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FridayJanuary 27, 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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Catholic Priest Gunned Down in Guatemala After Car Accident

Catholic Priest Gunned Down in Guatemala After Car Accident

Photo: Priest Killed

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A Catholic priest in the southeastern Guatemalan province of Santa Rosa was fatally shot Friday after a road accident, authorities said.

The Rev. David Donis died of a gunshot to the chest, fire department spokesperson Lazaro Aguilar told radio stations.

Donis, 70, was the parish priest at La Sagrada Familia church in Oratorio, Santa Rosa.

The victim’s brother, Vicente Donis, who is the sacristan at the church, told reporters David was at the wheel when they collided with another vehicle while on the way to Guatemala City.

The two people in the other vehicle verbally abused the priest before shooting him and fleeing the scene, Vicente said.

Guatemala experiences an average of 16 homicides a day, but the government of retired Gen. Otto Perez Molina, who took office Jan. 14, has vowed to reduce the level of violence.

Read more by HS News Staff →

#1 Item CentAm Migrants in Mexico Need? Socks AI Responds (VIDEO)

#1 Item CentAm Migrants in Mexico Need? Socks  AI Responds (VIDEO)

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Amnesty International has launched a new campaign to call attention to the plight of Central American migrants traveling through Mexico, urging the public to donate socks to help protect their feet during the perilous journey.

The London-based rights group said in a statement Thursday that it conducted a survey of Central American migrants, thousands of whom make their way across the region each year in hopes of reaching the United States, asking them what one thing they would take if leaving the country.

“Most migrants told us that they had no possessions with them at all because they expected to be attacked and robbed on the journey and that anything of value would increase their chances of kidnap,” Rupert Knox, Mexico researcher at Amnesty International, said.

“Much to our surprise, the migrants did tell us that one thing they desperately needed on their journey were socks. On journeys that can be up to hundreds of miles, untreated blisters risk lives and a fresh pair of socks can make all the difference,” he added.

In a three-minute video for the new campaign, AI researchers asked Mexico City residents the same question they asked the migrants and their answers - ranging from “identity cards” to “tabasco sauce” - contrasted sharply.

The migrants’ plea for socks led to the launch of a Web site - sendsocks.org - where the public can watch the campaign video and then buy that clothing item for donation to a migrants’ shelter in Mexico.

AI said that during the trek the migrants face the risk of kidnapping, rape and murder at the hands of criminal gangs, often in collusion with authorities, and that those responsible for the abuses are rarely brought to justice.

“Migrants are determined to risk all in the hope of a better future, but the reality is that for many the journey through Mexico - one of the most dangerous journeys in the world - will be devastating,” Knox said.

He added that despite the government’s promises to provide greater protection for migrants, “laws and other official measures are having little or no impact and systematic abuses of migrants continue unabated.”

“We hope this new campaign will put pressure on the government to turn promises into action.”

AI says there are no official figures on the number of migrants traveling illegally through Mexico each year, although 60,000 were detained and repatriated in 2011. The vast majority of these people are Central American, mainly from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras or Nicaragua.

Mexico is one of the only countries that is both a destination and transit route for migrants, as well as a starting point for thousands of Mexicans who try to cross the border to the United States in search of work, AI says.

Please donate at http://www.sendsocks.org/

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Narco Blog: Man Shot Dead While Trying to Sell His Car ( Warning: Graphic Photos)

Narco Blog: Man Shot Dead While Trying to Sell His Car ( Warning: Graphic Photos)

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This week a 26 year old was gunned down as he prepared to show a car that was for sale in Villa Verde and shot to death.

The victim was identified as Francisco Javier Raygoza Inzunza.

The victim and a friend went to the agreed upon spot in the car that was for sale. Upon arrival they were met by two men who approached them in a hostile way.

Raygoza Inzunza ran and tried to take refuge in a private home nearby. Bullets tore into the young man before he could reach safety. Over 15 shells were found on the scene.

read more in Spanish at Narco Blog HereImageImage

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California University Using Romance Languages’ Similiarities to Teach Students Foreign Language

California University Using Romance Languages’ Similiarities to Teach Students Foreign Language

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A program at a California university teaches languages like French and Italian starting with their similarities to Spanish, an idea that is scoring a big success among Hispanics of the region.

“When you know Spanish as well as English, it’s much easier to learn another Romance language like French,” Efren Espinoza, a student of English and French literature at California State University, Long Beach, told Efe.

“I believe that the similarities in grammar, syntax, vocabulary and the masculine and feminine genders of words, which we already know in Spanish, helps us Hispanics learn the other languages that come from Latin much more easily,” he said.

Argentine native Claire Emilie Martin, a professor of Spanish at Cal State Long Beach, told Efe that 10 years ago she and her colleague Cloninda Donato noted that on the lists of students taking French and Italian courses, between 60 percent and 70 percent had Hispanic names.

“And we thought, well, these students already have a good linguistic and cultural background and are interested in studying French or Italian - it’s going to be much easier for them to learn another Romance language with that teaching method developed in France and implemented in Europe since 1997,” Martin said.

“The method we call here ‘Internal Understanding’ is being adapted to the special characteristics of Southern California with its large Hispanic population,” she said.

Donato, director of the university’s George L. Graziadio Center for Italian Studies, told Efe that when she went to work giving French and Italian classes, she saw that “Hispanics and Anglos who speak Spanish do their exercises in Italian or French much quicker.”

“I had to keep them from drifting off to some other subject while I was still explaining grammatical structure to the students who only spoke English,” Donato said.

As a consequence they created French and Italian classes for Spanish-speakers only, in which, from 2007 to the present, they have taught some 850 students using that method.

Priscilla Castro, the daughter of Nicaraguan parents who studies journalism and marketing, told Efe that she learned Spanish at home and English at school.

“When I went to college I saw an announcement that said ‘French for Spanish-speakers,’ so I signed up for it and I find it’s really easy,” Castro said.

“In my French classes I’m learning the grammatical structure of Spanish as well, since it’s the same in both languages,” she said.

Etienne Farreyre, cultural attache at the French Consulate in Los Angeles, told Efe that for more than five years the cultural service of his country has had an institutional relationship with Cal State Long Beach.

“The program of French for Spanish-speakers is an interesting program and unique in the United States, so we want to provide support for a university that teaches European languages by this method,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Jersey Boat Makes its Way to Spain Unmanned

New Jersey Boat Makes its Way to Spain Unmanned

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A discovery off the coast of Spain managed to surprise two New Jersey residents earlier this week.

In 2008, Scott Douglas and his brother-in-law went fishing off Nantucket on Douglas’ 26-foot boat, but when the weather turned ugly the men would begin a story for the ages.

Douglas’ boat, the Queen Bee, might as well have been a rubber duck floating in the ocean the way is was tossed about in the storm. Unable to stay aboard, the two men were forced to swim for their lives to shore. After the two-hour miracle swim, the men were lucky to be alive.

That August day was the last time either men saw the Queen Bee and Douglas informed his insurance company of the incident, ultimately reaching a settlement.

Jump to January 2012, three and a half years later.

An ocean away, about 20 miles off the coast of Spain, the Spanish Coast Guard would find the Queen Bee rusted, covered in barnacles, but still intact.

The Guard called their U.S. counterparts and Douglas, who technically has no ownership of the boat now, was informed that the boat he’d lost more than three years ago had somehow traveled across the Atlantic ocean for a little vacation in Spain.

The Queen Bee now belongs to the Spanish government, but that doesn’t mean Douglas walks away with something.

He now has not only a heroic tale of survival, but one about a boat that couldn’t be sunk.

As for how the boat made it all the way to Spain, experts say it likely got taken in by the trans-Atlantic drift, headed north up the New England Coast, to Canada, then on to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and across the northern Atlantic. From there is headed past Greenland to Ireland and finally headed down the European coast until the day it was spotted near Spain.

Read more by HS News Staff →

First Lady Michelle Obama Joins Goya Foods in Announcing “Mi Plato” Resources for Families

First Lady Michelle Obama Joins Goya Foods in Announcing “Mi Plato” Resources for Families

Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama joins Goya Foods in announcing "Mi Plato" Resources for families

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Tampa, Florida - In support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, Goya Foods, the largest, Hispanic-owned U.S. food company, is committing resources to promote the USDA’s MyPlate, or MiPlato, a new food group symbol to remind families about making healthy meal choices with easy “how-tos” about proper portions. Mrs. Obama joined Bob Unanue, President of Goya Foods, and leading Latino organizations to promote their nationwide effort to encourage health and wellness in communities across the country. Goya Foods is rolling out numerous steps to help communities enjoy healthy, tasty and affordable meals including creating brochures, posters, coupons and cookbooks for consumers; developing educational tools for 4th through 6th grade students across the country; and imprinting the MiPlato icon on some of their products.

“Today’s announcement is what Let’s Move! is really all about – folks from every sector of our society stepping up and coming together on behalf of our kids. One of the pillars of Let’s Move! is empowering parents with the information they need to make healthy choices.  MiPlato is a tool to help support families in that effort.  Today, Goya is utilizing their incredible reach into communities across the country to get this helpful information to the hand of parents,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Everything that Goya is doing – from the MiPlato posters and pamphlets to cookbooks and recipes – center around the idea that we parents can make simple changes to help their children lead healthier lives.”

“For Goya, MiPlato is an ideal reflection of our product line; quality, flavor, healthy and nutritious; while offering guidance to the public to easily identify the basic food groups of vegetables, grains, fruits, proteins, and dairy,” said Bob Unanue, president of Goya Food.

Community organizations from Florida to California have shown their support of Let’s Move! with commitments to promote MiPlato and distribute the Goya-produced materials through local churches, food pantries, promotores (community health workers) networks, registered dietitians, and schools. Some of the many organizations include the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, which will distribute materials at its Nuestro Futuro rallies across the country, and the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger, which is working with New Mexico’s state social services and statewide food bank to ensure New Mexico’s families receive materials. The booklets will also be distributed through food bank members of Feeding America in Texas, Florida, Arizona, New York, and California. In Tampa, the Girl Scouts of the USA has committed to promote MiPlato to Tampa-area Girl Scouts through the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Several organizations have also joined USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s Nutrition Communicators Network as a Community Partner.

Goya Foods will collaborate with Let’s Move! and USDA in the following ways:

• A Goya-produced brochure featuring a series of recipes that meet the Dietary Guidelines that support MiPlato and ten tips for healthy eating.  The Goya sales force will offer these brochures to 32,000 supermarkets to distribute in their communities.
• Goya will print MiPlato posters for distribution in various supermarkets and grocery stores.
• Goya will produce brochures with a Goya savings coupon that will be distributed to a variety of national Hispanic associations and organizations at the various festivals and events that Goya sponsors throughout the year.
• In the spring, Goya will launch the official MiPlato cookbook and distribute copies to their consumers.
• Goya developed comprehensive lesson plans for 4th through 6th grade students using beans as education characters, and will distribute these to elementary schools in six major cities including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami and Tampa.
• The MiPlato icon will be printed on six different Goya products including black beans, pinto beans, white beans, chick peas, red kidney beans and the sazón Goya natural and complete.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Calif. Father Gets Restraining Order Against Son’s 10-Year-Old Bully

Calif. Father Gets Restraining Order Against Son’s 10-Year-Old Bully

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After his son was threatened by a classmate, a California father went to court and obtained a temporary restraining order against the 4th grader.

Robert Casteel, 33, says his 10-year-old Christopher came to him and told him a classmate had threatened him with a knife.

Worrying for his son, the father asked if he told the principal or teacher about the incident. His son told him that it happened in class, so the teacher was there.

Feeling that the school was failing to protect his son, Casteel went to a Riverside county court judge and asked for a temporary restraining order. He was granted the request, and the boy with the knife was ordered to stay at least 20 feet away from Christopher at all times.

Prior to obtaining the TRO, Casteel said he kept his son home from school for five days.

The Riverside County District Attorney is reviewing the incident, and a judge will review the case on February 8th. The restraining order will remain in effect until then, and stipulates that the boy is also to stay away from Christopher’s two other siblings.

The alleged offender, Christopher’s 4th grade classmate, was suspended for five days, and the since bringing a knife to school is illegal, the district attorney could decide to pursue legal action against the juvenile.

Casteel has said he does not want to see the boy imprisoned, he only wants him to get help.

The father maintains that he is simply trying to keep his son safe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Bank Robber Shoots Himself in the Foot (VIDEO)

LATINO BLOTTER: Bank Robber Shoots Himself in the Foot (VIDEO)

Photo: Bank robber in Brazil shoots self in foot, later arrested at hospital

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An armed bank robber in Brazil made his own capture rather easy after he shot himself in the foot.

On Monday, three men entered a bank in northern Parana, Brazil and demanded that tellers hand over money.

While two of them man collected more than 30,000 Brazilian reals (roughly $16,000) the third man kept watch at the door holding two firearms.

Surveillance video doesn’t make it clear that anything happened, though we suspect a case of sweaty hands may be to blame, as the lookout fumbles a bit with one of his guns and shoots himself in the foot.

The two men are then seen running out of the bank, with the wounded third limping out behind them.

The injured man was arrested the next day while receiving care at a local hospital.

Police believe six men were involved in the entire operation though only three can be seen on the video.  Aside for the injured man, one other man was arrested.

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Florida Debate: Romney Claims Obama Has Appeased Cuba, but It Won’t Happen If He’s Elected

Florida Debate: Romney Claims Obama Has Appeased Cuba, but It Won’t Happen If He’s Elected

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Earlier this month, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stated, “Those of us who believe in freedom and cherish democracy must do our part … and denounce the injustices and cruelties of the Castro tyranny.”

At Thursday night’s Republican debate, Romney elaborated on the policy he would implement in regards to Cuba if elected.

Romney has picked up a number of Cuban-American endorsers, so it should come as no surprise that he laid out an aggressive stance towards Castro’s Cuba. At Thursday’s debate in Florida he also focused some attention on President Obama’s policies on the Communist nation.

“This president has decided to give a gift, to Castro, to allow remittances to come from the United States to go into Cuba and help the economy of Cuba. He’s allowed more traveling into Cuba. Showing that olive branch if you will,” Romney stated Thursday. “And how has it been met? It is met with a man, Wilman Villar, who must sacrifice his own life through his hunger strike, with many, many people being oppressed in prison.”

Romney was referring to 31-year-old Wilman Villar, who died after a 56-day hunger strike. Vilar was a Cuban dissident arrested on Nov. 12, 2011. He was later convicted of disrespecting authority and resisting arrest, and was sentenced to four years in prison. He is among a number of people, many believe are being held simply for standing up to a government they disagree with.

“If I’m fortunate to become the next president of the United States it is my expectation that Fidel Castro will finally be taken off this planet.  I doubt he’ll take any time in the sky he’ll find a nether region to be more to his comfort.

“This president does not understand that by helping Castro, he is not helping the people of Cuba he is hurting them, he is not putting forward a policy of freedom, he is accommodating and encouraging a policy of oppression, and if I’m President of the United States, we will return to Helms-Burton and the law, and we will not give Castro any gifts.”

In a column published Wednesday, Fidel Castro lambasted the Republican race saying, “The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is – and I mean this seriously – the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been.”

So while Romney and the other Republican presidential candidates may not be fans of Castro, it appears the feeling is mutual.

Thursday’s debate was the last leading up to the Republican primary on January 31st.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Olivia Wilde Stuns in Lady Luchador Costume on “Burt Wonderstone” Set

Olivia Wilde Stuns in Lady Luchador Costume on “Burt Wonderstone” Set

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Hollywood beauty Olivia Wilde was recently seen on the set of her latest film The Incredible Burt Wonderstone in a red, cleavage-accentuated lucha libre costume.

Wilde plays assistant to the Jim Carrey character – magician Steve Haines – who has taken to a battle of magicians against Steve Carell as Burt Wonderstone.

Also in the film are Steve Buscemi, James Gandolfini, Brad Garrett, and Alan Arkin. Famed magician David Copperfield even makes an appearance in the film as himself.

The comedy is set to be released sometime in 2013 and judging by shots of Wilde in the Luchador costume and Carrey in a giant piñata outfit, it looks like there may be a bit of Latin flavor in this comedy.

In semi-related news, Jim Carrey’s daughter was recently seen auditioning on American Idol at the show’s San Diego stop.

Jane Carrey, the comedian’s 24-year-old daughter, was recognized by both Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez – who appeared on “In Living Color” alongside Jane’s father.

The single mother sang a bit of Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About,” and while she wasn’t overwhelmingly impressive, she showed that she does have some pipes.

In an age when children of the stars can practically buy themselves a career, Jane wanted to audition like everyone else and earn any success she may have.

Jane showed enough skill to nab the coveted ticket to Hollywood.

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Mana collaboration with Prince Royce Number 1 on Billboard’s Latin Songs Chart

Mana collaboration with Prince Royce Number 1 on Billboard’s Latin Songs Chart

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“El verdadero amor perdona,” a joint effort by Mexican rockers Mana and bachatero Prince Royce, climbed from second to first this week on Billboard’s Latin Songs chart.

Rising from the fourth spot to No. 2 was “Te quiero a morir,” by Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizarraga, as “Promise,” Romeo Santos’ duet with R&B icon Usher, slipped from second to third.

Prince Royce’s “Las cosas pequeñas,” a single from his forthcoming album, made its debut at No. 4 on Latin Songs, where the rankings are determined on the basis of radio airplay.

“We Found Love”, by Rihanna with an assist from Calvin Harris, fell from third to fifth position on the chart.

Billboard’s list of best-selling Latin Pop Albums was led by “Mi amigo El Principe: La historia,” part of Cristian Castro’s tribute to Jose Jose. Guatemalan singer-songwriter Ricardo Arjona, now preparing for a U.S. tour next month, moved up from fourth to No. 2 with “Independiente.”

Mana’s “Drama y luz” maintained its grip on third place, while “Il Volo: Edicion es español,” by Italian trio Il Volo, dropped from No. 1 to No. 4, followed in fifth by Camila with “Dejarte de amar.”

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California: 119 Busted in Mexican Mafia Sting

California: 119 Busted in Mexican Mafia Sting

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A total of 119 people were arrested in three operations undertaken by federal authorities in Southern California that dealt a heavy blow to the organized crime outfit known as the Mexican Mafia, or “La Eme.”

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, Laura E. Duffy, said that Wednesday’s arrests affected all levels of the organization, including top leaders such as Rudy Espudo, a resident of Escondido, California.

People who think involvement in gang activity is not a serious matter “need to think twice,” she told a press conference in San Diego, adding that her office is “fiercely committed” to the battle against gangs.

Duffy said that the operation broke up a structure that included, in addition to the leaders, other people responsible for making mid-level decisions, associates and “soldiers.”

As a result of the operation, a grand jury in San Diego brought 17 charges against the 119 accused.

The U.S. attorney said that the charges filed against the arrested people include blackmail, drug trafficking violations and weapons possession and the accused were responsible for “many violent acts,” including attempted murder and attacks with deadly weapons.

The authorities say that despite the fact that La Eme only has about 200 members, its influence extends to thousands of members of Hispanic gangs in Southern California.

Read more by HS News Staff →

FridayJanuary 27, 2012