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SundayNovember 13, 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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Nation’s Spys to Help in Fight Against Narco Cartels & Other Illegal Marijuana Growers in States

Lawmakers soon may enlist the nation’s spymaster to help fight Mexican drug traffickers and others who use federal land in California and elsewhere to grow marijuana.

A provision of the 2012 intelligence authorization bill calls on the director of national intelligence to assess and report on how federal intelligence agencies can help park rangers, fish and wildlife wardens, and other U.S. land managers weed out pot gardens and other activities operated by foreign drug traffickers.

The bill, now before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, also directs the top spy to consult with federal public land managers to identify intelligence and information-sharing gaps related to drug trafficking. The House passed its version of the bill, HR 1892, in September.

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., who wrote the provision, said the nation’s intelligence apparatus needs to address marijuana grown on public land because of the presence of foreign drug traffickers and the accompanying threat of violence.

“We don’t know what they’re doing with the money, where the money goes, whose bank account it ends up in,” he said of foreign drug traffickers who operate on public land. “They’re here ruining our national resources, and they’re putting our citizens at risk. Hikers can’t go into the field for fear they’ll be harmed. Wildlife doesn’t have a chance.”

U.S. law enforcement believes that hundreds of millions of dollars generated from public-land gardens flows to Mexico, said David Prince, assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco.

While federal officials suspect that Mexican organized crime bosses might be involved, authorities say they have not proven a direct link between marijuana gardens on U.S. public lands and the major Mexico-based drug cartels.

Read more at California Watch →

Brazilian Authorities Take Over Three Drug Infested Favelas with 1,500 Police

Brazilian Authorities Take Over Three Drug Infested Favelas with 1,500 Police

Photo: Three Brazil Favelas Seized by Police

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Police arrested one person and seized 13 firearms during an operation Sunday to occupy three “favelas,” or shantytowns, in Rio de Janeiro that had been under the control of drug traffickers for decades, Brazilian officials said.

The Rocinha, Vidigal and Chacara do Ceu slums, which are located near some of Rio’s most upscale neighborhoods, were occupied in the early morning hours by more than 1,500 police officers backed by armored vehicles and helicopters, the city government said.

Police took control of the three slums in a two-hour operation “without firing a shot,” the Rio de Janeiro city government said.

The raids on the three shantytowns were led by the Rio de Janeiro state police’s Special Operations Battalion, or Bope.

Igor Tomas da Silva, a fugitive who was apparently under the influence of drugs and seeking assistance, was arrested.

The operation’s success was due to cooperation between the state and federal governments, Rio de Janeiro Gov. Sergio Cabral said.

The federal government’s decision to use army troops to occupy the Complexo do Alemao shantytowns a year ago allowed the Rio de Janeiro state police to develop a plan for taking Rocinha, the city’s largest slum, Cabral said.

“Nothing happens by chance. This (the operation) was planned a long time ago by the Security Secretariat. Nearly four, five months ago, we asked President Dilma (Rousseff) to keep the army in Alemao until June 30, 2012, because that would allow us to enter Rocinha,” Cabral said.

Police took the slums so easily that the marine armored vehicles providing support were able to pull out quickly, allowing normality to return to the areas.

Businesses had reopened by midday in Rocinha and Vidigal, allowing residents to walk the streets as on any regular Sunday.

The state government regularly launches police operations in favelas in an effort to break the grip that many drug gangs have on them, establishing a permanent police presence in the poor areas.

The Rio de Janeiro state government plans to construct permanent police substations in all favelas before the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games

Read more by HS News Staff →

UCLA Releases Radio Hate Speech Study

UCLA Releases Radio Hate Speech Study

Photo: Lou Dobbs on the Radio

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Scholars at UCLA released Tuesday the results of Quantifying Hate Speech on Commercial Talk Radio, a study analyzing content that denigrates vulnerable communities.

“We have analyzed, using one-day samples, three conservative talk shows in which we found statements attacking vulnerable groups like Hispanics,” Francisco Xavier Iribarren, assistant director at UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center, told Efe.

“It’s a pilot study of qualitative content analysis, with which we have created a methodology to quantify in a trustworthy way the incidence of hate speech,” he said.

Iribarren and CSRC director Chon Noriega were the principal researchers on the project.

The programs analyzed were the June 24, 2008, installment of “The Savage Nation,” a syndicated program; the July 30, 2008, episode of “The John & Ken Show,” produced by KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles; and the July 31, 2008, episode of “The Lou Dobbs Show: Mr. Independent,” syndicated by United Stations Radio Networks.

“With our analysis tools we have discovered calls to action against vulnerable groups and organizations, and we have found that things they state as facts are either false or unverifiable,” Iribarren said.

“Of 140 complaints about statements supposedly based on facts we found that 37 percent are not observable, 18 percent are unverifiable, 13 percent are distorted and 11 percent completely false,” he said about accusations against groups that are vulnerable because of their ethnicity, like Hispanics, or for their religion, social or immigration status, or sexual orientation.

Ines Gonzales, executive vice president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, told Efe that she noticed that often on conservative talk radio U.S. Hispanics are identified as “the other.”

“This way of looking at people divides us, it makes us see Latinos as if they weren’t part of the same group,” Gonzales said.

“And there are statements even more radical, because they dehumanize Hispanics by identifying them with animals like “cucarachas,” a way of creating a methodology that teaches listeners to react with scorn against vulnerable groups,” she said.

She noted that the UCLA study contains graphics showing the different ways of arousing hate such as unfounded claims, divisive language and contextual conditions related to the right to practice politics in the United States based on place of birth.

“Hate speech creates considerable danger for Latinos in many U.S. communities and we know cases of men walking alone in the streets who are attacked by groups. There are cases where groups of young people in the course of a weekend party go out for the express purpose of attacking working men,” Gonzales said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UN:  Bolivia is Numero Uno Cocaine Suppler to South American Market

UN:  Bolivia is Numero Uno Cocaine Suppler to South American Market

Photo: Bolivia Number One South American Coke Supplier

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The head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, or UNODC, in this Andean nation said in an interview published Sunday by the La Paz daily Pagina Siete that Bolivia was now the largest supplier of cocaine to the South American market.

Cesar Guedes said Brazil, Argentina and Chile had become the “most important emerging drug consumer markets in the world” in recent years.

“Bolivia is now a transit country, Bolivia is the beachhead for drugs from Colombia and Peru that are bound for the emerging South American markets,” Guedes said.

“Before, the drugs that passed through Bolivia were destined for Europe, but in recent times their destination is these new consumer countries, which are now potential clients,” the U.N. official said.

Most of the drugs produced in Colombia and Peru are smuggled into the United States and Europe, while Bolivia “is the net supplier for the South American market,” Guedes told Pagina Siete.

Drug consumption fell “markedly” in recent years in the United States, but it rose in Europe and South America, which now consume 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of the narcotics produced in the world, the UNODC official said.

Bolivia is the world’s No. 3 drug producer, trailing only Colombia and Peru.

President Evo Morales’s administration says that at least half of the cocaine seized by the security forces comes from Peru.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Certain Republican Politicans Urging a Balanced Approach to Immigration

Certain Republican Politicans Urging a  Balanced Approach to Immigration

Photo: Immigration Reform

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Republican office-holders, business leaders and law enforcement officials from Arizona, Utah and Georgia made an appeal Thursday for practical and fair solutions to the problem of illegal immigration.

The call came on the eve of the first anniversary of the Utah Compact, which outlined a balanced approach to immigration and opened the door to the creation of a guest-worker program in the state.

The compact became a basis for discussion of viable solutions at a time when states such as Arizona were contemplating harsh anti-immigration laws, Utah’s GOP attorney general said in a telephone press conference organized by the National Immigration Forum.

Mark Shurtleff said this week’s defeat of Arizona state Senate leader Russell Pearce, an anti-immigration firebrand, in a recall election shows the need for a change in Republicans’ rhetoric on immigration.

Pearce, the sponsor of the controversial SB 1070 law, lost to fellow Republican Jerry Lewis, a charter school executive and political newcomer who takes a more moderate stand on immigration.

Enacted in April 2010, SB 1070 aims to criminalize the presence of undocumented immigrants in Arizona, chiefly by requiring state and local law enforcement officers to verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally.

The U.S. Justice Department challenged the legislation and a federal court blocked enforcement of the “show me your papers” provision pending a final decision on the law’s constitutionality.

“The Utah Compact had a tremendous influence in the state of Arizona and the recent recall election,” Lewis said Thursday during the NIF press conference, citing a poll that shows 78 percent of Arizonans back the idea of a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Paul Bridges, the Republican mayor of Uvalda, Georgia, said people in his state are also anxious for a real solution to the problem and that such a solution can only come from the federal government.

Georgia, one of several states that have adopted tough anti-immigration measures inspired by Arizona’s SB 1070, is already seeing a shortage of immigrant workers to harvest onions, berries and peaches, Bridges said.

“Thanks to Russell Pearce and his anti-immigrant agenda, Arizona has been painted as an area of racial extremism, but that is not our heritage nor is our history,” the state’s former attorney general, Terry Goddard, said Thursday, pointing to Lewis’ triumph at the polls.

The executive vice president of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce, Jason Mathis, credited the Utah Compact with helping to change the national conversation about immigration.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona Running as Democratic for U.S. Senate in Arizona

Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona Running as Democratic for U.S. Senate in Arizona

Photo: Former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona Running for Senate

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Former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona announced that he is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the Arizona Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jon Kyl.

“Like most Arizonans, it’s clear to me that Washington is broken, and it is time for honest people with real world experience to step forward to solve the problems we are facing and get our economy going again,” he said in a statement announcing his candidacy.

Carmona, 61, was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents. After serving with the military in Vietnam, he earned a medical degree and settled in Arizona, where he returned after serving as surgeon general for four years during the George W. Bush administration.

“As a Special Forces medic in Vietnam, a trauma surgeon, and deputy sheriff in Arizona - we never had time for petty squabbles or gamesmanship - we had to work together to get results,” the candidate said Thursday.

“After returning to Arizona and joining the business community, I have seen firsthand what it takes to get our economy moving. I have devoted my life to serving my country and my community,” Carmona said.

The former high official will first have to run in his party’s primaries against Don Bivens, attorney and ex-president of the Democratic Party in Arizona.

Rodd McLeod, a political adviser who is helping Carmona organize his campaign team, told The Arizona Republic that the doctor will make his candidacy official in the coming weeks.

According to the daily, Carmona’s candidacy and the participation of McLeon in the campaign “is a clear sign” that Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will not enter the race for Kyl’s U.S. Senate seat.

McLeod, who has just founded his own consultancy, was the manager of Giffords’ electoral campaigns.

Giffords, who has served three terms in the House of Representatives, was shot in the head in Tucson last Jan. 8 while taking part in a political meeting.

Last month Carmona told The Arizona Republic that before deciding on his political future, he would seek guarantees that Giffords would not stand as a candidate for Kyl’s seat.

So far, the only other Democratic hopeful is former state party chairman Don Bivens.

On the Republican side, the candidates for the seat are Rep. Jeff Flake, real-estate investor Wil Cardon, general contractor Douglas McKee, talk radio host Clair Van Steenwyk and the former mayor of Youngtown, Bryan Hackbarth.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Ricky Martin Wraps Up “Musica+Alma+Sexo” World Tour After 100 Performances (VIDEO)

Ricky Martin Wraps Up “Musica+Alma+Sexo” World Tour After 100 Performances (VIDEO)

Photo: Ricky Martin Ends World Tour

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Pop star Ricky Martin wrapped up his “Musica + Alma + Sexo” world tour in Puerto Rico after eight long months on the road and around 100 performances in Latin America, Europe and North America.

Martin started the concert Saturday at San Juan’s Jose M. Agrelot Coliseum the same way as he began the world tour, with a video of himself shedding chains as a sign of his liberation.

The 39-year-old Martin kicked things off with “Sera, sera,” a song from his latest album.

“Don’t be afraid Puerto Rico, you have to live,” Martin told the audience before moving on to “Dime si me quieres,” one of his first solo hits after leaving the teen group Menudo.

“Good evening, Puerto Rico. I am back home, my home, in my land. This is my home, this is my land. We started a wonderful tour in March. And I knew I had to come back and end my tour at home,” the singer told his fans.

Martin, who was born in Puerto Rico, became a Spanish citizen two weeks ago.

Martin’s next project is playing the role of Ernesto “Che” Guevara in the musical “Evita,” which begins a run in New York in January.

Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Join us This and Every Sunday At HS-News Open Mic

Join us This and Every Sunday At HS-News Open Mic

Photo: Introducing This Week From Perú: Uchpa

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Juan Laverde, Open Mic, Uchpa


from Perú:

Artist: Uchpa
Song: Corazón Contento
Band Members:
  * Freddy Ortiz (vocals)
  * Marcos Maizel (Guitar)
  * Julio Valladares (Rhythmic Guitar)
  * Miguel Ángel Cruz (bass)
  * Ivo Flores (drums)
  * Juan Ezpinoza (Waqrapuku, a Peruvian instrument from Cusco.)

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Woman Convicted of Providing Fake Visas for More than 1,000 Hotel Workers

Brazilian Woman Convicted of Providing Fake Visas for More than 1,000 Hotel Workers

Photo: Fake Immigration Visas

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A federal jury found a Brazilian woman residing in Orlando guilty of alien smuggling and conspiracy to commit alien smuggling and worker visa fraud on Monday, following an investigation that began with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Rafaela Dutra Toro, 30, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. She was indicted on Jan. 26. Her sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Toro is a citizen of Brazil and will be subject to removal from the United States after serving her sentence.

According to evidence presented at trial, Toro worked for VR Services, a large temporary labor staffing company based in Orlando, which supplied temporary labor to numerous businesses in the hotel and hospitality industries throughout Florida and the United States. The scheme allowed Toro and her co-conspirators to set up a permanent foreign labor pool that hired illegal alien workers across the United States in jobs that would normally have been filled by United States citizens. As part of the conspiracy, Toro and her co-conspirators submitted false documentation to the government and manipulated the H-2B foreign worker visa process. They also submitted fake hotel contract agreements to conceal their activities and falsely reported that U.S. workers had been hired when they had not.

To further the conspiracy, they falsely claimed that no payments had been collected from the alien workers, when in fact the workers had actually paid between $350 to $750 each, to be placed on the fraudulent H-2B visa petitions. Through their complex visa fraud and alien smuggling activities, Toro and her co-conspirators supplied foreign workers to more than 100 hotels and allowed more than 1,000 foreign workers to enter and remain in the United States illegally using fraudulently obtained H-2B employment-based visas. An H-2B visa is granted to certain qualified foreign workers seeking temporary employment in the United States.

Four co-conspirators previously pled guilty for their roles in this conspiracy. Wilson and Valeria Barbugli were sentenced in October 2010 to 18 months and 24 months in federal prison, respectively. Their son, Eduardo Dozzi Barbugli, was sentenced in December 2010 to 20 months in federal prison. A fourth co-conspirator, Jose Maria Meza Diaz, will be sentenced later this month.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Whose Behind Death Threats to Potential Mexicana Airline Investors?

Whose Behind Death Threats to Potential Mexicana Airline Investors?

Photo: Potential Mexicana Investors Get Death Threats

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The judge overseeing Mexicana de Aviacion’s bankruptcy proceedings said Friday that potential investors in the grounded Mexican airline told him they had received threats.

“They came to me, to my office, to tell me (about the threats),” Judge Felipe Consuelo Soto told MVS radio.

The judge provided details of the allegations in a report, in which he said potential suitors told him they had been anonymously contacted by phone and warned not to put their money in a trust to salvage Mexicana.

Soto said that could explain why since last year other potential investors in the heavily indebted airline, which grounded its flights and filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2010, “have not come up with the funds to capitalize the company.”

The judge speculated that competitors of Mexicana interested in the airline’s “highly coveted” slots and routes could be behind the threats.

Mexicana is facing possible liquidation, which would require a complete sell-off of its assets, and has until Nov. 15 to find an investor willing to deposit the estimated $250 million needed to return the airline to the skies.

Referring to that deadline, Soto said he was prepared to postpone it if Mexico’s transportation department requests such a move after confirming the existence of a suitor with sufficient funds.

The government “has no interest whatsoever in preventing Mexicana from (getting back on its feet),” the deputy transportation secretary, Gerardo Sanchez Henkel, told MVS.

“What Mexicana needs is to meet the legal requirements for restarting its operations,” which includes finding “an investor that has (the necessary) capital,” Sanchez said.

Referring to Mexican mining magnate Ivan Barona, who says he has $400 million ready to re-launch Mexicana, the secretary said he asked the businessman to provide a sworn statement attesting to the existence of the funds but he refused.

Another meeting between Barona and Transportation Secretary Dionisio Perez-Jacome took place Friday.

The airline’s union representatives, other senior government officials and investors who have joined Barona in calling for a new rescue plan for Mexicana also took part in the meeting.

Read more by HS News Staff →

‘Not Vagina, Not Boobs, Just Women Demanding Rights’ Says Lima’s Slut Walk Marchers

‘Not Vagina, Not Boobs, Just Women Demanding Rights’ Says Lima’s Slut Walk Marchers

Photo: Slut Walk Lima Peru

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More than 100 women in seductive dress went on a SlutWalk through the streets of Lima Saturday to denounce gender violence, discrimination and sexual abuse.

The demonstration took over one of the city’s most important thoroughfares, with some of the protesters showing their underwear, others flaunting miniskirts and plunging necklines, and all of them loudly demanding respect for women.

“People in the streets were surprised because here were all these women dress so sensually - at least it got their attention,” Fiorella Farje, one of the march organizers, told Efe.

On the signs they carried were phrases like “we all have a little bit of slut in us…treating women badly doesn’t make you more of a man…look but don’t touch…”

The demonstrators also chanted slogans like “not vaginas, not boobs, just women demanding their rights” and “the short skirt doesn’t mean I’m easy,” while handing out leaflets to passers-by.

“We were a little bit afraid because of the name of the march, afraid that we might run into trouble, but the reaction has been super good,” said Farje, a member of the group that calls itself For an Authentic Transformation of Society, or P.U.T.A.S.

“Putas” is also the Spanish word for sluts.

The SlutWalk is part of a global movement that erupted this year as a backlash against a statement by the Toronto chief of police, Michael Sanguinetti.

At a seminar on security, Sanguinetti said that if women don’t want to be victims of rape or sexual harassment, “they shouldn’t dress like sluts,” which sparked the fury and indignation of thousands of women and soon-to-be demonstrators in countries like Canada, Brazil and the United States.

Between January and July this year, the Attorney General’s Office of Peru recorded 4,472 complaints of rape in Lima and Callao.

Read more by HS News Staff →

69 Undocumented Aliens from Dominican Republican Caught on Small Wooden Boat in Puerto Rico

69 Undocumented Aliens from Dominican Republican Caught on Small Wooden Boat in Puerto Rico

Photo: Border Protection Photo of 69 Illegal Dominican Aliens on Yola

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A combined effort by law enforcement authorities under the Caribbean Border Interagency Group intercepted this week a “yola” type vessel with 69 undocumented aliens on board seven miles off the northwestern coast of the island.

Near midnight, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Marine Patrol Aircraft with crews from the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch and Ramey Sector Border Patrol Agents, located a “yola” type vessel with a significant group of persons on board without navigational lights, approximately 12 nautical miles off the coast of Isabela..

Under constant surveillance by CBP MPA, a Coast Guard Sector San Juan cutter was notified of a 35-foot migrant boat traveling illegally to Puerto Rico, approximately 12 nautical miles off the coast of Isabela.

Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo arrived on scene, with the assistance of a CBP Marine Interceptor and CBP Blackhawk embarked all 69 migrants from their grossly overloaded boat that was taking on water.

The crew of the Sapelo destroyed the migrant boat as a hazard to navigation. They also processed the migrants’ biographical information for the 58 men and 11 women, including taking their digital fingerprints and facial photographs, to determine if they had any criminal or illegal immigration history in the United States or a U.S. territory.

The USCG cutter Sapelo rendezvoused with Ramey Sector Border Patrol Agents, who made immigration interviews of the migrants and took 28 Dominicans into custody to face criminal proceedings ashore.

The crew of the Sapelo repatriated the remaining 41 migrants to La Romana, Dominican Republic as they turned custody of the migrants to awaiting Dominican Republic Naval authorities ashore.

The concept of CBIG resulted from a March 2006 collaboration of local Homeland Security components that effectively stemmed the increased flow of traffic across the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In July 2006, CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection,, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the United States Attorney‘s Office, District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid action (FURA) in their common goal of securing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal maritime traffic and gaining control of our nation’s Caribbean borders.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Seniors Least Likely Amongst General Population to Get Their Pneumonia Shots

Hispanic Seniors Least Likely Amongst General Population to Get Their Pneumonia Shots

Photo: Hispanic Seniors Lag in Getting Pneumonia Shots

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The overall proportion of Americans age 65 and older who have ever been vaccinated against pneumonia, a leading killer of seniors, increased from 53 to 60 percent between 2000 and 2008, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Specifically, AHRQ found that in 2008:

  * Almost two thirds (65 percent) of high-income seniors reported ever being vaccinated against pneumonia compared with less than half (46 percent) of poor seniors.

  * Only 52 percent of seniors who live in a large inner city area, where residents tend to be low-income and minority, reported ever being vaccinated against pneumonia compared with 64 percent of seniors who live in medium-size cities.

  * Just 37 percent of Hispanic seniors reported ever being vaccinated against pneumonia compared with 65 percent of white seniors. The proportion of Asian and black seniors who have ever been vaccinated against pneumonia fell in between—46 and 45 percent, respectively.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on information in Chapter 2 of the 2010 National Healthcare Quality Report. The report examines Americans’ access to, and quality of, health care.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SundayNovember 13, 2011