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WednesdayFebruary 8, 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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Study Finds Hispanics are Being Left Out of Sunday TV Talk Shows

Hispanics constitute the largest minority in the United States, have growing purchasing power and are able to determine elections but they continue to be invisible on the Sunday news talk shows, according to a report by the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts.

The Art of Politics Impact Project report, released on Tuesday evening, suggests that the English-language media have not kept up with the country’s demographic changes.

There are 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, or a little over 16 percent of the country’s population, but their absence is particularly notable on the Sunday talk shows.

“These programs are a forum that establishes the tone and the agenda of the national dialogue. The communications media help to mold public opinion and Hispanics are not there to contribute to that dialogue,” Gretchen Sierra-Zorita, the director of the NHFA’s cultural diversity project in the media, told Efe on Wednesday.

According to the report, between March and November 2011, only 12 - or 2 percent - of the 380 invited guests and commentators on Sunday programs for ABC, CBS, Fox News and NBC were of Hispanic origin.

The 2010 Census figures testify to the Hispanic increase in the United States and, in fact, their growing political power was a decisive factor in the 2010 legislative elections, even moreso than the Tea Party, the NHFA said.

Their political weight has been noted in the 2012 election season, with calculations being that the Hispanic vote could be the determining factor in 15 swing states.

The NHFA says that little has changed in the last 40 years in the demographics of the political pundits who populate the Sunday TV talk programs: “(T)he hosts, guests, journalists and commentators are primarily male and white.”

“Women and people of color are underrepresented and there is a glaring absence of Hispanic contributors,” the report says.

According to Sierra-Zorita, the executives of the programs have been “receptive” to the report’s observations and have made commitments to take measures to remedy the situation.

“During the study, we met with the executives of the programs and other members of the personnel, and the reception was positive. They’re interested in increasing the representation, expanding the audience and maintaining an ongoing dialogue,” she said.

“The first step was to do the study and now we have the numbers; the next step is to analyze the measures and we still haven’t done that,” she added.

The NHFA study, which is part of a multifaceted project begun in 2010 to ensure the inclusion of Latinos in the national dialogue, was supported by the National Council of La Raza, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and other Latino organizations.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Average Mexican Male-5’4” 165#, Female-5’2” 151# (Less than Mexican-Americans)

Average Mexican Male-5’4” 165#, Female-5’2” 151# (Less than Mexican-Americans)

Photo: Average Mexican's Weight

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The average Mexican man weighs 74.8 kilograms (165 pounds) and stands 1.64 meters (5 feet 4 1/2 inches) tall, while the median figures for Mexican women are 68.7 kilos (151 pounds) and 1.58 meters (5 feet 2 inches), according to a study released by a group representing Mexico’s clothing industry.

The study entitled “How big is Mexico? Size does matter,” was released by Conaive, with data gathered from 17,364 adults.

According to the leaders of the business organization, Mexico is the first Latin American country to carry out a study of the average weight and height of its population.

They said that to conduct the analysis, which was completed with the support of the Mexican economy ministry, a statistically valid sample of the population was taken by the National Geography and Computing Institute in four areas of the country.

Just over 49 percent of the 17,364 people measured were men and the rest were women. It took researchers 20 minutes to take the various measurements for each person and the fieldwork was performed from Oct. 19, 2010, through June 15, 2011.

The study found that among women 18-25 the average weight was 62.9 kilos while men in that age group averaged 70.4 kilos. The average height for young women was 1.61 meters versus 1.67 for young men.

The heaviest group of men, on average, were in the 40-50 age range, with an average of 77.3 kilos, while women of that age group were also the heaviest, averaging 72.2 kilos.

The figures released on Wednesday do not include data from other countries, but if these averages are compared with Mexico’s northern neighbor, Mexicans are shorter than Americans and they weigh about 10 kilos less, on average.

According to official figures released in 2008, the average American male over age 20 stands 1.76 meters tall and weighs 88.3 kilos, while the average women in the neighboring country is 1.62 meters tall and weighs 74.7 kilos.

But, curiously, according to the same data, Americans of Mexican origin weigh more than their relatives back home.

Among women standing 1.58 meters tall in both countries, Mexican-Americans weighed an average of 73.6 kilos - 5 kilos more than their compatriots south of the border.

And among men, although Mexican-Americans are an average of 6 centimeters taller, they weigh 81.9 kilos, on average, 7 kilos more than Mexicans in their home country.

Upon presenting the study, Conaive president Marcos Cherem said that it will allow the health authorities to determine the prevalence of obesity among Mexicans.

He also said that it will contribute toward fostering among the public a culture of prevention regarding becoming overweight.

Read more by HS News Staff →

One Student Recants, Another Teacher Implicated in Child Sex Case at L.A. School

One Student Recants, Another Teacher Implicated in Child Sex Case at L.A. School

Photo: One Student Recants, Another Teacher Implicated in Child Sex Case at L.A. School

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As if two teachers weren’t enough, a third teacher at Los Angeles’ Miramonte Elementary School has been implicated in the horrifying child sex scandal.

Brian Claypool, attorney for five of the alleged victims, recently told the New York Times that he believed a female teacher “aided and abetted [teacher Mark Berndt] in carrying out abusive acts. I believe she worked in concert with Mr. Berndt.

Students have claimed that the female teacher routinely took them to Berndt’s classroom for juice and cookies. The cookies are said to have been contaminated with Berndt’s semen. He is also accused of blindfolding his third grade students one at a time and had them consume spoonfuls of his semen in a “taste-testing game.”

And while a number of children have come forward alleging abuse by these teachers, at least one student has recanted her story.

Law enforcement officials reportedly told the Los Angeles Times that one of the three children accusing teacher Bernard Springer of sexual abuse has recanted.

Both Springer and Berndt, who has been charged with 23 counts of committing lewd acts on children, have pled not guilty.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Number of Dead, Undocumented Dominicans Tops 40 from Shipwreck

The death toll from the sinking over the weekend of a small boat carrying migrants from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico has risen to 43, with the search for the missing continuing, a navy commander told Efe Wednesday.

“I have 18 bodies on land,” navy eastern region commander Capt. Hector Ramon Mendez said by telephone.

The small boat, which was carrying more than 70 illegal immigrants bound for Puerto Rico, sank early Saturday.

The vessel’s stern began breaking up due to strong waves and the weight of the passengers, causing it to capsize, survivors said.

Six bodies in an advanced state of decomposition were found on the coast and taken to Sabana de la Mar, Samana province emergency management chief Moraima Ramon told Efe.

Twelve more bodies were found later in the day by searchers, officials said.

A total of 13 people survived the boat’s sinking, but the number of survivors could be higher because some people failed to report to the navy for fear of being arrested, Ramon said.

The search and recovery operation may be called off on Thursday, Ramon said.

“We are hoping to God that we will find more survivors,” Ramon said by telephone from Samana province, located 245 kilometers (152 miles) northeast of Santo Domingo.

Up to 45 people may have died in the shipwreck, while between 20 and 25 others may have made it ashore, survivor Julio Cesar Nuñez told the El Nacional newspaper.

The boat’s captain jumped overboard and began swimming ashore amid the panic and confusion, Nuñez said, adding that he saved himself by tying a demijohn to his waist and taking a life jacket from a dead migrant.

“It was an ugly spectacle to see so many people who did not know how to swim sinking in the water and others getting tired or just being unable to make the crossing of seven kilometers (4.3 miles) amid strong waves that made it hard to make progress,” Nuñez said.

David Cepeda Calcaño, who was identified by some survivors as one of the men in charge of the boat, was arrested in connection with the shipwreck.

Cepeda is a “well-known organizer” of people-smuggling trips to Puerto Rico who operates in Nagua, Samana, San Francisco de Macoris, Sanchez and Rio San Juan, all located in the northeastern Dominican Republic, the navy said in a statement released Tuesday.

Cepeda was arrested at least three times between 2000 and 2008 for people trafficking, the navy said.

Two other people involved in the smuggling operation are being sought by authorities.

People smugglers charged between 30,000 and 40,000 pesos ($770 and $1,025) to get the Dominicans into neighboring Puerto Rico, survivors said.

Thousands of Dominicans try to reach the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico every year, preferring to risk their lives rather than continue living in poverty in their homeland.

Three people were killed and dozens of others disappeared in a shipwreck in December off Matancita beach, located in the northeastern Dominican Republic, while trying to reach Puerto Rico.

About 30 people managed to swim ashore, emergency management officials said.

Many migrants drown each year on the treacherous journey across the 100-kilometer (62-mile) Mona Passage on the rickety wooden boats known as “yolas.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Paz de la Huerta Won’t Be Returning to HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ in Season 3

Paz de la Huerta Won’t Be Returning to HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ in Season 3

Photo: Paz de la Huerta Won't Be Returning to HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' in Season 3

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Paz de la Huerta has reported been axed from the HBO show Boardwalk Empire.

Insiders are reporting that De la Huerta’s contract has not been renewed for the mob hit’s third season.

The actress was introduced in Season 1 as Nucky’s (played by Steve Buscemi) mistress, Lucy Danzinger. In the shows second season, Lucy is pregnant with a child that is not Nucky’s. She winds up living with the baby’s father Van Alden (Michael Shannon). After heading to the grocery store, leaving the baby with Van Alden, she disappears.

With her exit from the show, De la Huerta becomes the fourth member of the cast not returning for the third season.

It is unclear why HBO will not be bringing her back, though her very public drunken antics could not have made them very happy.

However, not returning in the upcoming season does not rule out her return in the following seasons.

Boardwalk Empire tells the story of Enoch “Nucky” Johnson, the real-life criminal kingpin of Atlantic City, New Jersey and in the Prohibition Era of the 1920s and 30s.

Read more by HS News Staff →

AZ Supreme Court Says Alejandrina Cabrera Doesn’t Speak Enough English to Hold Office

AZ Supreme Court Says Alejandrina Cabrera Doesn’t Speak Enough English to Hold Office

Photo: Alejandria Cabrera in Arizona

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The Arizona Supreme Court has ended the aspirations of Alejandrina Cabrera to run for city council in the border town of San Luis because she does not have sufficient knowledge of English.

“For us, it was a mistaken decision. I can’t believe it,” John Minore, the attorney representing Cabrera, told Efe on Wednesday, adding that in denying his client the chance to appear on the ballot the high court is violating her constitutional rights.

Also, he said, the court’s decision could set a “dangerous” precedent for any Hispanic candidate who tries to run for political office in Arizona.

The high court decision ratifies the Jan. 27 ruling of Yuma County Superior Court Judge John Nelson.

As a result, Cabrera’s name will not appear on the ballots in the primary election being held on March 13.

The candidate was running for one of the four available council seats in San Luis, where, according to Census data, 87 percent of the residents speak a language other than English and 98 percent are of Hispanic origin.

Cabrera’s legal team had argued that although the state of Arizona requires that its public servants have an adequate knowledge of English, it does not specify what knowledge level that should be.

“It’s a mistaken decision. I was convinced that the Supreme Court would rule in our favor,” the attorney said.

Minore does not rule out the possibility of the case going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but he said that this is a costly process for which his firm is now seeking a larger law office that could carry the case forward.

“This case can only be classified as a city government taking action against an individual,” Minore said.

The case arose in December when San Luis Mayor Juan Carlos Escamilla began legal proceedings to get the judiciary to determine if Cabrera has sufficient command of English to serve as councilor.

Following the orders of the court and after performing an evaluation, an expert determined that Cabrera, a graduate of an Arizona high school, has enough command of English to be able to get by day to day but not to fulfill the responsibilities of a council member.

Cabrera also had trouble responding to some questions put to her in English by the judge who heard the case.

“We’re before an Hispanic council that is placing obstacles in front of its own people,” Minore said.

He said that the attack on his client was politically motivated, given that last April Cabrera collected signatures to recall the mayor after the city council approved an increase in fees and laid off 12 city employees.

In an interview conducted in Spanish with local media, Cabrera acknowledged that she needed to improve her English but she said she felt her knowledge level was adequate if one takes into account that she lives in a border city where the majority of the residents speak Spanish.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Mother of Cash Carrying Kids Sentenced to 3 Years Probation

LATINO BLOTTER: Mother of Cash Carrying Kids Sentenced to 3 Years Probation

Photo: Mother of Cash Carrying Kids Sentenced to 3 Years Probation

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In September 2011, Veronica Angulo Leyva’s children were sent in the U.S. to pick up $100,000 in undeclared currency and bring it back to her in Mexico, and as a result she was accused of child abuse.

The children, ages 14 and 16, were sent to across Nogales towards Mexico on September 24, 2011 after having picked up $100,000 from an unidentified man. However, as they approached the border at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry, a security dog alerted authorities to the 14-year-old girl. Upon searching her, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found 10 wads of U.S. bills stuffed into her girdle.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was called, but later stated that they would not be taking on the case as a immigration matter and turned it over to the Nogales Police Department.

Angulo Leyva said she had no idea that her children’s trip involved any wrong doing, saying her husband said the children were just going to pick up a pink slip for a car for a friend.

The mother said she only became aware of what the children were really doing when her husband told her as she waited for the kids at the border.

Despite her claims however, she took a plea deal and pled guilty to one count of child abuse . As part of the plea, and additional charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering was also added.

She was sentenced to 7 months in jail and three years probation.

Angulo Leyva said she had lived in California as an undocumented immigrants for 25 years, but chose to take her U.S. citizen children to Mexico to keep her son from the local gang activity she had witnessed in California.

Read more at Nogales International →

Sesame Street Welcomes Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, She Even Makes a Ruling (VIDEO)

Sesame Street Welcomes Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, She Even Makes a Ruling (VIDEO)

Photo: Sesame Street Welcomes Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor stopped by Sesame Street last week to have tea with her friend Maria on the children’s program 42nd season.

However, the Justice’s quiet tea time with her friend was interrupted as Baby Bear said he was having an issue.

After Justice Sotomayor explained what she does on the Supreme Court, Baby Bear asked her to hear his case against Goldilocks.

Justice Sotomayor stepped away from the table, quickly returning in a black judge’s robe saying, “I always where these robes when I hear a case.”

In the end, in the case of Goldilocks v. Baby Bear, Justice Sotomayor ruled that Goldilocks would have to repair Baby Bear’s chair, which she broke, though she did tell Baby Bear, “Goldilocks didn’t mean to break the chair, and accidents do happen.”

Watch here appearance below.

Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

He’s on the Jets. Girl at NY Giants Super Bowl Parade Says She’s Excited to See Mark Sanchez (VIDEO)

He’s on the Jets. Girl at NY Giants Super Bowl Parade Says She’s Excited to See Mark Sanchez (VIDEO)

Photo: He's on the Jets. Girl at NY Giants Super Bowl Parade Says She's Excited to See Mark Sanchez

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Maybe she was drunk, or maybe she’s just a bandwagoner who’s not so bright. Either way, this woman embarrassed herself on live television when she told the reporter that she was really excited to see Mark Sanchez at the parade.

The crowd around her, which had been cheering in front of the camera, paused for a moment before yelling at the woman that Mark Sanchez plays for the NY Jets, not the Giants. The video has since gone viral, and this bandwagon fan has hopefully looked up what team her “favorite player” in on.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Denver Broncos Running Back Knowshon Moreno Charged With Drunk Driving

Denver Broncos Running Back Knowshon Moreno Charged With Drunk Driving

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Former first-round draft pick Knowshon Moreno has gotten himself into some serious trouble, with police charging him with driving drunk.

Tuesday, officials said the Denver Broncos 24-year-old running back was charged with failure to provide proof of insurance, with Denver police saying Moreno was caught driving 70 mph in a 45 mph construction zone while also under the influence.

The Associated Press reported that the Broncos issued a statement saying, “We take the incident involving Knowshon Moreno very seriously and are thoroughly reviewing this matter. Our organization will continue to gather information and closely monitor this issue while the legal process runs its course.”

Moreno was considered the best running back available in the 2009 NFL Draft, and he was picked 12th overall in the first round.

In 2011, Moreno lost his starting position to Willis McGahee.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Stripped of 2010 Tour de France Title, Cyclist Alberto Contador Will Not Quit

Stripped of 2010 Tour de France Title, Cyclist Alberto Contador Will Not Quit

Photo: Stripped of 2010 Tour de France Title, Cyclist Alberto Contador Will Not Quit

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Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador told reporters here Tuesday he plans to remain in professional cycling and that he will fight the suspension imposed on him by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport in a doping case that dates from July 2010.

The multiple Tour de France winner held a press conference at the Hotel Las Artes in his native Pinto, a town 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Madrid.

Facing dozens of television cameras and more than 100 reporters, the Spanish racer began by saying he had an enormous feeling of disappointment and disillusion.

Contado recalled that the case began more than 18 months ago “and there’s not a single morning I don’t ask myself how I got in this fix.”

“I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” he said. “It’s been a real calvary. The suffering of my family, of my wife, of all my people…and besides, what they accuse me of is something that goes against all that was ever instilled in me: justice, discipline, honesty.”

The cyclist has expressed his “total disagreement” with the sanction imposed by the CAS and said that “however much I try, I can’t understand it.”

The CAS imposed a two-year suspension on the Spaniard, but the sanction applies retroactively to Jan. 25, 2011, and is reduced by nearly six months for the provisional suspension Contador served last year.

He will be able to return to competition on Aug. 5, 2012, the CAS said.

Contador has a period of 30 days to appeal to Switzerland’s federal court, but unless the suspension is overturned, he will miss both the 2012 Tour de France and the London Olympics.

The CAS also stripped the Spaniard of his titles in the 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d’Italia.

“In these months I’ve done everything possible, all that’s in my power, to show my innocence. I even took a polygraph test, five hours answering questions as if I were a criminal, just two days before the Giro (d’Italia). And all that to get this final suspension,” Contador said Tuesday.

Nonetheless, he said he has a certain feeling of “satisfaction,” because “anyone who reads the (CAS) decision will see clearly that I didn’t take dope.”

Contador, who won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009, tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol on the way to his victory in the 2010 Tour. He said he inadvertently consumed the substance by eating contaminated meat.

The cyclist was cleared of wrongdoing by Spain’s cycling federation on Feb. 15, but the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Cycling Union appealed the ruling to the Lausanne-based CAS, which finally heard the case last November.

After months of deliberation, the CAS rejected Contador’s explanation of how the clenbuterol ended up in his system, concluding that the cyclist consumed a contaminated nutritional supplement.

Yet the CAS also dismissed allegations that Contador had engaged in blood doping.

Contador told the media on Tuesday he intends to compete as a professional cyclist “for several more years” and that he will continue practicing “in a clean way as I did all my life.”

The racer said his attorneys are working on the possibility of appealing the CAS ruling to the Swiss federal court and that he told his legal team “we have to keep going until the end” to try and get the suspension revoked.

Read more by HS News Staff →

WednesdayFebruary 8, 2012