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WednesdayFebruary 15, 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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Maradona’s $56 Million Italian Tax Debt is “Persecution” He Says

Maradona’s $56 Million Italian Tax Debt is “Persecution” He Says

Photo: Diego Maradona Italian Tax Debt

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Soccer icon Diego Armando Maradona, who enjoyed some of his best years while playing for Napoli, says he has no plans to visit Italy again until he can resolve his quarrel with Italian tax authorities, who claim he owes 40 million euros ($56 million).

He is made to feel like a thief and a “fraudster” every time he comes to Italy, Maradona complained in an interview published Wednesday in Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport.

“But I haven’t stolen anything from Italy and I have given the Italians only joy and entertainment on the soccer field,” the Argentine player-turned-coach said.

“I would like to return to Italy without feeling like a thief and then I could think about concentrating on Italian soccer,” Maradona said. “I don’t deny it, I would like to coach an Italian team and if this were Napoli, a dream would be fulfilled.”

Maradona, now coaching Dubai’s Al Wasl club, called it unjust that he has become “the symbol of tax evasion” in Italy.

The man who led Argentina to a World Cup title in 1986 owes the Italian treasury roughly 40 million euros in back taxes from his tenure with Napoli in the late 1980s, a debt that grows larger by 3,000 euros a day thanks to interest charges.

Maradona blamed the problem on “some Napoli director” who failed to promptly inform the player - who had already left Italy - about the original tax bill.

He also urged Italian lawmakers to pass a bill “that would restore serenity and justice to me and all those like me, who are not few, who find themselves in the same conditions.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mass Wedding in Mexico On Valentine’s Day Joins More Than 3,000 Couples in Holy Matrimony

Mass Wedding in Mexico On Valentine’s Day Joins More Than 3,000 Couples in Holy Matrimony

Photo: Mass Wedding in Mexico On Valentine's Day Joins More Than 3,000 Couples in Holy Matrimony

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More than 3,000 couples participated in a mass wedding on Valentine’s Day in Ciudad Juarez, a border city in northern Mexico, continuing a tradition that started seven years ago.

The 6,242 people involved said “I do” at the largest mass wedding ceremony yet staged by the Mass Weddings on the Day of Love and Peace Program.

Chihuahua state Gov. Cesar Duarte attended the ceremony, which featured a couple that has been together for 60 years exchanging vows “once and for all.”

Roberto Lopez, 84, and Remedios Ponce, 82, told Efe they had not exchanged vows before “out of laziness.”

“Now, we have a whole bunch of grandchildren, I don’t even remember how many, but because of not getting things done and pure laziness, we’d never gotten married. We’re happy and thank God for the opportunity to get married at last,” Lopez said.

“We far exceeded the number of marriages that were achieved last year, when we had a big turnout and 2,500 couples wed,” Chihuahua Deputy Government Secretary Carlos Bernardo Silveyra told Efe.

The mass weddings usually draw people who are already living together, with such couples accounting for between 70 percent and 80 percent of the total, a Ciudad Juarez Civil Registry official told Efe.

“This is a way mainly to regularize the families and so the rest of the couples can take advantage of the event and get married,” the official said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Romney, Professed Mormon, Goes Against Mission of his Church

Romney, Professed Mormon, Goes Against Mission of his Church

Photo: Mitt Romney

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Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s stance against immigration reform contrasts with the position of his Mormon denomination, which seeks Latino converts both inside and outside the United States, and has been in the forefront of promoting reform.

What to do about the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States has for years been one of the biggest challenges facing the country, and once again comes to the fore as a campaign issue.

For the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the fourth-largest denomination in the United States, the “bedrock moral issue ... is how we treat each other as children of God.”

But in every debate when the subject of immigration comes up, the ex-governor of Massachusetts brands as “amnesty” any reform that would legalize the undocumented.

Romney opposes undocumented students being allowed to pay in-state tuition at publicly supported universities, and is against the DREAM Act that would allow them to obtain permanent residence by serving in the military or by going to college.

Only in the last few weeks has he hinted that he could support their legalization but only if they join the Armed Forces.

Romney also associates with people who promote laws tightening the net around foreigners living in the shadows.

Last month he said he felt “very proud” to get the endorsement of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, promotor of laws against the undocumented.

Romney seeks to ingratiate himself with the most conservative wing of the Republican Party as the surest path to the presidential nomination, but risks losing the support of Latinos, who will play a decisive role in the race.

His positions are diametrically opposed to those of the LDS church, which believes the problem of illegal immigration should be settled by the federal government, and calls on members to be compassionate toward all immigrants.

“In furtherance of needed immigration reform in the United States, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports a balanced and civil approach to a challenging problem, fully consistent with its tradition of compassion, its reverence for family, and its commitment to law,” the church says on its Web site.

Raids and the consequent separation of immigrant families “weakens families and damages society,” it says.

In 2011, the Mormon church played a key role in the approval of a guest-worker program in Utah, where it also supported the Utah Compact, which asks for “humanitarian” treatment of immigrants and condemns the deportation policies several states have adopted.

On the political map of the U.S., Utah is undeniably Republican, but it’s also a state where 80 percent of its lawmakers are Mormons, and where the LDS church promotes pro-immigrant policies.

Latin America has the greatest Mormon growth rate in the world - Mexico alone has 12 temples and more than 1 million members.

In the United States, Latinos make up the fastest growing sector among Mormons. In the last 10 years, the number of Spanish-speaking LDS congregations increased from 377 to 760.

It’s understandable that Mormons are concerned about the position Romney is taking, considering that as governor of Massachusetts he supported a version of immigration reform, and as a leader of the church he aided immigrants from Asia and Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s.

LDS elders would do well to open talks with Romney to tell him that his position could lose him votes in November and complicate the church’s relations with Latinos.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Accused of Raping Children Arrested in Mexico

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Accused of Raping Children Arrested in Mexico

Photo: Man Accused of Raping Children Arrested in Mexico

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Authorities say they have arrested a man who not only allegedly sexually abused children but may have also given them a skin disorder.

According to the El Paso Times, Jose Lorenzo Hernandez has been arrested on charges of raping and sexually abusing 10 children.

Earlier this month the Sexual Crimes Special Unit began investigating Hernandez when the mother of one of the alleged victims filed a complaint.

When he was arrested, police say they believed he was getting ready to attack additional victims in Juarez, MX by forming a youth soccer team.

Hernandez is said to have sexually abused children in his neighborhood while also transmitting a skin disorder known as Bateman’s syndrome/disease, an often sexually transmitted disease.

Prosecutors say he gave money and pizza to the children and forced them to watch pornographic movies. The children he is accused of abusing range in age from 8 to 13.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Faces of the DREAM Act: Jose Luis Zelaya is Crocheting his Way Through College

Faces of the DREAM Act: Jose Luis Zelaya is Crocheting his Way Through College

Photo: Jose Luis Zelaya is Crocheting his Way Through College

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Everyone knows college is expensive, but for undocumented students who don’t qualify for financial aid due to their status it can seem nearly impossible to attend, even with great grades.

That is what Jose Luis Zelaya is up against. However, the Honduras-born student is not giving up on his dreams of sending both himself and his 20-year-old sister to college.

When he was just a young boy in Honduras, Juan Luis worked a number of odd jobs to help his family. After seeing a woman on the street crocheting, he asked her to teach him. She turned him down saying the craft was not for boys, but he didn’t let it go. Juan Luis eventually taught himself to crochet watching women and is using that skill to earn money for his and his sister’s education.

Juan Luis has since started a crocheting business on the DIY site Etsy, calling the store DREAMbeannies after the immigration/education legislation many have been pushing to pass for undocumented students. The online showroom displays hats, scarves, headbands, and even phone and iPod covers.

But that is not all Juan Luis is doing, he’s also attempting to earn a Guinness World Record title.

The 24-year-old student at Texas A&M University in College Station has posted a YouTube video of himself attempting to win the title of the world’s fastest crocheter.

In 2005, Lisa Gentry was officially issued the title of fastest crocheter, and no offense to her, but Juan Luis looks to take that away.

What it all comes down to however, is that Juan Luis needs to raise enough money to keep himself and his sister in school, as he recognizes the importance of a college education.

In a recent Facebook post on his Dream Beanies page, Juan Luis wrote, “I challenge you to inspire someone today. Make a call back home and talk to your friends in HS or Middle School and just tell them how amazing going to college is. Give a call back home and tell your parents thank you for your hard work. Lets inspire the lives of many by the way we live.”

Want to help? Visit his Etsy store here.


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CNN Report: Colombia Training Rats to Detect Landmines and Other Explosives

CNN Report: Colombia Training Rats to Detect Landmines and Other Explosives

Photo: Colombia Training Rats to Detect Landmines and Other Explosives

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Rats in Colombia are currently being trained to locate landmines that have killed and maimed a number people, many children.

The Colombian National Police tried to use dogs to sniff out the landmines, but it would end in tragedy, as the dogs were heavy enough to set off the land mines. Since then Colombian officials have worked to find a safer way to find them.

Since rats have a sense of smell similar on strength to a dog’s and their size allows then to cross over the mines without detonating them, rats have become the ideal land mine finders.

The rodents are being trained to detect as many as 7 different types of explosives.

While the rat training is proving to be a success, the rats’ life expectancy is still an issue, as they tend to live just three to four years.

Colombia is said to be the only country in Latin America with landmines, and they are everywhere. In 2009, Colombia was determined to hold the record for most landmine victims in the world.

Between 1990 and August 2009, there were more than 8,000 victims reported. Landmines do not discriminate as both men, women, children, military personnel and simple farmers are left emotionally scarred, if not injured, killed.


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“We Need a Miracle” – Pastor’s Daughter Clings to Life After Being Shot in the Head

“We Need a Miracle” – Pastor’s Daughter Clings to Life After Being Shot in the Head

Photo: “We Need a Miracle” – Pastor’s Daughter Clings to Life After Being Shot in the Head

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The daughter of a pastor at Grace Connection Church in St. Petersburg, Florida is fighting for her life after being shot in the head at the church over the weekend.

With nearly 40 people in the immediate area, Hannah Grace Kelley had to be rushed to the hospital after officers say Moises Zambrana accidentally discharged a weapon he was showing off in a closet at the church Sunday.

The fired bullet shot through a wall and struck Kelley in the head. She was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in critical condition.

Pastor Tim Kelley, the 20-year-old’s father, took to Facebook Sunday saying, “As you know Our precious daughter Hannah was a victim of a tragic, accidental gunshot wound to her head. She remains in very critical condition, the prognosis is not good. Please pray the swelling to goes down in her brain.”

The worried pastor asked friends and family to continue to pray for his daughter’s recovery.

Wednesday, Pastor Wayne posted an update on Hannah’s condition, “HUGE PRAISE REPORT!! I just got off phone with Ps. Kelley. Hannah seems to have turned a bit of a corner through the night. She has been on medicine to reduce her brain swelling…At 8 PM last night they stopped the meds as the kidney level was borderline… It is now 1 PM Wednesday and Hannah has held her own without the swelling med. THIS IS AN ANSWER TO THE SYMPHONY OF PRAYERS REACHING GOD’S EARS!”

In a later post, Wayne posted that it was good to “hear a lightness” in Pastor Kelley’s voice and asked everyone to “keep praying, remain vigilant, continue to be diligent watchman [sic]. The road ahead is still long and tenuous but on the road she is.”

As of Monday, no charges had been filed against Zambrana or anyone else. According to police, he took out the magazine clip, but as it is with many guns, a bullet remained in the chamber. Authorities stated Zambrana did have a permit to carry the gun and did not break any laws. One of the people with Zambrana looking at the gun was Hannah’s boyfriend Dustin Bueller, 20.

A spokesman for the family said Zambrana was a long-time member of the church and a friend of Hannah’s. He stated that her family has “no desire to see him suffer anymore than he’s already suffering.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: They Prefer Cash - Man Tries to Pay for Lap Dance with Crack

LATINO BLOTTER: They Prefer Cash - Man Tries to Pay for Lap Dance with Crack

Photo: Ricardo Luna Tries to Pay for Lap Dance with Crack

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A Texas man was arrested Sunday after he tried to pay for a lap dance with crack cocaine after.

Ricardo Luna, 26, was reportedly arrested at an Austin strip club and charged with retaliation, resisting arrest, and harassment of a public servant after he attempted to pay a stripper in crack cocaine and then kicked a security guard who was escorting him out.

According to a local Fox News affiliate he affidavit says Luna also kicked a deputy and spit blood and saliva at the deputies.

Monday, Luna was still being held at Travis County jail on $45,000 bond.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Samuel Peter Acosta Larsen Makes ‘Glee’ Debut as Hippy Homeschooler Joe Hart (VIDEO)

Samuel Peter Acosta Larsen Makes ‘Glee’ Debut as Hippy Homeschooler Joe Hart (VIDEO)

Photo: Samuel Peter Acosta Larsen Makes 'Glee' Debut as Hippy Homeschooler Joe Hart

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Co-winner of The Glee Project (TGP) Samuel Peter Acosta Larsen (better known as Samuel Larsen) made his debut on Tuesday night’s episode of Glee.

Acosta Larsen made joined the cast as new member of the God Squad as formerly homeschooled Joe Hart who has to decide if he’s comfortable singing to a same-sex couple for a Valentine’s Day fundraiser.

The 20-year-old who currently lives in Los Angeles, was born to Henrik Larsen and Lupe Acosta Larsen. His mother is from Mexico, his father from Denmark. In 2009, Acosta Larsen’s mother published an autobiographical book called Race for Acceptance.

By winning TGP, Sam and fellow winner Damian McGinty earned a 7-episode ark in the third (current) season of Glee. However, Irish crooner, McGinty, who has been playing exchange student Rory Flanagan, has already has his contract extended past the initial 7 episodes.

Random fact: McGinty says his celebrity crush is Selena Gomez.


Check out Acosta Larse’sn performing “Stereo Hearts” in the episode title “Heart”.


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First impressions of Venezuelan actress Gaby Espino and Jencarlos Canela as Parents

First impressions of Venezuelan actress Gaby Espino and Jencarlos Canela as Parents

Photo: Gaby Espino and Jencarlos share sentiments on their new baby boy.

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Gaby Espino was quick to communicate her excitement about becoming a parent, as well as her appreciation to her fans on Twitter:

“What great happiness! Our beautiful baby boy was just born… and everything went very well thanks to God! Thanks for all your messages of support, I adore you all.

Jencarlos also posted about his new baby boy, Nickolas, on Twitter:

“You have made me become a better person with your simple existence. This love is unforgettable.” “Explaining feelings through my words is my profession. Putting words what I felt when I saw my son for the first time is impossible.”

He also thanked his fans saying:

“I love my fans, thank you for all of the support.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hundreds come to protest Alabama Immigration Law

Hundreds come to protest Alabama Immigration Law

Photo: Hundreds of protestors gather in the courtyard of the Alabama statehouse to urge lawmakers to repeal immigration law, HB-56.

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This past Tuesday, hundreds of people gathered in the courtyard of the Alabama Statehouse to protest against the state’s immigration law, which is among the toughest in the nation.

Demonstrators from all regions of the state came to demand the repeal of the law and to send a message of love and respect towards illegal immigrants on Valentine’s Day. The demonstrators carried signs addressed to Governor Bentley saying “Gov. Bentley, don’t you have a heart?”, other signs read “No Juan Crow” and “One family, One Alabama”. All the while, the crowd sung in English and Spanish chanting “No more HB56” and distributed lollipops to lawmakers urging them to vote against the strict immigration law.

Alabama lawmakers said they will introduce the bill in coming weeks to make subtle changes. However, according to House majority Leader Micky Hammon, no major changes in softening the law will be made.

However, these temporary changes do not please the demand of protestors, whom seek that the law be repealed in its entirety. Coordinator of the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice Zayne Smith stated, ” Tweaks are only temporary Band-Aids, not a permanent solution”.

The HB-56 law, which went into effect this fall after being passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, requires police to determine citizenship in traffic stops and governmental offices to verify residency.

Opponents plan to spend more days in the Legislature lobbying against the law, parts of which have already been blocked by federal courts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

At Least 300 Inmates Killed in Honduras Jail Fire, Many Burned Alive

At Least 300 Inmates Killed in Honduras Jail Fire, Many Burned Alive

Photo: Deadly fire Honduras Prison

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Honduran officials are reporting a deadly fire at the Comayagua prison that resulted in at least 300 prisoners being killed in the overnight blaze, many suffocating and burning in their cells.

The prison is located some 90 miles north of the capital city of Tegucigalpa and houses 852 prisoners.  Prison officials say some 356 prisoners remain unaccounted for and the death toll could substantially rise.  Many prisoners were heard screaming and rioting to get out of their cells – at least 100 died burned to death inside their cells.

Local firemen could not find prison officials to get keys to the cells to free many of the inmates.  The fire was either started by prisoners or an electrical short circuit late at night and took more than an hour to put out.

This Central American country has been plagued by overcrowding prisons and violence stemming from this fact. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Navy, Air Force, Police Work Together in One Ton Drug Bust

Colombian Navy, Air Force, Police Work Together in One Ton Drug Bust

Photo: Colombian Navy, Air Force, Police Work Together in One Ton Drug Bust

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Colombia’s navy, air force and police collaborated Tuesday in the confiscation of 1,000 kilos (2,202 pounds) of cocaine, authorities said.

“Thanks to intelligence information,” according to an official statement, the air force detected a drug-laden boat in Colombia’s Caribbean waters and relayed its position to naval units.

Pursued by the navy vessels, the smugglers ran their boat aground on a beach near Puerto Estrella in the northeastern province of La Guajira and then fled, leaving the cocaine behind.

The consignment, with an estimated value of $30 million, was apparently bound for the United States via Central America, the statement said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

“Beauty and the Beast” Remake to be Directed by Mexican Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro

“Beauty and the Beast” Remake to be Directed by Mexican Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro

Photo: Guillermo del Toro remakes Beauty and Beast

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Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro will direct and produce a new version of “Beauty and the Beast” for Warner Bros. Studios, the online edition of Variety magazine reported.

The studio has signed Andrew Davies (“Bridget Jones’ Diary”) to polish Del Toro’s screenplay for the film, which this time will feature flesh-and-blood actors.

The original Walt Disney film was the first animated movie in history to receive an Oscar nomination for best picture and generated worldwide box-office receipts of $380.4 million in 1991.

In addition, Variety said that actress Emma Watson, the female star of the “Harry Potter” saga, is in the final stages of negotiations to participate in the film.

Del Toro, who is currently filming the science fiction film “Pacific Rim” for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, is also the co-screenwriter for the two-part filming of “The Hobbit,” a prequel to the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico and China Celebrate 40-Years of Diplomatic Relations in Beijing

Mexico and China Celebrate 40-Years of Diplomatic Relations in Beijing

Photo: Mexco China 40 Year Relationship

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Representatives of the governments of China and Mexico, including high-level lawmakers and Chinese Communist Party officials, attended a ceremony Tuesday in Beijing to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The event took place at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in the western section of Beijing.

The Chinese delegation was led by National People’s Congress vice chairman Lu Yongxiang.

Bilateral relations have been marked by frequent exchanges of visitors and expanded economic cooperation and trade, Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries vice president Li Jianping said.

Mexico and China have made “cooperation and development the foundations of bilateral relations that have reached the level of maturity necessary to hold a constructive, frank and open dialogue,” Mexican Ambassador to China Jorge Guajardo said.

The two countries “have worked closely in different regional and multilateral forums for the consolidation of international peace, security, cooperation and development,” Guajardo said.

Mexico will welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao in June for the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Baja California, the ambassador said.

“It will be a privilege” to welcome Hu to Mexico, Guajardo said. “Mexico and China will work hand in hand to bring about an international economic recovery.”

China and Mexico established diplomatic relations on Feb. 14, 1972.

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayFebruary 15, 2012