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ThursdayDecember 22, 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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Former President Clinton Instrumental in Mexico Closing One of World’s Largest Landfills

Former President Clinton Instrumental in Mexico Closing One of World’s Largest Landfills

Photo: Mexico City Landfill Closes

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A project to close one of the world’s largest landfills, the 927-acre Bordo Poniente Landfill in Mexico City will stem the city’s largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while creating renewable energy and local jobs.

Developed in close collaboration with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) Cities program and its partner the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), the project represents a model for reducing GHG emissions through sustainable solid waste management than can be replicated around the world.

“I applaud the decision of the Mexican authorities to close the Bordo Poniente Landfill and reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. I am glad the Clinton Climate Initiative was able to support the work necessary to make the closure possible,” said President Clinton.  “Through the Clinton Climate Initiative, we are helping Mexico City convert millions of tons of garbage to new energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2 million tons annually.  This project will help the local economy and fight climate change.”

Solid waste in landfills is the third largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions – 23 times more potent as a greenhouse gas agent than CO2. Capturing methane from the Bordo Poniente landfill could reduce GHG emissions from Mexico City by 25 million tons of CO2 equivalent over the next 25 years – more than one quarter of the city’s total emissions.  Globally, it represents one of the largest reductions of GHGs associated with solid waste management.

It is estimated that capturing methane from the Bordo Poniente Landfill could generate over 250 GWh or enough power for an estimated 35,000 homes in Mexico City during the first years of operation. Further economic benefits will come from the creation of both short and long-term local jobs for contractors, service providers and qualified labor in the construction, operation and maintenance of the landfill gas capture system.

The Bordo Poniente Landfill ceased receiving solid waste on December 19th, 2011. The same day, Mexico City Mayor Ebrard announced the international public tender for a developer to close the landfill in an environmentally-sound manner that optimizes the capture and utilization of methane gas to produce energy.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Group of Immigrant Detainees with Mental Disabilities Given Class-Action Status in Lawsuit

Group of Immigrant Detainees with Mental Disabilities Given Class-Action Status in Lawsuit

Photo: Immigrant Detainees Class-Action Suit

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A federal court in California has granted class-action status to a group of unrepresented immigration detainees with mental disabilities, an important step in helping ensure they get access to legal counsel.

The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed last year on behalf of a group of detainees, including José Antonio Franco Gonzales, a Mexican immigrant with moderate mental retardation who was detained in federal immigration facilities for over four years without a hearing. Judge Dolly Gee of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California found that the problems identified in the lawsuit are systemic, and there is no mechanism for evaluating whether immigration detainees with mental disabilities are able to represent themselves.

About 33,000 immigrants are detained daily and government estimates indicate that over 1,000 of them have mental disabilities.  The government has no procedure to resolve their cases, including for individuals who are unable to understand the proceedings against them due to severe mental disabilities.

The ruling, which was unsealed by the judge this week, applies to cases in Arizona, California and Washington.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Daughter of Cuban Leader Starts Blog: ‘El Blog de Mariela Castro’

Daughter of Cuban Leader Starts Blog: ‘El Blog de Mariela Castro’

Photo: Daughter of Cuban Leader Starts Blog: 'El Blog de Mariela Castro'

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Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and director of the National Sexual Education Center, has launched a blog.

“El blog de Mariela Castro” featured Castro’s first two posts on Wednesday, although readers have not yet been provided with the chance to leave responses or comments.

Castro, well-known in Cuba for her work in favor of the rights of sexual minorities, published her first blog article on the visit she made in October to Amsterdam and another on the discussions in the Cuban legislature concerning the “racial problem” on the Communist-ruled island.

In the second piece, Castro says that she was invited on Tuesday to a working meeting of the National Assembly at which lawmakers discussed racism and in which Culture Minister Abel Prieto and parliament speaker Ricardo Alarcon also participated.

According to what she said in her blog post, the 53 years of the Cuban Revolution confirm that the country must work on an ongoing basis on educational and social communication strategies to achieve “cultural changes” in society and “full justice.”

The second and last plenary session of the National Assembly this year will take place on Friday.

Mariela Castro last month opened her first Twitter account (@CastroEspinM), which in just a few hours engendered debate and a controversial exchange of messages with independent blogger Yoani Sanchez, who has - over time - been critical of the Cuban regime.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico expecting 52 Million Tourists in Maya region in 2012

Mexico expecting 52 Million Tourists in Maya region in 2012

Photo: Mayan Calendar

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The Mexican government expects 52 million tourists to visit the five states corresponding to the so-called Maya World over the next 12 months for the start of a new cosmic cycle in the Maya calendar.

The tourism office said Wednesday in a communique that the visitors will spend about 270 million pesos ($19.5 million) in the southeastern states of Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, Yucatan and Quintana Roo.

On Dec. 21, 2012, the Maya calendar will come to the end of its current cycle, and thus Wednesday marks the start of the countdown of the last year in that culture’s long-term solar calendar.

According to the Maya solar calendar, this coming year will be the last year in a cycle of 5,125 years - beginning in 3114 B.C. - and according to scientific evidence found in Maya stelas, codexes and other sources it presages “a change of epoch” for humanity.

The Maya created a calendar with a 400-year base period, each of which was called a “baktune,” and each era is comprised of 13 cycles of 400 years, totaling 5,125 years.

“The Maya cosmology has sparked the interest of tourists and students of the matter worldwide, something that will be an important element of tourist promotion,” said the tourism office.

Some people think that the cyclical change in the calendar will mean the end of the world, a belief that has raised a certain amount of anxiety surrounding the date.

Epigraphist Sven Gronemeyer, of Australia’s La Trobe University, said earlier this month at a gathering of scholars that the inscription which gave rise to the “end of the world” talk merely refers to the end of one cycle of time and the start of another.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: 2 Arrested in Connection to Case of Girl Killed while Another is Forced to Watch

LATINO BLOTTER: 2 Arrested in Connection to Case of Girl Killed while Another is Forced to Watch

Photo: 2 Arrested in Connection to Case of Girl Killed while Another is Forced to Watch

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Police in Oklahoma have arrested Francisco Gomez and Jimmy Lee Massey for not only torturing and beheading a teenage girl, but for forcing another woman to watch as it happened.

Carina Saunders, was only 19 when she was randomly chosen, kidnapped, tortured, killed, and cut to pieces all to be an example to another woman.

Saunders is believed to have been a completely innocent victim who was chosen at random so Massey and possibly Gomez could show another woman what would happen to her if she failed to do what they say.

The woman forced to watch the horrific acts has not been named in order to protect her, but police say she is 20 years old. The two victims are said to have not known each other. She and others are said to have been forced to cooperate with a human trafficking ring involving prostitution and drug smuggling and selling. Police say she was threatened because she was not “performing to their satisfaction.”

Saunders’ on October 13. Her body had been cut up, put in a duffel bag and left behind a grocery story in the Oklahoma City suburb of Bethany, OK.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Federal Judge Blocks Part of South Carolina’s Immigration Law

Federal Judge Blocks Part of South Carolina’s Immigration Law

Photo: Federal Judge Blocks Part of sb20

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A mandate that police verify the immigration status of people they suspect are undocumented is one of several provisions of South Carolina’s immigration law that were blocked on Thursday by a federal judge.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel in Charleston also bars the state from enforcing a requirement that people carry immigration documents at all times.

Likewise blocked for the moment is a provision that makes it a felony to transport or harbor undocumented immigrants.

The law, known as SB 20 or Act 69, is due to take effect Jan. 1.

“This is a triumph of the immigrant community,” Ivan Segura, a member of the Council of Mexicans in the Carolinas, said after learning of Gergel’s decision.

The judge issued the 42-page ruling three days after hearing from attorneys representing the state of South Carolina and plaintiffs who filed suits challenging the law as unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Gergel wrote that the South Carolina legislature’s unhappiness with the way the federal government enforces immigration law does not give the state the right to “adopt its own immigration policy to supplant the policy of the national government.”

“Judge Gergel demonstrated he knows the issue very well and he established a difference between the functions the states and the federal government have in the matter of immigration,” Eric Esquivel, a plaintiff in the suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, told Efe Thursday from the coastal resort town of Hilton Head.

Members of churches, human rights groups and pro-immigrant organizations held marches, rallies and prayer vigils across the state last Sunday in opposition to SB 20.

Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, signed the measure into law on July 27, after it passed both houses of the Republican-controlled South Carolina legislature.

SB 20 has much in common with Arizona’s SB 1070 and the Alabama law HB 56, both of which have had a devastating impact on immigrants and have hurt the states’ respective economies.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced last week that it will hear arguments on the Arizona law, the first of the anti-immigrant measures to be enacted and the first to be partially blocked by a federal judge in response to suits from the Justice Department and the ACLU.

One way that SB 20 differs from the Arizona and Alabama legislation is its call for the creation of a state immigration enforcement unit that would be the first of its kind in the nation.

South Carolina moved in 2008 to prohibit publicly supported universities and community colleges from accepting undocmented students.

An estimated 45,000 of South Carolina’s 235,000 Hispanics are thought to be undocumented immigrants.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: 4-12 Years for Woman Who Caused the Death of Infant of Girl Forced Into Prostitution

LATINO BLOTTER: 4-12 Years for Woman Who Caused the Death of Infant of Girl Forced Into Prostitution

Photo: Norma Mendez, who ran a brothel at this home, pled guilty in infant death of girl forced into prostitution

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Norma Mendez pled guilty in the death of baby born to a teenage mother who had been forced into prostitution by Mendez and her husband, Domingo Salazar and will now spend up to 12 years behind bars.

Two years ago, a 3-month-old baby was found in a basement in New York’s Bronx neighborhood.

The baby’s names was Carlos and was the child a 16-year-old girl who had been brought to the U.S. from Mexico by Mendez and her husband and forced into the sex trade.

Not only did the couple abuse the young girl, but police say her infant son was also abused and left to die. The heartless couple then had the teenager bury the baby in a shoebox in the basement of their brothel.

While many have no doubt Mendez and her husband are responsible for the baby’s death, Mendez’ plea to manslaughter means she is on the hook only for recklessness leading to the death of the child, but not actually murdering the 3-month-old.

After pleaded guilty, 34-year-old Mendez took a plea deal of 4 to 12 years in prison, which prosecutor Jacqueline Kagan said spared the sex-slave mother and Mendez’ 6-year-old son from having to testify.

Mendez’ husband received a similar sentence for his part in the events. He is said to be the father of the deceased infant after raping the girl, now 18.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pamela Anderson Caught Drunk in Mexico!

Pamela Anderson Caught Drunk in Mexico!

Photo: Pamela Anderson

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Pam Anderson showed up late to Playboy Mexico’s Christmas party. She stayed in for an hour and 20 minutes, enough to get wasted and dance atop the table.

44-year-old Pamela Anderson can still turn a lot of heads; Sporting a tight black dress the Baywatch star went south of the border to celebrate Playboy Mexico’s lucrative year.

Check out the pictures of Pamela Anderson’s short but exciting drunken pit-stop at the Playboy Mexico Party!

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Grammy’s to Make Special Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim

Grammy’s to Make Special Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim

Photo: Grammy’s to Make Special Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim

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Antonio Carlos Jobim, who co-wrote the famous song “Girl From Ipanema” will be awarded a posthumous Grammy for helping share Bossa Nova with the world.

The Brazilian arranger, singer and pianist/guitarist was pivotal in the creation of the Brazilian Bossa Nova as well as in exporting the sound to the rest of the world.

In 1995, Jobim won a posthumous Best Latin Jazz Performance Grammy for his album ‘Antonio Brasileiro’.

Along with Jobim, the late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs will be presented with a special Grammy award for creating products and technology that transformed the way we consume music, TV, movies and books. Diana Ross, whom has never won a Grammy, will be presented the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other Lifetime Achievement recipients for the year include the Allman Brothers Band, Glen Campbell, George Jones, the Memphis Horns, and the late Gil Scott-Heron

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER UPDATE: Man Who Sexually Violated Chihuahua Sentenced to 1 Year in Jail

LATINO BLOTTER UPDATE: Man Who Sexually Violated Chihuahua Sentenced to 1 Year in Jail

Photo: Tomas Bautista sentenced to jail for abusing roommate's Chihuahua

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In February, Tomas Bautista was arrested for the sexual assault of his roommate’s pet Chihuahua. This week, the doggy defiler was sentenced to just over a year in prison.

Bautista was arrested after his drunken night in February led to the sick violation of his roommate’s Chihuahua said Broward County sheriff’s department in Oakland Park, Florida.

Clemente Velasquez, the roommate, said he arrived home to find Bautista in a drunken stupor and “told him to go to bed,” said police.

The drunk Bautista instead went outside to the back yard with his roommate’s three-year-old Chihuahua mix, Mimi, in tow.

Police said Velasquez heard Mimi yelp a few minutes later, and ran outside with a flashlight.

He found Mimi bleeding and Bautista “passed out with his pants down.”
Velasquez took the black and white Chihuahua Coral Springs Animal Hospital to be treated after he called authorities.

Bautista admitted to using his finger to violate the poor dog.

At the time, the charge of animal cruelty was only a third-degree felony, and Florida did not have a law that specifically banned sex with animals. Since then however, the state has passed a ban on bestiality, making it a misdemeanor.

Bautista was sentenced to one year and one day in jail, but was credited for the time he’s spent in jail since being arrested. He has about 50 days left to serve.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Wife of Former Prime Minister Aznar to Become Madrid Mayor

Wife of Former Prime Minister Aznar to Become Madrid Mayor

Photo: Ana Botella

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Ana Botella, the wife of former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, will become Madrid’s first female mayor, municipal authorities announced Thursday.

Botella, currently a councilor and second-deputy mayor, will be elected to the post in an extraordinary meeting of the city council next Tuesday.

She will succeed Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, mayor of the capital since 2003, who is to serve as justice minister in the new government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

In remarks to the media outside city hall, Deputy Mayor Manuel Cobo said Ruiz-Gallardon presented his resignation first thing on Thursday morning.

When asked about the legitimacy of Botella serving as mayor, given that she was not a candidate for the post in the recent elections, Cobo said that as the No. 2 person on the conservative Popular Party ticket in the last municipal ballot, she received the votes “of the majority of Madrid residents.”

“All Madrid residents voted for her who voted the Popular Party ticket. She had the same number of votes as Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon and the rest of the members of the ticket and, besides, it seems to me that she’s going to do very well,” he said.

Aznar was prime minister from 1996-2004, when he designated Rajoy to succeed him at the head of the PP.

Rajoy lost to Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialists in 2004 and 2008 before leading the PP to a landslide victory in last month’s general elections.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Are $300,000 Heroin-Laced Soccer Uniforms the Newest Fad?

Are $300,000 Heroin-Laced Soccer Uniforms the Newest Fad?

Photo: Heroin-Laced Soccer clothes

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Police uncovered a shipment of $315,000 worth of heroin sewn into the lining of a Bolivian passenger’s soccer garments.

Saturday, Elias Casiano Jr., 29, flew into Washington’s Dulles Airport from Bolivia and was selected for a secondary inspection. Upon inspection, police found close to ten pounds of heroin sewn into the lining of four pairs of soccer pants, two pairs of soccer shorts and a banner.

Casiano was charged with importing one kilogram or more of heroin and faces up to 10 years in prison.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Santa’s Latino Cousin ‘Pancho Clos’ Visits Texas Children

Santa’s Latino Cousin ‘Pancho Clos’ Visits Texas Children

Photo: Children at a Texas shopping center were able to meet Santa Claus’ Latino cousin Pancho Clos over the weekend.

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Children at a Texas shopping center were able to meet Santa Claus’ Latino cousin Pancho Clos over the weekend.

The jolly visitor shared celebrated the Christmas season with the children of Lubbock, Texas, and made sure each one left with something to ensure that no one was left out this Christmas.

According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, the Mexican-themed cousin is a decades old tradition for the residents.

An escort made up of members of the Hispanic Police Officers Association escorted Pancho Clos to the Maggie Trejo Super Center where Santa’s relative, along with the HPOA, gave out more than 1,000 donated toys. More than 2,000 bags of candy and snacks were donated as well.

Sunday’s gift-giving was the 40th year of the event starring the sombrero-clad man.

Along with the goodies and toys, the children all sat on Pancho’s lap and told them their Christmas wishes.

The event was sponsored by the American G.I. Forum, a nonprofit organization for veterans.


See photos from the event here.

Read more by HS News Staff →

McDonald’s Closes All Their Restaurants in Bolivia

McDonald’s Closes All Their Restaurants in Bolivia

Photo: No More McDonald's for Bolivia

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UPDATE:  HS News

Bolivia became the first McDonald’s-free Latin American nation, after struggling for more than a decade to keep their numbers out of ‘the red.’  And that fact is still making news.

After 14 years in the nation and despite many campaigns and promos McDonald’s was forced to close in 2002, its 8 Bolivian restaurants in the major cities of La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

McDonald’s served its last hamburgers in Bolivia on a Saturday at midnight, after announcing a global restructuring plan in which it would close its doors in seven other countries with poor profit margins.

The failure of McDonald’s in Bolivia had such a deep impact that a documentary titled “Por que quebro McDonald’s en Bolivia” or “Why did McDonald’s Bolivia go Bankrupt,” trying to explain why did Bolivians never crossed-over from their empanadas to Big Macs.

The documentary includes interviews with cooks, sociologists, nutritionists and educators who all seem to agree, Bolivians are not against hamburgers per sé, just against ‘fast food,’ a concept widely unaccepted in the Bolivian community.

The story has also attracted world wide attention toward fast foods in Latin America.  El Polvorin blog noted:  “Fast-food represents the complete opposite of what Bolivians consider a meal should be. To be a good meal, food has to have be prepared with love, dedication, certain hygiene standards and proper cook time.”

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Utah Hispanic Center Director Recently Released from Jail Now Facing New Sex Abuse Charges

Former Utah Hispanic Center Director Recently Released from Jail Now Facing New Sex Abuse Charges

Photo: Leo Bravo was just released from jail, but faces new sexual abuse charges

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Though having just been released from jail for a prior sex abuse conviction, the Hispanic Center of Cache Valley’s former director may be heading right back behind bars.

In October, former director Leo Bravo was released from Cache County Jail after serving two years for his conviction on two amended counts of attempted forcible sexual abuse for assaulting a woman who had gone to the Hispanic Center in search of help.

And though he served his time for the inappropriate contact, Bravo is now facing five counts of rape, five counts of object rape, five counts of sodomy, and one count of forcible sex abuse.

The victim is said to be a woman who also had ties to the center from which Bravo resigned as director in 2009.

Utah’s Logan Police Department says the victim was a juvenile when the alleged crime occurred about 10 years ago. It was not indicated why the victim waiting so long to come forward, but said that the department was informed in October that second victim might be coming forward.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Costa Rican Goal Keeper Esteban Alvarado Goes Ninja on Attacker (VIDEO)

Costa Rican Goal Keeper Esteban Alvarado Goes Ninja on Attacker (VIDEO)

Photo: Esteban Alvarado Goalkeeper Goes kung-Fu

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The match between Holland’s Ajax soccer team and AZ Alkmaar ended after an Ajax fan attacked AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado.

In response to the aggressor, Alvarado kicked his attacker to the ground.

Having not seen the Ajax fan initiate the confrontation and only Alvarado’s kick, a referee kicked the goalkeepers out of the game, causing AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek to order the entire team off the field, forfeiting the match.

Ajax issued an apology to their opponents and promised to severely punish the 19-year-old attacker, who admitted to be drunk and to have attacked Alvarado because he didn’t like him. HE faces a lifetime ban from the stadium.

Read more by HS News Staff →

EXTREME TRAFFICKING: Spanish Model Uses Fake Implants to Transport Cocaine from Brazil to Rome

EXTREME TRAFFICKING: Spanish Model Uses Fake Implants to Transport Cocaine from Brazil to Rome

Photo: Spanish Model Uses Fake Implants to Transport Cocaine from Brazil to Rome

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A model heading to Rome from Brazil has been arrested after it was discovered that the fake implants she was carrying had cocaine stashed inside them.

The unnamed Spanish model, 33, was traveling from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Rome, Italy on Monday when authorities said she tried to dress in tight-fitting and revealing clothing to distract border police from what she was carrying. She was unsuccessful however due to her inability to answer questions about the reason for her trip to South America.

After drawing suspicion, the model identified only as MFM became “quite aggressive”. Two female investigators then conducted a strip search on the model and it was revealed that her plastic breast and buttocks implants contained more than 5 lbs of pure cocaine.

Antonio Di Greco, police chief at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino airport, said MFM’s route was “well used by drug traffickers.”

She has been charged with international drug trafficking.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Woman Gives Birth To Two-Headed Baby (VIDEO)

Brazilian Woman Gives Birth To Two-Headed Baby (VIDEO)

Photo: Two-Headed Baby born in Brazil

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María de Nazare, 25, said she had initially expected twins and only learned her babies shared a body minutes before she gave birth by cesarean section. 

Doctors thought they were delivering twins, but pre-birth tests revealed that the baby had two brains and two spines, but shared one heart, one pair of lungs, and a liver.

Traditional birth posed a number of risks, so doctors opted to perform a c-section, which took an hour because the babies was sitting down.

The children are in surprising good health, and doctors said they are not considering surgery, but rather focusing on keeping the children in good condition and monitoring their development.

As if her own name wasn’t close enough to Mary of Nazareth, María’s Christmas spirit compelled her to name her babies Jesus and Emanoel.

Mother and children flew to a hospital in the state capital of Belem for specialized treatment and additional tests Wednesday afternoon.

This case is the second of its kind in Brazil this year, after 27-year-old Sueli Ferreira gave birth to similarly conjoined children in Paraiba. Sadly, they died a few hours later due to lack of oxygen to one of the children’s heads.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. - Mexico ‘Operation Holiday Hoax’ Nets $80 Million in Counterfeit Goods

U.S. - Mexico ‘Operation Holiday Hoax’ Nets $80 Million in Counterfeit Goods

Photo: Counterfeit Mexican Goods

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Mexican government announced the seizure of more than 327,000 counterfeit items with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price worth an estimated $76.8 million as part of a coordinated international effort.

The effort is a continuation of efforts to track down those who are selling counterfeit and pirated products this holiday season.

During the six-week operation, coined Operation Holiday Hoax II, immigration officials, Homeland Security and its partners, the Government of Mexico, and local governments worked with trademark holders to target stores, flea markets, swap meets involved in the importation, distribution and selling of counterfeit and pirated products in 66 cities across the United States; in Seoul, South Korea; and in 55 Mexican cities.

Additionally, CBP officers conducted inspections and seized counterfeit merchandise at various ports of entry, which led to subsequent investigations and enforcement actions by special agents.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Woman Shackled During Birth and After Cesarean Sues Sheriff Arpaio & His Deputies

Woman Shackled During Birth and After Cesarean Sues Sheriff Arpaio & His Deputies

Photo: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Sued Again

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Miriam Mendiola-Martinez, through her attorneys, filed a federal lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa Medical Center, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Officers (MCSO), and Maricopa Medical Center doctors and nurses, alleging that she was shackled by Maricopa County Sheriff’s officers during labor and after her Cesarean delivery.

The complaint, alleges that Sheriff Arpaio and the other defendants violated several constitutional rights, to include the Eighth Amendment rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and the right of prisoners to adequate health care. 

This lawsuit comes on the heals of the Justice Department alleging Arpaio and his office repeatedly violated the civil rights of its Latino detainees.  The Sheriff’s office alos turned in their federal credentials after losing their right to conduct immigration screenings in the county jails.

The complaint states that in December 2009, while she was held as a prisoner in Maricopa County jails, Ms. Mendiola-Martinez was repeatedly shackled during her labor and while she recovered from a Cesarean birth. She also alleges that a MCSO deputy or correctional officer forced her to walk, with her hands and feet shackled, wearing only a hospital gown and with a bleeding surgery wound, out of the hospital and then back into the hospital while she was being discharged from the hospital.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association oppose the shackling of women in labor or recuperating from delivery.

The Arizona Department of Corrections eliminated the practice of shackling women in labor or in postpartum recovery in 2003. In 2007, the United States Marshal’s Service eliminated the practice of shackling women in labor. In 2008, the Federal Bureau of Prisons eliminated the practice of shackling women in labor.

Read more by HS News Staff →

MEET Carlos “Flaco” Hincapié Current Leader of “Your Big Year” Global Competition (VIDEO)

MEET Carlos “Flaco” Hincapié Current Leader of “Your Big Year” Global Competition (VIDEO)

Photo: Carlos 'Flaco' Hincapié

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Carlos is competing to win the grand prize: a 1 year-long trip to 5 continents to volunteer and work with community and world leaders to positively impact 20M people.

Liverpool based “Smaller Earth” has a goal to positively impact 20 million people by 2020 through social action plans, environmental initiatives, cultural exchange programs, medical outreach, construction projects and a vast array of volunteer programs across the world.

For the second year in a row, some 60,000 applicants from 221 countries participated in a “Smaller Earth” competition called “Your Big Year,” to win the grand prize: a year-long trip to 5 continents to volunteer, and work alongside community and world leaders to help “Smaller Earth” positively impact as many people as possible.

On November 11, 2011, Smaller Earth announced the names of the 111 finalists that passed onto round 2, where contestants produced a video that answered the question “How will you positively impact the world?”

Below, the video currently voted #1:

HS-News spoke exclusively with Carlos ‘Flaco’ Hincapié, the video’s creator and the current vote leader and only Colombian contestant in ‘Your Big Year.’ 

Thank you for speaking with us, Carlos tell us a little bit about yourself

Hello, I am from Bogotá, Colombia. I’m an Industrial Designer and an Outdoors Educator. I am also a rock climber and a huge fan of the outdoors.

I’ve been a member of OPEPA (organization for environmental education and protection) since 2006, working in programs trying to reconnect our youth with the earth.

Is that where you do Outdoor Education? What is an Outdoor Educator?

An outdoor educator is a person that teaches or coaches…I mean educates, using nature and the outdoors as a classroom; he/she uses the experiences of outdoor sports to teach lessons and reach important pedagogic goals.

Can you tell us more about Your Big Year and these 3 tasks you’re being judged on?

Yes. The 3 tasks are part of the second round; we started with more than 66,00 people, but now we’re down to 111.

The first task of the second round was to participate in the “Global Entrepreneurship Week”, which is celebrated in more than 165 nations but curiously not in Colombia.

Seeing as there was nothing going on in Colombia, “Your Big Year” Founder Chris Arnold told me to create my own event, and so together with a group of 7 rock climbers, we created the first Global Entrepreneurship event in Colombia and streamed it live to California and Liverpool. It was a total success.

The second task was to create the video…

Yes. I was supposed to show in my video how I’m planning to help positively impact millions of people, and now it’s up to the people to vote for it, if they like it.

We love your video. Congratulations on being number 1! Are you behind the little ukelele music too?

No, I do play the ukelele incidentally, but in my video it was someone else. Thank you for voting, it’s truly an honor to participate, I’ve met and talked to so many incredible people! I mean, the third task is to interview world entrepreneurs and ask them to share their “big year.” 

Who are you talking to?

Especially for this “task” I spoke to Daniel Buriticá, the leader of Colombia’s Youth Network (Red Colombiana de Jovenes), and I also had a chat with Larry Cozy, one of the presidents of Ecopetrol.
But I want to talk to more people, as I found it interesting to hear what people say when asked what was their greatest year, you know? 

What do you plan to do if you win?

Regardless if I win or not, I want to start my own company of Outdoor Education and create better educators. There’s another program we’re trying to launch next year called Mind Seeds, to share artisan and technical knowledge online, and a few other projects here and there.

If I do win, it comes with certain responsibilities as you can imagine, I’ll have to fill in the shoes of Michael Teoh, the previous YBY who spent his big year doing incredible things and building a giant network and spreading the word about Smaller Earth around the world!

I guess if I win, I’d like to make motherland wherever I go, you know? Coming in contact with all these communities around the world, their realities, their struggles…

It always turns out to be immensely rewarding, because you’re making your motherland grow larger every time you positively impact somebody.


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Cuba Estimates Oil, Gas Output Will Reach 4 Million Tons in 2011

Cuba Estimates Oil, Gas Output Will Reach 4 Million Tons in 2011

Photo: Cuba Estimates Oil, Gas Output Will Reach 4 Million Tons in 2011

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Cuba’s basic industry minister said the island produced an estimated 4 million tons of oil equivalent in 2011, an amount roughly unchanged from the previous four years, state media reported.

During an appearance Tuesday before the National Assembly’s Energy and Environment Committee, Tomas Benitez said this year’s result was equivalent to about half of the island’s oil and gas consumption, the state-run Prensa Latina news agency reported.

Development of Cuba’s oil and gas wells, some of which have been in service for up to three decades, is being carried out in compliance with international standards, Benitez said.

A report presented by the Energy and Environment Committee, meanwhile, said this year’s production represents just over 98 percent of planned output, attributing the shortfall to inferior results at some new wells and technological difficulties.

Executives from Cuban state oil company Cupet also presented lawmakers with a plan for increasing revenues from the sector, including ensuring sufficient funding, signing necessary agreements with foreign suppliers, carrying out repairs of crude storage and treatment tanks and increasing drilling efficiency.

Cuba’s most promising oil region is the Exclusive Economic Zone, located in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and estimated to hold between 5 billion and 9 billion barrels of petroleum.

The EEZ covers some 112,000 sq. kilometers (43,240 sq. miles) and is divided into 59 blocks of 2,000 sq. kilometers (772 sq. miles) each, 22 of which have been awarded to foreign companies such as Spain’s Repsol-YPF, Venezuela’s PDVSA and Vietnam’s PetroVietnam.

According to official figures, the island also has 13 onshore blocks - eight awarded to Cupet and five to foreign companies.

Cupet is awaiting the arrival of a Chinese-built, Repsol-hired rig that will conduct exploratory drilling and determine the oil potential of Cuba’s territorial waters.

Cuba’s oil and gas output has stabilized over the past five years at a level of 4 million tons of oil equivalent, according to the Basic Industry Ministry, which says that production represented revenues of more than $1.3 billion in 2010.

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Immigration Arrests at Border More than Doubled Since 1995, Leads Federal Arrests

Immigration Arrests at Border More than Doubled Since 1995, Leads Federal Arrests

Photo: Immigration Arrests Doubles

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Illegal immigration was the fastest growing federal arrest offense between 2005 and 2009, increasing an average rate of 23 percent each year, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced yesterday. In 2009, 84,749 suspects were arrested and booked for immigration offenses, up from 38,041 in 2005.

During 2009, a record 183,986 suspects were arrested for federal offenses, up from 140,200 in 2005 and nearly double the 83,324 suspects arrested in 1995. Illegal immigration (46 percent) was the most common offense at arrest in 2009, followed by drug (17 percent) and supervision (13 percent) violations.

More than half (56 percent) of all federal arrests occurred in the five federal judicial districts along the U.S.-Mexico border: Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Western and Southern Texas. The federal caseload handled in these five districts in 2009 comprised more than a third of all federal defendants prosecuted (35 percent), convicted (35 percent) and sentenced to prison (37 percent).

Most federal defendants (77 percent) in cases terminated in 2009 had been detained prior to case disposition. Defendants were most likely to be detained when charged with immigration (95 percent), violent crime (87 percent), weapons (82 percent), and drug (81 percent) offenses. About 88 percent of defendants charged in the five judicial districts along the U.S.-Mexico border were detained in 2009.

Of the 193,234 matters concluded by U.S. attorneys in 2009, two out of three involved immigration (46 percent) or drug (20 percent) offenses. Immigration matters concluded increased an annual average of 31 percent since 2005, while drug matters declined an annual average of 1.4 percent.

Of the 95,000 federal cases concluded in 2009, 40 percent were represented by a public defender (up from 22 percent in 1995), 36 percent by a panel-appointed attorney (up from 32 percent in 1995) and 21 percent by a private attorney (down from 37 percent in 1995). Among cases terminated with a public defender in 2009, nearly 49 percent involved immigration offenses.

The number of federal prisoners age 55 and older nearly doubled, from 8,221 in 2000 to 15,323 in 2009. The median age of prisoners increased from age 35 in 2000 to age 37 in 2009. Most federal prisoners in 2009 were male (93 percent), black non-Hispanic (37 percent), and U.S. citizens (74 percent).

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ThursdayDecember 22, 2011