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ThursdayMarch 29, 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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There is No Mayan Apocalypse Prediction Says Mexican Astronomer

There is No Mayan Apocalypse Prediction Says Mexican Astronomer

Photo: There is No Mayan Apocalypse Prediction Says Mexican Astronomer

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Neither the Mayans’ texts nor their calendar contain predictions of an apocalypse later this year, but regrettably “pseudoscientific media outlets are talking about the end of the world, based on supposed prophecies and the Mayan calendar,” Mexican astronomer Marte Trejo Sandoval said.

The Mayans, who lived in what are now Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador between 800 B.C. and A.D. 900, did not leave behind any texts that contain prophecies about the end of the world on Dec. 21, the astronomer and historian said during a workshop Wednesday in the southeastern Mexican state of Yucatan.

“Astronomy played a fundamental role in knowing when it was time to plant and in following the cycles of the planets, but there are no records that the Mayans saw the end of the world coming. An apocalyptic concept did not exist in that civilization,” Trejo told the Mexico City daily El Universal.

The Mayan long count calendar started 5,125 years ago and ends on Dec. 21, 2012, with a new time cycle starting, but it does not provide an end times prophecy, Trejo said.

The Mayans considered astronomy extremely important, with their cities “laid out in relation to the movement of the sky, their buildings pointing to the sun or the stars that moved,” Trejo said.

“In some codexes, there are images of people with nets, and in the beginning they were interpreted to be about the Mayans’ dedication to weaving, while the truth was that the nets were the equivalent of the reticles used by astronomers today to get the exact positions of the stars and the planets,” Trejo said.

Mayans living in several states in southeastern Mexico marked Dec. 21, 2011, as the start of the last year of the current calendar.

“The days of prayer for the Mayan people” have arrived and “it is time to prepare for a new era,” Mayan chief Santiago Cruz told Efe last year.

“Human beings have to be reborn in these days. We do not believe in disasters, in earthquakes, and that is why whenever we pray, we pray for humanity, we ask that there will be more awareness of the need to protect our land,” the chief said.

The Mayan predictions for December 2012 were about the return of the god Bolon Yokte and not about the end of the world, experts say.

The Dec. 21, 2012, date found on Mayan glyphs led to speculation about Maya prophecies of the end of the world, prompting archaeologists and epigraphists to deny them.

The Mayans created a calendar based on 400-year periods, known as “baktuns,” with each era made up of 13 cycles of 400 years that added up to 5,125 years.

The current era, according to their calculations, would end in December 2012, experts say.

In the Mayan cosmology, a cycle of creation was completed at the end of each era and another began.

Bolon Yokote is a god associated with creation and war that participated in the start of the current era, which began on Aug. 13 of 3114 B.C.

The idea that the pre-Hispanic civilization predicted the end of the world in 2012 has been popular in some New Age circles since the 1970s.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Panga That Washed Ashore in El Segundo Was Carrying 15 Deported Criminals

Panga That Washed Ashore in El Segundo Was Carrying 15 Deported Criminals

Photo: 15 on Panga That Washed Ashore in El Segundo Were Deported Criminals

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A panga that washed ashore in El Segundo Wednesday reportedly carried 20 undocumented immigrants to U.S. shores.

Of the 20 immigrants, more than a dozen of them were criminals who had been deported after being convicted of crimes ranging from murder to burglary. A court affidavit filed by the Sheriff’s Department stated that 14 men and women had prior offenses in the U.S.

Those aboard the smuggling boat said they paid as much as $8,500 just for a seat on the boat, which left from Tijuana Tuesday night. Most were from Mexico, though a man from El Salvador and a woman from China traveled with them.

The captain of the boat is said to have gotten lost and missed the drop off point, and wound up on the beach in El Segundo.

Witnesses had spotted the boat out in the water and called authorities. As the travelers were attempting to push the boat back out to sea police surrounded and arrested them.

The captain, 54-year-old Esteban Sanchez-Hernandez and two other men were arrested and charged with conspiracy to bring immigrants to the U.S.

Had they not been spotted, police say the passengers would have continued on to safe houses in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, where they would have been kept until the smugglers received their fees.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gomez Makes a Wish Come True for a Little Girl Battling Leukemia (VIDEO)

Selena Gomez Makes a Wish Come True for a Little Girl Battling Leukemia (VIDEO)

Photo: Selena Gomez grants Ella her Make-A-Wish request

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In 2010, a little girl named Ella was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Having battled her way through cancer for the last two year, Ella had just one wish, to meet Selena Gomez.

“When you’re the parent of a child with cancer, it just feels like the meanest of the world is just coming down and slapping you in the face,” Ella’s father said. “When the folks from Make-A-Wish told us that she would be able to have a wish, it felt like the whole world was righting some wrong.”

With the help of the Make-A-Wish foundation and X-Box, Ella’s wish became a reality.

With her family by her side, little Ella was able to not only meet Selena, but play video games with her.


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Due to Cost and Availability, Many Latinas Heading into Mexico for Birth Control

Due to Cost and Availability, Many Latinas Heading into Mexico for Birth Control

Photo: Many Latinas Heading into Mexico for Birth Control

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With the high cost of birth control in the U.S. many Latinas have begun crossing into Mexico for their contraceptives.

According to the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH)more Latinas are crossing into Mexico and risking their health to do it, with health experts saying the drugs these women buy in Mexico are not always safe.

Dr. Jorge Galdamez recently spoke with NBC San Diego and said that using the wrong form of birth control can increase users’ risk of heart disease and can even cause a stroke. He adds that it is important for women to speak with their doctors before taking any sort of birth control, as interactions with other medication or the woman’s physiology may cause negative and possibly harmful side effects.

Though debates on birth control and immigration are consistently making headlines, the public discourse over the reproductive healthcare of immigrant women is almost nonexistent, so the idea of heading into Mexico for pills or simply buying them on the black market has been the options for some.

Researcher Dan Grossman of the AJPH published a study in 2010 that focused on women purchasing birth control pills along the El Paso border.

He found that U.S.-born women chose to cross into Mexico to access cheaper birth control that same way others buy various prescription drugs abroad for the lower cost.

“In our research, we found that most of the brands that women were getting in Mexican pharmacies in Ciudad Juarez were the same brands available in the U.S. or in Europe. These are reputable drugs.

“The ideal would be that they should be able to see a doctor or a nurse, get screened and be able to access the method they want free of charge. In a context where a woman has no health insurance, where family planning services are very expensive, and this is the only option, it’s a reasonable option and a lesser evil than going without contraception.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper Call it Quits

Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper Call it Quits

Photo: Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper Call it Quits

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Various sources are reporting that actors Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana have split.

A source recently told E! News that after three months, it was Cooper, 37, who brought on the break up because he didn’t want to be i a relationship right now.

The two began dating not too long after Saldana broke up with her fiance, Keithe Britton, whom she had been with for 10 years.

Just this month Saldana, 33, was seen hanging out with Cooper’s mother Gloria, but it appears that the two may have chosen to stay really good friends, as the source told E!, “They have a great friendship, a natural chemistry and it was for that reason their relationship was able to grow into something more, but the timing was wrong, they are in different places in their lives.”

Saldana and Cooper were recently seen in Canada shooting the film Words, which is scheduled to premiere in September.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cover Image for Jennifer Lopez Single “Dance Again” Feat. Pitbull Revealed

Cover Image for Jennifer Lopez Single “Dance Again” Feat. Pitbull Revealed

Photo: Jennifer Lopez Releases Cover Image for her Single "Dance Again" Feat. Pitbull

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The image for the Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull song “Dance Again” has been released, and no surprise here, J.Lo is looking sexy.

The American Idol judge has said the song itself with be released on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show Friday, March 30, with the video being premiered on Thursday, April 5—the same day the song with be availible to purchase on iTunes.

What do you think? Can Jenny from the block pull out another hit?

In other J.Lo news, her talent competition show with ex-husband Marc Anthony, Q’Viva: The Chosen, has been moved from Fox’s primetime slot on Saturdays to 11 p.m. and the network is trimming the show from 2 hours down to 90 minutes. In its primetime slot, Fox is putting in better-performing COPS. Though Q’Viva performed well on Univision, it failed to capture and an English-speaking audience on Fox.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Don’t Drink and Fly: Yet Another In-Flight Freakout Aboard

Don’t Drink and Fly: Yet Another In-Flight Freakout Aboard

Photo: Peggy S. Albedhady-Sanchez attacked flight attendants en route to Florida

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Some people are not good flyers. Some need a drink (or maybe a Xanax) to calm their nerves. And then there are people like Peggy S. Albedhady-Sanchez who get drunk and try to take out the flight attendants.

On a two-hour flight from Charlotte, NC to Fort Myers, FL, 50-year-old Albedhady-Sanchez of Union City, New Jersey needed a bit of “liquid courage” to get through the trip.

She reportedly mentioned before the flight that she was nervous, but did not give immediate indication that she was going to be a problem passenger. However, about half way through the flight, Albedhady-Sanchez began yelling at a flight attendant who would not serve her alcohol. She quickly became unruly and other attendants attempted to intervene.

A Lee County Florida sheriff’s deputy happened to be traveling as one of the plane’s 135 passengers and helped the crew restrain her, but not before she slapped a male attendant in the face, spit on the face of another, grabbed a female flight attendant, kicked another male attendant in the groin, and damaged part of the aircraft.

Even after she was restrained, Albedhady-Sanchez did not calm down and managed to break an armrest by kicking it.

The plane continued to its Florida destination and Albedhady-Sanchez was arrested by airport police in Fort Myer. She was charged with three counts of battery and one count of interfering with an aircraft.

Albedhady-Sanchez in-flight breakdown have been caused by immense stress as her son Alex Velazquez said she was having marital problems and was grieving over the death of her mother. She was reportedly on her way to Florida to stay with two of her other sons.

This flight freakout came just hours after a JetBlue pilot had to be restrained during a flight from New York to Las Vegas after he started screaming about terrorists bringing the plane down.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Honduran Marital Art Champ Arrested for Strangling Five People

Honduran Marital Art Champ Arrested for Strangling Five People

Photo: Alleged Judo Killer Captured in Honduras

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A martial arts expert who has been a fugitive from justice since May 2010 and is accused of strangling five people was arrested by Honduran police, authorities said Tuesday.

The spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, Melvin Duarte, told Efe that Gandhi Espinal Raudales was arrested several days ago.

In January 2010, the Central American judo champ was arrested and sent to the National Penitentiary, near Tegucigalpa, accused of five homicides, but he escaped four months later.

Prosecutor Grisella Amaya said that “the method he used in all the murders was strangulation.”

Prosecutors link Espinal Raudales to the murder of German citizen Ernst Werner Schweinfurth, 68, who was strangled with a telephone cord on Dec. 17, 2009.

Authorities also suspect him in the deaths of Dafne Ninoska Avilez and Asdrubal Zepeda Avilez, who were strangled on Jan. 7, 2010.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tragedy:  7-year old Street Beggar Murdered in Dominican Republic for $8

Tragedy:  7-year old Street Beggar Murdered in Dominican Republic for $8

Photo: 7-Year old Randy Beltran Murder in Dominican Republic

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Four teenagers, including two Haitians, murdered a 7-year-old boy because they were envious of his ability to get money from drivers while panhandling in Santo Domingo, Dominican police said.

The four suspects, who range in age from 13 to 15, told investigators they took Randy Beltran to a deserted area in the capital’s La Puya district and beat him to death to steal 300 pesos (about $7.70), police said.

Three of the teenagers were arrested by police, who determined that the killers and the victim knew each other.

One of the suspects had recently beaten the small boy, threatened to kill him and stolen 500 pesos (about $12.80) from him, investigators said.

Randy Beltran was reported missing on March 24 and his body was found on Tuesday.

Under Dominican law, those younger than 18 who are convicted of murder can only be made to serve a maximum of five years in prison.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Brazilian President Lula to Return to Public Life with No Specific Plans Yet

Former Brazilian President Lula to Return to Public Life with No Specific Plans Yet

Photo: Former Pres Lula to Return to Public Stage, Brazil

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Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Wednesday that after beating cancer, he plans to return to public life “to help Brazil continue growing and developing.”

“I received the most important news that any human being can receive,” Lula said in a video taped a few hours after doctors confirmed the total disappearance of the tumor they detected in his larynx last October.

The former head of state expressed gratitude to his family, God, the personnel at Sao Paulo’s Sirio Libanes Hospital and offered special thanks to his political protege and successor as president, Dilma Rousseff.

Drawing on her own successful battle with lymphatic cancer in 2009, “comrade Dilma” was among the people who gave him encouragement in “the worst moments,” Lula said.

He also expressed appreciation for the outpouring of support he received from the Brazilian people.

After being diagnosed with cancer on Oct. 29, Lula underwent more than a month of chemotherapy followed by 33 radiation treatments.

He lost around 10 kilos (22 pounds) during the course of the treatment and spent a week in the hospital earlier this month with a case of pneumonia, which his doctors described as normal for a patient whose immune system by radiation.

Though Lula didn’t specify what form his return to public life will take, his Workers Party is counting on the man who governed Brazil from 2003-2011 to stump for its candidates in the October municipal elections.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Catholic Church in El Salvador Gets Gangs to Call a Truce

Catholic Church in El Salvador Gets Gangs to Call a Truce

Photo: Catholic Church in El Salvador Gets Gangs to Call a Truce

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President Mauricio Funes said Wednesday that a truce between El Salvador’s two largest gangs was arranged by the Catholic Church and he insisted his administration did no more than “facilitate” the efforts of the hierarchy.

“The government has not sat down to negotiate with the gangs,” he said in his first public comment on the accord between Mara Salvatrucha 13 and Mara 18, which is being credited with reducing the murder rate by more than half.

The March 9 transfer of jailed leaders of MS-13 and M-18 from maximum security prisons to less oppressive institutions spurred allegations that the Funes administration bargained with the gangs in a bid to reduce violence on the streets.

The prisoners were moved to “facilitate the logistics” for the church-sponsored process with the gangs, Funes told a press conference.

He said he first learned of the talks from Security Minister David Munguia Payes, who was in turn informed by Bishop Fabio Colindres, the prelate in contact with the jailed gang leaders.

Once the gang chiefs “reached an agreement among themselves, not with the government ... it was necessary for them to be able to communicate with their structures ... and that couldn’t be done from a maximum security center,” Funes said.

The church requested the prisoner transfers, which were effected “without breaking the law,” the president said, pointing out that the moves were approved by judges.

Homicides have fallen from around 14 a day to four or five per day since the gang truce took effect, Funes said.

The president said he plans to convene a national dialogue on how to address the problem of violence in El Salvador.

Read more by HS News Staff →



ThursdayMarch 29, 2012