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TuesdayJanuary 24, 2012

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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NALEO Reacts to President’s State of the Union Speech

NALEO Reacts to President’s State of the Union Speech

Photo: NALEO on State of the Union

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The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) issued the following statement regarding tonight’s State of the Union address by President Barack Obama:

“We applaud the President for expressing his strong commitment to building a 21st century immigration system and providing young people with the chance to earn their citizenship in his address to the American public tonight. While these words ring true to our community and the mission of our organization, we know they must be followed by concrete and swift action. We call on the President and Congress to work together in the coming year to pass bipartisan legislation that will provide millions of Americans with the opportunity to become full members of this great nation.

“During his address, the President also emphasized the importance of job creation and policies that will help the nation fulfill ‘the basic American promise that if you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family, own a home, and put a little away for retirement’. Like all Americans, Latinos want the opportunity to pursue the American dream. In recent years, our community has been one of those hit hardest by the economic crisis, experiencing job loss and foreclosure rates higher than most Americans. With Latinos now numbering more than 50 million or 1 out of every 6 Americans today, our community’s economic progress will play a critical role in determining the future of this country. We urge the President and Congress to implement policies that will foster economic opportunity for Latinos and all Americans.

“In addition, we were encouraged by the President’s call for a return to American values built around ‘fairness for all’. As the nation’s second largest population group, this theme is fundamental to many of the pressing issues facing our community today, including the Latino electorate’s ability to participate in the political process and elect the representatives of their choice this year. We ask the nation’s leadership to carefully monitor all efforts to weaken the electoral voice of Latino and minority voters, including implementation of unfair voting requirements and illegal redistricting plans across the country. We also call on the President and the Department of Justice to vigorously enforce the Voting Rights Act (VRA) so that all U.S. citizens, regardless of race or linguistic ability, can fully and fairly participate in the American electoral process.

“In the coming year, we urge the President and Congress to honor the American people by working together to ensure that our country’s journey ‘moves forward’ and that ‘our future is hopeful’. Our nation’s more than 6,000 Latino elected officials are ready to do their part, working with the President, Administration and Congress to promote policies that will foster the economic and political progress of the Latino community and all Americans.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

“She’s Going to Come Out a Reggaeton Artist” - Elvis Crespo Speaks About His Unborn Baby

“She’s Going to Come Out a Reggaeton Artist” - Elvis Crespo Speaks About His Unborn Baby

Photo: "She's Going to Come Out a Reggaeton Artist" - Elvis Crespo Speaks About His Unborn Baby

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Grammy-winning merengue singer Elvis Crespo is getting ready to launch his new disc while awaiting the birth of his fifth child, a baby girl that, he says, will inherit his musical bent.

“I’m getting a beautiful little girl and I’m really happy. Now I’ll have to do a lot of promotions, now I do have to work hard, now I do have to sing a lot and sell a ton of discs,” the artist told Efe during a photography session at the Hotel Biltmore in Miami for his new album “Los Monsters.”

At two weeks before the baby’s arrival - and still with no idea what to name her - Crespo said that “this girl will be a merengue artist because she’s been there during the whole process of the disc” and even went along on his 2011 tour because wife Maribel Vega “was often onstage with me.”

“I mean, she’s going to come out a reggaeton artist. I know she’ll be born with that gift for music,” the artist joked, having arrived in Miami after a long tour of South America.

The singer of hits like “Suavemente” (Softly) and “Pintame” (Paint Me) said that his 12th album will go on sale in early April.

Crespo called on several of his tropical-music colleagues to produce 13 numbers for it.

“I’m the kind of guy who looks for a way to create concepts of what I’m doing so it’s all the more interesting,” said the veteran singer, who has sold more than 4 million discs.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin American Artists Honored with Oscar Nominations

Latin American Artists Honored with Oscar Nominations

Photo: Oscar Nominations 2012

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Mexico’s Demian Bichir will be in the running for best actor honors here on Feb. 26 when the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands out the Oscars.

Bichir was nominated for his role in the immigration drama “A Better Life” and will clash for the prize with George Clooney (“The Descendants”), Brad Pitt (“Moneyball”), Gary Oldman (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) and Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”).

This is the first Oscar nomination for the 48-year-old Bichir.

Argentina’s Berenice Bejo was nominated for best supporting actress for her part in “The Artist.”

The actress will be up against Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain (both for “The Help”), Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs”) and Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”).

“Chico & Rita” became the first Spanish production to be nominated for best animated film.

The movie will compete for the Oscar with “Rango”, “Kung Fu Panda 2”, “Puss in Boots” and “A Cat in Paris,” all big winners at the box-office.

Spanish composer Alberto Iglesias was nominated in the best original score category for his music track in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

Iglesias, 56, will face off for the prize against John Williams for both “The Adventures of Tintin” and “War Horse”, and against Ludovic Bource for “The Artist” and Howard Shore for “Hugo”.

Third time could be lucky for Iglesias, who has been a nominee twice before but has yet to take home the prize.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Standout: Young Inventor Javier Fernández-Han Makes Forbes’ List While Changing the World

Hispanic Standout: Young Inventor Javier Fernández-Han Makes Forbes’ List While Changing the World

Photo: Hispanic Standout: Young Inventor Javier Fernández-Han Makes Forbes' List While Changing the World

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At just 17 years old, Javier Fernandez-Han has made a Forbes list of ‘30 Under 30’ in the Energy category for his humanitarian innovative inventions.

The son of immigrants from Mexico and China, Fernandez-Han has invented a system that uses algae to break down sewage and capture methane to be used for fuel.

In 2010, Fernandez-Han founded Inventors Without Borders, a humanitarian organization that seeks to “bring innovative solutions to real-world problems in rural, poverty-stricken areas”.

At a time when Latinos are lagging in science and math fields, Fernandez-Han proves that there are still young people not just pursuing such careers, but pursuing them to change the .

The Texas teen recently told, NBC Latino, ‘Once I realized I enjoyed inventing, I began to see how I could provide solutions to common problems. Inventing things became a way to help people.’

On of his systems would provide developing communities with a way to utilize the limited resources they possess to achieve economic sustainability by way of turning sewage into a renewable energy source using the digestive properties of specialized algae.

The same year he founded Inventors Without Border, at just the age of 16, Fernandez-Han delivered a speech at a conference hosted by the Prince of Spain in Girona. (See below.)

With so many years of innovation already under his belt and many to come, Javier Fernandez-Han is truly a Hispanic Standout.


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Brazilian Gisele Bundchen Could Become First Billionaire Model

Brazilian Gisele Bundchen Could Become First Billionaire Model

Photo: Brazilian Gisele Bundchen Could Become First Billionaire Model

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Gisele Bündchen, the 31-year-old Brazilian, is on her way to becoming the world’s first billionaire model, according to Forbes contributor Anderson Antunes.

Already, the top-earning model in the world for the better part of a decade, Bündchen could become the first billionaire model as a result of campaigns for Versace and Dior; licensing her name for jewelry, cosmetics, and lingerie; and her sandal line with leading footwear company Grendene.

Last year, Bündchen,launched her own lingerie company in a joint venture with Brazil’s version of Victoria’s Secret known as Hope. Rather than just lend her name and image to Hope’s products however, Bündchen created her own brand, Gisele Bundchen Brazilian Intimates, which is exclusively sold in Hope stores.

With estimated earnings of about $250 million over the last 10 years, it is not crazy to think Bündchen could reach the billion-dollar mark before the end of her career.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Texas Attorney General Files Lawsuit to Have Voter ID Law Implemented

Texas Attorney General Files Lawsuit to Have Voter ID Law Implemented

Photo: Texas Attorney General Files Lawsuit to Have Voter ID Law Implemented

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Monday, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed suit against the U.S. Dept. of Justice to seek a federal court’s approval to implement the Texas voter identification law.

For the past few months, the DOJ has been reviewing the voter ID law to ensure that it does not bring a disadvantage to any minority voters.

Abbott released a statement saying, “The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter identification laws are constitutional. Texas should be allowed the same authority other states have to protect the integrity of elections. To fast-track that authority, Texas is taking legal action in a D.C. Court seeking approval of its voter identification law.”

States like Texas, with a documented history of voter discrimination, have to get what’s known as “preclearance” from the DOJ before voter ID laws can be implemented.

The lawsuit states, “Even if DOJ contends that (the Texas law) has the unintended effect of ‘denying’ or ‘abridging’ the voting rights of those who do not possess a government-issued photo identification, it does not do so on account of their race or color - it does so on account of their decision not to obtain the identification that the state offers free of charge.”

In its letter to South Carolina – a state with the same voter discrimination history – the DOJ claimed its decision to deny preclearance of their voter ID law was based on its possibly negative effects on minority voters, just as in Texas.

The denial is said to have been based on the fact that the number of minority voters without government–issued identification was substantially higher than for their white counterparts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

In Telemundo Interview Newt Gingrich Mentions Sen. Rubio & Gov. Martinez as Potential VP Candidates

In Telemundo Interview Newt Gingrich Mentions Sen. Rubio & Gov. Martinez as Potential VP Candidates

Photo: Potential VP for Gingrich: Rubio & Martinez

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In an exclusive one-on-one interview with the Spanish-language Telemundo network, Newt Gingrich talked about immigration policies and discussed who he would consider as potential Vice Presidents.

In the interview that aired Monday and today during the news segment, the Republican presidential candidate mentioned Senator Marco Rubio of Florida who is Cuban-American and Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico who is Mexican-American.

“Well, I haven’t started a list yet, that would be presumptuous. I have to win the nomination… But if I start a list Marco Rubio’s name would be on it,” said Gingrich. “There are a number of very smart people… Susana Martinez, the Governor of New Mexico, very intriguing, very accomplished,” the Republican presidential candidate added.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Four Earthquakes Rattle Dominican Republic this Month, Including One This Morning

Four Earthquakes Rattle Dominican Republic this Month, Including One This Morning

Photo: Dominican Quakes

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There have been four earthquakes rattling the Dominican Republic this month, including one this morning occurring at approximately 10:30 a.m. and measuring 4.5.  Today’s quake was located 42 miles from Santiago and 77 miles away from Santo Dominigo. 

A larger earthquake occurred yesterday measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale and was located southeast of Rio San Juan in the Maria Trinidad Sanchez province.  Much of the northern portion of the country felt the quake and resulted in evacuations including evacuation of several buildings in the National District.  No fatalities or severe injuries have been reported.

Monday’s quake was the third earthquake this month registering close to 5 on the scale.  There was a 5.3 quake on January 5th and a 4.8 quake on January 19th. The country is on high alert for any other quakes and is reminding everyone of safety measures. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

OSCARS: Mexican Actor Demian Bichir Nominated for Best Actor for ‘A Better Life’ (VIDEO)

OSCARS: Mexican Actor Demian Bichir Nominated for Best Actor for ‘A Better Life’ (VIDEO)

Photo: OSCARS: Mexican Actor Demian Bichir Nominated for Best Actor for 'A Better Life'

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Mexican actor Demian Bichir told Us Weekly being nominated for an Academy Award is overwhelming.

Bichir is up against Hollywood heavy-hitters like George Clooney and Brad Pitt in the Best Actor category this year for his role in A Better Life, but he says that whether he wins or loses, he’s just “overwhelmed … having my name among those incredible actors.”

The 48-year-old actor has just begun getting some attention in the U.S., but he’s been a star in Mexico since his role in the telenovela Rina, which he took at the age of 14.

His notoriety in the U.S. increased when he became the corrupt mayor of Tijuana, Esteban Reyes, in the Showtime series Weeds.

In ‘A Better Life,’ Demián Bichir portrays Carlos Galindo, an undocumented Mexican gardener fighting to create a better life for himself and his son. Throughout the movie he tries to connect and protect his son, something his son does not always understand.

ImageAt the 84th Annual Academy Awards, which will air February 26 at 7 p.m. EST on ABC, Bichir will be up against Clooney, Pitt, Jean Dujardin, and Gary Oldman.

Fellow Latino Berenice Bejo has also been nominated for an Academy Award.

Bejo is up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for portrayal of Peppy Miller, whose falls in love with a silent film star in The Artist

The Argentine-French actress is known for her role in the Heath Ledger-starring action-adventure film A Knight’s Tale, in which she played Christiana, friend and aid to the movie’s love interest Jocelyn (played by Shannyn Sossamon).


Read more by HS News Staff →

Secretary Clinton to Receive Youth Ambassadors from Brazil

Secretary Clinton to Receive Youth Ambassadors from Brazil

Photo: Brazil Youth Ambassadors Meet Clinton

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will welcome 45 Brazilian Youth Ambassadors to the U.S. Department of State on Wednesday, January 25, at 10:00 a.m.

The Youth Ambassadors Program, created in Brazil in 2002, is a three-week exchange program that focuses on civic education, leadership, and community service for youth, ages 15-18. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the program, which has expanded to 25 countries across the Americas.

The program is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in coordination with the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Read more by HS News Staff →

News of Proposed Immigration Detention Center Near Chicago Not Being Well Received

News of Proposed Immigration Detention Center Near Chicago Not Being Well Received

Photo: Negative Reaction to Proposed Immigration Detention Center, Chicago

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The proposed construction of a migrant detention center in a rural area 60 kilometers (35 miles) from Chicago has been rejected by pro-immigrant groups who see it as proof that the government is not considering reducing the deportations of undocumented foreigners.

Crete, a community of 8,000 residents, has 28 hectares (69 acres) of vacant land that could be used by a private company to build and run a 700-bed detention center, Mayor Michael Einhorn says.

The Illinois town was one of seven possible sites selected by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to develop its plans to reform the detention system for undocumented migrants “emphasizing the health and safety of people in custody.”

Although the matter is still in the negotiation process, debate over it arose among Crete residents with the support of outside groups, including the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, or ICIRR.

“The possible center is a symptom of a greater problem in our immigration system, which deports thousands of people per year while immigration reform languishes in Congress,” said Fred Tsao, ICIRR’s policy director.

His group and others have been in solidarity with the resistance of Crete residents concerned by what they call the project’s lack of transparency and the possible negative impact on property values.

“Would you want to buy a house next door to a prison?” one resident, Jill Hornick, said Monday at a community meeting to discuss the project, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Municipal authorities were contacted in 2010 by Corrections Corporation of America, which was interested in building and administering the detention center if it could get a federal contract to do so, the Tribune said, citing documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The center, according to the concept proposed to Crete, would not look like a traditional prison.

“But it will be a prison anyway,” said activist Jorge Mujica, who says that ICE is seeking installations near Chicago due to the lack of cooperation from Cook County in holding undocumented migrants.

The new center would be a sign that President Barack Obama is intending to continue his deportation policy “without immigration reform or any intention of getting upset with Republicans in an election year.”

ICE does not have a detention center in the Chicago area and rents space in prisons in neighboring counties.

The agency’s plans are to consolidate the space and reduce the number of installations used to house detainees in the metropolitan area, ICE spokesperson Gail Montenegro said.

“Insofar as is possible, (the agency is seeking) to keep the detainees in the geographic area of their arrest to reduce the need for transfers and to facilitate access to their families, consulates or attorneys,” she said in a statement sent to Efe.

Some 12,000 people were deported last year from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri, which are the states under the jurisdiction of the ICE office in Chicago.

Read more by HS News Staff →

East Haven, Connecticut Police Charged with Violating Civil Rights of Latinos in Community

East Haven, Connecticut  Police Charged with Violating Civil Rights of Latinos in Community

Photo: DOJ Says East Haven, CT Cops Discriminate

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The Justice Department announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Bridgeport, Conn., returned an indictment charging four East Haven Police officers with conspiring to violate, and violating, the civil rights of members of the Latino and undocumented East Haven community. This morning, Sergeant John Miller and Officers David Cari, Dennis Spaulding and Jason Zullo were arrested without incident.

According to allegations contained in the indictment, from approximately 2007 through 2011, Miller, Cari, Spaulding and Zullo, while acting under color of law, conspired to injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate various members of the East Haven community in violation of their constitutional rights.

The indictment alleges that Miller and others maintained and perpetuated an environment in which the use of unreasonable force and unreasonable searches and seizures was tolerated and encouraged. It is alleged that Cari, Spaulding and Zullo engaged in unreasonable searches and seizures, including unlawful searches of premises and arrests of individuals without probable cause or based on false and misleading information, and that Miller, Spaulding, Zullo and another officer used unreasonable force during lawful and unlawful arrests.

It is alleged that this unreasonable force was used when victims were unarmed, neither resisting nor interfering with the police, but rather securely under the control of the police or otherwise cooperative. In some cases, the victims were handcuffed with their hands behind their backs when officers assaulted them. Some of the victims were particularly vulnerable because they were undocumented aliens or otherwise marginalized, having little perceived standing in the community, and thus unlikely to raise objection to the abuse.

The indictment further alleges that Spaulding and Zullo intimidated, harassed and humiliated members of the Latino community and their advocates. Spaulding and Zullo also allegedly conducted unreasonable and illegal searches at Latino-owned businesses, and Spaulding allegedly intimidated and harassed advocates who worked to defend the rights of members of the Latino community.

The indictment alleges more than 30 overt acts by the four defendant. 

In one incident excessive force was used against an individual in the parking lot of a Latino-owned restaurant and bar. Spaulding then arrested the individual under false pretenses to cover-up the assault and prepared a false report to justify the false arrest.  There was a February 2009 incident during which Spaulding, Cari and other officers illegally searched a vehicle parked outside of a Latino-owned grocery store. Inside the store, Cari and Spaulding, under Miller’s supervision, then arrested a religious leader, who is also an advocate for Latinos, on false pretenses.

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Reggaeton Pair Edgardo Y D’niel Join Fight Against Child Obesity in Puerto Rico

Reggaeton Pair Edgardo Y D’niel Join Fight Against Child Obesity in Puerto Rico

Photo: Reggaeton Pair Edgardo Y D'niel Join Fight Against Child Obesity in Puerto Rico

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Reggaeton duo Edgardo Y D’niel will be the spokesmen for the “A moverse” (Let’s Move) campaign to motivate children and teens to exercise and combat juvenile obesity, which affects some 32 percent of the population in their native Puerto Rico.

The artists will visit more than 180 public schools in Puerto Rico to encourage students “to have a healthy life,” their publicists said Monday.

The “A moverse” campaign will be promoted by the president of the Senate Government Committee, Carmelo Rios; physiologist Carlos Piña; and the secretaries of the Recreation and Sports and the Education departments, Henry Neumann and Edward Moreno, respectively.

Rios said in a communique that the campaign “is a good initiative where parents are becoming aware of the importance of a program of physical activity for their children.”

He emphasized that the program must tailor its efforts toward governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and private enterprise so that the issue of juvenile obesity becomes a priority in Puerto Rico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

EXTREME TRAFFICKING:  756 Pounds of Pot Found Stashed in Frame of Flatbed Trailer

EXTREME TRAFFICKING:  756 Pounds of Pot Found Stashed in Frame of Flatbed Trailer

Photo: Extreme Trafficking Marijuana Stash

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry Thursday stopped a tractor-trailer with 756 pounds of marijuana hidden in the frame.

At about 7:30 p.m. January 19, the tractor-trailer, a flatbed without cargo, arrived at the cargo border crossing. The driver was a 39-year-old male Mexican citizen with a B1/B2 visa, also known as a border crossing card. The CBP officer referred the driver and tractor-trailer for a more intensive inspection.

CBP officers ran the tractor-trailer through an imaging device, similar to an x-ray, and discovered anomalies with the rails. A CBP officer with a human/narcotic detector canine screened the tractor-trailer, and the dog alerted.

CBP officers found packages of marijuana hidden inside the rails of the tractor-trailer, and received assistance in removing the packages from U.S. Border Patrol agents working joint operations at the port of entry as well as from personnel from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and the Chula Vista Fire Department. Fire Department personnel were asked for assistance due to the sophisticated nature of the compartment and potential safety issues with removal, which required specialty equipment.

In all, CBP officers seized 326 packages containing 756 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $454,000. CBP officers seized the tractor-trailer, and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The driver will face criminal charges.

Read more by HS News Staff →



TuesdayJanuary 24, 2012