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SundayJune 26, 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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EPA to Chair North America Commission for Environmental Cooperation

EPA to Chair North America Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Photo: Commission for Environmental Cooperation

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At the end of the annual council session in Montreal, Canada, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson assumed leadership of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), a partnership with Canada and Mexico that fosters conservation, protection and enhancement of the North American environment. The partnership works to increase economic, trade and social links among the three countries to build healthy communities and ecosystems, a low carbon economy, and initiatives and projects that will help protect people’s health across North America.

This weeks meeting with the Mexican and Canadian ministers of the environment, as well as representatives from across the three governments, focused on the goals of empowering communities to address environmental concerns, especially in states, tribes, and under-served communities, a priority of Administrator Jackson. To that end, today, the CEC directed $1.4 million to fund the North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) to support communities in their efforts to locally address environmental problems across North America.

The three areas of priorities for the CEC for the next five years are:

- Healthy communities and Ecosystems
- Climate Change - Low-Carbon Economy
- Greening the Economy in North America

Administrator Jackson will host next year’s meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“We’re proud to be working with our partners in the Commission and view our time in the leadership role as an opportunity to facilitate even stronger collaboration. We are eager to join Canada and Mexico in making sure that the work of the CEC is being seen in robust interactions and real results at the community level and benefits for the people who are most vulnerable to health and environmental threats,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This is an important time to ensure that our economic and environmental priorities are fully aligned and complementary, so that we are moving towards a prosperous and sustainable future. The work of the CEC is instrumental in shaping that future.”

Since 1994, Canada, Mexico and the United States have collaborated in protecting North America’s environment through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), which came into force at the same time as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), marking a commitment from each country that trade and economic growth would be accompanied by environmental protection. Accordingly, the NAAEC established the commission to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential conflicts between trade and environmental protection and promote the effective enforcement of environmental law.

More information on EPA’s role in the CEC: http://www.epa.gov/international/regions/na/nacec/council11.html

More information on the CEC: http://www.cec.org

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bishops Call for Education Reform in Chile

Bishops Call for Education Reform in Chile

Photo: chile classroom

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In the context of student protests, the Chilean bishops have stressed the urgency of researching proposals that meet with a broad consensus, in order to give the processes the go-ahead that meet the right demands.

The spokesman of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, Jaime Coiro, has recently presented a statement signed by the President of the Episcopal Conference, Mgr. Ricardo Ezzati, and the Chairman of the Education field, Mgr. Héctor Vargas. The text states that the Chilean Church closely follows the demands of the student movement considering that the heated debate around the education system is a sign of uneasiness of which society as a whole must take responsibility .


In the text of the bishops’ communication, sent to Fides, reads: “There is a long way to go in the task of building an educational model of learning quality, fair and right, where every student, regardless of his or her personal and social condition, is assured of the necessary training to fully develop, to build a life project and to contribute generously, with all its wealth, to the society of his or her time”.

The bishops also recognize that there is, in this area, a serious debt. It has been stated many times that the effort to improve the quality of teaching and make it fairer, requires work that must involve the State, educational institutions, teachers, families and students: “It is urgent to pursue the research of proposals for broad consensus, to guide and direct the processes that allow to meet the right demands”.

In this context, it has clearly been said that incorrect measures and verbal or physical violence are not the way to solve the problem, but only “a genuine desire for dialogue will help to solve the delicate climate of polarization that is driving the debate and mobilizations associated with it”, the bishops conclude. (EC)

Read more at agenzia fides →

UN Official Commends Former Leaders of Ghana and Brazil on Winning Award

UN Official Commends Former Leaders of Ghana and Brazil on Winning Award

Photo: World Food Prize

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The head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) this week congratulated the former presidents of Ghana and Brazil, John Kufuor and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who have been honoured for their vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.

The two men, who led the drastic reduction of hunger and poverty in their countries, are the winners of the 2011 World Food Prize, announced in Washington yesterday.

“It is the first time this prize, created 25 years ago by Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug, recognizes the vital role of national leaders in fighting hunger at home and abroad, and we hope that the world’s leaders will be encouraged to continue on their path,” WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in a statement.

“President Kufuor and President Lula have both been strong supporters of WFP, especially throughout the recent years of high price volatility, which have pushed the number of hungry people in the world to nearly one billion,” she added.

Mr. Kufuor has been a WFP Ambassador Against Hunger since 2009 and Ms. Sheeran said this recognition further highlights the importance of his work, both around the globe and in Ghana, where, during his two terms as president he improved food security and reduced poverty through public and private sector initiatives.

Last year, WFP recognized Mr. Lula da Silva as a Global Champion in the Battle Against Hunger in recognition of his leadership in the fight against hunger and inadequate nutrition in his country and across the world.

Mr. Kufuor is also a recipient of the WFP award, which is given to individuals for their vision and leadership in addressing hunger, and for showing that the fight against hunger and child under-nutrition can be won.

Read more by HS News Staff →

TV Star Wilmer Valderrama Returns to His Birthplace for an Emotional Trip in PASTPORT: VENEZUELA

TV Star Wilmer Valderrama Returns to His Birthplace for an Emotional Trip in PASTPORT: VENEZUELA

Photo: Wilmer Valderrama

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Wilmer Valderrama (That 70’s Show, Yo Momma, The Dry Land) has become a household name since first appearing as the endearing FEZ on FOX’s That 70’s Show. Yet, few are aware that he had very humble beginnings and comes from an extremely poor neighborhood in Venezuela — a place so dangerous, residents lock themselves in their homes by 5 o’clock to avoid the violence on the streets.  nuvoTV’s PASTPORT:  VENEZUELA joins Valderrama on his emotional return to Venezuela for the first time since he came to the U.S. 16 years ago.

The only series of its kind, PASTPORT follows the unique journeys of Latino celebrities as they travel to the countries of their families’ origins, often for the first time, to re-connect with their Latino heritage, history and culture.  PASTPORT: VENEZUELA premieres on Monday July 4 at 10 PM ET/PT. With nostalgic visits to his elementary school, a local radio station and a drama class at a university, PASTPORT: VENEZUELA is an emotionally charged hour that gives viewers an up close and personal look at the Hollywood star’s triumphant return home.

“PASTPORT captures a journey to your past that anyone can relate to, but especially the Bi-Cultural Latino community,” said Maria Perez-Brown, nuvoTV’s senior vice president of programming, “The people we follow are passionate about their own American experience, but crave a stronger bond to their heritage. Our audience connects with this on a very personal level, because they are constantly balancing the best of their two cultures.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

CBP Detains 15 Cuban Illegal Aliens on Monito Island

CBP Detains 15 Cuban Illegal Aliens on Monito Island

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents detained 15 undocumented Cuban illegal aliens who landed on Monito Island in the early morning hours.

The Ramey Border Patrol station radio dispatch received a call indicating the arrival of the illegal aliens on Monito Island, a inhospitable small island between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Drummond confirmed the arrival of suspected illegal aliens to Monito Island and rescued 15 Cuban citizens.

USCG transported the 15 illegal aliens to the Mayaguez port of entry where custody was transferred to Border Patrol agents for immigration processing.

At the Ramey Border Patrol station the illegal incursion was documented, and all 15 Cuban illegal aliens were served with a notice to appear before an immigration judge at a later date.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Texas Contract Security Officer Charged with Sexual Abuse of Detainee

Texas Contract Security Officer Charged with Sexual Abuse of Detainee

Photo: Homeland Security

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  The Justice Department today announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Contract Security Officer Edwin Rodriguez, 31, of Raymondville, Texas, with sexual abuse of a female Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainee who was under his supervision at the Willacy Detention Center, a federally contracted detention facility in Raymondville, Texas.

Rodriguez is charged in a one-count felony indictment returned by a Brownsville, Texas, grand jury under seal on June 21, 2011, with the felony offense of sexual abuse of a ward.  The indictment was unsealed following Rodriguez’s arrest on June 22, 2011. According to allegations contained in the indictment, Rodriguez engaged sexual intercourse with a female detainee on or about Oct. 26, 2008, while she was being held in official detention pending deportation.


Rodriguez appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Felix Recio in the Southern District of Texas today, and entered a plea of not guilty. The court has ordered Rodriguez to remain in federal custody without bond pending a detention hearing on June 27, 2011.


An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Rodriguez faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.


The case has been investigated by ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility in Harlingen, Texas.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kebharu Smith and Civil Rights Division Criminal Section Trial Attorney Adriana Vieco are handling the prosecution.

Read more by HS News Staff →

EPA to Chair North America Commission for Environmental Cooperation

This week, at the end of the annual council session in Montreal, Canada, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson assumed leadership of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), a partnership with Canada and Mexico that fosters conservation, protection and enhancement of the North American environment. The partnership works to increase economic, trade and social links among the three countries to build healthy communities and ecosystems, a low carbon economy, and initiatives and projects that will help protect people’s health across North America.

The meeting with the Mexican and Canadian ministers of the environment, as well as representatives from across the three governments, focused on the goals of empowering communities to address environmental concerns, especially in states, tribes, and under-served communities, a priority of Administrator Jackson. To that end, the CEC directed $1.4 million to fund the North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) to support communities in their efforts to locally address environmental problems across North America.

The three areas of priorities for the CEC for the next five years are:

- Healthy communities and Ecosystems
- Climate Change - Low-Carbon Economy
- Greening the Economy in North America

Administrator Jackson will host next year’s meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“We’re proud to be working with our partners in the Commission and view our time in the leadership role as an opportunity to facilitate even stronger collaboration. We are eager to join Canada and Mexico in making sure that the work of the CEC is being seen in robust interactions and real results at the community level and benefits for the people who are most vulnerable to health and environmental threats,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This is an important time to ensure that our economic and environmental priorities are fully aligned and complementary, so that we are moving towards a prosperous and sustainable future. The work of the CEC is instrumental in shaping that future.”

Since 1994, Canada, Mexico and the United States have collaborated in protecting North America’s environment through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), which came into force at the same time as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), marking a commitment from each country that trade and economic growth would be accompanied by environmental protection. Accordingly, the NAAEC established the commission to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential conflicts between trade and environmental protection and promote the effective enforcement of environmental law.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Changes at Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development Lack Transparency

Changes at Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development Lack Transparency

Photo: New Jersey Gov

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Recently, members of the Hispanic Directors Association of New Jersey (HDANJ) received notice that Mr. Abraham Lopez had been appointed Executive Director of the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development (CHPRD), and that the CHPRD mission and Advisory Committee had been unilaterally
changed. These changes were implemented without public hearings, input from HDANJ, and were supported only by a small and isolated group of Latino
partisans/supporters of the Christie Administration.


For over the past year, HDANJ representatives have been attempting to meet with senior administration officials and policy makers to discuss the future of CHPRD. Against all obvious indications to the contrary, Abraham Lopez, Director of Hispanic and Faith Based Services for the Christie Administration, continued to guarantee HDANJ that the Governor had kept all options on the table, and that the administration had all intentions to engage with the HDANJ in formulating the future constitution of the CHPRD.

HDANJ has learned that this was far from the truth, and HDANJ has discovered that the Christie Administration through Mr. Lopez has used the past year to deliberately distort the record, change the CHPRD mission, and eliminate the existing CHPRD Advisory Committee. These changes have been implemented without broad Hispanic community involvement or transparent input from credible Hispanic community stakeholders. “The reorganization of the CHPRD has occurred with a lack of transparency and outright faithlessness, and has occurred despite a commitment from the Governor in his Inaugural Address that stated, “Today, a new era of accountability and transparency is here.”.” stated Mario Vargas, Chairperson of the Hispanic Directors Association of New Jersey.

CHPRD and its $3.69 million in funding was slated for elimination in Governor’s Christie Proposed FY 2011 Budget along with over $3.77 million in cuts for various other programs servicing indigent Hispanic citizens of New Jersey. HDANJ mobilized numerous Hispanic organizations, major constituent groups, and key stakeholders to make Legislative Leaders from both parties responsive, and was able to restore $1.4 million for CHPRD as Grants in Aid in the FY 2011 budget. During the past decades, the CHPRD has experienced unprecedented success and visibility due in large measure to the untiring and steadfast work and collaboration between prior Republican and Democratic Administrations and HDANJ. “I guess that the message the Christie Administration is sending to us is that when it comes to the Hispanic community, the era of accountability and transparency does not apply” stated David Rodriguez, Vice Chairperson of HDANJ.

The CHPRD was created by the Hispanic community thirty-six years ago and has administered grants that were awarded and carefully monitored to nonprofit community based organizations whose focus are the needs of the Hispanic community in the areas of front-line crisis intervention and targeted social services. It has always been an inclusive institution with broad community support and input, and has never been a cultural, religious, business, or diversity office.

“Therefore, HDANJ is insisting that CHPRD funding be restored to FY 2010 levels, and that the mission of the CHPRD and a new Request for Proposals be
developed by a public process that is accountable and transparent as was promised by the Governor in his Inaugural address” continued Vargas. Historically, funding for services to Hispanics has not kept pace with the increase in their population and its particular needs and there are numerous studies demonstrating a historic unequal access of this community to mainstream programs and resources. The Hispanic Directors Association of New Jersey brings together twenty-seven Hispanic-led community service agencies from across New Jersey that serve and improve the lives of low-income families. Each agency maintains full bicultural and bilingual services and staff.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Christina Aguilera: ‘La Casa’ First Listen Here

Christina Aguilera: ‘La Casa’ First Listen Here

Photo: Christina Aguilera

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Check out Christina Aguilera’s latest song, “La Casa” (”The Home”), which is sung entirely in Spanish by the half Ecuadorian entertainer!

The 30-year-old singer and The Voice coach is no stranger to singing en Espanol - she released an entire Spanish language ablum in 2000, Mi Reflejo (My Reflection).

The song will be featured in the Will Ferrell film, La Casa de Mi Padre which will hit theatres later this year.

“La Casa” shows off Christina’s wide vocal range.

WHAT DO YOU THINK of Christina’s latest song??


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Join us This and Every Sunday At HS-News Open Mic

Join us This and Every Sunday At HS-News Open Mic

Photo: Introducing This Week Jauría

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Juan Laverde, Open Mic, jauria

Introducing:

From Argentina:

Artist:Jauría
Song: Adios a Dios
Band Members
Ciro Petrusi (Vocals, Guitar)
Ray Fajardo (Drums)
Esteban Serniotti (Guitar)
Mauro Ambesi (Bass)

Read more by HS News Staff →

US Border Protection Trained Mexican Customs Canine Finds $2.4 Million

US Border Protection Trained Mexican Customs Canine Finds $2.4 Million

Photo: Border Canine

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan D. Bersin today congratulated the government of Mexico on the seizure of $2.4 million in illegal cash at the Mexico City airport using a CBP-trained canine. The canine training was provided under the Merida Initiative, a joint US-Mexico effort to combat the threats of transnational narcotics trafficking and organized crime.

Earlier this month, Mexican customs inspectors discovered more than $2.4 million in cash stuffed into spools of telephone cable headed for Venezuela. A trained canine alerted his handler to the suspicious contents of the spools before they departed the airport.

“This seizure is representative of the success of the Merida initiative and our enhanced efforts to share skills and expertise with our Mexican counterparts,” said Bersin.

Under the Merida Initiative, which provides equipment, money, and training to aid in the fight against trans-national illegal activity, the government of Mexico’s canine program has advanced significantly, both in equipment procurement and training.

The canine program has assisted Mexican law enforcement agencies in interdicting narcotics, money, firearms and ammunition at major ports of entry across the country, along the US-Mexico border and during operations. In 2010, CBP trained a group of 47 Mexican Customs canine teams at the Canine Center in El Paso and provided a total of 50 dogs.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Epidemic Strikes Amazon Nomads

Epidemic Strikes Amazon Nomads

Photo: Nukak woman in refugee camp near San José, Colombia. David Hill/Survival

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An outbreak of respiratory disease has struck one of the Amazon’s last nomadic tribes – whose numbers have already been decimated by flu and malaria.

Around 35 Nukak-Maku, including nine children, have been admitted to San José del Guaviare hospital in the southern Colombian Amazon.

Health advisor Héctor Muñoz told Colombian radio that the hospital was well over capacity, leaving some Nukak with only make-shift beds.

Many members of the tribe have been living in a refugee camp on the outskirts of San José since being pushed out of their rainforest home by guerrilla armies and drug barons.

Since they first emerged from the forest in 1988, more than half the tribe has been wiped out.

Unlike most Amazonian tribes, the Nukak-Maku are highly nomadic hunter-gatherers, living in small temporary homes in the deep forest between larger rivers.

But for many years the tribe’s homeland has been occupied by coca-growers, and Colombia’s violent civil war has engulfed their territory, leaving them unable to return home.

Survival has written to Colombia’s Health Ministry asking it to act immediately to safeguard the Nukak’s health.

Survival’s Director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘This is really tragic news. After all these years the Nukak’s desperate situation remains the same, with no home, poor health, and little prospect for a better life. What’s so frustrating is that this burden, both for the Nukak and the state, wouldn’t exist if only the Nukak could go back to their forest – as they desperately wish to do.’Image

Read more at Survival International →



SundayJune 26, 2011