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SaturdayDecember 17, 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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Sheriff Joe Arpaio Is Illegal (VIDEO)

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Is Illegal (VIDEO)

Photo: Sheriff Joe Arpaio

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The U.S. Department of Justice has released a report exposing abusive practices by Maricopa County Sheriffs Office and its Sheriff Joe Arpaio:

1 - “Discriminatory policing practices including unlawful stops, detentions and arrests of Latinos” - U.S. Department of Justice

2 - “Allowing specialized units to engage in unconstitutional practices” - U.S. Department of Justice

3 - “Failure to adequately investigate allegations of sexual assaults” - U.S. Department of Justice

4 -“The problems are deeply rooted in Maricopa County Sheriffs Office culture, and are compounded by [their] penchant for retaliation against individuals who speak out.” - U.S. Department of Justice

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Deserted: The Human Rights Crisis on Our Soil (VIDEO)

Deserted: The Human Rights Crisis on Our Soil (VIDEO)

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Innovative global human rights organization Breakthrough released DESERTED: THE HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS ON OUR SOIL, a brief video vividly depicting the scale and impact of migrant deaths in the Arizona desert.

Just this Monday, the United States Supreme Court said it would review Arizona’s controversial anti-immigration law (S.B. 1070). On Tuesday, a federal judge temporarily blocked part of Alabama’s immigration law (H.B. 56), considered the toughest in the nation.

Yet as debate rages in courts and communities about those migrants who do make it here, scant attention is paid to those who do not, say advocates.

“Thousands of people are starving, suffering and dying on our own soil. Families are destroyed every day. This crisis transcends the particulars of the immigration debate. It demands humanitarian aid and humane reform. And it challenges us to reaffirm the true American values of family and dignity,” said Mallika Dutt, president and CEO of Breakthrough.

The remains of at least 6,000 migrants have been found on U.S. desert land since U.S.-Mexico border policies were implemented in the 1990s. Some groups estimate that for each set of remains recovered, those of 10 more people are lost to the harsh desert elements. Advocates and authorities attribute the escalating number of deaths not only to rising heat but also to ever-tightening border security that forces migrants into more remote and dangerous terrain.

DESERTED includes chilling images of a Tucson morgue in which row after row of body bags contain John and Jane Does whose families may never know what happened to them. DESERTED calls on viewers — who may hold diverse opinions about U.S. immigration — to recognize these deaths as a humanitarian emergency and call for an end to this human rights crisis.

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Protesters Demand Justice for Slain Mexican Activist Marisela Escobedo

Dozens of people held a demonstration in this violence-plagued Mexican border city to demand justice for slain rights activist Marisela Escobedo.

On the one-year anniversary of her death, the protesters on Friday walked a route that Escobedo had covered while seeking justice for the August 2008 murder of her 16-year-old daughter.

Coinciding with the march, the Attorney General’s Office in Chihuahua state, whose largest city is Ciudad Juarez, revealed the identity of the main suspect in the slaying of Escobedo but said the man had been killed in September.

Carlos Gonzalez, spokesman for the state AG’s office, said Friday the evidence shows that Hector Miguel Flores Moran killed Escobedo on Dec. 16, 2010, and that the same murder weapon was also used to kill a dozen other people in Chihuahua city between April and August of this year.

But Escobedo’s son, Juan Manuel Frayre, who is living in exile in El Paso, Texas, said at a press conference Friday that the Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office “conveniently lies” and that Flores Moran is a scapegoat.

“The only witness they have says that wasn’t the man. Let’s not forget that we have a corrupt government that is capable of fabricating guilty parties,” Frayre told reporters during a demonstration outside the Mexican Consulate in El Paso.

Frayre said he received a death threat a few weeks ago while shopping in El Paso and was told to remain silent regarding his mother’s case, adding that the FBI is investigating the incident.

Escobedo died of a gunshot to the head while picketing the governor’s palace in Chihuahua city to demand justice for her daughter, Rubi Frayre Escobedo. The teenager’s boyfriend, Sergio Barraza Bocanegra, had been convicted of the crime in absentia in May 2010 but he had already gone into hiding and remains at large.

The 52-year-old woman staged the protest on that fateful day after learning that Barraza Bocanegra had moved to Zacatecas state and joined Los Zetas, known as the most ruthless of Mexico’s powerful drug cartels, following his acquittal in his first trial in April 2010 due to lack of evidence.

Prior to her death, Escobedo had staged numerous marches and other protests in Ciudad Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, and in Chihuahua city, to demand justice in the case of her murdered daughter and other crimes against women in Juarez dating back to 1993.

More than 500 women have been killed in Ciudad Juarez since that year, according to the National Human Rights Commission, with the majority of the cases going unsolved.

Most of the victims were young women from poor families who worked in the assembly plants, known as “maquiladoras,” that sprung up around the city to take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Many were sexually assaulted before they died.

Ciudad Juarez also is a coveted drug-smuggling corridor that is being fought over by the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels with the backing of hit men from local street gangs.

The northern state of Chihuahua has accounted for about 30 percent of the nearly 50,000 murders committed in Mexico since late 2006, when President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the country’s drug cartels

Read more by HS News Staff →

FIFA ‘Concerned’ About Brazil’s Preparations for 2014 World Cup

FIFA ‘Concerned’ About Brazil’s Preparations for 2014 World Cup

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The president of soccer’s world governing body says it is “concerned” about Brazil’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Saturday after a FIFA executive meeting in Tokyo that he will meet with the Brazilian government in the coming year to discuss its readiness for the tournament.

FIFA said it has not received the necessary government guarantees about the organization of the event.

The French news agency reports Brazil needs more than $11 billion in investment to fix roads, boost hotel capacity, reinforce security and develop its telecommunications network ahead of the World Cup.

Read more at Voice of America →

Mexican Student Group Says it’s Not Behind the Murders of 5 Bodies Found Buried There

Mexican Student Group Says it’s Not Behind the Murders of 5 Bodies Found Buried There

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A Mexican students’ association in the western city of Guadalajara has denied any involvement in the killings of five people found buried at its headquarters and said it will work with authorities to help them solve the case.

“The FEG (Federation of Guadalajara Students), as an institution, has no connection to these crimes,” the head of the student group, Israel Mariscal, told a radio station Friday.

Four students aged 16-21 and the father of one of the youths were found dead between Wednesday and Thursday in clandestine graves at the FEG’s headquarters days after the University of Guadalajara had reported them missing.

The five had allegedly gone to the FEG’s offices near downtown Guadalajara to demand that the student group lower the fee they were charging a snack vendor, the oldest victim, for permission to sell churros (a fried-dough dessert) outside a school.

A guard at FEG’s offices identified by the alias “El tatuado” is suspected in the killings, although Mariscal said the man is not a member of the student group.

“We’re prepared to help the authorities clear up what happened,” the student leader said.

The FEG, which comprises students at Jalisco public schools, has been accused of demanding payments from street vendors in exchange for the so-called “derecho de piso,” or right to set up shop outside the schools.

Mariscal denied the accusations by saying that “if there’s some case of extortion, they should report it,” adding that “there’s a vendors’ association (and) the FEG offers them legal counseling and medical consultations at a lower cost.”

Thousands of people demonstrated Friday in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second city, to demand justice for the killings of the four students and the father.

They marched silently from the office of the president of the University of Guadalajara, the city’s top higher-learning institution, to the Jalisco state government headquarters.

The university’s president, Marco Antonio Cortes, led the procession of white-clad marchers, some of whom carried candles, television footage showed.

Coinciding with the demonstration, authorities confirmed that the two bodies discovered Thursday were those of churro vendor Armando Gomez, 56, and his son, 21-year-old Ismael.

On Thursday, authorities identified the three students located Wednesday in a different grave. One of them was 17 and the other two were 16.

The three teenagers died of stab wounds, while the street vendor and his son were killed with gunshots to the head.

Authorities with the Jalisco state Attorney General’s Office said a handgun, several shell casings and traces of blood were discovered at the headquarters of the FEG, which has been accused of involvement in previous violent incidents.

The FEG and the Federation of University Students, or FEU, which is affiliated with the University of Guadalajara, are rivals and disputes among their members have erupted on numerous occasions.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UPDATE:  American Lori Berenson Forbidden to Leave Peru to Travel to U.S. for Christmas

UPDATE:  American Lori Berenson Forbidden to Leave Peru to Travel to U.S. for Christmas

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UPDATE:  Paroled U.S. activist Lori Berenson said Saturday that she and her toddler son were not permitted to leave Peru, despite being granted permission in court to spend the holidays in New York with her family.
Berenson did not provide more of an explanation in a brief phone call with The Associated Press

A Peruvian court has given paroled American Lori Berenson permission to travel to the United States with her toddler son to spend the holidays with her family, her attorney and estranged husband said.

“She’s traveling for family reasons to be with her parents” in New York, Anibal Apari, the Peruvian father of 2 1/2-year-old Salvador, told Efe Friday in a phone interview.

He said authorities on Thursday notified Berenson, who was paroled last year after serving most of her 20-year prison sentence for aiding leftist rebels, that she could travel to the United States between Dec. 16 and Jan. 11.

The decision has been harshly criticized by some in Peru, but Apari said the travel permission granted to the 42-year-old U.S. citizen was consistent with Peruvian law.

“The permits have a beginning and an end and she’ll be here when they run out,” Apari, who was released from prison a few years ago after serving time for rebel links, told Efe.

In statements to Radio Programas del Peru, Apari denied that the permission had been granted in “record time,” saying that Berenson put in the application two months ago and that such requests by former inmates currently on parole are routine.

Berenson was arrested in December 1995 as she was leaving the Peruvian Congress. Prosecutors said she entered the premises with false press credentials to obtain information on the building’s security systems for use in planning an attack by the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, or MRTA.

A day after her arrest, police foiled an MRTA plot to storm Congress, take lawmakers hostage and exchange them for jailed leaders of the now-defunct rebel group.

One of the special military courts established by then-President Alberto Fujimori - now in prison for massacres - sentenced Berenson to life behind bars for treason.

The sentence was reduced to 20 years by a civilian court that retried the U.S. activist after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled invalid the verdicts handed down by the Fujimori-era panels.

In a public hearing in August 2010 before the National Penal Court, Berenson apologized for having supported the MRTA.

“Yes, I collaborated with the MRTA. I was never a leader or a militant. I never participated in violent or bloody acts. I never killed anybody,” she said at the televised court session. “If my participation contributed to societal violence I am very sorry for this.”

Berenson was released from prison in November 2010, but she must remain in Peru until 2015 unless the government decides to commute the rest of her original sentence and expel her.

Many in Peru were angered by Berenson’s parole.

Around 70,000 Peruvians died in politically motivated violence between 1980-2000. The biggest share of the killings is attributed to the Maoist-inspired Shining Path, with the security forces accounting for most of the rest.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Julio Iglesias Bids Farewell to His “Public Life”

Julio Iglesias Bids Farewell to His “Public Life”

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Julio Iglesias, the best-selling Spanish recording artist of all time both at home and abroad, lived the last day of his “public life” in Madrid on Friday as he accepted a prize for that double achievement from his record label.

The singer was handed the award by tennis player Rafa Nadal, from one winner to another.

Iglesias will continue singing where invited, but his time of awards ceremonies and public events, the singer announced, probably ended with Friday’s event at the Cervantes Institute.

The man who sold 26 million discs in Spain and 300 million in the rest of the world, badly missed his mom and dad at what he called “the most important moment” in his 44-year career, though he hailed the presence of Nadal, “the greatest Spanish athlete in history.”

Iglesias gave thanks for his prize to all who bought his discs, went to one of his concerts and gave him their time.

Fresh off Spain’s recent Davis Cup triumph, Nadal praised his friend, the “great person” behind the famous artist, whose support he as always been able to count on “in difficult moments.”

“Julio can win the hearts of everyone in the world,” the tennis great said. “I believe it because, wherever I go, whether it’s Japan or the United States, sooner or later they’ll be playing one of his songs.”

In a recent interview with Efe, Iglesias said that his intention was to continue singing, but leading a much more secluded life, which would mean not appearing at awards ceremonies, particularly after experiencing, he said, “such a magic moment” as today.

“Tomorrow I’ll think it was all a dream,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Walmart Offers Its Lowest Prices of the Season During the “BIG Christmas Event” TODAY Dec. 17

Walmart Offers Its Lowest Prices of the Season During the “BIG Christmas Event” TODAY Dec. 17

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Christmas is almost here! Are you ready? According to the National Retail Federation, as of the second week in December, the average person has completed only 46.5 percent of their shopping(1). That’s why Walmart is holding the “BIG Christmas Event” geared specifically to the millions of last-minute shoppers.

Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, Walmart’s “BIG Christmas Event” will offer its lowest prices of the season on toys, games, electronics, bikes and more. In addition, Walmart.com is giving customers an extra day to shop by extending its shipping deadlines. Walmart’s holiday shipping options not only ensure gifts arrive in time for Christmas, but have also saved customers approximately $36 million in shipping(2) fees.

“Our customers are telling us there’s still a lot of shopping to do before Christmas,” said Duncan MacNaughton, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S. “Moms are feeling stressed to ‘get it right’ and not forget anything, so we’re excited to give them another great day of savings to help them purchase gifts, stocking stuffers and the holiday meal at our lowest prices of the season.”

Incredible Savings on Electronics and Games(3):

—Vizio® 32” Class 1080p LED/LCD HDTV (31.5” diagonal screen) – $298
—Vizio® 3D Blu-ray™ Player with Built-in WiFi – $98
—Select Games for Xbox 360®, Nintendo® Wii™, and PS3® Games – $39.96 each

Best Gifts for Kids(3):

—Girls’ or boys’ 24” Power Climber Bike, Mongoose® 20” FSG or Outer Limit Bike $88 each
—FurReal® Friends Cookie My Playful Pup™ – $29

Gifts and Toys for $10 and under(3):

—Barbie® Swim & Dance™ Doll or Strollin’ Pups™ Doll – $10 each
—Air Hogs® Moto Frenzy or Beyblade™ Metal Masters™ Burning Fire Strike 2-pack – $10 each
—Axe® Excite Gift Set – $10
—Nobo™ Cozy Socks – $2.97

Top Toys for $20 and under(3):

—Nerf® Dart Tag™ Swarmfire Blaster or Hot Wheels® Sky Jump Track™ Set – $20 each
—Happy Nappers™ The Perfect Play Pillow™ – $14.88

“No matter how late in the game you start your holiday shopping, we guarantee the best price,” said MacNaughton. “In addition to offering our lowest prices, if customers find a lower price in a local competitor’s ad for the same product – even after the purchase – Walmart will refund the difference with a Walmart gift card – that is our Christmas Price Guarantee.”

Extended Standard Shipping Deadline plus Free Shipping on Hundreds of Thousands of Items

Customers can now order products online until 11:30 p.m. PT on Dec. 20 and receive standard shipping to home with delivery in time for Christmas. Rush shipping to home is also available until 11:30 p.m. PT on Dec. 21.

Customers have even more ways to save on free shipping to home and stores through the following programs:

—Home Free (now through 12/20 11:30 p.m. PT) – order online and receive free shipping to home on all purchases of $45 or more on Microsoft Xbox consoles, games and accessories, electronics, apparel, consumables and other seasonal items.
—Site to Store (now through 12/20 11:30 p.m. PT) – order online and receive free shipping to a Walmart store
—FedEx Site to Store (now through 12/20 11:30 p.m. PT) – order online and receive free shipping to participating FedEx Office locations. This service in now available in more than 650 FedEx Office locations in NYC, Los Angeles, Washington DC, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Miami, Cincinnati and Columbus.
—Pick Up Today (now through Dec. 23 11:30 p.m. PT) – order store items online for same day pick up at a Walmart store.

More information is available at http://www.walmart.com/holidayshipping

There’s Still Plenty of Time to Shop and Save! Most Walmart stores are open 24 hours and many of those that do not offer 24-hour service will have extended shopping hours for the holiday season.

Holiday hours and shipping options include:

—All locations close at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve)
—All locations are closed on Dec. 25 (Christmas Day), with 24-hour locations reopening on Dec. 26 at 6 a.m. and other locations reopening at regularly scheduled times

(1) The National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey polled 8,402 consumers and was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch, November 30 – December 7, 2011. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.

(2) Walmart internal data measuring the total amount customers have saved using Home Free, Site to Store, FedEx Site to Store and/or Pick Up Today programs over the holidays

(3) Supplies are limited, Prices may vary in Alaska, Hawaii, Oklahoma and Wisconsin

Read more by HS News Staff →

Breaking News: Two Earthquakes Strike Puerto Rico Within Minutes of Each Other

Breaking News: Two Earthquakes Strike Puerto Rico Within Minutes of Each Other

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Two strong earthquakes struck Puerto Rico within minutes of each other early Saturday.

The quakes, with magnitudes of 5.1 and 5.3 respectively, occurred three minutes apart just after 2 a.m. AST in the Mona Passage, just to the west of the island. A smaller aftershock was reported a few minutes later, and all were felt in the capital, San Juan.

The 5.1 quake was recorded at a depth of 14 kilometers (9 miles), while the 5.3 quake occurred at a depth of 17 kilometers (11 miles).

No tsunami alert was issued.

Some residents in the island’s southwest region reported power outages as well as broken items around the house. No injuries have been reported.

There were no immediate reports of damage in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Treasure Hunters Fighting with Spain Tried to Get Congress to Change Law’s Wording

Treasure Hunters Fighting with Spain Tried to Get Congress to Change Law’s Wording

Photo: Treasure Hunters Fighting with Spain Tried to Get Congress to Change Law's Wording

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he Florida treasure-hunting firm battling Spain in the U.S. courts for possession of $500 million in gold and silver coins salvaged from the Atlantic in May 2007 tried to aid its case by getting Congress to alter the wording of a law, the Washington Post reported.

Working through sympathetic Florida lawmakers and a Washington lobbying firm, Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. sought to insert minor changes in the 2004 Sunken Military Craft Act.

The changes were to have been introduced via a defense appropriations bill, but House and Senate negotiators decided this week to leave the proposed language out of the legislation.

U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday ruled in December 2009 that Spain was the rightful owner of the treasure Odyssey salvaged off the Portuguese coast in the same area where the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, a Spanish navy frigate, was destroyed in battle in 1804.

Merryday’s ruling was upheld last month by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but Odyssey asked the court to stay its order to hand over the treasure pending an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Madrid says the treasure came from the Mercedes and that the vessel and its contents rightfully belong to Spain under the principle of sovereign immunity.

Odyssey, however, contends that contemporaneous Spanish diplomatic communications show the Mercedes was on a commercial mission at the time of her sinking, invalidating Madrid’s sovereign immunity claim.

Within days of recovering the $500 million in coins, Odyssey took the hoard to Gibraltar and loaded it onto a chartered Boeing-757 for transport back to Florida.

The treasure remains at a secret location in Florida.

The alterations Odyssey sought to U.S. legislation could conceivable have bolstered that argument, but a source at the Spanish Embassy in Washington told Efe the firm’s hopes were misplaced.

As written, the 2004 law defines “sunken military craft” as “any sunken warship, naval auxiliary, or other vessel that was owned or operated by a government on military noncommercial service when it sank.”

Even if the wording of the law were changed, Odyssey would still lose in court, according to the Spanish Embassy source, because “a military ship is military by its nature, and cannot be “military commercial.’”

Moreover, the source said, it was common practice for military vessels to carry merchandise and even civilian passengers, while documents show the Mercedes was sailing to Spain on the orders of the Spanish king.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Where Do Immigrants Stand on The Occupy Movement

Where Do Immigrants Stand on The Occupy Movement

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Although immigrants have not had a very strong presence in the Occupy movement, one man—Francisco “Pancho” Ramos Stierle – captivated the attention of Latino media across the country.

The 36-year-old was arrested last month as part of the Occupy Oakland protest and faced possible deportation as a result of his immigration status.

Ramos has since been set free, and will appear before an immigration judge at a future date.

A reporter for El Mensajero saw the activist protesting near the Port of Oakland on Monday. “That to me says that of course he’s risking deportation, but he is standing for the movement,” María Mejía, editor of Spanish-language newspaper El Mensajero in San Francisco, told NAM.

Even though the three-month-old Occupy movement in the United States began on Wall Street as a protest by the so-called “99 percent” against the greed and corruption of the “1 percent,” many in immigrant communities view the diffused and amorphous protests as something that has already begun to hurt blue-collar workers and the economy, according to reports in the ethnic media.

For example, each day that there are delays and disruptions in operations at the Port of Oakland, the region loses approximately $8.5 million in lost wages and state taxes, as well as in business revenue related to imports and exports, according to Robert Bernardo, a spokesman for the Port of Oakland.

Valerie Lapin, spokeswoman for the Oakland-based Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports, told India-West, a San Leandro, Calif.-based weekly newspaper for the South Asian diaspora in the United States, “Truck drivers are definitely part of the 99 percent. They are such a clear example of those who are being exploited.”

Indian Americans, most of them from Punjab, make up roughly one-third of all truck owners and drivers in California. Nearly all of them are in business for themselves, which means they get no health insurance, have to pay for truck fuel, maintenance and registration, making no more than $25,000 a year.

Several Indian-American owners of trucking companies who operate out of the Oakland ports expressed their displeasure over the two-day protest, according to India-West.

“I didn’t cross the picket line because I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Rajiv Jain, owner of Bridgeport Transporting and Warehousing, told the paper.

“My drivers were intimidated by the protestors. We don’t support them at all,” asserted Jain, noting that at a similar occurrence in November, protestors threw rocks at the trucks, shattering windshields that had to be replaced by the drivers who own their own trucks.

Jain estimates he and his drivers lost $45,000 on Dec. 12, the first day of the protests.

Dong Kim, publisher of Hyundai News, an Oakland-based Korean-language weekly, said he sympathizes with the protestors’ cause, and while it has helped to shine a spotlight on the greed of the 1 percent, he is opposed to “their most recent actions, including the port shutdown” as it has paralyzed the city.

Henrik Rehbinder, editorial page editor of La Opinión in Los Angeles, which has written several editorials on Occupy L.A., echoed Kim’s view: “We support the intentions (behind the movement); we don’t necessarily agree with the methods,” he said.

The paper has been critical of the violence used by both the protestors and police.

In order for the movement to be successful, Rehbinder said, it needs to tailor the message, focus on economic inequality, and develop clearer leadership. “We think the purpose of the whole thing, is eventually to occupy the ballot box.”

Chinatown businesses in Oakland worried, according to the World Journal, one of the largest Chinese-language newspapers in the United States, that the shutdown would delay the unloading of their goods and affect their sales in the days before the Lunar New Year that arrives Jan. 23 next year.

Oakland Chinatown Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council president Carl Chan said the shutdown of the Oakland Port has diverted cargo ships to ports in Los Angeles and other cities. That’s forcing many businesses to have to pay for transferring the cargo to the Bay Area. Small business owners belonging to the 99 percent are financially hurt.

Still, some ethnic media say the Occupy movement has captured the imagination of readers, and brought the issues of class, the wealth gap and poverty to the forefront of public debate.

Giao Pham, managing editor of Nguoi Viet based in Westminster, Calif., said his Vietnamese daily continues to track the Occupy movement, because there’s interest in the community.

“People recognize that the movement is getting bigger and they discuss the meaning of the movement,” he said. “The Vietnamese community here in the U.S., we’re new and not rich. People discuss the one percent and the 99 percent, which they belong to.”

In an editorial, Ngo Nhan Dung, who chairs the newspaper’s editorial board, offers an Occupy movement 101, and explains how the movement should be perceived.

Ngo says that the movement was initiated by young people, demanding a fairer society, and should not be perceived as a movement to overthrow the government or to get rid of capitalism, according to the newspaper’s managing editor Pham. The op-ed argues we should not blame financial brokers or investors for the gap in income. It is, instead, the tax law that should be changed in order to narrow the gap, according to Pham.

Fatima Bakhit, publisher of Al Enteshar Al Arabi in Los Angeles agreed with Ngo’s sentiments about reforms to the tax code.

“The middle-class and lower-class communities are hurting and they have every right to make sure their voices are heard,” she said. “Low-income earners and people who earn $1 million a year should not be taxed the same. It is not right to have so few people with so much wealth, while there are so many who do not have enough to eat.”

Blogger Linda Evans, who will be joining the Occupy movement in Washington, D.C., this weekend, writes for MomsRising.org.

“I haven’t felt this energized since the civil rights movement and women’s march in the 1960s,” she writes.

The unemployment rate in Washington, D.C. is 11 percent, significantly higher than the national average, she notes.

“I know how hard it is to find work here as I am currently looking for work. My two sons recently found jobs after two years of looking for work. Cutting off the unemployed from unemployment insurance will mean more overdue bills, more foreclosed homes and a loss of dignity for our residents.”

Evans, who is African American, argues that, “What is happening today goes beyond issues of race and gender. We, and by that I mean all Americans, have helped build this country.” She writes, “Now our humanity is under attack as we face the worst recession in recent history and a host of problems associated with it: joblessness, home foreclosures, poverty and a lack of dignity.”

Sunita Sorabji, Viji Sundaram, Elena Shore, Aruna Lee, Summer Chiang, Vivian Po, Peter Schurmann, Suzanne Manneh, Ngoc Nguyen and Zaineb Mohammed contributed to this report.

Read more at New America Media →

UNWIND This Weekend with a Latin American Natural Wonder

UNWIND this weekend with a Latin American natural wonder.  Guess What and Where this is?

semuc champey, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, lanquín

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SaturdayDecember 17, 2011