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WednesdaySeptember 7, 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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U.S. Groups Monitoring Cuba’s Plans to Retreive Billions of Barrels of Oil

U.S. Groups Monitoring Cuba’s Plans to Retreive Billions of Barrels of Oil

Photo: U.S. Groups Monitoring Cuba's Plans to Retreive Billions of Barrels of Oil

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Cuba sent a large oil rig en route off its northern coast in search of what it believes to be billions of gallons of oil underneath the ocean floor, but after the BP oil spill, U.S. environmental groups have been quick to investigate the country’s oil exploration plans.

U.S. officials believe there could be more than 5 billion gallons of in Cuban waters, and U.S. lawmakers are joining environmental groups in wondering – and seriously worrying – if Cuba has taken the necessary precautions to ensure that another oil spill does not occur like the one in the Gulf in January of 2010, one that can never be fully cleaned up.

In that spill, more than 4.9 billion gallons of oil dumped into the Gulf of Mexico, causing irreparable damage to the ocean, plant, and wildlife many miles around it. It took three months to finally cap the leak.

If Cuba strikes oil, it will allow the island nation to reduce its reliance on Venezuela for its energy needs.

Read more at Forbes →

Illegal Immigrants Continue Using Water Scooters To Jump The Border

Illegal Immigrants Continue Using Water Scooters To Jump The Border

Photo: Illegal Immigrants Using Water Scooters

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A group of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the US from Mexico illegally via water, were tracked down by the U.S. Coast Guard, who were able to arrest one man, while another drowned south of San Diego.

The man arrested was wearing expensive flippers, a wet suit, and was using a water scooter to swim to San Diego shores, before being picked up.

Once arrested and in the safety of the Coast Guard boat, the man said he was left behind when aiding another water scooter immigrant who had lost consciousness.

The Coast Guard searched for the other man, and found him too late, he had already drowned.

Two or three other scooter immigrants were able to elude the Coast Guard and are thought to have swam to the U. S.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Vogue Magazine’s “Fashion’s Night Out” Goes to México! (VIDEO)

Vogue Magazine’s “Fashion’s Night Out” Goes to México! (VIDEO)

Photo: Mexico's "Fashion Night Out"

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Fashion will surely take over México on September 8, when Vogue brings its third “Fashion’s Night Out” south of the border for the first time.

Vogue is bringing its “Fashion’s Night Out” to México City for the first time this week. Stores and luxury retailers will keep their doors open late in the evening, and host cocktail parties, concerts and special events aimed at showcasing their products and collections.

From 6 to 11pm, department stores and shopping centers will offer shoppers free champagne and special discounts; several stores will have their own “Vogue Studio” where Mexican celebrities will offer photo sessions with shoppers.

For more details on special events and how to attend, visit the Magazine’s website, or check out their September’s issue.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

UN Wants Uruguay Investigated for Alleged Sexual Misconduct in Haiti

UN Wants Uruguay Investigated for Alleged Sexual Misconduct in Haiti

Photo: Uruguay Peacekeeping Troops in Haiti to be Investigated

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The United Nations said today that Uruguay should conduct a full and thorough investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by its military personnel serving with the world body’s peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

Eduardo del Buey, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said a preliminary probe carried out by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) “determined that it was necessary to instigate a full and thorough investigation” into the alleged abuses committed in Port-Salut.

“Under the procedures agreed between the UN and troop-contributing countries, it is now the responsibility of the Government of Uruguay to conduct the investigation, with the full support of the UN,” he told reporters in New York.

According to media reports, the incident in question involves the alleged rape of an 18-year-old Haitian man by Uruguayan peacekeepers. A video captured on a cell phone camera showing the alleged assault reportedly surfaced a few weeks ago.

The UN has imposed a zero-tolerance policy against sexual abuse and exploitation by its peacekeepers, and senior officials have reiterated in recent years that this means there is no impunity for blue helmets who engage in such practices.

It is the responsibility of the troop-contributing country to take appropriate disciplinary measures if the allegations are found to be true.

Read more by HS News Staff →

More Convictions for Immigration Offenses Result in Hispanics Being the Majority in Federal Prisons

More Convictions for Immigration Offenses Result in Hispanics Being the Majority in Federal Prisons

Photo: Hispanics Majority in Federal Prison for Felonies

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A new government report shows Latinos have reached a new milestone, albeit a negative one, making up the majority of people being sent to federal prison for committing a felony.

Prior to this report Hispanics were already the largest minority group in federal prison serving sentences for felonies.  Now their numbers have surpassed the entire federal prison population.  Specifically, Hispanics make up 50.3% of all people sentenced in the first nine months of the 2011 fiscal year while representing 16% of the U.S. population. 

Whites makes up 26.4% of that federal prison population while blacks represented 19.7% of the federal prison population.

The increase in Hispanics committing felonies thus far this year is driven by convictions in immigration offenses, all non-violent, such as entering the country illegally, over staying a visa or smuggling other illegal aliens into the country.

Read more at Miami Herald →

LATINO BLOTTER: Man In Mexico Imprisons Teenage Girls, Has 5 Children With Them

LATINO BLOTTER: Man In Mexico Imprisons Teenage Girls, Has 5 Children With Them

Photo: Jorge Iniestra Imprisoned girlfriend's teenage girls and had 5 children with them

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In Mexico City Tuesday, a man was arrested for abusing teenage girls he kept imprisoned for seven years, fathering five children with them, before killing one of the girls and a 3-month-old baby they conceived.

Police say Jorge Iniestra, 32, became obsessed with his girlfriend, Clara Tapia’s teenage daughters in 2004. He soon pulled them out of school, and kept them locked inside a room in his mother’s house, unable to go outside, and even boarding up the windows.

Almost inconceivably, the abuse against these girls was hidden by his mother, brothers, sisters, and Tapia, their own mother, who helped ensure they did not escape.

Iniestra, a part-time taxi driver, sexually, physically, and emotionally abused the girls, having five children with them. They had to go to the bathroom in the room, and Iniestra forced their younger brother to clean up the room by hand. He also forced the boy to sell candles and collect cardboard to make money.

Sadly, prosecutors say Iniestra wound up beating one of the teenaged girls to death before he smothered one of the children he’d fathered with her, a three-month-old baby. He then put both bodies in the room with the other locked up girl, forcing her to be with it for more than month, before he and his brother dumped the body along a highway.

Finally, Tapia went to the police, which resulted in the childrens’ rescue.

Among the rescued children was a 3-month-old he’d fathered. That child was taken to the hospital with blunt head trauma as a result of being beaten by Iniestra.

Tapia’s remaining daughter is now 21, and the other children Iniestra fathered with the girls – now 2, 4, and 5 – have been put into protective custody.

Iniestra’s family members, including his mother and Tapia were arrested for helping him cover up the abuse.

Tapia was a school social worker when she met Iniestra. Police say she and her daughter are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, in which victims identify with their captor, as they defended Iniestra’s deplorable actions when questioned by police.

This horrific case is similar to that of Josef Fritzl who, in 2008, was arrested for holding his daughter Elisabeth captive for 25 years. He continuously raped and abused her during her imprisonment. She would have 7 seven of his children and one miscarriage before she was finally able to get out of the house and speak to police who had already become suspicious of Fristzl. Elisabeth was 42 years old, and their oldest child was 19.

Read more at Reuters →

Watch Selena Gómez Flirt With Kids, Share With Fans And Promote her Clothes Line (VIDEO)

Watch Selena Gómez Flirt With Kids, Share With Fans And Promote her Clothes Line (VIDEO)

Photo: Selena Gómez

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Take a look at the new promotional video for Selena Gomez’s “Dream Out Loud” collection, selling out fast at K-Mart!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Number of Immigrant Arrests Set to Hit 40-Year Low

Number of Immigrant Arrests Set to Hit 40-Year Low

Photo: Number of Immigrant Arrests Set to Hit 40-Year Low

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According to Border Patrol statistics, the rate of immigrant arrests is on it’s way to dropping to a 40-year low.

Only one month remains in Border Patrol’s 2011 fiscal year, and with just under 305,000 illegal border crosser arrests so far this year, it is on track to be the lowest number since 1972. To compare, in 1981, roughly 1.61 million arrests were made, and in 2000 1.64 million.

The United States is joined by a number of countries in Latin America with currently struggling economies, making the U.S. less appealing to enter than previous years. Also, Mexico saw a 60 percent drop in the number of people leaving the country.

The lower number could also be due to successful patrolling by agents at the border, resulting in fewer attempting to cross illegally.

However, some say the drop in arrests is due to Border Patrol not doing enough to secure the border and believe that more needs to be done, because the federal government isn’t allowing those monitoring the border to do a sufficient job.

Those like Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who has made headlines with her harsh stance on undocumented immigration, say that this news should not be seen as a positive statistic.

And while it is likely that the number of arrests will drop to a 40-year low, one must be aware that it is known to fluctuate greatly.

Read more at Arizona Daily Star →

Latino Immigrant Children More Likely to Go Hungry

Latino Immigrant Children More Likely to Go Hungry

Photo: Latino Immigrant Children Likely to go Hungry

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Nearly one in five children in the United States lives in a family that struggles to put food on the table, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Latino children of immigrants are even more likely to be at risk of hunger, according to by Bread for the World Institute.

More than 30 percent of Latino children live in households where they don’t get enough to eat, and a third of Latino families rely on food banks to help feed their families. Recent U.S. Census Bureau poverty figures show that more than one in four Latinos lived below the poverty line in 2009, and 56 percent of immigrant children live in low-income families.

“More than half of immigrant children in the United States live in impoverished households where food is scarce,” said Ivone Guillen, immigration policy fellow at Bread for the World Institute. “Sadly, many children do not participate in federal safety-net programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly food stamps) and free school meals because of current laws that restrict their use by both undocumented and legal immigrants.”

Latino immigrant children suffer higher rates of hunger because their parents don’t apply for federal government assistance because of their immigration status, or because of a lack of knowledge about these programs and language barriers. “Some immigrant parents believe they will be deported to their countries, but that is not true,” Guillen said. “They can apply for government assistance because their kids are U.S. citizens.”

Federally-funded safety-net programs that helped keep millions of Americans from going hungry in 2010 are currently on the chopping block as Congress resumes deficit-reduction talks this week. The next phase of the battle to balance the budget and reduce the deficit now falls on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction—or “Super Committee”—which must identify $1.5 trillion in federal deficit reductions.

SNAP is one program being considered. More than 45 million Americans—one in five—currently receive SNAP benefits. Some lawmakers have proposed deep cuts and changes to SNAP that will result in millions of Americans going hungry. SNAP participation has increased in recent years due to high rates of unemployment.

“We urge lawmakers to continue to form a circle of protection around programs that are vital to hungry and poor people,” added Guillen.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gisele Bundchen Launches a Campaign to Support Amazon Rainforest in her Native Brazil(VIDEO)

Gisele Bundchen Launches a Campaign to Support Amazon Rainforest in her Native Brazil(VIDEO)

Photo: Gisele Bundchen

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The Brazilian model, along with the United Nations for the Environment Program has launched a campaign to support the preservation of the Amazon Rainforest.

Take a look at Gisele’s exclusive new video on the vital role that forests play in our lives.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latinos Maybe Losing Up to $1 Million Because of Fraudulent Prepaid Calling Cards

Latinos Maybe Losing Up to $1 Million Because of Fraudulent Prepaid Calling Cards

Photo: Warning to Latinos about Prepaid Calling Cards

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Consider the following facts: Latinos may be losing up to $1 million per day because of fraudulent prepaid calling cards. The average calling card only delivers 60% of the minutes advertised. The cost-per-minute rates for prepaid phone cards can be up to 87% higher than expected.  In response the National Hispanic Media Coalition has issued a consumer alert.
 
In response to these incredible facts, the US government is starting to take a serious look at this industry. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it had found four prepaid calling card companies liable for $20 million in fines for “using deceptive marketing practices to sell prepaid calling cards, scamming consumers out of millions of dollars, mostly from low-income and minority communities.”

Through its investigation, the FCC found that many of the calling cards offered could only be used for a fraction of the minutes advertised, mostly due to excessive, hidden fees. Many of these companies targeted Spanish-speaking immigrants by promising low cost calling options to a number of countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
 
Earlier this year, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched a similar legal action against another pre-paid calling card company after it found that 98% of its calling cards failed to deliver the number of minutes advertised.
 

The following companies and products were found to be engaged in fraudulent practices (NOTE: In some cases these companies market hundreds of different products. The products listed are a sample of the types of products impacted):

Touch-Tel USA, LLC
Calling Cards: Puro Central America, Puro Mexico, Ahora, La Pelota
Lyca Tel, LLC
Calling Cards: Director, Latino Calendar, Africa Target, Africa Calendar
Locus Telecommunications
Calling Cards: UNI, CallPlus, Go, Hey, my Friend, Geo
Epana Networks, Inc, also known as STi Telecom
Calling Cards: Organizacion Mundial de Adictos Al Futbol (O.M.A.F), la Cruda, el Chavo, el Gorrion
Millennium Telecard, Inc. otherwise known as Millenium Tele Card, LLC, Coleccion Latina, Inc., or Telecard Center USA, Inc.

The FCC recommends that consumers consider the following before purchasing any prepaid calling card:
 
*  Make sure you understand the instructions on how to use the card
*  Make sure you understand the rates for your particular phone card
*  Read the fine print to understand any conditions or limitations on the card
*  Check whether the advertised minutes of the card apply only to a single call or over the course of multiple calls
*  Check the expiration date to avoid losing unused minutes
*  Look for a toll-free customer service number provided with or on the card
*  Ask your friends and family to recommend cards they have used and liked
 
Also, consider starting by buying a calling card of a lower denomination, $2 for example, to see if the calling card is reliable.
 
The FTC has also provided a list of common fees that can eat away at your minutes, such as:

*  “Post-Call,” “Disconnect” or “Hang-Up” fees: charges deducted each time you hang up the phone after using the card.
*  “Maintenance” fees: charges deducted shortly after you use the card and at regular intervals.
*  “Pay phone surcharges”: charges deducted if you use the card at a pay phone.
 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Shakira Introduces Her new Perfume “S Eau Florale,” Oh, La-la!

Shakira Introduces Her new Perfume “S Eau Florale,” Oh, La-la!

Photo: Shakira and her new fragrance.

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Softer and more feminine than her past two scents—“Amuleto” and “S by Shakira,” Shakira’s new fragrance aims to become a best seller.

The Colombian singer’s new perfume is a combination of jasmine, wild fruits, musk, and vanilla, with a more delicate scent than her previous two perfumes.

The singer drew an interesting parallel between music and how it is possible to express and convey certain emotions through smells, the same way that certain combination of chords rouse special feelings in people.

The new perfume maintains the shape of the “S” bottle, and also the price, between $17 and $35.

Only time will tell if Shakira’s new fragrance becomes a best seller and enters the list of the best selling Hispanic celebrity fragrances compiled below:

#5 Christina Aguilera
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#4 Eva Longoria
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#3 Gabriela Sabatini
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#2 Jennifer López
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#1 Antonio Banderas
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Read more by HS News Staff →

Undocumented Immigrants Receive $4.2 Billion in Tax Credits

Undocumented Immigrants Receive $4.2 Billion in Tax Credits

Photo: Undocumented Immigrants Receive $4.2 Billion in Tax Credits

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An audit of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has revealed that undocumented immigrants were able to collect $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits from 2010, due to possession of taxpayer identification numbers.

Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for federal benefits, but they were able to reduce the amount of money owed in taxes by way of a tax break called the additional child tax credit.

Though some just have the amount owed reduced, others actually receive a refund.

Many are angry that undocumented immigrants are able to make receive money from the federal government, though they do pay income taxes.

The audit revealed that 72 percent of those using the taxpayer identification numbers (TIN) claimed the child tax credit, and claims that the government look into checking the immigration status of those filing with TINs.

The IRS is now speaking with the U.S. Department of the Treasury to discuss ways of denying the federal tax credits to the undocumented.

However, the IRS says it has no legal authority to require filers to reveal their status.

Read more at Fox News →

BREAKING NEWS: Police Believe They’ve Identified the Virginia Butt Slasher

BREAKING NEWS: Police Believe They’ve Identified the Virginia Butt Slasher

Photo: Johnny D. Guillen Pimentel believed to be the Virgina butt slasher

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Police say they have identified the man that has become known as the Virginia butt slasher, after a number of young girls reported that they’re rear-ends were being cut while at shopping centers and malls.

Police are looking for Johnny D. Guillen Pimentel, 40, in connection with the assaults, and he is officially the suspect in at least one of the slashing incidents.

ImageGuillen Pimentel has been identified and a warrant out for his arrest, but he has not yet been apprehended.

Police say he may be driving a blue, 2003 Honda Civic with Virginia license plate of KLX2689.

An investigation into the incidents began with surveillance footage found at various stores in or around Fairfax County since last summer, many at Fair Oaks Mall. Between July 25, 2010 and February 2011, nine cases have been filed with Fairfax County police, though other women may have been attacked as well.

Before he had been identified, the butt slasher was said to be a heavier-set Hispanic male, roughly 5’6, and in his late 20s or early 30s.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Mexico Continues to Debate Immigrant Licenses

New Mexico Continues to Debate Immigrant Licenses

Photo: New Mexico Takes Up Issue of Drivers License for Undocumented

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New Mexico is one of just three states, along with Utah and Washington, that allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. But that could change soon as lawmakers returned to Santa Fe on September 6th,  for a special session on redistricting, one that will also address the politically charged question of whether undocumented residents should have the right to drive.

Supporters of New Mexico’s current law, approved in 2003, say that immigrants who are in the state illegally will probably drive anyway, and that allowing them to obtain licenses simply ensures they will do so more safely. Critics say the state has become a haven for illegal immigrants who are using its tolerant laws to acquire identification and evade detection and deportation by immigration authorities.

Republican Governor Susana Martinez, who took office in January, has made repealing the driver’s license law one of her top legislative priorities, but she could not deliver during the regular session when her preferred bill died in the state Senate after clearing the state House. Now, Martinez is turning up the pressure on state lawmakers and pushing them to pass the legislation — along with a number of other measures — during what could be a busy session, The Santa Fe New Mexican reports.

Dozens of pro-immigrant protesters are expected to turn up at the state capitol to register their complaints with the governor’s attempt to repeal the driver’s license law.

Read more at John Gramlich for Pew Center on the States →

Virtual Latin América World Cup Coming Soon for Gamers (VIDEO)

Virtual Latin América World Cup Coming Soon for Gamers (VIDEO)

Photo: PES 2012 Latin América Cup

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Sony Computer Entertainment and Fox Sports partnered up to host the first ever “Fox Sports Virtual Cup” in Latin América, an online tournament that will award a summer vacation and a special undisclosed prize to Latin América’s best player of the Pro Evolution Soccer 2012, coming to stores September 27th.

The tournament will take place online, via the Play Station Network beginning November 21st.

To participate, players have to log into Fox Sport Latino and register beginning October 17th. After an eliminatory round, the eight best players will be invited to Mexico City to compete for the title at the studio of Fox Sports Latin America’s show “Futbol para Todos”

The player that takes its Play Station team to the ultimate victory, will be awarded a trip to Punta del Este, Uruguay to participate in the show “Verano Fox Sport,” as well as an undisclosed special prize. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

¡Felicidades! Brazil on Your 189th Year of Independence

¡Felicidades! Brazil on Your 189th Year of Independence

Photo: Brazil Independence Day

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Today, all of Brazil is celebrating and rejoicing its 189-year-old independence from the Portuguese and is often called Sete de Setemebro. The Portuguese arrived in 1532 and stayed for close to 300 years, as it colonized the region and colonized native populations.  The fight for independence started in 1820, when Dom Pedro stood up against the Portuguese who wanted Brazil to remain a colony. 

On September 7, 1822, after receiving orders from the Portuguese parliament limiting his powers in Brazil, Pedro declared Brazil’s independence, near the Ipiranga River by declaring “By my blood, by my honor and by God: I will make Brazil free.” 

There will be numerous military parades throughout the country.  In the capital city of Brasilia, the festivities will be overseen by President Dilma Rousseff herself.  This is considered a national holiday and almost everyone is given the day off from work. 

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent their regards to Brazil and its people:

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to all Brazilians as you celebrate your national day this September 7.

As President Obama said during his recent visit, Brazil is a shining example of the power of democracy to expand opportunity. Our two countries share a rich history of democratic values and mutual cooperation. Today, we are working together to promote open and accountable governance, curb the effects of global warming, and expand social inclusion. And this cooperation extends beyond the work of our governments—our people and societies are united in ways large and small.

As you celebrate this special day, know that the United States is committed to strengthening this already close relationship. Congratulations and best wishes for a year of peace and prosperity.

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdaySeptember 7, 2011