1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary content



TuesdayFebruary 14, 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.

Read More


45th Anniversary of Latin America as Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone

45th Anniversary of Latin America as Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone

Photo: 45th Anniversary of Treaty Tlatelolco

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

On the 45th anniversary of the treaty that created a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hailed the pact as an example of how regional initiatives can advance global norms on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful use of atomic energy.

“The Treaty of Tlatelolco has earned international recognition as one of the most historic achievements in the history of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts,” said Mr. Ban in a message delivered on his behalf in Mexico City by Sergio Duarte, the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

Latin America and the Caribbean was the first region in the world to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone with the Treaty of Tlatelolco – named for an area within Mexico City – in 1967.

Mr. Ban said the treaty also broke new ground by establishing the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) as a regional nuclear verification agency with the unique mandate to verify compliance with the obligations of the pact.

“Even more remarkably, it achieved all of this at the height of the Cold War, thereby challenging the notion that nuclear weapons were indispensable in maintaining security,” he said. “These great achievements were the result of unprecedented cooperation among States at the regional level, reinforced by support they received from the world community, in particular the United Nations.”

Building on the success of Treaty of Tlatelolco, the UN has actively promoted the establishment of other such regional nuclear-weapon-free zones around the world, the Secretary-General noted.

“It is my hope that today’s commemoration will inspire new efforts from both within and outside this region to achieve the greatest disarmament and non-proliferation goal of all, a nuclear-weapon-free world,” he added.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Inside Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: Rafael Nadal Poses with Bar Refaeli

Inside Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: Rafael Nadal Poses with Bar Refaeli

Photo: Inside Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: Rafael Nadal Poses with Bar Refaeli

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Spanish tennis icon Rafael Nadal appears in the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition along with Israeli model Bar Refaeli in an erotically-charged photo shoot.

Nadal poses embracing the model, who in some photos is covering her naked breasts with her arms or is lying down with the athlete, who wears just swimming trunks and a watch in about 10 photos.

The photo shoot was directed by photographer Walter Iooss Jr. in Montreal, and he said that the job of posing the pair was “almost a romance.”

The Israeli model was also photographed for this special edition of the sports magazine with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and NBA star Chris Paul.

Refaeli said she was thrilled to have the chance to pose with Nadal, whom she said in a video recorded by Sports Illustrated could be a great model, in addition to being a great tennis star.

“I was a little nervous, because normally when I work for Sports Illustrated it’s just me,” said the model, who during the intimate scenes joked around with Nadal.

The Spaniard said that he had posed in a photo session in the past, but not one like this: “It was a new experience for me, I enjoyed it a lot.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Priests Paid Men to Kill Them after Botched Suicide Attempt, say Prosecutors

Priests Paid Men to Kill Them after Botched Suicide Attempt, say Prosecutors

Photo: Colombian Priest Killed

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Two Catholic priests gunned down a year ago in Bogota hired the hit men who killed them, the Colombian Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday.

The Revs. Rafael Reatiga Rojas and Richard Armando Piffano Laguado put out the word that they would “pay for their deaths,” prosecutor Ana Patricia Larrota said at the arraignment of the two alleged shooters.

The hit men were paid 15 million pesos ($8,435), according to the indictment.

Larrota revealed that one of the priests had ordered a medical exam that is performed “on people who, apparently, have syphilis.”

This same clergyman was HIV-positive and both men tried days earlier to commit suicide by simulating a traffic accident by driving off a cliff near the northeastern city of Bucaramanga, the prosecutor said.

She said that the containment barriers along the side of the highway prevented them from carrying out their original plan, and so they concluded that “the only option was to find a person who would cut their lives short.”

The priests then hired Isidro Castiblanco Forero and Gildardo Peñate Suarez to carry out their killings, said Larrota, and those two men were charged on Monday with aggravated murder.

The telephone records of the priests before the crime allowed investigators to identify the alleged murderers-for-hire.

The basic results of the investigation were published Monday in the Bogota daily El Tiempo, which said that the priests made a “death pact” when one of them was diagnosed with “a contagious, incurable disease.”

Reatiga, 36, and Piffano, 37, were found shot to death in an automobile on Jan. 27, 2011, in an isolated area of Kennedy, a populous sector of the Colombian capital.

Read more by HS News Staff →

550 Year-Old Carvings Depicting Aztec Myths Found in Mexico City

A total of 23 pre-Columbian stone plaques dating back approximately 550 years, with carvings illustrating such Aztec myths as the birth of the god of war Huitzilopochtli, were discovered by archaeologists in front of the Great Temple of Tinochtitlan in downtown Mexico City, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.

Bas-relief sculptures on slabs of tezontle (volcanic rock) relate the mythological origins of the ancient Mexica culture through representations of serpents, captives, ornaments, warriors and other figures, the INAH said in a statement.

The pre-Columbian remains are of great archaeological value because this is the first time such pieces have been found within the sacred grounds of Tenochtitlan and can be read “as an iconographic document narrating certain myths of that ancient civilization,” archaeologist Raul Barrera said.

The Great Temple was the most important center of the Mexicas’ religious life, built in what is today the great square of the Mexican capital known as the Zocalo.

The stone carvings focus on the myths of Huitzilopochtli’s birth and the beginning of the Holy War. They were placed facing what was the center of Huitzilopochtli worship, which means that, like the flooring of pink andesite and slabs of basalt, they date back to the fourth stage of the Great Temple’s construction (1440-1469), Barrera said.

According to the myth of Huitzilopochtli’s birth, the goddess of the earth and fertility, Coatlicue, was impregnated by a feather that entered her womb as she was sweeping. But the pregnancy angered her children, so the 400 warriors from southern Mexico and the goddess Coyolxauhqui decided to go up Coatepec mountain where Coatlicue lived and kill her, Barrera said.

The legend about the beginning of the Holy War among the Mexicas says that during the journey the southern warriors made from Aztlan to Texcoco Lake in the Valley of Mexico, where they founded the city, star warriors from the north, called Mimixcoas in Nahuatl, descended from the heavens.

“Both myths include the concept of a star war, in which the god of war and the sun Huitzilopochtli defeats the 400 warriors from the south and Coyolxauhqui, a clash that left in its wake the stars and the moon,” Barrera said.

Archaeologist Lorena Vazquez Vallin, for her part, said that another of the images carved on the stone slabs is a dart with smoke along its sides, in front of which an obsidian arrowhead was found.

Another shows a star warrior carrying his chimalli (shield) in one hand and in the other a weapon for shooting darts, the same that Huitzilopochtli used to conquer Coyolxauhqui.

One stone slab is sculpted with a figure of a captive on his knees and his hands tied behind his back. A tear falls from his eye and he might be speaking, Vazquez Vallin said.

On another of the pre-Columbian pieces is the profile of a man wearing a feather headdress with an earflap. He has been decapitated.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Shakira Describes Being “Attacked by a Sea Lion”

Shakira Describes Being “Attacked by a Sea Lion”

Photo: Shakira Describes Being "Attacked by a Sea Lion" .45

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Shakira was slightly injured when she spotted a seal lion in Cape Town, South Africa and moved in for a closer look.

ImageOn her official Facebook page, the Colombian singer wrote a note titled “Special Report: Attacked by a Sea Lion” and posted a few photos along with it:

Image

This afternoon I happened to see some sea lions and seals. I thought to myself how cute they were so I decided to get a bit closer than all of the other tourists and went down to a rock trying to pet them doing a baby talk while taking pictures… Suddenly, one of them jumped out of the water so fast and impetuously that it got about one foot away from me, looked me in the eye, roared in fury and tried to bite me. Everyone there screamed, including me. I was paralyzed by fear and couldn’t move, I just kept eye contact with it while my brother “Super Tony” jumped over me and literally saved my life, taking me away from the beast. We both got our hands and legs scratched by the rocks while trying to protect ourselves. I believe what happened is that it confused the shiny reflection of the blackberry I was taking these pics with, with some sort of fish. It probably thought I was teasing it with food and then taking it away from it. Wow! It’s funny that only half an hour before I was complaining to my guide Andrew that I never get to see wild animals up close on adventurous trips. Oh well, I can’t say that anymore!! Now I’m off to see some penguins! I hope they are a bit more friendly!

Maybe we should all think twice about assuming something cute won’t bite us. Get well soon, Shakira!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Kate Upton, Mark Sanchez’s (Rumored) GF, Lands Cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Kate Upton, Mark Sanchez’s (Rumored) GF, Lands Cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Photo: Kate Upton, Mark Sanchez's (Rumored) GF, Lands Cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

On Monday’s taping of The Late Show with David Letterman, the rumored girlfriend of footballer Mark Sanchez was revealed to be the cover model for the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

ImageAt just 19, curvy model Kate Upton has landed the coveted cover of the iconic Sports Illustrated issue. However, critics have already come out against the photo saying Upton’s famous curves were Photoshop-ed out.

In December, Upton was rumored to have been in a relationship with New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, 25.

Check out the cover photo (taken by Walter Iooss Jr.).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jennifer Lopez Speaks About Whitney Houston During Appearance on ‘Tonight Show’ (VIDEO)

Jennifer Lopez Speaks About Whitney Houston During Appearance on ‘Tonight Show’ (VIDEO)

Photo: Jennifer Lopez Speaks About Whitney Houston During Appearance on 'Tonight Show'

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Jennifer Lopez appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno Monday night.

The 42-year-old singer/actress spoke with Jay about working with ex-husband Marc Anthony on their talent competition show ¡Q’Viva! The Chosen!, learning of diva Whitney Houston’s death, and ¡Q’Viva! auditioners passing out and falling off the stage.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Baseball Hall of Fame Unveil Bronze Tommy Lasorda Statue in Dominican Republic

Latino Baseball Hall of Fame Unveil Bronze Tommy Lasorda Statue in Dominican Republic

Photo: (Steve Fortunato) Tommy Lasorda with bronze statue presented by Latino Baseball Hall of Fame

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Each year, the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame bestows the Tommy Lasorda Award to non-Latinos who make significant contributions to Latino baseball, but this weekend is was Lasorda himself who was presented with an honor.

Friday, the Dodger Hall of Fame Manager and Special Advisor to the Chairman was joined by many as the bronze statue of himself was unveiled at the Paseo de los Inmortales (Hall of the Immortals) in La Romana.

At 84, Lasorda has worked with the Dodgers for more than 60 years, even serving as manager for the Dodgers farm team in the Dominican Republic, winning two championships and one Caribbean Series championship for the 1973-74 season.

Lasorda is also a founder member and Goodwill Ambassador for the Latino Hall of Fame.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Demi Lovato Posts Photo of Her New Blonde Look

Demi Lovato Posts Photo of Her New Blonde Look

Photo: Demi Lovato Posts Photo of Her New Blonde Look

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Demi Lovato appears to have ditched her natural brown (though sometimes red) look for a more California blonde frock.

ImageOver the weekend, the former Disney sweetheart took to Twitter to post a photo of herself and thanked a salon for her new look.

“Thank you SO much Nine Zero One salon for my new locks!!” she wrote before asking, “How do you guys like the new look?? smile

Read more by HS News Staff →

Victor Cruz Salsas at the Grammys, Could he Try his Hand at ‘Dancing With the Stars’?

Victor Cruz Salsas at the Grammys, Could he Try his Hand at ‘Dancing With the Stars’?

Photo: Cruz Salsas at Grammys

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The wide receiver from the Super Bowl-winning New York Giants, Victor Cruz was all smiles as he walked the red carpet at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards this weekend.

The 25-year-old even gave the crowd a bit of his signature Salsa moves as he posed in a nice-fitting gray suit. Later that night he, teammate Mario Manningham, and actress Pauley Perrette presented the award from Best Rock Performance. After presenting the Foo Fighters with the award, Cruz took to Twitter saying, “Can’t believe I just got on stage at the Grammy’s!! Crazy!”

Cruz and Manningham were the only athletes to take the stage at the award show, and Cruz said being on stage at the Grammys was more nerve-wracking than playing professional football. Even after stepping off the stage, Cruz had a great view, as he was seated directly behind triumphant singer Adele, who after coming back from throat surgery, took home a stunning 6 awards that night.

His signature dance moves have certainly not gone unnoticed, as Access Hollywood is reporting that Cruz was approached by the producers of “Dancing with the Stars”.

He kindly declined the offer, saying he would prefer to keep his attention on the game, but he did add, “Maybe in the future.”

And while the last few weeks have been exciting for the player, Cruz has also begun discussing the possibility of a raise.

Friday, the always humble player told the New York Post, ‘I think I was paid, you know, relative to where I came in this year and, you know, I came in as a free agent so that’s the salary I was on, so I don’t feel like I was underpaid. I mean, I feel like after my performance this year, you know, I feel like I deserve to be paid more money at this point. But that’s something I’ll let my agents and those people take care of and I’ll just go out there and play the game.’

Cruz’s 2011 season salary was $450,000.


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Students Protesting Romney in Arizona for Anti-Dream Act Stance

Latino Students Protesting Romney in Arizona for Anti-Dream Act Stance

Photo: Dream ACt Protest in Arizona, Romney

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A group of young Hispanics protested the visit of Republican president hopeful Mitt Romney to Arizona because of his stance on immigration reform and the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide a path to legalization for undocumented students.

“We’re here because we’re not going to let Romney attack the immigrant youth. We’re very bothered and disappointed by his promise to veto the DREAM Act if it gets to the White House,” Dulce Matuz, president of the Arizona Coalition for the DREAM Act, told Efe.

The proposed legislation would allow the legalization of undocumented students who, among other requirements, entered the country before age 16, complete at least two years of college or enlist in the Armed Forces.

The measure was approved by the House of Representatives in 2007 but stalled in the Senate in December 2010.

Recently, Romney - the front-runner for the GOP nomination - said he favored a version of the DREAM Act that only includes military service, leaving university students out in the cold.

“The current version of the DREAM Act includes the two options of school and the Army. We’re not going to let a bill pass ... that would be much less than what we’re asking,” said Matuz, an undocumented immigrant with an engineering degree from Arizona State University.

Because of her immigration status, the young woman - just like many others - has not been able to get a job in her career field.

The demonstrators outside the amphitheater in suburban Phoenix where Romney was addressing supporters, also criticized the fact that the former Massachusetts governor supports “self-deportation” by undocumented immigrants.

Romney sparked great controversy among Hispanics by proposing the self-deportation of the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants that are estimated to live in the United States.

“That’s never going to happen. I think the United States needs real solutions and he is not providing them. We have to inform the Hispanic community so that they take note of the kind of person Romney is and so he can’t play around with the Latino vote,” Matuz emphasized.

In her opinion, this type of stance only pushes Latino voters farther from the Republican Party.

“The candidates say that young people are the future of this country, but while they continue that attack on immigrant youths they won’t have the Latino vote,” the activist said.

Cesar Valdez, 19, who is studying translation, is of the same opinion.

Valdez, who came to this country at the age of 4, said that none of the candidates is offering realistic options to resolve the immigration issue.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Xoloitzcuintli Makes First Appearance at 2012 Westminster Dog Show (VIDEO)

Xoloitzcuintli Makes First Appearance at 2012 Westminster Dog Show (VIDEO)

Photo: Xoloitzcuintli Makes First Appearance at 2012 Westminster Dog Show (Georgio Armani seen here)

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Monday marked the start of the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and some breeds made their debut at the event, including a little guy by the hard-to-say name of Xoloitzcuintli.

ImageAlso know as the Mexican hairless, the Xoloitzcuintli is a rare breed of dog distinguishable by its oversized bat-like ears and nearly completely hair-free body.

Just last year, the Xoloitzcuintli (said to be pronounced “shoh-loh-eets-kweent-lee”) was welcomed back to the American Kennel Club (AKC) after being dropped in 1959, when lack of registrations and show entries caused it to be dropped.

The Xolo is said to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, with natural selection having made it one of the healthiest dogs in history.

This year, a Xoloitzcuintli named after the famous fashion house Georgia Armani is said to show best at Westminster. Georgio was the first Xolo to win Best in Show in AKC competition. His kennelmate Mole from Bayshore Kennel in Virginia also made a splash in 2011, becoming the first Xolo to win back to back Best in Shows in September.

At this year’s Westminster Dog Show, the Xolo is joined by 5 other breeds making their debut at the event:

- American English Coonhound
- Cesky Terrier
- Entlebucher Moutain Dog
- Finnish Lappund
- Norwegian Lundehund

Read more by HS News Staff →

Perfect Genetic Matched Sibling Born to Save Dying Brother in Spain

Perfect Genetic Matched Sibling Born to Save Dying Brother in Spain

Photo: Perfect Genetic Matched Sibling, Spain

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The birth of Baby Estrella on Saturday in Seville announces the arrival of Antonio and Melania’s first daughter as well as the savior for their son, Antonio, suffering from a severe form of the life threatening illness, Aplastic Anemia.  Estrella, the second genetically selected baby born in the Virgen del Rocío Hospital in Seville, was carefully chosen as the perfect genetic match to save her older brother’s life. 

Little Antonio’s disease, a severe form of Aplastic Anemia, causes the elimination of cells that generate blood in the bone marrow.  The only treatment that exists as a possible cure for this disease is a bone marrow transplant with a genetically equal relative.  This type of match didn’t exist for Antonio, until Saturday. 

Although strongly criticized by leaders in the Catholic Church, the Human Assisted Reproduction Law was approved in 2006.  Under this law all are entitled to seek this type of genetic reproductive assistance using Spain’s public health care services.

A date for the upcoming bone marrow operation has not been finalized.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pew Study:  While Labor Force Growth Slows, Hispanic Share of Labor Force Surging

Pew Study:  While Labor Force Growth Slows, Hispanic Share of Labor Force Surging

Photo: Latino Work Force Growing

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Hispanics will account for three-quarters of the growth in the nation’s labor force from 2010 to 2020, according to new projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). One major reason is that the Hispanic population is growing rapidly due to births and immigration. At the same time, the aging of the non-Hispanic white population is expected to reduce their numbers in the labor force.

A second important factor is that Hispanics have a higher labor force participation rate than other groups. The nation’s labor force participation rate—that is, the share of the population ages 16 and older either employed or looking for work—was 64.7% in 2010. Among Hispanics, the rate was 67.5%. There are two main explanations for this gap: Hispanics are a younger population than other groups, and include a higher share of immigrants.

The figures for Hispanics come from the latest round of BLS projections for the U.S. labor force, covering 2010-2020, which indicate that growth will slow overall.

Read more at Pew Social Trends →

Extreme Trafficking:  384 lb of Pot Found Hidden Inside Concrete Barriers

Extreme Trafficking:  384 lb of Pot Found Hidden Inside Concrete Barriers

Photo: Pot Hidden in Concrete Barrier

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Otay Mesa cargo facility last Friday morning discovered 384 pounds of marijuana hidden inside of concrete barriers.

On February 10, at about 10:45 a.m., a 59-year-old male Mexican citizen drove a 1988 Kenworth tractor and trailer to the cargo port with a shipment manifested as cement articles. The CBP officer referred the shipment to the dock for a more intensive examination.

CBP officers utilized a detector dog to screen the tractor and trailer; the canine alerted to the shipment. Officers then drilled a hole in one of the concrete barriers and extracted a green leaf substance that field tested positive for marijuana.

CBP officers removed 77 wrapped packages of marijuana concealed inside of the concrete barriers, with a street value of more than $230,000.

The driver was arrested and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center. CBP seized both the marijuana and the tractor and trailer.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sen. Robert Menendez to Hold Hearings on Iran’s Influence in Latin America

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, will hold a hearing to examine the implications of Iran’s diplomatic, economic and espionage activities in Latin America and its implications for the region.

The hearing follows the Iranian assassination attempt on the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S., an investigative documentary on the topic that recently aired in Univision, Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s recent visit to the region, and a growing volume of reports about Iran’s effort to collaborate with certain governments and criminal organizations to launch cyber and other attacks on U.S. territory and support its nuclear ambitions.

Witnesses are expected to include:  Cynthia J. Arson (Director Woodrow Wilson Center, Latin America program), Roger Noriega (Former Ambassador to OAS) and Douglas Fara (Center for Strategic and International Studies).

The expert panel will be followed by a classified briefing on Iran’s activities in the Western Hemisphere for Members and staff with appropriate clearances.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Just in Time for Valentine’s Day: Boyce Avenue Releases Cover of “Without You” (VIDEOS)

Just in Time for Valentine’s Day: Boyce Avenue Releases Cover of “Without You” (VIDEOS)

Photo: The Manzano brothers of Boyce Avenue prove talent is in their blood

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Have you heard of Boyce Avenue? Chances are good you have, whether you realize it or not.

The boys of Boyce Avenue have made a name for themselves recording original songs as well as some of the best covers of pop hits both past and present.

Monday, the famous YouTubers posted a video of their touching rendition of David Guetta and Usher’s “Without You”.

Boyce Avenue is primarily made up of brothers Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano of Sarasota, Fla., with percussionist Jason Burrows joining them on tour.

As of August 9, 2011, Boyce Avenue were no longer signed to Universal Records, but have created their own label known as 3 Peace Records.

The band is currently touring with Secondhand Serenade, with their U.S. tour beginning in March, before they head to Europe in June.

With clear musical talent, Boyce Avenue became one of the most searched for bands on YouTube in 2010, second only to Linkin Park, with some of their videos reaching 10 million views, with viewers and most reaching into the hundreds of thousands.

Check out their cover of “Without You” and also watch the official video for their original piece “Find Me” (second video), released in December.


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY:  Mexican-American Kids Add Pounds as They Lose Native Eating Habits

STUDY:  Mexican-American Kids Add Pounds as They Lose Native Eating Habits

Photo: Mexican-American Kids Gaining Weight

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A University of South Carolina study shows that Mexican-American youth gain pounds as they move away from the dietary habits of their native country, a move that is putting them at risk for serious health problems.

According to the research, conducted by a team in the Arnold School of Public Health and published in the February issue of the Journal of Nutrition, Mexican-American youth born into second- and third-generation families are more likely to be obese than those who were not born in the United States.

“Mexican-American children are disproportionately affected by obesity,” said Dr. Jihong Liu, the lead author of the paper. “This has serious public health consequences because Mexican Americans are the fastest growing segment of the population. They are a very important population to study.”

Few studies have examined the impact of both immigration and a child’s acculturation on obesity, she said. “Most are focused on adults, who are at increased risk for obesity with each generation.”

Second-generation Mexican Americans were 2.5 times as likely to be obese as their first-generation peers; third-generation Mexican Americans were two times more likely to be obese.

Read more at University of South Carolina →

Spain’s Largest Banks Downgraded by Fitch Ratings

Spain’s Largest Banks Downgraded by Fitch Ratings

Photo: Spanish Debt Downgraded

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Fitch Ratings, which downgraded Spanish sovereign debt a month ago, said Monday it lowered its credit rating of Spain’s four largest lenders.

“Fitch believes there is a close link between bank and sovereign credit risk (and therefore ratings) and, it is unusual for banks to be rated above their domestic sovereigns,” the agency said in a statement.

Santander, Spain’s largest financial institution and the euro zone’s biggest bank by market capitalization, was cut two notches to A.

Fitch reduced its ratings for BBVA, Bankia and CaixaBank by one notch, to A, BBB+, and A-, respectively.

“Banks tend to own large portfolios of domestic sovereign debt and are highly exposed to domestic counterparties, meaning profitability and asset quality are vulnerable to adverse macroeconomic and market trends,” Fitch said in explaining the downgrades.

Fitch said it expects Spanish gross domestic product to contract this year and grow by only around 1 percent in 2013 and that the country’s jobless rate will continue to hover around 23 percent.

Both Santander and BBVA, Spain’s No. 2 bank, can rely on profitable operations in the Americas to “mitigate” the negative effect of economic woes in the European nation, the rating agency said.

The Spanish government introduced earlier this month a program giving the country’s weakest banks four months to present merger plans and a year for the entire sector to boost by 50 billion euros ($65.5 billion) the provisions against losses from the bursting of a decade-long construction and property boom.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Academics Teofilo Ruiz and Ramon Saldivar Receive National Humanities Medal

Academics Teofilo Ruiz and Ramon Saldivar Receive National Humanities Medal

Photo: Academics Teofilo Ruiz and Ramon Saldivar Receive National Humanities Medal

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Latino academics Teofilo Ruiz and Ramon Saldivar were among nine people to receive the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama in a ceremony on Monday at the White House.

“An accomplished teacher and author, Dr. Ruiz has captivated students and scholars by deepening our knowledge of medieval Spain and Europe, and exploring the role terror has played in society for centuries,” Obama said of the UCLA professor.

“I thought I wouldn’t get so emotional, but I got very emotional upon receiving the medal, although I don’t know if I really deserve it,” Ruiz confessed to Efe.

Ruiz, who took part in the Cuban Revolution, abandoned the ranks after seeing a friend killed by the new regime. After some time in prison, he went into exile, settling first in Miami and later in New York.

He earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1974 and taught at Brooklyn College, the CUNY Graduate Center, the University of Michigan, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Princeton before joining the UCLA faculty in July 1998.

“The classes fill me up,” he responds when he is asked about the interest of U.S. students in Spanish history. “Last year, I had 480 students and this (year) 440. It’s bad that I say it, but I make them interested in it,” he added.

Ramon Saldivar, a Mexican-American, received the medal “for his bold exploration of identity along the border separating the United States and Mexico,” Obama said.

“In his studies of Chicano literature and the development of the novel in Europe and America, Dr. Saldivar highlights the cultural and literary markings that divide and unite us,” the president said.

Saldivar, is a professor at Stanford University, where he teaches classes in comparative literature and studies questions related to transnationalism, specifically as it relates to the Chicano community.

It was the proximity to that border between the United States and Mexico that motivated him to deal with such questions, like the one posed for his consideration by his grandmother Eleuteria, who lived to be 106 and used to say that she did not come to the United States, rather the United States moved closer to her because her family had been living in that region long before it became U.S. territory.

Along with Ruiz and Saldivar, Obama also presented medals for their humanistic work to philosopher and novelist Kwame Anthony Appiah; poet John Ashbery, historian Robert Darnton; American studies director at Colombia University Andrew Delbanco; music historian Charles Rosen; Nobel economics laureate Amartya Sen and National History Day.

The president also presented the National Medal of Arts to actor Al Pacino; painter Will Barnet; poet Rita Dove; philanthropist Emily Rauh Pulitzer; sculptor Martin Puryear; country singer Mel Tillis; the United Service Organization and pianist Andre Watts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Border Patrol Launches Test Pilot Broadcast System

Border Patrol Launches Test Pilot Broadcast System

Photo: Border Patrol Test Pilot Radio

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the installation of a pilot AM radio broadcast system designed to better inform the border crossing public. CBP has installed AM radio frequency transmitters at two ports of entry on the southwest border, Ysleta in El Paso, Texas, and Lincoln-Juarez in Laredo, Texas, in order to communicate important border crossing information to travelers.

The El Paso port of entry Ysleta international crossing transmitter is scheduled to be turned on and begin broadcasting at noon today. The 10-watt signal can be found on AM 530 and has a range of several miles in any direction from the Ysleta crossing.

Information broadcasts will include reminders of document requirements and how to use high-tech travel cards; information about CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs; basic border crossing rules and regulations; and port of entry emergency travel information and/or updates.

CBP has transformed the way it does business at land ports of entry over the last few years and one of the key elements is the concept of active lane management. This concept allows infrastructure enhancements such as improved license plate readers and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology coupled with new Ready Lanes, light emitting diode (LED) signage and Trusted Traveler lanes (NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST) to facilitate the entry process for travelers.

Read more by HS News Staff →



TuesdayFebruary 14, 2012