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WednesdayAugust 24, 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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Costa Rica and Mexico Strengthen Their Ties

Costa Rica and Mexico Strengthen Their Ties

Photo: Costa Rican President Chincilla in Mexico

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Earlier this week, President Felipe Calderón of Mexico officially welcomed President Laura Chinchilla in Chapultepec.

During the ceremony, the president declared that Costa Rica and Mexico are countries that share values such as the love of democracy and peace. In the joint press conference, the president reported that the Strategic Partnership Agreement between Mexico and Costa Rica has came into effect. This will make it possible for the countries to advance in political dialogue, cooperation, trade and investment. He added that the two governments signed three agreements regarding security: an Extradition Treaty, an Agreement on the Exchange of Information and Experiences and an Act ratifying the Treaty for the Recovery of Stolen Vehicles and Airships.

In looking at the economic development of the two countries, the president highlighted the fact that bilateral trade has currently achieved $1.28 billion USD and that Costa Rica has become Mexico’s main trading partner in Central America.

The president ended by saying that as a result of the progress achieved by the Mesoamerica Project and within the framework of the Tuxtla Mechanism of Dialogue and Agreement Summit to be held in Chiapas, the governments of Costa Rica and Mexico have agreed that the issues that must be dealt with are: Electric and telecommunications interconnections, highway connections and health and housing programs.

President Calderón then hosted a luncheon in honor of President Chinchilla at the Citadel of Chapultepec Castle.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NBCUniversal Failing to Keep Promise of Diverse Programming, Canceling Shows Instead

NBCUniversal Failing to Keep Promise of Diverse Programming, Canceling Shows Instead

Photo: Ramon Rodriguez (Bosley on NBC's "Charlie's Angels" remake) one of the very few Latino actors on new programs

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When NBCUniversal announced it would be merging with Comcast, diversity was an issue and became a stipulation for those that would eventually allow the merger. Yet, months after the merger, and after then-diversity chief, Paula Madison, assured every one that NBCU was committed to diversity, barely any has been seen.

Since those assurances have been made, Madison has retired, and the few shows with more minority-filled casts (“Undercovers”, “Outlaws”, “The Event”, and “Outsources”) were canceled. After these flops last season, those waiting for new diverse shows were disappointed to see very little.

It what appears to be it’s only new show with a minority lead (a Cuban-American) NBCUniversal cast Eddie Cibrian will be front and center for “The Playboy Club”.

But while the new shows don’t exactly highlight multi-cultural casts, those like “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation” remain examples of how diverse casts can clearly be successful.

Lack of diversity isn’t just a problem for NBCUniversal however. CBS only has Taraji P. Henson in a supporting role for the upcoming “Person of Interest”. And while scoring better in the diversity game, ABC and Fox are not fairing much better. Fox has Anglo-Indian Shelley Conn as the lead in “Terra Nova” and ABC brings in Annie Ilonzeh and Ramon Rodriquez (playing Bosley) for its remake of “Charlie’s Angels”.

Still, those calling on a greater Latino, Black, and overall minority presence to television, are keeping an eye of NBCUniversal to keep its promise, especially with NBC Entertainment’s chairman, Robert Greenblatt, recently promising that his network is “embedded in diversity.”

Read more at Los Angeles Times →

Remote Region of Peru Hit by 7.0 Magnitude Earthquake

Remote Region of Peru Hit by 7.0 Magnitude Earthquake

Photo: 7.0 Earthquake Hits Peru

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The Global Seismographic Network (USGS) is reporting a 7.0 magnitude earthquake has hit a remote and sparsely populated area of Peru, some 370 miles from the capital city of Lima.Image

This Andes earthquake is approximately 10 times more powerful than yesterday’s Virginia/Washington D.C.’s 5.8 quake.  The quake, whose epicenter was near the Amazon town of Pucallpa, resulted in downed telephone lines and reports of collapsed homes.  The quake was felt in Peru and other towns but no reports of injuries or major damage is being reported.

The fact that the epicenter was in a remote and rural area severe infrastructure damage was not expected. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cute Overload: White Lion is Born in Colombia (VIDEO)

Cute Overload: White Lion is Born in Colombia (VIDEO)

Photo: Adorable Colombian White Lion

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Her name is “Miracle” and according to Colombian biologists is the first baby white lion to be born in 14 years!

“Miracle” was born in a northern Colombia circus called “Circo Gigante Americano.”

Perhaps due to the lack of pigment in her hair, other lions don’t recognize her as kindred, and she has had to be separated from the other felines, who acted hostile toward her.

“Milagro,” according to biologists called to study her is one in 301 white lions in the world, and it had been 14 years since the last one was born.

Check out the adorable baby lion in the video below!


Read more by HS News Staff →

Florida’s Hispanic Population Explodes Thanks to South American Immigrants

Florida’s Hispanic Population Explodes Thanks to South American Immigrants

Photo: Florida's Hispanic Population Explodes Thanks to South American Immigrants

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For decades there has been a large Hispanic population in Florida, but in just 10 years, the portion of that population made up of just South Americans has more than doubled.

Though Cubans are still the largest group of Hispanics in the state, South Americans now outnumber Mexicans in Florida, according to data released Thursday.

Though Cubans and Puerto Ricans take the number one and number two spots, Colombians, Venezuelans, and Peruvians are fast approaching, many leaving their native countries in response to the increased political discourse and violence.

According to officials with the Pew Hispanic Center, the format of the 2010 Census may have aided in helping to classify Florida Hispanics. Previously, census forms only allowed a person to check whether they were Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Other, with a space left for them to fill in what Other was for them. Often, individuals would check other, but not fill in the space. On the 2010 form however, the options were the same except next to the Other option where individuals were presented with examples to try to motivate them to fill in their nationality.

And while births have caused an increase in the nation’s Hispanic population overall, it is most likely not the cause of the increased Hispanic presence in Florida.

Read more at Associated Press (Miami Herald) →

Miss Brazil World Contestant Takes a Dive on the Catwalk (VIDEO)

Miss Brazil World Contestant Takes a Dive on the Catwalk (VIDEO)

Photo: Brazil Beauty Queen falls onstage

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A young beauty queen at the Miss Brazil World Pageant slipped during a dance number. See the faux pas below!

Either scripts and active content are not permitted to run or Adobe Flash Player version10.0.0 or greater is not installed.

Get Adobe Flash Player

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Retailer & U.S. Tween Fave “Zara” Found to be Exploiting Its Labor in Brazil

Spanish Retailer & U.S. Tween Fave  “Zara” Found to be Exploiting Its Labor in Brazil

Photo: "Zara" caught exploiting their workers

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In efforts to end modern day slavery, Brazil’s Labor Public Ministry published the names of 251 companies found to be exploiting workers and Spanish retailer and U.S. tween fave “Zara” was on that list.

Just a week ago, a factory in Sao Paulo producing clothes for the Spanish retailer was closed when it was discovered that 15 illegal Bolivian immigrants and one Peruvian, were forced to sew clothes for 12-14 hours a day, with no lunch, water for showering or drinking and were unable to leave their post without the supervisor’s consent.

The factory’s working conditions were also found to be deplorable and unsafe: a fire extinguisher found in the factory had an expiration date of 1998.

The Brazilian government issued a list of 52 charges against Inditex, Zara’s parent company, after dismantling the sweatshop. One of the workers was 14 years of age.

They were being paid between 7-12 cents per sewn piece; crumbs, considering a pair of Zara’s jeans retails for up to $126.

Investigations overseen by the United Nations show that one of the most common forms of contemporary slavery in Brazil, is bonded labor, where workers from humble beginnings are forced to work in order to repay a loan, often granted to them to pay for the cost of their trip into supposed freedom, unaware of their fate and under the impression they were seizing a dream opportunity.

Slave labor typically encompasses young people, mainly immigrants, 15 and up who are forced to work long hours with little to no pay; they are often threatened and subjected to physical, psychological and in some cases sexual abuse.

These practices are more common in certain industries, like the sugar cane and cattle industries.  With the publishing of the Brazil’s “Dirty List” these industries have not only been identified, but will be subjected to fines, exclusion from state benefits (grants, loans, agricultural credits, etc.), and jail time in some cases.

Companies such as McDonald’s, Walmart and Carrefour have signed a “National Pact for the Eradication of Slavery,” and committed to end their business relationships with any company named in the “Dirty List,” a measure that could put more than one company out of business, as their main buyers would refuse to keep them afloat.

Zara’s representatives issued a statement saying that the accusations of slave-labor made against them represent a “serious breach in accordance with the Code of Conduct for External Manufacturers and Workshops of Inditex,” adding that all factories responsible for “unauthorized outsourcing” have been asked to immediately compensate their workers properly, as the company wishes to “foster the best conditions possible in the Brazilian textile industry.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

MALDEF Files Motion in Texas to Preserve Latino Voting Strength During Redistricting

MALDEF Files Motion in Texas to Preserve Latino Voting Strength During Redistricting

Photo: MALDEF Gets Involved in Texas Redistricting

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MALDEF, in Washington D.C., filed a Motion to Intervene on behalf of the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force in an effort to prevent the reduction of Latino voting strength in the ongoing Texas redistricting process.

In the case, State of Texas v. Holder, Texas asks the federal government to approve, or “pre-clear,” four redistricting plans. Under Section Five of the Voting Rights Act, states with a history of discrimination must have their redistricting plans approved by the federal government to ensure that the ability of minorities to elect a candidate of their choice is not diminished.

The Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force has intervened to ask the federal court to deny preclearance of the state House plan and the congressional plan. Under the state House plan, Latinos would lose two opportunity districts, and under the congressional plan, the proportion of Latino opportunity districts would fall from 22 percent to 19 percent of the congressional delegation. According to the 2010 census, 34 percent of the voting-age population in Texas is Latino.

“The Task Force has intervened in this case to protect Latino voting strength in Texas,” said Nina Perales, vice president of litigation at MALDEF. “We have sued the State in federal court in San Antonio for violations of the Voting Rights Act; the State cannot run to Washington DC in the hopes of getting a different ruling.”

MALDEF, the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force, and other partners submitted proposed district lines for Latino opportunity districts to the State Capitol in Austin during the Legislative Session.

“Our goal is to ensure that Latinos have the opportunity to send a representative of their choice to Congress, especially where they make up a substantial portion of a region,” explained Perales. In 2006, MALDEF successfully argued before the Supreme Court in LULAC v. Perry that the Texas congressional redistricting plan diluted Latino voting strength and violated the Voting Rights Act.

Pro bono counsel in the case includes the law firm of Fried Frank. A decision on the Motion to Intervene is expected shortly.

Read more by HS News Staff →

DHS Fails to Reveal the Effectiveness (or Ineffectiveness) of Their Repatriation Flights

DHS Fails to Reveal the Effectiveness (or Ineffectiveness) of Their Repatriation Flights

Photo: DHS Fails to Reveal the Effectiveness (or Ineffectiveness) of Their Repatriation Flights

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As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues its repatriation flights, it also continues to face opposition.

In the last eight years, DHS has spent $85 million putting undocumented immigrants on planes and buses sending them more than a thousand miles from the border making it harder to meet up with those that could help get them back across the border.

But while millions are being spent, DHS has not even been able to justify the cost of sending them out of the country verses the cost of them staying in the U.S.

Both the Mexican government and DHS claim the flights are working in lowering the number of those who try to get back north of the border, and deaths at the border have gone down. However, the Arizona Republic obtained government records that state otherwise, showing that hundreds of repatriated migrants are crossing back into the U.S.

Humanitarian groups say the program is not cost effective and migrants deaths at the border are actually increasing. And in 2011 so far, Border Patrol documentation shows that in just the 372.5-mile Tucson, AZ sector, 132 migrants have died.

The Government Accountability Office questions the programs effectiveness, and says they have not been shown evidence to prove it is indeed worth the cost.

USA Today wrote:

[It] is impossible to fully measure the program’s overall effectiveness because the Border Patrol would provide recidivism rates for the program only for fiscal years 2008-10, and only for the weeks the program was in operation. The Arizona Republic requested recidivism rates for all eight years of the program, not just the three provided. The Republic also asked for complete recidivism rates showing how often the program’s participants were re-arrested by the Border Patrol at any time, not just during the program’s operation.

The Border Patrol turned down those requests.

Read more at USA TODAY →

Has Shopping at Saks Given Billionaire Carlos Slim an Even Greater Love for the Retailer?

Has Shopping at Saks Given Billionaire Carlos Slim an Even Greater Love for the Retailer?

Photo: Has Shopping at Saks Given Billionaire Carlos Slim an Even Greater Love for the Retailer?

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Mexican billionaire and world’s richest man Carlos Slim Helú has reportedly just spent $8.8 million to increase is stake in department store retailer Saks Inc. and the media giant New York Times Co.

It appears that the man believed to be worth about $74 billion is continuing his plan of acquiring big name shares during a down economy.

The businessman is the chairman and chief executive of telecommunications companies Telmex and America Movil. His primary source of his wealth come from his Mexican companies. Looking to add to that wealth, he made himself Saks Inc.’s largest shareholder in April of 2009 at 15.7 percent. Earlier this month, he increased that to 16 percent. He is also operates two Saks stores in Mexico with

Slim Helú, who has stated that he has no interesting in taking any kind of control of New York Times Co., increased his shares from 6.9 percent to 7.2 percent.

Read more at Bloomberg →

Today’s Google Doodle Honors Argentine Author Jorge Luis Borges

Today’s Google Doodle Honors Argentine Author Jorge Luis Borges

Photo: Google Doodle Honors Argentine Author Jorge Luis Borges

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Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentine novelist and master of short fiction would have turned 112 today.

Borges was born in the Argentine capital and in 1914, moved to Switzerland with his family. Homeschooled until age 11, Borges learned to speak several languages, supported by the family’s vast library. Image

“If I were asked to name the chief event in my life, I should say my father’s library,” said the brilliant author once.

Google will display all day today a magic realism inspired Doodle, where an aging man gazes proudly toward a scene comprised of structures of great architectural complexity; the structures are reminiscent of the magic realism/science fiction buildings described in many of Borges’ novels and stories.

Jorge Luis Borges’ literary style was filled with magical realism, dreams, labyrinths, libraries, fabulous animals, fictional writers, and the sort.

Borges died of cancer in Switzerland, in June 1986. For the last twenty years of his life, Borges had lost his sight, but continued writing, assisted by his mother, to whom he was very close.

Borges was never granted the Nobel Prize for his invaluable contribution to the world literature; though he always resented the omission, and it was a cause of great distress up until the time of his death, he once joked that, “Not granting me the Nobel Prize has become a Scandinavian tradition; since I was born they have not granted it to me.”

He died in Geneva, Switzerland, in June 1986.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Sonia Hermosilla Drops Infant Son from Four-Story Building

LATINO BLOTTER: Sonia Hermosilla Drops Infant Son from Four-Story Building

Photo: Sonia Hermosilla allegedly dropped her 7m.o. son from four-story building

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An Orange County mother has been arrested for throwing her 7-month-old son out a four-story building Monday night.

Sonia Hermosillo’s husband, Noe Medina, told police that his wife was treated for depression shortly after their son was born. She was reportedly unable to handle that her son was born with congenital muscular torticollis which caused his neck to be twisted to one side.

Medina said his wife had been doing better as the son was showing improvement in physical therapy, and he “began to trust her.”

Monday evening, police believe Hermosillo, 31, was not in fact better, and threw her infant son from the fourth level of a parking garage for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

As of Tuesday night, the infant was still in critical condition at the University of California, Irvine, Medical Center’s trauma center, about 15 miles from the family’s home in La Habra, where Hermosillo, Medina, two girls and the baby son live.

Hermosillo is being held without bail, and is undergoing a psychological evaluation. She could be in court as early as Wednesday.

Police have not stated whether the family had any connection to Children’s Hospital in OC. A witness reportedly saw the baby falling from the parking structure just after 6 p.m., and others nearby, including a doctor, called 911.

Surveillance video showed the a female driving out of the garage with an empty car seat, and just after, and police ran the license plates, leading them to Hermosillo. A police officer spotted the tan SUV nearby and brought her in for questioning.

Officials say Hermosillo did not have a major criminal record, and was currently on an immigration hold.

Read more at Associated Press (Huffington Post) →

Spain No Longer #1 Fútbol Team in the World

Spain No Longer #1 Fútbol Team in the World

Photo: The Netherlands is the Best Soccer Team in the World

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The title of best soccer team in the world is now for the mighty “Clockwork Orange,” from The Netherlands! 

The Netherlands climbed to the top of the FIFA ranking Wednesday, ending the year-long reign of the 2010 World Cup winners.

Two weeks ago, Spain lost a friendly match to Italy; the FIFA points lost as a result demoted the team one position in the world rankings.

Below, are FIFA current official rankings:

1. Netherlands     1,596 points
2. Spain           1,563 points
3. Germany       1,330 points
4. England         1,177 points
5. Uruguay         1,174 points
6. Brazil           1,156 points
7. Italy           1,110 points
8. Portugal         1,060 points
9. Argentina       1,017 points
10. Croatia         1,009 points

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Narco Grandmother Drugs Police Dog, Pleads “Age” Immunity to be Set Free (VIDEO)

Colombian Narco Grandmother Drugs Police Dog, Pleads “Age” Immunity to be Set Free (VIDEO)

Photo: Senior Colombian Lady Poisons Police Dog

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Despite being caught sneaking drugs into a prison, and then feeding them to the dog that ID’d her, she walks free, as there is no jail-time in Colombia for anyone over 65-years old.

During the routine check-ups performed by officers to visitors at the “Modelo” jail in the northern Colombian city of Barranquilla, Sasha—a black lab police dog with the best success rate in the force, smelled drugs in the air, and gave the alarm.

The puppy identified a 77 year old woman, who was carrying drugs into the prison and she was promptly detained.

Faking distress, the woman begged for a cup of water repeatedly, but when officers obliged, she fed an unknown substance to Sasha, who minutes later begun vomiting and going into intense seizures.

Officers immediately took the animal to urgent care, and veterinarians flushed her out, and saved her life, though she is weak and still in observation.

The woman was left free due to “age immunity,” some kind of loop hole in Colombian law where only people under 65 can go to jail.

Come join the conversation in our forums section where we will be discussing why they didn’t get a different over-65 senior to feed this woman a big spoonful of her own medicine….

Read more by HS News Staff →

NCLR Commends Immigration Policy That Puts Safety First When Immigration Laws Enforced

NCLR (National Council of La Raza) praised the announcement made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding important steps that the agency will be taking to better focus immigration enforcement resources to enhance public safety. Like all law enforcement agencies, DHS has limited resources that should be used in the most effective way possible, and the process outlined today will allow the department to focus on community safety.

“This is a significant acknowledgment by DHS that it needs a process in place to focus on the people it has stated are its enforcement priority—people who have committed serious crimes and who pose a grave threat to public safety. Focusing on the greatest threats is just plain common sense when it comes to law enforcement,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.

DHS announced that it has created a process that includes an interagency team of senior leaders in DHS and Department of Justice (DOJ) who will review the current deportation caseload and identify low-priority cases that should be considered for an exercise of discretion. The agency will also provide guidance to prevent resources from being spent on low-priority cases.

“We will closely monitor the implementation of this process to ensure that it is applied robustly and that it brings public safety squarely into focus. Advocates across the country have been doing an incredible amount of work to share the countless stories of how the current policies are creating fear and suffering in communities nationwide. We are hopeful that this new action will bring us to a place where community safety is the focus of enforcement actions, and the pain felt in communities is diminished.

“Programs such as Secure Communities have been extremely frustrating and confusing for many, including law enforcement and the immigrant community. This announcement today is an important step in the right direction to bring sorely needed direction and clarity in current policies. If executed correctly, the changes announced today will bring much-needed relief,” concluded Murguía.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Despite Sluggish Economy Latin American Exports to U.S. Increase by 22%

Despite the sluggish economy this year, Latin American exports to the U.S. jumped by 22 percent for the first half of the year.  In spite of such a strong increase last year’s U.S. trade figure showed a 33 percent growth.

The value of U.S.-Latin American trade for the first half of 2011 is $373.5 billion which is a new record level.  Most of the region’s exports came from Mexico, that contributed $224.1 billion in goods to the U.S. 

All Latin American countries registered an increase in their trade with the U.S. these last 6 months.

Read more at Latin Business Chronicle →

WednesdayAugust 24, 2011