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WednesdayAugust 3, 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 Grants $25 Million to Honduras for Rural Water & Sanitation Improvements

Spain Grants $25 Million to Honduras for Rural Water & Sanitation Improvements

Photo: Honduras to Improve Rural Water Supply

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Honduras will receive a $25 million grant from the Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean to expand and improve drinking water and sanitation services in rural communities with fewer than 2,000 people, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said today. The Honduran government will contribute $2.5 million to the program.

Of the total Honduran population of 8.2 million, some 4.5 million live in rural areas where poverty levels reach 71.6 percent. Investments carried out under this new program will help expand water coverage in rural areas from 77.2 to 79.7 percent. Sanitation coverage will increase from 79.7 to 82.1 percent.

The program, which will be implemented by the state water and sanitation utility SANAA, will provide 13,700 households with new water connections, 15,900 homes with individual sanitation solutions, and 2,200 homes with rehabilitated drinking water systems.

SANAA will build water systems, supply sanitation solutions, rehabilitate existing water systems, and establish chlorine banks. The utility will also carry out pilot projects in sustainable management of water systems, awareness building, and training for community members.

Since 2008 Spain has contributed more than US$500 million, allowing the IDB to leverage US$500 million more for water and sanitation projects in Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay. Additional operations are in preparation for Bolivia, Nicaragua, Panama, and Uruguay.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The 15 Films Being Presented at San Sebastian Film Festival Have Been Announced

The 15 Films Being Presented at San Sebastian Film Festival Have Been Announced

Photo: The 15 Films Being Presented at San Sebastian Film Festival Have Been Anounce

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The San Sebastian International Film Festival has announced the films to be presented at its 59th annual event in Spain this September.

Founded in 1953, the festival was originally intended to honor Spanish language films, though in 1955 films in other languages became eligible for consideration.

Tuesday, the 15 Spanish films being presented were announced and include films by award-winning directors who have shared their work at other international festivals.

The following portion of lineup and the synopsis come directly from the festival and are only from those competing for Official Selection. To see the full list of participating films, click here.


“No Rest For the Wicked”
The new movie from Enrique Urbizu, is a chair-gripping thriller starring José Coronado, Rodolfo Sancho, Helena Miquel and Juanjo Artero. Enrique Urbizu (Bilbao, 1962) sent strong ripples through the Spanish movie world when his film Todo por la pasta (Anything for Bread, 1991) left no doubt about his passion for genre cinema, a trait he was to highlight yet again with Cachito (1996) and La caja 507 (Box 507, 2002), proud winner of four awards at the Cognac Detective and Thriller Film Festival. He also took his drama La vida mancha (Life Marks 2003) to the Malaga Spanish Film Festival competition and landed the Best Film award at Nantes Spanish Film Festival.

“The Double Steps”
“The Double Steps"marks the return to the Festival’s Official Selection of Isaki Lacuesta, previous entrant in the 57th edition with Los condenados (The Damned, 2009) where he whisked off the FIPRESCI critics’ award. In this new work, the filmmaker brings us a fictional documentary taking its inspiration from the novelettish biography of French artist and author François Augiéras. The artist painted every inch of the walls of a military bunker in the desert and let it sink into the sand so that no-one would find it till the 21st Century. Searches for the bunker continue to nurture the myth… Who is Augiéras? A legionnaire, painter, writer, gangster, saint, thief, devil, or a bit of them all? The film boasts participation of the artist Miquel Barceló in one of the leading parts. Isaki Lacuesta (Girona 1975) has become one of the most interesting and unusual voices on today’s Spanish film scene thanks to works like Cravan vs. Cravan (2002), La leyenda del tiempo (The Legend of Time, 2006) and La noche que no acaba (All Night Long), presented at San Sebastian Festival’s 58th edition.

“The Sleeping Voice”
“The Sleeping Voice” is an adaptation of Dulce Chacon’s book of the same name, directed by Benito Zambrano and starring Inma Cuesta, María León, Marc Clotet and Daniel Holguín. Set in the terrible years immediately following the end of the Spanish civil war, the film narrates the moving relations between two sisters separated by the dictatorship when one of them was thrown into jail under Franco’s regime. Benito Zambrano (Lebrija, 1962) blasted onto the scene as one of Spanish film’s great surprises with his debut oeuvre, Solas (Alone, 1990), winner of awards at several international festivals: Berlin Festival’s “Panorama” section, the FIPRESCI prize at Brussels Festival and others at Cartagena, Havana and Tokyo; the film also carried off 5 Goyas, 7 Cinema Writers Circle Awards and a Silver Fotogramas. Zambrano has since then directed the TV series Padre Coraje (2002) and the film Habana Blues (2005).

“Bertsolari”
Asier Altuna’s film “Bertsolari” will be screened out-of-competition in the Official Selection. This documentary takes a close-up look at popular bertsolaris (improvisers of Basque verse) in the Basque Country, delving into the secrets of this complex art of oral poetry. Asier Altuna (Bergara, 1969) had already made his mark in short films, some of which landed awards at different events: Txotx (1997), Topeka (2004) and Sarean (2006). His feature debut was the comedy, Aupa Etxebeste! (2005), an entrant in the Zabaltegi-New Directors section of San Sebastian Festival’s 53rd edition, at which it won the Youth Award.

“Intruders”
As already announced, the opening gala will feature the European premiere of “Intruders,” a horror/thriller helmed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo with an international cast starring Clive Owen, Carice van Houten, Daniel Brühl, Pilar López de Ayala and Kerry Fox. The film will be screened out-of-competition as part of the Official Selection.

Read more at San Sebastian International Film Festival →

Uruguay and Argentina To Build Connecting Railroad

Uruguay and Argentina To Build Connecting Railroad

Photo: Argentina and Uruguay To Join Via Railroad

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Presidents José Mujica and Cristina Fernández announced Tuesday that both countries will be joined by a railroad over the Uruguay River.

“Railroads will cross fro Argentina to Uruguay. It will be one more step toward integration,” said Mujica at a press conference after signing the agreement.

The railroad will join the Argentine city of Concordia (some 250 miles north of Buenos Aires) and the Uruguayan city of Salto, separated by the river, shared between the two nations.

“We are going to reconstruct our traditional friendship” Said Fernández before Mujica asserted “We’ve lived too many decades facing each other’s backs in Latin America.”

Both presidents also signed a commitment to consolidate the project of a joint bid to organize the 2030 World-Cup, when a hundred years of the tournament will be celebrated. The first cup, Uruguay 1930 was won by the home team, who defeated Argentina 4-2.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Did Alex Rodriguez Participate in Illegal Poker Playing? MLB Said to be Investigating

Did Alex Rodriguez Participate in Illegal Poker Playing? MLB Said to be Investigating

Photo: New York Post Photo

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The USA Today and other sources are reporting that New York Yankee and baseball great Alex Rodriguez is being investigated for partaking in illegal poker games.

The Washington Heights born slugger is of Dominican Republic descent and the current boyfriend of Cameron Diaz.  He will be interviewed on the matter shortly, says a Major League Baseball spokesperson.

“We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation. As part of the investigation, the commissioner’s office will interview Mr. Rodriguez.”

The investigation stems from allegations made by tabloid Star Magazine that Rodriguez was in high-stakes games with celebrities Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio amongst others.  His only comment on the matter thus far has come from his spokesman saying he never participated.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Study Reveals Affluent Minorities Live in Lower-Income White Neighborhoods

Study Reveals Affluent Minorities Live in Lower-Income White Neighborhoods

Photo: Study Reveals Affluent Minorities Live in Lower-Income White Neighborhoods

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A study released by Brown University entitled, “Separate and Unequal: The Neighborhood Gap for Blacks, Hispanics and Asians in Metropolitan America,” explored the fact that on average, black and Hispanic households live in neighborhoods with more than one and a half times the poverty rate of neighborhoods where the average non-Hispanic white lives.
The report by John Logan, a sociology professor at Brown University, studied the 2010 census data and examined “how people’s race/ethnicity and income are translated into racial/ethnic and class segregation across neighborhoods” with information taken from all metropolitan regions in the country.

The following is some of the study’s results:

• Black household incomes are below 60 percent of non-Hispanic white incomes in the average metropolitan region, while Hispanic household incomes are less than 70 percent. These groups’ relative standing actually became worse between 1990 and 2000 and in the post-2000 years covered by this study. Asians, in contrast, had higher average incomes than non-Hispanic whites in 1990 and they have maintained this advantage over time.

• As black-white segregation has slowly declined since 1990, blacks have become less isolated from Hispanics and Asians, but their exposure to whites has hardly changed. Affluent blacks have only marginally higher contact with whites than do poor blacks.

• Asians and especially Hispanics have become more isolated from whites as their numbers have grown, and they both have markedly lower exposure to whites now than they did in 1990. Income is moderately associated with these patterns for Hispanics (that is, affluent Hispanics experience lower isolation and higher contact with whites). Asians’ level of concentration in Asian neighborhoods, however, is unrelated to income, and exposure to whites is only modestly greater for higher-income Asians.

• With only one exception (the most affluent Asians), minorities at every income level live in poorer neighborhoods than do whites with comparable incomes. Disparities are greatest for the lowest income minorities, and they are much sharper for blacks and Hispanics than for Asians. Affluent blacks and Hispanics live in poorer neighborhoods than whites with working class incomes. There is considerable variation in these patterns across metropolitan regions. But in the 50 metros with the largest black populations, there is none where average black exposure to neighborhood poverty is less than 20 percent higher than that of whites, and only two metros where affluent blacks live in neighborhoods that are less poor than those of the average white.

• The disparity between black and white neighborhood poverty in a metropolitan area is hardly related to blacks’ average income levels. But racial segregation is a very strong predictor of unequal neighborhoods. Patterns are similar but not as strong for Hispanics. Among Asians, however, parity with whites in neighborhood quality is more closely tied with their own income level.


Read the full study here.

 

Read more at Brown University →

J-Lo Steals The Show And Spills the Beans in September’s Vanity Fair

J-Lo Steals The Show And Spills the Beans in September’s Vanity Fair

Photo: Jlo in Vanity Fair

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September Vanity Fair includes a steamy photo shoot by Mario Testino and the first interview since J-Lo and Marc Anthony called it quits.

“I remain an eternal optimist about love. I believe in love,” said J-Lo to Vanity Fair’s Lisa Robinson.

The award winning singer/actress opened up about her life with Marc Anthony, her relationship with P. Diddy and her short-lived engagement to Ben Affleck.

“I’m a hopeless romantic and passionate person when it comes to love,” explained the star,with her latest love misfortune still fresh shows through her tone. “I will always respect Marc as a singer and performer,” Lopez told Vanity Fair. “We actually work great together, and he was always very supportive. Together we could make magic—and we did. He will always be in our lives. He will always hold a special place in my heart as the father of my children.”

The American Idol judge was married to Anthony for seven years that ended mid-July allegedly because of Anthony’s controlling behavior.

“This was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to face. I really wanted this family to work. That was my biggest dream, and I worked hard at it. We both did.
‘Sometimes it doesn’t work—and that’s sad. But I remain an eternal optimist about love. I believe in love… It’s still my biggest dream.’

“It’s not that I didn’t love myself before. Sometimes we don’t realize that we are compromising ourselves. To understand that a person is not good for you, or that that person is not treating you in the right way, or that he is not doing the right thing for himself—if I stay, then I am not doing the right thing for me. I love myself enough to walk away from that now.”

Read more at Vanity Fair Magazine →

France Announces Noriega Will be Extradited to Panama

France Announces Noriega Will be Extradited to Panama

Photo: Noriega Will be Extradited to Panama

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A Panamanian court convicted Manuel Noriega, a military dictator from 1983 to 1989 of killing a military commander. He is currently in France facing seven years in prison on money laundering charges. However, it was just announced that he will soon by extradited from France to his native country, where he faces up to 20 years in prison.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said he signed extradition papers on July 6 and said Noriega was informed of the extradition request on July 29.

Since 2010, Noriega has been in France, but for the prior two decades he was serving time in a U.S. prison after being deposed in a 1989 U.S. invasion.

The foreign ministry has said that if Noriega does not fight the extradition, Panamanian authorities “will be able to quickly take custody of the former dictator.”

Read more at The Telegraph →

Noncitizens Right to Pursue Legal Action on Immigration Issues from Abroad Upheld by Courts

Noncitizens Right to Pursue Legal Action on Immigration Issues from Abroad Upheld by Courts

Photo: Immigrants Maintain Rights to Sue From Abroad

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Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit joined the growing list of courts to reject the government’s attempt to bar noncitizens from seeking reopening or reconsideration of their cases from outside the United States.

The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, which filed a joint amicus brief in the case and argued before the court, applaud the court’s ruling. “The court’s decision is yet another step in protecting the important safeguards that Congress put in place to help ensure that noncitizens are not unlawfully separated from their families,” said Beth Werlin of the Legal Action Center.

The Legal Action Center and the National Immigration Project have coordinated litigation on this issue nationwide and call on the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to abandon its regulation barring review of motions filed by noncitizens outside the United States.  To date, six courts of appeals have rejected the departure bar.  And just this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the only court with a decision at odds with the majority, granted rehearing en banc to address the validity of the departure bar. 

Federal law gives noncitizens the right to file motions to submit new evidence or arguments after their removal orders become final. But the BIA has long maintained that it cannot consider such motions if a foreign national is outside the United States.

Today, the Third Circuit recognized that the government’s position was at odds with Congress’ clear intent and would undermine its policy objectives. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Nielsen Study Shows Hispanics Watch Less TV Than Whites and African-Americans

New Nielsen Study Shows Hispanics Watch Less TV Than Whites and African-Americans

Photo: Hispanics Watch TV Less Than Whites, Blacks

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Nielson has just released a study on who watches the most traditional TV in America and for how long.  The new Nielsen data showed that African Americans watched the most, watching 213 hours a month or 7 hours on average a day.  They were followed by Whites watching 156 hours and then Latinos at 136 hours per month or 4 hours on average a day.

Asian-Americans continue to have the lowest rate of television watching in the country with a 100-hour monthly average.  However Asian-Americans were the largest consumers of internet video viewing averaging over 10 hours a month. 

While a majority of Hispanics own smartphones, more than any other demographic,  it was African Americans who spent the most time watching videos on those devices. 

Overall the study found that Americans continue to watch a lot of television with viewing going up by 22 minutes more then last month. 

Read more at MediaPost →

Nine Pollsters Go Missing in Knights Templar Territory in Mexico

Nine Pollsters Go Missing in Knights Templar Territory in Mexico

Photo: Nine Pollsters Go Missing in Knights Templar Territory in Mexico

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Police in Mexico have begun a search for nine members of polling teams who have gone missing in Apatzingan, a west-central town in Michoacán.

Apatzingan is the historic town in which Mexican leaders met to write the country’s first constitution, but in recent years it has fallen to the will of the Knights Templar drug cartel.

Saturday, three Consulta Mitofsky pollsters failed to return after completing their assignments near Apatzingan even though the 33 other members of the team had.

When it was realized that they had not returned, three more members went looking for them. They also disappeared.

Parametria, another polling firm, also reported three team members missing Tuesday, just before the other pollsters went missing. It is not clear where they were working when they disappeared.

Apatzingan is an agricultural town of about 123,000, and pollsters within Michoacán had been told to skip areas they believed were too dangerous. However, other team members say they had been in the area just last month and had experienced no issues.

“That’s why [their disappearance] surprised us,” Parametria’s director, Francisco Abundis told The Los Angeles Times.

The polling firms were out ahead of the next year’s presidential elections gathering information.

Read more at BBC News →

Anonymous Attacks Colombian Government Websites AGAIN!

Anonymous Attacks Colombian Government Websites AGAIN!

Photo: ANONYMOUS attacks Colombian Government

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On Tuesday, the hacker group temporarily shut down the web-pages of the Presidency, Interior Ministry, Justice Ministry and more.

In a second wave following the Colombian Independence Day attacks, hacker group “Anonymous” temporarily disabled the websites of the Colombian Presidency, Ministries of Interior and Justice, Security Department DAS, and the political party known as “The U.”

The modus operandi hasn’t changed; the cyber-bandits flood the servers with service requests, so many that the system overloads, and crashes.

Anonymous implied that the objective behind these cyber attacks is to protest against internet restrictions and content censorship imposed by the Colombian government on citizens, and outlined in the controversial “Lleras Law,” after Justice Minister Germán Vargas Lleras.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ACLU Sues Montana Prison for Not Sending Inmate’s Spanish-Language Letters

ACLU Sues Montana Prison for Not Sending Inmate’s Spanish-Language Letters

Photo: Diaz-Wassmer denied letters written in Spanish because prison officials could not translate

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A Montana prison is being sued for refusing to pass along Spanish-language letters, and thereby violating a prisoner’s rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union is claiming that the free speech rights of William Diaz-Wassmer, 26, were violated when prison employees refused to pass along letters from the prisoner because they were written in Spanish.

The prison’s policy is that all mail must be screened to assure they contain no security threats. If the mail is written in code or in a language the officials do not understand, it is returned to sender.

In Diaz-Wassmer’s case, his mail was often written in Spanish, and the prison workers could not read Spanish the letters were returned.

In the state’s court filings, they stated, “Inmate correspondence can be used to plot threats to the facility, its staff, other inmates and the public at large. Adding,“Inmate correspondence written in code or in a language which prison officials cannot understand can be used to facilitate the commission of blackmail, extortion, escape plans, trafficking in contraband and prison assaults and disturbances.”

The ACLU claims the prison’s “English-only” policy violates First Amendment right to free speech and his Fourteenth Amendment Right to equal protection.

However, the prison denies such a policy is in place and says the letters were returned because they lack the funds to hire a translator.

William Diaz-Wassmer has been serving a life term at Montana State Prison since 2007. For the first two years of his incarceration, Diaz-Wassmer was able to correspond with his parents, family and friends in their native language of Spanish. But starting in May 2010 he was prohibited from receiving mail in any language but English.

Diaz-Wassmer, who is original from Guatemala, is said to be fluent in English, and his family members understand some English.

ACLU of Montana staff attorney Jennifer Giuttari told Montana’s KRTV3, “Courts have recognized that written correspondence can be very beneficial to an inmate’s morale or to helping them adjust to life in an institution. We believe that inmates still retain their constitutional rights despite that they are incarcerated.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Matchmaking Caravans: Single in Spain? Hop in the Love Bus!

Matchmaking Caravans: Single in Spain? Hop in the Love Bus!

Photo: Women Caravans in Spain

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The “Women Caravan Association” specializes in taking single women to Spanish towns where single men abound. 

Rural towns in Spain remain under-populated following a massive migration of handy-men to the largest cities in the country; it isn’t uncommon to see entire towns where the women to men ratio is 1:7 or more.

The “Women Caravan Association” is usually contacted by representatives of one of these towns; their business consists on filling one or two buses with women who pay 20 euros to go on a weekend outing full of dance, food, music and fun, and perhaps, a nod by good ol’ cupid.

The host town invites their single males to donate 50 euros to participate in the events, usually including lunch, a dancing contest, and activities designed to get to know each other.

Since 1995, the association has sponsored a good 70 of these caravans, igniting love in some 120 new couples, half of which are still together.

The majority of women willing to go on these caravans, are incidentally South American immigrants; in a bus of 50 women, six are Spanish, while the rest are South American, mostly from Colombia.

“Colombian girls are very flirty, and they love dancing, like other Latinas,” said Manuel Gonzalo, director of the association.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hollywood Announces New Pablo Escobar Film

Hollywood Announces New Pablo Escobar Film

Photo: New Pablo Escobar Film in the Works

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Stone Village Pictures has publicly announced their interest in producing a film about the “Latino Godfather,” Pablo Escobar. 

Since the drug-lord’s death in the early nineties, Hollywood has wanted to take the larger than life antics of the most successful criminal in modern history to the silver screen, but so far, both Oliver Stone and Joe Carnhan have failed to complete their stabs at the project.

Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) is in talks to helm a still untitled new effort,  from a script by Matt Aldrich (Cleaner).  Scott Steindorf, who collaborated with Furman on The Lincoln Lawyer, will produce the film along with his Stone Village teammates Dylan Russell and Scott LaStaiti.

“This is the Latino Godfather. We’re showing the story of his family, the structure of his enterprise, his rise—the man had the largest criminal organization in the world. In the end, it was a war between Colombia and one man,” said Steindorf.

Read more at Hollywood Reporter →

The New Spiderman for Marvel is Afro-Latino!

The New Spiderman for Marvel is Afro-Latino!

Photo: Miles Morales. The new Spidey.

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Meet Miles Morales, the youth that Marvel Comics has made the ‘new friendly neighborhood Spiderman’.

Marvel Comics introduced Miles today, who will be taking over the crime fighting extra-curriculars of the late Peter Parker—murdered by his nemesis the Green Goblin in the Ultimate Spider-Man’s last months issue.  Die-hard fans only had to wait a month or so to see who would take over Spiderman’s good crime fighting deeds. 

Enter Miles Morales who is not only younger than the former spidey, this new hero is diverse, he is a half-black, half-Hispanic teen.

In his first appearance, Miles simply breaks up a fight while setting up his Afrolatino back story for readers before the Ultimate series relaunches in September with a new No. 1 issue.

The new Ultimate Spider-Man series, as well as Wednesday’s Ultimate Fallout issue, will be available online the same day it comes out in stores.

Ultimate Spider-Man was created in 2000 to provide the hero’s adventures with a re-start, and capture new audiences unwilling to read forty years of comics to learn the past of their favorite heroes, and provide them with fresh, contemporary storylines.

“What you have is a Spider-Man for the 21st century who’s reflective of our culture and diversity. We think that readers will fall in love with Miles Morales the same way they fell in love with Peter Parker.” Sid Axel Alonso, senior editor at Marvel Comics.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Killing of DR TV Host, Makes for 20th Journalist Killed in Latin America in 2011

Killing of DR TV Host, Makes for 20th Journalist Killed in Latin America in 2011

Photo: 20th Journalist Killed in Latin America

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On Tuesday the body of a Dominican Republic TV host, Jose Agustin Silvestre was found in a pond with two gun shots to the head, making him the 20th journalist killed in Latin America thus far in 2011.

Silvestre was the host of “The Voice of Truth” on Cana TV and was known to push the envelope in reporting.  In May of this year he was arrested for slander when he accused the local prosecutor of having drug trafficking ties.

Reports indicate that the 51 year old Silvestre was dragged into a vehicle and witnesses report hearing gunshots coming from the car, later his body was found in the city of La Romana.

Read more at University of Texas, Knight Center →

Meet 8 Year-Old Tomy Angel, Colombian Futboler Juan Pablo Angel’s Son (VIDEO)

Meet 8 Year-Old Tomy Angel, Colombian Futboler Juan Pablo Angel’s Son (VIDEO)

Photo: Tomy Angel, Soccer Prodigy

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The young son of the LA Galaxy forward is making a cult following on the internet because of his amazing soccer skills. Could he be the next Messi?

Read more by HS News Staff →

Racial Profiling Laws Yield Data but Few Changes

Racial Profiling Laws Yield Data but Few Changes

Photo: Racial profiling laws

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Eight years ago, Illinois began requiring police departments, including the state police force, to keep track of traffic stops to see whether their officers practiced racial profiling—stopping black or Hispanic motorists more often than whites because of their skin color.

Now, a civil rights group wants a federal investigation of the Illinois state police based largely on the data collected under the law, which was sponsored by Barack Obama when he was a state senator.

After examining the data, the Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says state troopers ask to search the cars of black and Hispanic drivers more often than those of white drivers, in cases where police have no legal grounds to search the cars on their own without the driver’s consent. But state police are more than 2.5 times as likely to find illegal items (such as alcohol, drugs or stolen property) when searching the vehicles of whites compared to those of Hispanics. Alcohol is the most common item police find among all groups, the ACLU claims, but whites are the most likely to have drugs and drug paraphernalia.

The complaint is not focused on specific allegations of prejudiced behavior. What it alleges is that state officials hardly look at racial profiling information at all. The law requiring the collection of traffic stop data created a panel to review the results, but the slots were never filled and the group never met. “Nobody does anything with the data,” says Harry Grossman of the Illinois ACLU. “We are the only ones that have done anything.”

The situation in Illinois is typical. Nearly a dozen states require police to collect data about racial bias in traffic stops, but in most cases, little use is made of the data. States compile reports that just sit on a shelf.

Wisconsin had a law requiring the collection of data about racial profiling, but it lasted less than a year. The statute, passed by Wisconsin Democrats before they lost control of state government in 2010, was barely on the books before it was repealed by the Republicans who now dominate the legislature. Republicans cited objections from local police as a major reason for repealing the law.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth says filling out the forms took so much time, it was the equivalent of taking two of his deputies off the streets for a year. The forms asked for exhaustive data on the vehicle, location, driver and passengers in every stop. For each passenger in the car, there was an additional half-page form; stopping a van that carried six people required nine pages of forms, according to Beth. The sheriff says he saw little benefit from the new requirements. “The state of Wisconsin,” he says, “had no plan what to do with this information once it got turned in.”

Read more at Daniel C. Vock for Stateline →

Sit Back, Relax and Join this Beluga Whale in Enjoying the Delightful Sounds of the Mariachi (VIDEO)

Sit Back, Relax and Join this Beluga Whale in Enjoying the Delightful Sounds of the Mariachi (VIDEO)

Photo: Mariachi band plays for beluga whale

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See Mariachi Connecticut serenade a beluga whale at Mystic Marinelife Aquarium. The musicians were there to perform for a wedding.

Notice the whale never diverts its attention from the performers. I think this genre just gained another fan.


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Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayAugust 3, 2011