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WednesdayOctober 12, 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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Microfinancing Rising in Latin America and the Caribbean, Sparked by Economic Growth

Microfinancing Rising in Latin America and the Caribbean, Sparked by Economic Growth

Photo: Microfinancing Rising in Latin America and the Caribbean, Sparked by Economic Growth

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Lending by microfinance institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean grew at its fastest pace in four years as stronger economic growth fueled demand for credit among low-income families and microentrepreneurs in the region.

The loan portfolio of microfinance institutions in the region rose 23 percent last year to $15.2 billion from $12.3 billion, according to new data released by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the IDB Group.

“While we observe disparities among countries, the microfinance industry in our region continues to thrive and seems to go back to pre-crisis growth levels,’’ said Paola A. Pedroza, responsible for the survey.

There are currently nearly 700 microfinance institutions with available data operating in Latin America and the Caribbean. These institutions added 2 million new customers in 2010, serving a total of 12.5 million clients, according to the data released during the XIV Inter-American Forum on Microenterprise (Foromic 2011) in San José, Costa Rica.

Mexico has the biggest market for microfinance, with 3.1 million customers, followed by Peru with 2.2 million and Brazil with 1.9 million. In terms of loan portfolio, Peru tops the ranking with $4.9 billion in microloans, followed by Colombia, with a portfolio of $1.8 billion. Brazil is in third with a total of $1.6 billion in microloans.

The penetration of the microfinance industry in Latin America and the Caribbean remains unequal despite experiencing sustained growth. Estimated levels of penetration for countries such as Bolivia, Nicaragua, Peru and Mexico exceed 30 percent, while in countries such as Paraguay, Argentina, Panama and Brazil it represents less than 10 percent.

The average loan size in the region was $1,216 in 2010 and the annual average interest on microloans was 30.7 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Man Rides the New York Subway…Outside the Car (VIDEO)

Man Rides the New York Subway…Outside the Car (VIDEO)

Photo: Man Rides the New York Subway...Outside the Car (VIDEO)

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We have no idea what he was thinking, but this subway “passenger” rode New York’s J train. However, he was not inside the train, but instead held on to the outside of the car’s door. He seemed to be enjoying himself, and appeared to be listening to some music, evident by the headphones in his ears.

All we have to say is, someone call the Darwin Awards, this man may be a finalist.

Though the video is just now going viral, it may be from the early September, as one of the bystanders is heard saying he’s returning from Soho’s Fashion Night Out, which was held on the 8th.

Tuesday, MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said, “The act shown in this video is both stupid and dangerous. We have referred it to the Transit Bureau of the NYPD for investigation.”

Read more at Viral Videos Planet →

Teachers in Bolivia get Government Sponsored EvoLaptops

Teachers in Bolivia get Government Sponsored EvoLaptops

Photo: EvoLaptops in Bolivia

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The government of President Evo Morales is handing out more than $50 million in laptops to teachers, with each laptop having Evo’s face stenciled on it.

Bolivia’s government is giving school teachers free laptops that feature a stenciled detail of the president’s smiley face.

Teachers union leader Jose Luis Alvarez in La Paz criticized the extra ornament, saying that it just promotes idolatry. He says teachers will cover the stencil.

Education Ministry Roberto Aguilar clarified that government officials originally planned to put on an image of Bolivia’s nine-colored indigenous flag, but manufacturer Lenovo recommended something simpler, in no more than two colors.

The government is handing out 130,000 laptops with Evo’s face; the machines have processors from Intel Corp., operating systems by Linux and Microsoft Corp. and 320-gigabyte hard drives.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Perú Declares Mick Jagger “Environmental Ambassador”

Perú Declares Mick Jagger “Environmental Ambassador”

Photo: Mick Jagger, Ollanta Humala and Nadine Heredia

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Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger has been declared Ambassador of Tourism and Environment Defender in Madre De Dios, Perú.

68-year old Mick Jagger, his wife and son, have been staying in a Peruvian hotel near the Amazon since last weekend, when the rocker met with President Ollanta Humala, and First Lady Nadine Heredia.

Jagger will be traveling to Cusco tomorrow to visit Machu Picchu with his family.

Juan Carlos Arzola, regional tourism director of Madre de Dios said the Rolling Stone accepted with humility the Ambassador of Tourism and Environment Defender distinction, as well as several presents from natives, such as a sacred cloak, bows and arrows, and feathered necklaces.

The area has a deep significance for Jagger, who filmed a few scenes of Werner Herzog’s “Fitzcarraldo” in the nearby Amazon town of Iquitos, some three decades ago.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Texas Convicts Born Outside U.S. Asking to be Deported

Texas Convicts Born Outside U.S. Asking to be Deported

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In Texas, foreign-born convicts are clamoring to leave U.S., as they are being the option to serve their time in the U.S. or agree to return to their place of birth.

As of September 1st, immigrant convicts have been allowed to apply to be sent back from whence they came.

State Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Richardson, said, “It’s amazing how quickly some people can change their mind about being in this country when they might be able to use it to get out of prison, isn’t it? The rush of applications appears to be on. I never expected it.”

Rep. Madden wrote the new Texas law.

Officials have said about 11,500 of 154,000 convicts currently in Texas’ 111 prisons are foreign-born, and having them leave out of the prisons would have the state more than $200 million.

However, many legislators, prosecutors, and other people of the law are worried that those approved for deportation could return and commit additional crimes in the U.S.

“We know that when you punish someone appropriately, they are less likely to commit a crime,” Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley told KVUE-TV. “When you punish someone leniently, they get the wrong message, they come back, and they repeat their crime.”

Read more at The Statesman →

HORRIFIC: Pregnant Woman and Unborn Child Killed by Woman Attempting “Fetal Abduction”

HORRIFIC: Pregnant Woman and Unborn Child Killed by Woman Attempting “Fetal Abduction”

Photo: Annette Morales-Martinez is accused of killing a woman her unborn child

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A Wisconsin woman is dead after another attempted to steal the unborn child in her womb.  

Maritza Ramirez-Cruz, 23, was set to give birth on October 16, but she never made it to that day.

Thursday, Ramirez-Cruz was killed by Annette Morales-Rodriguez, who was desperate to continue her string of lies.

Morales-Martinez had been lying to family and friends for months about being pregnant, and when the time came that she should be ready to give birth to the made up child, she allegedly did the unthinkable.

Police officers believe she somehow managed to coerce Ramirez-Cruz into her car, and proceeded to take the pregnant woman to her home, where she allegedly beat Ramirez-Cruz with a baseball bat, and removed the fetus from its mother’s womb.

Morales-Martinez, 33, reportedly called 911 Thursday saying she had just given birth, but her baby was not breathing.

Officials say the baby was already dead when they arrived. Morales-Martinez, the mother of three, was taken to the hospital, but after an autopsy on the child was performed, authorities believed something was amiss.

Officers went back to Morales-Martinez’s home to investigate and discovered Ramirez-Cruz’s body in the basement.

As Ramirez-Cruz’s family is still reeling from loss of not one but two lives, they still wonder why the Puerto Rican immigrant agreed to get into Morales-Martinez’s car.

“If she doesn’t know you she won’t get in your car,” brother in-law Josue Garcia told The Associated Press. “How did (the suspect) get her into the car? That’s what we want to know.”

Morales-Rodriguez is being held on $1 million bail in Milwaukee County Jail.

Ramirez-Cruz and her husband, Christian Mercado, 28, were raising three children together, ages 2 to 10.

Police call this a “fetal abduction”, and Morales-Martinez is being charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

The baby was a boy and would have been named Yadier Omar.

Read more at Journal Sentinel →

Colombian Halloween Thief “Caramelo” Caught (VIDEO)

Colombian Halloween Thief “Caramelo” Caught (VIDEO)

Photo: Colombian Halloween Thief

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A Colombian thief labeled “Caramelo” who only operated in the month of October, stealing the Halloween candy stock of South Bogotá corner stores has finally been caught.

The 22 year old, “Caramelo” had become the terror of Halloween, and not because of his scary costumes, but because his delinquent sweet tooth.

“Caramelo” got caught as he tried to break through the fence of the corner drugstore he had just robbed. Neighbors heard glass shattering and called the police, who got to the scene before the candy burglar could escape.

“Caramelo” was arrested and admitted to have hit many stores during the Halloween season. At the time of his arrest he had about $70 dollars worth of candy on him.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Looking to become the Netflix of Spain, Wuaki.tv Makes Deals with U.S.‘s Warner, Paramount, Disney

Looking to become the Netflix of Spain, Wuaki.tv Makes Deals with U.S.‘s Warner, Paramount, Disney

Photo: Looking to become the Netflix of Spain, Wuaki.tv Makes Deals with U.S.'s Warner, Paramount, Disney

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Wuaki.tv of Spain has sealed deals with major U.S. studios in its attempt to become the Netflix of Spain.

Variety is reporting that the company has gotten permission from Disney, Sony, Paramount, and Warner Bros. to offer their content to Wuaki’s 60,000 registered users.

These deals join the list which also includes indie distributors Aurum, Vertice, and Flimax, and cartoon distributor BRB Intl. It is said Wuaki is also working on deals with Fox and NBC.

Wuaki co-founder and CEO Jacinto Roca told Variety, “Our business model with the studios is pure revenue share.”

He added that deals with TV manufacturers LG, Panasonic, Philips, and Samsung are in the works, as Wuaki is trying to have televisions created to give users integrated access to its Wuaki.tv.

“Users will be seduced by the convenience of controlling everything from the remote,” Roca said.

Much like the U.S., Spain has a number of internet users who simply download programs and movies illegally, so turning them into paying customers could prove difficult for the quickly-growing company.

Though it is just getting on of the beta phase, the company says it plans to expand to Brazil next year. Earlier this year, Netflix announced it would be heading to Latin America. When the news hit, the company’s stock surged.

“Although the online market is still small in comparison to TV, it is growing,” Patrick Stuart, senior manager of Disney Media Distribution for Spain and Portugal told Variety. “Wuaki is a great opportunity to give consumers in Spain wider access to our programming, and the ability to enjoy it in even more flexible ways.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Iranian Terror Plot Hatched in Mexico

Iranian Terror Plot Hatched in Mexico

Photo: Iranian Manssor Arbabsiar captured, and terror plot hatched in Mexico prevented

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A criminal complaint filed today in the Southern District of New York charges Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen holding both Iranian and U.S. passports, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based member of Iran’s Qods Force, which is a special operations unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that is said to sponsor and promote terrorist activities abroad.

Both defendants are charged with conspiracy to murder a foreign official; conspiracy to engage in foreign travel and use of interstate and foreign commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire; conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives); and conspiracy to commit an act of international terrorism transcending national boundaries. Arbabsiar is further charged with an additional count of foreign travel and use of interstate and foreign commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.

The criminal complaint alleges that, from the spring of 2011 to October 2011, Arbabsiar and his Iran-based co-conspirators, including Shakuri of the Qods Force, have been plotting the murder of the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. In furtherance of this conspiracy, Arbabsiar allegedly met on a number of occasions in Mexico with a DEA confidential source (CS-1) who has posed as an associate of a violent international drug trafficking cartel. According to the complaint, Arbabsiar arranged to hire CS-1 and CS-1’s purported accomplices to murder the Ambassador, and Shakuri and other Iran-based co-conspirators were aware of and approved the plan. With Shakuri’s approval, Arbabsiar has allegedly caused approximately $100,000 to be wired into a bank account in the United States as a down payment to CS-1 for the anticipated killing of the Ambassador, which was to take place in the United States.

ImageThe complaint alleges that Arbabsiar met with CS-1 in Mexico on May 24, 2011, where Arbabsiar inquired as to CS-1’s knowledge with respect to explosives and explained that he was interested in, among other things, attacking an embassy of Saudi Arabia. In response, CS-1 allegedly indicated that he was knowledgeable with respect to C-4 explosives. In June and July 2011, the complaint alleges, Arbabsiar returned to Mexico and held additional meetings with CS-1, where Arbabsiar explained that his associates in Iran had discussed a number of violent missions for CS-1 and his associates to perform, including the murder of the Ambassador.

In a July 14, 2011, meeting in Mexico, CS-1 allegedly told Arbabsiar that he would need to use four men to carry out the Ambassador’s murder and that his price for carrying out the murder was $1.5 million. Arbabsiar allegedly agreed and stated that the murder of the Ambassador should be handled first, before the execution of other attacks. Arbabsiar also allegedly indicated he and his associates had $100,000 in Iran to pay CS-1 as a first payment toward the assassination and discussed the manner in which that payment would be made.

Read more by HS News Staff →

CHECK OUT “Personalities” The Debut Album of Fabián Almazan (VIDEO)

CHECK OUT “Personalities” The Debut Album of Fabián Almazan (VIDEO)

Photo: “Personalities” The Debut Album of Fabián Almazan

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Cuban Jazz pianist Fabián Almazan makes his debut with “Personalities” a solid Latin Jazz album, available now on iTunes.  Get a limited free download today!

Cuban pianist and composer Fabian Almazan found his musical roots as a child in Havana, where he grew up and trained in a classical piano tradition.

Almazan has shared the stage with such artists as Gretchen Parlato, Paquito D’Rivera, Christian Scott, Chris Dingman, David Sanchez, Stefon Harris, Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride, Kendrick Scott and Ambrose Akinmusire among others.

Listen to him play in the video below, and if you like it get “Personalities” in iTunes, and for limited time, get a free download.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hurricane Jova Hits Mexico’s Pacific Coast (VIDEO)

Hurricane Jova Hits Mexico’s Pacific Coast (VIDEO)

Photo: Hurricane Jova Hits Mexico

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Though it is weakened to a category 1 hurricane, Jova is expected to cause some more damage as it goes north of Jalisco Mexico today.

Hurricane Jova left behind floods, mudslides and downed trees and power lines on its path through Manzanillo, on the South-West of Jalisco, with winds up to 100mph.

The hurricane hits Jalisco two days before the inauguration of the Panamerican games in Guadalajara; weather forecasts indicates that by 13:00GMT, the hurricane will be downgraded to a tropical storm, and will be located 15 miles North-East of Puerto Vallarta, with sustained winds of 65-75mph.  The Panamerican games heavy rains are expected for the games opening on Friday.

Take a look at this Interactive Map for the latest information.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

On Spain’s National Day U.S. Sends Its Congratulations

On Spain’s National Day U.S. Sends Its Congratulations

Photo: U.S. Sends Congratulates Spain on its National Day

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Take a look at the congratulatory note that the Secretary of State sent to Spain on the occasion of their Fiesta Nacional.

“On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to congratulate the people of Spain as you celebrate La Fiesta Nacional de Espana this October 12.

Spanish support for democracy in the United States stretches back to before the birth of our country. As American revolutionaries fought for freedom in our Revolutionary War, Spain provided arms, supplies, and funds to help fulfill our nation’s democratic aspirations. Today, our two countries are working tirelessly on behalf of global peace and security around the world.

As you celebrate La Fiesta Nacional de Espana, know that the United States is a committed partner and friend. I look forward to strengthening this relationship even more as we work toward a brighter future for all our people.”

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayOctober 12, 2011