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FridayDecember 23, 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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1997 Massacre Victims Honored by Mexican Indians

1997 Massacre Victims Honored by Mexican Indians

Photo: 1997 Massacre Victims Honored by Mexican Indians

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Indian-rights activists and relatives of 45 people slain in 1997 in a village just north of this highland Mexican city commemorated the 14th anniversary of the massacre and expressed fears of renewed violence after dozens convicted in the killings had their sentences overturned.

Marchers with the Roman Catholic Tzotzil Maya organization known as Las Abejas (The Bees) carried flowers and religious imagery on their two-day pilgrimage to Acteal, a community in the southeastern state of Chiapas where the murders occurred.

There, the Catholic bishops of San Cristobal de las Casas, Felipe Arizmendi, and of the northern city of Saltillo, Raul Vera, celebrated a Mass Thursday in which the photographs of the 45 victims - 15 children, 21 women and nine men - were displayed on the altar.

Men armed with assault rifles killed those unarmed members of Las Abejas on Dec. 22, 1997, as they were praying inside a chapel in Acteal.

The Indians were fleeing violence from groups who opposed the Zapatista National Liberation Army, whose brief January 1994 uprising brought national and international attention to the impoverished state bordering Guatemala.

After about a week of minor clashes with police and troops, the Zapatistas began their transformation into a grassroots political and civic movement that came to be more or less tolerated by the government in isolated, mostly indigenous areas of the impoverished state bordering Guatemala.

But even as the Zapatistas largely abandoned armed struggle, those who felt threatened by the Indian-rights movement created paramilitary groups, the largest being a faction called Peace and Justice, that drove more than 12,000 indigenous people from their communities in Chiapas between 1995 and 2000.

In fact, Vera recalled that the Acteal victims were internal refugees who took refuge in that town because they were being forced to “join those armed groups the army was organizing to lay waste to the communities; these armed groups were attacking the villages, plundering and setting fire to their homes.”

The paramilitaries, he said, were “armed and paid for by the government and trained by the Mexican army as part of a counterinsurgency strategy.”

He said these actions were aimed at preventing the communities from providing any type of assistance to the Zapatistas, whose leftist, Indian-rights agenda was largely shared by the pacifist Las Abejas.

For his part, Arizmendi said prayers were offered at Thursday’s Mass to the “Lord of truth and justice so he grants us what human institutions refuse to deliver.”

He said demonstrations will continue to prevent the “real killers” from leaving prison through “legal trickery.”

“We cannot remain silent or forget until there is real justice,” Arizmendi said.

The leader of Las Abejas, Mariano Perez, said Thursday’s gathering was not a celebration but rather a “commemoration of a shameful act committed by the Mexican government.”

The Indians also demanded that those who planned the killings be brought to justice and they say one of the masterminds was the man who was Mexico’s president from 1994-2000, Ernesto Zedillo.

Perez said the members of Las Abejas are at risk once again after 30 people convicted of perpetrating the massacres had their sentences overturned two years ago.

The Supreme Court freed the men due to irregularities in their legal proceedings.

“The paramilitaries who burned our houses, stole our belongings and massacred our parents, brothers, sisters and little brothers and sisters want to come back and displace us and massacre us,” Perez said.

Zedillo is the target of a lawsuit in the United States accusing him of complicity with the slaughter in Acteal.

Brought by a Miami law firm on behalf of 10 plaintiffs who asked to remain anonymous, the suit was filed in September in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, where Zedillo, a Yale University faculty member, now lives.

Zedillo said in an e-mail to CNN that the allegations were “not only false but also calumnious.”

The Acteal massacre forced the resignation of Chiapas’ then-governor, Julio Cesar Ruiz Ferro, and the ouster of Mexico’s interior minister, Emilio Chuayfett.

Human rights organizations said the killings resulted from acts of both commission and omission by allies of Ruiz.

Some groups went even further, calling the slaughter a “state crime” and attributing the ultimate responsibility to Zedillo.

The lawsuit filed in Connecticut maintains that Zedillo’s government abandoned talks with the Zapatistas in favor of a violent crackdown after a report from a U.S. bank cited instability in Chiapas as a negative factor for the Mexican economy.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Salvadorian Farmworkers Killed by Unknown Assailants

Salvadorian Farmworkers Killed by Unknown Assailants

Photo: Salvadorian Farmworkers Killed by Unknown Assailants

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Four day laborers were slain Thursday in a rural area of the western Salvadoran province of Sonsonate, police said.

Three of the victims shared the same surname, but it is not known whether they were related to one another.

The men were on their way to work at a nearby farm when they were intercepted and fatally shot by unknown assailants, police deputy inspector Omar Escobar told reporters.

The killings took place in El Cacao, a hamlet outside the town of Nahuilingo.

El Salvador, whose 1980-1992 civil war claimed around 80,000 lives, witnesses an average of 11 homicides a day, the government says, attributing much of the violence to youth gangs involved in drug dealing and extortion.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Will New Reality Show of “30-Something Grandmas” Star a Lot of Latinas?

Will New Reality Show of “30-Something Grandmas” Star a Lot of Latinas?

Photo: Will New Reality Show of "30-Something Grandmas" Star a Lot of Latinas?

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A casting agency has put out a call for grandmothers for a reality show said to be for a ‘major network.’

TheCastingFirm.com has stated that they are looking for grandmothers in their 30s, who feel their children are too young to be making them grandmothers already and those in their 30s who have their sons or daughters and their children living with them.

On GotCast.com, mothers have already applied to be on show described as,  “Seeking young grandmothers for a starring role in the brand new series ‘30 Something Grandmas’. The show will showcase the stories of extraordinary women whose lives have been changed by the unexpected arrival of a new family member and the even more surprising title of ‘Grandma’!”

With shows like “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant” suppose it was only a matter of time before another reality show came along that focused on the parents of these young parents.

Sadly, with the birth rate among the Latino population and the young age at which many Latinas have children, we can’t help but wonder how many of these “30-something grandmas” will be Latino.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Politicians Analyze the Ins and Outs of the 2012 Hispanic Vote

Politicians Analyze the Ins and Outs of the 2012 Hispanic Vote

Photo: Hispanic voters might feel they are little more than pawns in a much larger game

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The Hispanic vote represented a mere 9 percent of all ballots cast in the 2008 presidential election, but the peculiarities of the United States electoral system makes the presence of those votes in certain states crucial for the national result.

While President Barack Obama, who in 2008 won 67 percent of Hispanic votes, and hopefuls for the Republican presidential nomination calculate their chances with this bloc, Hispanic voters might feel they are little more than pawns in a much larger game.

Since a presidential election in the United States is decided in an Electoral College to which the states send delegations proportional to their population, the presence of Hispanics in some of them makes their vote crucial.

In New Mexico, for example, the Hispanic vote rose from 32 percent of the total in 2004 to 41 percent in 2008, in Texas it remained at 20 percent, in Arizona it went from 12 percent to 16 percent, and in Nevada from 10 percent to 15 percent.

In Florida the Hispanic vote is around 15 percent of the total.

But Hispanics are a diverse segment and politicians chasing their votes know that the same approach won’t work with Cuban-Americans in Florida, Puerto Ricans in New York and New Jersey, Mexican-Americans in California and the Southwest, and many other immigrants of Latin American origin in Illinois and Virginia.

According to the 2010 Census, the population that identifies itself as “Hispanic” or “Latino” grew by 43 percent over the previous 10 years, a figure that dwarfs the 9.7 percent growth of the population as a whole.

Representation in the lower house of Congress is done in proportion to state populations distributed in districts whose limits are readjusted according to Census figures.

Drawing the lines has not yet been completed for the 2012 elections, but there are at least 118 existing districts where more than a fifth of the population is Hispanic, compared with 28 districts in the redistricting that followed the 2000 Census.

Out of the 118 districts where the Hispanic vote carries the most weight, more than 90 are in California, Texas, Florida and New York, the states with the most electoral votes.

According to surveys, Hispanics continue to favor Democrats in Congress and President Obama, though these politicos by no means have the Hispanic vote nailed down.

Hispanic voters were as battered as the rest of the population by the recession, but their jobless index is over 11 percent compared with 8.6 percent of the general population.

And disappointment has grown among Latinos who have undocumented family members or friends - since Obama came to the White House, nothing has been done to pass a comprehensive reform of immigration law. On the contrary, there are now more deportations than ever.

But if Hispanic voters feel less than enthusiastic about going to the polls and voting for Obama in 2012, they have real reasons to worry about any of the candidates currently in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The only one who apparently gives a thought to the question of what to do about the 12 million undocumented immigrants already in the country, some of them for decades, is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

His proposal: some form of legalization for the undocumented who have a family, have paid their taxes, who are members of a church, good neighbors and business owners, that would allow them to work legally in the United States.

But they could never obtain citizenship - in other words, no danger that they’ll ever vote Democratic.

Some analysts have mentioned another possible lure for Republicans fishing for the Hispanic vote - a vice presidential nomination for a Hispanic in the 2012 elections.

Mentioned as possibilities for the nomination are the freshman senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Louis CK’s Online-Only Comedy Special Brings in $1 Mil in 12 Days, More than Half Going to Charity

Louis CK’s Online-Only Comedy Special Brings in $1 Mil in 12 Days, More than Half Going to Charity

Photo: Louis CK's Online-Only Comedy Special Brings in $1 Mil in 12 Days, More than Half Going to Charity

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Just 12 days after its online-only release, Louis CK’s latest stand-up comedy special “Live at the Beacon Theater” brought in more than $1 million dollars as of Tuesday.

With more than 200,000 ‘copies’ sold - it is only available to download/stream - and at $5 a piece, the red-haired, and yes, part Mexican funny man has generated $1 million.

On his website for the video CK wrote:

Image

hi. So it’s been about 12 days since the thing started and yesterday we hit the crazy number. One million dollars. That’s a lot of money. Really too much money. I’ve never had a million dollars all of a sudden. and since we’re all sharing this experience and since it’s really your money, I wanted to let you know what I’m doing with it. People are paying attention to what’s going on with this thing. So I guess I want to set an example of what you can do if you all of a sudden have a million dollars that people just gave to you directly because you told jokes.

So I’m breaking the million into four pieces.

the first 250k is going to pay back what the special cost to produce and the website to build.

The second 250k is going back to my staff and the people who work for me on the special and on my show. I’m giving them a big fat bonus.

The often-brash funny man added that “280k is going to a few different charities, which he (and we) listed below “in case you’d like to donate to them also.”

After everything, that leaves $220k for himself, which he said will be spent on rent, his daughters, and “terrible, horrible things” for himself that aren’t “any of your business.”

To the man who ended his message saying “I really hate being in the news this much,” all we have left to say is Felicidades, Louis!

CHARITIES LOUIS CK IS GIVING TO

  - The Fistula Foundation
  - The Pablove Foundation
  - charity: water
  - Kiva
  - Green Chimneys

 

If you wish to donate to these charities, click one of the links above. To purchase Louis CK’s special for $5, click here.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Winners of Spain’s “El Gordo” Lottery Share US$5.2M Prize

Winners of  Spain’s “El Gordo” Lottery Share US$5.2M Prize

Photo: Winners of El Gordo in Spain

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Holders of tickets sold in the northeastern town of Grañen took the 4 million euro ($5.2 million) first prize, known as “El Gordo” (The Fat One) in Spain’s Christmas lottery.

Following tradition, the winning numbers were sang out by a choir from Madrid’s San Ildefonso school. The Gordo number, 58268, was sung by Maria Jose Posligua and Johan Fernandez.

This was the biggest El Gordo bounty in history and the holder of each one-tenth share of a ticket will pocket 400,000 euros ($520,000).

This was the second prize drawn after No. 66832 took the two fourth-place prizes, worth 200,000 euros ($260,000) for the series.

Besides El Gordo, this year the cash amount for the second prize increased from 1 million euros ($1.3 million) to 1.25 million euros ($1.63 million) for the series, while the third-place number is worth the same as last year, 500,000 euros ($650,000).

Rounding out the list of the 13 biggest prizes were two fourth-place prizes and eight fifth-place prizes, each worth 60,000 ($78,000) for the series.

As occurs every Dec. 22, millions of people were totally absorbed in the Christmas lottery drawing, which on this occasion will distribute 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in a country plunged in a deep economic crisis.

Grañen is a village of only about 2,000 inhabitants in a depressed agricultural region - but now the biggest El Gordo in the history of Spain’s Christmas lottery will help many farmers in the region deal with heavy debts incurred to keep their farms going.

A Romanian family, proprietor of the Carlitos bar - named for the youngest son of the woman who owns it - distributed 38 of the Christmas El Gordo series.

As the press learned from Carlitos’ sister Mijaela, who works as a waitress in the bar, almost all the customers are workers or immigrants who move through the area and they bought almost all the winning series’ fractioned lottery coupons known as “decimos” that were on sale.

Among them were Ana and Antonio, a married couple who manage another bar in a neighboring area and who greeted all the vehicles that drove down the street.

“We’re stinking rich,” Antonio announced, and when asked about his immediate plans, pronounced the magic word: “A cruise.”

Created in 1812, Spain’s National Lottery favors spreading the wealth instead of hoarding it in one big jackpot.

Spaniards pitch in with friends, relatives and co-workers to buy tickets, which currently cost about $250 each, although they are also sold in one-tenth increments for roughly $25. With payouts for second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-place numbers, tens of thousands share in the bonanza.

Bars, restaurants and associations often organize collective purchases of tickets.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Holiday Shoppers Fueling California Economy

Mexican Holiday Shoppers Fueling California Economy

Photo: Border Shoppers Fuel Economy

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Christmas shoppers from Mexico boost Southern California’s economy with purchases averaging $536 per family, according to a survey by the Crossborder Group, a binational consulting firm.

“The two weeks before Christmas is when the wave of shoppers reaches its highest point, with pedestrians waiting up to three hours to get into the U.S. and motorists even longer,” the president of Crossborder, Kenn Morris, told Efe.

The annual survey, which has measured the scale of Mexican purchases here since 2003, is taken with a sample of 1,000 shoppers chosen at random among people entering the United States from Mexico at California ports of entry.

“Families are chiefly buying clothes for the kids and the rest of the family, plus electronic items and food for the Christmas festivities. We have an estimated economic benefit for the San Diego region of between $76 million and $101 million from these seasonal items alone,” Morris said.

Conservatively speaking and according to Crossborder estimates, Mexican shoppers represent during the entire year revenues of up to $6 billion for the Southern California economy, for which Morris criticized Congress for not providing the necessary funds to complete more rapidly and on a larger scale the infrastructure works to modernize the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which handles most of the traffic bound for San Diego.

At this time of year, the wait in a car takes an average of three hours minimum, and for pedestrians can be more than two hours, made worse by the chaos of the construction and remodeling works.

Though some 100,000 people will cross the border from Mexico to go shopping in San Diego every day until the end of the year, Morris said that the number is slightly below what it was in previous years due to the recession and a greater availability of U.S. merchandise in Tijuana.

Spending by Mexican families in 2007 reached its highest point with an average of $605 each, compared with $562 in 2003, Morris said.

According to a study by the San Diego Association of Governments, 25 million crossings are made into the U.S. to make purchases every year.

In general, 55 percent of the crossings from Mexico to the U.S. are for shopping, 26 percent for work and 11 percent for family visits, according to the study.

The research found that Mexicans’ principal means of transport for shopping in San Diego is the automobile, which accounts for 73 percent.

Tijuana native Arcelia Hinojosa says she would rather do her shopping in San Diego all year long.

“It’s easier for me because I feel that there is a certain order in the U.S., it’s more economical and somehow the things I buy seem to be of a much better quality than here,” Hinojosa said, adding that this year she spent close to $200, mainly on clothes and gifts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentina’s Blind Symphony Will Warm Your Heart (VIDEO)

Argentina’s Blind Symphony Will Warm Your Heart  (VIDEO)

Photo: Blind Symphony in Argentina

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Take a look at this talented group of musicians from Argentina’s National Symphony Blind Band “Maestro Pascual Grisolía” performing staple pieces of classical music.

This group of 62 blind musicians memorize their parts by studying sheet music written in Braile.

Works by Mozart, Debussy, Beethoven, and even contemporary composers like Argentina’s own Piazzolla, are included in their repertoire, which includes more than 250 pieces they’ve all learned by heart.

This remarkable Orchestra started at the Manuel Belgrano Boarding School, when a group of 11 blind children, were summoned to learn classical music, shortly after President Roberto M. Ortiz went blind because of diabetes complications.

Watch them performing before a live audience, in the video below!

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Latino Grinch Breaks into Home, Steals Gifts, then Tries to Return them for Money

LATINO BLOTTER: Latino Grinch Breaks into Home, Steals Gifts, then Tries to Return them for Money

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Latino Grinch Breaks into Home, Steals Gifts, then Tries to Return them for Money

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A Chicago-area man has been arrested for attempting to return Christmas presents he stole from a home he broke into.

Police allege Jose Chavez-Sanchez of Schaumburg broke into and Elk Grove home and stole a number electronics and clothing meant as gifts in hopes of returning the items and getting money for them.

Chavez-Sanchez, 21, allegedly broke into the home on the 600 block of New Mexico Trail around 9:30 a.m. Monday morning. Luckily, no one was home at the time, but the Latino Grinch managed to steal electronics, though most of the gifts he grabbed were clothing from the Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Streets of Woodfield shopping area in Schaumburg.

Elk Grove Police Department Sgt. Nick Olsen said the culprit was caught Monday night when he attempted to the return the clothing for cash. What he did not know was that Dick’s employees had already been notified that someone might try to return the items. They workers quickly notified police, and Chavez-Sanchez was arrested around 7 p.m. the same night.

Chavez-Sanchez of the 2200 block of Pennview Lane in Schaumburg, is being held on $75,000 bond and is due in court January 13.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Donate $3 to Obama’s Campaign and You Could Win a Dinner With Eva Longoria

Donate $3 to Obama’s Campaign and You Could Win a Dinner With Eva Longoria

Photo: Eva Longoria

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Actress Eva Longoria says she will have dinner and an “intimate conversation” on how to help U.S. President Barack Obama win reelection in 2012 with the winners of a raffle which people can enter by making at least a small contribution to his reelection campaign.

Longoria discussed her dinner pledge in an email sent out on Thursday by Obama’s reelection campaign to millions of Democratic voters nationwide within the framework of the president’s fundraising drive for the 2012 contest.

“In 2008, like so many of you, I dedicated a lot of my time to help Barack Obama win the presidency,” the message begins.

“Now, with 2012 around the corner, I wanted to get ready for the next election by sitting down for an intimate conversation with supporters like you to talk politics and the role we’ll play to win the 2012 election,” Longoria says.

The only condition for qualifying to be in the running to win the dinner with the star of the popular television series “Desperate Housewives” is to donate $3 or “whatever you can” to Obama’s reelection campaign.

With that small donation, a voter will be automatically entered in a five-ticket raffle, and the lucky winners will be able to dine with Longoria and speak with her in person and also with the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida.

Longoria also said that she hoped the winners of the raffle would share their ideas and priorities for 2012 with and Wasserman-Schultz “whether it has to do with health care, immigration, education, or jobs.”

On the Obama campaign’s Web page, Longoria also notes that over the past four years she has had the chance to speak with Obama about immigration reform and topics of interest for women and children in the United States.

In September, Longoria also participated in a $35,000 per couple private fundraising dinner with Obama in Los Angeles.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Artist Enrique Gomez De Molina Arrested for Using Endangered Animals to Make Odd Taxidermy Art

Artist Enrique Gomez De Molina Arrested for Using Endangered Animals to Make Odd Taxidermy Art

Photo: Artist Enrique Gomez De Molina Arrested for Using Endangered Animals to Make Odd Taxidermy Art

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A shall we say “creative” taxidermist/artist is facing up to five years in jail and a hefty fine for importing bits and pieces and well as full bodies or protected or endangered animals.

Enrique Gomez De Molina of Miami Beach, Florida is said to have sold his sculptures as much as $80,000 each, problem is, his art was made using endangered animals.

De Molina had smugglers bring him a king cobra, orangutan skulls, pangolins, hornbills, and a number of animals skins and cadavers in order to create his pieces.

His work combines taxidermy, activism, and art. He says is sculptures, which are basically various animals put together to make unique (and stuffed) hybrid species, are meant to bring awareness to dangers of genetic engineering.

Law enforcement don’t see it his way however, and he was arrested for trafficking protected wildlife.

After the U.S. attorney for southern Florida said De Molina knew he was breaking the law when he failed to get permits for the animals parts, even having smugglers wrap them in carbon paper to conceal them. He has pled guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2, 2012.

The artists faces up to five years in prison and fines totaling $250,000.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Track Santa Claus Here!  (VIDEO)

Track Santa Claus Here!   (VIDEO)

Photo: Norad Santa Tracker.

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NORAD, the premier U.S.-Canadian air defense system, is using its super high-tech tracking equipment to help you keep track of Papá Noel!

Log onto www.noradsanta.org for more information,  and the site also features the Kid’s Countdown Village, with links to holiday facts on Google Maps and North Pole-themed games. Clicking the house labeled 22 in the village opens up a “Super Top Secret NORAD File” featuring technical details of Santa’s sleigh and reindeer.

Now you know it: if at any point on Christmas Eve, you become curious to see where Santa is, just click here to follow Santa around the world in 3D.

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

After Photos with Fans in Costa Rica, Miley Cyrus Called ‘A**hole” - Responds with “WTF?” (VIDEO)

After Photos with Fans in Costa Rica, Miley Cyrus Called ‘A**hole” - Responds with “WTF?” (VIDEO)

Photo: Miley Cyrus called an 'Asshole', responds with "What the F*ck?!"

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On a recent trip to Costa Rica, former Disney starlet Miley Cyrus was cursed at while signing autographs for fans, and she’s now catching flak for it, as some are claiming she “flipped out” and started swearing at her fans.

The 19-year-old singer/actress was on vacation in Costa Rica with boyfriend Liam Hemsworth when she was met by fans near the helicopter they were departing in.

She posed for photos and signed autographs, but eventually tried to get into the awaiting aircraft. In a video captured by someone at the incident, Cyrus is seen among her fans. However, when she attempts to leave, a fan grabs her arm and stops her.

“Babe, babe,” she says to the clinging fan, “I gotta go. I’m sorry. I gotta go, honey.”

As she and her beau head for the helicopter, someone off camera is heard yelling, “A**hole!” at the singer.

Caught off guard by the remark, Cyrus responds, “What the f*ck? Are you for real? I’m on vacation. If someone’s being an a**hole, it’s not me.”

The singer then took to Twitter where she stated, “Been trying not to tweet & just enjoy the holidays but just to clear something up I would never swear to a fan. When someone yells something so rude making me look like an ‘a**hole’ in front of fans who I am more than happy 2 take a picture w/ I can’t tolerate that kind of rudeness. Every1 who was there apologized 4 the woman’s brusque behavior. She obviously wasn’t a fan.”

In the end Cyrus had just one thing to say:

Hope every1 has a Merry Christmas!


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

3 Latina Girls Arrested After Icing Classmate’s B-Day Cake With Human FECES

3 Latina Girls Arrested After Icing Classmate’s B-Day Cake With Human FECES

Photo: Latina Girls Cover Friend's Cake With Excrement

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Mayra Flores, 19, Ana Mireles, 18, and Sandra Oritz, 18, will spend 22 months on probation for the awful prank they pulled on a student and her family.

A teenaged student told the assistant principal at Avon Grove High School in Pennsylvania that she, her mother and three siblings felt sick after eating a cake that her classmates had given her for her birthday.

The girl told the assistant principal that when her classmates presented her with the cake, they insisted in trying to get her to eat a piece in front of them - which she did.

The cake was sent for lab testing and the results showed the presence of E. coli.

The students were called into the school official’s office where they admitted they had put human feces on the cake.

Flores, Mireles and Ortiz were charged with recklessly endangering another person and conspiracy, and were each sentenced to 22 months of probation.

Judge William Mahon ruled that the girls must serve their 200 community service hours of probation cleaning toilets, urinals and bed pans at local senior centers; Flores and Mireles were also ordered to spend the first two months of their probation sentences on electronic home confinement.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

After Multiple Illegally Entries from Mexico Man Jailed and Barred from Every Becoming Citizen

A 30-year-old Mexican male, apprehended by Nogales Border Patrol agents in March, was sentenced to 82 months in prison on December 16 and barred from ever becoming a U.S. citizen.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted Federico LOPEZ-Torres for attempting to re-enter the United States illegally after his apprehension on March 18, 2011. During processing at the Nogales Station, it was revealed that LOPEZ-Torres had a significant criminal record including transportation of illegal immigrants, which resulted in a six month prison sentence. He also had previous convictions for illegal entry and re-entry of an aggravated felon, which resulted in a 28-month prison sentence.

Following initial processing, the Border Patrol submitted the case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for re-entry of an aggravated felon. Gonzalez will be formally removed from the U.S. following his 82- month incarceration.

He is now banned for life from all legalization processes without a waiver from the United States Attorney General.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Join Ricky Martin Fans at #TSARM to Celebrate Singers 40th Birthday

Join Ricky Martin Fans at #TSARM to Celebrate Singers 40th Birthday

Photo: #TSARM to Celebrate Ricky Martins' Birthday

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Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin is turning 40 and to help him celebrate, his millions of fans are putting together on social networks the 40 most memorable things about the artist.

These key moments and happenings in the artist’s life have been tweeted on Twitter over the past five weeks via the hashtag #TSARM, or “There’s Something About Ricky Martin.”

The “somethings” go from his first steps as an artist when he sang into a tablespoon pretending it was a microphone, to his two sons, Matteo and Valentino, born in 2008 of the artificial insemination of a surrogate mother.

His fans also highlight the Puerto Rican artist’s tattoos, his autobiography “Yo,” his roles in Broadway musicals, his duets with artists like Pavarotti, Madonna, Cristina Aguilera and La Mari, and his foundation that combats human trafficking around the world.

Another key moment noted by fans of the vocalist of “Livin’ la Vida Loca”, “Maria” and “She Bangs” was his rendition of “La Copa de la Vida” (The Best Time of Life) at the 1999 Latin Grammys, which helped rocket him to international fame.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lio Messi, Only Barça Player That has New Year’s Off

Lio Messi, Only Barça Player That has New Year’s Off

Photo: Lio Messi

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Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola has given Lionel Messi an extra four days off over the holidays; everyone else is due back in training December 29.

The only other player to get an extended break is Dani Alves, who will be back on the 31.

Lio will spend the holidays with his family in Rosario, and will be back in time for the Barcelona’s first match of the year against Osasuna.

They then face rivals Espanyol in La Liga five days later.

Take a look at these pictures of Messi’s nieces and nephews, hanging out with uncle Lio at the airport in Argentina.

Lionel Messi, lio,leo, Barcelona FC, Barça, Fútbol,soccer, messi in rosario, messi's christmas break

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nicaragua Files Suit Against Costa Rica at World Court Over Border Violations

Nicaragua Files Suit Against Costa Rica at World Court Over Border Violations

Photo: Nicaragua v Costa Rica Border Dispute

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Nicaragua has filed suit against Costa Rica at the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ), citing violations to national sovereignty and major environmental damages to its territory due to the construction of a new road along the banks of the San Juan River.

Nicaragua contends that the construction work by its southern neighbour along most of the border area between the two countries is resulting in grave environmental consequences, according to a press release issued by the ICJ, which is also known as the World Court.

Nicaragua argues that “Costa Rica’s unilateral actions… threaten to destroy the San Juan de Nicaragua River and its fragile ecosystem, including the adjacent biosphere reserves and internationally protected wetlands that depend upon the clean and uninterrupted flow of the river for their survival.”

Among the damages listed by Nicaragua is the dumping of sediments in the river such as soil, uprooted vegetation and felled trees, which the Government says are a danger to water quality, aquatic life – including several endangered species – and to rare flora and fauna on both sides of the river bank.

It is requesting that the court declare that Costa Rica must restore and pay for all the damages and not undertake any further developments in the area without a cross-border environmental impact assessment, which is presented to Nicaragua for analysis and reaction.

The two countries have had disputes over their borders before. In July 2009, the ICJ issued a ruling over what navigational and related rights Costa Rica has in the section of the San Juan River close to its mouth at the Caribbean Sea.

The World Court, which is based in The Hague, is the principal judicial organ of the UN. Its rulings are binding and without appeal.

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Franky Zapata’s Invention Lets You Swim Like a Dolphin - Check It Out (VIDEO)

Franky Zapata’s Invention Lets You Swim Like a Dolphin - Check It Out (VIDEO)

Photo: The Flyboard

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Zapata’s awesome water jetpack gizmo called “The Flyboard” costs $6,400, but watch the video inside, and see why it’s worth every penny.

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Atlético Madrid Sign Diego Simeone as Coach

Atlético Madrid Sign Diego Simeone as Coach

Photo: Diego Simeone

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The former Argentina captain, Diego Simeone, who came from training the Argentine Racing Club, will start coaching the Atlético de Madrid next Monday.

41-year-old Simeone takes over Atlético from Gregorio Manzano, who was officially relieved of his duties on Thursday after coaching the team for a mere 6 months.

Simeone, who played for Atlético between 1994-1997 and again between 2003-2005, has signed a contract which will keep him in charge of the “Colchoneros”  until the summer of 2013.

Simeone began his coaching career in 2006, and has plied his trade with River Plate, Estudiantes and Catania among other clubs.

Simeone will be formally presented to the media at the Vicente Calderon stadium on Tuesday.

“Atletico Madrid have completed the hiring of Diego Simeone as the new coach of the Atletico first team,’’ read a statement on club’s official website.

Simeone becomes Atletico’s 11th coach in 10 years and will make his Atlético debut on January 7 against Malaga.

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65 Yr-Old Convent Employee, Linda Gomez, Embezzled Catholic Nuns for Home Shopping Network Spree

65 Yr-Old Convent Employee, Linda Gomez, Embezzled Catholic Nuns for Home Shopping Network Spree

Photo: Convent Employee Steals from Nuns for Home Shopping Network

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A former lay employee for the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary Catholic Convent (the Convent) in Los Gatos, Calif., was charged yesterday with 14 counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

According to the indictment, Linda Gomez (a/k/a Linda Surrett), 65, of Sunnyvale, Calif., used her administrative positions to embezzle cash and to charge personal expenses to a Convent charge card.

According to the indictment, between 1987 and 2010, Gomez worked for the Convent in various administrative capacities, including as the director of food services and the manager of an on-site convenience store. As part of her professional responsibilities, Gomez made purchases for the 75 Catholic nuns and 60 lay employees at the Convent.

The Indictment charges that between March 2008 and her resignation in May 2010, Gomez used various methods to embezzle from the Convent, including obtaining fraudulent reimbursements or credits for products she falsely claimed she had purchased for the Convent and its nuns.

The Indictment states that Gomez embezzled more than $100,000 from the Convent. In addition to embezzling more than $47,000 in cash, Gomez also fraudulently diverted more than $53,000 of Convent funds for personal expenses such as jewelry, high-end cutlery, purses, shoes, kitchen appliances, and numerous purchases on the QVC and Home Shopping Networks.

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Dutch Helping Nicaraguan Famers Reduce Greenhouse Emissions

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and two Dutch non-governmental organizations, Hivos and SNV, are launching a $6.3 million biogas market development program that will bring renewable energy to small farmers in Nicaragua and contribute to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Biogas is a proven and established renewable energy technology that enables millions of farmers and rural households across the globe to convert agricultural waste into a combustible methane gas to meet their energy needs. The project, the first to be approved under a comprehensive biogas program targeting small agricultural producers in Latin America and the Caribbean, will bring renewable energy to 6,000 small farmers and rural households in Nicaragua.

When used for cooking, biogas can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and indoor air pollution, compared to other traditional fuels such as charcoal.

Nicaragua suffers from one of the lowest electrification rates in Latin America, particularly in rural areas. Rural households in the country typically rely on wood for cooking, which can lead to chronic respiratory illnesses, especially among women and children, who traditionally spend more time in the household.

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Dr. Raul Ruiz Looking to Represent Rural California District in Congress

Dr. Raul Ruiz Looking to Represent Rural California District in Congress

Photo: Dr. Raul Ruiz Looking to Represent Rural California District in Congress

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Dr. Raul Ruiz is the first Hispanic to seek to occupy a seat in Congress from California’s Coachella Valley agricultural area, where he was born and raised.

The Democrat, who works in the emergency room at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, is aiming to replace Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack, who has represented the 45th District since 2003.

“Our district is full of working people who want progress and whose efforts are not reflected in the policies of Washington D.C.,” Ruiz, the son of farmworkers, told Efe.

The 39-year-old physician is seeking to take advantage of local irritation with the fact that Bono Mack spends long periods in Florida, home of her husband, GOP Rep. Connie Mack IV.

The 45th district has experienced a democratic transformation in recent years with the Latino community growing to 38 percent of its population, according to the 2010 Census.

Before becoming a candidate, Ruiz, in his role as associate dean of the medical school at University of California Riverside, had launched campaigns to train and encourage a new generation of professionals in medicine, in accord with which he has been the mentor for about 60 young people.

Ruiz has experience seeking support in Coachella.

When he finished high school, and lacking money to go to college, he went around to local businesses to ask for financial help, which he obtained in exchange for the promise to return and serve the community as a physician.

Ruiz graduated from UCLA in 1995 and went on to Harvard, where he earned his medical degree as well as a master’s in public policy and a master’s in public health.

Despite the fact that many of his supporters lack residence documents and cannot vote, their support is important for his campaign, since they feel that he understands their needs.

Ruiz announced his campaign on Sept. 17 and collected $51,999 during the next two weeks in contributions, most of it from individual donors and $6,000 from a PAC managed by California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

His humanitarian work has led him to help out on projects in Mexico, El Salvador and Serbia, as well as being the first medical director of the clinic that actor Sean Penn founded in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

He has won prizes for his international work, including Influential Latino of the Year from the 2009 Inland Empire Hispanic Image Awards; the Commander’s Award for Public Service, given by the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne; and the 2011 Humanitarian Award from the California American College of Emergency Physicians.

Despite the fact that his campaign is still in the early stages, Ruiz said that he is confident that the residents of the valley will support him “by investing in a vision of growth that will benefit them in the long term.”

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District Judge Temporarily Stops Key Provisions of South Carolina’s Immigration Law

District Judge Temporarily Stops Key Provisions of South Carolina’s Immigration Law

Photo: Court Stop South Carolina Immigration Laws

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Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel, temporarily enjoined three provisions of South Carolina Act 69 and found a fourth provision likely to be overturned in future proceedings. The ruling makes South Carolina the sixth state—after Arizona, Indiana, Georgia, Utah, and Alabama—to see major parts of a punitive immigration law blocked in federal court.

Following its enactment last June, South Carolina Act 69 was challenged in court by both the federal government and a coalition of civil rights groups. In a 42-page opinion, Judge Gergel entered temporary injunctions against the following provisions, finding each to be preempted by federal immigration law:

  * Section 4, which makes it a state crime to transport or harbor undocumented immigrants, or for undocumented immigrants to allow themselves to be transported or harbored.
  * Section 5, which makes it a state crime to fail to carry an immigration registration document issued by the federal government.
  * Section 6, which requires police to try to determine the immigration status of any person under investigation or arrest whom the officer has “reasonable suspicion” to believe is in the country illegally, and which makes it a state crime to possess or attempt to use a fraudulent identification to establish lawful presence in the United States.

As Judge Gergel explained, while local lawmakers have every right to disagree with the federal government’s efforts to set priorities in the enforcement of federal immigration law, their opinion “does not entitle the State of South Carolina to adopt its own immigration policy to supplant the policy of the national government.”

Judge Gergel also found a fourth provision—the one making it a state crime to sell fraudulent identification to undocumented immigrants—to be preempted by federal law, but declined to issue a temporary injunction after finding the federal government would not face irreparable harm if the provision went into effect while legal proceedings continued.

“Once again, a federal judge has confirmed what has long been settled: that states cannot enact their own immigration policies or interfere with the U.S. government’s efforts to enforce federal immigration law,” said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council.

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FridayDecember 23, 2011