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WednesdayNovember 16, 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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More Crazy From Courtney Love in Brazil, Foo Fighter Grohl Center of Her Rants (VIDEO)

More Crazy From Courtney Love in Brazil, Foo Fighter Grohl Center of Her Rants  (VIDEO)

Photo: Courtney Love Topless in Brazil

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Courtney Love keeps proving no one can do crazy like she can and now all of Brazil knows it.

Apparently this time a Nirvana loving fan set her off by flashing a Kurt Cobain photo.  If that wasn’t enough she decided to walk off stage and then meet with the Portuguese speaking press while flinging English 4-letter bombers about Dave Grohl former Nirvana band member and now head of Foo Fighters.  Don’t know if anyone in Brazil knew what the hell she was talking about actually we don’t even know if Courtney knows what she’s talking about.

Keep in mind she did this before TAKING HER TOP OFF at SWU Brazil 2011 festival.


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Narco Tunnel Found Inside Drainage Sewer in Arizona

Narco Tunnel Found Inside Drainage Sewer in Arizona

Photo: Narco Tunnel in Arizona Found

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An active drug smuggling tunnel was located and shut down here Tuesday following a multi-agency probe spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The U.S. entrance to the tunnel was concealed beneath the front porch of a home located approximately one-half mile west of the DeConcini Port of Entry. Further inspection revealed the tunnel ran south into Mexico, coming up inside a drainage tunnel that parallels the U.S./Mexico border on International Street.

ICE HSI agents obtained a state warrant to search the Nogales residence that housed the tunnel’s U.S. entrance. During Tuesday’s enforcement action, investigators recovered numerous excavation tools. ICE HSI is working closely on the investigation with the U.S. Border Patrol, the Nogales Police Department, and Mexico’s Secretaria de Seguridad de Publica (SSP).

“This latest tunnel discovery shows that our ongoing collaborative enforcement efforts to combat drug and contraband smuggling along the Southwest border are having a significant impact,” said Kevin Kelly, assistant special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Nogales.

The tunnel, which has some internal support structure, is approximately 70 feet long, three feet wide and two feet tall, and extends 25 feet into Mexico. The depth of the passageway ranges from four to 22 feet. The tunnel’s entrances on both sides of the border have been secured by U.S. and Mexican authorities while the investigation continues.

In the last four years, federal authorities have detected more than 75 cross-border smuggling tunnels, most of them in California and Arizona. The passageway uncovered Tuesday is the sixth large-scale drug smuggling tunnel discovered in the San Diego since 2006.

Read more by HS News Staff →

More Mexican Newspaper Workers Go Missing

More Mexican Newspaper Workers Go Missing

Photo: More Mexican Newspaper Workers Go Missing

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Two workers at Mexican business daily El Financiero have gone missing in the central state of Zacatecas, the newspaper’s deputy general manager said.

“This incident pains all of us who work at El Financiero,” Rogelio Cardenas said on Twitter.

He added in another message that the two workers disappeared on the outskirts of the like-named state capital, located 600 kilometers (370 miles) northwest of Mexico City.

Sources with the daily consulted by Efe said state and federal authorities were investigating the case.

Separately, a group of assailants carried out an attack early Tuesday on the offices of Mexican daily El Siglo de Torreon in the northern state of Coahuila, a spokesperson with that media outlet told Efe.

No injuries were reported.

The spokesperson said a trio of assailants set a car ablaze outside the main facade of the newspaper building and then fired shots at the newspaper’s sales offices, adding that no arrests have yet been made.

“We don’t know the motives yet but we’re continuing to work and taking extra precautions while authorities conduct their investigations,” the spokesperson said Tuesday by phone.

El Siglo de Torreon also was targeted in an August 2009 attack.

On Oct. 24, the U.N. and Organization of American States envoys for the right to freedom of expression urged the Mexican government to take urgent steps to combat violence against journalists.

According to Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission, 75 reporters have been killed in the country from 2000 to the present.

That day, the U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of expression, Frank La Rue, said Mexico was the most dangerous country for journalists in the Americas and fifth-deadliest worldwide.

Most of the violence against journalists is thought to come from Mexico’s powerful drug cartels and corrupt or abusive public officials.

Conflicts pitting the drug cartels against each other and the security forces have claimed nearly 50,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Opens “Trusted Traveler Program” to Mexicans

U.S. Opens “Trusted Traveler Program” to Mexicans

Photo: Trusted Traveler Card

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The United States government announced Tuesday that it is opening to Mexican citizens the trusted traveler program known as Global Entry, which operates via automated kiosks at selected international airports.

“Our Customs and Border Protection agency is supporting the National Migration Institute in the development of a Global Entry program for Mexico, which we expect to be launched in the first six months of 2012,” U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne said.

The program, already in operation with other countries, allows frequent travlers to the U.S. to enter the country in a “minimum amount of time,” Wayne said during an event at the U.S. agency in Mexico City.

The program has very strict membership standards.

Global Entry kiosks currently exist in 20 U.S. airports, but in 2012 several more are expected to be installed in Mexico City and in the Mexican resort area of Los Cabos, Wayne said.

Present at the announcement was Mexico’s tourism secretary, Gloria Guevara, who was pleased that Global Entry will be “implemented for Mexican citizens as well.”

“It speaks of confidence in our country, but above all it’s a great opportunity we’re being given,” Guevara said.

To be able to sign up for the program, an application must be filled out and filed over the Internet at www.globalentry.gov along with payment of a non-refundable $100 fee.

Applicants must have no criminal record.

When an application is approved, the interested party will be interviewed by CBP personnel, who will decide whether he or she will be accepted.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Drug Smugglers Crossing into Arizona Shot at and Robbed

Drug Smugglers Crossing into Arizona Shot at and Robbed

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A drug smuggler who was carrying a load of marijuana into the Arizona told Santa Cruz County sheriff’s investigators that he and those he was traveling with her robbed by armed men west of Nogales.

The report of being robbed at gun-point is the fourth incident of its kind reported in the area in less than 2 months.

Jose Ruben Valle-Ruiz told the investigators that he and three other men were smuggling a load of marijuana into the country when they men in camouflage clothing told them to stop and pointed rifles at them.

Valle-Ruiz said he and those he was with dropped their bags and ran. He said he heard five shots fired but that no one in his group was injured.

He said his group hid in the outskirts of Rio Rico with their drugs for several days before being confronted by the robbers.

Upon learning of the incident on Friday, Border Patrol officials alerted the sheriff’s office, who then spoke with Valle-Ruiz before sending him back to Border Patrol.

Since late September, three other groups have reported being robbed by men in camouflage or ski masks and carrying guns.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Actor Rafael Novoa Returns to US TV in “Talismán”

Colombian Actor Rafael Novoa Returns to US TV in “Talismán”

Photo: Rafael Novoa

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Rafael Novoa is back on U.S. television screens in the new Univision telenovela “Talisman,” playing a character who is neither hero nor villain.

“Pedro is a victim of life, of circumstances; he tries to be a good human being, to do things as they should be done, but everything gets away from him,” the 41-year-old Colombian told Efe.

“Some protagonists are too perfect. I don’t like the goodie-goodies or the baddie-baddies; I like the characters who have a little of both,” Novoa, who shares the screen in “Talisman” with Blanca Soto, explained.

The point of acting, he said, is to illuminate the human condition while entertaining the public.

“That’s why it’s important, even within the fantasy, to tell real stories. I believe it’s important to transform the stories and give them more realism,” Novoa said.

Making his debut in 1995 in “Flor de oro,” the model/actor quickly became the most popular leading man in Colombian telenovelas.

While Novoa acknowledges that good looks can open doors in show business, he insists appearance is no “guarantee that you will have a career.”

“You have to demonstrate talent, you have to learn the craft,” he says. “Beauty ends, talent endures.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chilean Pick-Pocket Gets Stripped Naked by Vigilantes (VIDEO)

Chilean Pick-Pocket Gets Stripped Naked by Vigilantes (VIDEO)

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After attempting to steal an old lady’s purse, a mob of ten citizens took justice in their own hands, stripping the thief and leaving him naked in the underpass until police came.

This Chilean pickpocket got much more than what he bargained for when he attempted to rob an old lady of her purse, in an underpass of the city of Providencia in Northwest Chile. 

Passersby heard the lady’s screams, and intercepted the thief, after which they pinned him to the ground and roughed him up a bit.

Then, someone suggested they take his clothes off, which they did.  All this was followed by pedestrians hurling coins and plastic bottles at the naked crook. He attempted to board a vehicle going through the underpass, but the driver didn’t allow it.

He was later arrested by police.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Penny Bingo Betting Brings Spanish Senior Citizens $815,000 in Fines

Penny Bingo Betting Brings Spanish Senior Citizens $815,000 in Fines

Photo: Spanish Bingo Betting go Wrong

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About 500 elderly residents of a town in eastern Spain are facing a possible fine of 600,000 euros ($815,000) for playing bingo with wagers of up to 27 cents.

The members of the Peña de Amigos de la Tercera Edad (Elderly Friends Club) in Puerto de Sagunto in the Valencia region are defending their actions by saying that the money they’re collecting goes to pay the expenses of maintaining the venue and nothing more.

The retirees - ranging in age from 76 to 92 - could get into trouble because their actions may be deemed to be in conflict with the regional gaming law that limits games like bingo to previously authorized sites.

The law excludes “purely leisure” games that are not used by the players to profit.

The vice president of the Peña, Manuel Rios, told Efe that it’s just a group of retired people who use the money they collect from the games to pay for the site, the office and the bar. “But we never have more money” than that, he insisted.

He said that in the past the group had even devoted money to aid activities, including 2,700 euros ($3,600) that they delivered to people affected by the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Rafael Chinchilla, one of the members of the club, said that getting together and playing is “therapy” for them “because there are older people (in the club) who need to be entertained.”

They say that they go to the club to relax “and here we are, nervous, because the police are not telling us and when they do tell you they’re in the middle of the room,” said member Maria Garrido, who added that without the proceeds from the game, they will not be able to maintain the club, the monthly expenses of which amount to up to 1,600 euros ($2,170).

This is not the first time that this club has been in a similar situation. In 2000, they had to pay a fine equivalent to $1,630 for playing bingo, but the court found in their favor and returned the fine to them with interest.

Officials with the Valencia regional administration refused to provide details about the case or the size of the potential fine, and they told Efe that they had been monitoring the regular club activities ever since police reported a violation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dad Suspected of DUI, Killing His Children, Won’t Release Remains to Grandmother for Burial

Dad Suspected of DUI, Killing His Children, Won’t Release Remains to Grandmother for Burial

Photo: DUI dad won't release remains to grandmother for burial of children killed when he crashed

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A New Mexico grandmother is fighting to get the remains of her grandchildren back from the father who is allegedly responsible for the car accident that claimed their lives.

Police say Pauline Jaramillo’s grandchildren, Michael, 2, and Marissa, 4, were killed last week, along with their mother, Dawn Jaramillo, 21, when the father, James Woolbert, drove drunk and caused an accident that ejected the children from the car.

Jaramillo says she just wants to be able to bury her grandchild, but that Woolbert refuses to release the remains to her.

Image‘They need to be buried. They need to be put to rest. They’re in a refrigerator. They’re in a cold refrigerator,’ Jaramillo told local ABC affiliate KOAT. ‘I can’t even tell you how angry I am.’

After the accident, Woolbert was sent to the University of New Mexico Hospital, but was arrested for DUI (DWI) the moment he was released.

Since the children’s mother died in the crash as well, Woolbert has custody of the remains. The grieving grandmother has hired a lawyer as she says she has no idea how long Woolbert will be in jail so has no idea when her family can be laid to rest.

The family’s attorney, Elias Barela, said, “It’s completely outrageous. The family has had a lot of difficulty with [Woolbert]. It’s been a whole trauma.”

Investigators said the young children were not in car seats when the accident occurred.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Watch “Mariachi El Bronx” Performing at Conan’s Show (VIDEO)

Watch “Mariachi El Bronx” Performing at Conan’s Show (VIDEO)

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Take a look at the performance by “Mariachi El Bronx,” the punk-rock-mariachi band that also has its own fragrance: “Barrio Sweat.”

“Mariachi El Bronx,” the alter-ego Mariachi evil twin of LA’s “The Bronx” performed in the music stage of Conan O’Brien, promoting their second Mariachi laced hardcore punk.

Check them out singing “Revolution Girls” for coco, and if you like them, and want to smell like them, be sure to check out their website and order yourself a bottle of “Barrio Sweat.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Study Says Chicago Metropolitan Workforce Set to be 25% Latino by 2015

New Study Says Chicago Metropolitan Workforce Set to be 25% Latino by 2015

Photo: New Study Says Chicago Metropolitan Workforce Set to be 25% Latino by 2015

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A recent study has estimated that roughly 25 percent of Chicago’s workforce will be Hispanic by the year 2015.

The report, titled “The State of Latino Chicago 2010: The New Equation” comes out of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies. It states that while the Latino workforce is quickly growing, due to lagging education and workforce development, Chicago’s Latino population is highly susceptible to the effects of economic crisis.

“At over 1.8 million, Latinos account for 22 percent of metropolitan Chicago’s 8.4 million people,” the study reads. “With the highest labor participation rates of any group, Latinos comprise 20 percent of the metropolitan Chicago labor force and are poised to comprise 25 percent of the labor force by 2015.

Today’s Latinos are hard-working, young, and ambitious, but the knowledge-based and services-oriented economy of the twenty-first century generally demands a level of technical training or educational credentials that many do not possess. If we want to unleash the economic potential of this young and growing population we need to understand spending on public services such as education not as a ‘drain’ but rather as an investment in Chicago’s future.”

The report concludes that additional resources need to be made available for students with the greatest needs, but also for teachers, families and communities.

So if the Latino community is to reach it’s full potential in the metropolitan workforce of Chicago, the community needs to be more involved in the economic, social, and political life of the region.

Read more at University of Notre Dame Institute for Latino Studies →

Rick Perry Political Event Checks for Proof of Citizenship

Rick Perry Political Event Checks for Proof of Citizenship

Photo: Rick Perry Event Asks for Citizenship Proof

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Want to attend a Republican primary event for Rick Perry in New Hampshire?  If so, make sure you bring proof of citizenship – no proof no admittance.

In one of two events the Republican former-front runner was holding today in New Hampshire the requirement for proof of citizenship was required allegedly due to the location.  The town-hall meeting was being held at defense contractor Granite State Manufacturing’s site.

The requirement that only ‘citizens’ enter a defense contractor site is not new but it makes the issue of immigration once again become front and center for Perry. 

After getting a lot of negative flack for the policy, Perry’s staffer said non-citizens would be allowed in but would be assigned a Granite employee to escort them in. 

Why Perry would choose a site for campaigning that would draw this much attention is unclear.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gómez & The Scene Release Video for “Hit The Lights” (VIDEO)

Selena Gómez & The Scene Release Video for “Hit The Lights” (VIDEO)

Photo: Selena Gómez

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Check out the new Selena Gómez and the Scene latest video single off the pop star’s album “When the Sun Goes Down.”

“The song ‘Hit the Lights’ is that missed opportunity. The dreams that you wish you would go for and basically the song is just encouraging people to [let] loose and have fun and be young and crazy,” Selena explained in behind-the-scenes footage. “This video is more organic than anything I’ve done before. It’s about being with people you love and enjoying the moment and embracing the moment you’re in your life.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

All in A Day for Messi: Attacked on Field and Nominated for Time’s Person of the Year Award (VIDEO)

All in A Day for Messi: Attacked on Field and Nominated for Time’s Person of the Year Award (VIDEO)

Photo: Leo Messi

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Take a look at the unusual amount of punishment Leo took last night in Barranquilla, during the 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Colombia.  The Barcelona FC soccer star quickly recovered to find out that he is the only Latino nominated for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” award. 

Do you think Messi stands a chance to get Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” award? how about the Ballon d’or? log into our forums section and let us know what you think!

Read more by HS News Staff →

-UPDATE- Shots Fired Near White House: Police Issue Warrant for Oscar Ortega-Hernandez

-UPDATE- Shots Fired Near White House: Police Issue Warrant for Oscar Ortega-Hernandez

Photo: Shots Fired Near White House: Police Issue Warrant for Oscar Ortega-Hernandez

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UPDATE

A statement from Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan, “On Wednesday afternoon at approximately 12:35 p.m. EST, based on information generated by Secret Service agents from the Pittsburgh Field Office, Pennsylvania State Police Troop A located and arrested Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Herndandez at a hotel near Indiana, Pennsylvania ... Ortega-Hernandez is currently in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Police.”

_________________


Though details remain scarce, police are searching for the Hispanic man they believe is responsible for the shots fired near the White House this week.

Friday, witnesses reported hearing gun shots near the White House. According to the reports, witnesses heard gunfire and saw two vehicles speeding away. Upon investigation of the area, officers found an AK-47 rifle.

Two casings were recovered Tuesday on White House grounds, one having being stopped by ballistics glass from a double-paned window.

The Secret service has not determined whether the rounds recovered were a result of the shots heard on Friday, but an arrest warrant has been issued by the U.S. Park Police for Oscar Ortega-Hernandez.

ImageOrtega-Hernandez, also known as Oscar Ramiro Ortega, was described by Park Police as a 21-year-old Hispanic man, standing about 5’11, 160 lbs, with brown eyes and black hair.

U.S. Park Police:

…At about 9:30 pm, the US Park Police investigated a sound of shots fired in the 1600 block of Constitution Avenue NW Washington, DC. This is between the White House and the Washington Monument.

As the investigation unfolded, the US Park Police located a vehicle in the 2300 block of Constitution Avenue. Evidence in the vehicle [led us to] obtaining an arrest warrant for Oscar Ortega.

Ortega-Hernandez’s tattoos include “Israel” on the left side of his neck, three dots on his right hand, “Ortega” on the upper part of his back, and a rosary being held between two hands on the right side of his chest.

At the time the shots were heard, neither President Obama or First Lady Michelle were in the White House.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sometimes You Can’t Wait: Woman Gives Man Blow Job en Route to Jail

Sometimes You Can’t Wait: Woman Gives Man Blow Job en Route to Jail

Photo: Sometimes You Can't Wait: Woman Gives Man Blow Job en Route to Jail

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After a Texas deputy found an intoxicated man passed out in a Whataburger restaurant, his routine call turned a turn for the weird.

Around 2 p.m. Monday, a Montgomery County Deputy Constable responded to a call that a man was passed out at the fast-food restaurant. When he arrived, he found one man, identified as Howard Keith Windham, 30, of New Caney, Texas, attempting to wake up an unconscious man while a woman watched. While the officer searched for identification on the passed out individual, he located dozens of Hydrocodone and Soma pills.

The woman, identified as Tina Marie Arie, 44, of Porter, admitting to giving the unconscious man the pills, and upon investigation of her car, the deputy found prescription bottles containing pills that looked like those found in Windham’s car.

The deputy arrested Windham for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Arie for Delivery of a Controlled Substance. The unconscious male was transported by EMS to a nearby hospital. That’s when the deputy realized his night was about to get weird.

En route to booking Arie and Windham, the deputy looked in the rearview mirror and noticed his two passengers moving around, and he could no longer wee Arie. When he asked what was going on, Arie told him she was just tired and resting her head on Windham’s lap.

Not trusting the pair, the deputy pulled over to the side of the road to see what they were doing.

To his surprise, the daring duo, despite being handcuffed with their hands behind their backs, had been engaging in sexual acts. Arie had been performing oral sex on Windham, whose pants where somehow pulled down.

The deputy ordered them to behave and continued to drive them to booking.

No additional charges were brought against the Arie and Windham, and in the end, the deputy must have been wondering, “Who did she get his pants down?”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Antonio Banderas in Mexico Celebrating Success of “Puss in Boots”

Antonio Banderas in Mexico Celebrating Success of “Puss in Boots”

Photo: Antonio Banderas in Mexico Celebrating "Puss in Boots"

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Films like “Puss in Boots,” in which the main characters and heroes have Hispanic accents thanks to the voices of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, help Americans to think positively about the Latino community, the Spanish actor said Wednesday.

“That community feels very proud to see how Anglo-Saxon children get into their brains the possibility that the film heroes may have Hispanic accents,” said Banderas at a press conference to present the animated 3D film in Mexico.

The actor said that the fact that the two main characters of the film have Hispanic accents, while the villain has an “Anglo” accent, is “very important” given that even just a few years ago that would not have occurred.

Banderas recalled than when he made his first film in the United States, “The Mambo Kings” (1992), some Hispanic colleagues told him that if he stayed in Hollywood to work he would be offered all sorts of unsavory parts: “Drug traffickers, thieves ... those are for us, they told me,” he said.

“That is changing because there has been a community (of people) who have worked very hard to send their children to the universities and today hold positions of power, and that is reflected in Hollywood,” said the actor, who lives in Los Angeles and is a staunch defender of the rights of Hispanics in the United States.

“Puss in Boots” broke box office records in the first weekend of its U.S. release.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Victoria Justice to Perform at “Christmas in Washington” With Bieber

Victoria Justice to Perform at “Christmas in Washington” With Bieber

Photo: Victoria Justice

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Hosted by Conan O’Brien, the “Christmas in Washington” holiday special will air on TNT Dec. 16, five days after it is taped at the National Building Museum in Washington.

Nickelodeon’s Victoria Justice will perform alongside Cee Lo Green, Jennifer Hudson and The Band Perry during the concert.

Headlining the event will be Canadian teenage sensation Justin Bieber, whose paternity case got reportedly dropped this week.  Bieber’s legal team said they’re studying their legal options, but they intend to “hold everyone who is involved responsible.”

The “Christmas in Washington” show celebrates its 30th anniversary this year; the President and First Family traditionally attend the holiday event, which benefits the Children’s National Medical Center.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Black is Baaack: Watch the New Video for Rebecca Black’s “Person of Interest”

Black is Baaack: Watch the New Video for Rebecca Black’s “Person of Interest”

Photo: Black is Baaack: Watch the New Video for Rebecca Black’s “Person of Interest”

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Though some call her talentless, Rebecca Black is surely not lacking guts.

After becoming an internet celebrity for singing about her excitement over Friday’s and receiving more than 4 million “dislikes” on YouTube, the singer, of Spanish decent, has continued to follow her dream, now releasing her follow-up to the now-famous “Friday”.

When asked what the song was about, Black told Pop Crush, “The basis of it is that it’s a love song but it’s not a love song. It’s about almost teenage crushes — when you’re not in love yet but you really like a guy — which I’m really excited about because I don’t think there are too many out like that. It’s very much a dance type song. It will make you get up and dance and sing along in your car.”

Watch “Point of Interest” below.


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Dominican Banks Now Required to Report on American’s Bank Accounts

Dominican Banks Now Required to Report on American’s Bank Accounts

Photo: Central Bank of Dominican Republic

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Starting on July 1, 2013, banking entities in the Dominican Republic will be asked to report on accounts held by United States citizens in the Dominican Republic. This is part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) that went into effect in March 2010.

This reporting requirement covers every type of financial or money related business, whether it is banking, finance or stocks and even insurance companies.

The FATCA is requiring foreign financial institutions to report directly to the IRS certain information about financial accounts held by US taxpayers, or by foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Senator Rubio Introduces Bipartisan Jobs Bill: “Agree Act”

Senator Rubio Introduces Bipartisan Jobs Bill: “Agree Act”

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U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have introduced The American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act.  The AGREE Act stems from areas of common agreement between the President’s jobs plan, recommendations from the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and plans put forward by both parties in Congress.

“From the White House to the halls of Congress, there’s a growing recognition that the best way to jump start job creation and ensure America’s long-term economic competitiveness is to improve the environment for entrepreneurs to start new firms and expand existing ones,” said Steve Case, CEO of Revolution LLC and a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.  “I commend Senators Coons and Rubio for coming together to introduce the AGREE Act, an important step in the right direction for helping entrepreneurs create jobs and build significant companies here in the United States.”

If enacted, The AGREE Act would do the following:

*  Provide a three year extension of 100 percent bonus depreciation for the full cost of qualified investments such as equipment and property.
*  Provide a three year extension of Section 179 expensing levels for small businesses.
*  Provide a three year extension of eliminated taxes on certain small business stock.
*  Extend the Research & Development tax credit until 2013, increase the Alternative Simplified Credit (ASC) from 14 percent to 20 percent, and makes the ASC permanent.
Establish an enhanced research credit for domestic manufacturers to encourage job creation at home.
*  Provide veterans with a tax credit equal to 25% of the fee associated with starting a franchise up to $100,000.
*  Provide a five-year exemption from Section 404(b) of Sarbanes-Oxley for the first five years of a company going public, or for those below $250 million in total gross revenue (whichever comes first).
*  Eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrant visas and adjusts the limitations on family based visa petitions from 7% per country to 15%.
*  Protect intellectual property by clarifying the Trade Secrets Act, and making it explicitly clear that it is not a crime for federal officials, in the performance of their duties, to share information about suspected infringing products with the right holder of a trademarked good.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombia Guerrilla Group FARC Names New Leader

Colombia Guerrilla Group FARC Names New Leader

Photo: Outgoing Cano, Incoming "Timochenko"

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Colombia’s FARC guerrilla group said it has named Timoleon Jimenez, alias “Timochenko,” as successor to previous rebel chief Alfonso Cano, who was killed in a military operation earlier this month.

A communique confirming the designation and signed by the guerrilla group’s secretariat, or high command, was published Tuesday by the Bolivarian Press Agency web site, which often carries Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, statements.

“We wish to inform you that comrade ‘Timoleon Jimenez’ (the rebel’s nom de guerre), by unanimous vote of his fellow members of the secretariat, was named new commander of the FARC on Nov. 5,” the communique, datelined from the “mountains of Colombia,” read.

The move “guarantees the continuity of the strategic plan for seizing power on behalf of the people. The cohesiveness of its leaders and combatants, as (rebel founder) ‘Manuel Marulanda Velez’ said, remains one of the FARC’s most important achievements.”

The communique dismissed analysts’ speculation that Cano’s death in southwestern Colombia on Nov. 4 would weaken the leftist rebel group and hasten its demise.

“These lousy analysts and mediocre politicians, toadies of power, who are now talking about the FARC’s collapse in the wake of the commander’s death, are so ignorant they don’t even deserve a display of our contempt,” the communique read.

The rebels also indicated that an end to the armed conflict would be more elusive after Cano’s death, describing the late rebel commander as the “most fervent proponent of a political solution and peace.”

The 52-year-old Jimenez, who was born Rodrigo Londoño Echeverry in the western coffee-growing province of Quindio, becomes the third top commander of the FARC, which Marulanda headed for more than 40 years until his death of a heart attack in March 2008.

Analysts consulted by Efe said Jimenez, due to the combat training he received in the former Yugoslavia, has a more military profile than the intellectual Cano, who was buried Tuesday by his family outside Bogota.

He also is considered responsible for the FARC’s intelligence and counter-intelligence activities.

The new FARC commander takes the helm of a group whose numbers have fallen by more than half from the estimated 20,000 combatants it had at its peak in the 1990s.

In addition to the loss of Marulanda and Cano, Latin America’s oldest guerrilla insurgency also was hit hard by the death of military chief Jorge Briceño Suarez, alias “Mono Jojoy,” in a military operation last year.

The group also lost leverage when several high-profile captives, including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. defense contractors, were rescued in an elaborate military operation in 2008.

Under the U.S.-backed administrations of former President Alvaro Uribe and current head of state Juan Manuel Santos, the FARC has lost territory and been pushed back to remote mountain and jungle areas.

Little is known of Jimenez except that he joined the FARC in 1982 after studying medicine in Moscow and Cuba and received military training in the former Yugoslavia.

He also is known to have planned the FARC’s military resistance in the 1990s and early part of the last decade, when far-right paramilitary groups - which subsequently demobilized - were making big territorial gains.

According to Colombian authorities, the new FARC top commander is hiding out near the border with Venezuela, a mountainous region that offers him and the more than 200 guerrillas accompanying ample escape routes.

For its part, the Colombian government said Jimenez is now its new target.

“Now we know the government’s objective: capture Timochenko. If he’s the new FARC commander, that guerrilla group has given us our next goal to achieve,” Interior Minister German Vargas Lleras said.

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Chevron May Abandon Leaking Well in Brazil after Nov. 8 Spill

Chevron May Abandon Leaking Well in Brazil after Nov. 8 Spill

Photo: After Years of Leaking Oil, Chevron May Abandon Well in Brazil

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Brazilian oil regulator ANP approved Chevron Corp.‘s plan to seal a leaking offshore well, the official Agencia Brasil news agency said Tuesday.

The leak began Nov. 8 at the well in the Frade field, located in the Campos Basin about 370 kilometers (230 miles) from the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.

The well lies at a depth of nearly 1,200 meters (3,934 feet).

Chevron’s Brazilian subsidiary plans to begin by injecting mud into the well and then seal it with cement, according to Agencia Brasil.

The oil is leaking at a rate of 400-650 barrels per day, enough to create a stain of 163 sq. kilometers (63 sq. miles), though the patch of crude remains 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the coast, the news service said.

Eight Chevron ships and 10 vessels owned by other oil companies operating in the area have been assigned to containment and cleanup efforts.

Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, has ordered a “rigorous investigation” into the spill.

With a 51.7 stake, Chevron is the lead operator in the Frade field. Brazilian state oil giant Petrobras holds 30 percent of the venture and the rest belongs to the Frade Japao Petroleo Ltda. consortium.

Chevron, which began drilling in Frade in 2009, says the field contains 200 million to 300 million barrels of oil equivalent.

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Virtual Campaign Launched to Shut Down U.S. Largest Immigration Detention Center (VIDEO)

Virtual Campaign Launched to Shut Down U.S. Largest Immigration Detention Center (VIDEO)

Photo: Shut Down Immigrant Detention Camps

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On November 18th, Brave New Foundation’s Cuéntame is partnering with a coalition of immigrant and civil rights organizations, in a vigil and occupation outside the Correction Corporation of America’s (CCA) immigration detention facility in Lumpkin, Georgia. 

This facility is the largest private detention center in the nation and currently profits close to $50 million a year. 

The demand: Shut down Stewart Detention Center now.

The demand for a shutdown is also based on allegation that CCA often cuts costs by denying basic services to detained immigrants and by limiting access to their family members.

CCA charges inmates close to $5 a minute to make a phone call. To pay for this, inmates work in the facility and earn a whopping $1 a day. Five days of hard work gives them just enough time for a one minute phone call say immigrant advocates.

Click here to join the virtual vigil and occupation shut down Stewart.


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WednesdayNovember 16, 2011