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WednesdayMarch 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.

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BizJet Investigated for $2 Million in Alleged Bribes to Mexican Officials

BizJet Investigated for $2 Million in Alleged Bribes to Mexican Officials

Photo: BizJet Bribery Case, Mexico

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The Mexican Attorney General’s Office announced Wednesday the opening of an investigation into allegations that a U.S. firm bribed officials in Mexico.

Employees of Oklahoma-based aviation services company BizJet told U.S. investigators that executives at the firm offered money to officials in exchange for nearly $25 million in contracts to maintain, repair and inspect aircraft belonging to Mexican state and federal agencies, the AG’s office said in a statement.

The purported bribes totaled roughly $2 million and were paid between 2004 and 2009.

The money was channeled “through an enterprise operated by a BizJet sales director who is now a fugitive,” according to the Mexican AG’s office.

U.S. investigators have aided Mexico in identifying employees of BizJet International Sales & Support involved in the scheme as well as six Mexican public officials who accepted bribes.

While withholding the names of the officials and the posts they held at the time of the alleged misconduct, the AG’s office said it notified the federal and state agencies implicated in the case.

The AG’s office added that Mexico’s federal audit agency is already carrying out administrative probes of the suspects.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuba Launches Website in Preparation for Papal Visit

Cuba Launches Website in Preparation for Papal Visit

Photo: Pope's Visit to Cuba

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Agenzia Fides is reporting that Cuba has launched a website yesterday in preparation of the Papal visit from March 26 to 28. 

Besides the official program of the visit, there are articles on current and relevant data for the Catholic world, like the biography of the priest Felix Varela and a video on the Vatican City. Those browsing the website can also download videos on the historic visit of Pope John Paul II to Cuba in 1998.

The visit of John Paul II marked a new beginning in relations between the Church and the state after decades of estrangement. The official Cuban newspaper “Granma” described as “excellent” the relations with the Vatican in view of Benedict XVI’s visit. The Church in recent years has become an important social protagonist and a regular interlocutor of the government.

As evidence of this situation, the Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, appeared on the state television yesterday, March 13, to talk about the Holy Father’s pastoral visit. The newspaper “Granma” has also published an editorial that “welcomes” Benedict XVI during his visit, from March 26 to 28.

Click here to visit the ‘Benedict to Cuba’ website.

Read more by HS News Staff →

“Dora the Explorer” Mermaid Special Will Feature Thalia

“Dora the Explorer” Mermaid Special Will Feature Thalia

Photo: "Dora the Explorer" Mermaid Special Will Feature Thalia

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Singer and actress Thalia lends her talent to an upcoming television special featuring the characters from the animated children’s series “Dora the Explorer.”

The Mexican superstar provides the voice of the mermaid’s mother in “Dora’s Rescue in Mermaid Kingdom,” set to air Friday night.

The story centers on the efforts of Dora and Boots to help Maribel, a lost mermaid they encounter on the beach, get back to her mother in the Mermaid Kingdom.

“Dora is such an iconic and important Latina heroine, and I’m proud to now be a part of the show’s ever-growing legacy,” Thalia said in a Nickelodeon network press release.

“I was thrilled to play a role on ‘Dora the Explorer,’ a show that has touched the lives of many children around the world including my own child,” the 40-year-old mother of two said.

Dora is a 7-year-old bilingual Latina who explores an “imaginative, tropical world filled with jungles, beaches and rainforests.”

In its more than 10 years on the air, the Emmy-winning show has featured guests such as John Leguizamo, Cheech Marin, Ricardo Montalban, Esai Morales and Chita Rivera.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  Former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Last Hurrah on Eve of Prison Stint

JUST IN:  Former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Last Hurrah on Eve of Prison Stint

Photo: Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Last Press conference

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At 5:00pm CST former Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois gave his last public speech at a press conference, as a free man before facing a 14-year prison sentence in Colorado for corruption.

Referring to this prison sentence as “something I have to do and it’s the law, and I follow the law,” he did not appear repentant.  He stood in front of his home with supporters all around him, and with his long-suffering and most ardent supporter his wife Patti Blagojevich.  Some supporters even draped the U.S. flag around the couple as he bantered on – many believe he is innocent, others simply feel bad for him.

At times ranting on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to his appeal to his immigrant parents, he did not disappoint and many moments were vintage Blagojevich. Nor did he appear very humble or frazzled over the long-term sentence that awaits him.  He spoke about all the things he did for the people of Illinois and that the truth of those successes will come out eventually. 

Continuously Blagojevich blamed things he said for his legal troubles not the things he did.

The only time he almost broke down was when he spoke of Patti and his two girls, Amy and Annie.  Patti breaking down occasionally, especially when he referred to her as the ‘best mother’ any one could have. 

Keeping his humor, when many reporters were screaming out questions he said “I’ll have time to write all of you,” referring to the time he will have in prison.

“I’ll see you around,” were the last words of this former Illinois Governor after two trials, one involving his brother Robert.  He leaves either tonight or early tomorrow for prison.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Victor Cruz to Host New York Fundraiser for Obama

Victor Cruz to Host New York Fundraiser for Obama

Photo: Victor Cruz to Host New York Fundraiser for Obama

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Salsa-dancing wide receiver Victor Cruz is showing his support for President Barack Obama by hosting a fundraiser in New York later this month.

On March 19, the New York Giant will join the First Lady Michelle Obama and defensive end Wale Ogunleye (co-host) for “Family Game Night” at NYC’s Chelsea Piers.

Unlike most fundraiser, in which those in attendance simply eat and wait for entertainers and the guest of honor, guests will be able to bowl one of the 40 lanes.

Tickets for the event start at $150 per non-bowling person and go up to $5,000 for VIP guests. For $250, guests can bowl and are provided with bowling shoes. VIP guests are also invited to a photo reception event.

What:
Obama Victory Fund 2012 - Family Game Night with the First Lady Michelle Obama

Where:
300 New York - Chelsea Piers
23 Street & the Hudson River
Between Piers 59 & 60 New York, NY

When:
Monday, March 19, 2012
3:30 PM


After putting the “fun” in fundraising, the First Lady will attend an event in TriBeCa with Rober DeNiro and his wife, Grace Hightower.

Read more at Obama for America →

Bruno Mars Becomes 10th Man to Grace Cover of Playboy

Bruno Mars Becomes 10th Man to Grace Cover of Playboy

Photo: Bruno Mars Becomes 10th Man to Grace Cover of Playboy

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In its 58 years, Playboy has only had nine men on the cover of the magazine, and now, Bruno Mars now makes ten.

On the April 2012 issue, the 26-year-old crooner poses (fully clothed, sorry ladies) with the month’s playmate, Raquel Pomplun.

ImageInside, the 13-time Grammy nominee says if he could have work with any musician he’d choose Jimi Hendrix, saying he was the “greatest guitar player in the world … He’s the reason I picked up a guitar in the first place.”

The other lucky lads to have landed on the lady-filled magazine:

Peter Sellers, April 1964
Burt Reynolds, October 1979
Steve Martin, January 1980
Donald Trump, March 1990
Dan Aykroyd, August 1993
Jerry Seinfeld, October 1993
Leslie Nielsen, February 1996
Gene Simmons, March 1999
Seth Rogen, April 2009

Read more by HS News Staff →

Freddie Prinze Jr. Returns! Joins Cast of NBC Comedy Pilot

Freddie Prinze Jr. Returns! Joins Cast of NBC Comedy Pilot

Photo: Freddie Prinze Jr. Returns! Joins Cast of NBC Comedy Pilot

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Freddie Prinze Jr. is returning to the small screen in a NBC comedy pilot from “Community” writer Hilary Wintson.

The untitled pilot will also star Mena Suvari, Kyle Howard, Aubrey Dollar, and “7th Heaven” actress Sarah Wright.

The comedy revolves around Agnes (Wright), a woman recently dumped by her fiancé Noah (Prinze). She leans on her friends (Suvari, Dollar, Howard) and eventually plans to plot her revenge as she evolves from a shy girl to a woman to be reckoned with.

This will be 36-year-old’s first small screen roll since appearing on Fox’s “24” and ABC’s “Freddie” in 2010. Aside from a successful movie career which really picked up speed in the last 90s (I Know What You Did Last Summer, She’s All That, Summer Catch, Head Over Heals), Prinze has seen a successful career as an executive for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Prinze married I Know… co-star Sarah Michelle Prinze (formerly Gellar) in Jalisco, Mexico in 2002, and the couple had daughter Charlotte Grace Prinze in 2009.

Read more by HS News Staff →

‘Tigres del Norte’ Banned from Chihuahua for Performing ‘Narcocorridos’

‘Tigres del Norte’ Banned from Chihuahua for Performing ‘Narcocorridos’

Photo: Tigres del Norte Banned for Narcocorridos

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After singing ‘Narcocorridos’ or songs that allegedly glorify the drug trafficking industry in Mexico, the famous group, Los Tigres del Norte, will no longer perform in Mexico’s Chihuahua state.  After performing the song, “La Reina del Sur” (The Queen of the South), at a cattle expo concert, the city of Chihuahua issued a statement banning future performances of the group.

City government officials stated, “The musical group will not get permits for future shows in the city limits, until such time as authorities decide otherwise.”  They continued to state that the band had violated a three month old city law, which prohibited songs about drug trafficking and as a result will face a possible fine of 20,000 pesos or $1,585.  Javier Torres Cardona, the City Governance Director, stated, “We ask concert organizers and the artists themselves to think about the difficult situation the country is in.”

Cardona’s statement refers to the close to 48,000 people in Mexico that have lost their lives as a result of drug related violence from December of 2006 until this past September.  The state of Chihuahua, lying along the U.S. border, containing the city of Chihuahua as well as Ciudad Juarez, has and continues to witness regular drug related violence.  Monday, five men were shot to death in a barber shop in Chihuahua, according to city officials. 

The popular group expressed surprise through a Twitter posting and also stated that they were unaware of the city ordinance.  However Los Tigres are accustomed to controversy surrounding their music.  In 2009, they cancelled an appearance at an awards ceremony after they were asked to not play the song, “La Granja” or “The Farm.”  This song allegedly alludes to the Mexican drug war.  Other popular songs of the group include, “Contrabando y Traición” or “Contraband and Betrayal” as well as “Jefe de Jefes” or “Boss of Bosses.”

The government has attempted to censor similar ‘narcocorridos’ from other musical groups since 2002. 

Read more at My San Antonio →

CHECK OUT Lourdes Leon Singing Back-up for Mom, Madonna’s New Album

CHECK OUT Lourdes Leon Singing Back-up for Mom, Madonna’s New Album

Photo: Lourdes Leon Sings on 'Superstar'

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Check out 15-year old Lourdes Leon singing back-up for Mom, Madonna’s new album “MDNA.”  The video audio is from the “Superstar"track.

Lourdes’ father is Cuban personal trainer Carlos Leon. 


Related Videos

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A Week After Being Shot, Bronx Bodega Worker Still Has Bullet in Neck

A Week After Being Shot, Bronx Bodega Worker Still Has Bullet in Neck

Photo: A Week After Being Shot, Bronx Bodega Worker Still Has Bullet in Neck

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On the night of March 8th, a Bronx bodega worker was shot in the neck while replacing a security camera outside the store. He was one of three people hit by the gunman’s shots.

Nearly a week later, 47-year-old Ricardo Acevedo still has the bullet inside him, and his family says he cannot sleep because he’s in pain and cannot stop thinking about it.

Acevedo managed to stumble to the salon where his wife works about a block away and was taken to the hospital, where he was examined, treated, and released just two hours later, with the bullet still in his neck.

Friday, he told the New York Daily News he was not worried about the bullet remaining inside because he trusted the doctors, but today he feels differently.

After trying to have the bullet removed at two different hospitals, Acevedo is still looking for a surgeon willing to remove it, as surgeons say disturbing a bullet in an inflamed area can cause serious damage.

The NY Daily News reported that Acevedo was told by the Montefiore Medical Center, but was told to return in a week with his medical records from St. Barnabas Hospital where he was originally taken.

He now waits in pain while he searches for a doctor to ease his suffering.

Read more by HS News Staff →

WATCH Hilarious Video Of Will Ferrell and Jimmy Kimmel Doing Entire Interview in Spanish

WATCH Hilarious Video Of Will Ferrell and Jimmy Kimmel Doing Entire Interview in Spanish

Photo: Will Ferrell on Jimmy Kimmel Speaking Spanish

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WATCH hilarious video of Will Ferrell and Jimmy Kimmel doing entire interview in Spanish.  As Will Ferrell continues to promote his upcoming Mexican satire, Casa De Mi Padre he stopped by the Jimmy Kimmel show. 

To everyone’s suprise the entire interview was done in Spanish. 

Whose Spanish is worse???  I say Jimmy Kimmel.

Check it out.  Casa De Mi Padre comes out this Friday and also stars Diego Luna.


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Mexican-American BMX Pro to Star in The Ricardo Laguna Project’ -Reality Show From Wilmer Valderrama

Mexican-American BMX Pro to Star in The Ricardo Laguna Project’ -Reality Show From Wilmer Valderrama

Photo: Mexican-American BMX Pro to Star in The Ricardo Laguna Project'

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Tr3s: MTV, Musica y Mas, the bilingual/bicultural entertainment destination for Latinos in the US, announces the premiere of the new docu-series The Ricardo Laguna Project under Executive Producers Wilmer Valderrama and RelativityREAL. The new series takes a look inside the outrageously amusing life of bilingual/bicultural BMX star Ricardo Laguna as he attempts to break 3 world records and start his own family business—all while balancing his close knit Latin family and the enticing social scene in Las Vegas. Tr3s will produce eight 30-minute episodes of The Ricardo Laguna Project, which premieres every Wednesday at 9pm (ET), starting March 14th, 2012.

“I have a passion for riding and being a part of the community—whether I’m helping kids or building huge dirt jumps at events—and of course I have a lot of fun along the way as it is Vegas, but I’m trying to do it all while building my brand AND in a way that makes my parents proud,” said BMX champ Ricardo Laguna. “There aren’t really any Hispanic riders in BMX that give back so I’m hoping I can be a role model to some of the kids out there. All in a day’s work and I can’t wait for the world to see it!”

Moving from La Paz, Mexico to the states at the age of 13 was a struggle but looking back Ricardo merits his familia for his extraordinary bilingual/bicultural experience. Even after turning pro at 21, Ricardo chose to continue living with his parents. Now at 29, he’s left the nest but didn’t stray too far from home or dinner time with family. Ricardo has been riding for more than a decade and holds multiple titles including the Best Latin-American Dirt Jumper in 2004. Since then, the BMX renaissance man has joined the X Games, competed nationwide and mentored youth across the country - all while keeping a steady (and responsible) presence in the Las Vegas social scene.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Soccer Star Iker Casillas to Wed Journalist Girlfriend

Spanish Soccer Star Iker Casillas to Wed Journalist Girlfriend

Photo: Futboller Iker Casillas and Sara Carbonero to Wed July

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The goaltender and captain of the Spanish national soccer team that won the 2010 World Cup, Iker Casillas, will wed journalist Sara Carbonero in July, the next issue of Lecturas magazine reports on its cover.

The weekly, the next issue of which will be on newsstands on Wednesday, features a close-up of Carbonero and announces her marriage with Casillas with the headline “Wedding in July” in an apparent exclusive that has quickly become the theme of the day on social networks such as Twitter.

Although neither the soccer player nor his fiancee have made any official announcement, according to the magazine, they have already sent out invitations setting the date and location of the nuptials.

The relationship between Casillas and Carbonero burst into the communications media during the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa, which she covered as a reporter.

During the victory celebration, and while he was being interviewed by his girlfriend, Casillas could not resist the impulse to give her a kiss in front of the cameras, an image that was everywhere in the international press the next day.

Since then, the goaltender and the reporter have been on the covers of many magazines.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Genesis Rodriguez in ‘Flaunt Magazine,’ Discusses Working With Will Ferrell in ‘Casa de Mi Padre’

Genesis Rodriguez in ‘Flaunt Magazine,’ Discusses Working With Will Ferrell in ‘Casa de Mi Padre’

Photo: Genesis Rodriguez in 'Flaunt Magazine'

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As the daughter of a Venezuelan icon, Genesis Rodriguez received some great advice when she decided to entered show business Her father told her, “Just do me a favor: take the pressure off. Nobody is telling you to get a job. Just have fun with it. Just take it easy. You’re doing what you like to do, aren’t you?”

Rodriguez recently shared those words with Flaunt Magazine, in which she also posed in sexy photos by Zoey Grossman.

In the recent issue of the magazine, the daughter of Venezuelan singer and actor José Luis “El Puma” Rodríguez discusses her leading-lady role in Casa de Mi Padre alongside Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Diego Luna. In Casa, Rodriguez plays Ferrell’s love interest.

The comedic film opens this Friday, and up next, the Latina stunner stars alongside the Governator in the CIA thriller Last Stand, which she recently began filming in Albuquerque.

To read the rest of the article and see the photos, check out Flaunt Magazine.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Shootout in Mexico Cancels Baseball Game

Shootout in Mexico Cancels Baseball Game

Photo: Saltillo Saraperos Cancel Game after Shootou

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The Saraperos baseball team cancelled an exhibition game in the northern city of Saltillo due to a shootout near its stadium, the Mexican Baseball League said.

The shootout occurred Tuesday about 40 meters (130 feet) from where the team’s bus was parked.

The windshield of the bus ended up with bullet holes, the league said.

“The attack was not aimed at the Saltillo Saraperos baseball team or at the club’s bus,” the Mexican Baseball League said.

No one was wounded in the stadium, but the exhibition game between the Saraperos and a local team was cancelled as a “pecautionary measure,” the league said.

Mexico’s professional baseball teams are gearing up for the 2012 season.

This marked the second cancellation of a sports event in less than a year in Coahuila state, whose capital is Saltillo, due to violence.

The soccer match between Santos Laguna and Morelia was cancelled on Aug. 20, 2011, because of gunfire.

A shootout between police and drug traffickers around Torreon’s Corona stadium caused chaos in the stands, with some soccer fans jumping on the field.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ACLU Says California City Is “Profiting” From Undocumented Immigrants

ACLU Says California City Is “Profiting” From Undocumented Immigrants

Photo: ACLU Says California City Is "Profiting" From Undocumented Immigrants

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Pro-immigrant activists and the American Civil Liberties Union have accused officials in the Southern California city of Escondido of generating ongoing profits from undocumented immigrants by operating highway checkpoints ostensibly targeting drunk drivers and people driving without licenses.

The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties issued a report questioning the rationale for the roadblocks and asked that an independent audit be performed on the program with the purpose of ensuring that the city is not obtaining illegal profits from seizing vehicles.

The checkpoints “are really for immigration, not to identify drunk drivers, and they are resulting in a lack of confidence in the police, fear, panic and separation of families,” Benjamin Prado, an activist with the American Friends Service Committee in San Diego, told Efe.

The report, “Wrong Turn: Escondido’s Checkpoints and Impound Practices Examined,” accuses the city of using the roadblocks as a way to quickly collect millions of dollars, at the same time that it is threatening undocumented immigrants and their families.

Nearly half of the 145,000 people living in Escondido are Hispanic, and they have confronted an anti-immigrant climate in recent years that included a 2006 law prohibiting renting to undocumented people, a measure eventually found to be unconstitutional in the courts.

Activists accuse the city of seeking ways to get around a state law that since Jan. 1 limits the ability of police to confiscate automobiles at roadblocks if the only offense committed by the driver is to be driving without a license, something that the ACLU says was used by Escondido as a tool against undocumented people.

Up until 2009, Escondido had set up roadblocks focused solely on making sure people were driving with valid licenses, a practice that was eliminated in the face of the threat of lawsuits, though not before authorities impounded about 1,000 vehicles.

The ACLU report says that the traffic roadblocks have become immigration roadblocks, something that has been aggravated by an unusual cooperation between the Escondido police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has agents waiting a short distance from the roadblocks ready to detain undocumented people.

“Escondido appears to be justifying discriminatory policies that negatively affect the immigrant population,” Kevin Keenan, executive director of the San Diego ACLU, said. “The city ... should be advancing programs and policies that promote safety and unity, not fear and intimidation.”

The state law requires that cities not charge towing companies more than the actual administrative costs, despite the fact that Escondido’s calculations have risen sharply since 2004 “and include creative and suspect expenses,” according to the ACLU.

“We are not prepared to say that Escondido is committing fraud, but the information that we have strongly suggests that a financial audit is in order,” Keenan said.

Meanwhile, the city police chief, Jim Maher, called the ACLU report biased and said that the roadblocks are designed to make the streets safer, and he also denied that they have any relationship with generating profits.

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayMarch 14, 2012