, as not only went from exporting 15 percent of its audio-visual content in 2001, to exporting 95% of its content, but the nation saw productions recreate places as different as the Old Havana, Paris, London, Germany, the Caribbean, Italy and within its bounds. Uruguay is currently preparing to receive a new Serbian production.

In conclusion, “Latin American cinema is building a solid network of production services and co production partners for all kinds of production and content,” as put by Villa; what do you think of the current state of the seventh art in your own country? Let us know in our comment section!



Read more at The Hollywood Reporter →

OVERVIEW:  Alcohol and the Hispanic Community

OVERVIEW:  Alcohol and the Hispanic Community

Photo: Alcohol Use Amongst Hispanics

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Research shows that drinking patterns among Hispanics are different from those of non­Hispanic Whites and other ethnic or racial groups.  Understanding these differences can help prevention, intervention, and treatment programs better serve the Hispanic community.

How Much do Hispanics Drink?
Overall, Hispanics are less likely to drink at all than are non­Hispanic Whites. In fact, Hispanics have high rates of abstinence from alcohol. But Hispanics who choose to drink are more likely to consume higher volumes of alcohol than non-­Hispanic Whites.
Factors Predicting Hispanic Drinking Behavior
When looking at acculturation, gender and attitudes you can see some key factors predicting drinking behavior amongst Hispanics.

As acculturation levels increase, so can alcohol consumption. The evidence is clear that as women become acculturated to American life, they tend to drink more alcohol.  As far as gender is concerned, women typically do not drink alcohol out side of family gatherings but young Hispanic women drink as much or even more than their male counterparts.  As far as attitudinally Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans tend to have more relaxed attitudes about drinking than Cuban Americans.

Drinking Trends by Country of Origin
Trends in drinking among Hispanics vary by country of origin.  Among men Puerto Ricans tend to drink the most and Cubans the least.  Among women Puerto Ricans tend to drink the most and Mexicans the least.
Across all Hispanic national groups, beer is the preferred beverage, followed by wind and then liquor.

Read more at National Institute of Health →

Mexico: Pres. Calderon Defends Top Security Officer Amidst Allegations

Mexico: Pres. Calderon Defends Top Security Officer Amidst Allegations

Photo: Secretary of Public Security Genaro Garcia Luna

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As Mexicans call for the resignation of the country’s top security official, Pres. Calderon is defending the man said to have “worked for the creation of a civilian police force that is professional.”

The people are angry, as they claim Secretary of Public Security Genaro Garcia Luna is staging raids for the news media, and question how he is able to afford a mansion in one of the capital’s most affluent areas.

The 42-year-old engineer has already stated that he has no intention of leaving office while Calderon is still president, and with the president at his defense,

At Sunday’s anti-violence rally in Mexico City, tens of thousands of protesters cheered upon hearing the call for Garcia Luna’s resignation. However, Calderon was quick to say that the Public Security Secretary would remain in office.

“If anyone has worked for the creation of a civilian police force that is professional, follows the law, is well equipped and has intelligence capabilities that guarantee the safety of the people, that person is Garcia Luna,” said the federal government’s security spokesman, Alejandro Poite.

Recently angering the people and adding to the questions swirling around Garcia Luna is his cooperation with the show “El Equipo,” which debuted Monday on Televisa in Mexico.

The Democratic Revolutionary Party – known at PDR in Mexico – claim Garcia Luna used police helicopters, gave detailed access to the force’s underground intelligence center, and used police officers as extras to help Televisa tape “El Equipo.”

A complaint was filed last week by PDR Deputy Leticia Quezada, who asked for a formal investigation.

Possibly the most serious of the allegations against Garcia Luna is that which claims he has collaborated with one of Mexico’s biggest drug trafficking organizations, the Sinaloa Cartel.

Read more at McClatchy →

Indiana University Study Examines Why Big Movies Rarely Have Minority Casts

Indiana University Study Examines Why Big Movies Rarely Have Minority Casts

Photo: Indiana University Study Examines Why Big Movies Rarely Have Minority Casts

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Whites in study perceived that if film had a minority cast, they didn’t see themselves as the intended audience

As Hollywood heads into its annual summer blockbuster season, few if any, major films will feature minority characters, due to studio executives’ fears that white audiences will stay away, which a new Indiana University study appears to confirm.

In a new research paper, Andrew J. Weaver, an assistant professor of telecommunications in IU’s College of Arts and Sciences, conducted two studies to test whether the racial makeup of a film’s cast could influence the decisions of white audiences. His findings appear in the Journal of Communication.

Last year, only two of the 30 highest grossing films featured major non-white characters.

Recent controversies have erupted over the making of several films lacking minority casting, such as Peter Jackson’s remake of J. R. R. Tolkien’s children’s book The Hobbit and The Last Airbender, which was adopted from a cartoon featuring Asian characters. Media reports about a live-action version of the Japanese cartoon “Akira” indicate that only white actors so far are being cast for obviously Asian characters.

“There is an assumption in Hollywood that whites would avoid movies with majority black casts, or any minority cast for that matter,” Weaver said in an interview. “You see this whitewashing of films—even films that have minority characters written into them are being cast with whites.”

In his study, Weaver set out to test if the perception was accurate and found that, all things being equal, minority cast members lead white audiences to be less interested in seeing certain films.

“I don’t think it’s because whites are uncomfortable and are consciously avoiding these kinds of films. The participants in these studies weren’t thinking explicitly about the race of the actors when they made their decisions. It’s more about a perception that if there are minority cast members in it, then whites don’t see themselves as part of the intended audience,” he said.

“And I think that’s in large part because of the way that films are marketed these days,” he added. “You have this whitewashing of the mainstream films, and the only time that you see minority casts are for films that are marketed very specifically toward minority audiences.

“Hollywood’s sort of given up on the idea that you can have crossover success with a minority cast,” he said. “You get this discrimination in the casting of roles, where they’re going to cast whites if at all possible to maximize the audience.”

Weaver’s paper discusses two scenarios: race-neutral films where there is no dominant racial orientation—such as action films—and traditional romantic comedies. In each instance, subjects were presented with 12 fictional synopses of new movies. Web pages were created for each movie and the race of the characters was manipulated to create different versions.

The versions included an all-white cast; a 70 percent white cast with two white leads; a 70 percent white cast with a white and a black lead; a 70 percent black cast with a white and a black lead; a 70 percent black cast with two black leads; and an all-black cast.

After looking over the pages, which were modeled after those found at the Internet Movie Database, the participants were asked how often they watched movies, whether they did so in a theater or at home, and about their racial attitudes.

A sample group of 79 white undergraduate college students who participated in the action movie study generally indicated that the race of cast members in a film did not influence whites’ desire to see a film in general.

“This is not to say that race does not matter, of course,” Weaver explained in the paper. “Preexisting racial attitudes moderated this relationship, such that whites who were low in color-blind racial attitudes were more interested in films with mostly black casts than they were in films with mostly white casts.

“A more complex relationship between actors’ race and selective exposure begins to emerge when other factors are considered,” he added. “For example, those who were frequent movie viewers preferred white casts to black casts in the celebrity condition, but light movie viewers showed no such preference.”

Another sample group of 68 white students participated in the paper’s second study that focused more on Hollywood’s bread-and-butter, the romantic comedy, where race clearly had more of an impact.

“The higher the percentage of black actors in the movie, the less interested white participants were in seeing the movie,” Weaver wrote of the second group. “Importantly, this effect occurred regardless of participants’ racial attitudes or actors’ relative celebrity . . . This finding would also seem to lend credence to producers’ concerns about casting black actors into these kinds of romantic roles.”

While Weaver is discouraged by his research findings, he does point out that better understanding of the role of race could give Hollywood a better sense of how it can successfully target films with minority casts to the majority audience.

“Many films are written with race-neutral roles—they’re just cast with white actors,” the professor said in the interview. “A good first step would be casting minority actors in those roles, but I think the marketing question is a really interesting one.”

His next study will focus more on how minority-cast films are marketed.

Read more at Indiana University →

Messi Breaks Plane, Gets Scolded by Pilot (VIDEO)

Messi Breaks Plane, Gets Scolded by Pilot (VIDEO)

Photo: Messi broke the plane!

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“La Pulga” got yelled at through the plane intercom, after his celebratory banging of walls, resulted in a broken panel!

“This is the captain. One of the Emergency Exits has been manipulated. Please, we are in a critical phase of the flight. I know we have too much happiness within, but do try to contain it a little,” said the pilot through the intercom.

The whole Barça team was celebrating their third consecutive Liga championship, a festoon full of chanting, laughing, champagne drinking and wall banging.

Watch the moment when Leo’s celebratory banging results in a broken Emergency Exit panel.

...What happened there, Leo? Weren’t you the man who liked to fly like a grandma?


Read more by HS News Staff →

Congressman on Ethnic Museums in D.C.: That’s Not What America is All About

Congressman on Ethnic Museums in D.C.: That’s Not What America is All About

Photo: Washington National Mall in D.C.

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Currently, a Native American museum sits on Washington’s National Mall, with an African-American museum expected to open in 2015, as well as a museum dedicated to Latinos. But one controversial congressman believes that additional ethnic museums will not be financially successful, and says they will break up the “American story into separate narratives based upon specific ethnicities.”

At an Appropriations Committee hearing, Democratic congressman Jim Moran said, “Every indigenous immigrant community, particularly those brought here enslaved, have a story to tell and it should be told and part of our history. The problem is that much as we would like to think that all Americans are going to go to the African American Museum,  I’m afraid it’s not going to happen.” The Virginia Rep added, “The Museum of American History is where all the white folks are going to go, and the American Indian Museum is where Indians are going to feel at home. And African Americans are going to go to their own museum. And Latinos are going to go their own museum. And that’s not what America is all about.”

Rep. Moran added that aside from overcrowding the National Mall, additional malls would put financial burden on Congress.

“It’s a matter of how we depict the American story and where do we stop?” said Moran. “The next one will probably be Asian Americans,” said Moran. “The next, God help us, will probably be Irish Americans.”

Rep. Jose Serrano (D- Puerto Rico) disagreed with Moran saying that Smithsonian should include American history told through the eyes of a number of cultures.

“This generation has been called on to remedy a lot of stuff that happened in the past,” Serrano said. “We have to take care of it.”

Read more at US News →

¡Felicidades! Paraguay on Your 200th Year of Independence

¡Felicidades! Paraguay on Your 200th Year of Independence

Photo: Paraguay 200th Year Independence

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Today, all of Paraguay is celebrating and rejoicing its 200-year old independence from Spain. The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for nearly 300 years as it colonized the region, converted natives to Christianity and enslaved native Indian populations. 

Paraguay gained independence from Spain in 1811 but not before becoming the primary site of Jesuit missions and settlements.

Ecuador is home to 6.3 million people the majority of which are Catholic. After surviving several financial and political corruption scandals in the ‘90s the country continues to try to move away from an informal economy. 

The country will celebrate with parades, music concerts and cultural exhibitions.  See Secretary of States’ Hillary Clinton’s video congrats:

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Shakira Sends Hugo Chávez an Autographed Guitar, Aspiring to be the Next Santana (VIDEO)

The singer was unable to attend her March meeting with the Venezuelan president, and sent a signed guitar instead as an apology of sorts.

Shakira was due to visit Hugo Chávez in Caracas last March, when she performed a show in the city; her plane was late, however, and she missed her appointment.

Chávez regretted not being able to meet with her, but welcomed her to the country via his weekly TV show “Aló Presidente,” a sweet gesture indeed until he bellowed Chaka-Chaka, instead of the world renowned Waka-Waka.

Image Information Minister Andres Izarra posted a photo of the guitar on Twitter after it arrived on Saturday.

Chávez, who is currently recovering from knee surgery, thanked Shakira for the present in a live phone call broadcast on Vtv, and said he stayed up all night playing tunes on his new instrument, hear him sing at the end of the video below.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Virtual Concert Connecting Students in NYC and Mexico City Airing this Week

Using 21st Century statecraft to fuse technology and music to bring youth in New York and Mexico City together, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, will conduct its final virtual concert of this year’s Cultural Exchange initiative on Friday, May 20 at 11:00 a.m. EST.

During this engaging, interactive simulcast, students from five Mexico City high schools and seven New York City high schools will come together virtually with performances by the Celso Duarte Sextet at New York’s Zankel Hall and the Maurice Brown Effect in Mexico City’s Teatro Julio Castillo. In addition, students will perform with the artists on stage.

Through this initiative, students explore music from other cultures through lessons and resources that are incorporated into each participating school’s classroom curriculum. Cultural Exchange’s focus this season is on the music of Mexico. Students in both New York City and Mexico City attend and participate in two interactive, video-conference concerts featuring renowned jazz and Latin music artists.

Participating New York and International Schools for Cultural Exchange: Music of Mexico In New York:
Baccalaureate School for Global Education – Astoria, NY
City College Academy of the Arts – New York, NY
Frank Sinatra School of the Arts – Astoria, NY
Martin Van Buren High School – Queens Village, NY
Millennium High School – New York, NY
Queens Collegiate High School – Jamaica, NY
Scarsdale High School – Scarsdale, NY

In Mexico City:
Centro Universitario México – Mexico City, Mexico
Preparatoria Cuajimalpa - Instituto de Educación Media Superior del Gobierno del Distrito Federal – Mexico City, Mexico
Preparatoria Iztapalapa – Instituto de Educación Superior del Gobierno del Distrito Federal – Mexico City, MexicoCentro de Educación Artística Diego Rivera (CEDART) – Diego Rivera – Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes - Mexico City, Mexico
Escuela Nacional de Danza Clásica y Contemporánea – Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes - Mexico City, Mexico

Read more by HS News Staff →

Local Farms Under Seige in Colombia, Pope John’s “Operative Dove” Comes to the Rescue

Local Farms Under Seige in Colombia, Pope John’s “Operative Dove” Comes to the Rescue

Photo: Paramilitary in Cordoba, Colombia

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Paramilitary groups are threatening the local farmers living in the district of Cordoba, in the north of Colombia, so that they abandon the area around the artificial lake created by the Urra dam as soon as possible, leaving free hand to build a second dam, mining concessions and drug dealing, this according to religious organizations.

This area, called Alto Sinu, is one of the richest heritages of Colombia for the presence of gold mines, coal, nickel and iron, and one of the largest reservoirs of Latin America. The construction of the second dam and the voices of the forthcoming enlargement of the National Natural park of Nudo Paramillo, which would involve these same areas, hide enormous economic interest for multinational companies in Colombia and abroad.

The complaint comes from volunteers of “Operation Dove”, Non-violent Peace Corps of Pope John XXIII Community founded by Don Oreste Benzi, who has been in the district just over a week to protect families of the Peace Community of San José of Apartado who live in that area. According to information sent to Fides, the Community consists of about 1,500 people, scattered throughout the district of Antioquia and Cordoba, who have united to resist the armed conflict in Colombia in a neutral and non-violent way.

The Community has asked volunteers from Operation Dove, operating in the area for about two years, to extend their stay in the area as a result of the worsening situation. The paramilitaries are in fact threatening the farmers of the area to carry out indiscriminate slaughter or to kill their local leaders, causing panic and concern, to force them to leave the area, some have already left and others are about to do so. In particular, the small villages most exposed are those of Alto Joaquin, Porto Nuevo, Las Claras, Nain, Taparito, Diamante, Manzo , Rio Verde, Baltazar.

Read more at Agencia Fides →

MondayMay 16, 2011