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FridayMay 25, 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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Death Threats Force Human Rights Lawyer To Leave Mexico

Death Threats Force Human Rights Lawyer To Leave Mexico

Photo: Vidulfo Rosales Sierra

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A Mexican attorney who specializes in human rights cases announced he is leaving the country temporarily because of death threats.

Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, legal counsel for the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center, is the second rights activist in less than a month to flee Mexico.

“I am leaving the country to protect my life, but I demand from authorities an investigation of the recent threats and acts of harassment against me,” Rosales said at a Mexico City press conference arranged by Amnesty International.

He denounced the government for a “lack of will” to protect human rights defenders in the southern state of Guerrero, where the Tlachinollan Center is based.

“The threats to my person began in 2009 due to the effort we headed to obtain justice for the murder and extrajudicial execution of indigenous people who were tortured,” the attorney said.

The Tlachinollan Center was founded in 1992 to document police and military abuses against Mixtec, Nahuatl, Amusgo and Tlapaneco Indians in the Tlachinollan Mountain region.

As the center’s legal counsel, Rosales has played a key role in important cases such as the February 2002 rape of two indigenous women by soldiers, AI’s Mexico representative, Alberto Herrera, said at the press conference.

Rosales is currently representing the families of two students slain after taking part in a Dec. 12 demonstration in Chilpancingo, Guerrero’s capital.

The lawyer’s departure comes less than two weeks after a Catholic priest who runs a shelter for Central American migrants said he was leaving Mexico after learning that someone had put a price on his head.

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

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Mexican Governor Apprehended on Corruption Charges

Former Mexican Governor Apprehended on Corruption Charges

Photo: Narciso Agundez Montaño

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The former governor of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur was arrested here on corruption charges, officials told Efe.

Narciso Agundez Montaño was detained on his arrival at Monterrey International Airport, sources in the Nuevo Leon state government said.

The arrest was coordinated with the Baja California Sur state Attorney General’s Office, the sources said. Agundez, who governed the Pacific coast state from 2005-2011, reportedly traveled to Monterrey on family business.

Corruption allegations against Agundez surfaced in June 2011, the Baja California Sur AG’s office said.

Media accounts say Agundez and six other members of his administration are accused of wrongdoing in the sale of properties in the resort town of Cabo San Lucas.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Poll: Obama Favored Over Romney Among Hispanic Voters - But Pres’ Work for Hispanic Vote Not Over

Poll: Obama Favored Over Romney Among Hispanic Voters - But Pres’ Work for Hispanic Vote Not Over

Photo: Poll: Obama Favored Over Romney Among Hispanic Voters

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Though Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign is aware they will need as much of the Latino vote as they can get, it is surely an uphill battle, as Republicans have historically no been very popular among Hispanics/Latinos.

According to a poll of Hispanic voters, conducted by The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, and Telemundo, President Obama is still favored over Romney.

The poll, which was released Wednesday, reveals 61 percent of Hispanics polled still support President Obama, while only 27 percent support Mitt Romney. In 2008, Obama won 67 percent of the Hispanic vote,and currently has a higher approval rating among Hispanics than he does among all Americans.

In November, at least 12.2 million Hispanics are expected to vote, which shows a 26 percent increase from 2008.

ImageThree states expected to play pivotal roles in this coming election are Colorado, Florida, and New Mexico. In those states, Hispanics are expected to make up 8.7 percent (Colorado), 18.3 percent (Florida), and 35 percent (New Mexico) of the electorate. A separate poll from Quinnipiac University revealed Romney has a slight lead over Obama in Florida.

Acknowledging the importance of the Hispanic/Latino vote, both Romney and President Obama are scheduled to address the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) annual conference next week.

With just 6 months until the general election, both the President’s and his top Republican rival’s campaigns are stepping up their game. Both have aired ads in Spanish, though while the President’s ads are targeted specifically at Hispanic/Latinos, Romney’s Spanish-language ads are exactly the same as his ads in English.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jay Lopez Talks Prepares for His First Film “Sin Padre” (VIDEO)

Jay Lopez Talks Prepares for His First Film “Sin Padre” (VIDEO)

Photo: Jay Lopez Talks About His First Film "Sin Padre"

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California actor Jay Lopez was brought up alone by his mother and, inspired by his own story, wrote the screenplay for “Sin Padre” (Without a Father), a film to which he is now giving the finishing touches for its presentation at Latino film festivals.

“The movie is about a teenager called Juan, who, when his school asks him to write an essay about his dad, begins asking his mom and his aunt questions about why he never had a father,” Lopez said in an interview with Efe.

He said “it’s a story that Asians, African Americans, Latinos and any other race can identify with if they’ve never had a father in their life and they know how hard being a teen is if there’s never been a man in the house.”

Born on May 20, 1984 in San Francisco, Lopez is the son of Honduran immigrants.

“Sin Padre” was shot in March 2012 in San Francisco’s Mission District.

“I only spent about $1,000” on production, “because I work at a movie production company where we have all the equipment, plus the actors all wanted to be in my film and they worked for free,” Lopez said.

The film is scheduled to premiere in September at the San Francisco Latino Film Festival.


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Read more by HS News Staff →

UN Official Implores Colombia to Fight Impunity For Sexual Violence Crimes

UN Official Implores Colombia to Fight Impunity For Sexual Violence Crimes

Photo: Margot Wallström meets with survivors in Colombia -UN photo

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Colombia must increase its efforts to fight impunity for crimes of sexual violence, a United Nations envoy said today, adding that such efforts should be paired with assistance to survivors and victims.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallström met with survivors of sexual violence, representatives of victims associations and Government officials, as well as with the ombudsman and the Inspectors- General of the army and the police.

In addition, she travelled to the city of Villavicencio to visit a site for internally displaced persons and learn about the Government’s reintegration programme for ex-combatants. She also heard testimonies from survivors of sexual violence and met with ex-combatants of the National Liberation Army, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and paramilitary forces.

Ms. Wallström welcomed the Government’s resolve to fight impunity for sexual violence crimes perpetrated in the context of conflict.

The Special Representative added that she would continue to monitor the situation and engage with the Government, the UN Country Team, civil society in Colombia and the international community on this issue.

“Justice in Colombia has been delayed for so many, but it must not be denied,” she said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bolivia to Implement Model Program for Early Childhood Development

Bolivia to Implement Model Program for Early Childhood Development

Photo: Early childhood development program

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Bolivia will implement a model program for early childhood development to improve access and quality of care for more than 25,000 children under 4 years old, with a $20 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Although it is still among the lowest-income countries in Latin America, Bolivia is substantially increasing its investment in programs to reduce poverty and inequality, and has been expanding access to social services for vulnerable segments of the population.

The program will contribute in a sustainable and culturally relevant way to cognitive, socio-emotional and physical development of children in Bolivia. By 2017, it is expected to enable at least 25,000 children to be covered by early childhood development services in high poverty areas.  The program will focus on the health sector, with emphasis on attention in 90 child development centers with an estimated coverage of up to 3,060 children. It will also set up to 60 early stimulation rooms with a capacity to assist up to 9,000 children with development delays.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Locked Up Abroad: Man Escapes a Mexican Prison by Dressing Like a Woman

Locked Up Abroad: Man Escapes a Mexican Prison by Dressing Like a Woman

Photo: Locked Up Abroad: Man Escapes a Mexican Prison by Dressing Like a Woman

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In 1973, Dwight Worker was arrested in Mexico City after he was caught trying to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. He was sentenced to 5 years for drug possession, but after 2 years of allegedly being tortured in Lecumberri Prison (often called “The Black Palace of Mexico”) Worker was at his breaking point.

Though he admits he was “101 percent guilty” he said he claims what he was put through was far worse than he deserved. Worker was reportedly “tortured, electroshocked, and stabbed four times while there.”

However, amidst all the torture, Worker managed to find love. While locked up, Worker met fellow American, Barbara White, who had been visiting another prisoner.

The two eventually began planning a life together and even an escape.

Worker and White eventually came up with the plan. White would smuggle in women’s clothes, makeup, and a wig, and Worker would change into them, avoid being detected by the guards, and simply walk out.

With all the pieces for the drag-plan in hand, Worker did just that. He did his best to play the part of a visiting woman and managed to get out of the prison.

“It’s not illegal to escape from a prison in Mexico, unless you cause damage to the state or to a person,” Worker told the National Geographic interviewer. “However, it was foolish, because if the guards had captured me, they would have ... how do I put this? Treated me as if I was a woman before killing me.”

After escaping, Worker met up with White, changed, jumped on a plan to Arizona, and then just one last flight to his home in Indiana.

Though White and Worker divorced in 1988, they did have a son. And though his physical wounds may have healed, he says he still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder due to what they did to him in prison.

Mexican officials have never called for him to be extradited.

Check out a clip from “Locked Up Abroad” below.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Family Continues to Honor Hispanic Soldier Killed in Iraq in 2004

Family Continues to Honor Hispanic Soldier Killed in Iraq in 2004

Photo: Isela Rubalcava

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The parents of Isela Rubalcava, an Hispanic soldier who died eight years ago in Iraq, will remember their daughter with special intensity this Memorial Day weekend.

It was two days before Mother’s Day that Army Sgt. Rubalcava, the El Paso-born daughter of Mexican immigrants, lost her life in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

On the day of her death, May 8, 2004, a group of soldiers arrived at the home of Ramon and Maria Isela Rubalcava in Canutillo, Texas, to give them the worst news of their lives.

Isela had been killed by an exploding mortar shell.

She was the third woman of Mexican descent to die on the Iraq war front and the first woman from El Paso to die in combat.

“She was going to come to visit several days after she died. The last time I spoke with her she told me to kill a pig because she wanted to eat pork and pork rinds. We were preparing a party for her birthday, which was May 11, a party she was not able to enjoy. She was going to be 26 years old when she died,” Ramon Rubalcava told Efe.

Isela Rubalcava enlisted in the U.S. military in 2000. She worked as a supply technician in the 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division, based at Fort Lewis, Washington.

“In the days before her death, she said she was very happy because when she returned she was definitely going to be working at Fort Bliss, in El Paso, near us and all her family. My daughter returned, but she was dead. We could not see her smiling for the last time,” Rubalcava’s mother told Efe.

In her four years of military service, the young woman was stationed for one year in South Korea and had been in Iraq since November 2003. She had planned to leave the Army in March 2005 and return to her criminal justice studies at the University of Texas at El Paso.

“She was proud to serve her country, so much so that when she finished her first period of service and went back to reenlist,” her father added.

The street in front of Canutillo’s high school was renamed for Isela Rubalcava and at Fort Lewis there is a gymnasium that also bears her name.

Also, the musical group Conjunto Halcon Norteño composed a traditional Mexican ballad that recounts incidents in her life and mentions the young woman’s death.

From the day of her death onward, her parents have been inconsolable. They speak of her as if she were still present and never tire of telling anecdotes about things they experienced with her.

The couple decided to honor the life of their only daughter by making her room into a shrine and sanctuary of memories, belongings and gifts she received during her life and after her death.

Every year, Rubalcava’s parents celebrate their daughter’s birthday with a religious ceremony and on that day this year friends, workmates and relatives of the young woman also participated.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Points Gun at Women to Get in Front of Them at McDonald’s

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Points Gun at Women to Get in Front of Them at McDonald’s

Photo: Man Points Gun at Women to Get in Front of Them at McDonald's

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A Florida man was taken into custody after he allegedly suggestively revealed a gun to other drivers so he could get in front of them in line at the drive-through.

Police in West Palm Beach, arrested 58-year-old James Lee Cruz at a local McDonald’s after three women called to report a man in a silver Buick pointed a gun and yelled something they could not hear, all because he apparently did not want to wait his turn.

The women backed up their car and allowed Cruz to pull ahead of them, thereby revealing his license plate, the number of which they wrote down. They then called the police and gave them the number as they followed him to his home.

This occurred at around 1:35 a.m. so one has to wonder how long the line could have been.

James Lee Cruz was later arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault.

He is being held in lieu of $7,500 bond at Palm Beach County Jail.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER:  Man Held by Police for Shopping Cart Theft Tries to Steal Police Station Clock

LATINO BLOTTER:  Man Held by Police for Shopping Cart Theft Tries to Steal Police Station Clock

Photo: Mug Shut Miguel Marquez

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Wow – stupid does not begin to describe Miguel Marquez of Panama City, Florida.  First he gets arrested for fighting with his partner-in-crime over stolen items and then he decides to steal from the very police that arrested him.

All of Marquez’ problems started on Tuesday or earlier in life (depending if you believe child psychologists) when he and 51-year-old Dennis W. Baugham were arrested for causing a disturbance at 3 am over items in a stolen Winn Dixie shopping cart.

In defense of Marquez, 34, he might of just borrowed the Winn Dixie shopping cart to carry all the new camping equipment in the cart.  Police arrested the duo for causing a disturbance and because they believed the camping items, which included a tent, stove and fuel, were stolen. 

Once inside the Panama City police station, Marquez was observed taking the station’s wall clock and putting it into his backpack.  Why, the hell didn’t the police remove this man’s backpack, I don’t know.  How long did they leave Marquez in the interrogation room, I don’t know but obviously long enough.

Police have charged both men with shopping cart theft (no joke) and Marquez additionally with petit (fancy Florida word for petty) theft.  Neither gentlemen (we use that word loosely here) has been charged with stealing the camping equipment, police are still investigating who the items belong to.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Crossing into the U.S. from Mexico? You Could be Smuggling in Drugs Underneath Your Car

Authorities say Mexican drug smugglers are using unsuspecting drivers to move the drugs for them.

Using strong magnets taped to the drugs to be transported, drug smugglers attach the drugs to the under side of vehicles and wait for the drivers to “carry” the illegal cargo across the border for them.

Drivers with SENTRI passes are granted rapid border crossing. However, these drivers are being targeted as their quick crossing makes them ideal unsuspecting drug smugglers.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials say they are away of the drug traffickers’ new tactics and say they are working to identify and dismantle those behind this scheme.

However, ICE spokesperson Lauren Mack recently told News 8, ‘The bottom line is you are responsible to know what’s in your car, so be aware there are these kinds of schemes and be careful what you’re bringing back.’

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico City Starts Composting 12,600 Tons of Daily Garbage

Mexico City Starts Composting 12,600 Tons of Daily Garbage

Photo: Mexico City Starts Massive Composting Project

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The capital of Mexico has begun a new waste management project of composting.  The immense city which disposes of nearly 12,600 tons of trash daily, closed its last garbage dump in December and began the process of composting its organic garbage. 

The garbage is brought to the new composting area, just outside of Mexico City, buried, then aerated, and mixed with other microorganisms while it waits for 40 days before turning into compost.  The city plans to eventually sell this compost to farmers, however the quality needs to be improved before this can happen.  Currently the material is being used to fertilize parks as well as medians.

Separating the organic material from the non organic garbage is part of the process.  The city pays each tractor-trailer 50 pesos, roughly $3.60 per ton of organic material yet the non organic material is still sent to a nearby garbage dump. 

Read more at Smart Planet →

Judge Approves $18.5M Settlement for Woman Injured During ‘Transformers 3’ Filming

Judge Approves $18.5M Settlement for Woman Injured During ‘Transformers 3’ Filming

Photo: Judge Approves $18.5M Settlement for Woman Injured During 'Transformers 3' Filming

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Lawyers for the woman severely injured during filming of Transformers 3 has reached a multi-million dollar settlement on her behalf.

In 2010, the 24-year-old Gabriella Cedillo was one of extras on the set of Transformers 3 in Hammond, Indiana. Her part was to drive her car down the street during an action scene. During the scene a stunt car was being pulled by a cable. However, that cable, which Cedillo’s lawyer says was not attached properly, snapped off and flew through her window. She was struck in the head and taken to the hospital.

Due to the accident, Cedillo’s lawyer says, “She lost about a third of the top of her head” and has suffered permanent brain impairment.

A Cook County judge approved a $18.5 million settlement for the victim on Wednesday.

The lawsuit that was filed against the movie studios claimed the studios agreed to pay for Cedillo’s medical costs, but changed their tune and “did everything they could to avoid payment” forcing her onto Public Aid for pay for her bills. The claim is that Cedillo was struck by the cable because the crew failed to properly weld the cable to the stunt car. The lawsuit also alleged the crew did not have permits for fireworks or explosive devices and extras driving cars were having to dodge flying debris.

She is currently undergoing therapy at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, with her family hoping she can one day return to school and even get married.

For now though, they are just happy she is alive.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bodega Worker Pedro Hernandez Arrested for Murder of Etan Patz

Bodega Worker Pedro Hernandez  Arrested for Murder of Etan Patz

Photo: Pedro Hernandez Arrested Murder of Etan Patz

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Bodega worker, 51-year-old Pedro Hernandez has been arrested for the murder of 6-year-old Etan Patz who disappeared on his way to his school bus in 1979.

According to authorities Hernandez of New Jersey confessed to luring the youngster with a soda at the bodega he worked near the boy’s Prince Street home.  Allegedly Hernandez took the boy to the basement where he strangled him and disposed of his body.  Certain reports are stating the boy’s body was cut into pieces other are reporting his body was thrown away with the bodega’s trash.  To this day remains have not been found.

Hernandez is expected to be arraigned today and is currently on suicide watch at New York’s Bellevue Hospital.  No motive is known for the crime.

There has been a flurry of activity in this 1979 missing child’s case after the case was reopened in 2010.  Today is the 33rd anniversary of Patz’s disappearance that led to the creation of ‘National Missing Childrens Day’ and the often used practice of placing pictures of missing children on sides of milk cartons.

Attention was focused on Hernandez when family members recently recalled hearing Hernandez talking about killing a child and hiding his body in the local bodega.  When police brought him in to discuss those accusations he confessed. 

Police are now investigating the confession to see if it is viable. Hernandez lived in Maple Shade, New Jersey with his wife and daughter and would have been 19 at the time of the killing.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Fla. Couple Arrested for Leaving Child In Car While They Went in Strip Club

LATINO BLOTTER: Fla. Couple Arrested for Leaving Child In Car While They Went in Strip Club

Photo: Israel Rangel-Ortiz, Edith Aguilar-Cardona Arrested for Leaving Child In Car at Strip Club

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A Florida couple was arrested this week after they left a 4-year-old in a car outside a strip club so the husband could go in a “see the girls.”

Israel Rangel Ortiz and his wife Edith Aguilar Cardona have been charged with child neglect without great harm for leaving the toddler inside a vehicle and heading into the Palmetto, Florida strip club Pandora’s Box.

People reportedly called police after the 4-year-old in the black Nissan asked them if they knew where his/her parents were.

Witnesses told Palmetto deputies the 25-year-old parents were inside the strip club watching dancers, tipping the girls, and ordering drinks. Rangel Ortiz reportedly purchased a private lap dance as well.

Aguilar Cardona told police they had only been inside the club 20 minutes, though police say they were inside for at least an hour.

The parents were arrested and each are being held at the Manatee County jail on $5000 bond.

The child was picked up by another family member.

Read more by HS News Staff →

FBI Award for Alleged Bride Killer, Arnoldo Jimenez, Probably Hiding in Mexico

FBI Award for Alleged Bride Killer, Arnoldo Jimenez, Probably Hiding in Mexico

Photo: Arnoldo Jimenez thought to be in Durango, Mexico

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Alleged bride killer, Arnoldo Jimenez, remains elusive to police and is probably hiding out in Mexico so the FBI has announced a $10,000 rewards in hopes of catching him.

The 30-year-old newlywed is thought to have stabbed his new wife, Estrella Carrera, hours after they were wed in Burbank, Illinois on May 11th.  The 26-year-old bride and mother of two was still wearing her wedding dress when she was found in her dry bathtub.

The groom had been involved with Carrera for approximately three years before they decided to get married impromptu.  According to family members it was a volatile relationship and one that did not meet the approval of various members of Carrera’s close-knit Hispanic family.

Jimenez is the father of the couple’s two-year-old son and Carrera is also the mother of a 9-year-old daughter.  Both children are in the care of Carrera’s family

Jimenez made his escape in a 2006 Maserati and thought to have crossed the border into Santiago Papsquiaro in Durango, Mexico, where he is thought to have family.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Severe and Permanent Drought Predicted for Mexico and Parts of Central America

Severe and Permanent Drought Predicted for Mexico and Parts of Central America

Photo: Severe drought Mexico, Central America

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According to a 2011 study, if current warming trends continue, Mexico and many sections of the United States as well as the majority of Central America could face severe and permanent drought conditions in the future.  The study, published in December of 2011, in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Hydrometeorology, has surprisingly not received much press, yet it could create climate change in these areas producing international effects. 

According to the study, “Projections of Future Drought in the Continental United States and Mexico,” drought conditions will continue even if precipitation increases.  The study estimates that with carbon emissions, temperatures will increase to at least 2.5 degrees Celsius between the years 2050 and 2090.  The warmer temperatures will increase evaporation creating drier soils.  Precipitation may increase, however potentially only in winter months. 

Michael Wehner, co-author of the study and a climate specialist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California states, “Drought conditions will prevail no matter what precipitation rates are in the future.  Even in regions where rainfall increases, the soils will get drier.  What this means for future generations is a very difficult issue for me to talk about at a personal level.”

These predictions could not come at a worse time as Mexico is currently facing its worst drought in the past 70 years, and the state of Texas suffered its worst drought in history.  As of May 8th of this year, 56% of the United States was experiencing drought conditions.  This statistic has doubled in comparison to data compiled by the U.S. Drought Monitor from the previous year

Read more at IPS News →

Chile’s Lake Cachet Vanishing

Chile’s Lake Cachet Vanishing

Photo: Chile's Lake Cachet II Disappearing

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Lake Cachet II, located in Chile’s Patagonia region, vanished overnight.  The lake, fed by ice melting from the Colonia Glacier, lcoated 1,250 miles south of the country’s capital of Santiago, was reduced to puddles and chunks of ice after emptying into the Baker river. 

Since 2008, Lake Cachet II has drained 11 times as a result of rising global temperatures.  The glacier typically acts as a dam, yet these temperatures have weakened it’s wall thus resulting in this emptying phenomenon now called, GLOF.  GLOFs, Glacial Lake Outburst Floods, have now become more frequent in the area.  In May of 2007, Tempanos Lake, also in southern Chile, emptied yet a few months later slowly started to refill. 

According to Gino Casassa, from the Center for Scientific Studies, CES, states that this phenomenon will become more frequent.  Casassa, also a member of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that between 1896 and January of 2010 there have been 53 other cases of lakes draining with the frequency increasing in recent years. 

Residents in the area now respond to an alarm when a GLOF occurs, allowing them sufficient time to evacuate themselves as well as their animals before the flood worsens. 

Read more at Google Hosted News →

Only 2% of Congressional Representation is Latinos - Diversity Lacking in Government

Only 2% of Congressional Representation is Latinos - Diversity Lacking in Government

Photo: U.S. Capitol building

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National Urban Fellows, one of the country’s oldest leadership development organizations, announced the findings of Diversity Counts: Racial and Ethnic Diversity among Public Service Leadership, the first comprehensive review of representation in government, philanthropy, and non-profit organizations.

Diversity Counts reveals the continuing dilemma of the under-representation of people of color in public service leadership, while offering that leadership diversity remains both an opportunity and a challenge for public service institutions. The opportunity is for top decision-makers in public service to adopt system-wide inclusionary practices and the challenge is to expand opportunities for new diverse perspectives in leadership.

The publication shows that for congressional representation, diversity among the combined 535 House and Senate members only about 16 percent are people of color. Specifically, 44 (8 percent) are African American, 27 (5 percent) are Latino/Latina, 10 (2 percent) are Asian Pacific American, and 1 (less than 1 percent) is Native American. Also according to the data, staffs of U.S. Representatives are under-represented in key positions: only 13 percent of chiefs of staff are people of color; approximately 13 percent of House legislative directors are people of color; and only about 22 percent of senior legislative aides and legislatives aides are people of color.

The report illustrates that state and local governments don’t fair much better. In state government among the 50 governors of the United States, 92 percent are of White, non-Hispanic heritage, and that only 13 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia have a chief diversity officer on record. Among the five most diverse states, people of color are under-represented in state legislatures, including the state house of representatives/assembly and the state senate.

In county and local governments sixty-one percent of our nation’s 18 most diverse counties have an executive who is identified as a person of color. In the majority of the nation’s most diverse cities, there is an under-representation of people of color on city councils, in comparison with their percentage of the general population. In two cities, San Francisco, California, and San Antonio, Texas, the percentage of people of color on the city council, 71 percent and 90 percent, respectively, exceeds the percentage of people of color in the general population, 58 percent and 73 percent, respectively.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Check Out Latin American History With @TodayInLatAm - on Twitter!

Check Out Latin American History With @TodayInLatAm  - on Twitter!

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HS News is proud to announce our latest addition to the Twitter-sphere, TodayInLatAmHistory (‏@TodayInLatAm).

Updated daily, we’ll bring you interesting facts about what happened on that day in Latin American history.

To receive these little factoids, be sure to follow us on Twitter @TodayInLatAm, sign up for our feed or get it daily in your box with our newsletter!

Who knows, maybe you’ll impress your friends with how much you learn about Latin American history!


Click to enlarge the photo below.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mother Carmen Rios Garcia Blinded her Son as Part of Satanic Ritual

Mother Carmen Rios Garcia Blinded her Son as Part of Satanic Ritual

Photo: Mother Carmen Rios Garcia Blinded her Son as Part of Satanic Ritual

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A Mexican mother blinded her 5-year-old son in an apparent satanic ritual, authorities in the central state of Mexico said Thursday.

Carmen Rios Garcia, 23, is one of seven people in custody in connection with the crime, a municipal official in Nezahualcoyotl told Efe.

“What we think - it’s a hypothesis - is that it was a satanic ritual. They speak of a religious ceremony,” Mayra Perez said.

The incident occurred at 8:30 a.m. in the town of San Agustin Atlapulco, where 10 people, three of them minors, were inside a house performing “a religious ceremony,” she said.

One of those present, the brother of Rios Garcia, told the authorities that the woman “had the child in her arms” and asked the other attendees at the ceremony to close their eyes.”

It was then that Rios Garcia stuck her fingers into her son’s eyes, blinding him, claimed Perez.

Alerted by relatives of the boy, municipal police transported young Fernando to a nearby hospital, from where he was ultimately transferred to a better-equipped facility in Mexico City.

According to the boy’s uncle, Jesus Rios, several of the people present at the ceremony, which lasted several days, were under the influence of “some drug or in shock,” a condition that prevented them from helping the youngster.

The Mexico state Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation into the incident.

Besides the people arrested, a child of 8 and a 9-month-old baby were rescued from the home where the ritual occurred.

Regarding Fernando’s condition, officials at the Mexico City health department told Efe that he is under sedation and out of mortal danger, but he sustained severe trauma - and irreversible damage - to his eyes, and thus he will remain blind for life.

Read more by HS News Staff →



FridayMay 25, 2012