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ThursdayFebruary 2, 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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Antonio Banderas says Mexico has ‘Very Special’ Place in His Heart

Antonio Banderas says Mexico has ‘Very Special’ Place in His Heart

Photo: Antonio Banderas says Mexico has 'Very Special' Place in His Heart

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Spanish film star Antonio Banderas said here Thursday that Mexico has a “very special” place in his heart.

Banderas was invited to Cancun, Mexico’s tourist mecca, as guest of honor at the inauguration of a new hotel belonging to Spain’s Iberostar chain.

“Mexico has a very essential place in my heart. There are many, many things that join me to this land, to its people,” the actor and producer told reporters.

He also stressed the need for job creation in Mexico.

“I am here to add my little grain a sand, so you know I’m on your side,” he said at a press conference where he was accompanied by Iberostar CEO Miguel Fluxa and Mexican Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara, among others.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Undocumented Teen Who Lost Family in Deadly Fla. I-75 Pileup WON’T be Deported

Undocumented Teen Who Lost Family in Deadly Fla. I-75 Pileup WON’T be Deported

Photo: Undocumented Teen Who Lost Family in Deadly Fla. I-75 Pileup WON’T be Deported

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When 15-year-old Lidiane Carmo lost her family in the horrific pileup on Florida’s Interstate 75, it was likely the worst moment of her life, but it appeared things were going to get even worse after it was discovered she was up for deportation.

On Sunday, fog and smoke from a nearby brush fire caused a number of vehicles on I-75 to collide as visibility was dangerously low.

Lidiane’s family was on their way back from a three-day religious trip when they were tragically killed in the I-75 accident. She was taken to a Gainsville hospital and was told on Tuesday that her family had died.

She lost her father, Jose Carmo Jr., who was a pastor for their church, his wife Adriana and their oldest daughter, Leticia, 17; her Uncle Edsom and his girlfriend, Rose DeSilva.

In a twist of fate that ultimately saved his life, fellow pastor of the Igreja Internacional da Restauracao (International Church of the Restoration), Arao Amazonas, chose to stay in Florida and head back to Georgia in the morning.

In the end, 11 people were killed, and many more injured in Sunday’s massive chain of accidents.

Though 9th-grader Lidiane managed to survive the wreck, she was facing deportation back to Brazil, though her family had lived in the U.S. for 12 years.

Thursday, immigration officials stated that Lidiane would not be deported.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez told CNN, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Miss Lidiane Carmo as she deals with the tragic loss of her family.” She added, “Reports of her facing deportation are completely false.”

Sadly, Pastor Amazonas says the church and the congregation cannot afford to bring the bodies of the Carmo family back to Georgia, let alone pay for services or caskets.  And while Lidiane is not being deported the medical bills for her emergency and after-care will be very high, as she does not have insurance.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico’s Carlos Slim Accused of Overcharging Mobile Phone Customers by $25.8 Billion ANNUALLY

Mexico’s Carlos Slim Accused of Overcharging Mobile Phone Customers by $25.8 Billion ANNUALLY

Photo: Mexico's Carlos Slim Accused of Overcharging Mobile Phone Customers by $25.8 Billion ANNUALLY

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Billionaire Carlos Slim - the world’s wealthiest person, according to Forbes magazine - slammed an international economic organization’s report indicating a lack of competition in Mexico’s telecoms sector has cost the country dearly.

The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development released a study Monday saying the lack of competition in the telecoms sector has resulted in overcharging to the tune of $25.8 billion annually, as well as low penetration rates in services and infrastructure.

“The welfare loss attributed to the dysfunctional Mexican telecommunication sector is estimated at $129.2 billion between 2005 and 2009,” or 1.8 percent of gross domestic product annually, the OECD said.

The study also said the monopolistic practices of Slim’s fixed line company Telmex and wireless giant Telcel - a unit of Latin America’s No. 1 mobile phone company America Movil - have caused the take-up of new services to be slowed and scared off foreign investment.

The estimated (annual) cost to Mexico of $25.8 billion “is totally false,” Slim said in a press conference Tuesday in Mexico City.

“I don’t know what model was used but it’s totally false to say telecommunications cost the country that sum. That’s a fantasy, craziness, a totally exaggerated figure because Telmex and Telcel combined sell a total of $17.5 billion annually,” Slim said.

The revenue figure for the entire sector doesn’t reach that total, the telecom magnate said.

Slim discredited the study by saying it was a “rehashing of many things” and that a serious report should use information updated to 2011 rather than figures from 2007 and 2008.

He also said the fact the study had been commissioned by Mexico’s telecoms regulator Cofetel cast doubt on its validity.

Slim criticized the authors of the study without specifically mentioning Mexico’s Jose Angel Gurria, the OECD’s current secretary-general and Mexico’s former finance and foreign relations secretary, adding that “some people come, pontificate and leave” but “when they were in charge they didn’t solve the problems.”

The OECD said “ineffective competition” and “impaired regulation” had resulted in Telmex and Telcel having an 80 percent and 70 percent share, respectively, of the fixed and mobile telephony market in Mexico.

Slim fired back by saying even those numbers do not justify use of the term “monopoly” because if his companies control 70 percent of the market, that means “competitors have the remaining 30 percent.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

FARC Suspected in Hotel Bomb in Colombia

FARC Suspected in Hotel Bomb in Colombia

Photo: Bomb detonation in Colombian hotel kills 1 and injures 4.

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One person died and four others were injured Thursday when a bomb detonated at a hotel in the west-central Colombian city of Cajamarca, authorities said.

The explosive device was planted by a man who had just checked out after a three-day stay at the Hotel Nevada, the secretary of the Tolima provincial government, Disraeli Labrador Forero, told Efe.

Though he did not disclose the name of the man who placed the bomb, Labrador attributed the attack to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the country’s largest guerrilla group

He identified the fatality as a woman who worked as a cook in the hotel restaurant and said the four guests hurt in the blast included an employee of a mining company with operations in the area.

The Hotel Nevada’s owner did not receive any threats prior to the attack, Labrador said.

Colombian authorities also blame the FARC for a bombing Wednesday in the southwestern port city of Tumaco that left 11 people dead and 61 others injured.

The bomb, which contained 50 kilos (110 pounds) of explosives, was attached to a bicycle abandoned outside the main police station.

President Juan Manuel Santos and Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon traveled to Tumaco to review the security situation in the wake of the explosion.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan Saves a Family As Denny’s ‘Skillet Whisperer’ (VIDEO)

Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan Saves a Family As Denny’s ‘Skillet Whisperer’ (VIDEO)

Photo: Watch Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan As Denny's 'Skillet Whisperer'

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Denny’s, America’s iconic family diner, announced today the launch of its first national online marketing campaign targeting the Hispanic consumer. The Funny Or Die spoof video, titled “Skillet Whisperer,” features famed dog behavioralist and TV personality, Cesar Millan, Star of National Geographic WILD’s ‘Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan,’ taming an unruly Denny’s Sizzlin’ Skillet. The video is produced in both Spanish and English to effectively reach a diverse audience.

The comedic “Skillet Whisperer” episode takes place in a Denny’s diner where Millan steps in to help an overwhelmed family who is confronted with an aggressive Western Skillet, from the new “Sizzlin’ Skillets” menu, and teaches the family how to display their dominance to calm the skillet so that it may be eaten and enjoyed in a respectful manner. The video is Millan’s first national restaurant brand partnership and was created to connect with Denny’s growing Hispanic customer base. Also starring in the Spanish version of the video is Millan’s son, Calvin Millan, who plays the son of the family.

“Skillet Whisperer” launches today in Spanish and English versions and is available online at Youtube.com and FunnyOrDie.com, respectively. The branded content video is a further extension of Denny’s “America’s Diner is Always Open” platform, further engaging with the growing Hispanic demographic through a new platform beyond traditional advertising. The videos will also be accessible via Dennys.com, Facebook and other social media platforms.

English version on Funny of Die:

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/145d7e17da/skillet-whisperer-with-cesar-millan


For Spanish version see below.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Juanes records new MTV “Unplugged” with Juan Luis Guerra

Juanes records new MTV “Unplugged” with Juan Luis Guerra

Photo: Juanes records new MTV "Unplugged" with Juan Luis Guerra

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Colombian pop star Juanes has recorded a new edition of MTV Unplugged, employing the services of Dominican singer-songwriter Juan Luis Guerra as musical director.

The Miami resident, who gave the performance at Miami Beach’s New World Center concert hall, acknowledged that he was not familiar with the venue four months ago and never imagined that “such a wonderful place” existed in South Florida.

Dressed in jeans and a black shirt, Juan Esteban Aristizabal Vasquez offered words of thanks to the audience, telling his fans he was happy to share with them “this dream (of recording an installment of the MTV Unplugged series) that’s now become a reality.”

Backed by several other musicians on acoustic guitar, bass, saxophone, piano, drums, violin and cello, Juanes on Wednesday night performed a selection of his best-known hits as well as some new tracks he wrote for the concert, which will be aired as a TV special and also be released as a CD and DVD.

The singer kicked off 2012 with a trip to the Dominican Republic, where Guerra gave shape to this new work while they were “drinking Dominican coffee and talking about life” and the two jointly composed some new songs.

“All the arrangements, everything you see is the work of the maestro Juan Luis Guerra,” said Juanes, who praised the Latin music icon for “getting things out of my music I hadn’t felt in a long time.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Will Smith Heading to Costa Rica to Begin Filming ‘After Earth’ From Director M. Night Shyamalan

Will Smith Heading to Costa Rica to Begin Filming ‘After Earth’ From Director M. Night Shyamalan

Photo: Will Smith Heading to Costa Rica to Begin Filming 'After Earth'

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Actor Will Smith will soon be heading for Costa Rica to shoot his latest film “After Earth”.

The “I Am Legend” star and son Jaden, are scheduled to begin shooting on February 6th, though locations for the filming have not yet been released.

“After Earth” is the story of a father (Smith) and son (real life son Jaden) who crash land on planet Earth 1,000 years after it is abandoned.

The movie will be directed by M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense,” “Signs”).

Screenwriter Gary Whitta (writer of “The Book of Eli”) took to Twitter Monday saying, “This week the AFTER EARTH cast & crew moves to Costa Rica to begin filming!”

Shyamalan was also tweeting on Monday, saying, “Crew leaving for Costa Rica already. A year and half of writing and prep is coming to an end. #AfterEarth …”

Read more by HS News Staff →

San Francisco Archbishop Says Secure Communities is Not the Answer

San Francisco Archbishop Says Secure Communities is Not the Answer

Photo: San Francisco Archbishop Says Secure Communities is Not the Answer

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According to Catholic Culture Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco recently told a group of hundreds of immigrants and their supporters who met at St. Mary’s Cathedral on January 28, “We cannot allow the pain of family separation and the fear amongst our communities to continue.”

Archbishop Niederauer was speaking at a meeting held to discuss opposition to Secure Communities. The archbishop said the program fails to provide real security, as it does not target those who commit serious crimes, and actually results in fewer crimes being reported because immigrants are afraid to go to the authorities.

Since the implementation of Secure Communities under the 2nd Bush administration in 2008, roughly 110,000 convicted criminals have been deported.

A study of the program by the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley School of Law found that Latinos make up 93 percent of those arrested through Secure Communities, but only 77 percent of the undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S.

The report also found that only 52 percent of those arrested under the program had or will have a hearing before an immigration judge.

Additional findings revealed:

-More than one-third (39%) of individuals arrested through Secure communities report that they have a U.S. citizen spouse or child, meaning that approximately 88,000 families with U.S. citizen members have been impacted by Secure communities;

-Approximately 3,600 united States citizens have been arrested by ice through the Secure communities program.

Secure Communities is a nationwide program, but California has the highest number of deportations.

The National Catholic Reporter reported the archbishop told the group, “It is important that we keep working together to end S-Comm” and to ensure a “humane immigration system.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

52 Brazilians Found to be Working as ‘Slaves’ in Amazon Region

52 Brazilians Found to be Working as ‘Slaves’ in Amazon Region

Photo: Brazil Slaves Found

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Brazilian authorities on Wednesday rescued 52 farm workers who were being held in slave-like conditions on three ranches in the Amazon state of Para, the government said.

Four of the workers were minors - a 15-year-old girl who worked as a cook and boys aged 13, 14 and 16 who cut wood or worked in the fields, the Labor Ministry said in a statement.

Workers were living with their children in seven canvas tents that had been erected on the rural properties.

The ministry imposed fines totaling 168,900 reais ($97,630), which the ranch owners are to pay as damages to the workers.

Brazilian authorities last year rescued 2,271 workers subjected to degrading conditions in 158 operations, meting out a total of 5.4 million reais ($3.1 million) in fines.

The government also maintains a “black list” of 294 companies that have been denounced for holding workers in slave-like conditions.

The list is publicly available and prevents those companies from applying for loans at public-sector banks.

Several industries and exporters’ and supermarket associations also use the list to crack down on the sale of products from companies that use slave labor.

Read more by HS News Staff →

DOJ Settles with West Virginia to Assure Students Receive English Language Classes

DOJ Settles with West Virginia to Assure Students Receive English Language Classes

Photo: DOJ Settles with WV on ELL Classes

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The Justice Department reached a settlement agreement yesterday with the Mercer County School District in West Virginia. 

With the district’s cooperation, the department conducted an extensive examination of the district’s English Language Learner (ELL) program to determine whether the district’s ELL students were receiving adequate services as required by the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974.

The three-year settlement agreement will ensure that this rural district takes appropriate action to serve its small but growing and widely dispersed ELL population. 

The district has agreed to dedicate funding, resources and time through the end of 2014 toward teacher professional development, ELL-specific materials and translator and interpreter services. 

The district also has agreed to adopt policies to identify incoming ELL students properly through a home language survey and testing, to identify and serve special education ELLs and to monitor the academic performance of current, former and opt-out ELL students.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Penelope Cruz Joins PETA Crusade Against Fur

Penelope Cruz Joins PETA Crusade Against Fur

Photo: Penelope Cruz joins PETA

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Spanish actress Penelope Cruz has become the latest celebrity to team up with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, on an anti-fur campaign.

PETA unveiled a new 21-meter (70-foot) billboard Wednesday outside New York’s Madison Square Garden that shows Cruz looking over her uncovered back next to the phrase “Give fur the cold shoulder,” the animal rights group said in a statement.

The billboard will be displayed for two weeks ahead of this month’s New York Fashion Week, according to PETA, which said similar campaigns will be carried out ahead of fashion shows in London, Milan and Paris.

Penelope Cruz has appeared on every best-dressed list in the world, and the one thing you’ll never see her wearing is fur,” PETA Vice President Lisa Lange said in a press statement.

“PETA couldn’t ask for a more fitting emblem of the modern, glamorous woman who knows that there’s nothing more beautiful than a woman who has a look that kills without anyone having to die for it,” Lange added.

Cruz joins a host of other celebrities to appear in a PETA anti-fur campaign, including the first ladies of the United States and France, Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, pop star Pink, actresses Charlize Theron, Eva Mendes and Pamela Anderson and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

Cruz won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in the 2008 Woody Allen comedy “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and she is also well known for her starring roles in Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s “Volver,” “All About My Mother” and “Broken Embraces.”

“Penelope will always take a pass on fur because of the extreme cruelty that fur production causes millions of animals around the world,” PETA said on its Web site.

“Eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals raised on fur factory farms, where they spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy wire cages, only to be killed by the cheapest methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gassing, and poisoning.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Alabama’s Immigration Law Will Cost $2.3 Billion

Alabama’s Immigration Law Will Cost $2.3 Billion

Photo: Alabama's Immigration Law Will Cost $2.3 Billion

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The entry into force of Alabama’s harsh immigration law will result in losses of at least $2.3 billion to the state’s economy and destroy upwards of 70,000 jobs, according to a study released by the University of Alabama.

The analysis by economist Samuel Addy, director of the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research, says that HB 56, which entered into force in September 2011, “has been, and will continue to be, an economic disaster for the state of Alabama.”

“Instead of boosting state economic growth, the law is certain to be a drag on economic development even without considering costs associated with its implementation and enforcement,” Addy said.

“While the law’s costs are certain and some are large, it is not clear that the benefits will be realized,” he said in the report, which does not reflect the official position of the CBER.

The document says that by frightening immigrants out of the state, HB 56 will result in reducing demand for goods and services in Alabama.

Addy calculated that HB 56 will subtract $2.3 billion from the Alabama economy, the equivalent of 1 percent of the state’s GDP in 2010.

In the worst case, the losses could rise to $10.8 billion.

Supporters of HB 56 say that it will reduce unemployment in Alabama because the jobs that are currently performed by undocumented immigrants will be available to citizens and legal residents.

But the economist said that unemployment is rising in sectors such as agriculture, construction, hotels and restaurants, areas that usually hire undocumented labor.

Addy says that, by fostering a mass exodus of immigrants, HB 56 will cause the loss of between 70,000 and 140,000 jobs in Alabama, including positions that pay up to $35,000 a year.

The economist also debunked the myth that undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes, saying that HB 56 is already causing the loss of between $56.7 million and $264.5 million in state taxes.

That does not include the loss of local sales taxes of between $20 million and $93.1 million.

The losses, the study claims, are only making the budget situation worse in Alabama, and the figures do not include the cost of enforcing HB 56 or defending it in the courts.

Supporters of HB 56, including its co-author, state Sen. Scott Beason, have said that it is premature to attempt to determine the financial impact of the law.

Addy acknowledged that a long-term analysis of the impact of HB 56 on the labor market in Alabama is needed, but he emphasized that, for now, the figures indicate that the state’s recent job gains have occurred in areas that do not employ undocumented immigrants, including the public sector, finance, healthcare, education and professional services.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentina Investing $300 Million to Improve Roads

Argentina Investing $300 Million to Improve Roads

Photo: Argentina Roads Improving

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $300 million loan to finance the expansion, rehabilitation and improvement of roads in Argentina’s Norte Grande region, connecting major production areas with local and foreign markets. The program aims to improve the accessibility, efficiency and safety on priority corridors of the National Road Network as well as feeder roads of the Provincial Road Network.

Among the program’s goals are to increase the Norte Grande’s share of the country’s total exports, reduce the number of road accident deaths, and cut travel times and vehicle operating costs.

“With this operation, the IDB continues to support Argentina’s efforts to close the development gap between the Norte Grande region and the rest of the country,” said Fernando Orduz, IDB project team leader.

The Norte Grande region comprises the provinces of Catamarca, Corrientes, Chaco, Formosa, Jujuy, Misiones, Tucuman, Salta and Santiago del Estero. It accounts for one third of the Argentine mainland and is home to approximately 8.3 million people, or 21 percent of the total population.

The new program was preceded by the Norte Grande Road Infrastructure Program, which was supported by a $1.2 billion IDB loan approved in February 2007. Some of its components include engineering works for the expansion, rehabilitation and improvement of national highways and provincial roads; the implementation of measures and construction of road safety countermeasures; and strengthening the management of provincial transport agencies well as the National Roads Directorate.

Read more by HS News Staff →



ThursdayFebruary 2, 2012