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ThursdayMay 17, 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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Exploration of 2 Sites in Bolivia May Lead to Gas Reserves Discovery

Exploration of 2 Sites in Bolivia May Lead to Gas Reserves Discovery

Photo: Studies will be conducted in Carohuaicho (East) and Casira (Southwest)

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Spanish energy major Repsol has signed agreements with Bolivian state-owned firm YPFB to study the potential of two hydrocarbon prospects - one in the eastern part of the country and another in the Andean region.

The director of Repsol’s Bolivian operations, Jorge Ciacciarelli, signed the accords Wednesday with YPFB chief Carlos Villegas in the eastern city of Santa Cruz, the Bolivian company said in a statement.

Repsol will conduct studies in Carohuaicho, a 97,500-hectare (240,740-acre) area of the eastern province of Santa Cruz where there is believed to be a high probability of gas reserves, and in Casira, a 192,500-hectare area of the southwestern province of Potosi that is expected to contain liquid hydrocarbon reserves.

“This shows Repsol’s interest in participating actively in the plan to develop fields and conduct exploration in Bolivia. These are two very important agreements and we’re going to conduct these studies as quickly as possible,” Ciacciarelli said.

The executive noted that many areas in Bolivia have not yet been studied.

Villegas said once Repsol has the results - in a period of 10 months or less - it will decide whether to enter into energy-services contract in the determined areas.

Study agreements allow energy firms to evaluate the potential of areas and determine the basis for new exploration and production projects, YPFB said.

Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau visited Bolivia on May 1 to inaugurate a second gas-processing plant at the giant Margarita field (operated by the Spanish company) with the Andean nation’s socialist head of state, Evo Morales, a project aimed at boosting gas exports to Argentina.

The ceremony came hours after Bolivia had expropriated a unit of Spanish electric utility REE.

In November, during a previous visit to the same gas field in southern Bolivia, Brufau had confirmed to Morales Repsol’s plans to invest $640 million in the country in the 2010-2014 period.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pitbull Named One of the Top Songwriters of the Year

Pitbull Named One of the Top Songwriters of the Year

Photo: Pitbull was recognized for 5 songs

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Cuban-American rapper Pitbull was named as one of three pop songwriters of the year at the BMI Pop Music Awards, handed out each year by U.S. performing rights organization Broadcast Music Inc.

Pitbull shared the honor with American songwriter and producer Benny Blanco and American singer-songwriter Ester Dean, while “Firework” (co-written by Dean and Sandy Vee) was designated the pop song of the year, that institution said in a press release Wednesday.

The 60th edition of the BMI Pop Awards took place Tuesday night at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Pitbull was recognized for five songs on the most-performed list: “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love,” “Give Me Everything,” “Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor),” “I Like It” and “On the Floor.”

On March 30, Pitbull was awarded the coveted BMI President’s Award for his influence in the world of entertainment.

In that same awards ceremony, he was named co-winner of the BMI Latin Songwriter of the Year prize along with Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Wisin & Yandel.

Read more by HS News Staff →

First Hispanic Woman to Preside On New Mexico Supreme Court Shares Advice for Young Latino Women

First Hispanic Woman to Preside On New Mexico Supreme Court Shares Advice for Young Latino Women

Photo: Judge Petra Jimenez Maes

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Judge Petra Jimenez Maes, well-known for her efforts to promote diversity, is the first Hispanic woman to preside on the New Mexico Supreme Court.

The 64-year-old Jimenez Maes, originally from Albuquerque, was one of the first women to graduate from the University of New Mexico Law School and during her lengthy career she has had to overcome various obstacles, among them assorted stereotypes.

“I think that one of the main obstacles that I’ve had to overcome has been ‘sexism,’ being a woman trying to stand out in an area dominated by men,” said the judge in a telephone interview with Efe from Santa Fe.

She noted that when she first expressed her interest in being a lawyer they told her that she was very “small” in size to be one. However, that type of remark pushed her to continue her studies.

“While I was moving forward in my career I noticed all the stereotypes there are about attorneys, above all that they are tall, white and male,” said Jimenez Maes, who being “short, brown and a woman” does not fit the specified parameters.

She was 10 years old when for the first time she expressed her wish to be a lawyer, since she saw the important role that they can have in helping people and was fascinated with the entire process of moving a case through the court system.

“In my family there was not a single attorney, not even anyone who had graduated from college. All that I learned about lawyers was from seeing television programs,” said the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants.

Upon finishing high school, Jimenez Maes had to work an entire year to earn enough money to go to college.

Once she entered the university, she studied and worked at the same time until she received a full scholarship from the law school.

Jimenez Maes was a judge at the Sante Fe Court for 17 years. In 1998, she was elected for the first time to the New Mexico Supreme Court, becoming the first Hispanic woman to occupy such a position.

She also became the first Hispanic woman to preside over the highest state court during the years 2003-2005.

In 2012, she was elected for the second time to head the state Supreme Court, a term that will end in 2014.

“My main message for young Latino women is to continue in school. I’m sure that all of them have dreams they want to fulfill and to be able to achieve them the main thing is for them to finish their studies,” Jimenez Maes said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

With 50% of Farmworkers Undocumented,Females are Defenseless Against Sexual Abuse in US

With 50% of Farmworkers Undocumented,Females are Defenseless Against Sexual Abuse in US

Photo: Field Workers

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Female farmworkers in the United States are defenseless against the sexual abuse to which they fall victim at their places of work, as in the case of a young undocumented Mexican woman who was deported when she reported the fact that a fellow worker had raped her.

“I emigrated in search of a better future, but, upon arriving, I experienced a great disappointment, because the female workers don’t have the same rights and benefits as the men and, if they sexually harass you, neither the boss or the police help you,” the woman, who asked that her identity not be revealed for fear of reprisals, told Efe on Wednesday.

The woman had continued to be the victim of sexual abuse in the workplace since she arrived in 1996 in New York state, where she was employed as a farmworker harvesting different vegetables and fruits, and her case is one of the more than 50 gathered by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report published Wednesday in New York.

The study, entitled “Cultivating Fear: The Vulnerability of Immigrant Farmworkers in the US to Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment,” discusses the abuses suffered by more than 50 undocumented female farmworkers in the states of California, North Carolina and New York.

During the course of its 95 pages, the report details the rapes, harassment and unwanted touching, exhibitionism and use of obscene language by supervisors, bosses, workmates and other people in positions of power.

In 2006, the young woman was raped by a coworker and although she reported the case to the police and they said they would arrest the man, “they never did so and, on the other hand, they passed my data to immigration and, since I have no papers, they deported me without caring that I had three children, one of them a baby, and I had to leave them in the U.S.,” she said.

“But I decided to return, because I could not leave my children behind, and so I had to cross the border again, in a journey of four days through the desert for which I had to pay $4,000,” she recalled.

Upon her return to the United States, the woman sought work again with her old boss because the person who had raped her had left the company and she thought that “things would change starting then,” although shortly afterwards another male workmate began to verbally harass her and send her messages.

“The boss told her that since it was only words and (the workmate) didn’t touch me, nothing would happen. I went to speak with the wife of this man and she told me that that had occurred to me because I was a flirt, she laughed a lot at me when we spoke, (and said) that ... I was to blame and I felt very bad,” she said.

The HRW report complains that hundreds of thousands of immigrant women and girls who work in U.S. fields are at “high risk” of becoming victims of sexual violence or harassment at their workplaces because the authorities do not protect them.

“Instead of being valued for their contributions, immigrant farmworkers are subject to a dysfunctional immigration system and labor laws that exclude them from basic protections most workers take for granted,” said the author of the report, Grace Meng.

The study says that those responsible for sexual harassment are aware of the power they have over their victims and 50 percent of the labor force working in U.S. fields are undocumented immigrants.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Financing Set for ‘Hemingway & Fuentes’ Starring Andy Garcia and Anthony Hopkins

Financing Set for ‘Hemingway & Fuentes’ Starring Andy Garcia and Anthony Hopkins

Photo: Financing Set for 'Hemingway & Fuentes' Starring Andy Garcia and Anthony Hopkins

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Cuban-American actor Andy Garcia has lined up the financing for his film project on legendary writer Ernest Hemingway, who will be played by Anthony Hopkins, the Deadline blog reported Wednesday.

“Hemingway & Fuentes” will also star Annette Bening, who will play the Nobel laureate’s third wife, Mary Walsh.

Garcia, who will direct the film, kept the role of Gregorio Fuentes, Hemingway’s close friend and boat captain, for himself.

“The novelist’s niece Hilary Hemingway and Garcia wrote the screenplay. Shooting is scheduled to start in January 2013,” Deadline said.

The film focuses on Hemingway’s life in the early 1950s in Cuba, where he was inspired to write the classic “The Old Man and the Sea,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953.

Fuentes, who died in 2002 at the age of 104, was one of the people closest to the author in the last decades of his life.

Garcia’s CineSon production company and Edward Walson’s Sunrider Productions will produce the film.

“I’ve always been passionate about fishing and about the book ‘The Old Man and the Sea,’ and I knew that I had to do this screenplay,” Garcia said during an appearance earlier this year at Mexico’s Guadalajara International Film Festival.

Hemingway, who committed suicide on July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho, wrote “The Old Man and the Sea,” one of his most famous novels, at Finca Vigia, the house 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside Havana where he lived from 1939 to 1961.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Watch Paul McCartney in Mexico City Concert Performing with Mariachis

Watch Paul McCartney in Mexico City Concert Performing with Mariachis

Photo: Paul McCartney at the concert in Mexico City

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A crowd of over 200,000 people saw Sir Paul McCartney perform at the Zocalo of Mexico City this past weekend.

The former Beatle took the stage a little after 9 p.m. in a red jacket and pink shirt.

The charismatic Brit repeatedly interacted with the public and said, “Tonight I will speak a little Spanish and some English.”

He sang both Beatles classics and his solo hits like “Drive My Car,” “Jet,” “Hello Goodbye,” and “Let It Be.”

He later dedicated his new song, “My Valentine,” to his current wife Nancy Shevell while projecting the music video to the audience.  The music video stars Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman.

He also played the song “Blackbird,” saying he wrote the song with his “great friend John,” referring to his band mate Lennon who was assassinated in 1980.  He also dedicated “Something” to former Beatle George Harrison who passed away from cancer in 2001.

In addition to the large music set, the concert had a firework display that lit up the Zocalo during his performance of “Live and Let Die.”

One of the most exciting moments of the night was when McCartney surprised the spectators.  The singer was joined on stage by Mariachi Gamma 1000 for an exciting rendition of “Ob-la-di Ob-la-da.” 

The video of Paul McCartney’s performance of “Ob-la-di Ob-la-da” can be seen below


Related Videos

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Pew Profile on Dominicans in the U.S.

Pew Profile on Dominicans in the U.S.

Photo: Dominican Republic

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An estimated 1.5 million Hispanics of Dominican origin resided in the United States in 2010, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Dominicans in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Dominican origin; this means either they themselves are Dominican immigrants or they trace their family ancestry to the Dominican Republic.

Dominicans are the fifth-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 3.0% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2010. Mexicans, the nation’s largest Hispanic origin group, constituted 32.9 million, or 64.9%, of the Hispanic population in 2010.1

This statistical profile compares the demographic, income and economic characteristics of the Dominican population with the characteristics of all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall. It is based on tabulations from the 2010 American Community Survey by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. Key facts include:

    Immigration status. Nearly six-in-ten Dominicans (57%) in the United States are foreign born compared with 37% of Hispanics and 13% of the U.S. population overall. Most immigrants from the Dominican Republic (63%) arrived in the U.S. in 1990 or later. Less than half of Dominican immigrants (47%) are U.S. citizens.
    Language. A majority (55%) of Dominicans speak English proficiently.3 The other 45% of Dominicans ages 5 and older report speaking English less than very well, compared with 35% of all Hispanics.
    Age. Dominicans are younger than U.S. population and older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Dominicans is 29; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 37 and 27, respectively.

Read more about Pew Research Center here

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Luis Gonzalez Claims Sex With John Travolta Showed Actor was “Experienced

Luis Gonzalez Claims Sex With John Travolta Showed Actor was “Experienced

Photo: Luis Gonzalez Claims Sex With John Travolta Showed Actor was “Experienced

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Five men have come forward claiming to have had a sexual encounter with Hollywood heavy-hitter John Travolta, with the one claiming the actor is “experienced” at sex with men.

The most recent man to claim a brief sexual relationship with the actor is Luis Gonzalez, a former massage therapist at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel, California.

Gonzalez claims he and Travolta spent an afternoon together, telling the National Enquirer he was “a great kisser,” insisting “I had sex with him and he loved it.”

The 49-year-old says he and Travolta had numerous meetings since they met in 1988, but said the first few times they were together, Travolta was just given a regular massage.

Gonzalez maintains that while the now 58-year-old married father may not call himself a gay man, “it doesn’t dismiss the fact that he likes sex with men .. and he’s experienced at it.”

After their alleged 1997 tryst, Gonzalez says he never saw Travolta again.

While Gonzalez was the 4th of 5man to claim to have had a sexual encounter with the Pulp Fiction star, he is not suing for any kind of abuse like some of the others.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cameron Diaz May Join Fassbender, Pitt on Ridley Scott’s ‘The Counselor’–Based on McCarthy Novel

Cameron Diaz May Join Fassbender, Pitt on Ridley Scott’s ‘The Counselor’–Based on McCarthy Novel

Photo: Cameron Diaz seen here in a recent TAG Heuer watch campaign

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Cameron Diaz is reportedly in talks to join the cast of Ridley Scott’s The Counselor.

Award winning author, Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor is hitting the big screen and blonde bombshell Diaz is said to be discussing coming on board. Should she come to an agreement, she would be joining Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, and Penelope Cruz.

The film’s screenplay was written by McCarthy himself and marks his first script.

The Counselor tells the story of a lawyer (Fassbender) who makes the mistake of getting involved in the world of drug trafficking with help from his friends (Bardem and to solve his money problems.

Diaz is in talks to play Malkina, a role that was previously offered to Angelina Jolie.

Bardem wil play the film’s friend-turned-villain, Reiner, while Cruz is set to play Fassbender’s fiancé.

McCarthy is the Pulitzer-winning behind All the Pretty Horses, and Bardem in particular has familiar with McCarthy’s work, as he played the sociopath antagonist in the film adaptation of McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, Anton Chigurh. The 2005 novel’s 2007 film by the same name won four Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Drivers Owe More Than $300 Million in Unpaid Fines

Colombian Drivers Owe More Than $300 Million in Unpaid Fines

Photo: Colombian Drivers Owe More Than $300 Million in Unpaid Fines

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Bogota, Colombia’s Mobility Department is reportedly preparing to impound 36,842 vehicles and 2125 homes because the owners have failed to pay a total of about 560 billion pesos (more than US$309.6 million).

Ana Luisa Flechas, Bogota’s Secretary of Mobility, told MSN Colombia citizens have the option of approaching the Mobility Dept. and arranging some sort of payment plans.

Should owners fail to pay these fines, the Mobility Department says they will impound the cars, take over the homes, and possibly auction them off.

About 400 thousand citizens owe the Mobility Department money.

Read more by HS News Staff →

DJ Paris Hilton Will Follow JLo at Brazil’s Pop Music Festival

DJ Paris Hilton Will Follow JLo at Brazil’s Pop Music Festival

Photo: DJ Paris Hilton Will Follow JLo at Brazil’s Pop Music Festival

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Hotel heiress Paris Hilton recently took to Twitter to announce that she will make her DJing debut following Jennifer Lopez and Kelly Clarkson at Brazil’s Pop Music Festival in Sao Paulo.

On Tuesday, Hilton tweeted “I’m so excited for my debut DJ performance in Brazil! Thank you for the love.”

The heiress will be spinning house music at the festival, and according to HouseMusicOrDie.com Hilton picked up a few tips from her friends during her years as a raver, and also her reported boyfriend DJ AfroJack.

“Paris has spent years at raves since she was a teenager and is always passionate about music. It almost seems that this is the perfect next step for her, if any woman was going to become the next top DJ it makes sense that it is Paris,” sources tell HouseMusicOrDie.com. “She is friends with a lot of the top DJs including Afrojack, Kaskade, Alesso, Tommy Trash, and Swedish House Mafia.”

The 31-year-old said she will be spinning her own remixes and “cannot wait!”

Her one-hour sets will reportedly follow Clarkson and Lopez on June 23.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Blog del Narco: Mexican Los Zetas Cartel Members Arrested in Guatemala

Blog del Narco: Mexican Los Zetas Cartel Members Arrested in Guatemala

Photo: Guatemala Police

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Three suspected employees of Mexico’s Los Zetas drug cartel were arrested in the eastern province of Zacapa after a gunfight with security forces, the Guatemalan interior minister said Thursday.

The clash Wednesday in the town of Gualan resulted in no casualties, Mauricio Lopez told reporters in the capital.

He identified the suspects as Vicente Enrique Estrada, 21, Salvador Vargas, 31, and Luis Orlando Vargas, 35, and said all three are Guatemalan citizens.

Authorities have reason to believe Orlando Vargas runs the Zetas’ extortion and kidnapping rackets in eastern Guatemala, the interior minister said.

Police seized an AK-47 assault rifle, a 9 mm pistol and a bulletproof vest from the suspects.

Los Zetas, founded by deserters from an elite Mexican military unit and regarded as the most brutal of the country’s drug cartels, has had a presence in Guatemala for at least four years.

Officials do not have detailed figures on the number of killings carried out by Los Zetas in Guatemala, but they say the cartel has been behind at least a dozen massacres that have claimed the lives of about 100 people since 2008.

The most dramatic incident was the slaughter of 27 peasants in the border province of Peten.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Police Find $65,000 of Cocaine in Man’s Wheelchair Cushion

LATINO BLOTTER: Police Find $65,000 of Cocaine in Man’s Wheelchair Cushion

Photo: Find $65,000 of Cocaine in Man’s Wheelchair Cushion

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A 43-year-old male Mexican national was arrested Sunday for attempting to smuggle approximately 7.2 pounds of cocaine into the United States. The cocaine was stuffed in the seat cushion of his wheelchair.

ImageCustoms and Border Protection officers assigned to the Dennis DeConcini Port referred the man for a secondary inspection of his wheelchair after noticing a peculiarity to the seat cushion. During the secondary inspection, CBP officers located five packages of cocaine valued at more than $65,500.

The drugs were processed for seizure. The subject was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

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2 Mexicans in Texas Told Undocumented, “Welcome to Hell,” As They Arrived at Stash House

2 Mexicans in Texas Told Undocumented, “Welcome to Hell,” As They Arrived at Stash House

Photo: 2 Mexicans in Texas Told Undocumented, "Welcome to Hell," As They Arrived at Stash House

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Two Mexican nationals were indicted Tuesday for conspiring to harbor aliens and alien harboring, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. The investigation is being led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol.

Vicente Ortiz-Soto and Marcial Salas-Gardunio, both 23 and Mexican nationals, were indicted on charges of conspiracy to harbor aliens and alien harboring. The indictment returned May 15 alleges local law enforcement officers, working alongside federal authorities, were sent to a residence in Edinburg, Texas, May 2, after a 911 caller indicated he was being held against his will in an alien stash house.

According to court documents, upon arrival at the scene, authorities discovered more than 100 undocumented aliens of various countries of origin located in three separate buildings on the property. One building was chain-locked and several undocumented aliens who were locked inside the building were treated for injuries.

Statements taken from the undocumented aliens indicated they were allegedly threatened by Salas-Gardunio that they would be beaten or killed if they did not remain quiet. Additionally, witnesses indicated Salas-Gardunio stated “Welcome to Hell” when undocumented aliens arrived at the residence.

HSI arrested the two men May 2 without incident. Both will remain in federal custody without bond pending trial. A date for their arraignment on the formal charges alleged in the indictment will be set by the court in the near future.

If convicted, Ortiz-Soto and Salas-Gardunio could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Survey: Majority of Hispanic Teens Guilty of Texting While Driving

Survey: Majority of Hispanic Teens Guilty of Texting While Driving

Photo: Survey shows texting while driving is highest amongst hispanics

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Findings from a new survey commissioned by AT&T as part of the “It Can Wait” campaign indicate Hispanic teens are highly vulnerable when it comes to texting while driving. A shocking 54 percent of Hispanic teens admit to texting while driving, compared to 41 percent of Caucasian and 42 percent of African-American teenagers.

Even though most teens polled in this survey understand the dangers of texting while driving, more than 43 percent of teens admit to sending a text while driving and 75 percent say it is common among their friends. But even more troubling is the fact that these teens feel pressure to respond to texts quickly – within five minutes or less.

Smartphone penetration is very high among teenagers, especially among Hispanic teens who over-index on smartphone and technology adoption. According to this survey, 78 percent of the Hispanic teens interviewed in this survey report owning a smartphone, compared to only 68 percent of Caucasian teenagers. Additionally, Hispanics are more likely to be a cell phone-only household, meaning they use their cell phones as their primary way of communication, according to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) by the Pew Research Center.

“The prevalence of texting while driving is higher among Hispanic teens, which is why we feel it is our responsibility to help spread the word about the dangers of this risky behavior,” said Brent Wilkes, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). “Thanks to AT&T’s efforts to spread their no-texting-while-driving message throughout the Hispanic community, LULAC can do the same, saving lives in the process.”

With prom, graduation and summer nearing, we head into the “100 deadliest days” for teen drivers on the road – the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Texting also ranks as the No. 1 mode of communication among teens. On average, teens text five times more a day than a typical adult. When this habit hits the road, drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be in an accident or near-accident.

Highlights of Teen Driver Survey:

    Hispanic teens (54 percent) are more likely to admit to the practice of texting while driving than Caucasian (41 percent) and African-American (42 percent) teens.
    Hispanic teens (52 percent) also are more likely to report seeing their parents text while driving, compared to 38 percent of Caucasian teens and 44 percent of African-American teens who reported seeing their parents text while driving.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Over Fifty-Thousand People Came to U.S. as Refugees in 2011, Cuba Leads from aLatin American Country

Over Fifty-Thousand People Came to U.S. as Refugees in 2011, Cuba Leads from aLatin American Country

Photo: Cuban Refugees Numbers Lead in 2011

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The U.S. provides refuge to persons who have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution through two programs: one for refugees and one for asylees, both allow for the affected person and their immediate relatives to be allowed into U.S.

A total of 56,384 persons were admitted to the U.S. as refugees during 2011.  The leading countries of nationality for refugees were Burma, Bhutan, and Iraq. The leading countries of nationality for persons granted either affirmative or defensive asylum were China, Venezuela, and Ethiopia.

To be eligible as a refugee or asylee the person is either unable to unwilling to return to their homeland because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion. 

Cuba had the most refugees, 2,920, accepted into the U.S. from a Latin American country; there was an increase of 5.2% from last year.  Where as Venezuela, Colombia and Guatemala were the Latin America countries where most asylees from Latin America came from.  Venezuela was second only to China with 1,107 asylees and China with 8,601.

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J.Lo is World’s Most Powerful Celebrity According to Annual Forbes List

J.Lo is World’s Most Powerful Celebrity According to Annual Forbes List

Photo: Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Lopez dethroned Lady Gaga as the world’s most powerful celebrity, according to a list published Wednesday by Forbes magazine in which the queen of U.S. television Oprah Winfrey came in in second place.

The singer of numbers such as “Let’s Get Loud” and “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” has hurtled upwards from the No. 50 slot she occupied last year in the magazine’s ranking of the 100 most influential movie, TV, music and sports stars.

“The Latina triple threat parlayed her position as a judge on American Idol into hit singles, increased album sales, an upcoming world tour, three new movies and a growing portfolio of endorsements,” wrote Forbes, which measures the fame, power and earnings of the stars.

JLo, who last summer separated from Marc Anthony, amassed earnings over the past year of $52 million, more than double the $25 million she earned the previous year, according to the figures compiled by Forbes.

The star, who is of Puerto Rican origin, unseated New Yorker Lady Gaga, from the No. 1 spot on the list, with the former top celebrity falling to fifth place because she did not tour much recently, although she also earned $52 million and her influence on the social networks continues to be “tremendous.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Trip Canceled: Queen Sofia of Spain Will Not Attend Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee

Trip Canceled: Queen Sofia of Spain Will Not Attend Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee

Photo: Trip Canceled: Queen Sofia of Spain Will Not Travel to Britain, Calling Trip "Unsuitable"

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Spain’s Queen Sofia on Wednesday cancelled the trip to London she had planned for later this week for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee because the Spanish government feels that it would be “unsuitable” after the fishing conflict with Gibraltar and the announced visit to The Rock by Britain’s Prince Edward.

The queen’s attendance at a luncheon scheduled within the framework of celebrations surrounding the 60th anniversary of Elizabeth II’s ascent to the British throne was cancelled because “under the current circumstances” the Spanish government feels that it would be “unsuitable” for her to participate in the event, spokesmen for the Royal Palace said.

The same sources said that the Royal Palace informed the British Royal Palace on Wednesday afternoon that Queen Sofia will not attend the Friday luncheon offered by Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Windsor Castle, without specifying the reasons for her absence.

Diplomatic officials told Efe that the conflict that arose after the breakdown in negotiations on Tuesday between Spanish fishermen and the government of Gibraltar to try and resolve the fishing blockade in the Bay of Algeciras was the impetus that motivated the Spanish government to advise the Royal Palace of the cancellation of the trip.

The conflict comes after the scheduling of the June 11-13 visit to The Rock by Elizabeth’s youngest son and her husband.

In addition, there is a third difficulty: namely, at the events commemorating Elizabeth’s 60th anniversary on the British throne the band from the British Gibraltar regiment has been scheduled to play.

Thirty-one years ago, the controversy over sovereignty of Gibraltar led the Spanish monarchs to cancel their attendance at the wedding of Britain’s heir to the throne, Prince Charles, and Lady Diana.

In 1981, Charles and Diana’s decision to make a stop in Gibraltar during their honeymoon on the yacht Britannia led the Spanish king and queen to decline the invitation to the wedding.

Since that time, various members of the British royal family have visited the colony on Spain’s southern coast and sparked protests by the Spanish government.

The latest royal visit to The Rock was by Princess Anne, Edward’s sister, in 2009 to inaugurate a military medical center.

Then, the visit was characterized by the Spanish Foreign Ministry as “untimely” and Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos communicated to his British counterpart, David Miliband, “the rejection, consternation and indignation of the (Spanish) government.”

Prince Edward visited Gibraltar in 2001 to present several Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards to young Gibraltar residents.

On that occasion, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique told the British Embassy in Madrid of Spain’s “displeasure” and “discomfort” regarding the visit. No official protest was made, however, because - he said - the trip was not an official one and had no political content.

On May 8, the Spanish Foreign Ministry summoned British Ambassador Giles Paxman to communicate its “disgust and unease” over Prince Edward’s visit to Gibraltar in June.

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Migrants’ Rights Activist Fleeing Mexico in Wake of Death Threats

Migrants’ Rights Activist Fleeing Mexico in Wake of Death Threats

Photo: Rev. Alejandro Solalinde

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Migrants’ rights activist the Rev. Alejandro Solalinde, who received death threats a few weeks ago, said he was leaving Mexico temporarily for his own safety.

“The situation is very delicate and that’s why it’s necessary to take a short break ... and I am not leaving due to fear. If that was it, I would keep quiet,” Solalinde said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Solalinde, a staunch defender of the rights of Central American migrants, has received death threats on several occasions, most recently last month, when a price was placed on his head.

“I accepted the recommendations of national and foreign civil (society) organizations to temporarily suspend my pastoral and activist work” in Mexico, Solalinde said.

“The threats are coming not just from organized crime groups, but also from authorities and corrupt police,” Solalinde said, adding that he was leaving Mexico “on the recommendation of national and international groups to protect my life.”

“Hopefully, they will start an investigation,” Solalinde said.

The Catholic priest founded the Hermanos del Camino shelter in the southern state of Oaxaca, where some 200 Central American migrants arrive each day.

Amnesty International recently said Solalinde had received death threats and called on Mexican officials to protect him and the migrants he assists.

Two individuals stopped Solalinde on April 15 as he was guiding about 1,500 migrants to the shelter he runs in Ixtepec, a city in Oaxaca, and started harassing him, Amnesty International’s Mexico office said.

“When the priest intervened, the two men insulted him and threatened to kill him,” the human rights group said.

A person working with Solalinde revealed that information had been received that a hit man had been hired to kill the Catholic priest, Amnesty International said.

An estimated 300,000 Central Americans undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States.

The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.

Gangs kidnap, exploit and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican officials say.

A total of 46,716 Central Americans were deported from Mexico between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2011, the National Migration Institute, or INM, said in a report released earlier this year.

The majority of the migrants - 41,215 - were men and nearly half, some 23,560, were from Guatemala, the INM said.

Read more by HS News Staff →



ThursdayMay 17, 2012