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SaturdayOctober 29, 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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Nicargua to Get International Aid for Flood Relief

Nicargua to Get International Aid for Flood Relief

Photo: Flooding in Nicaragua

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The United Nations and Nicaragua launched a flash appeal today for $14.3 million to provide shelter, food, water and sanitation, and agricultural livelihoods to those affected by the floods that have ravaged large parts of the country for the past three weeks.

During a briefing in Geneva, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the appeal will provide aid for 134,000 people over the next six months, and will respond to immediate as well as medium-term necessities to enhance the population’s early recovery.

The appeal will target seven areas that have been identified as the most affected and with the least capacity to respond: Chinandega, León, Managua, Estelí, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, and Madriz.

In addition, the appeal will target 63,000 people that have been assessed as particularly vulnerable.

Flooding has damaged the homes of more than 12,000 families and destroyed more than 200 water sources. At the moment, 10,146 people are located in emergency shelters.

OCHA expressed concern about roads that have been blocked by debris or flooding, which means emergency workers will face further hurdles to reach remote communities and restore basic services.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UN Launches Appeal to Help Victims of Nicaraguan Floods

UN Launches Appeal to Help Victims of Nicaraguan Floods

Photo: Torrential rains have affected Central America and Mexico

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The United Nations and Nicaragua launched a flash appeal today for $14.3 million to provide shelter, food, water and sanitation, and agricultural livelihoods to those affected by the floods that have ravaged large parts of the country for the past three weeks.

During a briefing in Geneva, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the appeal will provide aid for 134,000 people over the next six months, and will respond to immediate as well as medium-term necessities to enhance the population’s early recovery.

The appeal will target seven areas that have been identified as the most affected and with the least capacity to respond: Chinandega, León, Managua, Estelí, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, and Madriz.

In addition, the appeal will target 63,000 people that have been assessed as particularly vulnerable.

Flooding has damaged the homes of more than 12,000 families and destroyed more than 200 water sources. At the moment, 10,146 people are located in emergency shelters.

OCHA expressed concern about roads that have been blocked by debris or flooding, which means emergency workers will face further hurdles to reach remote communities and restore basic services.

Other Central American countries that have been severely affected by the floods include El Salvador, Honduras and Belize, where various UN agencies are working to provide assistance.

Read more at UN News →

Restrictionist Lawyer Admits Long-Term Assault on Immigrant Children

Restrictionist Lawyer Admits Long-Term Assault on Immigrant Children

Photo: Immigrant Children

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Today, the head of the legal arm of one of the most notorious restrictionist groups in the nation boldly admitted his work on Alabama’s new anti-immigrant law aims to end public education for the children of immigrants. Michael Hethmon of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), an offshoot of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), made no bones about being the author of the education provision in HB 56—which on its face requires public schools to determine the immigration status of enrolling students and their parents, but in reality chips away at children’s ability to get an education.

In fact, FAIR’s long-term vision to erode any and all rights afforded to the children of immigrants becomes increasingly clear with each new FAIR initiative—from attempts to repeal access to birth certificates at the state level through their state legislative arm (State Legislators for Legal Immigration) to IRLI’s litigation strategies in the courts that attempt to turn U.S. policy against immigrant children.

In defense of the education provision, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange assured a judge that the provision would require nothing more than data collection and that “no child will be denied an education based on unlawful status.” However in the same New York Times article, Hethmon of IRLI admitted that HB 56’s education provision is just a first step:

The man who wrote the schools provision … that it is not meant as a deterrent — at least not yet. It is, however, a first step in a larger and long-considered strategy to topple a 29-year-old Supreme Court ruling that all children in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, are guaranteed a public education.

Hethmon then goes on to explain why this data collection provision is an important part of bigger plans and why they were careful no to go too far in HB 56:

Mr. Hethmon said the problem with these challenges is that they have not taken the trouble to gather the evidence the court found missing in Plyler.

“The toughest question has been obtaining reliable — and I mean reliable for peer-reviewed research purposes — censuses of the number of illegal alien students enrolled in school districts,” he said. “That information could be compared with other sorts of performance or resource allocation issues.

That information is then passed on to the State Board of Education not only to prepare an annual report with the data but also to “contract with reputable scholars and research institutions” to determine the costs, fiscal and otherwise, of educating illegal immigrants.

Because no one is actually barred from attending school and the data is not passed on to law enforcement, the provision passes constitutional muster, Mr. Hethmon said.

But it also potentially enables a fresh challenge to Plyler v. Doe, and the idea that schools are obligated to provide a free education to illegal immigrants.”

There is no doubt the “reputable scholars and research institutions” Hethmon refers to include FAIR’s research arm and sister group, the Center for Immigration Studies. If the Alabama Department of Education continues to collect data on the immigration status of immigrant children and makes it public, it won’t be long before FAIR and CIS produce data on the “fiscal costs of educating the children of immigrants in Alabama.”

While the New York Times article also quotes well-respected legal scholars who feel the chances of a repeal of Plyer V. Doe are highly unlikely, the damage that would be done by allowing these anti-immigrant groups access to private student data is undoubted. FAIR will exploit this information in order to wage a public relations campaign against the children of immigrants.

FAIR and company, also known as the Tanton Network, are continuing to build an elaborate infrastructure and execute a long term plan that systematically chips away at the rights of immigrant children.  It’s time Americans, beginning with Alabamians, put their collective foot down against this.

Read more at Immigration Impact →

Brazilian ex-President Lula Diagnosed with Throat Cancer

Brazilian ex-President Lula Diagnosed with Throat Cancer

Photo: President Lula

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The 66-year-old has a tumor in his larynx, a statement from the Sirio-Libanes Hospital in Sao Paulo said.

“After multiple investigations, initial chemotherapy will start in the next few days. The patient is well,” the statement read.

Lula was elected Brazils president from 2002-2010 at which point he was constitutionally ineligible to run for a third term. Lula had given up smoking in March 2010 after fifty years.

Read more at BBC →

Peru Fires Top Indigenous Rights Official After She Blocks Gas Project

Peru Fires Top Indigenous Rights Official After She Blocks Gas Project

Photo: Peru has sacked Raquel Yrigoyen Fajardo from the country's indigenous affairs organization, INDEPA

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Peru has fired its top indigenous affairs official after she reversed an ‘illegal’ decision to allow Argentine gas giant Pluspetrol to enter land inhabited by uncontacted tribes.

Raquel Yrigoyen Fajardo has been replaced as head of Peru’s government indigenous affairs unit INDEPA by a former lawyer who specializes in ‘business ethics.’

Previous management at INDEPA had approved expansion plans for Pluspetrol’s project, known as Camisea, and sent them directly to Peru’s Ministry of Energy.
Image
Matsigenka women living in the Kugapakori-Nahua reserve, close to Camisea

Ms Yrigoyen Fajardo posted details on Facebook about her ‘abrupt departure’ from INDEPA. She said there was ‘no empirical basis’ why proper consultation had not been sought, stressing, ‘the worst thing is that this approval did not take into account the UN standards for the protection of indigenous peoples in isolation.’

Shortly after Yrigoyen was sacked, documents she submitted to INDEPA about the project’s cancellation were removed from the organization’s website.

Yrigoyen said her team left ‘with our heads held high’, and would redouble their efforts to uphold the rights of indigenous peoples.

Arturo Zambrano Gustavo Chavez will now lead INDEPA. His background is in law and business ethics. Yrigoyen urged her successors to adhere to international laws that protect tribal peoples’ rights, especially ILO 169.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘This speaks volumes about the government’s dismaying attitude to tribal peoples. It looks like it could be just another ploy to muffle the tribal voice. Yrigoyen looked set to be the most pro-Indian INDEPA head for many years. We must hope her successor will be as supportive of Indian rights.’

Around 15 tribes resist contact in the Peruvian Amazon, and several are inside the Kugapakori-Nahua Reserve where the Camisea project is based.

It had been hoped that President Ollanta Humala’s recent approval of an historic law recognizing tribal peoples’ right to be consulted about projects that affect them would mark a shift in the government’s attitude to its indigenous peoples, especially those living in isolation.

Read more at Survival International →

Selena Quintanilla Wins Billboard Award 16 Years After Her Death (VIDEO)

Selena Quintanilla Wins Billboard Award 16 Years After Her Death (VIDEO)

Photo: Selena Quintanilla-Pérez

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The late Mexican-American singer Selena won the “Digital Download Artist of the Year” award at the Billboard Mexican Music Awards that aired on Telemundo on Thursday night. The singer-songwriter’s life ended right as she became one of the first Spanish-language singers to successfully crossover to the English-market.

“It means a lot that even all these years after her death, she is still so loved,” Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, told AARP.

It’s been sixteen years since the singer was murdered, but this isn’t the first award she’s won since her death. Billboard Magazine called Selena the best Latin Artist of the decade in December 1999.

The Billboard Mexican Music Awards are determined by chart performance as chronicled in Billboard Magazine and on Billboard.com in a 12-month span—August 28, 2010-August 20, 2011.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp featuring Selena.  An album of 10 of her previously unreleased songs will be issued next year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UFC President Welcomes Gay Fighters

UFC President Welcomes Gay Fighters

Photo: Ultimate Fighting Competition

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According to USA Today, Dana Priest, president of the Ultimate Fighting Competition, faced accusations from the Las Vegas chapter of the Culinary Union and other groups of being an anti-gay organization. In a letter to Anheuser-Busch and a petition to Fox, the union and others quoted statements by White and multiple fighters, saying fighters the organization has “a history of tolerating homophobic conduct.”

After using a pejorative word associated with anti-gay sentiments, White announced that he wanted closeted homosexual fighters to come out. He responded back by saying that he welcomed the gay community.

“I’ll tell you right now, if there was a gay fighter in UFC, I wish he would come out,” he said. “I could care less if there’s a gay fighter in the UFC. There probably is and there’s probably more than one.”

He has expressed his regret about the language he used through a video apology.

“If you guys look at all the stuff that I’ve said over the last 10 years - some of it stupid, some of it whatever - that’s the one that bothers me,” White said Thursday. “That’s the only one that bothers me - the fact that these losers from the Culinary Union can go out and say that I’m a homophobe and things like that - because it’s the furthest thing from the truth.”

White said that the organization should not be held accountable for his wrongs.

“You’re dealing with human beings,” he said. “Everybody makes mistakes and everybody does things that are wrong sometime. ... We do the best we can do.”

According to the The Huffington Post, Local 226, which set up a website detailing the organization’s infractions, is circulating a petition to convince FOX to drop UFC and to get Anheuser-Busch’s to reconsider sponsoring them.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

NPRC AND NHFA Denounce the Oscars for Hispanic Discrimination in Foreign Film Category

The National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC) and the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) today denounce the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science (AMPAS) for discriminating against the Puerto Rico film industry by expelling them from entry into the Foreign Language Film category.

In a letter from AMPAS Executive Director Bruce Davis to the Puerto Rico Film Commission, he indicated that Puerto Rican film professionals are considered “home grown” and that by continuing to allow Puerto Rico entry into the category “other filmmakers around the world, as well as audiences, might be inclined to think that favoritism had played a greater role than artistry in the selection.”


“The OSCARS are the standard in motion picture respect and recognition. This misguided decision by AMPAS to expel the Puerto Rico film industry from the Foreign Language Film category after years of inclusion seems to be an attempt to solve a public relations issue unrelated to Puerto Rico,” stated Rafael A. Fantauzzi, President & CEO of the National Puerto Rican Coalition. “We believe this is a typical example of an institution suffering from lack of diversity in its staff and their Board of Governors. We encourage the Academy to enforce its own regulation and not engage in misdirected strategies that can negatively impact foreign language film businesses unable to compete with the big studios.” said Fantauzzi.

“Unless the OSCARS have been granted authority by the U.S. government, to unilaterally proclaim Puerto Rico, the 51st U.S. state, the Academy should review their U.S. history and recognize Puerto Rico’s sovereignty and therefore its right, under established Academy rules, to submit films under the Foreign Language Film category” said Felix Sanchez, Chairman and Co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, “otherwise this is clearly an action adopted by the Academy specifically to inflict economic damage, equivalent to a trade embargo, against the Puerto Rican film industry,” concluded Sanchez.

NPRC and NHFA encourage inclusion and diversity in the film industry.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pele on World Cup- Brazil is Not Ready

“Brazil is not ready,” Pele said. “Not yet, it is not ready. The biggest problem, I think, is the organization, that is a big problem, so too is the communications”.

Pele spoke to ESPN Soccernet on Wednesday, the same day that Brazil’s sports minister Orlando Silva resigned amid corruption allegations. He is the sixth minister forced out of Rousseff’s government. Four of the others had also faced corruption allegations.

A government report recently published criticizes the lack of preparation in transportation, and stadium requirements.

Earlier this month former Brazil striker Romario, now a congressman, told Agencia Brasil, the government’s news agency: “Maybe because of politics, work which was supposed to be halfway done hasn’t even started.”


FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, has voiced his concerns on Brazils ability to be ready. ”The Maracana is definitely not currently a World Cup stadium and that’s why it’s closed. It will be ready at the last minute, a few months maybe, even a few weeks before the tournament if they don’t speed up the process.


Valcke believes one obstacle is that Brazil is too preoccupied with winning the competition, saying: “In South Africa the main goal was to show the world that Africa could organize a World Cup. In Brazil, in a way the main issue is to win it. Otherwise they will talk about failure.”

Read more at The MercoPress →

Three Quarters of Americans Give President Obama Negative Ratings on His Handling of the Economy

Three Quarters of Americans Give President Obama Negative Ratings on His Handling of the Economy

Photo: Obama Poll Numbers

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Despite some recent successes abroad, President Obama continues to struggle with how Americans perceive the job he is doing at home, particularly on the economy.  This month over three quarters of U.S. adults give President Obama negative ratings on his handling of the economy (77%) while just under one quarter give him positive ratings (23%).  While these numbers are fairly dismal, they do show a slight improvement from September when 79% gave the President negative marks.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,463 adults surveyed online between October 10 and 17, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Criticism on President Obama’s handling of the economy is not confined to the opinions of Republicans (95% give negative ratings) and Conservatives (93% give negative ratings).  Rather, members of all political parties and philosophies currently give the President negative marks, including over half of Democrats (56%), Liberals (57%), three quarters of Moderates (76%) and over eight in ten Independents (83%).  Further, Americans do not seem hopeful that this situation will reverse any time soon—almost three quarters say they are not confident that the White House and Administration will produce policies to help fix the economic crisis (73%).  Additionally, only one in five expects the economy will improve in the coming year (20%); 46% say it will stay the same and a third think it will get worse (34%).

Although negative feelings abound regarding the economy, some regions of the country seem to be in worse shape than others.  While almost two thirds rate the economic condition in their region of the country as bad (64%), virtually unchanged from the 65% who said so last month, there are some variances by area.  Almost three quarters of Westerners call the economic condition of their region of the nation bad (73%) while fewer say the same in the Midwest (64%), South (61%) and East (59%).

The Buffett Tax    
                         
Recently some Americans have been protesting as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, communicating displeasure with the extreme wealth disparity in the country, among other economic and political woes.  One piece of legislature, recently proposed by the Senate, could combat some of those issues.  Two thirds of Americans say they support the Buffett Tax, as it’s sometimes called, which would impose a surtax on those earning more than $1 million per year (66%).  This potential legislation, which 45% of Americans say they strongly support is supported (either strongly or somewhat) by 85% of Democrats, 64% of Moderates and 48% of Republicans.  Interestingly those with a higher household income support the legislation more with 70% of those earning $100K per year or more supporting it, compared to lesser majorities in lower income brackets.

So What?   
                         
Americans are unhappy about the economy and they seem to be demanding change.  And, unfortunately for the current Administration the people seem to have little confidence in its ability to bring that change.  The longer this unhappiness continues, the greater the “uprising” will be, mostly likely at the ballot box next November.  It will be interesting to see how the Obama camp and the Republican nominees cater to these financial concerns as they campaign for the 2012 presidential election.

To Read More, Click Here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Day of the Dead, When the Spirits of the Departed Return to Earth

Day of the Dead, When the Spirits of the Departed Return to Earth

Photo: Day of the Dead

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On Thursday (November 1), many Christians mark All Saints Day, and on Friday (November 2), All Souls Day honors the saints and faithful who have died. During this time, many Latinos also observe what they call the Day of the Dead, when it’s believed the spirits of the departed return to Earth. There are different traditions for this across Latin America, and Hispanics in the U.S. are celebrating as well.

In many communities, Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is a joyful public event, with parades celebrating the belief that, for this one day every year, the spirits of loved ones have returned. Families often hold private observances as well.

In Rockville Maryland, Rocio and Luis Bermudez incorporate their Roman Catholic faith with their Mexican-American traditions, building a special altar in their home. On the altar they place pictures of their deceased family members and a portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Candles are lit to help the spirits find their way down from heaven. Water is put out to replenish the thirsty souls after their long journey. And since it’s a party, the altar is decorated with colorful papers and treats.


ROCIO BERMUDEZ (speaking Spanish): Estamos de fiesta. Es una fiesta.

LUIS BERMUDEZ (translating): We are in a festive mode right now. It’s a party.

Mr. BERMUDEZ: The mango, the water, the tequila — it’s all an enticement so that they will come, and when they come they’ll have their favorite foods that they can celebrate with us.

When the altar is finished, the family offers prayers for both the living and the dead.

Mr. BERMUDEZ: We then pray to the Virgin Mary, to the saints, and to the Lord so that they’re with us, as well as our loved ones, as a sign of respect for God.

The Bermudez family says the Day of the Dead ritual reflects the Catholic Church’s teachings about life and death.

Mr. BERMUDEZ: So the belief is that when we die our body physically isn’t here, but our spirit still lives on forever. We actually are reborn. So that’s what we celebrate. The spirit doesn’t die, it lives on.

For the Bermudez family, that’s something to celebrate every year.

Mr. BERMUDEZ: I believe that when I go and I die, my spirit is going to go to heaven, and then every year I’ll be coming back on the Day of the Dead to visit down here to my loved ones.

Read more at PBS →

American Workers Reveal the Scariest Jobs….

American Workers Reveal the Scariest Jobs….

Photo: Scariest jobs

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What makes a job frightening? Imminent danger? Public speaking? Eerie surroundings?

As Halloween weekend approaches, American workers voted on the scariest profession, choosing careers ranging from the death-defying (firefighter) to the potentially humiliating (stand-up comedian). The nationwide survey was conducted by Harris Interactive from August 16 to September 8, 2011 with more than 4,300 workers.

Among the scariest jobs are:
Bomb Squad Technician
High Rise Window Washer
Armed Forces
Miner
Police Officer
Alaskan Crab Fishing
Mortician
Firefighter
High School Teacher
Cemetery Worker
Exterminator
Stand-Up Comedian
Animal Control
Stunt Person
Politician


What are employees most afraid of at work?

While most Americans won’t find themselves in any of the above careers, aspects of their own jobs can keep them on edge. More than a third of workers (36 percent) say layoffs are what they are most afraid of at work. Other work-related issues that may keep workers up at night include:

Pay cuts – 13 percent
Workload – 9 percent
Presenting in front of other people – 9 percent
Forced relocation – 4 percent
The boss – 3 percent

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 4,384 U.S. workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) ages 18 and over between August 16 and September 8, 2011 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability sample of 4,384, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-1.48 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

Read more by HS News Staff →

KICK BACK this weekend with a Latin American Natural Wonder

KICK BACK this weekend with a Latin American Natural Wonder. Guess What and Where this is?

Juan Laverde, Latin American Natural Wonder

Read more by HS News Staff →



SaturdayOctober 29, 2011