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WednesdayAugust 17, 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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Barcelona’s Community Bicycle Program is About More than Making People Healthier

Barcelona’s Community Bicycle Program is About More than Making People Healthier

Photo: Barcelona's Community Bicycle Program is About More than Making People Healthier

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A study published in the British Medical Journal after Barcelona, Spain implemented a public bicycle sharing plan known as Bicing has concluded that it has “greater benefits than risks to health and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

In the study, researcher David Rojas-Rueda and his colleagues wrote, “Compared with car users the estimated annual change in mortality of the Barcelona residents using Bicing (n=181,982) was 0.03 deaths from road traffic incidents and 0.13 deaths from air pollution. As a result of physical activity, 12.46 deaths were avoided (benefit:risk ratio 77). The annual number of deaths avoided was 12.28. As a result of journeys by Bicing, annual carbon dioxide emissions were reduced by an estimated 9,062,344 kg.”

Overall, not only have carbon dioxide emissions dropped, but reduced roadway noise, traffic congestion, and allowed for a drop in road traffic mortality rates, proving that riding bicycles has saved lives.

The Bicing project began in 2007, and just two years later, more than 180,000 citizens had enrolled, which equates to 11 percent of the city’s total population.

Read more at British Medical Journal →

Court Rules Discrimination Claims Against Kraft Foods Provide Enough Evidence to Proceed With Case

Court Rules Discrimination Claims Against Kraft Foods Provide Enough Evidence to Proceed With Case

Photo: Court Rules Discrimination Claims Against Kraft Foods Provide Enough Evidence to Proceed With Case

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A judge has ruled that a Latino employees claiming they were discriminated against have the right to sue their employer Kraft Foods.

Jose Diaz and Ramon Peña, are among plaintiffs saying Kraft’s support services supervisor Peter Michalec’s dislike for Latinos led him to push for disciplinary actions against the workers, which cost plaintiffs their jobs.

Though having worked at Kraft for 10 years each, Diaz and Peña say Michalec told them to scrub parking lots, clean sewers and do other unpleasant tasks in the frigid Chicago winter “as often as possible” when it was never asked of non-Latino workers. They add that in 2008, when their positions were being eliminated by the company due to Kraft outsourcing jobs in the Glenview Tech Center, both men applied for the position of Kraft senior technician.

The men say they were removed from contention for the job after Michalec manipulated the hiring process, causing them to not even be considered, and by the time they realized he had done so, the position had already been filled.

Another employee’s claim states that in 2005, when Alberto Robles was having a heart attack, Michalec yelled, “Get the hell out of my office. Go die somewhere else.” Robles also claims he was not paid what he deserves because Kraft refused to promote him. When he spoke to Michalec about it, he was called a “gold-digger”.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman of the three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago that heard the case, said that while Robles’ claims were “offensive” and “utterly inexplicable”, they did not establish an ethnic bias.

However, for Peña and Diaz, the judge wrote that “There is enough evidence here to create a question for the trier of fact whether ethnic bias motivated Michalec’s decision not to hire Diaz or Peña for the sanitation positions”

The decision in Diaz and Peña’s case means they are now free to move ahead and with their lawsuit. Their case was remanded for trial.

Read more at Minority News →

World’s Largest Rodent Seen Outside Its Native South America, Roaming in California

World’s Largest Rodent Seen Outside Its Native South America, Roaming in California

Photo: The Carpincho (capybara) native to South American being seen in California

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Known as the world’s largest rodent, a capybara, or Carpincho as it is known in Spanish, has been sighted in California, quite a long way from its usual South American home.

Though there have been three sightings of the carpincho in Paso Robles, California in the last three years, scientists say it is likely just the same one.

ImageThe most recent sighting was had by workers at the Paso Robles Wastewater Treatment Plant. It was reportedly eating vegetation in the sewer ponds, and workers snapped a photo of the not-so-little guy before it submerged itself back into the water.

Tom Tognazzini of the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) told KCOY 12, “About three years ago, we had a second hand report from Hunter Ranch Golf Course of a capybara in the lake system. That sighting was never verified.”

He added, “The second sighting was a on a farm. The property owner called to report they had a capybara stealing alfalfa hay from their horses. The property owner came out, discharged a shotgun round at the capybara and didn’t know whether or not they had hit it.”

The capybara is a slightly web-footed rodent with reddish-brown hair, a barrel-shaped body, and a blunt-ended head/face. Males of he species typically weigh 75 to 135 lbs, while females tend to be a bit heavier and weight 80 to 145 lbs.

ImageThough capybara’s primarily live in South America, it is believed their larger ancestors lived in North America, and are related closest to agouti, chinchillas, coyphillas, and guinea pigs.

It is not certain how the rodent made its may so far north, but Tognazzini said, “It’s likely it was an illegal pet that somehow escaped or was released.”

The DFG has not yet set traps, but if it is caught it already has a home waiting at Zoo To You. If not caught, the rodent may not last much longer in the wild. On average, capybara live just four years in the wild, though live up to 12 years in captivity.

Read more by HS News Staff →

World Anti-Doping Agency To Challenge “Contaminated Meat” Angle in Mexico Team Doping Case

World Anti-Doping Agency To Challenge “Contaminated Meat” Angle in Mexico Team Doping Case

Photo: Mexican Goalie Guillermo Ochoa Blames it on the Meat.

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5 Mexican fútbol players who tested positive for the performance enhancing drug Clenbuterol, said the drug was on the meat they ate. WADA( World Anti-Doping Agency) doesn’t believe them.

Goalie Guillermo Ochoa, defenders Edgar Duenas and Francisco Rodriguez, and midfielders Antonio Naelson and Christian Bermudez tested positive for the banned anabolic Clenbuterol at a May test before the Gold Cup.

The players were not allowed to play the tournament, but were not punished.

The World Anti-Doping Agency doesn’t believe the claims that the players tested positive because the drug was present in the meat they ate, and have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to review the decision of the Mexican Soccer Federation to clear the players.

The WADA is also behind a similar process to challenge the final decision in the case of cyclist Alberto Contador, who also blamed a positive drug test on a piece of steak.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Attempted Kidnapping of 6-Yr Old in NM Thwarted by Hero Antonio Diaz Chacon

Attempted Kidnapping of 6-Yr Old in NM Thwarted by Hero Antonio Diaz Chacon

Photo: Attempted Abduction in New Mexico

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UPDATE:  The good samaritan that probably saved the life of a 6-year old little girl that was snatched from a playground has been identified as Antonio Diaz Chacon.  Diaz Chacon, who does not speak English, had his wife call 911 while he chased suspect Phillip Garcia.  Garcia had taken the little girl in his van and was pursued by Diaz Chacon.

The 24-year old mechanic, father of two girls, gave chase as Garcia wove in and out of residential streets in Albuquerque, never losing him.  After Garcia crashed his van Diaz Chacon bravely went to the car and took the girl out bringing her back home.  Authorities say they found in the van, the back seat taken out as well as packing tape and a tie-down strap.

New Mexico authorities are call Diaz Chacon a hero who didn’t think of his own safety or what he was heading into. 

ORIGINAL STORY:  A 6-year old Albuquerque, New Mexico girl and her family are thankful for an alert and pro-active neighbor.

The unidentified neighbor witnessed suspect Phil Garcia first entice the 6-year old playing at the local playground in front of her home around 4pm.  When she resisted the lure, Garcia allegedly got out of the car and pushed her into his van.

The good Samaritan not only chased the van but was able to call 911 while in pursuit.  When Garcia, apparently unnerved by being followed, crashed his van – the neighbor ran and got the little girl out of the car. 

Garcia fled the scene of the accident but police pursued and eventually captured him.  Frighteningly, authorities are reporting that Garcia had borrowed the van from his sister and then proceeded to remove the back seats.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bull Killed by Other Bull in Spain “Encierro” (VIDEO)

Bull Killed by Other Bull in Spain “Encierro” (VIDEO)

Photo: Bull Killed by Other Bull

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The fatal victim of the Spanish bull run this time was the bull, who got head butted into the great beyond by a member of his own species.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Before Becoming US Citizen, Guatemalan Writer Walking Across Country Asking, “What is an American?”

Before Becoming US Citizen, Guatemalan Writer Walking Across Country Asking, “What is an American?”

Photo: Constantino Diaz-Duran

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Constantino Diaz-Duran decided that before he officially becomes a U.S. citizen, he wants to walk across the country and meet his soon-to-be-fellow Americans.

On the 4th of July, Diaz-Duran, 31, a Guatemalan immigrant, set off on foot from New York, NY and began his journey to Los Angeles, CA.

The writer and fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University is on a mission “to gain a better understanding of what it will mean to finally be an ‘American.’”

Along Diaz-Duran’s journey, he will be speaking with the people of the variying backgrounds, ages, and lifestyles to ask them what being an American means to them.

According to his online diary, on August 15th, the walker was in Virginia, where he met Ana, who introduced him to her friend Chuck and his partner, Jack. The couple, aside from having six children, have turned their three bedroom home into a 10 bedroom home, and have opened their doors to as many people as they find in need of a place to stay.

ImageAs of late, Chuck and Jack have even opened their home to undocumented immigrants who have had a hard time finding work and subsequently a place to stay.

“They can’t afford to pay a lot in rent, so we let them come here,” Jack said, “and if they can’t afford to pay us, then they help out with repairs around the house, cleaning, or gardening.”

While these guys were just some of the Americans he has/will meet along his journey, Diaz-Duran is clearly getting to know America.

And as he makes his way across the country he sends postcards to his favorite spot near his New York home, First Ave. Coffee Shop, where, before he left, the shop’s regulars pooled money to buy him a tent and a sleeping bag.

Along the way, Diaz-Duran will be traveling through Alabama, where many would assume the welcoming with not be as warm as Chuck and Jack.

“They just passed those awful laws. I’m curious to see what it’s like there,” he said.

In Alabama, it is now illegal to give an undocumented immigrant a ride, and though Diaz-Duran is in the country legally, his ethnicity may cause some issues in not only Alabama, but Arizona, and other states with similar laws.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Salma Hayek’s Woes, Being Beautiful and Privileged

Salma Hayek’s Woes, Being Beautiful and Privileged

Photo: Salma Hayek

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How could she ever withstand the pressure of having to be beautiful and privileged? With experience provided by being a film star of course says the Mexican beauty in this issue ofAllure Magazine….

In the most recent issue of Allure, Salma Hayek talks about everything from her real boobs, to living a life of wealth and of course her career.  The article was filled with shallow insight such as “My career has given me a lot of experience to be under pressure of having to be beautiful.” The one statement that will really go over well in Coatzacoalcos, Vera Cruz, Mexico where she was born is “I never understood the point of being privileged if you don’t get to have the privileges.” 

Partake of our humor, 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 →

Boston Bar Being Sued for Not Allowing Hispanics and Other Non-Whites In

Boston Bar Being Sued for Not Allowing Hispanics and Other Non-Whites In

Photo: Boston Bar Being Sued for Not Allowing Hispanics and Other Non-Whites In

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A Boston bar owner is being sued for allegedly turning away Hispanic and black patrons after saying, “I don’t know you guys, and you should try to find another place to go.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has filed a lawsuit against Peggy O’Neil’s Bar and Grille in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood due to “a pattern of not allowing customers of color to enter and use the bar.”

The lawsuit claims that in December 2010, two men waiting to enter the bar for a friend’s birthday party were told it was too late to enter, turned away at the door and told to find somewhere else to go. Their friend, who was already inside, tried to intervene, and in the mean time, nearly a dozen white customers were allowed in.

According to NY Daily News, the lawsuit also states that when another group of non-white patrons attempted to enter the establishment later that night, they were told by Caron O’Niel (the bar owner), “We don’t like people of your kind here. We’ve been doing this for a while and it’s been working fine and we don’t want any problems. . .I’m not letting you people in.”

In April 2011, it was reported that minorities were turned away once again.

The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages, civil penalties, and a request for staff undergo anti-discrimination training.

“Walk in the door and you’ll see right now, it’s a mixed crowd,” O’Neil told the Boston Herald. “We’ve been here since 1963 and never, ever had a complaint like this.”

She claims the customers were too drunk, though those turned away say that could not have been the reason since white customers who were clearly intoxicated were allowed in.

The bar has been in Dorchester since 1963, and is named after the O’Niel family’s matriarch, Margaret “Peggy” O’Niel, who died this past May.

Read more by HS News Staff →

11 Year-old Texas Mayor For a Day Changes Main St. to Justin Bieber Way (VIDEO)

11 Year-old Texas Mayor For a Day Changes Main St. to Justin Bieber Way (VIDEO)

Photo: Justin Bieber Way Created by Caroline Gonzalez

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The city of Forney Texas might have gotten a bit more than what they bargained for when they ran a contest looking for children aged 8-13 who would want to be mayor for a day on August 16th.  11 year-old Caroline González won the Facebook contest to be the Mayor and what do you think was her first official decree?

Creating the Justin Bieber Way.

Caroline González apparently didn’t want to be bothered with reducing taxes, having a free day of school or unlimited ice cream instead she decided, to rename a stretch of the city’s Main St. after teen pop idol Justin Bieber. Image

Thank to Caroline, the address of City Hall at Forney, Texas will be “101 Justin Bieber Way” until next Monday.

To nominate a child, participants had to email the reason why the kid would make a good chief executive, and take on Mayor Darren Rozell’s job for a day.

The winning entry, penned by Caroline’s father read :

“Caroline is 11 years old and will attend Johnson Elementary as a 6th grader this fall. Caroline has been on the Johnson Student Council for the last two years. Thru the Student Council, she has been involved in assisting with a recycling drive, a canned food drive for the local food pantry at Thanksgiving and a Coat and Blanket Drive benefitting local families in need. She has also been a member of the FISD Gifted and Talented program for the past 6 years. An A Honor Roll student for six years, Caroline has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Accelerated Reader Program as well as many other academic excellence awards. Caroline has achieved the Commended Rating on every TAKS test she has taken in her academic career. Outside of her school activities, Caroline has participated in many youth sports including softball, basketball, cheerleading, and volleyball. Her current loves are cheerleading and volleyball, as a member of the Forney Youth Football League Jackrabbits and the Forney Pink Bunnies respectively. Caroline has also participated in the Awanas program at First Baptist Church of Forney for several years. Caroline and her family have been involved in helping and serving the Forney Community over the years thru various civic activities such as Christmas in the Park and the Danny Ray Hardman activities. Caroline has a heart for service and has not only seen what service is at a young age, but also knows what it means to serve personally.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latinos Students Taking College ACT Continue to Show Improved Scores Especially in Math & Science

College and career readiness among 2011 Hispanic U.S. high school graduates who took the ACT test shows slow but steady improvement, particularly in the key areas of math and science, according to ACT’s yearly report, The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2011, released today.

This has occurred as the number of Hispanic test-takers continues to dramatically increase.

Eleven percent of Hispanic graduates in the class of 2011 who took the ACT exam met or surpassed all four of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks suggesting they are ready to succeed academically in specific first-year college courses (English composition, college algebra, introductory social science and biology) without the need for remediation. This is unchanged from last year and up from 10 percent the previous three years.

The ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, which are based on actual grades earned by students in college, specify the minimum scores needed on each ACT subject-area test (English, mathematics, reading and science) to indicate that a student has a 50 percent chance of earning a grade of B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of earning a C or higher in a typical credit-bearing first-year college course in that subject area.

The improvement in college readiness among Hispanic students is most evident in the key area of mathematics. This year, 30 percent (compared to 27 percent in 2010 and 26 in 2007) of the students in this group met or exceeded the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in math, while 47 percent (compared to 46 in 2010 and 49 in 2007) met or exceeded the English benchmark. Thirty five percent (compared to 34 in 2010 and 2007) of Hispanic graduates met or exceeded the ACT benchmark in reading. Finally, 15 percent (compared to 14 percent in 2010 and 13 percent in 2007) met or exceeded the benchmark in science.

This year’s pool of ACT-tested graduates is the largest and most ethnically diverse in the 52-year history of the exam. More than 1.62 million 2011 graduates—49 percent of the entire U.S. graduating class—took the ACT, an all-time record number for the seventh year in a row. The proportion of African-American and Hispanic/Latino test takers has grown from 19 percent in 2007 to a high of 26 percent in 2011.

The growth in Hispanic test takers over the past five years has been dramatic. More than 200,000 Hispanic graduates (200,661) took the ACT test in 2011, 27 percent more than in 2010 and more than twice the number as in 2007. The rising number of Hispanic students taking the ACT continues to move closer to the actual representation of this group among all students. In 2007, Hispanic students were just seven percent of ACT test takers while they represented 15 percent of all graduating seniors. This year, 12 percent of ACT test takers are Hispanic compared to their ethnic representation of 18-percent among all graduates.

The ACT is an achievement test that measures knowledge and academic skills learned in school and validated as critical for success in college. Although academic readiness is a crucial factor impacting college and career readiness, ACT research points to academic skills, behavioral readiness, and education and career planning as three key dimensions of college and career readiness.

Finally, the ACT report points to policies and practices that states, districts and schools can implement to systemically increase the percentage of their students who are ready for college-level work.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Immigration Services Launches Spanish-Language Version of E-Verify Self Check

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that Self Check, a free online service of E-Verify that allows workers to check their own employment eligibility status, is now available in Spanish and accessible to residents in 16 additional states: California, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington. Today’s announcement expands on the initial launch of Self Check in March 2011 for residents who reside in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

“Self Check equips workers with fast, secure access to their employment eligibility information before they apply for jobs,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “By offering Self Check to Spanish speakers and making the service more widely available, USCIS makes good on a promise to streamline and protect the integrity of the E-Verify process for employees and employers alike.”

Self Check is the first online service offered directly to U.S. workers by E-Verify, a Department of Homeland Security program administered by USCIS in partnership with the Social Security Administration. Employers use the Internet-based E-Verify service to determine employees’ eligibility to work in the United States through information reported in the employee’s Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification).

When workers over the age of 16 use Self Check to confirm their eligibility to work in the United States, they enter the same information that employers would enter into E-Verify. Self Check allows users to compare their information to the same databases that E-Verify accesses, giving them an opportunity to address any existing data mismatches before they are hired by an E-Verify-participating employer.

USCIS will continue to evaluate and improve the Self Check service, which it intends to expand nationwide by spring 2012.

Read more by HS News Staff →

WednesdayAugust 17, 2011