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MondayApril 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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LATINO BLOTTER: Woman Guilty of Running Both Maid Service and Brothel with Undocumented Women

LATINO BLOTTER: Woman Guilty of Running Both Maid Service and Brothel with Undocumented Women

Photo: Undocumented Maids and Hookers in Georgia

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Luiz M. Gutierrez, 56, of Marietta, pleaded guilty today in federal district court to conspiracy to entice individuals to cross state lines to engage in prostitution and to encourage and induce aliens to reside unlawfully in the United States.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: Gutierrez operated a house of prostitution in Marietta, Georgia, in which she employed illegal aliens, both as house caretakers and prostitutes. In addition to employing prostitutes who lived in Georgia, Gutierrez regularly solicited illegal alien prostitutes living in other states, including Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and Massachusetts, to travel to Georgia, where they worked for Gutierrez and Epifania Sanchez Delarosa, her co-defendant, who also allegedly operated brothels.

Gutierrez also recruited prostitutes who lived in Georgia to travel to Alabama to work for an associate of Gutierrez who owned and managed brothels in that state.

Gutierrez was indicted on December 6, 2011 on two counts of conspiracy, two counts of enticing individuals to cross state lines to engage in prostitution, and two counts of encouraging and inducing aliens to reside unlawfully in the United States. She pleaded guilty to one conspiracy count. She could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 10, 2012.

Read more by HS News Staff →

States Pick Side in Arizona Immigration Debate before Supreme Court

States Pick Side in Arizona Immigration Debate before Supreme Court

Photo: Supreme Court to Hear Arizona Immigration Case

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The U.S. Supreme Court case over Arizona’s latest anti-immigration law, scheduled for a hearing next week, hinges largely on the question of where states’ power over immigration ends and federal power begins. But in a sign of how contentious the case is, many states are supporting the federal government instead of Arizona.

Eleven states, all represented by Democratic attorneys general, warned the justices that Arizona’s law reached too far and undermined the immigration policy of the United States. However much Arizona may disagree with federal policies on immigration enforcement, they wrote in a friend-of-the-court brief, “it cannot operate its own unilateral removal policy outside of any federal oversight.”

The case, Arizona v. United States, centers on a law passed by Arizona lawmakers two years ago, known as Senate Bill 1070. The measure requires local police to check the immigration status of a criminal suspect if they have “reasonable suspicion” that the suspect is in the country illegally. The Obama administration sued to block the law, and most of the law is on hold during the appeal.

Sixteen states support Arizona’s position. Of those, all but West Virginia are represented by Republican attorneys general. They say that Arizona’s law does not interfere with federal immigration policies, and in fact, the measure helps the federal government enforce its own immigration laws.

Read more at Daniel C. Vock for Stateline →

Rubio and Romney Together on the Campaign Trail

Rubio and Romney Together on the Campaign Trail

Photo: Marco Rubio is said to be the VP nominee for Republicans.

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As the Republican Party solidifies Romney as their choice for the GOP Presidential nominee, the time has come for his running mate to be chosen.

So far, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) remains for many a very plausible pick besides Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who left the presidential race early this month. Rubio, however, tried to deter his focus from the VP race when he told CNN that he intends to “respect [the] process “of Romney’s choice.

Rubio and Romney already began to hit the campaign road together and appeared at a town hall meeting in Ashton, Pa. around 1 p.m. today. The joint event was planned soon after Romney’s appearance at a forum of Hispanic business leaders in Arizona.

The topic of illegal immigration has begun taking a constant spotlight, as proceedings for the Supreme Courts hearing of the oral arguments on Arizona’s immigration law is only two days away.

Romney sided with Barack Obama by pushing a softened tone towards immigrants in regards to federal student loan aid. He also was said to be reviewing a proposal by Rubio to permit visas for some children brought illegally to the U.S. by their immigrant parents.

Rubio’s work on the new GOP version of the DREAM Act proposal is under evaluation by Romney, in fact he stated “it has many features to commend it” and was “something we’re studying”.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Actors Disappear after Arriving in U.S. For Tribeca Film Festival

Cuban Actors Disappear after Arriving in U.S. For Tribeca Film Festival

Photo: Anailin de la Rua and Javier Nuñez Florian

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Two Cuban actors, stars of a film about the adventures of three young people trying to leave Cuba, disappeared over the weekend after setting foot on U.S. soil on their trip from the island to present the movie at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, U.S. media outlets reported.

Anailin de la Rua and Javier Nuñez Florian, both 20, left Cuba with other members of the cast to take part in the premiere of “Una Noche” (One Night) at the famed film festival, The Huffington Post reported.

The two, however, left their colleagues when they made a stopover in Miami, actor Daniel Arrechada, 20, told The Huffington Post.

“I’m here alone in New York,” Arrechada told the online daily, adding that he will definitely be going back to Cuba: “I have my family there, my friends, my girlfriend. Here, I don’t know anyone. Here, I don’t know the way of life. I also don’t know English very well.”

At any rate, he had no wish to judge his fellow actors.

“That’s their choice, you know? That’s their way of thinking. No one is forced to stay. And no one is forced to go back. If you want to stay in the United States, I think, well, stay. If you want to go back, go back. Not all of us have to stay and not all of us have to go back. It’s about what you want to do with your life,” he said.

The online daily said that the British director of the film, Lucy Mulloy, was somewhat “disappointed and surprised by the actors’ decision, but understands it.”

“I really was thinking that they were going to come here and enjoy the festival. They made a decision, I guess,” said Mulloy, who wrote the screenplay for the film after living several months in Cuba and hearing many “stories about people who had left” the island.

“I just hope that they’re safe and well,” Mulloy said.

The filmmaker said she was surprised because “they had all of their family there. But things can be difficult in Cuba. There’s an embargo and so there’s a lot of challenges for people living in Cuba.”

“Una Noche,” a co-production of Cuba, the United States and Britain, is seeking the best narrative prize at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The movie tells the story of Raul and Elio, two Cuban teenagers who face the difficulties of leaving the island in search of a better life in Miami. The two build a raft but, contrary to their plans, the sister of one of them named Lila chooses to go along with them.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Boston to Ensure Equal Opportunities for English Language Learner Students

Boston to Ensure Equal Opportunities for English Language Learner Students

Photo: English Language Learner in Boston

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The Department of Justice and the Department of Education reached agreement with the Boston Public Schools (the district) and its superintendent today to ensure that English Language Learner (ELL) students in Boston receive the services and supports they need to overcome language barriers. 

This agreement replaces an interim settlement agreement entered on Oct. 1, 2010, which required the district to implement short-term remedies to ensure that thousands of students improperly excluded from the district’s ELL programs were promptly assessed and provided services.

The agreement requires the district to continue its efforts to accurately identify and place ELL students, and further ensures that ELL students, who face unique challenges, including students with interrupted former education and students with disabilities, receive assessments and services that are specially designed to address and ameliorate those challenges.  The agreement also affords ELL students greater access to the higher-level learning opportunities in the district.

“ Our education system must provide our children with opportunities to develop into productive citizens regardless of their proficiency in English.  When English language learners lack properly trained teachers, those opportunities are curtailed,” said U.S.  Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Five Puerto Rican High School Students Prepare for National Science Bowl

Five students from Notre Dame High School in the San Juan suburb of Caguas will travel to Washington this week to represent Puerto Rico in the National Science Bowl.

The competition, which is attended by more than 5,000 students and is organized by the U.S. Department of Energy, focuses on questions in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, earth sciences and astronomy.

The concept of the contest is the same one behind the television program “Jeopardy,” in which a master of ceremonies poses questions to the contestants and they have to answer as quickly as possible.

Sergio Falcon, Gabriel Pacheco, Diomedes Dieppa, Jeancarlos Velez and Sebastian Santiago comprise the group that will represent Puerto Rico at the event.

The students were able to qualify Puerto Rico for the competition after winning the regional contests.

The 17-year-old Falcon, who will compete in the area of chemistry, explained in an interview with Efe that since last summer he and his teammates have been studying and taking advanced courses to prepare themselves for the Science Bowl.

“It’s just like all year, but we like it and we don’t stop studying. We’re fanatics about science, but that’s normal,” Falcon said.

The aspiring scientist, who hopes to attend MIT, emphasized that winning the competition “is the goal I’ve been seeking for all of high school.”

He said that his interest in participating in the Science Bowl started four years ago when he entered high school and saw that other students had been in contests and he wanted to do the same.

He also said that the decision to divide the science categories among the team members was made because of the specific knowledge of each of them.

Falcon is also a member of his school’s robotics team, which has distinguished itself in competitions with other institutions in Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, Pacheco, will compete in the area of energy, where he will be asked questions about the different types of energy or about the motors used by various machines.

Also, Dieppa will compete in earth sciences and astronomy, Santiago in physics and Velez in biology.

The first edition of the National Science Bowl was held in 1991 as a way to motivate students to improve their academic standings in the sciences and thus get them on the road to attending college.

The Science Bowl is the only science competition in the United States that is supported by a federal agency.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latina Teen Who Faked Deadly Cancer and Raised $17,000 Arrested

Latina Teen Who Faked Deadly Cancer and Raised $17,000 Arrested

Photo: Angie Gomez Arrested

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UPDATE:  dated April 23, 2012

Angie Gomez, 19, has been arrested by El Paso, Texas authorities on charged of theft-by-deception stemming from her fraudulent fundraising for her cancer, which she never had.  Last year the teen told classmates at Horizon High School her childhood leukemia had return and it was fatal.  Everyone in school and the community rallied around her and her ‘Achieve the Dream Foundation’ raising money.  It is not known if she ever returned the $17,000 raised.

A Texas grand jury indicted Gomez and was shortly arrested thereafter. 


ORIGINAL STORY dated September 15, 2011

Angie Gómez told everyone she had leukemia, and 6 months to live. She raised $17,000 in donations before it surfaced that she was lying.

Halfway through her senior year of High School, 18 year-old Angie Gómez told classmates and teachers at Horizon City High School she was suffering from an aggressive resurgence of leukemia, an illness she had already battled as a toddler and could kill her before graduation.

In a few months she garnered the sympathy of her entire community, who helped her create the “Achieve the Dream Foundation” to help families of children with leukemia; donations reached the $17,000 mark, on top of a “Dream Prom” for Angie, who said she missed her high school’s prom because she was receiving medical treatment.

Her courage and positive attitude soon became a symbol of inspiration, she was invited to speak in other schools, she was interviewed and media sources ran several pieces about her “story of hope”.

After she graduated High School, people became suspicious, she had said doctors gave her six months, but other than a few and far between fainting-like episodes, she looked fine.

Police investigated her claims for three months and found no medical records; nobody by her name had ever been treated at the hospitals she claimed she practically lived in as a toddler, it was all a lie.

State felony charges were filed against Gómez earlier this week; the district attorney’s office is reviewing the case before considering an arrest.

It is unclear how Gómez kept her foundation and six months worth of media and community attention from her parents.  She has not provided any comments after being caught in her lies; a sign posted in the window of her parents home says “No comment, call the detective.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Miguel Fernandez Annicaert Admits to Using Phone Camera to Look Under Skirts

LATINO BLOTTER: Miguel Fernandez Annicaert Admits to Using Phone Camera to Look Under Skirts

Photo: Miguel Fernandez Annicaert Admits to Using Phone Camera to Look Under Skirts

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A sworn complaint has been filed against Florida man who has admitted to using his cellphone camera to photograph and record video up women’s skirts and dresses.

Gainesville police say bartender Miguel Fernandez Annicaert, 29, has been charged with video voyeurism after he was caught by a Target employee monitoring video surveillance.

In the footage, Fernandez Annicaert is seen placing his phone in a shopper’s basket and sliding it underneath women in skirts or dresses.

The employee alerted police, and when questioned, Fernandez Annicaert admitted to using his phone’s camera to spy on women it Walmart, Publix, and Walgreens. He told police he would search the stores until he found a woman in a skirt or dress.

One woman identified in the surveillance footage was told of the gross invasion of privacy and she said she was aware that a man had gotten relatively close to her, but was unaware that he was recording under her dress.

Police have asked that anyone who may have been in the Archer Road-area stores in dresses or skirts recently to call detectives at the Gainesville Police Department.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Zimmerman’s Release Strikes a Chord Wth Many- Twitter Erupts with “Kill that Mexican” Posts

Zimmerman’s Release Strikes a Chord Wth Many- Twitter Erupts with “Kill that Mexican” Posts

Photo: Zimmerman's Release Strikes a Chord Wth Many- Twitter Erupts with "Kill that Mexican" Posts

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It would appear that some on Twitter have not read one rather important rule:

You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.

Upon hearing that George Zimmerman, 28, the man who claims he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense, was out on bail, a number of tweeters took to Twitter to share their anger. However, there were a few who used the social media site to share their dislike of the “Mexican” known as Zimmerman.

Here are a few of the Zimmerman-aimed tweets:

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Angelina Jolie Meets With Refugees and Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, in Ecuador

Angelina Jolie Meets With Refugees and Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, in Ecuador

Photo: Angelina Jolie Meets With Refugees and Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, in Ecuador

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Newly engaged United Nations Ambassador Angelina Jolie was in Ecuador over the weekend speaking with both Colombian refugees who now reside in the country and Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino.

The 36-year-old was recently in the news for recently getting engaged to long-time partner and father of her children, Brad Pitt. The family was in the Galapagos Islands reportedly celebrating the engagement. However, Jolie did not celebrate for long before she headed over to Ecuador.

In 2001, Jolie was name a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador. She reportedly became personally aware of worldwide humanitarian crises while filming in Cambodia and soon after contacted the UNHCR to learn about ways to assist the organization.

On April 17, 2012, after more than 10 years service as a Goodwill Ambassador, Jolie was promoted to Special Envoy of High Commissioner António Guterres. As Special Envoy, she represents the UNHCR and High Commissioner António Guterres at the diplomatic level and works to facilitate long-term solutions for people displaced by large-scale crises.

Jolie’s two-day visit began on Saturday in Lago Agrio, capital of Sucumbios province in the north of the country. She visited the oil town’s San Valentin neighbourhood, where she met young Colombian refugees and Ecuadoreans who were part of a youth group supported by UNHCR. They told her about their tough lives in an area where the young are often targets for recruitment by armed groups and traffickers.

Jolie was in Ecuador to assess the situation in urban and rural areas for refugees from Colombia, where almost 50 years of conflict have also left some 4 million people internally displaced.

Ecuador hosts 56,000 refugees and 21,000 asylum-seekers and receives 1,300 new applications for protection each month from people fleeing neighbouring Colombia’s continuing violence. Many live in the remote and poor northern areas of the country close to the border.

Jolie’s trip marks her third trip to meet Colombian refugees in Ecuador. Also on Sunday, the Special Envoy met with Patiño (and senior government officials) to discuss the protection situation for refugees in Ecuador on behalf of UNHCR. She urged the Minister to ensure his government maintains Ecuador’s long history of protecting refugees and that people in need of protection can access their rights.

She said UNHCR would recognize Ecuador’s contribution to refugee protection in a new awareness campaign entitled, “Gracias Ecuador” (“Thanks Ecuador”).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rebecca Restrepo Named Elizabeth Arden’s First Global Makeup Artist

Rebecca Restrepo Named Elizabeth Arden’s First Global Makeup Artist

Photo: Rebecca Restrepo Named Elizabeth Arden's First Global Makeup Artist

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Elizabeth Arden, Inc. names Rebecca Restrepo as the brand’s first ever Global Makeup Artist. Restrepo will serve as a spokesperson and the brand’s ambassador for global employee, consumer and customer marketing communications.

In this newly created position, Restrepo will serve as a spokesperson, brand ambassador and creative advisor working closely with the brand on everything from trend forecasting to beauty consultant training.  As the company’s lead makeup artist, Restrepo will work on photo shoots, film makeup tutorials and share expert advice with consumers through Elizabeth Arden’s social media channels and on-counter tools.

In addition to supporting the brand’s core beliefs, Elizabeth Arden searched for a makeup artist who could help them inspire, educate and connect their global community. Restrepo has traveled the world seeking new trends and inspiration.

Image“I’m honored to join the Elizabeth Arden family. The legacy of Elizabeth Arden – both the woman and the brand – is inspiring,” said Restrepo.  “As an artist, it is exciting to partner with a brand that not only makes quality products, but also shares my passion for making beauty accessible to all women.”

Known for using makeup to accentuate her clients’ natural beauty, Restrepo’s passion, personality and poise have helped her create a thriving international career that spans editorial, advertising and red carpets. Her work has graced the pages of countless beauty and fashion publications and she has built a loyal celebrity following. 

Born and raised in New York of Colombian heritage, Rebecca’s pursuit of makeup began after studying painting at SVA. She began working behind the counter for M.A.C. and Lancôme, and her exceptional ability to transform real women soon stood out and she has used this background to become the makeup artist she is today. She has gone on to work with some of the most esteemed photographers in the industry – Annie Leibovitz and Patrick Demarchelier, to name a few, and embraced by A-list stars like Tina Fey, Mary-Louse Parker, Parker Posey, and Jerry Seinfeld.

Rebecca’s natural ability and confidence translates both behind-the-scenes as well as on-camera. She has regularly been featured on national morning and makeover shows in English and Spanish for brands like CoverGirl.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Help Find Missing Arizona 6-Year-Old Isabel Celis, Last Seen in Tucson on Friday

Help Find Missing Arizona 6-Year-Old Isabel Celis, Last Seen in Tucson on Friday

Photo: Help Find Missing Arizona 6-Year-Old Isabel Celis, Last Seen in Tucson on Friday

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The search for a 6-year-old Arizona girl has intensified after FBI-trained dogs found something said to have interesting investigators.

At around 8 a.m. Saturday, April 21, Isabel Celis was reported missing by her father who discovered she was missing when he went to wake her up after her mother left for work. The 6-year-old was not in the room and investigators say the window was open, with the screen removed.

She was last seen Friday night at around 11 p.m when she was put to bed,

Though police have upgraded the search from a missing child to a possible abduction, Isabel’s parents have not been ruled out as suspects.

More than 250 people took part in the ground search in Isabel’s Tucson neighborhood. Air and K-9 unit searches are ongoing as well.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Maria Hawke told ABC News, “We don’t have an actual piece of evidence that points us in one direction or another, so, for example we don’t have a piece of evidence that says she was definitively taken from the residence. We don’t have any specific piece of evidence that tells us she left the residence on her own.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Another Crash at Texas Border Leaves 12 Immigrants Injured, Driver Being Sought

Another Crash at Texas Border Leaves 12 Immigrants Injured, Driver Being Sought

Photo: Texas Border Car accident Deaths

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Border Patrol officials in Texas are investigating yet another crash involving undocumented immigrants and a run away driver.  This incident occurred Saturday morning near the border city of Progreso, Texas when twelve undocumented immigrants were found off a dirt road after a car wreck.  No driver was located in or near the vehicle.

This is the third crash, the two prior being fatal crashes, involving undocumented immigrants in what are thought to be human smuggling operations gone awry. 

On April 10th, a fifteen-year-old Texan boy was charged with murder when nine undocumented immigrants were killed when the van he was driving crashed.  There were a total of seventeen undocumented immigrants in the van, the rest were uninjured.

On April 9th, eighteen immigrants were injured and one killed when the minivan they were riding in crashed in La Joya,  Texas

All incidents occurred in Hidalgo County in Texas, located across the Rio Grande River from Reynosa, Mexico.

Read more at The Monitor →

Plane Crashes into Guatemalan Zoo Leaving Three Dead

Plane Crashes into Guatemalan Zoo Leaving Three Dead

Photo: Plane crashes in Guatemalan Zoo.

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Three passengers traveling on a plane were killed after the aircraft crashed into the maintenance area of Aurora Zoo, in Guatemala. One of the zoo workers also suffered second and third degree burns according to the local reports. The cause was due to technical problems which disabled the plane’s flight system, said aeronautics regulators in the country.

The three victims were later identified as Oscar Calderon (the pilot), Cristian Berni, and Alex Quezada. The zoo worker, Rodrigo Aspuac, was injured after the crash and was immediately brought to Roosevelt Hospital to treat his severe burn wounds.

Besides the tail of the plane, the plane was destroyed into pieces. The damage caused both the close of the park and of two streets surrounding it.  None of the zoo animals were injured or displaced.

Authorities evacuated a total of 80 people from the park, including workers and visitors.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gomez Announced as Charity Ambassador for Ryan Seacrest Foundation (VIDEO)

Selena Gomez Announced as Charity Ambassador for Ryan Seacrest Foundation (VIDEO)

Photo: Selena Gomez Announced as Charity Ambassador for Ryan Seacrest Foundation

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On April 20, the Ryan Seacrest Foundation announced Selena Gomez as their first celebrity ambassador.

During a visit to “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” Friday, Gomez and Seacrest made the announcement. The “American Idol” host stated, “We have invited Selena to be an official ambassador to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, because she does such amazing work, and the kids absolutely melt when your around. Thank you for accepting that!

In addition to the on air announcement,  the foundation’s website read:

Selena has been an amazing supporter of our foundation and has brought smiles to countless faces at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  We are so excited she will continue to do so at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Boston Children’s Hospital, where we will build three new broadcast media centers.

“From the beginning, I could tell that Selena really understood our mission. I’m so grateful that she’s decided to take on this larger role with us, joining our efforts to bring hope and spirit to seriously ill and injured kids,” said Seacrest, founder and chairman of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. “With her as ambassador, we will continue to expand our programs at children’s hospitals throughout the country.”

But her time on Seacrest’s radio show was not only about her new role with the foundation. Gomez also discussed her upcoming Spanish-language album, saying, “I’ve actually have recorded most of my Spanish record already…It’s just in an in-between stage, because I still want to put out a fourth record and also the Spanish record. So it’s just all timing. I have a few other songs to do and it will come out. I promise.”

She also recalled her recent embarrassment at Los Angeles Lakers game, when the Kiss Cam “landed on” her and boyfriend Justin Bieber. She said it “was probably the most humiliating thing that’s ever happened to me!”


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Mountaineer Scales Mount Everest and Posts Political Ad

Mexican Mountaineer Scales Mount Everest and Posts Political Ad

Photo: Leonardo Fernandez reaches the Summit of Mount Everest and endorses Obrador for Mexico's president.

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Leonardo Fernandez, a Mexican mountaineer, recently achieved scaling to the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain which reaches 29,035 feet. Instead of just gazing at the beautiful view, as the typical mountaineer would do, Fernandez took advantage of the moment to share a bit about his political view.

Fernandez utilized the little breath he could gather at that elevation, where there is only a third of the level of oxygen in the air when compared to sea level, to endorse the presidential campaign of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The surprising feat has gathered attention from both constituents and those campaigning for Obrador. In this case, it’s amazing not to what lengths, but to what heights some may go to voice their opinions on politics.


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Read more by HS News Staff →

Tungurahua Erupts Launching Gravel to Nearby Town

Tungurahua Erupts Launching Gravel to Nearby Town

Photo: Tungurahua's recent eruption makes gravel fall on local town.

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Over the weekend, the Tungurahua’s volcanic eruption had a strong explosion that caused gravel to fall down in the nearby town of Pillate, Ecuador.

The explosion, characterized by its loud “cannon ball shot”, was immediately detected by locals and scientists observing the volcano’s progress. The explosion was later followed by a slight tremor and a constant pulsation of “high energy” said reports.

The constant cloud coverage surrounding the volcano has caused scientists, from the Geophysical Institute branch of the National Polytechnic School to have trouble determining its current state. Most of the direct observations are conducted in the Guadalupe Observatory, the closest in the vicinity.

Tungurahua, located in the Andes Mountains in Ecuador, is 5,016 meters high and its eruptions began in 1999. Since then, the volcano has transitioned from times of high activity and those of calm.

However, Tungurahua is not the only volcano causing extreme damage and concern in the Hispanic world. Popocatépetl, located in Mexico City, has also been under close watch due to its recent activity which included ash blasts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Transit Bus Kills 7 and Injures 10

Colombian Transit Bus Kills 7 and Injures 10

Photo: Seven people were killed and ten others injured when transit bus collided in Colombia.

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At least seven people were killed and 10 others injured when a public transit bus collided with a truck over the weekend on a highway in the Colombian Caribbean province of Bolivar, police said.

The accident happened Sunday in San Juan Nepomuceno, a rural area in central Bolivar, police chief Col. Hugo Casas said.

The bus driver apparently cut into the truck’s lane at a high rate of speed, Casas told reporters in Cartagena, the capital of Bolivar.

The seven people killed in the accident were all riding in the bus, the police chief said.

The bus was traveling from El Carmen de Bolivar, a town in Bolivar, to Barranquilla, the capital of neighboring Atlantico province.

Read more by HS News Staff →

5,000 Protest Urging Mexico City to Ban Bullfighting

5,000 Protest Urging Mexico City to Ban Bullfighting

Photo: 5,000 Protest Urging Mexico City to Ban Bullfighting

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Thousands of people took part in a demonstration over the weekend to urge Mexico City’s Legislative Assembly to ban bullfighting, joining people in 26 other cities across the country who took part in protests to promote the same cause.

About 5,000 people turned out for the three-hour protest Sunday in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s largest plaza, Leonora Esquivel, a spokeswoman for event organizer Sin Violencia, told Efe.

Demonstrators were treated to musical performances and listened to speeches calling on the Legislative Assembly to ban bullfighting.

The Legislative Assembly must decide by April 30 whether or not to prohibit bullfighting in Mexico City.

A Federal District Legislative Assembly committee approved a bill last month to ban bullfighting in the capital.

The bill must be debated and put to a vote by the full assembly before the current legislative session ends on April 30.

Members of Sin Violencia, an umbrella organization for more than 200 grassroots groups, contend that the majority of Mexicans oppose bullfighting.

“Banning bullfighting is directly linked to building a nation that is less violent and more responsible,” Sin Violencia said in a statement.

The Federal District “has a historic opportunity to become the first Mexican entity to show it is changing,” Sin Violencia said.

Mexico City is home to the Plaza Monumental, which can seat 40,000 people and is considered the world’s largest bullfighting ring.

The Plaza Monumental opened on Feb. 5, 1946, with a card that featured bullfighters Luis “El Soldado” Castro, Manuel “Manolete” Rodriguez and Luis Procuna.

About 9,000 bulls are slaughtered every year at rings in Mexico, where bullfighting dates back to the 16th century, animal rights groups say.

Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador are the Latin American countries where bullfighting is most deeply rooted.

Chile, however, banned bullfighting shortly after it gained its independence from Spain in 1818, but rodeos, another target of animal rights activists, are popular in the South American country.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chavez Remains in Cuba but No Health Updates Provided

Chavez Remains in Cuba but No Health Updates Provided

Photo: Hugo Chavez Remains in Cuba

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has spent more than a week in Havana, where he is undergoing the final phase of his radiation therapy treatment, but he has communicated only via Twitter without giving any details about his health.

The president’s absence was particularly noticeable on Saturday at various government events, where his name was mentioned and he was repeatedly praised by ministers and supporters, while some spokespeople for the opposition have been questioning whether or not Chavez is actually governing the country.

“We, of course, are deployed here today. The national government is deployed under the direction of our commander who we know is not here physically, but where is the president? In the hearts of all Venezuelans,” Women’s Affairs Minister Nancy Perez said.

The government has made no comment in recent days about the health of the president, who departed on April 14 for Cuba to undergo the last phase of radiation therapy after a cancerous tumor was removed from his body in February, that tumor being a recurrence of the cancer for which he underwent surgery in June 2011.

“The commander, well, I don’t know, is there (in Cuba) but is governing here, always calling, questioning, asking for decisions for the Venezuelan people,” Vice President Elias Jaua said in reporting that Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro went to Havana on Friday to discuss matters concerning the “social and labor offensive” with Chavez.

“Elias and everyone: this morning I received the figures with Nicolas. Everything approved, among other things: IVSS reform law ready to incorporate workers Own Account!” the president said in a posting Saturday on his @chavezcandanga Twitter account.

Social-networking site Twitter has been the only manner of communication that the president has used recently, not even telephoning the state-run television network or (calling) during government events, as he has done on past trips to Cuba.

Opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, meanwhile, has opted not to make any reference to Chavez’s convalescence in Cuba, although other anti-Chavez leaders have alluded to the matter directly.

“I don’t think the president is governing because we haven’t seen him, he hasn’t spoken. Who’s governing, who’s making the decisions? We want to know who is making the decisions in our country,” Zulia Gov. Pablo Perez said.

“We’re on the street working, we’re not a Twitter or Blackberry leader,” the opposition governor said.

Chavez left for Cuba with the unanimous permission of the National Assembly with the authorization to remain on the Communist-ruled island as long as he felt was necessary.

To date, no details have been released by the government regarding the type of cancer from which Chavez is suffering or the extent of the disease, except for the fact that it is situated in his pelvic area.

Read more by HS News Staff →



MondayApril 23, 2012