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ThursdayJune 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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Spain and Peru Winners for “International Communication Awards”

Spain and Peru Winners for “International Communication Awards”

Photo: Centinelas of Manana

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The International Communication Awards “Centinelas of mañana” (Morning Sentinel) have been awarded, promoted by the Spanish Foundation “White Report” on the occasion of World Youth Day (WYD), to be held in August in Madrid.

Among all the journalistic work received, from a large number of countries (Portugal, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, United States, Guatemala, Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Australia), the jury chose a documentary on Peru, a Portuguese article, two radio programs and a Spanish website. Each winner will receive $ 1,000 and a scholarship for a master’s degree in communication at a Spanish university. The awards ceremony will take place in Madrid on August 16, during the cultural events of World Youth Day.

The jury awarded the prize for “Best Radio space” to two works: the “Salida de emergencia” (emergency exit) broadcast on Radio Maria, Joaquín Cañas, by Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), and the program “Doy Fe de ello “(Testimony of faith) by Manuel Serrano and Isabel Egido, University Miguel Hernández of Elche (Alicante). In the category “Best audiovisual documentary “, the prize was won by Sandra Rodriguez Benavides, Pax Televisión, Lima (Peru), for ” De Sidney a Madrid” (From Sydney to Madrid).

“Best news article” dedicated to “Las jornadas que transforman” (The days that change), published in the magazine Famiglia Cristiana, was won by Ricardo Joao Perna, Portugal. The award “Best proposed multimedia journalism on the Internet” has been assigned to the web project www.gazteliza.org, by the Youth Ministry of the Diocese of San Sebastián, Juan Pablo Aroztegi Esnaola (Guipúzcoa).

Read more at Agenzia Fides →

Americans Are Most Willing To Help Costa Rica, Dominican Republic On Latest List of Defense Partners

Americans Are Most Willing To Help Costa Rica, Dominican Republic On Latest List of Defense Partners

Photo: Dominican Republic and Costa Rica

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The United States has defense treaties with more than 50 nations, but Rasmussen Reports is finding that most Americans aren’t willing to go to bat militarily for the majority of them. Out of the latest list of nine countries Rasmussen asked about, just Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic earn the support of a plurality of adults.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% of American Adults say if Costa Rica were attacked, the United States should offer military assistance to help defend the popular tourist spot.  Thirty-four percent (34%) disagree, and 21% are not sure. 

Forty-two percent (42%) believe America should provide military aid to the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s neighbor, if it comes under attack. Nearly as many (38%), however, oppose such said. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.

At the top of the list of countries Americans are willing to help defend are Canada, Great Britain and Australia. Colombia and many of the countries carved out of the former Soviet Union are among those Americans are least enthusiastic about defending.

Costa Rica ranks just below Spain and France but is above Egypt and Greece.  The Dominican Republic falls in line with Japan, Hungary and Haiti.

Currently, the United States is providing military assistance to anti-government rebels in Libya.  However, just 26% of voters feel the United States should continue its presence in Libya.

Read more at Rasmussen Report →

Illustrator Ricardo Cortes Sees “Go the F*ck to Sleep” Reach No.1 on NY Times Best Seller List

Illustrator Ricardo Cortes Sees “Go the F*ck to Sleep” Reach No.1 on NY Times Best Seller List

Photo: "Go the F*ck to Sleep" Debuts at No.1 on NYT Best Sellers List

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“Go the F**k to Sleep” a sometimes foul-mouthed but honest book told in a childrens’-book type of way, depicts the frustration parents go through when faced with the usual bedtime illustrations and trying to get their children to go to sleep. And though it went viral even before its release date, when it came time for its official release, it opened to #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List.

The book’s illustrator, Ricardo Cortés, is already an acclaimed artists with his work appearing in a children’s book about marijuana: It’s Just a Plant for which he was also the author and I Don’t Want to Blow You Up!, a coloring book about famous Muslims who are not terrorists.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Exactly one year ago, Go the Fuck to Sleep started as a joking Facebook post by the author Adam Mansbach when he could not get his daughter to fall asleep. His friends loved the fake title so much he decided to turn it into a real nursery rhyme-style book with illustrations by his friend Ricardo Cortes. Instead of traditional galleys, Akashic sent a PDF of the book to independent bookstores in February. The PDF went viral, passed from knowing parent to knowing parent, and propelling the book to No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list seven months before publication.”

Today, the book is not only a NY Times best seller, but the audio version of the book is read by Samuel L. Jackson. (See below.)


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Read more at The Hollywood Reporter →

ANOTHER Ché Guevara Diary Published in Cuba

ANOTHER Ché Guevara Diary Published in Cuba

Photo: New Ché Guevara Diary Published

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“Diary of a Combatant” is a series of notebooks in terrible handwriting, that editors were able to decipher into a peek into late 50’s Cuba, and a Castro fresh in power.

Mrs. Aleida March, Ché Guevara’s widow, said she wanted to publish the diaries “to show his work, his thoughts, his life, so that the Cuban people and the entire world get to know him and don’t distort things anymore.”

The new book is loaded with the Doctor and Guerrilla Commander’s impressions of three years worth of campaigning that resulted in the ousting of then Cuban president Fulgencio Batista, and Fidel Castro taking over power.

“Diary of a Combatant was was launched in Havana on Tuesday—which would have been Guevara’s 83rd birthday.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sanctioned ‘Red Light Districts’ Maybe Coming to Dominican Republic

Sanctioned ‘Red Light Districts’ Maybe Coming to Dominican Republic

Photo: Legal Prostitution in Dominican Republic

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Certain areas of cities and tourism destinations could be earmarked as vice-friendly zones in the future in the Dominican Republic. Under the plan, sex for sale would be restricted to these areas. A bill sent to the Chamber of Deputies seeks to create “tolerance zones” to restrict the presence of prostitutes near cultural and historic areas, as reported in Diario Libre. Prostitutes would be required to carry a health clearance card from the Ministry of Public Health.

The bill was drafted by PRD deputy Esther Mirelys Minyeti.

Her bill establishes that the government should build lodgings for these women and guarantee their personal and health security. The penalty for working outside of the tolerance areas would be a maximum of two minimum wages.

This is the first time tolerance zones are being considered in the country. Decades ago prostitutes used to operate from brothels, but sex workers now offer their services openly on city streets throughout the Dominican Republic.

Read more at DR1 →

Hispanic Entrepreneurship On the Rise

According to the latest Kauffmann Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, Hispanic start ups are on the rise, and they are also

Minority Entrepreneurship Research Highlights:

• Entrepreneurship is a widespread activity in the United States. Participation is as common as getting married or the birth of a baby. About 6.2 in every 100 U.S. adults 18 years and older are engaged in trying to start new firms

• Hispanic men are about 20 percent more likely than white men to be involved with a start-up, but the difference isn’t statistically significant. Hispanic men are about equally as likely to attempt to start a business as white women, but they are less likely to be participating in start-up activities than black women.

• Education significantly predicts nascent entrepreneurship, particularly for blacks and Hispanics. Approximately 26 of every 100 black men and 20 of every 100 Hispanic men with graduate education experience report efforts to start a new business. This compares to 10 of every 100 white men with graduate education experience.

• Where people live affects entrepreneurial activity. Urban context, a county-level measure of certain economic, demographic and educational factors, is associated with prevalence rates of nascent entrepreneurs. Prevalence rates are higher in more urban areas.

• The impact of urban context varies for whites, blacks and Hispanics. For white and black men and women, the tendency to initiate start-up efforts is greatest among those living in more urban contexts. But for Hispanic men and women, the highest levels of activity are among those in the least urban contexts.

• Venture capital investing in minority enterprises is very profitable. An analysis of 24 venture capital funds making 117 minority-oriented investments found the average investment per firm was $562,400; the average gross yield per firm was $1,623,900 generating an average net return of $1,061,500.

• Venture capital funds that focus their investment in minority enterprises do not concentrate heavily in high tech firms. Unlike the broader VC industry, funds focused on minority businesses support a more diverse range of industries.

Read more at Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation →

Zoe Saldana Joins Mark Ruffalo in “Infinitely Polar Bear” a J.J. Abrams Project

Zoe Saldana Joins Mark Ruffalo in “Infinitely Polar Bear” a J.J. Abrams Project

Photo: Zoe saldana, Mark Ruffalo and JJ Abrams

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The film, produced by JJ Abrams, is the directorial debut of writer Maya Forbes.

Abrams seems to be clutching his hands around several incredibly ambitious projects at the same time; his brand new “Super 8” will be followed by Morning Glory, Men Making Music, Mission impossible IV and a Star Trek sequel, project for which Saldana is also optioned for.

The story of “Infinitely Polar Bear,” follows a bipolar husband and father—played by Mark Ruffalo, who stops taking his medication, and consequently loses his mind, then his job, and then his marriage to Saldana, who, after re-embracing the working-force work, moves out of the house, leaving Ruffalo alone with the kids.

Writer Maya Forbes (Monsters vs. Aliens) wrote the feature, and will also direct it.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Declarations Protecting Guatemalan & Nicaraguan Migrant Workers’ Rights While Working in US Signed

Declarations Protecting Guatemalan & Nicaraguan Migrant Workers’ Rights While Working in US Signed

Photo: Migrant Rights

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Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, Guatemalan Ambassador Francisco Villagran De Leon and Nicaraguan Ambassador Francisco Campbell today signed declarations that will make it easier to protect the rights of Guatemalan and Nicaraguan citizens who work in the United States.

“Individuals from Guatemala and Nicaragua make important contributions to the U.S. economy, and their workplace rights should be protected,” said Secretary Solis.  “I am pleased that the U.S., Guatemalan and Nicaraguan governments are working together to help make that happen.”

The declarations will enable the regional enforcement offices of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Wage and Hour Division to cooperate with local Guatemalan and Nicaraguan embassies and consulates to distribute information to migrant workers about U.S. health, safety and wage laws. Training also will be provided to both migrant workers and their employers.

In conjunction with the declarations, letters of agreement were signed by the two agencies.  The Wage and Hour Division will be able to protect migrant workers in low-wage industries such as hospitality and agriculture.  OSHA will continue efforts to improve workplace safety and health conditions while simultaneously providing outreach and assistance to Spanish-speaking workers and employers.

Additionally, through these agencies, the Labor Department will be better able to identify problems experienced by migrant workers and to target labor law enforcement efforts.  OSHA, for example, will provide a toll-free telephone number staffed by multilingual operators who are ready, day and night, to receive calls from migrant workers about safety and health issues.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Georgia Farmers Face Labor Shortage, Gov. Says to Use Offenders on Probation

Georgia Farmers Face Labor Shortage, Gov. Says to Use Offenders on Probation

Photo: Georgia Farmers Face Labor Shortage, Gov. Says to Use Offenders on Probation

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Georgia governor has shared his proposal for easing the labor shortage issues faces farmers who say that the crackdown of undocumented workers has left them with fewer people willing to work in their fields.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, has suggested that in order to keep costs down, people on probation should be hired to work the fields in place of the undocumented. His idea was devised after many of his constituents expressed concern that an illegal immigration law was scaring away farmworkers needed to harvest peaches and berries, which cannot be done by machines, as they are easily damaged by said machines.

In a written statement, Gov. Deal said believed a probationed-workers program “would be a great partial solution to our current status as we continue to move towards sustainable results with the legal options available.”

The statement came after a survey showed that roughly 11,000 agriculture jobs were unfilled, forcing some farmers to leave a number of acres to rot.

State officials are still putting together the details of the plan, but so far it states that farmers will not be forced to offenders of probation. On the other end, as offenders are allowed to turn down job offers, any that are offered farm work can turn the labor-intensive jobs. However, if those on probation continuously refuse to take a job, they may face additional punishment.

The Georgia Farm Bureau has long urged the state’s leaders to step out of the hot-button immigration and leave it to the federal government, but Gov. Deal is unlikely to listen.

Deal has notably supported legislation in Congress that would have allowed U.S. military forces to enforce immigration laws at the border, and ended birthright citizenship for children born in the U.S. to undocumented parents

Read more at Associated Press (MSNBC) →

WATCH Christina Aguilera Baring it All for “W” Magazine

WATCH Christina Aguilera Baring it All for “W” Magazine

Photo: Christina Aguilera in the cover of "W" Magazine

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The pop star opened up to “W” about her recent string of blunders, her heartache and posed for them in a very provocative set.

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Read the interview at Wmagazine.com

Read more at "W" Magazine →

Smurfs vs. Los Pitufos: What’s the Deal with the Odd Translation

Smurfs vs. Los Pitufos: What’s the Deal with the Odd Translation

Photo: Smurfs vs. Los Pitufos: What’s the Deal with the Odd Translation

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As “The Smurfs” is about to hit theaters (July 29), many may have been wondering something: What’s with the translation?”

ImageThe Smurfs were the brain-child of Belgian cartoonist Peyo, who used the pen name Pierre Culliford. They were first introduced as a series of comics on October 23, 1958, and their original name (in French) was Les Schtroumpfs. When the cartoon was translated into Dutch as Smurf, and when translated into English, the name remained the same.

But what about Los Pitufos?

When the Smurfs came to the Spanish-speaking world in Strong magazine, editor Alfons Moliné had trouble with the translation of the world “smurf”, and in comparing the tiny characters to a another small cartoon, one of the most famous folktales of Catalan origin, Patufet, he came up with the translated name of Los Pitufos.

Since 1969, when Moliné first came up with the name, Spanish-speaking countries has carried on the name, and now, as the first live-action Smurfs movie is about to be released, featuring George Lopez and Sophia Vergara, you can view the trailers for “Los Pitufos” or “The Smurfs.”

(The Spanish-language announcer makes the trailer below, even better. Well, we think so anyway.)


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Read more by HS News Staff →

El Salvadoran Based MS-13 Gang Member and 9 Others Guilty of Vicious Crimes in NY

El Salvadoran Based MS-13 Gang Member and 9 Others Guilty of Vicious Crimes in NY

Photo: MS-13 Gang in New York

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Earlier today, La Mara Salvatrucha (“MS-13”) member Rene Mendez Mejia, also known as “Zorro,” pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death through use of a firearm in connection with the February 5, 2010, execution-style murders of Vanessa Argueta, a 19-yearold woman, and her two-year-old son, Diego Torres, in Central Islip, New York.1 When sentenced by United States District Judge Joseph F. Bianco on October 21, 2011, Mejia faces a maximum term of life imprisonment. In addition, nine of Mejia’s MS-13 co-defendants have pleaded guilty to racketeering offenses over the last several days.

The plea proceedings were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, Thomas C. Krumpter, Acting Commissioner of the Nassau County Police Department, and Richard Dormer, Commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department.

As detailed in previously-filed court documents and Mejia’s plea allocution, the bodies of Argueta and Torres were found in a secluded wooded area; Argueta had been shot in the head and chest, and Torres had been shot twice in the head. Mejia’s fellow MS-13 gang members have also pleaded to the following charges.

“This young mother and her child lost their lives to senseless gang violence. Street gangs, and their associated wanton violence, have no place in our communities,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “We will utilize all available resources to eliminate them and put an end to these senseless and brutal crimes.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Watch the Entire First Total Lunar Eclipse of 2011 (VIDEO)

Watch the Entire First Total Lunar Eclipse of 2011 (VIDEO)

Photo: Lunar eclipse.

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Watch the Entire First Total Lunar Eclipse of 2011 (VIDEO)

Yesterday’s unusually long lunar eclipse, is here, for you to watch a much shorter, but still incredible time-lapse version!

The eclipse was visible from start to finish in the southern hemisphere; parts of eastern Africa, central Asia, the middle east, Australia and South America witnessed the moon get progressibly obscured, and blood red, before returning back to its full white splendor.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Tycoon with Suspected ties to Cartels, Released Due to Insufficient Evidence

Mexican Tycoon with Suspected ties to Cartels, Released Due to Insufficient Evidence

Photo: Mexican Tycoon with Suspected ties to Cartels, Released Due to Insufficient Evidence

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A judge has ordered the release of the former mayor of Tijuana, accused of having nearly 90 illegal firearms, leaving President Felipe Calderon’s administration reeling, and anti-crime advocates angry.

Jorge Hank Rhon once served as Mayor of Tijuana, but is just as well known for his outrageously lavish lifestyle, which includes his penchant for tequila with scorpions in the bottle, a zoo on his property, and even his own bullfighting ring.

In the early morning hours of June 4, Mexican authorities raided Hank’s home and arrested him and some of his employees, after they say 88 weapons were found in the home.

The Guardian wrote: The attorney general, Marisela Morales, said Hank Rhon had no permits for 78 of the weapons said to have been found, which comprised 40 rifles and 48 handguns. The raid also yielded 9,298 bullets, 70 ammunition clips and a gas grenade.

However, a federal judge ordered that Hank and 10 of his staff be released due to insufficient evidence.

Hank is one of the wealthiest and most powerful businessmen in Mexico and holds a great amount of power in various areas throughout the state.

The ordered release of the former politician has left President Calderon and subsequently his political party, the National Action Party (PAN – Partido de Accion Nacional) with a credibility problem. And as Calderon’s increasingly unpopular drug war has resulting in a horrifying amount of cartel violence producing nearly 40,000 deaths since 2006, Calderon is under constant scrutiny from political rivals as well as the people of Mexico.

PAN’s credibility is being questioned as political opponents allege that he is “freezing out” his rivals in the upcoming election. Though in Calderon’s defense, U.S. officials have long suspected Hank of having ties to organized crime and continue to fear is untouchable by the law.

This insufficient evidence ruling resulted in the release of Hank and some of his associates, but he was immediately taken to the office of the state prosecutor’s office for questioning on the murders alleged carried out using two of the guns in his possession.

Read more at Christian Science Monitor →

Nat’l Latino GOP Group Permanently Puts Senator Rubio on ‘Unfriendly’ to Latino List

Nat’l Latino GOP Group Permanently Puts Senator Rubio on ‘Unfriendly’ to Latino List

Photo: Senator Marcio Rubio

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Cuban-Americans Sen. Marco Rubio and candidate Ted Cruz will permanently wind up on the SOMOS REPUBLICANS unfriendly to Latino list because of their support for enforcement only policies against immigrants. 

They fail to recognize the privilege Cuban immigrants have over other immigrants that come here to achieve the American dream said SOMOS REPUBLICANS.  Furthermore, both Rubio and Cruz are being supported by the same anti-immigrant crowd that supported JD Hayworth and both have been praised by extremist radio show host Mark Levin.  They believe GOP Cuban-Americans such as Rubio and Cruz are being used as pawns by the nativist, anti-immigrant and Tea Party crowd.

Florida is experiencing fast growing emerging groups from Columbia, Central America, and etc.  Indians, Columbians, Peruvians, Central Americans, Mexicans, Irishmen, Canadians, Asians, Russians, and etc. do not have the privilege of the wet-foot-dry-foot policy as they try to flee their government to pursue the American dream. Most Cubans are able to receive federal assistance provided by tax payers for a short time once their foot touches American soil, and then they are on parole for one year before becoming a permanent resident.  Unfortunately, both Rubio and Cruz are also putting 30,000 Cuban families that have slipped through the cracks and they are also at risk with regard to enforcement only policies.

Rubio and Cruz are dangerously flirting with protectionist and isolationist policies that are not embraced by Capitalistic free market ideals says SOMOS REPUBLICANS. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently stated that it is national suicide if the U.S. does not adopt an immigrant-friendly policy that shuts the doors on future entrepreneurs. 

Several immigrants from other parts of the world do not have the Cuban wet-foot-dry-foot privilege as they seek to flee their governments.

Furthermore, restrictionist policies will harm the economy and destroy middle income jobs to Native Americans.  Rubio is already experiencing 11.5% unemployment which is higher than the national average of 9.1%, and Florida cannot afford to lose more middle income jobs with his immigration scares.  CATO Institute writes:

“According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are 3.1 related jobs off the farm for every job on the farm. Eliminating the on-farm jobs would put at risk many more jobs paying middle-class wages and employing native-born American workers.”

If Texas candidate Ted Cruz continues to go on his protectionism path, then this will be Democratic retired General Ricardo Sanchez’s Texas senate campaign to lose.  It is in the best interest of the Republican Party to recognize that the fastest growing group in the nation is Mexican-American.  In Texas alone 80% of Latins are Mexican-American.  If the GOP is to regain the south Texas districts that recently went to the Democrats, a Ted Cruz and Rep. Lamar Smith approach to immigration is not the solution.  It is not right to bash immigrants to save political necks.  Cruz and Smith views are not the same as former President George W. Bush’s views when he warned us about nativism and protectionism.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pioneer Trini Lopez: “They said Trini was Nice, but López had to go. I said no.”

Pioneer Trini Lopez: “They said Trini was Nice, but López had to go. I said no.”

Photo: Master guitarist and Gibson signature co-designer, TV host, and Latino Hollywood personality Trini López.

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Trini López told Gibson.com how he almost walked out of his first record deal, because the studio wanted him to change his name. “I was proud of my heritage, always will be”Image

Trini López, along with Les Paul are the two people who have sold the most signature design Gibson guitars in the world. López’s design is a favorite of Foo Fighters Dave Grohl, former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher and U2’s The Edge.

At 74, López is still a personality of the guitar world. His next album, (his 65th!) “Into the Future” will be released next July.

López told Gibson.com he started playing at 12 years old “He [my father] told me to always be home when he returned from work, and the third time I failed to obey him he gave me a whipping with his belt. He felt bad the next day and to make it up to me he stopped at a pawnshop on the way home and bought this guitar for $12, a black Gibson acoustic.”

That 12 year old with a $12 guitar grew to design his own model of one of the leading guitar companies in the world. That is after befriending such music world giants as Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Frank Sinatra and The Beatles!

ImageIt wasn’t always easy for López, who met some resistance in his road to becoming one of the first ever Latino stars, sometimes finding that the limelight could be filled with “pride of course, but it was a burden, with America then being very prejudiced towards Latinos”

“I’m very proud I didn’t change my name. When I recorded my first record, “The Right To Rock,” aged 18, the first thing the studio wanted me to do was change my name. They said Trini was nice, but Lopez had to go. I said no. I was proud of my heritage, always will be, and I even started walking out the door.”

“This guy with a big cigar in his mouth shouted, “come back, come back”. And eventually he told me I could keep my name. Jennifer Lopez may be a big star in America now, but this is long after I broke through.”

Read the whole interview on Gibson.com

 

Read more at Gibson.com →

Another Defender of Amazon Rainforest Brutally Murdered

Another Defender of Amazon Rainforest Brutally Murdered

Photo: Another Amazon Defender Killed

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The farmer and activist for the defense of the Amazon, Obed Loyla Souza, 31, was killed on Thursday, June 9 in the Brazilian state of Pará (North Brazil). The news was released on June 14.

The Pastoral Land Commission (PLC), which is part of the institutions of the Catholic Church, announced that Loyla Souza was killed by a blow to the head. His body was found in the city of Tucuruí, one of the main areas of illegal deforestation in the state of Para. The PLC reported that the causes of this murder are still unknown, although some suggest that the death is to be linked with discussions between Obed Loyla Souza and representatives of loggers in the region, in January and February. The PLC also sustains that the witnesses noted, the day of the murder, a black jeep with four people who were in the Esperanza camp, where the victim lived. According to news agency Brasil, Obed Souza Loyla had received death threats. It is to be noted that at the end of May, four environmentalists were killed, including three in the state of Para and the other in Rondonia.

In a note sent to Fides it says that two priests of the PLC Northeast Region 5 of the Episcopal Conference of Brazil, CNBB (Maranhão), father Inaldo Serejo (PLC Coordinator) and father Clemir Batista da Silva and 17 other members, gave birth to a hunger strike a few days ago. The protest is to draw the attention of the Minister of Human Rights of the Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, Maria do Rosario, in order to address the issue of violence against the native leaders in the state.

Mgr. Gilberto Pastana de Oliveira, Bishop of the diocese of Imperatriz, and Presiding Bishop of the region, issued a statement on that protest, claiming to reject all manifestations of the culture of death, “especially those sustained by the abuse of economic power and corruption that exists in the powers of the Federation, the state and Municipalities. “The Bishop also called on Catholics to “to get to know the facts and to contribute to legitimate farmers actions through political and social support, and with the donation of food, water, medicine and clothing for those who live in camps”.

Read more at Agenzia Fides →

Uruguay is Hailed as One of the Largest Contributors to UN Peacekeeping Worldwide

Uruguay is Hailed as One of the Largest Contributors to UN Peacekeeping Worldwide

Photo: Uruguay Hailed for Peacekeeping

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today thanked Uruguay for being one of the largest contributors to United Nations peacekeeping worldwide.

“Uruguay’s commitment to global peacekeeping is without rival,” Mr. Ban said in his remarks to the National School for Peacekeeping Operations, located in the capital, Montevideo. “When adjusted for population, no country contributes more troops than Uruguay.”

Speaking directly to Uruguayan peacekeepers, the Secretary-General said: “Your efforts directly help millions of people by providing security and promoting reconciliation, clearing land-mines and demobilizing combatants, strengthening institutions and the rule of law, delivering aid and repatriating refugees and displaced persons, supporting democratic elections, reforming the security sector and so much more.”

He later told the Uruguayan Parliament that the country provided what he called a “special brand of Uruguayan leadership and global example.”

“Uruguay’s peacekeepers are your brave sons and daughters,” he said, “but they are also the world’s best and brightest.”

“So, in truth, my message today comes down to three words: Muchas gracias, Uruguay.”

More than 25,000 Uruguayans have served in 21 peacekeeping missions since 1951, with some 2,400 Uruguayans currently serving under the blue flag. Twenty-seven Uruguayans died in UN service.

“They have maintained peace and security in some of the world’s most dangerous places.  For millions of people, United Nations peacekeepers are their last, best chance,” he said.

Yesterday Mr. Ban delivered a similar message to President Jose Mujica, thanking him for Uruguay’s support for UN priorities, including peacekeeping operations and UN reform.

The two men discussed the situation in Haiti, where many Uruguayan troops are serving, and climate change, according to Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

Also on Tuesday, Mr. Ban received the Uruguayan Medal of the Republic on behalf of the UN.

The Secretary-General is on a week-long visit to Latin America, with stops in Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New York City Mayor Bloomberg calls US Immigration Policy “National Suicide”

New York City Mayor Bloomberg calls US Immigration Policy “National Suicide”

Photo: Mike Bloomberg

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the US risks “national suicide” if it doesn’t implement a more welcoming immigration policy. Bloomberg spoke on Wednesday to the Council on Foreign Relations.

“We will not remain a global superpower if we continue to close our doors to people who want to come here to work hard, start businesses, and pursue the American dream,” Bloomberg said. “The American dream cannot survive if we keep telling the dreamers to go elsewhere,” the mayor adds. “It’s what I call national suicide – and that’s not hyperbole.”

Bloomberg’s speech follows the release of a report by Partnership for a New American Economy. The report studied the role of immigrants in the Fortune 500 Companies. Results show that immigrants or the children of immigrants founded 40% of the fortune 500 companies. Theses companies employ more than 10 million people worldwide and generate over 4.2 trillion dollars.

The report warns of the potential danger of the US immigration laws forcing the future inception of companies to happen outside our country.

“Every day that we fail to fix our broken immigration laws is a day that we inflict a wound on our economy,” Bloomberg says in his speech. “Today, we may have turned away the next Albert Einstein or Sergey Brin. Tomorrow, we may turn away the next Levi Strauss or Jerry Yang.”

 

 

Read more at Politico →

ICE Testimony Before Senate on ‘Illegal Tunnels’ at U.S.-Mexico Border

ICE Testimony Before Senate on ‘Illegal Tunnels’ at U.S.-Mexico Border

Photo: Illegal Tunnel

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The following is the testimony of Executive Associate Director James A. Dinkins, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, before the Senate Caucus on international narcotics control and “illegal tunnels on the southwest border”. 

The use of clandestine cross-border tunnels represents a unique tactic that is being used by transnational criminal organizations. These groups continue to invest in techniques to circumvent border security and have demonstrated enduring and creative, evolving capabilities to construct and use underground passageways to transport narcotics, people, and other dangerous and contraband into the continental United States. For these reasons, a Tunnel Strategy Appendix is now included in the National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy.

Illicit tunnel activity has been on the rise since the first documented tunnel was discovered in 1990. Since then, 154 tunnel attempts have been discovered, all but one of which were located along the Southwest border. Over the past several years, law enforcement has seen a marked increase in the number and sophistication of tunnels. This increase is a direct result of increased pressure by federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities against transnational criminal organizations, driving them to adapt and evolve their smuggling tactics, techniques and routes.

The considerable sophistication, as well as the extensive time and labor that go into the construction of tunnels, suggest that smugglers consider tunnels to be a useful investment despite the risk of discovery and interdiction. An example of this is the nearly half-mile cross-border tunnel discovered in San Diego, California on November 25, 2010, by agents on the ICE-led Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) Tunnel Task Force (TTF). The tunnel traveled 2,200 feet at a depth of 90 feet and included shoring, electricity, ventilation, and a rail system to assist in ferrying contraband. The entrance was concealed under a hydraulic steel door in the kitchen of a Tijuana, Mexico residence. The tunnel exited into a warehouse near the Otay Mesa port of entry in California. It is estimated this tunnel took more than a year to construct at a cost of more than $1 million.

Successfully countering illegal tunnels requires investigations that disrupt and dismantle the criminal organizations responsible for their construction and use. These crucial investigations are best supported by two critical capabilities: intelligence collection and sharing related to the planning, financing, construction, and use of tunnels; and the detection of tunnel construction and smuggling activities.

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ThursdayJune 16, 2011