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TuesdayOctober 25, 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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Catholic Church’s Critical Role in Bolivian Indigenous March

Catholic Church’s Critical Role in Bolivian Indigenous March

Photo: Catholic Church Helps Bolivian Indigenous Protesters

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After 65 days since the beginning of the indigenous march and confrontation with the government, Bolivian President Evo Morales has decided not only the definitive suspension of the construction of the second part of the road that had to go from Villa Tunari to San Ignacio de Moxos, but has also declared by law the inviolability of the Indigenous Territory National Park Isiboro Secure.

The Catholic Church, right from the beginning, had offered its mediation to establish dialogue between the parties in conflict. The President’s decision to prohibit all construction in the area of ITNPIS is a victory for the protesters. The request of intangibility of the area was the main demand made by indigenous leaders, and after the intervention of the police in Yucumo they were informed about President Morales’ decision to consult local residents before any work in that stretch of highway were carried out.

At the beginning of the march, the government qualified the indigenous event as illegitimate, and a few days later in Yucumo, the march was blocked by the locals and then repressed by the police.

The Catholic Church has always been present along with the demonstrators with lay and religious representatives and offered material assistance to the participants in the march. These in fact were without food and water and suitable clothing to withstand the harsh temperatures of the height of the area near La Paz.

Upon arrival in the Bolivian capital, the march became a complete citizen demonstration with nearly 500 000 people who joined the protesters in the last meters to the city’s cathedral. Mgr. Edmundo Luis Flavio Abastoflor Montero, Archbishop of La Paz welcomed the protesters and celebrated the Eucharist with them. In his homily, the Archbishop said that God is present among simple people and that we need to enforce the rights of everyone with regards to justice and respect for the common good.

Yesterday, October 24, the Commission for the Social Pastoral of Caritas of Bolivia issued a statement in which it expressed

“joy for the great witness of Christian and cultural value of the community’s solidarity of La Paz and the Bolivian society, with eloquent demonstrations of humanitarian assistance and commitment to the cause of indigenous peoples of the plains. We have witnessed attitudes of love, emotion, sincere hospitality and acts of service with the sharing of food and clothing to support the rights of indigenous peoples and the defense of ITNPIS. These are all gestures and signs of Christian evangelization”.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Global Criminals Laundered $1.6 Trillion in Illegal Cash, Drug Trafficking Most Lucrative Enterprise

Global Criminals Laundered $1.6 Trillion in Illegal Cash, Drug Trafficking Most Lucrative Enterprise

Photo: $1.6 Trillion Cash Laundered Globally

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Criminals may have laundered around $1.6 trillion in 2009, one fifth of that coming from the illicit drug trade, according to a new report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The $1.6 trillion represents 2.7 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009, says the agency.

The report, entitled “Estimating illicit financial flows resulting from drug trafficking and other transnational organized crime”, also says that the “interception rate” for anti-money-laundering efforts at the global level remains low.

The illicit drugs trade, which accounts for half of all transnational organized crime proceeds and one fifth of all crime proceeds, is the most profitable sector, UNODC notes.

The report focused on the market for cocaine, probably the most lucrative illicit drug for transnational criminal groups. Traffickers’ gross profits from the cocaine trade stood at around $84 billion in 2009.

While Andean coca farmers earned about $1 billion, the bulk of the income generated was in North America ($35 billion) and in West and Central Europe ($26 billion). Close to two thirds of that total may have been laundered in 2009.

The findings suggest that most cocaine-related profits are laundered in North America and in Europe. The main destination to process cocaine money from other subregions is probably the Caribbean.

Read more by HS News Staff →

House Republicans Want to Give Border Patrol Authority to Ignore Environmental Law

House Republicans Want to Give Border Patrol Authority to Ignore Environmental Law

Photo: House Republicans Want to Give Border Patrol Authority to Ignore Environmental Law

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House Republicans have infuriated environmentalists with a plan to give border security officials the ability to ignore dozens of environmental laws along both the north and south U.S. borders.

The GOP members of the House are looking to allow 36 environmental laws while on federal land along the Canada- and Mexico-U.S. borders. The plan would allow U.S. Border Patrol to put up fences, build roads and offices, put up additional equipment, and allow aircrafts and vehicles to move along land where they are currently not allowed to.

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Pasco) has said the Border Patrol “has become encumbered with layers of environmental regulations,” reported McClatchy.

If the proposed legislation, which has already passed the House Natural Resources Committee (of which Hastings is the chairman) passes, the Border Patrol would be allowed to ignore the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and 34 other federal laws put in place to protect both land and animal.

Read more at McClatchy →

JUST IN Aerosmith Concert Cancelled in Paraguay, Tyler In the Hospital

JUST IN Aerosmith Concert Cancelled in Paraguay, Tyler In the Hospital

Photo: Steven Tyler

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Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith reportedly fell in his hotel bathroom, and had to be rushed to an Asunción, Paraguay hospital.

Aerosmith was due to appear tonight at the Jockey Club in the city of Asunción, but reports indicate frontman Steven Tyler had a sort of fainting spell in his Bourbon hotel bathroom, and fell, cutting an eyebrow and his lips, as well as breaking two teeth.

62-year old Tyler was rushed to the La Costa local hospital and the concert has been postponed for tomorrow by doctor’s orders.

Read more by HS News Staff →

FIFA to Offer Cheap World Cup Tickets For Underprivileged Brazilians

FIFA to Offer Cheap World Cup Tickets For Underprivileged Brazilians

Photo: FIFA 2014 Brazil World Cup

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FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke said the association is working to provide unprivileged Brazilians with affordable passes to the 2014 World Cup games.

The organization also promised to honor federal Brazilian laws that award senior citizens with discounts of up to 50% on ticket prices; Valcke however, said in an interview with newspaper “Folha de Sao Paulo” that half-price tickets were not going to be available to other groups that traditionally get discounts, such as such as students, former players and blood donors.

Former Brazil soccer star turned congress man Romario, is calling on the government to stand up for students’ rights to half-price tickets, saying that FIFA can’t be allowed to interfere with Brazilian law.

FIFA officials however, believe it makes more sense to offer discounted tickets for humble Brazilians across the board, instead of offering preferential treatment to a demographic.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Customs Officials Find 29,000 Doses of Viagra in Luggage

Argentine Customs Officials Find 29,000 Doses of Viagra in Luggage

Photo: Argentine Customs Officials Find 29,000 Doses of Viagra

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$65,000 dollars worth of illegal Viagra coming from Paraguay was intercepted by Customs officials in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Argentine Customs personnel practicing a routine checkup in a Puerto Iguazú bus route from Ciudad Del Este, Paraguay, became suspicious of a bag precariously stuffed under a seat.

Upon checking the bag, the Customs officials found endless amounts of Viagra analogs “Taladafina” and Sildenafil,” tucked inside several pairs of socks.

The total pill count exceeded the 29,000, and its market cost is estimated to be north of $65,000.  No arrests have been reported.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Officials Saying their Informants Have Successfully Infiltrated Drug Cartels

According to officials in both the U.S. and Mexico, U.S. law enforcement agencies have been able to increase their number of informants in Mexico in order to gain additional knowledge of the drug cartels south of the border.

Officials have reportedly said information from said informants have led to the capture or death of around two dozen drug traffickers.

The New York Times has reported that over the last two years, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents developed several “highly-placed confidential sources” who have access to those in “command and control” of the Gulf and Los Zetas cartels.

Informants have been able to track a number of cartel members suspected of being involved in the February murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata, who is believed to have been killed by members of the Zetas cartel.

Though authorities point to the captures and deaths of cartel members as benefits of the information received from these informants, many question the ethics of using them, as most have turned informant in exchange for leniency or forgiveness of charges against them.

Selena Gómez and Justin Bieber, Becomes Parents to a Canadian Husky Puppy

Selena Gómez and Justin Bieber, Becomes Parents to a Canadian Husky Puppy

Photo: Selena Gómez, Baylor and Justin Bieber

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Take a look at “Baylor” the newest addition to the Bieber-Gómez family.

Selena had five doggies from previous canine adoptions, while Justin Bieber only one, Sam. 

While working in Winnipeg, Canada over the weekend, Selena reportedly became homesick for the five dogs she has at home, and convinced Bieber to visit the D’Arcy’s Animal Rescue Centre.

The couple spent lots of time with the dogs, and fell in love with a husky mutt puppy they decided to name “Baylor.”

Check out the love-pup of Selena and Justin, and join our forums section for the conversation.

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Princess Cruises to Return to Mexico in 2012

Princess Cruises to Return to Mexico in 2012

Photo: Princess Cruises to Return to Mexico in 2012

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Princess Cruises has announced that in 2012, they will once again offer cruises from California to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan.

Chief operating officer of the Mexico Tourism Board Rodolfo Lopez Negrete has said that while he is glad the cruise line is returning he does not believe they pulled out of Mexico for “safety and security” reasons.

“When Princess pulled out it was interpreted they were doing that because of a lack safety and security,” Negrete told USA Today. “We always believed that was a bit of an overreaction on their part. We attributed it more for business reasons, a softness in the market from the West Coast.”

Though Princess announced it would return, they stipulated that they would continue to evaluate the situation and make changes if they feel it is necessary.

The company has said it will resume sailing from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta in February 2012 and Mazatlan in November 2012.

Read more at USA TODAY →

Women Given 16 and 21 Years in Prison in Guatemalan-U.S. Adoption Case

Two women have been sentenced by a Guatemalan court to a number of years in prison for trafficking a stolen baby to a U.S. family that believed it was a lawful adoption.

The 16- and 21-year sentences were given to a lawyer and the legal representative of an adoption agency, who took the baby from the birth mother, Loyda Rodriguez, who has been working to get her daughter back.

Monday, lawyer Alma Beatriz Valle Flores was sentenced to 21 years in prison after being convicted of human trafficking, criminal association, and using false documents. The adoption agency’s legal representative, Enriqueta Noriega Cano, received 16 years for her part in the case.

The child that was stolen was two years when the mother says she was taken away from her. Now 7, the girl is now living in the U.S. the family that believed they had legally adopted her.

Born Anyeli Liseth Hernandez Rodriguez on Oct. 1, 2004, the young girl was with her mother in San Miguel Petapa, Guatemala when the mother said she turned away from her daughter to open the door to her home. When she turned back, she said she saw the girl being whisked away into a taxi.

In 2007, the Guatemalan government suspended adoptions after the number of adoption fraud cases became overwhelming.

Guatemala was once one of the top countries Americans adopted from internationally, with about 4,000 adoptions each year.

Along with their prison sentences, Flores and Cano have been ordered to pay Rodriguez 100,000 quetzales ($25,600) apiece.

Read more at Associated Press (Las Vegas Sun) →

Watch Demi Lovato Sing The Anthem at Last Night’s World Series Game 5 (VIDEO)

Watch Demi Lovato Sing The Anthem at Last Night’s World Series Game 5 (VIDEO)

Photo: Demi Lovato Singing the National Anthem

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Demi Lovato opened last night’s Rangers VS Cardinals 5th world series game with a flawless rendition of the Star Spangled Banner; her team, the Texas Rangers defeated the Cardinals 4-2.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hurricane Rina Grows To Cat. 2 As it Approaches Yucatán Peninsula

Hurricane Rina Grows To Cat. 2 As it Approaches Yucatán Peninsula

Photo: Hurricane Rina

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The US National Hurricane Center said they expect Rina to become a major hurricane by Tuesday night, meanwhile it is wreaking havoc in Central American waters.

In Nicaragua, 27 Nicaraguans onboard a Navy vessel that disappeared Sunday night while evacuating fishermen, were found by a shrimp boat earlier today.

In Mexico, a hurricane warning has been issued from Punta Gruesa to the tourist city of Cancun; tropical storm warnings extend further south with destructive wave threats and expected rainfall between 8 and 16 inches.  The torrential downpours worry authorities in the coastal areas of Mexico who see flooding as Rina’s most significant threat.

Rina is steadily escalating in intensity, packing sustained winds of 105mph, with wind gusts of up to 125mph. Forecasters say Rina is likely to strengthen as it nears the Mexican coast Wednesday night and then could rain on the Cozumel-Cancun area on Thursday.

Forecast tracks shows the storm’s path curving east toward Cuba by the weekend, but it could also shift towards south Florida.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tariffs on U.S. Goods Lifted as First Mexican Truck Allowed into U.S. Under New Trade Agreement

Tariffs on U.S. Goods Lifted as First Mexican Truck Allowed into U.S. Under New Trade Agreement

Photo: Tariffs on U.S. Goods Lifted as First Mexican Truck Allowed into U.S. Under New Trade Agreement

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In 2009, the United States refused to allow anymore Mexican trucks across the border to make deliveries deep into the U.S., but Presidents Obama and Calderon came to an agreement in April that would comply with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) obligations, and once again allow Mexican trucks into the U.S.

In response, Mexico implemented tariffs on American goods, which ranged from 5 to 25 percent on American products crossing the border.

Friday, Mexico suspended those tariffs on just hours before the first truck from Mexico was scheduled to cross into the U.S.

When the tariffs were implemented, it cost the U.S. 25,000 jobs due to the decrease in goods to Mexico.

The new agreement allows the U.S. to strictly monitor Mexican trucks, ensuring they stay on the approved routes.

Still, some lawmakers and teamsters say the new agreement is a bad idea, claiming the program will affect highway safety and put American jobs at risk.

Just before the first Freightliner truck, being driven by Josue Cruz, from Mexico crossed into the U.S., the owner of the Transportes Olympic trucking company, Fernando Paez, told those at a gathering of the send off, “We have to be extra orderly and very respectful. We will demonstrate that we can operate safely and efficiently.”

Among the many U.S. goods that had tariffs imposed on them were Christmas trees, onions, oranges, deodorant, and sunglasses. In total, about $2 billion worth of tariffs had been in place.

Read more at Associate Press →

Mexican Government Hands Out 6 Millionth Energy-Saving Light Bulb (VIDEO)

Mexican Government Hands Out 6 Millionth Energy-Saving Light Bulb  (VIDEO)

Photo: Successful Light Saving Programs in Mexico

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Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón handed out the sixth millionth energy saving light bulb as part of his administration’s Sustainable Light Program.

The purpose of this program, said the president, is to combat climate change by reducing energy consumption. He added that the severe drought in the north of the country, coupled with the recent abnormal floods in Tabasco, reflect the gravity of the phenomenon. He explained that the electricity derived from fossil fuels produces greenhouse gases.

In order to mitigate the effects of global warming, the Sustainable Electricity Program, the most ambitious of its kind worldwide, was launched in July. As a result of this program, nearly 23 million incandescent bulbs will be replaced by energy-saving bulbs by the end of 2011, benefiting six million households. To date, approximately one and a half million households have replaced their bulbs.

The president explained that the program will benefit families, by reducing their utility bills, since they will use 75% less energy, the country, since replacing these bulbs will save the Mexican federal government nearly 2.35 million pesos in electricity subsidies, and help the overall environment. In addition to reducing electricity generation, the program will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

President Calderón stated that the “Trade in Your Old One” program, as well as the green mortgages program, granted through INFONAVIT, complement efforts to reduce energy consumption. Nearly 26% of the energy consumed in Mexico is now obtained from renewable sources.

In order to receive up to four energy-saving bulbs, citizens must simply take four old light bulbs to a trade-in center, together with a utility bill, official identification or proof of residence.


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‘You’ve Never Been a Mexican Short Woman’ Says Salma Hayek to Letterman (VIDEO)

‘You’ve Never Been a Mexican Short Woman’ Says Salma Hayek to Letterman (VIDEO)

Photo: Salma Hayek At The "Late Show"

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Watch highlights of Salma Hayek’s hilarious appearance in the “Late Show” with David Letterman last night!

Salma Hayek stopped by Letterman’s Late Show to promote her new film “Puss in Boots.”

Watch the full interview below!

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Happy 130th Birthday, Pablo Picasso!

Happy 130th Birthday, Pablo Picasso!

Photo: Pablo Picasso

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One of the most prolific and influential artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso was born 130 years ago in Málaga, Spain.

Check out the master at work in the video below, and if you want to learn more about the genius of Pablo Picasso, take a look at his biography.

Pablo Picasso’s working process from Qefcho on Vimeo.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cultural Factors Increase Asthma’s Burden on Latinos Says Amer. Lung Association

Cultural Factors Increase Asthma’s Burden on Latinos Says Amer. Lung Association

Photo: Burden of Asthma on Latinos

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The American Lung Association released a new report today, Luchando por el Aire: The Burden of Asthma on Hispanics, which provides an overview of research on the complex biological, environmental, political and cultural factors that increase asthma’s burden on the Hispanic/Latino population in this country. This report is part of the Lung Association’s Disparities in Lung Health Series.

The Spanish title is the best translation of “fighting for air,” an experience that is all too common among Hispanics with asthma. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics with asthma are less likely to be in the care of a regular doctor or clinic; less likely to be prescribed appropriate medicines; less likely to have access to specialized care; and more likely to end up being treated in the emergency department or hospitalized in a crisis.

According to Norman H. Edelman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for the American Lung Association,

“Some Hispanics face social and economic disadvantages that leave them less able to implement the necessary steps to manage their asthma. Hispanics are the nation’s fastest growing ethnic group, and the urgency of addressing the burden of asthma grows with the population. The Lung Association remains committed to addressing these and other health disparities in this country.”

Unfortunately, more than 25 percent of Hispanics lack a regular source of medical care, and when they get sick they are more likely to end up being treated in the emergency department or hospitalized. Although Hispanics are only 16 percent of the U.S. population, they account for nearly one-third of people who do not have health insurance.

When it comes to managing their asthma, Hispanics also face other burdens that are due to the environment, poverty and stress. For example, Hispanics are 165 percent more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of particulate matter pollution, and 51 percent more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone compared to non-Hispanic whites. They are also more likely to work in low-paying agriculture, construction and service jobs that rarely provide health benefits and often expose workers to serious respiratory hazards.

Poverty and stress have been shown to affect the body’s immune response, increasing inflammation and worsening asthma. At 22 percent, more Hispanics in this country live below the poverty level compared to the U.S. average of 12.5 percent.

According to Fernando Pineda-Reyes, CEO of CREA Results, whose organization of Promotores de Salud/Community Health Workers seeks to raise awareness and education on health issues in the Latino community, “Asthma is a frightening disease for individuals in the Hispanic community, especially when language barriers are present. That’s why the Lung Association asthma management programs provide much-needed help to people in our community suffering from asthma.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Occupy Wall Street Doesn’t Draw Much Interest in Latin America

Occupy Wall Street Doesn’t Draw Much Interest in Latin America

Photo: Occupy Wall Street in Latin America

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It’s a paradox that the only foreign-language kiosk set-up in Zuccotti Park, the site that has been “occupied” by Occupy Wall Street is for Spanish-language information, when, throughout Latin America, the movement has met with little enthusiasm.

While Occupied Wall Street has resonated with people around the world, inspiring demonstrations from London to Taiwan, Seattle to Sydney and Rome to Tokyo, the movement has failed to ignite the imagination of Latin Americans.

At a time when thousands of people have gathered to protest from New York’s Times Square to the piazzas adjacent to Rome’s Coliseum, the number of protesters in major Latin American cities has been in the hundreds at best. In Mexico City, the largest city in Latin America, an estimated 250 people assembled at the Monument to the Mexican Revolution, and in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, fewer than 40 demonstrators showed up for a protest. The largest reported assembly has taken place in Buenos Aires in Argentina, but this was a bicycle festival that showcased the work of local artists, and it is estimated that only 800 people showed up for that street-like fair.

Why are Latin Americans indifferent to a spontaneous uprising of public discontent across the U.S., throughout Europe and around the world?

The reason lies in the nature of the global discontent, and the factors that have, until now, insulated Latin America.

These concerns, however, have found little resonance in Latin America. The challenge for the largest nations of the region – Brazil, Mexico and Argentina – is managing the growth they are experiencing. Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, is confronting the possibility of an overheated economy, meaning that Brazil may be growing too quickly, overvaluing the nation’s currency and risking inflation. Last summer, Ben Laidler, a strategist at JPMorgan, warned investors that Brazil ran the risk of “overheating” its economy.

Read more at New America Media →

Illegal Silicone Butt Injections from Mexico to be Discussed at Medical Conference

The 30-year-old woman arrived at the Henry Ford Hospital emergency room in Detroit out of breath and coughing blood.

It didn’t take long for doctors to figure out why: The woman admitted to having been at a party at a hotel five days prior at which she—and others—received injections of liquid silicone to “enhance” the buttocks and various body parts.

The silicone was not the medical silicone that is sometimes used for implants, but the type easily procured at hardware stores like Home Depot. The fat solvent used to make the silicone had quickly traveled to her lungs and gotten stuck in the airways, resulting in “silicone embolism syndrome,” or clots, in this case, in the smaller vessels in her lungs.

The syndrome, admittedly rare, was first seen in transsexual men wanting to augment their breasts in the 1970s.

“There are two types of side effects [that can result from silicone injections],” said Dr. Angel Coz, the pulmonary and critical care specialist who treated the woman. “Lungs is one of them. The other goes to the brain. The mortality in lungs is close to 20 percent but in the brain it’s close to 100 percent.”

This woman, who was attempting to augment her buttocks, was one of the lucky ones. She survived after receiving steroids, said Coz, who is slated to present information on the case Monday at the American College of Chest Physicians’ annual meeting in Honolulu.

Others have died.

“We’ve been hearing about this,” said Dr. Malcolm Z. Roth, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “There are ‘pumping parties,’ involving high-volume injections to fill up the face, lips, cheekbones, chin or breast. Often it’s buttock enhancement and often it’s not sterile.”

And these illicit procedures may be on the rise, thanks to a slow economy and pocketbooks that aren’t full enough to afford licensed plastic surgeons, said Roth, who is also chief of plastic surgery at the Albany Medical Center in New York.

“It’s really a white-coat deception,” Roth said. “Sometimes the person doing the injections claims to be a physician from another country and in some cases the patient knows very well it’s not a physician but, feeling they can’t afford to go to a legitimate board-certified plastic surgeon, they find a short cut.”

Two other, similar cases of patients developing complications after silicone injections are also being presented at the meeting this week.

One involved a 22-year-old woman who showed up at the UCLA Medical Center emergency room, also with shortness of breath. This quickly progressed to right ventricular failure of the heart and the patient died despite the physicians’ best efforts.

Most likely, the silicone and solvent had damaged the lungs, leading to collapse of the heart.

This patient had had injections in her buttocks from “a doctor in Mexico” earlier that day, a friend told doctors.

The researchers presenting the case said this is the first documented case of right ventricular failure from silicone injections.

The third case was a 23-year-old woman with the familiar symptoms, shortness of breath and cough, who had had several silicone injections in her buttocks.

She was diagnosed with silicone embolism syndrome but, after receiving oxygen and steroids and spending five days in the hospital, recovered and went home.

According to Roth, patients should “run away from these procedures.”

“You don’t do medical procedures in a hotel room or garage. This procedure is illegal,” he said. “Patients need to do their homework and check the credentials of the professional they’re considering for their cosmetic procedure.”

“This is something that is not done by doctors,” added Coz. “It’s completely out of the realm of what any physician would do.”

Read more at Health Finder →

ICE to Immigrants: “The Warrant is Coming Out of My Balls”

ICE to Immigrants: “The Warrant is Coming Out of My Balls”

Photo: ICE Warrentless Raids in Nashville

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On the night of October 20, 2010, Angel Enrique and Jesus Antonio were in bed in their small, two-bedroom apartment in the Clairmont complex in Nashville. The doors and windows were all shut and locked. Suddenly there was a loud banging at the door and voices shouting “Police!” and “Policia!” When no one answered, the agents tried to force the door open.

Scared, Jesus hid in a closet. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began hitting objects against the bedroom windows, trying to break in. Without a search warrant and without consent, the ICE agents eventually knocked in the front door and shattered a window, shouting racial slurs and storming into the bedrooms, holding guns to their heads. When asked if they had a warrant, one agent reportedly said, “We don’t need a warrant, we’re ICE,” and, gesturing to his genitals, “the warrant is coming out of my balls.”

The Fourth Amendment strictly prohibits warrantless intrusions into private homes and the Constitution’s protections apply to both citizens and non-citizens alike. In the absence of a judicially authorized warrant, there must be voluntary and knowing consent; ICE officers forcing themselves into someone’s home does not constitute consent.

The ACLU and ACLU of Tennessee late last week filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of fifteen residents of the apartment complex who were subjected to this large-scale, warrantless raid by ICE agents and Metro Nashville police officers.

Among the plaintiffs are U.S. citizens, including a child detained and interrogated while playing soccer on the playground simply because of the color of his skin according to the ACLU. Looking Latino and speaking Spanish is not enough to justify probable cause for questioning and arresting a person they say. Another plaintiff was carted away in handcuffs in front of his frightened and crying children.

Read more by HS News Staff →



TuesdayOctober 25, 2011