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WednesdayFebruary 22, 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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Colombia Investing $105 Million to Modernize Public Transportation in Cali

Colombia Investing $105 Million to Modernize Public Transportation in Cali

Photo: Cali, California Upgrading Public Transportation

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan for $105 million to Colombia to continue a program to modernize public transport in the city of Cali.

The funding will support investments in the municipal transport company Metro Vancouver to expand Masivo Integrado de Occidente (MIO), a public transport system based on the use of buses in dedicated and preferential lanes. The Bank helped finance the program’s initial stage with a loan for $200 million approved in 2005.

The program aims to continue improving the quality of service for MIO and extending access to 100 percent of the population. The improvements will help reduce travel times, traffic accidents, and traffic congestion.

As part of the program, main corridors will be completed and paved, and MIO feeder corridors, stations, bridges, crossings, bike paths, and signage will be improved.

In addition, 10 hectares of public space will be rehabilitated and pollution will be reduced, which will eliminate annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 270,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Radio Cristo Rey Launches in Mexico in Preparation for Pope’s Visit

There are only 30 days to Pope Benedict XVI’s visit in Mexico, and the Archdiocese of Leon have announced the opening of a radio via internet, Radio Cristo Rey, which also has a presence in social networks, with over 12 live programs, involving priests, deacons and laity of the Diocese of Queretaro, Celaya and León.

Its initial objective is that users know Pope Benedict XVI and the meaning of the message he brings with his visit.

“Knowing the reality of the web, taking the mission to spreading Christ’s and the Pope’s message, we want to reach all people of good will. For this reason we will also have programs in English, French and Italian, as well as in Nahuatl, Mixe, Tarahumara and Otomi ” says the note sent to Agenzia Fides. The “special coverage” begins with the” Disciples and missionaries”, transmitted from the diocese of Queretaro at 10 am, which will be attended by Bishop Mgr. Faustino Armendáriz.

The statement recalls that the Pope’s visit takes place in the context of the anniversary of independence, which is celebrated in several Latin American countries, and that the Pope is “to proclaim the Word of Christ and to strengthen the conviction that this is a valuable time to evangelize with courageous faith”. Among the commissions created to deal with all aspects concerning the Pope’s visit, there is also that of communication, and the radio wants to promote through the network the preparation to the visit in all media.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil to Host UN World Environment Day in June

Brazil to Host UN World Environment Day in June

Photo: World Environment Day in Brazil

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Brazil will be the host of World Environment Day (WED) in June, which aims to emphasize how individual actions can have an exponential impact on the planet and help reduce pollution, the United Nations announced today.

According to the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), in recent years Brazil has taken significant steps to tackle issues such as deforestation in the Amazon which has led to one of the biggest greenhouse gas emissions in the world, and it is also at the forefront of building an economy that includes recycling and renewable energy and the generation of green jobs, making it a fitting host for WED.

WED celebrations in Brazil will be part of thousands of events taking place around the world. Activities will range from marathons, to community clean-ups, car-free days, green blogging competitions, exhibits, green petitions, and nationwide green campaigns, among others.

This year’s theme is as an invitation for individuals to assess where the green economy fits in their daily lives and to evaluate how it can deliver economic and environmental outcomes for a sustainable future in a planet of seven billion people.

Brazil had previously hosted WED in 1992, on the eve of the first Earth Summit, when world leaders, government officials and international organizations met to refocus, recalibrate and deliver a route map towards sustainable development.

As part of the preparatory activities for WED, UNEP announced that the car manufacturer KIA Motors, which is based on the Republic of Korea (ROK) will donate fuel-efficient cars for a global competition to mark the day.

Read more by HS News Staff →

President Obama Urges Congress to Finally Pass DREAM Act in 2012

President Obama Urges Congress to Finally Pass DREAM Act in 2012

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U.S. President Barack Obama said Congress should take one step toward overhauling the country’s immigration system by passing the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide a path to citizenship for some children of undocumented migrants.

In an interview with Oakland, California-based Radio Bilingue that was rebroadcast Wednesday via Internet, Obama said his administration prioritizes the deportation of undocumented immigrants with criminal records and tries to avoid separating families.

The president said his administration is doing all it can to make the immigration system more humane, but that the most important priority is to fix the country’s immigration laws.

He noted that during his State of the Union address last month he urged lawmakers to approve the DREAM Act, which passed the House of Representatives in December 2010 but has stalled in the Senate.

That bill would offer permanent residence to undocumented high school graduates who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces or attend college.

Obama said that legislation should be a priority this year, although he lamented that hard-line Republicans were refusing to work in a bipartisan fashion on the issue.

According to the president, it is important that Congress listen to the Hispanic community and other communities affected by the country’s broken immigration system.

An estimated 5,000 U.S. children whose parents have been deported or detained because of their immigration status have been placed in state foster care nationwide, according to an investigation made public late last year by the Applied Research Center.

Obama has acknowledged that his administration’s enforcement policies have caused the break-up of families in some instances and pledged to ensure that children are not separated from their parents without due process.

The president, who will seek re-election in November, supports a “comprehensive” immigration overhaul that would strengthen border security while simultaneously putting many of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States on a path to citizenship.

By contrast, most of the candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination, who on Wednesday will square off in a debate in Arizona, oppose such a plan because they say it would provide amnesty for lawbreakers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Duo Jotdog Rolls Out New Album

With the release of their second album, “Jotdog 2: Turista de amor,” and the single “Lluvia de estrellas” playing on the radio, the Mexican duo Jotdog is continuing its campaign to spread the musical style they call “pop siniestro” (leftist pop).

The album contains lyrics loaded with dark humor and cultural references from terror films to the science fiction novels of Jules Verne, along with the music of Gran Guiñol and Alice Cooper and the pop paintings of Andy Warhol.

It was the late contemporary and iconic artist who helped give a name to this unique team of musicians.

“The name Jotdog, which is the phonetic version of the English word ‘hotdog,’ is a tribute to our beloved Andy Warhol. He took the most common daily objects and made them into art, and we, too, take a hotdog and make it into music,” Jorge “La Chiquis” Amaro, the founder of the group including Maria Barracuda said.

Amaro and Barracuda met in a restaurant in Mexico City’s Condesa district when a mutual friend introduced them. The chemistry was immediate and undeniable, since the pair were connected to the same musical wave and style.

Maria, who spent her childhood in Juarez listening to the blues, Gregorian chants and the heavy rock of Led Zeppelin, knew that Jorge had been a drummer with the groups Neon and Fobia and that he had also worked as an arranger, composer and sound engineer for bands like Mana and Timbiriche.

He, meanwhile, was impressed with Maria’s out of this world musical compositions and the quality of her voice.

In 2009, Jotdog made its public debut with its same-named album that earned the pair two Latino Grammy nominations in the categories of best new artist and best pop vocal album by a duo or group.

At present, Jotdog is in the midst of a promotional U.S. tour for “Turista de amor.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Tries to Rob Gas Station With a Light Bulb

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Tries to Rob Gas Station With a Light Bulb

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Armed with just a light bulb, police say a Latino man attempted to rob a San Diego gas station on Monday.

At around 11 p.m. Monday night the attendant at the Washington Street Shell Station was met by an unidentified man brandishing a compact fluorescent light bulb. The would-be robber then smashed the bulb on the counter and demanded money.

Though it is not certain what the clerk was thinking, he denied the bulb-wielding man any money, and frustrated, the criminal ran away.

The suspect has been described at a Latino male approximately 30 years old, standing about 5’10.

Well this suspect wasn’t exactly the brightest bulb, now was he?


Check out some of our favorite dim-witted criminals in the related articles section below.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Woman Shot in El Paso by Bullet From Juarez Side of Border

Woman Shot in El Paso by Bullet From Juarez Side of Border

Photo: Woman Shot in El Paso by Bullet From Juarez Side of Border

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A Texas border town was running for cover this week after a bullet believed to have come from the Mexico side of the border struck a woman in the leg Tuesday.

The victim, an unnamed 48-year-old woman, was walking in Downtown El Paso, pushing a child in a stroller, when stray gunfire from Ciudad Juarez came flying in. The bullet is believed to have come from a shootout between cops and carjackers in Juarez.

Schools in the area were put on lock down, though no other bullets were believed to have entered the U.S.

Police say the bullet that hit the woman was a “full metal jacket hard-nosed bullet”, the type used in assault rifles. The bullet exited the woman’s calf cleanly and she was taken to the hospital, treated, and released.

Though the name of the woman injured was not released, Allen said she is a Mexican citizen with a residency card living in El Paso.

El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said the police department received about 10 calls regarding the sound of gunfire at the time of the incident.

El Paso Mayor John Cook attempted to reassure residents that the city is still one of the safest in the nation. Still, when living so close to one of the world’s most violent cities residence can’t help but worry after incidents like these.

Read more at El Paso Times →

Robert Rodriguez’ El Rey Network to be Part of Comcast Cable Systems

Robert Rodriguez’ El Rey Network to be Part of Comcast Cable Systems

Photo: Robert Rodriguez Coming to Comcast Cable

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The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) appreciates Comcast’s announcement that it will broadly distribute four new, independently-owned networks owned by people of color over its cable systems. Two of those networks will be majority-American-Latino owned and operated and programmed in English, and the other two will be majority-African-American-owned.

The two American-Latino-owned networks come as the result of intense negotiations between Comcast, NHMC and NHMC’s partner Latino organizations. Pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between those groups back in June of 2010, Comcast will broadly distribute these two networks and an additional two American-Latino-operated networks through its cable systems within the next five years. Last year, Comcast expanded the distribution of nine existing Latino networks to 17 million homes, fulfilling another of its obligations under the MOU.

The Latino networks to launch in the next two years will be El Rey Network and BabyFirst Americas. El Rey, the brainchild of FactoryMade Ventures and Hollywood visionary - and NHMC Impact Award winner - Robert Rodriguez, will launch by January of 2014.

El Rey is designed to be an action-packed, English-language network that includes a mix of reality, scripted and animated series, movies, documentaries, news, comedy and sports programming. It will feature Latino producers, celebrities and public figures. BabyFirst Americas, proposed by Constantino Said Schwarz, will launch by April of 2012. It is designed for infants, very young children, and their parents, and emphasizes the early development of verbal, math and motor skills.

“I am pleased that Comcast has followed through on its commitment to add two new Latino networks to its cable systems, and that it has recognized the shining star power of visionary film-maker, Robert Rodriguez,” remarked NHMC’s President and CEO, Alex Nogales, who not only was at the forefront of negotiations with Comcast back in 2010, but also currently sits on Comcast’s National Hispanic Diversity Advisory Council.

Read more by HS News Staff →

VIRAL: ‘Superman’ Asks For Directions (VIDEO)

VIRAL: ‘Superman’ Asks For Directions (VIDEO)

Photo: 'Superman' Asks For Directions in Argentina

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A video titled “SUPER PIOLA TICO” uploaded by YouTuber chino21867 is starting to go viral, joining the growing number of ‘Superman’ videos hitting the web recently.

The flying man, in Spanish, asks the woman in the car if he is on the right road for San Jose. She says he is, he thanks her, and ‘flies’ away.

it is believed the video was shot in Argentina, though it could be Costa Rica, or even the town in California.

While we don’t recommend anyone try this themselves, we can’t help but laugh at the ‘flying’ man.


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: California Inmate Found Guilty of Threatening Federal Judge

LATINO BLOTTER: California Inmate Found Guilty of Threatening Federal Judge

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A man already serving time for a murder almost 10 years ago was just convicted of threatening a California federal judge.

At a sentencing hearing set for May 14, California inmate Eric Anthony Lopez is looking at up to ten years for threats he made against U.S. District Judge Irma E. Gonzalez.

Lopez, who is currently serving 25 years in prison for a first-degree murder conviction from 2003, sent a threatening letter to Judge Gonzalez, saying he would eliminate her using anthrax.

He face up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

In the letter, Lopez also told the judge he would introduce her to the “grim reaper.”

Last week a San Diego jury convicted Lopez, though the Department of Justice did not make the announcement until Tuesday.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Mormons Not Big Fans of Romney

Latino Mormons Not Big Fans of Romney

Photo: Latino Mormons Not Big Fans of Romney

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Though there are a number of Latino Mormons, it appears Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has not automatically won their vote.

Among the Latino Mormon population, immigration is a major issue, and many say Romney’s stance on immigration is in direct conflict with the teachings of the Mormon church.

Latino Mormons have begun saying that they will not promote and will actively speak out against Romney or any Mormon seeking office who supports harsh immigration reform.

The Mormon faith has a history of converting immigrants with the teachings of the Book of Mormon, and statements have even been released by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding the targeting of immigrants in new policies, adding that Romney’s immigration reform proposals which fail to provide undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship is hypocritical, as his ancestors sought refuge in another country (Mexico) just as immigrants are now coming to the U.S.

Ignacio Garcia, a history professor at Brigham Young University and a Sunday school teacher at his Mormon ward, recently told the Associated Press, “We view immigration as a God event. The book says no one comes to the Land unless they are brought by God.”

As a result of current immigration policies, at least two LDS branch presidents have been arrested a deported.

So while there is a growing number of right-leaning Latinos converting to the Mormon faith, they have not been swayed to vote for fellow Mormon Romney just yet.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The Death of Mazatlan Thanks to Narcos

The Death of Mazatlan Thanks to Narcos

Photo: The Death of Mazatlan Thanks to Narcos

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In 2011, the once booming tourist site of Mazatlan, Mexico was hit with the news that cruise ships would no longer be stopping there, leaving many local people without jobs.

The ships stopped coming, citing security and safety concerns. However, tourist officials and locals insist that safety should not be a concern in Mazatlan, and urge Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Norwegian, and Disney Cruise Lines to return.

Sadly, the Mexican tourist location known for its large Carnaval celebrations is simply another victim of the country’s war on drugs. As the government tries to crack down on the the drug cartels and trafficking, the cartels have begun fighting amongst themselves for ever bit of land available, with many being killed in the crossfire.

Still, Mexico’s tourism board has maintained that while there are areas of extreme violence, Mexico is still home to some of the world’s best (and safest) vacation destinations.

For the people of Mazatlan, hope rests with the return of the cruise ships.

A sign of better times may be ahead, as Princess Cruises announced in October that it would once again offer cruises from California to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan in 2012.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Prominent Latinos to Serve as Co-Chairs of Obama’s Reelection Bid

Prominent Latinos to Serve as Co-Chairs of Obama’s Reelection Bid

Photo: Latinos for Obama

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Prominent Hispanics from across the United States, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Texas Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez and actress Eva Longoria, are among a group of 35 individuals who will advise Barack Obama in his bid for re-election in November, the president’s campaign team said Wednesday in a statement.

This group of national “co-chairs” of Obama’s 2012 campaign will “serve as ambassadors for the president, advise the campaign on key issues, and help engage and mobilize voters in all 50 states,” the statement said.

They include leading Latinos such as the mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro; the executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Maria Elena Durazo; Texas Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez; the U.S. transportation secretary from 1993-1997 and U.S. energy secretary from 1997-1998, Federico Peña; and actress Eva Longoria.

Other co-chairs of the president’s re-election campaign will include Bill Daley, who served as Obama’s chief of staff from January 2011 to January 2012; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; and author and president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Caroline Kennedy.

“The president’s national co-chairs will be tremendous assets on the ground as we build the biggest grassroots campaign in history,” Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, said in the statement.

“They each share the president’s vision for a future where every American can have a fair shot at success, where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded.”

The co-chairs “are proud of the president’s record and leadership in rebuilding the economy after the worst economic crisis in generations,” the campaign statement said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

POLL: Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum Top List of Vice Presidential Candidates

POLL: Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum Top List of Vice Presidential Candidates

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Asked who should be the Republican nominee for Vice President, Florida Senator Marco Rubio tops the list, followed by the surging former Pennsylvania Senator, Rick Santorum, and New Jersey’s unvarnished Governor Chris Christie, according to a new national poll of registered voters by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind.

The open-ended poll allowed survey-takers to choose anyone rather than have to select names from an already created list.

Rubio’s name was mentioned 66 times (8 percent), followed by current presidential candidate Rick Santorum with 56 mentions (7 percent) by New Jersey. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie coming in third with 47 mentions (6 percent).

Santorum, who came in second, was mentioned in the questionnaire before the Vice President question was asked, and according to Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll, “The fact that Santorum is surging in visibility and that his name had already been brought up in interviews combined to push him toward the top of the VP list,.”

Newt Gingrich, another active presidential candidate, who was considered hot two months ago, has fallen to the back of the pack, not just for president, but for vice- president too. He had 60 mentions in the December poll tying him for second place, but just 32 mentions in the recent study, placing fifth.

Gingrich is followed by another active presidential candidate, Ron Paul, in sixth place. Paul is followed by Mitt Romney, the putative but struggling front runner for the nomination, with just 16 mentions. In a similar poll in December, he was suggested 38 times.

Michele Bachmann, who dropped out of the presidential race, has also disappeared from vice-presidential sight. She got 60 mentions in the December poll, nearly as many as Marco Rubio, but gets just 16 mentions in the recent study.
Many other names were offered from Hillary Clinton to David Duke.

“Ronald Reagan was summoned from the grave by one respondent,” said Woolley “Clearly, that person has watched too many of Republican debates.”

The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 799 registered Republican and independent voters nationwide was conducted by both landlines and cell phones from Feb. 6 through Feb.12, 2012, and has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points.

Read more at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind →

Argentina Rush Hour Train Crash Leaves 49 Dead and 600 Injured, Death Count to Rise (VIDEO)

Argentina Rush Hour Train Crash Leaves 49 Dead and 600 Injured, Death Count to Rise (VIDEO)

Photo: Deadly Argentina Train Crash

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At least 600 people were injured Wednesday morning when a train crashed and derailed at one of the three busiest stations in Buenos Aires, Argentine officials said.

At first it was reported that “We have 340 injured and people trapped in the cars, and there could also be some fatalities,” Transportation Secretary Juan Pablo Schiavi said.  More current reports believe that at least 600 were injured. 

The 33 hospitals in Buenos Aires are on alert to treat the injured, some of whom were seriously hurt in the accident, Schiavi said.

The accident happened when a train packed with passengers was unable to stop on arrival at station 11 and hit the shock absorbers at the end of the platform, eyewitnesses said.

The train was traveling at “26 kilometers per hour (16 mph) and apparently experienced some type of failure in the brake system,” the transportation secretary said.

“Everything is on video, which will facilitate the investigation,” Schiavi said.

The transportation secretary traveled to the accident scene with Buenos Aires Security Minister Guillermo Montenegro to get a firsthand look at the situation.

“The train was full of people and the impact was tremendous. We don’t know what happened,” a passenger told Argentine television.

Dozens of ambulances and fire trucks responded to the accident, with emergency workers pulling people out of the shattered train cars.

Emergency workers needed more than 30 minutes to pull the engineer out of the locomotive.


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Paulie Rojas Stars in the Hard to Find “Dorothy and the Witches of Oz”

Paulie Rojas Stars in the Hard to Find “Dorothy and the Witches of Oz”

Photo: Paulie Rojas in Dorothy and the Witches of Oz

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Paulie Rojas, called by some as the ‘modern day Audrey Hepburn,’ just finished her starring role in “Dorothy and the Witches of Oz,” yet with the movie only debuting in a handful of locations across the country many will not see her in the theater. 

What was thought to be her ‘big break,’ according to “Se Fija Online”, it is disappointing to see such a small opening.  Even with good reviews and some veteran actors such as, Christopher Lloyd, Sean Astin, and Mia Sara, the film may not be seen by many until its DVD release on April 10th. 

Paulie is well known for her starring role in the Spanish film, “Lucia No Besa a Nadie,” as well as the horror film, “The Last Resort.” Rojas can be seen in three upcoming movies, “Folklore,” “Crimson Winter,” as well as “Down and Dangerous.”

Read more at Sefija →

Xavier Font of Locomía Denies Drug Trafficking Charges

Xavier Font of Locomía Denies Drug Trafficking Charges

Photo: Locamia Founder in Drug Trouble

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The founder of the 80s group Locomía, accused of trafficking illegal substances, said before a judge that the substances found in his house were for personal consumption. 

Xavier Font, manager and founder of the group Locomía, strongly denied having anything to do with the drugs found in his house in 2009.  Facing drug trafficking accusations, Font argued that the substances were for personal consumption and to share with friends but were never for commercial use.

“I do not take drugs.  I have used “poppers” only for sexual stimulation,” maintained the singer according to “La Vanguardia.”

In front of a judge, Font testified that he was unaware that the pills found in his home were ecstasy. He maintained that they belonged to a friend and former roommate, a ballet dancer named Rubén. 

During the search of both of Font’s homes, officials found 110 bottles of ‘poppers,’ as well as 116 ecstasy pills.  Typically the Spanish judicial system will sentence seven years in prison with an additional fine after the discovery of a drug such as ecstasy. 

Read more at People en Espanol →

Telenovela Star Alicia Machado Reveals Relationship with John F. Kennedy Jr.

Telenovela Star Alicia Machado Reveals Relationship with John F. Kennedy Jr.

Photo: Alicia Machado and John F. Kennedy Jr.

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In the most recent Venezuelan edition of the magazine, “TVyNovelas”, Alicia Machado discusses her past encounters with the now deceased, John F. Kennedy Jr. 

In the magazine interview, the soap opera star divulges how she met and connected with the son of the former President of the United States.  According to Machado, the two met at a dinner in New York and had the pleasure of meeting at several other events.  She describes him as a nice, gorgeous man that would always let her tell him stories in Spanish.  This, she believes could be because he didn’t understand what she said in English.  “I can’t call my friendship with him a sentimental one.  Yes, he flirted with me but we only saw each other a few times.  I thought that he liked me because we used to laugh a lot together,” explains Machado.

The former Miss Universe (1996) is well known in her home country for her role in the telenovela ‘Samantha’ and ‘Infierno en el Paraiso’.  Another claim to fame for Ms. Machado is that she is the only Miss Universe to have posed nude for Playboy.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Students Protesting in Valencia Experience Police Brutality

Students Protesting in Valencia Experience Police Brutality

Photo: A Student Injured During the Protests

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Videos of police using excessive force against students protesting the recent cuts to education spending in Valencia have been circulating on social media websites, such as youtube.

The videos have been viewed many times since being posted. One of the more popular ones is a collection of clips, each showing police using crowd control tactics against students. The final clip, which seems to have gained the most attention, shows two girls huddling next two a car holding each other attempting to protect each other from police using riot sticks.

In one of the videos, a student holds up a sign that says “Franco is Back, Spring Valencia”, likening this current scenario to life under Francisco Franco, who was dictator of Spain from 1936-1975.

Another video shows the police charging the Luis Vives Institute. Police use of riot batons on a couple of students can be seen although they appear to back off after a man recording the event stands right in front of them.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nebraska Court Strikes Down Ordinance Banning Renting or Hiring Undocumented in Fremont

Nebraska Court Strikes Down Ordinance Banning Renting or Hiring Undocumented in Fremont

Photo: Fremont Nebraska Immigration Debate

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A federal court struck down part of a Fremont, Nebraska ordinance banning citizens from renting homes to immigrants or hiring them within the city limits.

U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp declared null and void the regulation that prohibits the renting of houses to immigrants who are in the country illegally, ruling that article violates federal laws against discrimination.

While Fremont can still require prospective renters to apply for a $5 permit and swear they are in the country legally, the city cannot revoke permits granted to people who later turn out to be undocumented.

The judge let stand the rest of the ordinance, which bans hiring undocumented workers and makes employers who do so liable to fines.

Fremont has only 25,000 inhabitants, of whom some 2,000 are immigrants, most of them Hispanics.

Inhabitants of the city approved by referendum in June 2010 the controversial ordinance written by Kris Kobach, the same attorney who prepared the anti-immigrant law for the state of Arizona.

The Fremont city ordinance has not yet been enforced, since both the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed suits challenging the measure.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Preparing for Another Surgery

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Preparing for Another Surgery

Photo: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Preparing for Another Surgery

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is running for re-election in October, announced Tuesday that he will have to undergo a new operation because “a lesion” was detected in the area from where last year he had a cancerous tumor removed.

“I regret to inform the Venezuelan public, and I very much regret it because I know that, just as some are happy (about it), the majority will suffer because of it,” he said.

“I deny that it has metastized ... that I’m dying,” he added upon ending a nearly two-hour televised address from a factory in his home state of Barinas, to which he said he had come directly from Havana after traveling there last weekend for a medical checkup.

The president said that on Wednesday he will offer more details on his condition.

“With the help of the Virgin ... and with this desire to live for you that I have, we will get through this,” Chavez added in a calm voice.

The surgery he is to be subjected to will allow doctors to verify, he said, “if that lesion is linked with the earlier tumor or not and we will report on that ... after the operation,” he said.

Regarding when and where he will be operated on, Chavez said only that the surgery will be performed “in the coming days” and at a yet-to-be-determined location, although there are “several possibilities.”

He also remarked that he had “completely” denied the media accounts that his cancer had metastized “into the liver or I don’t know where else, that the cancer has spread throughout my body and that I’m dying.”

“No, no. On the contrary, and this is good news, the rigorously done exams in Havana show that I have no metastasis anywhere,” he said.

Chavez also revealed that he had intended to announce the news on Wednesday, but “the rumors that I had metastasis” forced him to do so a day early.

The Venezuelan leader’s announcement had been preceded by rumors that had been multiplying since last Thursday, when Brazilian journalist Merval Pereira said that the Oct. 7 Venezuelan presidential elections could be affected by Chavez’s health.

According to Pereira, who confirmed that his sources were Brazilian doctors whom he did not identify but who analyzed the latest examinations made of Chavez and said that the cancer that had been diagnosed in Cuba last June had not stopped developing.

On the heels of that, on Monday Venezuelan reporter Nelson Bocaranda said that Chavez had had to make an urgent trip to Cuba because of a worsening of his health.

The 57-year-old socialist head of state’s rival is Henrique Capriles, chosen in a primary by supporters of a coalition of opposition parties.

Chavez, who has been president since 1999, said last Friday in another televised event that he could not promise that he would continue leading the country “beyond 2019.”

The former army colonel was first elected in 1998 and then confirmed in a fresh vote after the enactment of a new constitution. Chavez survived a recall referendum in 2004 and won a second full six-year term in 2006.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Drug Smuggling Moms Arrested at Border with Kids

Drug Smuggling Moms Arrested at Border with Kids

Photo: Narco News

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry made five drug busts in the last two days including two cases which involved women who were traveling with children when stopped by CBP officers.

“Unfortunately this is something that is happening more and more in the drug smuggling community,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Port Director. “Smugglers may believe that family units will not attract the scrutiny of CBP. History has shown us that smugglers come in all age groups, sexes, nationalities and even at times as families traveling together.”

CBP officers working at the Ysleta international crossing seized 23.8 pounds of cocaine shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday. CBP officers at the port were conducting a sweep of vehicles waiting in line when drug sniffing dog “Sany” alerted to a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. The vehicle was being driven by a 28-year-old woman who was traveling with three daughters aged nine, seven and 10 months.

CBP officers moved the vehicle to secondary exam area to continue their inspection. They used a “Buster” density meter on the vehicle and received high readings consistent with hidden contraband in the rear portion of the car. They located a hidden compartment in the rear wheel well area of the car. CBP officers removed 11 cocaine-filled bundles from the compartment.

CBP officers took custody of the driver, 28-year-old Maria Elena Estrada Garcia of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face federal charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt. She is currently detained at the El Paso County jail and being held without bond.

CBP officers working at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing seized 29 pounds of marijuana shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth noted an anomaly in the spare tire of a 1985 Chevrolet Blazer that entered the port from Mexico. The vehicle was being driven by a 22-year-old woman who was traveling with her two-year-old son.

CBP officers moved the vehicle to secondary exam area to continue their inspection. CBP drug sniffing dog “Jive’ alerted to the spare tire. CBP officers opened the tire and removed 28 marijuana-filled bundles.

CBP officers took custody of the driver, 22-year-old Angelica Hernandez Sanchez of Tornillo, Texas. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face federal charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt. She is currently detained at the El Paso County jail and being held without bond.

 

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WednesdayFebruary 22, 2012