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WednesdayFebruary 1, 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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$22.73 Billion Sent in Remittances to Mexico in 2011

$22.73 Billion Sent in Remittances to Mexico in 2011

Photo: 2011 Remittances to Mexico Increase

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Remittances sent by Mexicans living abroad rose 6.86 percent to $22.73 billion in 2011, the Bank of Mexico said.

Remittances had risen just 0.12 percent in 2010 to $21.27 billion from the $21.18 billion received in 2009, when remittances plunged 15.7 percent.

Of the remittances received last year, $22.22 billion, or nearly 97.8 percent, came via electronic transfers, $206.81 million, or 0.90 percent, was received via postal money orders and the remaining $295.25 million, or about 1.3 percent, was sent in cash or checks.

The average electronic transfer was $326.26, the central bank said.

The states receiving the largest amounts were Michoacan, with $2.23 billion; Guanajuato, with $2.14 billion; Jalisco, with $1.88 billion; Mexico state, with $1.65 billion; and Puebla, with $1.46 billion.

Remittances sent by Mexicans living abroad are the country’s second-largest source of foreign exchange and help cover the living expenses of millions of people.

Most of the remittances are sent from the United States, where an estimated 12 million Mexicans live, with about half of them being undocumented migrants.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Troubled Mexican Airline Could Once Again Begin Operations as Early as March

Troubled Mexican Airline Could Once Again Begin Operations as Early as March

Photo: Troubled Mexican Airline Could Once Again Begin Operations as Early as March

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The judge presiding over Mexicana de Aviacion’s bankruptcy proceedings said a consortium has deposited $300 million to recapitalize the Mexican airline, which could return to the skies next month.

Felipe Consuelo Soto told Radio Formula that Med Atlantica, which is 80 percent controlled by Mexican investors, has shown it has the necessary funds and is now the best option for rescuing the beleaguered carrier.

“The group brings together the elements to be awarded Mexicana de Aviacion. It’s shown me that it has the money and the willingness to restructure Mexicana,” the judge said.

Soto said he has petitioned the Communications and Transportation Secretariat to reactivate Mexicana’s operating permit.

He added that the carrier’s bankruptcy proceedings will conclude after a few administrative formalities have been completed.

“This is wonderful news for the (airline’s) 8,000 workers,” the judge said, adding that the secretariat still must decide if Med Atlantica meets the technical requirements.

More than 30 potential suitors have expressed interest in the airline since the start of the bankruptcy proceedings, with Med Atlantica, Union Swiss, the Ivan Barona group and Grupo Lomex reaching the final stage.

PC Capital and Barona’s group seemed poised at one juncture to rescue Mexicana but they were unable to demonstrate they had the required funds.

The Mexicana group of airlines, which also includes sister budget carriers Click and Link, halted operations and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 after racking up an estimated 12 billion pesos ($930 million) in debt.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Thousands Demand Food, Jobs in Mexico City

Thousands Demand Food, Jobs in Mexico City

Photo: Mexico City

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Thousands of peasants, workers, university students and unemployed people took to the streets of Mexico City to demand that the government provide more resources to farmers, guarantee the provision of food and boost job creation.

The protesters also called for economic and political changes to improve Mexicans’ lives, as well as for action to fight crime.

The “National March to Change the Economic, Political and Social Direction of the Country” took place Tuesday in Mexico City.

The protesters marched down Paseo de la Reforma, the capital’s most iconic avenue, and gathered at the Zocalo, Mexico City’s main plaza, where labor leaders delivered addresses to the crowd.

Protest leaders called for talks with the government to deal with “the food emergency” and find solutions to the problem of joblessness.

“The shortage of basic foods and the spike in prices are devastating the urban dwellers who consume these goods daily,” National Peasants Confederation, or CNC, president Gerardo Sanchez said.

“Food sovereignty and national security are threatened today like never before,” the CNC leader said.

The government should welcome talks “that lead to consensus (and) agreements, and that are complied with like the Integrated Plan to Deal with the Drought signed a week ago,” Sanchez said.

Other speakers called on officials to deal with the high crime rate in an effective manner.

The government should “work seriously and immediately on the issue of organized crime and lack of security,” telecommunications workers union leader Francisco Hernandez Juarez said.

The government said Tuesday that 2.5 million people affected by the drought that started last May had received assistance.

The drought, one of the worst to hit Mexico in decades, is affecting about 40 percent of the country.

President Felipe Calderon has vowed to do everything within the government’s power to help those suffering from the drought.

Last week, Calderon ordered the disbursement of 33.82 billion pesos (about $2.5 billion) to help states in central and northern Mexico affected by the drought.

The funds will be used to fix and improve the systems that supply water to residents of drought-stricken areas, as well as to provide food to communities affected by the natural disaster.

An additional 20,000 food packages will be provided to residents of Chihuahua, one of the states hit the hardest by the drought, officials said.

A total of 250,000 high-protein food packages have already been handed out and the government plans to ensure that food is available in the 19 states hit by the drought.

The drought has ravaged Indian communities in Chihuahua’s Sierra Tarahumara, destroying crops and forcing thousands of peasants to leave their ancestral lands and head to the cities

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nearly 5,000 Tons of Border Trash Attributed to Illegal Immigration in Arizona

Nearly 5,000 Tons of Border Trash Attributed to Illegal Immigration in Arizona

Photo: Nearly 5,000 Tons of Border Trash Attributed to Illegal Immigration in Arizona

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More than 10,000 pounds of border trash were collected by 123 volunteers during the Saturday, Jan. 28 cleanup event on the Santa Cruz River north of Nogales in Rio Rico, Arizona

The event was sponsored by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Friends of the Santa Cruz River, Anza Trail Coalition, Rio Rico Properties and Santa Cruz County.

The volunteer army collected more than 250 55-gallon bags of trash and a front-end loader hauled away various large items like discarded mattresses, sofas and desks that were along the river. About half of the trash was believed to be discarded by those who illegally crossed the border in the area and the other half by area residents who illegally dumped material.

“ADEQ would like to thank all of the great volunteers who stepped up in this noble effort to protect our environment,” ADEQ Director Henry Darwin said. “There was a huge amount of illegally discarded border trash in this section of the river and they did an excellent job of collecting it and seeing to it that it was disposed of properly.”

ADEQ workers have been involved in a number of trail cleanups in the border region in recent years, including other cleanups in the Santa Cruz, the Arivaca region northwest of Nogales, the Colorado River area south of Yuma, arroyos near Douglas and in the Coronado National Forest near Sierra Vista and Green Valley.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Adoption Battle Over 5-Year Old Boy Pits Missouri Couple Vs. Illegal Immigrant

Adoption Battle Over 5-Year Old Boy Pits Missouri Couple Vs. Illegal Immigrant

Photo: Adoption Battle- Birth Mother

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Judge Ruled Little Jamison Would Be Better Off with US Parents


A tug-of-war over a five-year-old boy is at the center of a national debate over parental rights and immigration, and a sign of what critics say is a growing trend in which immigrants are being deemed unfit parents because they crossed the border illegally.

Seth and Melinda Moser of Carthage, Missouri say the boy they call Jamison is their son, and that returning him to his birth mother after five years will cause him untold harm.


“I could not love him more, had he come out of me physically,” Melinda Moser said in an interview with a Missouri television station. “I can only imagine the trauma that he would go through in feeling like people that did love him have betrayed him, you know?”


His birth mother, Encarnacion Bail Romero, says Carlos was taken from her against her will while she was in federal custody for an immigration-related crime, and hopes to regain custody in a trial that starts later this month.


“I’m his mother, I’m the mother of Carlitos,” she told ABC News in an interview to be broadcast tonight on “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline.”


The report is the first in a series from five graduate school journalists chosen to work with the Ross investigative unit as Carnegie Fellows, who found that stepped-up enforcement of immigration laws has had the unintended side effect of wrenching thousands of children away from their parents, sometimes forever.


According to a report from the Applied Research Center, “Shattered Families,” as of the summer of 2011 an estimated 5,100 children in 22 states were in foster care after their parents were either detained or deported. Immigration attorneys and children’s welfare advocates say a small but troubling number, like Jamison, have been put up for adoption to American families after their birth parents were stripped of their parental rights.


“It’s a massive national problem,” said John De Leon, an attorney for the Guatemalan Consulate who worked to help Encarnacion Bail Romero secure a visa to stay in the country while she fights for custody of her son.


How many families are involved? “Do the numbers,” he said.


The ARC report concluded that at least 15,000 more children will face “threats to reunification with their detained and deported mothers and fathers” over the next five years.


“I can tell you that if you were to go into any dependency court, any child welfare court in the country today, any community where there are immigrants, this is a problem,” De Leon said.

In May 2007, when Carlos was just seven months old, his mother was arrested in an immigration raid at the poultry plant where she worked in Missouri. She was charged with aggravated identity theft and sentenced to serve two years in prison, after which she would be deported back to Guatemala.


Carlos hasn’t seen his mother since. In 2009, three months after Bail Romero was released from prison, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the use of aggravated identity theft charges in cases like hers.


“I started to ask for help and asked what could I do to find out where my son Carlitos was,” said Bail Romero. “Nobody could help me because I don’t speak English.”

Within months of his mother’s arrest, Carlos had been transferred into the custody of a local couple interested in adopting a child. While his mother sat in a jail cell, he began living in his new home full-time.


One year later, with Bail Romero unable to understand the language in which the adoption proceedings were being carried out, unable to attend court hearings and despite her statement that she did not want her son to be adopted, Seth and Melinda Moser legally adopted the little boy.


Bail Romero got out of prison in 2009 and has been fighting to get her son back ever since.

“I never gave my consent for the boy to be adopted by anyone,” she said.


Still, the judge had ruled that Bail Romero had willfully abandoned her son and couldn’t offer him a future. The Mosers, in contrast, were found to be fit parents who were ready to take care of a child.


Bail Romero’s “lifestyle, that of smuggling herself into a country illegally and committing crimes in this country is not a lifestyle that can provide stability for a child,” Circuit Court Judge David C. Dally wrote in his 2008 decision terminating her parental rights. “A child cannot be educated in this way, always in hiding or on the run.”


Dally’s judgment had held no mention of Seth Moser’s own criminal background. According to court records, Moser, as a teenager, served almost a year in jail after pleading guilty to a felony count involving possession of stolen property. According to Bail Romero’s court filings, Moser also has admitted to drug use.


The Mosers, through their lawyer, Joseph Hensley, declined to be interviewed by ABC News for this story. Hensley has told the court that Moser has turned his life around since his legal problems as a youth.


It wasn’t until two months after Dally’s decision legally transferred parental rights to the Mosers that Bail Romero was appointed a lawyer by the court. Then, seven months later, Bail Romero was appointed another lawyer, one who was initially contacted by the Mosers.


Without any policies in place to regulate the care of U.S. citizen children while their parents are detained, immigrant parents are unable to attend court hearings, contact caseworkers, complete parenting classes or take any of the necessary steps to meet the strict timelines dictated by juvenile courts.


“And the result is that nobody is really recognizing that there’s a parent there trying desperately to communicate that they want to still be involved with their child,” said Nina Rabin, an immigration attorney with the University of Arizona’s Immigration Law and Policy Institute.

And it’s those parents that are slipping through the cracks between two huge bureaucracies, she said.


“These are parents that this is happening to, that have the same bond with their children that we have with our children,” Rabin said. “And to separate them with so little thought and so little flexibility seems beyond any punishment I can think—I mean, it’s worse than any punishment I can think of, to do that to a parent.”


A spokesman for ICE, the federal government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, said such cases are rare. “ICE is sensitive to the fact that encountering those who violate our immigration laws may impact families,” said spokesperson Brian Hale. “ICE uses prosecutorial discretion in releasing individuals from ICE custody for humanitarian reasons such as being the sole caregiver of minors and when we are aware that the detention of a non-criminal alien would result in any child (U.S. citizen or not) being left without a parental caregiver. We take great strides to evaluate cases that warrant humanitarian release.”



Last, year, the custody battle over Carlos landed in the Missouri Supreme Court, where judges called it “a travesty of justice.” The court reversed the decision to terminate Bail Romero’s rights as a parent and sent the case back to the original court for a retrial, which is set for Feb. 28.

Some who push for tougher enforcement of immigration laws say the parents in such cases are to blame. “When parents break the law, they undertake a certain amount of risk that there are going to be consequences,” said Daniel Stein of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform.


“Anyone can feel for the torment that this poor woman is going through, recognizing that she doesn’t have the educational and the language capabilities to fully defend and vindicate her rights,” said Stein.

“Nevertheless, she knew she came to this country illegally, she knew she broke the law,” he told ABC News.

Bail Romero cries and clutches a tiny passport photo of her son as she talks about him. It’s the only picture she has of him. She knows that the two no longer speak the same language and that he won’t recognize her when he sees her, but she has faith that she will see her son again soon.


“I know he needs me,” she said. “He needs me a lot because I’m the mother of Carlitos.”

 

The Mosers argue that it is better for Carlos to stay with them, not in Guatemala with his mother after her impending deportation.


“In terms of best interest, I mean, that almost goes without saying,” the Mosers’ attorney, Joseph Hensley, told the court in 2008, according to a brief filed by Bail Romero’s attorneys. “[This] child is an American citizen. The mother is a Guatemalan citizen, and she will be returning to Guatemala. ... I think the best interest standard always weighs very, very, heavily in favor of my clients.”


Bail Romero says she’s thankful to the Mosers for taking care of her son, “but, as Carlitos’ mother, I need him to be with me,” she said, “because I’m his real mother.”


—————
This is the first story in a series from the Brian Ross Investigative Unit’s 2011 Carnegie Fellows, five student journalists who initiated and led a reporting project on the impact of the federal government’s enforcement of immigration law. The journalists are Lauren Gilger, Charles Gorra, Josh Haskell, Robin Respaut, and Selly Thiam.

Read more by HS News Staff →

No Theater Release For Mel Gibson’s ‘Get the Gringo’ - Film Being Released on DirecTV

No Theater Release For Mel Gibson’s ‘Get the Gringo’ - Film Being Released on DirecTV

Photo: Mel Gibson's 'Get the Gringo' Being Released on DirecTV

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Deadline New York is reporting that Mel Gibson’s Film Get the Gringo will not appear in theaters and will head straight to DVD after being premiered exclusively on DirecTV.

Get the Gringo is about a guy, played by Gibson, who travels to Mexico with a car full of cash and dying friend. He gets arrested and tossed in jail and the action and comedy follow.

The movie, which was financed by Gibson, will be available to DirecTV customers May 1, and will be released for video-on-demand, Blu-Ray/DVD, and for direct download distribution some time after.

See the trailer below.


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American Ferrera Speaks Up For Planned Parenthood, Susan G. Komen Foundation Cuts Funds

American Ferrera Speaks Up For Planned Parenthood, Susan G. Komen Foundation Cuts Funds

Photo: Latina Actress American Ferrera Speaks Up For Planned Parenthood

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Actress America Ferrera recently spoke a luncheon for Planned Parenthood, in which she said she happy to be a part of an organization devoted to women’s health.

“I think that women’s health is an issue that is close to me, because of my community. We’re only as strong as the ability we have to take care of the women who are giving birth and nurturing the next generation, Ferrera said at the luncheon.

The television (Ugly Better) and film star support come at a time when Planned Parenthood is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants from breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Tuesday, Planned Parenthood released a statement saying it was “alarmed and saddened” by the withdrawal of support from Komen.

“We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure. Our greatest desire is for Komen to reconsider this policy and recommit to the partnership on which so many women count,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

In the last few weeks, the Komen Foundation has begun notifying local Planned Parenthood programs that their breast cancer initiatives will not be eligible for new grants (beyond existing agreements or plans).

To ensure that the Komen Foundation’s decision doesn’t jeopardize any woman’s access to lifesaving screenings and services, Planned Parenthood has launched a Breast Health Emergency Fund. The fund will offset the support that 19 local Planned Parenthood programs stand to lose from Komen. The Komen-funded Planned Parenthood programs have helped thousands of women in rural and underserved communities get breast health education, screenings, and referrals for mammograms.

“While this is deeply disturbing and disappointing, we want to assure women who rely on Planned Parenthood for breast care that we’re still here for them, and we always will be. The new fund we’re launching to support these services will ensure that the Komen Foundation’s decision doesn’t jeopardize women’s health,” added Richards.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mitt Romney’s Latino Victory in Florida Has a Decidedly Cuban Feel to It

Mitt Romney’s Latino Victory in Florida Has a Decidedly Cuban Feel to It

Photo: MItt Romney Wins Florida

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Yesterday, Mitt Romney won a decisive primary victory in Florida over Newt Gingrich thanks in part to garnering an overwhelming majority of the Latino vote.

Romney obtained more than a 25-point lead of registered Florida Latino Republicans over Gingrich.  This win came in spite of Gingrich having a more ‘immigrant’ friendly stance.  Romney endorsement from key Cuban legislators gave him an edge with many Cuban-Americans and one of several reasons for Gingrich’s defeat. 

Cuban voters didn’t appear bothered by the Gingrich imposed-label of ‘The Anti-Immigrant Candidate’ and the endorsement of Kris Kobach – author of Arizona’s SB 1070. 

The issue of immigration and the DREAM Act are not as important to Cuban-Americans since it does not directly affect them. 

Romney approved his stand amongst Florida Latinos by 14 percent from 2008 when he also ran for President against John McCain. 

No one is ready to say that this win will translate to winning the Latino vote in the general election, should Romney become the nominee.  Analysis of the Florida primary shows that Romney won the majority of the Cuban American vote specifically and little to no vote from the Mexican-American demographic in the state.

In the general election the Latino vote is composed more of Mexican-American’s than Cuban-Americans.  And the issue of immigration and the DREAM Act are top issues, as well as the economy, for these Latino voters. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Environmentally Friendly Tortillas Coming to Mexico

Environmentally Friendly Tortillas Coming to Mexico

Photo: Environmentally Friendly Tortillas

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Researchers have developed “environmentally friendly tortillas” that are more nutritious, help prevent osteoporosis, slow the aging process and help fight obesity, Mexico’s Center for Advanced Research and Studies, or Cinvestav, said.

A team led by Juan de Dios Figueroa Cardenas, of Cinvestav’s unit in Queretaro, developed an environmentally friendly method for producing tortillas from gourmet corn that have a high nutritional content and double the shelf life without increasing the price of the final product, the center said.

The current process used to make tortillas is “highly polluting” and “not very efficient,” resulting in tortillas that “in many cases do not contain the fiber or calcium” people need, Cinvestav said in a statement.

Given the importance of tortillas in the Mexican diet since pre-Columbian times, researchers worked on developing a process that “does not produce pollutants” and replaces lime, a corrosive substance, with salts and other ingredients in the cooking process, the research center said.

The use of other salts retains the outer layers of corn kernels during cooking and preserves a large amount of nutrients that end up being lost in the existing process and generating an enormous amount of pollution and wasted water.

“By eating environmentally friendly tortillas, we stay young longer,” Figueroa Cardenas said.

The tortillas are also useful in fighting obesity, which is a huge problem in Mexico, because they contain double the fiber of a traditional tortilla, the biotechnology researcher said, adding that the tortillas’ high calcium content helps prevent osteoporosis.

Mexicans eat about 14 million tons annually of tortillas, which are one of the main sources of calcium for the population.

Read more by HS News Staff →

St. Jude Hospital Researchers Find Hispanic Children at Greater Risk for Leukemia

St. Jude Hospital Researchers Find Hispanic Children at Greater Risk for Leukemia

Photo: St. Jude Hospital Researchers Find Hispanic Children at Greater Risk for Leukemia

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Hispanic children are more likely than those from other racial and ethnic backgrounds to be diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and are more likely to die of their disease. Work led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists has pinpointed genetic factors behind the grim statistics.

“For years we have known about ethnic and racial disparities in ALL risk and outcome, but the biology behind it has been elusive. Therefore, it is truly exciting to be able to not only pin down the biological basis but to find that the same gene might be responsible for both differences, “aid Jun Yang, Ph.D., an assistant member of the St. Jude Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the paper’s corresponding author.

Each year ALL is found in about 3,000 U.S. children, making it the most common childhood cancer. The incidence varies by self-declared race and ethnicity with rates for Hispanic individuals 50 percent higher than for non-Hispanic white individuals. For this study, researchers used genetic variations rather than individual self-report to define ancestry. White children were defined as having greater than 95 percent European ancestry and Hispanics children as having greater than 10 percent Native American ancestry.

Although the work of St. Jude researchers and others is helping to close the survival gap, Hispanic children are still less likely than children from other racial or ethnic backgrounds to be alive five years after diagnosis.

Read more at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital →

Argentina Calls Prince William a “Conquistador” as he Arrives in Falklands with Royal Air Force

Argentina Calls Prince William a “Conquistador” as he Arrives in Falklands with Royal Air Force

Photo: Argentina Calls Prince William a "Conquistador" as he Arrives in Falklands with Royal Air Force

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Helicopter pilot Prince William is in the Falklands with the Royal Air Force for a six-week military mission and Argentina, not appreciating the RAF’s presence, has taken to calling the newly wed prince a “conquistador.”

With the anniversary of the Britain-Argentina conflict of 1982, Argentina believes the arrival of RAF’s most advanced warships is a slap in the face.

A statement from Argentina’s foreign ministry read, “Governments should avoid the temptation of inciting debates that transform patriotism into bullying with the aim of distracting public attention from political decisions to reduce spending in the context of structural crisis and high unemployment.”

It goes on to say that while Argentina is working towards peace and participates in UN missions, the UK insists on ignoring UN resolutions and “weakens the power of diplomacy and increase the risk of further war.”

This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the Falklands Conflict, in which Argentina and the United Kingdom fought over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands as well as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The islands, which sit off the southeast coast of Argentina in the South Atlantic, were invaded by Argentine forces in April 1982. In response, British naval forces were dispatched to intercept the Argentineans.

Since the 19th century, Argentina has claimed that the islands are their territory, and earlier this month made it clear that they have no intention of giving up their claim.

The Telegraph reported that Prince William, now the Duke of Cambridge, will leave the RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire Wednesday night.

Read more by HS News Staff →

WATCH Music Video Premiere of Lil Wayne and Bruno Mars in ‘Mirror’

WATCH Music Video Premiere of Lil Wayne and Bruno Mars in ‘Mirror’

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Watch the music video premiere of Lil Wayne and Bruno Mars in ‘Mirror’. 

Bruno Mars, the only Latino artist nominated outside of the Latino categories picked up 6 Grammy nods, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year & Song of the Year.

Bruno Mars is the only male nominated in the best pop solo performance, for “Grenade.” His competition includes Adele for “Someone Like You,” Lady Gaga for “You and I,” Pink for “(Expletive) Perfect” and Perry for “Firework.”


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Ricky Rubio v. Kobe Bryant on Who Will Win London’s Gold (VIDEO)

Ricky Rubio, although just a rookie for the Minnesota Timberwolves, demonstrated confidence not only in his own basketball abilities but also in that of his home country, Spain. 

After losing to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Rubio and pal Pau Gasol, a fellow Spaniard who is also a Laker chatted with Kobe Bryant.

Yet it wasn’t just friendly greetings that were exchanged. 

When asked if the two Spaniards were discussing the London 2012 Olympics, Rubio then asked Bryant, playfully, if he was going to be there.  Ricky then continued to inform the veteran basketball player that the United States would be taking the Silver medal home and Spain the gold.

Kobe requested the keys to Barcelona should the U.S. take home the Gold medal.  Both players clearly enjoyed the competitive conversation. 

Ricky Rubio’s remarks come after Spain’s close defeat to the United States in 2008.  They lost in the gold medal game 118-107.  Clearly Rubio does not intend to let history repeat itself in London. 


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‘Parasitic’ Fetus found in 3 Year-Old Peruvian Boy’s Stomach (VIDEO)

‘Parasitic’ Fetus found in 3 Year-Old Peruvian Boy’s Stomach (VIDEO)

Photo: Parasitic Twin Found in Peru boy

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In the city of Chiclayo, a ‘parasitic’ fetus was extracted from the stomach of Isbac Pacunda, originally from the nearby Amazon region of Peru.  This fetus was removed by a team of 12 doctors at the Mercedes hospital in Chiclayo.  Doctors believe it is the fetus of a twin, which was absorbed in utero by the now 3-year-old boy. 

The fetus is known as a parasitic fetus because it was living off the blood supply of the little boy.

This rare condition, occurring in only one in every 500,000 births, caused Isbac’s stomach to inflate.  Doctors then discovered the partially developed male fetus weighing 1.2 kilos (2.6 lbs) and measuring 25 cm long, that included elements of eyes, bones and hair. 

The three-year-old began the nearly 4 hour operation Monday after completing a dietary treatment needed to help prevent health problems common among indigenous communities.

Tuesday morning, Isbac walked the halls of the hospital in good spirits.  His recovery however, will need to be monitored.  He will remain hospitalized for 10 days so that doctors can supervise his recuperation and provide him with the necessary medications to prevent possible infections. 


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Watch Naya Rivera Performing ‘Smooth Criminal’ Accompanied by the Sensational 2Cellos on Glee

Watch Naya Rivera Performing ‘Smooth Criminal’ Accompanied by the Sensational 2Cellos on Glee

Photo: Naya Rivera Performs 'Smooth Criminal' with 2Cellos on Glee

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On Tuesday night’s episode of Glee, the cast performed only Michael Jackson and Jackson Five songs, as a tribute to the legend.

Naya Rivera, who plays sassy cheerleader Santana, performed an impressive rendition of the King of Pop’s “Smooth Criminal” in a “duel” with Sebastian Smythe, played by Grant Gustin.

Making the song even more impressive was the inclusion of the amazing talent of 2Cellos, made up of Croatian cellists Sulic & Hauser.

Check out the killer “Smooth Criminal” below.

Smooth Criminal HD from ceci1730 on Vimeo.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Victims Amongst 23 Children Molested by Teacher, Abuse Included Eating Semen

Latino Victims Amongst 23 Children Molested by Teacher, Abuse Included Eating Semen

Photo: Mark Berndt, Alleged Child Abuser

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They were told it was just a game.  That’s what 23 children ranging in ages from 6-10 from 2008 – 2010 thought as they entered Mr. Mark Berndt’s 3rd grade classroom.  Mr. Berndt, who began his career in 1979, now finds himself behind bars for his ‘games’. 

Berndt lured his victims off the playground into his classroom.  They were then allegedly tied up, blindfolded and gagged.  Berndt then photographed the children as giant cockroaches crawled on their faces.  Some of the girls were photographed tasting a white liquid, which tests proved to be Mr. Berndt’s semen. 

The news has sparked outrage among parents at Miramonte Elementary School.  Many want to know why they were unaware of the investigation, which began last March, after a local film processor turned over 40 lewd photographs to the Los Angeles police.  Police then put Berndt under surveillance, after he was fired from Miramonte, as they built their case.  Close to 400 pictures were confiscated from his Torrance, California home. 

Berndt, 61-years-old is described as a ‘childless bachelor’ that lives near by two parks and an elementary school.

At least 10 students victimized in this case still have not been identified.  Many of the victims are believed to be Latino, 97.6% of the student body is Hispanic and many are English-learners. 

Berndt is currently being held on $2.3 million dollar bail and faces arraignment on Wednesday.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Soul Train’s Don Cornelius Dead, Police Suspect Suicide

Soul Train’s Don Cornelius Dead, Police Suspect Suicide

Photo: Soul Train's Don Cornelius Dead, Police Suspect Suicide

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Don Cornelius, known to many as the creator of the long-running dance program “Soul Train,” was pronounced dead at his home after an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Wednesday, police arrived at the 75-year-old’s Sherman Oaks, Calif. home at around 4 a.m.to find the legend dead.

ImageThe Soul Train creator was battling health issues in recent year, including a stroke and brain surgery. He also went through a divorce in 2009.

Though police sources say they believe the wound to be self-inflicted, an investigation is ongoing and officials are reluctant to call it a suicide just yet.

Soul Train was on the air for 35 years, from 1970 to 2006, becoming a national favorite in 1971. Cornelius served as host from 1971 to 1993. The show holds the title for longest, continuously running syndicated show in history.

In the words of the man himself, HS News wishes Mr. Cornelius and his family “Love, Peace, and Soul.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Extreme Trafficking:  104 lbs of Marijuana Hidden in Quinceanera Party Decorations

Extreme Trafficking:  104 lbs of Marijuana Hidden in Quinceanera Party Decorations

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Columbus port of entry made an unusual seizure Sunday.

They discovered bundles of marijuana stashed inside wood-framed and mirrored Quinceanara plaques. The seizure was one of several large and unusual drug busts made by CBP officers in recent days.

The seizure was made shortly before noon when a 2002 Ford Explorer with a lone occupant entered the port from neighboring Palomas, Mexico.

CBP officers initiated an exam of the vehicle during which they located numerous boxes filled with quincinera decorations. A CBP officer noticed an anomaly in several framed/mirrored Quinceanara plaques which were in the vehicle. CBP officers drilled into one plaque and recovered a green substance which tested positive for marijuana. CBP officers dismantled the plaques and recovered 100 thin rectangular wrapped packages. The packages contained marijuana and weighed 104 pounds.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle, 18-year-old Tahlia Arana Perea of Denver, Colorado.

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Pope Visit to Mexico Will Bring Him to “Land Wet with Blood of Martyrs”

Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Mexico, “will tread the land that was wet with the blood of martyrs” who fought to defend their faith in times of persecution.

This is what Mgr. Fidel Hernández Lara, Episcopal Vicar of the Mexican Archdiocese of León said about the Pope’s forthcoming visit to the Latin American country, whose program has just been released by the Vatican Press Office.

Looking at the history of Mexico, one can see how faith has always been deeply rooted in the people, to the point that “it was able to shed blood for what was being trampled on, such as its faith.” Mgr. Lara then recalled that the last cry of many who were shot during the religious persecution of the ‘20s was “Long live Christ the King”.

The Pope will celebrate the principal Mass of his visit to Mexico, not far from the monument dedicated to Christ the King, and will be as if today"Christ the King said, ‘this is my vicar, which crosses the land that was watered with the blood of the martyrs’.” The Pope’s visit, said the Episcopal Vicar of the Archdiocese of Leon, will help all Mexicans” to confirm our faith, to awaken in us a greater loyalty and devotion to Jesus Christ”.

The Holy Father will arrive at the International Airport of Guanajuato (in Silao town) on March 23 in the afternoon. The following day he will visit the Federal President, then he will meet the children at the Plaza de la Paz, in Guanajuato.

On Sunday, March 25 he will celebrate Mass, followed by the Angelus, at the Bicentennial Park in León. In the afternoon, the Vespers with the Bishops of Mexico and Latin America in the Cathedral of the Blessed Mother of the Light in Leon. On Monday, March 26 the Pope will leave Mexico to go to Cuba.

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One Ton of Cocaine Seized in Costa Rica

Costa Rican authorities seized a ton of of cocaine and arrested five people in connection with the consignment, Security Minister Mario Zamora told a press conference.

Coast guard units were monitoring two boats carrying fuel along the southern Pacific coast Monday night when a third vessel met up with the first two to take on more fuel, he said.

At that point, the coast guard units moved in and seized all three boats, the minister said.

The coast guards found a ton of cocaine aboard the third boat and arrested five people, including three Colombian nationals residing in Costa Rica, while as many as four other suspects fled on foot.

Authorities think that the shipment, with a street value of more than $6 million, originated on Colombia’s Pacific coast and was bound for Mexico, Zamora said.

He called Tuesday’s seizure “a heavy blow to drug trafficking” and cited estimates that around 900 tons of cocaine a year are smuggled north via Central America.

Costa Rican authorities confiscated a total of 7.2 tons of cocaine in 2011 and discovered a ton of the drug buried on a Pacific beach earlier this month.

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WednesdayFebruary 1, 2012