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ThursdayMay 19, 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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The Catholic Church Renders Opinion on Chile’s Controversial Environmental Policies

The Catholic Church Renders Opinion on Chile’s Controversial Environmental Policies

Photo: Hidrosysen Dam protests

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Chilean Bishops have intervened to promote dialogue and at the same time to remember that with regard to energy projects, “a decision based solely on economic interests is ethically unacceptable.” The Permanent Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Chile has in fact released a statement “We take care of the gifts of Creation,” which wants to offer a contribution, simply by reflecting, on the major social problem Chile faces concerning the environmental policy, with the project of the construction of dams in the region of Aysen.

On May 21, the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, will present to Congress a report of its management, and there is expected to be a great popular mobilization, the Bishops ask to avoid direct confrontation between the various protagonists. In many cities of the country, on May 21, “theme” marches have been organized for the first time: the march on behalf of environmentalists against the project of the construction of dams like HidroAysén, the march of people displaced by the quake, the march in favor of the Mapuche prisoners, students for education reform.

At the end of the day, in every city, all these marches will be joined in a mass demonstration against the government and the violent intervention of the police is feared.

“As Bishops we want to encourage a serious, open and conscious dialogue, avoiding clashes and promoting healthy discernment,” said the director of communications of the Episcopal Conference of Chile (ECCh), Jaime Coiro. Before the heated energy debate in recent weeks, the spokesman of ECCh said that the dilemma is “how to reconcile respect for the environment with the growing demand for energy.”

Subsequently, Coiro said that a “decision based solely on economic interests is ethically unacceptable and deplorable, because it is a bleak mockery of society,” and continued: “The Church does not conceive development without considering environmental sustainability”, therefore “before stating that the growing demand for energy is a prerequisite for progress, it is necessary to follow a process that must be dealt with as a country, to build together a model of development.”

The Bishops finally warned that “a response that humanizes the energy challenge requires dialogue in which all individuals and communities, especially those most involved and interested in the initiatives, are to participate, and their views must be taken into account in decisions that concern them.”

Read more at Agencia Fides →

Employment Gap Widens for Minority & Women Film and Television Writers

Employment Gap Widens for Minority & Women Film and Television Writers

Photo: Few Minority Screenwriters in Hollywood

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The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has released the Executive Summary of the 2011 Hollywood Writers Report: Recession and Regression. The study examines writers’ employment and earnings by ethnicity, gender, and age from 2008 through 2009 in the motion picture and television industry. As in previous years, diverse writers face significant obstacles to employment in Hollywood.

According to the report’s author Darnell Hunt, Ph.D., director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and professor of sociology at UCLA, “From the initial project pitch to project completion, each phase of the production pipeline has the potential to serve as a barrier to or facilitator of increased diversity among industry writers. The WGAW is committed to working with the rest of the industry to ensure that the production pipeline is shaped less by the former and more by the latter. Diversity is not a luxury, not even in tough times. The Hollywood industry, in the final analysis, depends on increasingly diverse audiences and on the stories to which they can relate.”

The full report will be available in late summer. Some of the key findings in the summary include:

  * Women writers’ overall employment share declined, driven by a one-point loss in the film sector, where women writers’ share dipped from 18% in 2007 to 17% in 2009.
  * Although the employment share for women television writers remained stable (still a very low 28%), the earnings gap in television between male and female writers widened again – an 84% increase from the previous report, issued in 2009.
  * While the minority share of television employment rebounded to 2005 levels (still a very low 10% up from 9%), the minority share of film employment declined to the lowest level in a decade (down from 6% to 5%).
  * Despite the gain in television employment, the television earnings gap for minorities widened to the largest level in a decade. The television earnings gap for minorities more than doubled since the 2009 report.
  * The employment rate remained flat for the largest group of older writers (age 41-50) at 61%; however the employment group for the youngest group of writers (under age 31), declined by four percentage points. TV writers age 51-60 had a decline of 1%, whereas writers age 61-70 actually had an increase of 1%.

As part of its continuing proactive efforts to enhance employment opportunities and open doors for diverse writers, the WGAW recently announced more than a dozen 2011 Writer Access Project honorees in drama and comedy TV categories. Now in its third year, the Guild’s innovative program, coordinated by the WGAW’s Diversity Department, identifies writers with television staffing experience and makes samples of their work available to entertainment industry decision makers, including showrunners, producers, network and studio executives, agents and managers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Telemundo to Take ‘Maid in Manhattan’ to the Small Screen With ‘Una Maid en Manhattan” Telenovela

Telemundo to Take ‘Maid in Manhattan’ to the Small Screen With ‘Una Maid en Manhattan” Telenovela

Photo: Telemundo prepares 'Una Maid en Manhattan" telenovela for 2011/2012 season

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Based on the 2002 movie Maid in Manhattan (Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes), Telemundo is preparing a telenovela Una Maid en Manhattan for the 2011/2012 season.

Joshua Mintz, Telemundo Entertainment’s senior executive VP, told The Hollywood Reporter that Maid (the movie) had a “perfect plot to translate into a telenovelas.”

Sony will be involved in the show, as it reported they wish to uphold the integrity of the characters and the story they initialized.

ImageThe movie, which grossed $155 million, is about a Hispanic single mother who works as a maid in a upscale hotel in New York City. She falls for a handsome politician, and the romantic comedy takes off from there.

Telemundo has said they have 500 hours of new programming planned for the season, including new episodes of the bilingual racing drama RPM Miami on mun2.

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter →

Bolivian Pastor Who Spoke of ‘The Rapture’ in 2009 & Hijacked Plane Because of It, Is Sentenced

Bolivian Pastor Who Spoke of ‘The Rapture’ in 2009 & Hijacked Plane Because of It, Is Sentenced

Photo: End of World, May 21 2011

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In 2009 Rev. Josmar Flores desperately wanted to speak directly with Mexican President Felipe Calderon to warn him and the people of Mexico that a catastrophic earthquake would occur in 2012.

The only problem was that he hijacked an Aeromexico plane from Cancun enroute to Mexico City to get the Presidents attention.  Today he was sentenced to 7 years for ‘illegally retaining people’ the 103 passengers who were unharmed and for the hijacking.

After an hour standoff and after yelling claims of a bomb on board he surrendered without incident.  The self-proclaimed pastor has claimed he was acting on a divine revelation.  Which of course is timely especially this week.

The Christian network Family Radio and others have been proclaiming that on May 21st, 2011 the end of the world will occur, also known as the day of Rapture. 

Rapture refers to the Thessalonian passage in the New Testament when God calls ‘good Christians’ back home.  Some people believe, as did Rev. Josmar Flores, that the Rapture will come in the form of an earthquake.

Read more at AP News →

WATCH Señor DARTH VADER’s Gloria-Estefan-Reggaeton-Imperial-March-Salsa Dancing Extravaganza (VIDEO

WATCH Señor DARTH VADER’s Gloria-Estefan-Reggaeton-Imperial-March-Salsa Dancing Extravaganza (VIDEO

Photo: Darth Vader

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The empire strikes back! Watch trombone wielding Darth Vader take up the stage for a spicy performance!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Workers Sue For Not Being Allowed to Speak Spanish At Work

Hispanic Workers Sue For Not Being Allowed to Speak Spanish At Work

Photo: Workers not allowed to speak Spanish at work

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Hispanic workers in Rochester, New York are suing the city, claiming harassment and discrimination, after they say they were told they could no longer speak Spanish while at work.

Daniel Torres has worked for the city of Rochester for the last 24 years, and said he found the discrimination “hurtful.”

Friday, Torres and seven of his coworkers with the Department of Environmental Services filed a lawsuit against the city, in which they allege their boss, Karen St. Aubin, said they were no longer allowed to speak Spanish at work anymore. Their attorney, Christina Agola said the men only speak Spanish about personal matters and when they are on break.

“What’s so wrong with the Hispanic culture and language that you can’t tolerate it in the workplace?” Agola asked.

Torres says 13 employees met with St. Aubin and Paul Holohan, City Commissioner, to ask why they were no longer permitted to speak Spanish at work, but that the two would not answer the question.

“The fact of the matter is even if it’s an unwritten policy, if it’s being enforced by the highest levels of the department of sanitation, then it’s a policy,” said Agola.

A city spokesperson however argued that no such policy exists, and “seems to have sprang from a misunderstanding between a supervisor and an employee.”

The employees that filed suit are not asking for any money, Angola clarified, they are simply asking to be respected and want it in writing that they are allowed to speak Spanish at work.

Read more at WHEC News 10 →

MIKE TYSON and Wife Dazzle While Salsa Dancing in Argentina TV

MIKE TYSON and Wife Dazzle While Salsa Dancing in Argentina TV

Photo: Tyson and his wife, Lakhia Spicer

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The couple danced to a Chayanne tune in the popular TV Show Bailando Por un Sueño.

The 44-year-old former heavyweight undisputed champ showed that he’s still got the footwork, as he performed a dancing number with wife Lakhia Spicer on the Argentinean version of ‘Dancing With The Stars’.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jose No Longer On List of Top 50 Baby Names

Jose No Longer On List of Top 50 Baby Names

Photo: Jose no longer among Top 50 baby names

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Since 1996, Jose had been the top Hispanic name for baby boys, but now, it has fallen from the Top 50 list. Even in Texas, where it had been the top name overall since ’96, it has fallen to #2. It was nudged out of the top spot by Jacob last year.

What is interesting is the fact that the name’s popularity has dropped even as the Hispanic birthrate has risen faster than any other ethnic or racial group.

“This is probably a combination of assimilation and the drop in immigration from Latin America as a result of the recessionProf, said Cleveland Kent Evans, who wrote “The Great Big Book of Baby Names,” and teaches psychology at Bellevue University in Nebraska. “However, it is probable that names are also becoming more varied in Latin American culture itself, as this is a phenomenon in most of the modern world.”

Garcia and Rodriguez joined the list of Top 10 surnames in 2000 for the first time, and as Isabella has been the top girls’ name since 2009, it could be assumed that acculturation it a two-way street, “to a certain extent,” changing “the nature of U.S. culture,” said Prof. Alberto Moreiras, head of the Department of Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University.

Moreriras adds, “As it happens everywhere, name preference goes through cycles, and the name Jose has been overused over the last 20 years or so, and there are too many Joses.”

It is reported that fewer babies were named Jose last year than any year since 1978.

Some experts caution against assuming that a name indicates assimilation.

“Jonathan is a very popular name among the low-income groups in Argentina,” said Prof. Javier Auyero, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin. “[But] that doesn’t mean they are Americanized.”

Read more at New York Times →

WOW: Interactive U.S. Map Showing Population Growth for People of Color from 1990 through 2040

PolicyLink, a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity, has released “The Map of America’s Tomorrow,” an amazing new interactive map using time lapse to illustrate the growth of people of color in America from 1990 through 2040.

Equality advocates across the country have long cited that by 2042 people of color will be our nation’s majority. And yet there’s been no visualization of what this future will actually look like – until now.

America’s Tomorrow from PolicyLink on Vimeo.

Read more at Policy Link →

South Carolina: ‘El Cheapo’ Squares Off With ‘Obama’ Gas Station

South Carolina: ‘El Cheapo’ Squares Off With ‘Obama’ Gas Station

Photo: Obama gas station in South Carolina

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A gas station in Columbia, South Carolina has a new look and a new name.

Located just across the street from the El Cheapo gas station sits the newly redecorated Obama gas station.

Though President Obama has no ties to the gas station, his name and image appear all along the property.

“I see more people come in excited with the name,” owner Sam Alhanik told local news WIS. Alhanik has owned the station for two months, and said he got the idea from a friend who created an Obama Gas Station in Michigan.

“It’s the first president of black people. It’s our president. We like him,” said the Yemen-born man. Although he was not born in America, he stated that he supports the president.

The $4,000 revamp of the gas station has caused a boom in business, said Alhanik, as the station completes with El Cheapo on a daily basis.

WIS reported that when they informed Alhanik that El Cheapo had dropped their price of regular unleaded to $3.54 while his station was at $3.59, Alhanik immediately had his cousin drop the “Obama” price to $3.53. Seconds later, El Cheapo’s dropped again.

“That’s the business,” said Alhanik. “I don’t want to lose everything. It’s a competition.”

One customer, Larry Nelson said he stops at Obama more often now, because in a strange way, he feels like it supports the U.S. president.

Read more at WLOX-TV →

WATCH Los Tigres Del Norte and Paulina Rubio UNPLUGGED

WATCH Los Tigres Del Norte and Paulina Rubio UNPLUGGED

Photo: Los Tigres Del Norte and Friends

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This is the first video from the new upcoming album called “Los Tigres del Norte and Friends Unplugged” in stores May 23rd.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

UN: Immigrants Accelerate Development by Sending Remittances

UN: Immigrants Accelerate Development by Sending Remittances

Photo: Migrants and Their Remittances

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today underlined the role of migrants in accelerating development through remitting funds regularly to their countries of origin, noting that their economic contributions to host societies are often overlooked.

“Let us not forget, entire communities subsist almost entirely on remittances,” Mr. Ban told the General Assembly’s thematic debate on Migration and Development.

“Across the developing world, remittances make it possible for families to get health care… send their children to school… and start up small businesses. Remittances underwrite development. They are a source for stability and social cohesion,” said the Secretary-General.

He observed that without the support of relatives working abroad, many more people might seek to migrate.

Mr. Ban said that migrants do not always fit into the stereotype of an unskilled group of people with low levels of education doing the so-called “3D” jobs – tasks that are considered “dirty, dangerous and difficult.”

“To the contrary, in many countries they are the best and the brightest: doctors, nurses, engineers and other highly educated professionals. These are a welcome addition to any society,” said Mr. Ban. “It is easy to see the negatives but it is much more difficult to appreciate the positives. And yet those positives ultimately overshadow the negatives,” he added.

Nearly two thirds of the world’s 214 million migrants live in wealthy countries, sending homes more than $300 billion in remittances every year, an amount that dwarfs international aid flows, the Secretary-General noted, reiterating his call to governments to keep their countries’ borders open and not to restrict migration unduly.

Read more by HS News Staff →

EXTREME TRAFFICKING: Crafty, Hot And Spicy… Watch for Pot When Making Salsa!

EXTREME TRAFFICKING: Crafty, Hot And Spicy… Watch for Pot When Making Salsa!

Photo: Marijuana hidden in Jalapeño Cargo

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A load of jalapeño peppers held a significant surprise for U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Falfurrias checkpoint, who seized more than 3,700 pounds of marijuana hidden inside it.

The incident occurred Monday evening after the driver of a tractor-trailer attempted to travel undetected through the Falfurrias checkpoint with a suspected load of marijuana.

A canine team, working with the primary officer, alerted to the presence of illicit contraband. In the trailer, agents found more than $3 million worth of marijuana concealed in a load of jalapeño peppers.

The tractor-trailer, narcotics and one arrested individual were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.

In the past thirty days, agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector have seized close to 115,000 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of nearly $92 million.

Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Tree Rat Rodent not seen for 113 Years Reappears! (VIDEO)

Colombian Tree Rat Rodent not seen for 113 Years Reappears! (VIDEO)

Photo: Santamartamys Rufodorsalis

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Santamartamys Rufodorsalis , or Rufo, as we call this super cute rodent has not been since 1898, despite several searches. This red-crested tree rat was last since in the same area, Colombia, when it was refound recently.

Rufo was discovered by Lizzie Noble and Simon McKewn, two volunteer researchers at El Dorado Nature Reserve in the northern coast of Colombia. Though considered very elusive it just walked up to these researchers and basically reintroduced itself to the world at 9:30 p.m. in early May.

Image“He just shuffled up the handrail near where we were sitting and seemed totally unperturbed by all the excitement he was causing,” said Noble, from England.  The El Dorado range which is 2,000 acres of protected land was also the sighting in 2007 of a rare hummingbird and a screech owl not known to exist before its discovery.

“We are absolutely delighted to have rediscovered such a wonderful creature” reaffirmed Noble and McKwen.

 

Read more at Mongabay →

Nielsen’s Dissects Diversity and the Minority Consumer

Nielsen’s Dissects Diversity and the Minority Consumer

Photo: Dissecting the Hispanic consumer

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From what people watch to what they buy, behavior across ethnic groups in the U.S. is as diverse as the groups themselves. A closer look at the multicultural landscape by The Nielsen Company reveals how consumers utilize the same resources differently.

The findings show that African Americans are TV-centric, Hispanics are savvy smartphone users, and Asians/Pacific Islanders are heavily wired to the Internet. In retail, African Americans shop the most frequently; Hispanics shop less often but spend more than others; and Asians/Pacific Islanders take the most advantage of deals and promotions.

Specifically:

Hispanics are very active on their smartphones, texting the most out of all races/ethnicities (943 texts per month) and employing a wide range of mobile activities, including mobile banking. Smartphone penetration has reached 45 percent, matching only Asian-American usage levels in popularity.  Whereas, Hispanics are 54 percent more likely to visit MySpace’s website than average Americans.

Hispanics shop less often than other ethnicities, but spend more on each trip and annually. They also buy more men’s and women’s beauty products and baby-related items than the average U.S. consumer.

For the complete report go to Nielsen’s Digital American Family Report.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Challenges Facing U.S. Immigration Courts

Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Challenges Facing U.S. Immigration Courts

Photo: Immigration Court

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The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center commends Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for convening today’s hearing on “Improving Efficiency and Ensuring Justice in the Immigration Court System.”

Immigration courts suffer from backlogs that can delay the scheduling of hearings for years at a time.  Additionally, immigrants who appear before these courts enjoy fewer legal protections than most Americans expect from any fair system of justice.  With the dramatic and rapid escalation of immigration enforcement policies and resources, too little attention has been paid to the many challenges that face our immigration court system.

The backlogs in our nation’s immigration courts are longer today than at any time in U.S. history.  In many U.S. cities, immigrants must wait eighteen months or longer for a hearing before an immigration judge.  These backlogs not only delay the removal of noncitizens with no lawful claim to remain in the United States, but also impose hardships on individuals—such as asylum seekers—whose status and ability to work remain in limbo until their cases are resolved. 

The troubles that have long faced our immigration court system have been magnified and compounded by the Department of Homeland Security’s increasing reliance on state and local law enforcement agencies.  So long as the federal government continues to expand its enforcement efforts through programs like Secure Communities and ignores the need for court reform, our nation’s immigration courts will continue to be flooded beyond capacity. 

Moreover, immigrants in removal proceedings have historically been denied the very rights that Americans have come to expect from civilized justice systems.  Unlike criminal defendants, immigrants who cannot afford an attorney have no right to appointed counsel.  Immigrants can also be removed on the basis of hearsay and other evidence that would be excluded in federal courts.  Vulnerable immigrants, including those who lack mental competency, are often deported without inquiries into their ability to comprehend the proceedings against them.  And the immigration court system remains largely exempt from crucial checks and balances like judicial review.

Read more by HS News Staff →



ThursdayMay 19, 2011