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FridayMarch 23, 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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Immigration Judge Delays Deportation of Gay Mexican Man Married to U.S. Citizen

Immigration Judge Delays Deportation of Gay Mexican Man Married to U.S. Citizen

Photo: Judge delays deportation of Brian Willingham's husband Alfonso Garcia

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An immigration judge in California decided to delay the deportation of an undocumented Mexican immigrant who wed his U.S. citizen partner in New York, where same-sex unions are recognized.

At a hearing on Thursday, a judge of the San Francisco Immigration Court postponed the deportation of Alfonso Garcia, 35, a Mexican who last year married Brian Willingham, 37. Both said they had been together for close to 10 years.

“It was a very positive response,” Lavi Soloway, the attorney representing Alfonso Garcia and Brian Willingham and who is also the founder of the Stop The Deportations-The DOMA Project organization, told Efe.

According to the attorney, the judge scheduled a new hearing for Oct. 23, giving Garcia time to complete the required procedures with immigration authorities while trying to find the best solution to the case.

Soloway believes the best solution would be for the authorities to cancel the deportation process and allow the Mexican to seek naturalization in the United States.

While the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act does not recognize same-sex unions as valid in immigration matters, Thursday’s decision opens another door of hope to undocumented immigrants with same-sex partners.

“It’s time the government acknowledged the marriage rights of same-sex couples,” Garcia, who was brought to the United States from Mexico as a boy and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 21 years, said Friday.

His parents, who are legal residents, have applied for U.S. citizenship.

Soloway stressed that Garcia’s situation could be aided by the new guidelines for applying immigration laws, since they are more favorable to putting off the deportation of people who represent no danger to society and have committed no serious crimes.

“Nonetheless, we want the process to be applied taking into account Garcia’s legal marriage to a U.S. citizen and his application for legal residence for that reason,” Soloway said.

Garcia was placed in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on July 1, 2011, after a routine traffic stop during which his undocumented status was discovered.

For the Mexican that meant spending time in jail and, when he was released, facing the process of a possible deportation.

If he is deported, Garcia would not be allowed back in the United States for 10 years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Barcelona Coach Angry With Soccer Star Pique for White-Water Rafting with Shakira

Barcelona Coach Angry With Soccer Star Pique for White-Water Rafting with Shakira

Photo: Coach Angry With Soccer Star Pique for White-Water Rafting with Shakira

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Barcelona’s head coach appears to be getting increasingly frustrated with one of his defender’s choice in off-time activities with girlfriend Shakira.

Coach Pep Guardiola is said to be furious that 25-year-old Gerard Pique is taking part in dangerous activities like white-water rafting and jet skiing despite such activities being forbidden by the club.

Goal.com reportedly spoke with someone close to the Barcelona club saying Guardiola’s frustration with the player began in the summer after both he and Shakira posted about their white-water rafting excursion on social media sites. Guardiola was not only upset that Pique was rafting, but also because photos and remarks were being made showing everyone his defiance of club rules.

Though he has been warned many times, Pique continues to annoy his coach by taking part in risky activities and getting injured when he finally put back on the field.

He only added to the doubts about his concentration on matches when he parked in a bus lane, left his car door open, and had it ripped off by a passing car.

The unidentified source said, “That’s why he didn’t play in Germany. The thinking was: if he could allow himself to be so distracted in public, what would he be capable of on the pitch.”

And though Guardiola recently said he was not thinking of getting rid of Pique, and the team’s president has dispelled the rumors of his dismissal, many are wondering him Pique’s jaunts with Shakira with ultimately get him dumped…by the team that is.

Read more at Goal.com →

Papal Visit:  Catholic Church Facts for Mexico and Cuba

Papal Visit:  Catholic Church Facts for Mexico and Cuba

Photo: Pope Benedict Arriving in Mexico

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Hours before Pope Benedict XVI is to land in Guanajuato, Mexico the Vatican has released statistical information on Mexico and Cuba.  The Pope has events schedule in three cities in Guanajuato during his March 23-26 visit, he is due to land in Mexico at 5:30 CST. 

He is in Mexico to mark the two hundredth anniversary of the independence of Mexico and the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the image of “Nuestra Senora de la Caridad del Cobre,” in Cuba.

On March 26th he leaves for Santiago, Cuba.  This will be first trip to Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America.

The information provided by Vatican Information Services show that 91.89% percent of Mexicans are Catholic or approximately 99,635,000 people.  Mexican Catholics are serviced by 6,744 parishes with over 16,000 priests.  Close to 2 million students in Mexico attend Catholic schools at all levels. 

In Cuba 60.19% of Cubans are Catholic or approximately 6,766,000 people.  There are 304 parishes serving the Catholics on the island with 361 priests.  There are 12 Catholic education centers serving over one thousand students.

Both countries have their welcome carpet out for ‘El Papa’. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Ban on Bullfighting Bill in Mexico Advances

Ban on Bullfighting Bill in Mexico Advances

Photo: Bullfighting in Mexico Ban Moves Forward

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A commission of the Legislative assembly (local congress) of the Federal District (ALDF) approved a bill that bans bullfighting in the capital city of Mexico City.

The bill, which will go to forward for discussion and vote, was approved by the Commission of Public Administration (ALDF) by three votes. Two legislators dissented, one of which left the room during the voting.

Those who dissented explained that stopping the bullfights would increase unemployment in the population. They also argued that of the forums held to hear the arguments for and against the bullfighting, only the opposing side was heard.

Civil organizations who defend animal rights expressed their satisfaction with the decision, and see it a step further in stopping animal abuse. The Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) celebrated the passing of the bill and even called it “historic” stated sources.

The bill is now set to be heard by the General Assembly in the session period which end on the April 30th.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The “Pope’s Crocodile” Arrives in Cuba

The “Pope’s Crocodile” Arrives in Cuba

Photo: The Pope's crocodile

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The “Pope’s crocodile”, shown to Pope Benedict XVI in a general audience hearing held at the Vatican, will be returned to Cuba’s National Zoo, announced officials.

The reptile was donated to Benedict XVI in January, in celebration of Rome’s Bio Park Zoo centenary. The park, which contains 1,200 animals, received the crocodile after it was accidentally stolen from Cuba by an Italian tourist.

The 40 cm long specimen, which belongs to the endangered species “crocodylus rhombifer”, is three years old. Currently, there are only 5,000 specimens found in their natural habitat of La Isla de la Juventud, Cuba.

The crocodile was named the ambassador for environmental protection and is marked as a special gift by the Pope, who is know for his love of nature and the environment.

According to reports, the crocodile will be traveling today and is set to arrive to the island three days before the pope’s visit. Upon arrival, the small animal will be given back to Cuba’s National Zoo by representatives from Rome’s Bio Park Zoo. 

After spending some time under veterinary supervision , the rare crocodile will be released back into the wild.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mel Gibson Selling Costa Rica Estate for $29.8 million

Mel Gibson Selling Costa Rica Estate for $29.8 million

Photo: Mel Gibson's Estate in Costa Rica

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Oscar-winning actor and director Mel Gibson has put his holiday home in Costa Rica on the market after family troubles. The recently divorced actor owns several holiday properties around the world including Australia and a private island in Fiji.

The 500-acre home in Costa Rica is on a hill-top, and includes a beachfront view and is alongside an exotic jungle. The main residence of the property is a two-story house with seven bedroom, eight bathrooms, a large courtyard, and a swimming pool all in hacienda-style. A small Balinese entertaining house, a restaurant, and another small cottage in the jungle are all included in the overall property.

He initially placed the property on the market in 2010 for $35 million.

Gibson has 7 children from his 26 year-long marriage with Robyn Moore  that ended in divorce in 2009. He also has one child from his relationship with Oksana Grigorieva, a Russian pianist, which also ended in a bitter breakup.

According to reports, Gibson used the home during his legal troubles with Girgorieva and was photographed there in 2009 before his divorce. The estate was used frequently by his large family before the troubles of his personal life. Along with these troubles, his acting roles have also diminished due to controversies after several anti-Semitic remarks he made during DUI arrest in 2006.

Read more by HS News Staff →

California Latinos Demand More Diversity Amongst Elected Officials

California Latinos Demand More Diversity Amongst Elected Officials

Photo: California Latinos Want More Diverse Elected Officials

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Hispanic leaders say that in California there are many cities in which the political leaders, in the city councils, for instance, do not reflect the ethnic diversity in society.

“Democracy in the United States doesn’t work well because it’s designed to discriminate against the minorities,” Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velasquez Institute, a non-partisan public policy analysis organization, told Efe.

“Therefore, we’ve used the Voting Rights Act to improve the system on several occasions in California and the result of those legal battles is that today we have a Latina on the board of supervisors of Los Angeles (County) named Gloria Molina,” he said.

Gonzalez said that using 2010 Census data, several organizations are analyzing each city in California to measure if minorities are being appropriately represented in the posts that are filled by popular election.

“California has 500 municipalities in which - in posts like legislators, municipal councilors and mayors, among others - there are some 9,000 posts for elected officials,” he said.

“But despite the fact that we Latinos are about 40 percent (of the population) in California and 23 percent of the electorate, there are only about 1,000 Latino officials. That is, just 10 percent of the elected officials are Hispanics. We call that inequality,” he emphasized.

The 2010 Census shows the U.S. population to be 308 million, of which 16 percent are Hispanic.

“One emblematic city in Southern California is Whittier, where despite the fact that 40 percent of the population is Hispanic, there has never been a Latino on the municipal council,” he said.

Gonzalez went on to say that in California there are about 3 million Latino voters and another 1.5 million who are eligible to vote but have never registered.

“So the call to Latinos is to register to vote and to those who have already been residents for five years it’s to become U.S. citizens and vote. That’s the way for them to fulfill their responsibilities,” he said.

Robert Rubin, attorney and legal director for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, told Efe that the supremacy of whites among the ranks of political officials is due to the system for large elections for city councils and school boards.

“Therefore, the politicians racially polarize the vote and those who win are those who are in the majority, like the whites,” he said. “With that system, the majority voters control 100 percent of the seats.”

“The solution would be voting by districts in which ... those communities, where Latinos or Asians live, propose and vote for their (own) candidates,” Rubin said.

The attorney pointed to the Northern California city of Santa Clara where “despite the fact that 28 percent of the population is Asian and 16 percent Latino, on the municipal council they’re all white.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Free Viagra for Erectile Dysfunction in Santa Fe Province, Argentina

Free Viagra for Erectile Dysfunction in Santa Fe Province, Argentina

Photo: Free Viagra in Santa Fe, Argentina

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The government of the central Argentine province of Santa Fe will manufacture the drug sildenafil, better known under the brandname Viagra, and will distribute it free to males with erectile dysfunction.

The drug will be manufactured in the state-run Pharmaceutical Industrial Laboratory and distributed “under strict medical prescription” in public hospitals, provincial Health Minister Miguel Cappiello told the media.

He said that the laboratory is working to produce pills for adults suffering from erectile dysfunction and on a syrup to treat children suffering from pulmonary hypertension.

“They’re moving forward on the trials to produce sildenafil, which will be distributed free among those who need it, to deal with different conditions within the framework of the public policies on the production of medications,” he said.

Cappiello went on to say that the decision to produce sildenafil arose “in the face of the need to have a medicinal (approach) to treat pediatric pulmonary hypertension.”

“Simultaneously, they’re developing the formula for sildenafil, 50 mg in pill form, usually prescribed for erectile dysfunction,” he added.

The minister insisted that the distribution of Viagra “will be free and under obligatory medical prescription” and that “other provinces” in the country are interested in buying the drug from Santa Fe to foster similar policies.

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY:  Colorado Latino Kids Three Times More Likely to Be Obese

STUDY:  Colorado Latino Kids Three Times More Likely to Be Obese

Photo: Obesity Amongst Latino Kids Problem Colorado

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Latino children in Colorado are three times more likely to suffer from obesity than their white non-Hispanic peers, a new study shows.

Fourteen percent of the state’s youngsters are obese and a third of children exercise less than 20 minutes per week, the Colorado Health Foundation says in its annual report card.

A lack of access to prenatal and dental care also remains a problem, especially for low-income and minority families, the CHF found.

The report card looks at 38 health indicators across five stages of life: early childhood; childhood; adolescence; adulthood; and old age.

Almost a quarter of Colorado children do not go the dentist for regular checkups or preventive care, while 25 percent of teens in the state drink alcohol at least five times a week, according to the report.

Though Colorado prides itself on having one of the most physically fit populations in the United States, CHF said its 2011 study found little overall improvement in health indices from the first report card in 2006.

Economic woes and rising healthcare costs have diminished working families’ access to quality medical services and prevention programs, CHF said.

Read more by HS News Staff →



FridayMarch 23, 2012