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WednesdayJuly 27, 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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Nicargua Obtains Financing for $22 Million to Improve Electrical Service Throughout Country

Nicargua Obtains Financing for $22 Million to Improve Electrical Service Throughout Country

Photo: Fixing Nicaragua's Electrical Problems

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved the second loan, for $22 million, for Nicaragua’s National Sustainable Electrification and Renewable Energy Program (PNESER, for its initials in Spanish).

The first loan, for $30.5 million, was approved on July 7, bringing total Bank support for this program to $50.5 million. PNESER aims to support the transformation of the country’s energy matrix and increase electricity coverage from 65 percent to 85 percent, which will benefit 1.7 million people

Over the next four years PNESER will provide service to 117,390 new users, totaling 702,000 people, in 3,666 rural communities. The second loan will help finance electricity service connections to 6,762 of these homes. Service will also be normalized for 164,000 households, totaling 984,000 people, who currently have illegal electrical connections. The second funding will also benefit 20 settlements, where electricity service will be normalized for 5,419 homes and provided to an additional 2,415 homes previously lacking connection to the power grid.

PNESER seeks to transform lives by improving the quality of life for the more than 1.7 million Nicaraguans who will benefit from the program. It will also seek to lower electricity costs for families through reducing dependence on fossil fuel-generated electrical power, according to José Ramón Gómez, IDB project manager.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Paralyzed Brazilian Lion Made Famous via Facebook DIES (VIDEO)

Paralyzed Brazilian Lion Made Famous via Facebook DIES  (VIDEO)

Photo: Ariel the lion

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UPDATE:  Less than two weeks after capturing the world’s hearts, Ariel the paralyzed Brazilian lion has died.  Her loyal owner Raquel Borges noted on Ariel’s Facebook page:  “Our beloved Ariel is gone.  This is the saddest day of my life.”  No other details were available. 

ORIGINAL:  The feline, called Ariel lays paralyzed in his caretaker’s living room, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Image

A Facebook page was created to raise money to treat the 3 year-old, 310 pound lion, who hurt his spine playing with balloons during one of his birthday parties.

His hind legs were affected by the surgery needed to remove the disc, a procedure that was necessary to alleviate the spinal cord compression.

Ariel was left temporarily paraplegic after the surgery. Image

Physical therapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and everything within the reach of the Ariel’s owners has been tried. Recently, a Brazilian television presenter, Eliana Michaelichen Bezerra, who is Ariel’s godmother, donated a hydro-treadmill to help in the treatment of Ariel.

But there is urgent need for drugs, tests, and food, so Ariel’s owners and vets are asking for support. You can’t help but love this heart warming story that shows that love comes in many different forms. 

Visit their webpage, and if you can, help this Brazilian cat enjoy his other 8 lives up on his feet!

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Family of Shooting Victim, Danny Guzman, Wins Largest Settlement Against Gun Manufacturer

Family of Shooting Victim, Danny Guzman, Wins Largest Settlement Against Gun Manufacturer

Photo: Family of Danny Guzman wins record settlement after alleging Kahr Arms' negligence led to his death

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Massachusetts gun-maker, Kahr Arms, has settled with the families of one man you was killed and another who was wounded in a 1999 shooting outside a nightclub.

In 2002, the families filed suit against Kahr Arms alleging that Danny Guzman, a 26-year-old father of two, was killed and Armando Maisonet was wounded outside a Worcester nightclub with a gun stolen from the Kahr due to the company’s negligence.

The Guzman family lawyers say Danny was not the intended target of the shooting, which occurred on Dec. 24, 1999.

The wrongful death suit from the Guzman family alleges that Kahr employee Mark Cronin stole the gun before it had a serial number stamped on it. He then sold it to Robert Jachimczyk for a gram of cocaine. It goes on to say that Edwin Novas, the man charge with the shooting, then bought the gun from Jachimczyk for in exchange for heroin. Novas is still on the run, and remains on the Worcester Police Department’s website as being wanted in the unresolved killed.

Cronin pleaded guilty to the gun theft and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Cronin had a drug problem and a criminal record, and the Guzman’s lawsuit says that Kahr should have done employee background checks and used metal detectors to prevent guns from being smuggled out of its factory.

Tuesday, Kahr and the families reached a $600,000 settlement split between the lawsuits filed by each of the families. From that, 70 percent will go to the Guzman family, and the remaining 30 percent will go to the Maisonet family.

Daniel Vice, senior attorney of the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project, told, The Associated Press, “This settlement sends a strong signal to gun manufacturers nationwide that they will pay the consequences for their misconduct if they operate without regard for public safety.”

The $600,000 settlement is the largest ever received from a gun maker.

Read more at Daily Mail →

Meet 14-yr-old App Designer Jorge Izquierdo

Meet 14-yr-old App Designer Jorge Izquierdo

Photo: Jorge Izquierdo, Designer of uRlate

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Jorge Izquierdo, is a 14 year-old Spanish kid who was tired of being disciplined at school for being late, so he created an app to prove it wasn’t his fault!

“I was going to be late to class because we were in a traffic jam,”  says the boy about how he got the idea for his first app; Jorge just wanted to prove he wasn’t tardy because he overslept, but because his father was stuck in traffic. “I am late for class, but I’m not driving; yet the teacher’s reprimand is for me.”

Jorge had the idea last September; so he borrowed a Mac computer from one of his parents friends and started to get up early to read manuals, consult forums and learn the programming skills he needed to design his first app.

URlate, takes a picture of the student’s predicament, and includes (embedded on the photo) the time stamp and coordinates of the user, allowing to text or email the picture, or store it for in-iPhone future proof.

“When the app was completed and I was ready to publish it, it turned out that I couldn’t, as I am underage and didn’t have a credit card, as required.”

Jorge’s parents cosigned for his first VISA card, which he used to publish his app in the app store, and hasn’t seen again since.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hundreds of Humpback Whales Pay a Visit to Colombia’s Pacific Coast (VIDEO)

Hundreds of Humpback Whales Pay a Visit to Colombia’s Pacific Coast  (VIDEO)

Photo: Humpback Whales in Colombia’s Pacific Coast

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The monumental mammals travel north every year, seeking the warm Colombian waters, where they mate and breed.

During the span of the last two weeks, close to a hundred whales in groups of five or six have arrived from their annual pilgrimage to the Colombian coast.  Scientists say 800 whales are expected to visit during the migration season.

The whale migration season usually attracts between five and six thousand visitor each year.

See a few of the whales proudly parade their offspring through the waters of Gorgona island, and Solano bay, in the countries mid south-west.

Baby whales are nursed for 12 months, and then leave their mothers, having grown to a length of about 30 feet.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Microsoft: Strategic Immigration Reform is Key to Bringing in High-Skilled Workers

Microsoft: Strategic Immigration Reform is Key to Bringing in High-Skilled Workers

Photo: Brad Smith, senior vice president and general counsel for Microsoft

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Tuesday, Microsoft’s General Counsel & Senior Vice President, Brad Smith, testified about education and high-skilled immigration reform before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security at a hearing on “The Economic Imperative for Immigration Reform.”

On Microsoft’s website, Smith blogged the following:

The essence of my testimony is that while we undoubtedly have a jobs problem in this country, closer analysis shows it is also a talent and skills problem. In a world where jobs follow talent, we need to increase the skills of the American workforce if we are to succeed economically.

Today, we face a dual unemployment rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics last month estimated that the unemployment rate for individuals with a college degree or more is only 4.4 percent. For those individuals with only a high school diploma, the unemployment rate is 10 percent. And the problem may get worse. According to a recent Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce study, between 1973 and 2008, the share of jobs in the U.S. economy that required postsecondary education rose from 28 percent to 59 percent. This share is projected to rise to 63 percent by 2018. The same study shows that by 2018 we are likely to fall short on the number of college graduates our economy needs. We have a skills gap.

ImageAt Microsoft we are trying to play our part in tackling this challenge. This spring, we joined with several others to launch Washington STEM, a privately funded program to improve teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math. Last month, we also pledged $25 million over the next five years to the new public-private Washington Opportunity Scholarship that will increase the number of students earning bachelor’s degrees. Just last week, we announced a new $15 million investment in research and development for immersive learning technologies in schools across the country.

Improving education is a first-tier need, but obviously it will take time. Enhancing the skills of our country’s workforce also depends on targeted efforts to attract relatively small numbers of the best people from elsewhere in the world to bring their skills and talent to work here. A strategic immigration policy for high-skilled workers can help create more jobs here for U.S. citizens and foreign nationals alike.

In our debate about how to get our nation’s economy back on track, we have to include discussion about modernizing our country’s broken immigration system, a system that hasn’t seen a major change in law since 1990. In my testimony, I outlined some specific steps our country needs to take. Given the new global mobility of jobs, the ability to add talent to our population is of the utmost importance. The U.S. needs leadership from Congress and the Administration to take the types of steps that will revitalize economic growth and job creation.

To read Smith’s entire blog click here.

Read more at Microsoft →

Influential Mexican-American Artist Gilbert ‘Magú’ Luján Dies at 70.

Influential Mexican-American Artist Gilbert ‘Magú’ Luján Dies at 70.

Photo: Gilbert 'Magú' Luján dies.

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His witty, humorous art works evoking a magically exuberant Mexican-American experience was in museums, as well as the Hollywood and Vine subway station.

Born Oct. 16, 1940, in French Camp, Calif., near Stockton, Magú moved with his family to East Los Angeles.

A pioneer of the Chicano art movement that took root in the social and cultural turmoil of the 1960s and ‘70s, Magú, as people called him for studying artworks from a very close distance, liked the UP-animated character Mr. Magoo.  He was one of the first Mexican-American artists to establish an international career.

In addition to LACMA, the artist’s work has been exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Brooklyn Museum, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.

“Rather than seeing the art as merely a kind of instrument for social change,” Magú insisted that art “had to have integrity in order to have that impact,” said Chon Noriega, director of UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center.

His art was loaded with native Mesoamerican art and iconography elements, as well as elements of the Chicano popular culture that he was a witness of in his Eastern L.A. youth.

“One only has to examine the barrio to see that the elements to choose from are as infinite as any culture allows,” Magú said at one point.

 

 

Read more at LaTimes.com →

Banco Popular Renaming Branches ‘Popular Community Bank’ to Attract More Non-Hispanic Customers

Banco Popular Renaming Branches ‘Popular Community Bank’ to Attract More Non-Hispanic Customers

Photo: Attempting to lure in more non-Hispanic customers, Banco Popular is changing some branch names

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In an attempt to lure in more non-Hispanic customers, Banco Popular is changing the name of some of its Southern California branches.

Started in Puerto Rico in 1983, Banco Popular has 24 branches in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties, and in the region, Banco Popular will soon go by the name Popular Community Bank.

The company has already done the rebranding in Illinois, said Manuel Chinea, senior vice president of US retail banking operations.

Chinea said the first time Banco Popular realized its Hispanic name was a problem was when it acquired Whittier-based Quaker City Bank in 2004.

“In 2005 we rebranded Quaker City Bank to Banco Popular and we noticed a higher attrition among non-Hispanic customers. The feedback we got was ‘I think you are going after the Hispanic market; I’m not Hispanic so this isn’t for me.’”

Popular Inc. has structured its U.S. banking presence as four community-based divisions in Southern California, Illinois, New York and Florida. Last August, the company decided to try the rebranding in Illinois, its smallest division. It learned that as Popular Community Bank, Hispanic customers were not lost, and it did help to bring in non-Spanish speaking people, and that on average, the accounts were 10 percent larger from new Hispanic customers and 25 percent larger from new non-Hispanic customers.

“The growth has been slow; it takes a while to get people to know the new name,” he said. “But we’re happy because it’s trending as we though it would with more accounts and higher balances. That gave us confidence to tackle our bigger markets like California,” Chinea told The Orange County Register.

Read more at Sacramento Bee →

Mexico City Succeeding in Reducing It’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (VIDEO)

Mexico City Succeeding in Reducing It’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (VIDEO)

Photo: Mexico City's Metrobuses helping reducing tt's greenhouse gas emissions

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It appears Mexico City is on track to meet it’s 2012 goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Plan Verde” (Green Plan) was implemented in the capital city in recently, and since then, the city has reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 6.28 million tons, which has them on track to reach its 2012 goal of a 7.7 million tons reduction..

Green Plan targets a number of the city’s systems including transportation, energy, and water conservation, air quality, and solid waste management.

So far 44 percent of GHG emission in Mexico City is created by transportation. Since 2008, the Green Plan has effectively reduced its footprint by 5.3 million tons by replacing the 84,000 high-emission microbuses and taxis with the Metrobus system. The Metrobuses are larger than their predecessors, allowing for more people to ride, resulting in fewer necessary trips.

Also, “Zero Emission Corridors” were created an allow no modes of transportation that emit GHGs to travel through them. The Ecobici bicycle sharing program was also created allowing for a healthier lifestyle all around.

Reforestation efforts and forest fire prevention helped the city reduce GHG emissions by another 670,000 tons. And improvements in energy conservation reduced emissions by another 202,000 tons.

The separation of organic and non-organic solid waste added another 140,000 tons of emissions reductions (primarily CO2 and methane). And Bordo Poniente , one of the world’s largest solid waste facilities, is set to close in December, and will further reduce this area’s impact on overall city figures.


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Read more at SmartPlanet →

George Lopez: If Palin Becomes President, I’ll Leave the U.S. (VIDEO)

George Lopez: If Palin Becomes President, I’ll Leave the U.S. (VIDEO)

Photo: G-lo to Lead Exodus to Canada if Palin becomes President

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On Tuesday’s “Piers Morgan Tonight Show”  the funny man said if Palin moves to the White House, he’ll move to Canada.

When Piers Morgan said to López “[…] you said on immigration ‘Elect Sarah Palin as President of the US in 2012 and we’ll all leave voluntarily.”  Which López responded “If Sarah Palin becomes president at any point, I will say allegedly, I will move to Canada.”

Why? because he likes “politicians to actually have a political background, to be politically—to know politics”

Ok, George… Thanks. It’s a relief to know in this nation’s darkest hour, we can count on you to play the role of Moses.

Come visit our Amigo ó Enemigo section as we analyze and dissect what is said by and about Hispanics. 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

MMA’s Gina Carano Goes Hollywood in Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” (VIDEO)

MMA’s Gina Carano Goes Hollywood in Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” (VIDEO)

Photo: MMA's Gina Carano Goes Hollywood in Steven Soderbergh's "Haywire" (VIDEO)

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The MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) eye-catcher Gina Carano is taking the leap to the big screen in her Hollywood debut, Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire. And for a first movie, she’s under some pretty crazy pressure to deliver an amazing performance against some Hollywood heavyweights.

The movie tells the story of Mallory Kane, “a freelance covert operative” who is “hired out by her handler to various global entities to perform jobs which governments can’t authorize and heads of state would rather not know about.”

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) goes on:

After a mission to rescue a hostage in Barcelona, Mallory is quickly dispatched on another mission to Dublin. When the operation goes awry and Mallory finds she has been double crossed, she needs to use all of her skills, tricks and abilities to escape an international manhunt, make it back to the United States, protect her family, and exact revenge on those that have betrayed her.

Carano is the movie’s lead, but she’s accompanied by stars like Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, and Bill Paxton.

The fighter with the movie star good looks in Muy Thai champion and was once ranked No. 3 in the world in the MMA 145-poinf weight class.

Though some say Carano put her MMA career on hold to work with Soderbergh, the 29-year-old has not fought a match since 2009 after getting beat (badly) by Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos.

If Carano can prove herself in Haywire, she may be looking at a permanent career change. She has reportedly already been cast in the remake of the Bruce Lee film “The Silent Flute.”

Haywire had a reported budget of $25 million, and is scheduled to be released in January 2012.Image


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Even With College Degree, Young Illegal Immigrants Face Low-Skill Jobs

Even With College Degree, Young Illegal Immigrants Face Low-Skill Jobs

Photo: Illegal Immigrant Students

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In the same week that California opened up some financial aid for illegal immigrants, a new report finds that many college graduates who entered the country illegally ended up with the same low-skill jobs as their parents, despite dreams of bettering their lives.

The study, “Learning to be Illegal,” appears in the August edition of the American Sociological Review. The report’s author, Roberto G. Gonzales, interviewed 150 undocumented Latino adults ages 20 to 34 in Southern California over more than four years. All of his subjects immigrated to the U.S. before age 12.

Among the most striking conclusions: None of the 31 students Gonzales interviewed who had graduated from four-year universities or held advanced degrees were able to pursue their dream careers. Most are doing some kind of low-wage work.

“I feel as though I’ve experienced this weird psychological and legal stunted growth. I’m stuck at 16, like a clock that has stopped ticking,” said “Cory,” a study participant who attended college. “My life has not changed at all since then. Although I’m 22, I feel like a kid. I can’t do anything adults do.”

The report comes as Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill allowing students who immigrated illegally to access private financial aid to attend the state’s public colleges. A more controversial part of California’s DREAM Act, AB 131, also would allow these students to get state aid. That bill is in the state Senate.

Read more at California Watch, Erica Perez →

Paranoid Much? Evo Morales, While in U.S., Fears Govt Will Plant Drugs on His Presidential Plane

Paranoid Much? Evo Morales, While in U.S., Fears Govt Will Plant Drugs on His Presidential Plane

Photo: While in U.S., Fears Govt Will Plant Drugs on His Presidential Plane

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The Bolivian president fears the Obama Administration may plant cocaine in Bolivia’s Air Force 1 and accuse him of trafficking!

Morales is attending a United Nations meeting in New York later today, but a few days ago he shared his worries publicly:

“I think they must be preparing something, I’m even afraid to go with our plane to the U.S.” said Morales. “When we get there, they can certainly plant anything and detain the Presidential plane.

“They are plotting something to discredit us from the drug trafficking angle,” he concluded.

This conspiracy theory is surely rooted in a previous visit, when traces of cocaine where allegedly found by U.S. authorities in the Bolivian presidential plane.

The U.S. Embassy in La Paz declined to comment on the President’s comments made during the closing of a Rural Women Conference in Chapare, Bolivia.

Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

33 Mexican Soldiers & 4 Humvees ‘Inadvertently’ Cross into U.S. via Texas Border Bridge

33 Mexican Soldiers & 4 Humvees ‘Inadvertently’ Cross into U.S. via Texas Border Bridge

Photo: Mexican Soldiers Inadvertently Cross Border

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The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency are reporting that they are processing 33 Mexican soldiers for deportation because inexplicably they entered the U.S. via the Donna-Rio Bravo Bridge driving four military humvees.

Many details remain unclear on this very unusual occurrence, such as how did they not know they were entering the U.S.  If they were trying to sneak in why did they basically come in the front door and in a very noticeable and large humvee.  When they were on the bridge how were they allowed to cross the check point managed by U.S. border patrol? 

CBP does have protocols in place to handle these type of incidents, and they’re being processed according to those protocols and will be returned to the Mexican side,” CBP spokesman Rick Pauza said.

The border bridge they crossed is located near the Mexican city of Reynosa and the U.S. region of the Rio Grande Valley.  The incident is under investigation by authorities on both sides of the border. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

WATCH:  Rep. Luis Guitierrez Arrested in Front of White House Protesting Immigrant Deportations

WATCH:  Rep. Luis Guitierrez Arrested in Front of White House Protesting Immigrant Deportations

Photo: Rep Luis Guiterrez Arrested for Protesting Deportations

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Yesterday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, the Democrat from Illinois, was arrested at 4:40 pm (EST) for protesting in front of the White House with others against the deportation of undocumented immigrants.

Gutierrez, has long been a proponent of immigration reform that includes amnesty and passage of the DREAM Act.  Currently he is taking issue with the Obama administration of deportation non-criminal illegal aliens and most of all the separation of families due to the deportation.
Image

Yesterday the Congressman sat in front of the White House fence holding a sign that read “Stop Separating Our Families”.  When asked to leave government property Gutierrez refused and he and 11 other individuals were then arrested.  In interviews prior to his arrest he is urging the President to use his “broad discretionary powers” in regards to deportations.  He also cited the fact that more people have been deported under Obama then any other president. 

The protests and arrests took place while hundreds of immigration reform activists and supporters were rallying in nearby Lafayette Park. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

7 Million Youth in Mexico Do Not Work or Study - Easy Prey Says Experts

7 Million Youth in Mexico Do Not Work or Study - Easy Prey Says Experts

Photo: 7 Million Mexican Youth at Risk

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Seven million young people do not study and are unable to find a job, and risk being sucked into the criminal organizations that perfection their networks to recruit more and more young people who live in this desperate situation. The alarm comes from the weekly “Desde la Fe” of the archdiocese of Mexico, a copy of which was sent to the Fides Agenzia. The magazine notes that, according to official reports, in Latin America there are nearly 40 million young people between 15 and 29 years of age with an uncertain future, because they do not study or work (they are called “Ninis”): This figure represents the fourth part of the population of that age.

In Mexico, that number reaches seven million young people and is made up of the most vulnerable young population. The archdiocese observes that “while the network of organized crime improves and expands its potential to attract millions of young people without opportunities, the public policies to assist them ’ Sleep the sleep of the right ‘. The text of the archdiocese continues : “This is the most vulnerable young population, because it does not have a job or a profession, it falls in bad habits, or lives in the desperate search of a job opportunity that does not come, so they are tempted to accept the proposals from organized crime who offer lots of money, even knowing that there is a risk of losing their lives or freedom”.

The figures are alarming: 80 percent of the Mexican jails are occupied by young people between 20 and 35 years of age, victims of violent crimes 9 times out of 10 are young people.

It is not enough to help the young who study in order not to drop out of school, but opportunities must be provided for those who are not even part of the school system, and of course much less have the opportunity to join the economically active population, experts say. The magazine also recognizes that the work of the Catholic Church in this area has decreased enormously, because young people are increasingly alienated from the environment of faith and by a lack of evangelization for them.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Crackdown on Illegal Immigrant Drivers Now Nationwide

Crackdown on Illegal Immigrant Drivers Now Nationwide

Photo: Drivers licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

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The two remaining states that let illegal immigrants get regular driver’s licenses—New Mexico and Washington—are both taking a hard line on out-of-state license applicants.

Washington officials started requiring more proof from applicants that they lived in the state, after noticing an uptick in the number of applicants without Social Security numbers over the last three years, reports The Seattle Times. In the past year, the changes led to a drop in the share of out-of-state applicants who have no Social Security number from 16 percent to 8 percent.

Washington State officials also acted on one of the more notorious examples in the country of an out-of-stater illegally getting a license. The state rescinded the license of Jose Antonio Vargas, a reporter-turned-activist who wrote a first-person account in The New York Times detailing how he got a driver’s license in Washington without living there. The state sent Vargas a letter at the Washington address he supplied when applying for the license, but it was returned unopened, The Seattle Times wrote in a separate story. Washington state requires license holders to live in the state, so Vargas’ license was revoked.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is also pushing to crack down on driver’s licenses issued to illegal immigrants. Last year, Martinez, a Republican, campaigned on the promise to eliminate driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants entirely, but she could not push the change through the legislature this spring. Now, she is using administrative tools to reduce their number. Her administration is sending out letters to 10,000 license holders who have no Social Security numbers, demanding proof of residency in New Mexico, reports The New Mexico Independent.

Earlier this month, Texas strengthened its laws requiring drivers to prove their citizenship before getting a license, writes the Houston Chronicle. The changes mean that drivers who have not recently visited a state licensing office may have to come in to show that they are citizens. They would also let the state tie the expiration date of a driver’s license to the expiration date of a visitor’s visa.

Read more at Daniel C. Vock - Pew Center on the States →

UNESCO Names Colombia’s Coffee Triangle as World Heritage Site

UNESCO Names Colombia’s Coffee Triangle as World Heritage Site

Photo: Cafe Triangle

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Colombia’s beautiful Coffee Region, or properly deemed the Café Triangle, was initially nominated to become a UNESCO World Heritage site in
January 2010. Colombia is excited to announce that on June 25th, 2011, the region was officially inaugurated into UNESCO’s prestigious list of World Heritage sites.

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Landscape for its centennial tradition of coffee growing producing the best coffee in the world, the aroma and culture of this particular region in Colombia is a popular tourist destination. The site serves as an exceptional example of a sustainable and productive cultural landscape that is unique and representative of a tradition that is a strong symbol for coffee growing areas worldwide(Source: http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/771).

According to the UNESCO World Heritage List, this is the heart of Colombia where the Coffee Region expands to six farming landscapes, 18 urban centers, 47 municipalities, and 3 major Colombian cities in the departments of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío. A countless number of coffee farms spread throughout this region where international tourists can taste the richness of the coffee beans and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surroundings.

“It is one of the most beautiful regions in Colombia featuring nature, parks, art, coffee culture, and adventure sports,” said Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of ProExport Colombia. “In the Coffee Triangle, tourists will experience the culture and gastronomy of the region which will excel any description of the breathtaking landscape.”

The Coffee Triangle is easily accessible through any airport of three main cities of the region: Armenia, Manizales and Pereira, all of which have multiple connections to Bogota. An emerging tourism destination located 2.5 hours from Miami, Colombia is a diverse nation ready for discovery. With 29 direct flights daily from the United States; Colombia is an easy, international destination for U.S. travelers.

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayJuly 27, 2011