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SaturdayApril 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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Andy Garcia Thrilled to Film in Mexico’s Historical Sites in Upcoming “For Greater Glory” (VIDEO)

Andy Garcia Thrilled to Film in Mexico’s Historical Sites in Upcoming  “For Greater Glory” (VIDEO)

Photo: For Greater Glory

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Actor Andy Garcia told Efe on Friday that it was “wonderful” to be able to shoot his upcoming film, “For Greater Glory,” amid Mexico’s historical landmarks.

The feature film, to premiere in the United States on June 1, is set in the 1926-1929 Cristero War that broke out following an uprising of religious orders against anti-clerical measures imposed by the Mexican government.

Garcia, who is in Miami promoting the movie, said he plays Gen. Enrique Gorostieta Velarde, who, despite being an atheist, decides to organize the rebels in their religious war against the state and finally embraces the Christian faith.

“The film director (Dean Wright) gave me a book on the history of the Cristeros and right away I was hooked,” the actor told Efe.

Garcia, who shares top billing with Eva Longoria, the legendary Peter O’Toole and Ruben Blades, fully believes in the production’s potential to be a box-office hit.

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Spanish King Juan Carlos Breaks Hip on Elephant Hunting Trip in Africa

Spanish King Juan Carlos Breaks Hip on Elephant Hunting Trip in Africa

Photo: The King appeared on the web page of the safari company, Rann Safaris, beside an elephant he killed earlier during the trip

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Spain’s King Juan Carlos broke his hip during a trip in Africa. The royal palace released the statement on Saturday, confirming that it was an accidental fall during a private trip in Botswana.

The AFP reports that the palace said that the 74-year-old king underwent surgery. Spanish media has been reporting that he was in Botswana on an elephant hunting trip, but the palace did not confirm that.

According to CNN, the king fractured three fragments of his right hip. He had reconstruction surgery, with surgeons giving him a prosthetic hip.

Juan Carlos has been criticized by Spanish citizens for his avid elephant hunting, especially after the Spanish media published photos of him standing near a dead elephant, notes The Daily Mail. In addition, the expensive trips are criticized as Spain is gripped by economic turmoil. Nearly 4.75 million Spaniards are unemployed.

The king’s hunting has also caused harm to his own family. The Associated Press reports that his 13-year-old grandson has been in the hospital since last week after he accidentally shot himself with a shotgun. In 1956, Juan Carlos accidentally shot his 14-year-old brother during a vacation in Portugal. Finally, in 2006, a Russian governor accused Juan Carlos of killing a bear.

This is his fourth surgery since 2010. His last surgery was to remove a benign tumor.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Report: Marc Anthony wanted to reconcile with Jennifer Lopez

Report: Marc Anthony wanted to reconcile with Jennifer Lopez

Photo: Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony

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Marc Anthony finally filed for divorce from Jennifer Lopez this week, over eight months after they made their separation public. A possible reason for this might have been that Anthony was hoping that the two might reconcile, but Lopez chose Casper Smart before giving Anthony the chance.

Sources for Earsucker say that Anthony and Lopez met a few weeks ago to discuss their separation, with Anthony leaving it up to Lopez to reconcile. However, she decided that the marriage should end, since she already started a serious relationship with dancer Casper Smart.

According to TMZ, Anthony was surprised by Lopez’s decision. He actually believed that there was a chance that the two, parents to 4-year-old twins Emme and Max, would be able to continue their marriage. He was hurt by her decision and never really thought that the situation was that serious.

Anthony finally filed for divorce Tuesday, citing “irreconcilable differences.” He gave no other details, including the actual date of their separation. In the joint statement that they released last year, they said, “We have come to amicable conclusion on all matters. It is a painful time for all involved, and we appreciate the respect of our privacy at this time.”

He is seeking joint legal and physical custody of their children.

Lopez and Anthony continued their business relationship, even co-hosting the Spanish-language singing competition, Q’Viva! The Chosen, and promoting the show together with interviews.

It is interesting to see that Anthony was willing to give the marriage another try, considering that there were reports in January that he is dating Venezuelan model Shannon de Lima.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Remains of Priestess of the 13th Century Lambayeque Culture Found in Peru

Remains of Priestess of the 13th Century Lambayeque Culture Found in Peru

Photo: Remains of priestess of the Lambayeque culture found in Peru

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Researchers at the Chotuna-Chornancap archaeological digs near the Peruvian city of Chiclayo have found the funerary remains of a woman who was a priestess of the Lambayeque or Sican culture, the project director, Carlos Wester La Torre, told Efe.

The preliminary conclusion of physical anthropologist Mario Millones is that this was a woman between 25-30 years old who lived during the second half of the 13th century A.D. in the waning days of that culture on Peru’s northern coast, whose most important historical figure was the Lord of Sipan, considered the Tutankhamun of America, in the 3rd century A.D.

The research, promoted by Peru’s Culture Ministry, got started eight months ago with an excavation that two months later came upon the tomb, but it wasn’t until a few days ago that the sex and age of the priestess were determined.

The bundle of her possessions found in this tomb at the palace where she undoubtedly lived, together with the remains of another seven individuals, a llama, and “a quantity of really impressive goods in terms of quality and technology,” all point to the high social standing she enjoyed in her lifetime.

“Her youth indicates that the post was hereditary and its functions were eminently religious, related to such rituals as sacrifices, the receipt of offerings, and celebrating changes of the seasons, the moon and the tides,” Wester La Torre said.

She also had contact and relations with neighboring cultures like the Cajamarca and others coming from Ecuador that provided her with shells, gold, ceramics and other of the era’s most prized materials and products.

Also found beside her remains were “ceremonial urns bearing revealing icons and objects including a golden sceptre with the image of a Lambayeque divinity, items she used during her life that testify to her prominence.”

“This is all extraordinary information for us because it clearly places the woman within the power structure of a complex society, and reveals that power and religious hierarchy were not the sole province of men, since there is no reason to think there were not more women just like her,” he said.

Carlos Wester compared this discovery with that of the priestesses found 20 years ago at San Jose de More, women who had held positions of religious power in the Mochica culture, which occupied the northern coast of Peru between 100 B.C. and 700 A.D., and also with the intact mummy of the Lady of Cao, the only woman known to have ruled ancient Peru and who was believed to have had supernatural powers.

The director of the Chotuna-Chornancap archaeological project said that, “curiously, it was in the last years of both cultures that women were seen in religious life and positions of power.”

“We still have to see whether this female presence was a political response of society at a time of crisis in order to regain stability, or was a conscious response to the need to have females in power,” he said.

Though the state of conservation of the skeletal remains is “good in general terms,” they will be removed as a whole “without taking them apart as is usually done,” in order to continue studying them in the laboratory and later exhibiting them as “testimony” to women’s access to power in pre-Columbian civilizations.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Cannibals Accused of Putting Murder Victims Flesh in Empanadas to Eat

Brazil Cannibals Accused of Putting Murder Victims Flesh in Empanadas to Eat

Photo: Brazil Killers Eat Victims Skin and Put in Empanadas

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Three people accused of killing at least three women in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco said they ate some of their victims’ flesh and also used it to make the empanadas they sold to their neighbors, police said Friday.

The accused, a man and two women, were arrested Wednesday in Garanhuns, 234 kilometers (145 miles) from Recife, the state capital, and said they belonged to a sect that received orders from a “voice” to do away with women they considered evil.

The suspects confessed to the homicides, cannibalism and grisly rituals during police interrogations, some details of which were released at a press conference Friday by the officer leading the investigation, Democrito de Oliveira.

Police found the mortal remains of the two women in the patio of the suspects’ house, which was burned down Thursday by their enraged neighbors.

Investigations of the three began last month after Jorge Beltrao Negromonte da Silveira, 51, identified himself as the author of a 2009 book, “Revelations of a Schizophrenic,” in which he reveals details of the supposed sect’s activities.

Along with Da Silveira, police arrested his wife, Isabel Cristina Oliveira da Silva, and his 25-year-old mistress Bruna Cristina Oliveira da Silva, who lived with the couple.

Also living at their house was a 5-year-old girl, suspected to be the daughter of Jessica, a 17-year-old murdered in 2008 in the Recife suburb of Olinda.

Jessica’s death is described in detail in Da Silveira’s book.

“Looking at the now lifeless body of the evil adolescente, I feel relieved. I grab some sheet metal and begin to remove all the skin and then I divide her up…we dine on the flesh of evil as a purification ritual. We bury the remainder in the patio,” one chapter in the book reads.

Besides Jessica and the two women found buried in the patio where the accused lived, police are investigating the three for their possible guilt in at least five other homicides in Pernambuco.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Guayabera by Raul Guerrero

Guayabera by Raul Guerrero

Photo: Guayabera at Summit of the Americas

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Once upon a time, Vice President Dan Quayle, on his way to an official visit to Latin America, lamented not having taken Latin in high school to communicate with his hosts in their native language. President Obama, on the other hand, has mastered key vocabulary in Spanish for the 6th Cumbre de las Américas, the Hemispheric Summit taking place in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Most probably will say: Gracias, Cien años de soledad es una de las mejores novelas de todos los tiempos. Each Head of State will receive a copy of the novel’s new edition celebrating Gabriel García Márquez 85th birthday. Not only that, President Obama will sport a guayabera.

Is the shirt Mexican? Did it originate in the Philippines? Or, as many insist, is Cuban as a hand-rolled habano? Theories abound. One has it that the first guayabera was made for a wealthy Cuban rancher back in the 1700s. Mexicans argue it was invented by Yucatans, descendants of the Mayas. And Filipinos claim they created a similar shirt, the Baron Taglog, two centuries earlier. In Miami, an octogenarian gentleman, playing dominó in Calle Ocho, pointed out that Mexicans probably copied it from a Cuban traveling to their land, and that Baron Taglog is a different animal all together—without pockets! The basic elements of the guayabera accept no debate: two or four patch pockets and two vertical rows of alforzas (fine, tiny pleats, sewn closely together and running along the front and back of the shirt), and the bottom has three-inch slits on both sides.

What about its etymology? There are two main theories. 1. Guayabera derives from guayaba, guava, a yellowish or pink fruit the size of a pear, usually with a sweet-acid taste, which poets have appropriated to symbolize a woman’s lips in the act of kissing. Guayaba is an Arawak word. The Arawak-language predominated in the Greater Antilles. The Taino, an Arawak subgroup, were the first people Columbus encountered in Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic and Haiti). 2. From the Cuban Yayayabo River, and nearby residents, the yayaberos.

Back to La Cumbre de las Américas, sexy and intelligent Shakira will open it interpreting the Colombian National Anthem. The question is, considering the increasing theatrics of politics and the effect a guayabera can have on the man, will President Obama grab a microphone and venture a verse from Las caderas no mienten, Hips don’t lie: no, cuando te veo caminar, no me puedo controlar…

Raul Guerrero is a novelist and essayist, author of the novel INSOLENCE and more recently La dudosa fuga de la cronista LIBERTINA. He directs SalonEspanol.com.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin American Women-Owned Businesses Get a Boost with $55 Million in Financing

Latin American Women-Owned Businesses Get a Boost with $55 Million in Financing

Photo: Women Businesses Latin America

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), will provide up to $55 million to help financial intermediaries in Latin America and the Caribbean implement lending models that support growth in women’s businesses.

The initiative, called women enterpreneurshipBanking, aims to provide incentives to banks and other financial intermediaries to test innovative, inclusive lending models for women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The IDB’s Structured and Corporate Finance Department (SCF), as part of its financial markets strategy’s beyondBanking program, will offer up to $50 million in A/B loans, risk-sharing facilities and partial credit guarantees. The MIF, through its Line of Activity for Promoting Small Enterprise Financing, will provide up to $5 million in grants to transfer knowledge of effective lending models for women-owned SMEs and to train loan officers and credit managers in these products and services.

Under traditional lending models, women can be rejected for credit because of informality, lack of credit histories and collateral, not fitting bank’s marketing strategies or client profiles, low education levels, lack of formal work experience and exclusion from entrepreneurial networks. Microfinance has strengthened women’s access to finance, but despite strong repayment records, women entrepreneurs often cannot access larger business loans to grow their businesses beyond the micro level.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NCLR REPORT:  Latinos More Likely to be Supportove of Gay and Lesbian Rights

NCLR REPORT:  Latinos More Likely to be Supportove of Gay and Lesbian Rights

Photo: Latino Gay Acceptance

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Countering popular assumptions that Hispanics are more anti-gay than other segments of society, a new report co-released by NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS) finds that Latinos are, in fact, as open and tolerant, if not more tolerant, than the general population in the U.S. toward gays and lesbians.

The report, LGBT Acceptance and Support: The Hispanic Perspective, offers an in-depth look at how Latinos view gays and lesbians within their own community and their level of support for LGBT issues.

The report, funded by the Arcus Foundation, notes that Hispanics are actually slightly more inclined to support legal same-sex marriage and to be more accepting of gays and lesbians in society than most Americans. Also, Latinos are just as likely as any other group in the U.S. today to identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender.

“There is a clear misperception among the general population about where Latinos stand on LGBT issues, partly because the media pushes this narrative that the culture and values of Latinos and LGBT progress are simply incompatible,” said David Dutwin, Vice President of SSRS and author of the report. “Such misperceptions manifest in story after story about a particular Hispanic group opposing a gay rights bill, even though this anti-gay sentiment is not reflective of all Latinos. In reality, as society is evolving on LGBT issues and becoming more accepting of this community, so too are Hispanics.”

However, Dutwin points out that Latinos also mirror the general population in that there are groups within the Hispanic community that are more intolerant than others. The highly religious and those less familiar with American cultural values in particular tend to hold less accepting views of LGBTs. Dutwin notes that religious communities that insulate themselves are particularly rigid in their attitudes concerning gays and lesbians.

“Still, across the board, we’re seeing that exposure to the LGBT community is really the key to acceptance and tolerance for Latinos,” added Dutwin. “Many Hispanics come from countries where gays and lesbians are less upfront about their sexuality, so that enables this discomfort toward LGBTs to persist. But the longer these Hispanics live in the U.S. and the more they come into contact with gays and lesbians, the more likely they are to accept them and support pro-LGBT policies such as same-sex marriage.”

Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at NCLR, said that the findings are important and should be discussed and shared widely.

“Latinos, like other Americans, have come a long way in acceptance of the LGBT community,” Rodriguez said. “Without a doubt there is work to be done within our own community to promote acceptance and tolerance, but this report is a strong indication that we are moving in the right direction.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Democracy Now! Reports on Firing of Banned Mexican American Studies Director (VIDEO)

According to Democracy Now.org, Sean Arce, the head of the Tucson school district’s banned Mexican American Studies program, was dismissed this week, amid vocal protests from dozens of supporters.

Tucson’s Mexican American Studies program has been under attack following the passage of a bill which prohibits schools from offering ethnic studies courses. Arce maintains he was fired because he spoke out against what he saw as a discriminatory law targeting Mexican Americans and Latinos. “I, along with many others, stood up and [saw] this law as unconstitutional,” Arce says. “And because we stood up, the district has retaliated.”

Check out Democracy Now’s reporting on this firing in this video report. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanics Love Social Media More Than the General Population

Hispanics Love Social Media More Than the General Population

Photo: Latinos and social media

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Hispanics embrace social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Google+ more than the general population. But when it comes to sharing personal information about themselves, Hispanics are more cautious, according to survey results announced today.

uSamp, a leader in providing targeted audiences for global consumer insights, engaged 650 members from its newly inaugurated Hispanic panel, SuperOpinion.com, to survey participants on their attitudes toward social media compared to the general population.

The survey, captured in an INFOGRAPHIC, found that 90 percent of Hispanics are likely to be on Facebook compared to 81 percent of the general population; 57 percent of Hispanics access YouTube compared to 46 percent of the general population. Hispanics are also overwhelmingly more likely to be on Google+, 47 percent compared with 18 percent of the general population. The only social media platform that Hispanics largely ignore is LinkedIn. Only 4 percent of Hispanics surveyed said they use LinkedIn vs. 21 percent of the general population.

“Social media is a natural fit for Latinos. Latinos, by nature, are innovators. Social media allows us to create, recreate and take a shot at building communities around content that we want,” said Lance Ríos, president and founder, Being Latino, Inc. “Secondarily, Latinos are very loyal consumers. But in order to gain their trust, you have to assure them that you are legitimate. Culturally we tend to be sensitive to giving personal information so easily. Once trust is gained, Latinos will usually open up.”

While Hispanics participate in social media at a higher level than the general population, they are more cautious about what they share.

The uSamp survey revealed that 65 percent of Hispanics are willing to share their names on social media compared to 87.1 percent of the general population. Hispanics are also more reluctant to post their relationship status—only 42.5 percent vs. 73.5 percent of the general population.

Additional survey findings on willingness to share information on social media include:

—Political Affiliation: 29.5 percent of Hispanics willing to share vs. 53 percent of general population

—Preferred Consumer Brands: 68 percent of Hispanics willing to share vs. 77.4 percent of general population

—Personal Photos: 35 percent Hispanics willing vs. 56 percent of general population

—Occupation: 49.3 percent Hispanics willing to share vs. 62.4 percent general population

—Birthdate: 36 percent Hispanics willing to share vs. 49.5 percent of general population

—Education: 59.7 percent Hispanics willing to share vs. 67 percent of general population

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Presidential Candidates Put on the Spot by Video Asking Why They’re Running

Mexican Presidential Candidates Put on the Spot by Video Asking Why They’re Running

Photo: Mexican Presidential Candidates Put on the Spot by Video Asking Why They're Running

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A video in which children ask Mexico’s 2012 presidential hopefuls whether they really want to change the country or are just seeking the office for its own sake has already topped 2.7 million views on YouTube.

“Inconvenient children question the candidates,” launched this week by the group Our Future Mexico with sponsorship from insurer GNP, features the kids in dramatic depictions of present evils such as gangland violence and corruption.

“If this is the future that awaits me, I don’t want it. Enough of working for the (political) parties and not for us. Enough of running the country from above,” a girl says near the end of the four-minute clip.

“Doña Josefina, Don Andres Manuel, Don Enrique, Don Gabriel: time is running out, Mexico is touching bottom. Will you only run for the (presidential) chair or will you change the future of our country,” she adds.

The four candidates whose names will be on the ballot in the July 1 election - Enrique Peña Nieto, Josefina Vazquez Mota, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Gabriel Quadri - have already offered responses to the kids’ message.

Front-runner Peña Nieto, of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, praised the video for reflecting “the crisis Mexico is living today, of violence, of insecurity, of lack of opportunity” and said his aim is to restore peace.

The candidate of the governing rightist National Action Party, Vazquez Mota, said she would meet with the people who made the video, while leftist Lopez Obrador said the clip’s portrait of contemporary Mexico is accurate.

Quadri, representing the small Panal party, urged the group behind the video to present positive proposals and to examine his proposal to revolutionize the Mexican educational system.

More broadly, reaction to the video was divided. While some criticized the use of children to portray criminals, abusive cops and corrupt officials, others hailed the campaign for trying to awaken Mexico’s conscience.

PRI legislator Miguel Angel Garcia called the short film sensationalist and said it should be withdrawn.

Sens. Carlos Navarrete and Ruben Camarillo - from the left and the right, respectively - rejected the idea of pulling the video even as they asked electoral authorities to investigate whether the clip violates laws regulating the dissemination of political propaganda.

“What we wanted was to sensitize” Mexican society and make people see that “changing the course is in everyone’s hands,” the public relations director of Our Future Mexico, Monica Mejia, told Efe.

During the filming, she said, the children “were very committed to be able to reflect in a realistic way what they are experiencing and what they know is happening in our country.”

The kids’ parents were present throughout the filming of the video, Mejia said.

Watch Nuestro Mexico del Futuro’s video’s here.

Read more by HS News Staff →

What’s a Mom Worth? Check Out Annual Salary Here

What’s a Mom Worth? Check Out Annual Salary Here

Photo: Salary for Moms

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With Mother’s Day less than a month away, moms are top of mind. This week, Salary.com released its yearly average for what stay-at-home and working mothers would make if they were paid an annual salary for their work.

“The data really speaks for itself – a mother’s work is valuable and tangible,” said Abby Euler, general manager at Salary.com.  “We want to make sure that moms get the recognition and appreciation they deserve.”

For the 12th consecutive year, Salary.com’s Mom Salary Wizard has helped put a real dollar amount on all that moms do, both in and out of the home. The company collects data from actual mothers – both stay-at-home and working – to provide how many hours go into their mothering duties at home.

This year more than 8,000 moms quantified their hours by job description in order to compute the yearly average. Based on this data, Salary.com determined that the average stay-at-home mom juggles a 94.7 hour work week and a working mom manages 57.9 hours of work at home per week, in addition to the time she spends at work.

Taking into account overtime and using salary data provided by employers, an average stay-at-home mom’s 2012 total salary would be $112,962. A working mom’s at-home 2012 salary would be $66,979. A working mom’s at-home salary should be combined with her actual work salary in order to determine her yearly compensation.

Moms and their families can visit Salary.com’s Mom Salary Wizard (http://mom.salary.com) to calculate Mom’s salary and create a “mom paycheck” for Mother’s Day.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayApril 14, 2012