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FridayApril 27, 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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Jose Ferrer Honored on 2012’s Forever Stamp

Jose Ferrer Honored on 2012’s Forever Stamp

Photo: Jose Ferrer (1912-1992).

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Jose Ferrer (1912-1992) was honored today for his many talents as an actor, director, writer, musician, and producer by being chosen as the face for the 2012 First-Class Forever Stamp, part of its Distinguished Americans stamp series.

The stamp is oil painting rendition by Daniel Adel, which is based on a photograph by Ferrer. Under the direction of Antonio Alcala, the stamp was designed.

Ferrer’s career spanned the worlds of theater, film, television and music, and he is considered to be one of the most accomplished talents of his generation. He was also the fists Latino to win the Oscar for Best Actor. Besides these honors, Ferrer also won several Tony Awards for his works on stage, performing in more than 60 movies, and gathering three Academy Award nominations.

His best role is said to be Cyrano de Bergerac, in which he won a Tony Award for Best Actor (1947) and the Oscar for Best Actor (1950) for the film version.

Maria Therese Dominguez, vice president, Government Relations and Public Policy for the U.S. Postal Service, stated commemorations for talent. She stated “Today, the Postal Service is pleased and proud to bestow upon Jose Ferrer… the first Puerto Rican actor to succeed in Hollywood –a new commemorative Forever stamp.

Joining Dominguez to dedicate the stamp were his wife Stella Ferrer; Rafael Ferrer, voice over artist;Theodore Chapin, chairman of the Board of Trustees, American Theatre Wing; John Martello, executive director of The Players; Harold Smith Prince, Broadway producer-director; actors Frances Sternhagen and Christopher Lloyd; and Stephen Kearney, manager, Stamp Services, U.S. Postal Service.

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Jobless Rate in Spain Climbs Above 24 Percent

Jobless Rate in Spain Climbs Above 24 Percent

Photo: Jobless Rate in Spain Climbs Above 24 Percent

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The ranks of Spain’s unemployed expanded by nearly 366,000 in the first quarter to a record 5.63 million, or 24.44 percent of the workforce, the government said Friday.

The number of households in which all members are out of work climbed by 374,300 to more than 1.7 million, according to the results of the latest workforce survey.

The government expects the unemployment rate to peak this year at 25 percent, the secretary of state for the economy, Fernando Jimenez Latorre, said after the jobless figures were released.

Spain’s foreign minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, told RNE radio the unemployment data show the country is in a crisis of “enormous magnitude” and he urged the European Union to do more to promote economic growth.

“If it goes badly for us, it goes badly for them,” he said. “This is like the Titanic: if there is a sinking here, even the first-class passengers sink.”

Almost half of Spaniards between the ages of 18 and 24 are unemployed and the latest survey points to a fall in employment in the 25-29 age group.

Spanish unemployment is more than twice the median rate for the 27-member EU.

Spain’s gross domestic product shrank 0.4 percent in the first three months of this year after contracting 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, the central bank said Monday.

Two consecutive quarters of negative growth is the technical definition of recession.

Friday’s unemployment report was the first since Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government overhauled Spanish labor law to make it easier for firms to hire and fire workers, hoping to spur job creation.

The government has always said it did not expect the overhaul to have an immediate effect on the jobless rate, Jimenez Latorre noted Friday.

The 2012-2015 Stability Program approved at Friday’s Cabinet meeting envisions growth of 0.2 percent in 2013 and an easing of the unemployment rate to 24.2 percent, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said at a press conference.

He also reiterated the Rajoy administration’s commitment to reducing the budget deficit from 8.5 percent of GDP to 5.3 percent this year and to 3 percent of GDP in 2013.

Adoption of the Stability Program, deficit-cutting measures and structural reforms constitute “a fundamental step to lay out the path that will bring Spain out of the crisis,” Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said at the same press conference.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Fashion Designer Elie Saab to Open First Store in Latin America in Mexico City

Fashion Designer Elie Saab to Open First Store in Latin America in Mexico City

Photo: Elie Saab Comes to Mexico City

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Lebanese fashion designer and designer to the stars, Elie Saab will be opening his first store in Latin America this summer in Mexico City.

The store will be located in Mexico City’s Saks Fifth Avenue as a shop-in-shop concept.  This is the designer’s sixth store and the second shop-in-shop according to Women’s Wear Daily.

Saab started designing in the early ‘80s and started with his own label in 1982.  Many of his couture design are seen on Hollywood stars on the red carpet.

The Mexico City store will sell his ready-to-wear line, couture evening wear and accessories.Image

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LATINO BLOTTER: Girl, 17, Arrested for Allegedly Having Relationship with 12-Yr-Old Girl

LATINO BLOTTER: Girl, 17, Arrested for Allegedly Having Relationship with 12-Yr-Old Girl

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Girl, 17, Arrested for Allegedly Having Relationship with 12-Yr-Old Girl

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A 17-year-old girl is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 12-year-old girl in Texas’ Cameron County.

Griselda Herrera, 17, was arrested last week and is facing multiple charges including harboring a runaway after a 12-year-old girl ran away from home and to Herrera’s.

According to court reports, when the 12-year-old runaway returned to her family on April 9, she had hickeys on her neck. She admitted to her family that she was in a relationship with Herrera and that the marks were from her.

The young girl’s family confronted Herrera who did not live far, and according to Valley Central Herrera told them, “I love her.”

She is currently remains in jail with a number of bonds totaling $120,000. She faces two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, harboring a runaway, and enticing a child.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sir Paul McCartney Guarded by 1,400 Officers During Colombian Stop of “On the Run” Concert Tour

Sir Paul McCartney Guarded by 1,400 Officers During Colombian Stop of “On the Run” Concert Tour

Photo: Sir Paul McCartney Guarded by 1,400 Officers During Colombian Stop of "On the Run" Concert Tour

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Former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney was reportedly being protected by as many a massive number of police officers during a two-day stay in Colombia.

While in Bogota, which has one of the highest crime rates in the world, for his “On the Run” tour, McCartney was reportedly being secured by 1,400 officers from the moment he arrived. Walkways and street corners within a five block radius of El Campin Stadium, where he was performing, were closely monitored.

McCartney is currently touring Latin America and is scheduled to return to the United Kingdom in June when he will headline the concert for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

McCartney recently made a surprise appearance on the live episode of NBC’s “30 Rock”. Check it out below.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Meet the Mexican OctoMom Plus One Karla Perez

Meet the Mexican OctoMom Plus One Karla Perez

Photo: Karla Vanessa Perez (32) is due to have nine children.

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A Mexican woman from the northeastern state of Coahuila is the first women to be expecting nine children, beating U.S. octomom Nadya Suleman. The woman, later identified as Karla Vanessa Perez (32), is due to have six girls and three boys according to reports.

Perez is currently being treated at a hospital in Saltillo, where her pregnancy stemmed from fertility treatments.

Perez was initially surprised when she had triplets this past November 4th, but she was more surprised to find out of her nine children on the way. A large family is definitely in Perez’s future with the nine children giving her a grand total of 13 children.

Doctors indicated that her due date would be May 20th, but the birth might be scheduled later to avoid all of her babies to be placed in incubators.

The Octomom plus one said in Spanish statement to the press “It’s too soon to think of the names for all of the babies, first I hope that everything turns out fine, and that the pregnancy goes by normally”.

Her husband, Juan Bernando, who works in tire repair, expressed his worry in providing for all his children. The family has no social security, and with his type of work a base salary is rare.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pixar Taking on Dia de Los Muertos With “Toy Story 3” Director

Pixar Taking on Dia de Los Muertos With “Toy Story 3” Director

Photo: Pixar Taking on Dia de los Muertos With "Toy Story 3" Director

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Earlier this week, Pixar announced it was planning to take on the Mexican holiday of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with “Toy Story 3” director Lee Unkrich in a new animated feature.

Under Unkrich’s direction, “Toy Story 3” grossed billions of dollars and even won at the Oscars.

ImageThe announcement was made on Tuesday at CinemaCon and the film is scheduled to arrive in theaters sometime in 2015.

Until then, Pixar has a few animated features hitting theaters. March 30, 2014 is the scheduled release date of a film called “The Good Dinosaur” and The “Monster’s Inc. prequel “Monster’s University” should arrive in theaters in June or 2013. Even sooner is “Brave”, which comes out on June 22, 2012.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Attacked in Underwear For Not Having Sex with GF

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Attacked in Underwear For Not Having Sex with GF

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Man Attacked in Underwear For Not Having Sex with GF

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A Florida man was reportedly attacked by his girlfriend after he told her he just wanted to lie down rather than have sex.

According to police 34-year-old waitress Stacey Ann Ortiz assaulted her 27-year-old live-in boyfriend got into a physical altercation after they returned home from a night out drinking with friends.

Ortiz grew angry with her boyfriend however after he rebuffed her advances, instead saying he just wanted to “lie in bed and watch TV.” The boyfriend says he attempted to escape his girlfriend’s assault by running out of the house through the garage. As Ortiz chased him down the street, he called 911 and reported what was happening. He was in his underwear.

Police arrived on the scene and found the boyfriend with cuts and scratches on his forehead and chest.

Ortiz admitted to police that a verbal argument had escalated to a physical altercation, but added she was head-butted by her boyfriend. She claimed she only injured him while defending herself, but when asked why she then chased him down the street rather than let him leave, she told police “she was mad.”

She was determined to be the primary aggressor after also admitting to breaking the windshield of the boyfriend’s truck with a metal mop handle. She was charged with domestic battery and taken to St. Lucie County jail.

Ortiz was released on her own recognizance and is scheduled to be arraigned in on May 8.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Missing Cuban Actor Javier Nunez Floria Wins Top Award at Tribeca for “Una Noche”

Missing Cuban Actor Javier Nunez Floria Wins Top Award at Tribeca for “Una Noche”

Photo: Missing Cuban Actor Javier Nunez Floria Wins Top Award at Tribeca for "Una Noche"

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One of the two Cuban actors who disappeared after arriving in the U.S. to present their film at the Tribeca Film Festival won the fesitval’s top acting award.

Javier Nunez Florian and Anailin de la Rua de la Torre starred in the “Una Noche”, a film about defecting to the United States from Cuba. Whether it was art imitating life or life imitating art, Javier and Analin both disappeared shortly after arriving at the Miami airport for Tribeca.

Though Javier was not present at Tribeca to receive it, he shared the festival’s best actor award with co-star Dariel Arrechada who was present. “Una Noche” also won the awards for Best New Narrative Director and Best Cinematography.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Demi Lovato Fan Rushes on Stage in Paraguay Creates Security Issue

Demi Lovato Fan Rushes on Stage in Paraguay Creates Security Issue

Photo: Demi Lovato was unexpectedly rushed during a concert in Paraguay.

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Demi Lovato was forced to stop her concert in Paraguay after a overly enthusiastic fan jumped the stage and embraced the singer in an awkward hug.

The incident occurred after the singer encouraged the audience to move a bit closer to the stage.

As soon as the fan jumped on stage, security rushed to place her back with the rest of the audience, however, this encouraged other fans to also jump on the stage.

Demi was forced to get off the stage and when the singer was finally able to come back on the stage she reportedly told the audience to “chill out”.

Latin America loves Demi!!!!


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Mexicana Airlines Charged with Discriminating Against Nude, Playboy Flight Attendant

Mexicana Airlines Charged with Discriminating Against Nude, Playboy Flight Attendant

Photo: Flight attendant, Samantha Vazquez (far left), was discriminated for employment due to nude photos.

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In November 2010 Mexicana Aviation went bankrupt leaving many of its flight attendants without a job and subsequently without a source of income. Out of desperation many of these women resulted to other forms of fast cash, according to recent reports.

Appearing on a calendar name “Aeromozas Mexicanas”, many of the ex-flight attendants posed with sexy outfits alongside airplanes.

As the calendar and its modeling women became more famous, most of the women were given the offer to appear on Playboy. Although many women rejected the offer, Samantha Vazquez believed that appearing on the magazine would not only give her fame but would help her get out of her tremendous debt.

After her surge of fame Samantha was again left without a job and began searching in other major airlines for positions. Yet, due to her revealing photos, no airline has wanted to hire her. Desperate, Vazquez is thinking of taking legal measures for what she views as nude discrimination.

Read more by HS News Staff →

An American in Panama: Yvonne Baldelli, 41, Missing After Trying to Start New Life in Panama

An American in Panama: Yvonne Baldelli, 41, Missing After Trying to Start New Life in Panama

Photo: An American in Panama: Yvonne Baldelli, 41, Missing After Trying to Start New Life in Panama

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The FBI has now joined the search for an American woman who went missing 5 months ago shortly after moving to Panama with her boyfriend.

After being laid off from her job at Proctor and Gamble, 41-year-old Yvonne Baldelli moved to Panama’s Bocas del Toro islands with her boyfriend for a fresh start.

Baldelli moved down to Panama in September 2011 and by her family’s accounts, she and her former U.S. Marine boyfriend, Brian Brimager, were happy. However, in December, Brimager returned to California saying Baldelli had broken up with him. According to his Facebook profile, Brimager left Bocas del Toro on December 10, with stops in Costa Rica (two day stop) and Atlanta (layover) en route to California. Within weeks of returning to the U.S. he was both engaged and married to another woman.

When Baldelli’s family had not heard from her in some time, particularly regarding a reunion planned for January, members of the family traveled to Panama.

Neither the U.S. embassy nor local authorities have any record of the missing woman leaving the country, though Brimager claims Baldelli left Panama with another man and they heading to Costa Rica.

Police believe Brimager and Baldelli had a violent relationship and say they have not ruled out a crime of passion.

Baldelli’s King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, GeorgiaMae, is also missing.

A Facebook page called “Find Yvonne Baldelli” has been created by her family. Photos of her and her dog have been posted, along with photos of a Tiffany & Co. necklace she always wore. The page also includes ways to contact authorities with any information that may help in finding her.

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AMERICAN IDOL: Jessica Sanchez Survives Elimination After Touching Tribute to Her Father

AMERICAN IDOL: Jessica Sanchez Survives Elimination After Touching Tribute to Her Father

Photo: Jessica Sanchez Survives Elimination After Touching Tribute to Her Father

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Wednesday night, Jessica Sanchez sang an impressive rendition of Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father” on American Idol, dedicating it to her military father, who is about to be deployed to Singapore.

The song choice, along with her earlier performance of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” were not only impressive enough to save her from elimination, but also get her enough votes to make her one of the top three on Thursday night’s results show.

ImageInstead, Elise Testone was sent home for being “a great singer who made choices,” according to contestant mentor Jimmy Iovine.

Thursday night, it was revealed that the American Idol reached a season high 58 million votes cast.

What do you think? Will 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez will take it to the top and be voted this season’s American Idol?

In case you missed it: Check out Jessica singing “Dance With My Father” below.


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Booty Scare: Singer Alejandra Guzman Buttock Surgery Lands Her in the Hospital

Booty Scare: Singer Alejandra Guzman Buttock Surgery Lands Her in the Hospital

Photo: Alejandra Guzman just released from hospital.

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Mexican singer, Alejandra Guzman underwent a second surgery and 30 days in the hospital after suffering the consequences of an buttock surgery gone wrong.

She even commented to reporters, “I’ve changed the way I look at the world; I have learned how to value it and keep my health as my priority. Thirty days in the hospital isn’t easy and I thank God that today I see the light, the hope, and that I have the will to live.”

The medics, however, ordered Guzman to rest and stay bedridden until 90 days had passed.

In the last week of March, Alejandra Guzman was placed in the hospital after she arrived from a show in Villahermosa, Tabasco. As she was getting ready to perform at the Feria de Caballo de Texcoco she immediately began to feel ill and decided that the show could not go on.

Doctors determined the cause as relapse due to her operation on her buttocks back in 2009 with plastic surgeon Valentina de Albornoz. Earlier this year she was operated for the second time in an effort to drain all of the substances in her body.

Her doctor, Raul Lopez Infante further explained that the substance had harmed her body superficially, and was easily treated periodically. However, she had stopped coming to treatments for a period of time and the consequence lead to her hospitalization. The substance (polymethylmethacrylate) grew by 200%.

Guzman believes her ordeal will connect her to woman and fans that had experienced a similar situation, and that it warns other of the dangers of the surgery. According to reports she stated, “Those who have suffered similar situations know what I am talking about… I fought it and won, but I am still feeling delicate.”

The singer can’t wait to again start with her normal daily activities and with of course singing for her many fans.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hit and Run Driver Ran Because he “Had the Runs”

Hit and Run Driver Ran Because he “Had the Runs”

Photo: Barnard Cato Runs from the Runs

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Either Barnard Cato of Gainesville, Florida is the most creative liar or has severe bowel movement issues.  The 29-year-old Floridian took down a car and newspaper boxes Tuesday morning but instead of waiting for the police he fled the scene of the accident.

His excuse – “I ran because I had the runs.”  He actually admitted to not realizing he had hit anything which means he probably was over served at 7:oo a.m. – well as they say it’s cocktail hour somewhere. 

Cato fled the scene of the accident to the local Wal-Mart allegedly to relieve himself and not have an accident in his pants.  The police located him shortly after he fled and according to The Gainsville Sun had “a strong odor of alcohol emanating from his breath and clothing” and his eyes were “bloodshot and watery.”

Gainesville police gave Cato something to really give him the runs by throwing the book at him and charging him with DUI, hit and run and leaving the scene of an accident, and third-degree felony. 

Ouch.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Discovery en Espanol Airs Puebla Documentary-Puebla Launches English Website

Discovery en Espanol Airs Puebla Documentary-Puebla Launches English Website

Photo: Battle of Puebla

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As Mexico commemorates the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Battle of Puebla, the Government of Puebla launched today an English website to inform visitors about the history, diversity and significance of Cinco de Mayo.
 
“The Battle of Puebla is a strategic victory for Mexico in stopping the French invasion and delaying the installation of Maximilian until 1864. It affirmed the legitimate government of President Juarez and assisted President Lincoln because it denied the Confederacy military assistance that could of changed the outcome in the US Civil War. This victory accelerated the expulsion of the French invader from Mexico,” said Eric Rojo, Washington DC Representative, Cinco de Mayo Planning Committee.

Furthermore, Discovery en Espanol will air a documentary “Cinco de Mayo: Un dia de Gloria,” directed by Mexican filmmaker Gerardo Tort that highlights the most decisive moments in the history of the Battle of Puebla with testimonies of renowned researchers and historians.

As part of the celebrations, the new and remodeled planetarium marks another great project on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. 

“The reopening of the magnificent planetarium includes an IMAX projector that provides for more than looking at the magnificence of space, and, soon will also be used to project films of the battle as part of the visitors center,” added Eric Rojo.

To view more information please visit http://5demayopuebla.mx/english/

Read more by HS News Staff →

What’s in Store for Latinos from Corporate America for Cinco de Mayo

What’s in Store for Latinos from Corporate America for Cinco de Mayo

Photo: Malibu Red Tequila Rum

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Cinco do Mayo is around the corner, the time to celebrate Latinos and more importantly time to make more money off of them.  So I am always on the look out for what is being offered for our pueblo from the product development and marketing geniuses in Corporate America. 

This maybe the best time of the year (except for Hispanic Heritage month of course) and maybe the only time of year (especially if the Supreme Court legitimizes racial-profiling) to be Latino, I say.

This year will not disappoint from Doritos Locos tacos to the Bacon, Jalapeño & Pineapple Frozen margaritas at the local cantinas, there is much to indulge in.  Thank God many marketers don’t suggest healthy living options for the starch stuffed pueblo that has obesity rates hovering at the highest rate ever.

They know no one wants to hear “forego the Margarita and just suck on the limes” when we are celebrating Mexico’s defeat of the French in 1862 albeit a brief moment of glory before a resounding defeat that gave Mexico it’s first foreign Emperor, Maximilian.

God knows what more corporate America thinks I need to stuff down my gullet to show their love and interest in my Latino-ness but I am open to all suggestions.

Thus far my favorite offering is from Malibu Rum.  They take the prize for efficiency by combining two Latino favorites:  rum (native to Latin America and the Caribbean) and Tequila (native to Mexico) and dumping it all in one bottle and having a black man who sings sell it to us. 
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I am not sure if Pitbull wasn’t available or too busy promoting Bud Lite, Pepsi, Voli Vodka and God knows what else and Marc Anthony is busy getting divorced.

In all honesty maybe Malibu Rum was just trying to expand its product line to the urban hipster market and not necessarily to Latinos.  However, when I see model Annabelle Acosta in the Ne-Yo promotional video talking in Spanish and pics of Tulum, Mexico all over the place, I smell a sublime message aimed at the burgeoning Latino purchasing power.

I did find it interesting that the marketing centers around Tulum which is home to Mayan ruins not where tequila comes from. 

Who cares about facts when someone is trying to sell something, right?

Worry not, if liquor combos aren’t your thing, I am also checking out the new ‘Flavor Fiesta’.  If you partake you can enjoy Tyson boneless wings with a Jose Cuervo margarita mix and Tabasco’s Pepper Sauce.  I thought chicken wings were a creation from down South not south of the border.

Who thinks up these things?? 

Didn’t anyone every tell them to not rely on stereotypes to sell stuff?  I am going to drown my rage at Madison Avenue with a Malibu Red Grapefruit Margarita and stuff myself with chicken wings and homemade salsa from Puebla, Mexico – home to the real Cinco de Mayo.
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Wal-Mart Now Faces Investigation by Mexican Government for Allegation of $24 Million Bribery Scheme

Investigators are looking into allegations that U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart’s unit in Mexico paid bribes to officials to speed the opening of stores during its expansion push in the country in the past decade, the Mexican government said.

“Verification has started at the federal level of the permits and other proceedings ... conducted by that company for the opening and operation of its stores in our country,” the Public Oversight Secretariat said in a statement.

The objective is to examine “alleged acts of corruption that employees of the Wal-Mart de Mexico company may have engaged in,” the secretariat, which is in charge of reviewing the legality of all official acts, said.

Wal-Mart said Saturday it was investigating its operations in Mexico following the publication of a story by The New York Times alleging that $24 million in bribes had been paid to Mexican officials in connection with the opening of stores.

“In case irregular conduct on the part of federal public servants is detected, the federal government will take the necessary action,” the secretariat said.

Mexico will ask the U.S. government for “information about the case that will allow the Public Oversight Secretariat to conduct the necessary investigations,” the secretariat said.

Investigators will gather evidence on the roles played by state and municipal officials, with the findings being provided to the “appropriate authorities,” the secretariat said.

Wal-Mart has more than 10,000 stores around the world, including 2,760 in Mexico and Central America.

The retail giant employs about 238,000 people just in its operations in Mexico and Central America.

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MEXICO: Fire Detroys Thousands of Acres, Gunmen’s Threats Block Firefighters

MEXICO: Fire Detroys Thousands of Acres, Gunmen’s Threats Block Firefighters

Photo: MEXICO: Fire Detroys Thousands of Acres, Gunmen's Threats Block Firefighters

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The fire that started last weekend in the La Primavera forest outside the western Mexican city of Guadalajara burned between 30 percent and 40 percent of the trees in an area of about 3,000 hectares (7,407 acres), Environment Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada said Thursday.

On Wednesday night, “we received confirmation that this fire, which caused much damage, was 100 percent under control. It was nearly 7,800 hectares (19,259 acres), of which it is estimated that the tree damage was from 30 to 40 percent. The rest was pastures and minor vegetation,” the environment secretary told MVS radio.

“The damage was huge” because the blaze affected La Primavera and created “an environmental emergency due to the bad air quality,” causing problems for residents of Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco state, Elvira Quesada said.

“We expect that today, perhaps this afternoon, it will be completely out,” the environment secretary said, adding that 900 people, many of them from the emergency management agencies in other states, worked to put out the fire.

The fire started due to “the hand of man, it was not a natural cause,” but the original blaze and later fires that started while firefighting teams tried to bring the blaze under control are being investigated, Elvira Quesada said.

One person has been arrested and the federal Attorney General’s Office has started an investigation, the environment secretary said.

Mexico must change its legislation to control the use of fire “in open spaces” and prevent future disasters in natural areas, Elvira Quesada said.

From January to May, the normal dry season in Mexico, there should be “intense participation, not just by state and municipal police, but also by citizens, in guarding the forests,” the environment secretary said.

“This must be investigated fully, to the end,” Elvira Quesada said in response to a question about whether criminal organizations were behind the fire and reports that firefighters had been threatened.

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Another Secret Service Ho-Down, This Time with Prostitutes & Strippers from El Salvador

Another Secret Service Ho-Down, This Time with Prostitutes & Strippers from El Salvador

Photo: Another Secret Service Scandal, Now in El Salvador

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The U.S. Secret Service said Thursday it is investigating allegations that agents frequented a strip club and patronized prostitutes in El Salvador ahead of President Barack Obama’s March 2011 visit to the Central American country.

The announcement of the probe followed a report by Seattle’s KIRO-TV citing the account of an unnamed U.S. government subcontractor who spent time with the Secret Service advance team in San Salvador.

The purported eyewitness told KIRO that he accompanied a dozen Secret Service agents and several U.S military personnel to a San Salvador strip club prior to the president’s arrival.

Most of the U.S. government employees were “heavily intoxicated,” according to the source, and nearly all of them paid an additional fee to enter the club’s VIP room, where they received unspecified sexual favors in exchange for cash.

KIRO subsequently interviewed the owner of the club, who confirmed the source’s claims and said the Secret Service agents were at his establishment at least three nights in succession during the week before Obama arrived in San Salvador.

The new allegations come amid continuing fallout from a scandal involving Secret Service agents and military personnel who belonged to the advance team for Obama’s recent visit to Cartagena, Colombia for the 6th Summit of the Americas.

Agents brought prostitutes back to their rooms at Cartagena hotels, including the one that housed the U.S. president during his stay.

In testimony Wednesday to a Senate committee, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she thought the episode in Cartagena was an isolated incident.

Learning that what happened in Colombia was part of a pattern “would be a surprise to me,” she said.

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FridayApril 27, 2012