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MondayMay 28, 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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Four Spanish Children Amongst 19 Victims in Qatar Fire

Four Spanish Children Amongst 19 Victims in Qatar Fire

Photo: Qatar Fire

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Three of the four Spanish children killed in a fire Monday at a daycare center in a mall in Doha were the children of an executive of Spanish construction company OHL who works in Qatar, company spokesmen told Efe.

The children ranged in age from 2 to 7 and died along with a 7-year-old girl from another Spanish family.

Relatives of the girl live in Doha because the father, who is an engineer, is working there on big development projects, the mayor of Campo de Criptana, in the province of Ciudad Real, in central Spain, Santiago Lucas Torres, told Efe.

The father of the three youngsters who died is the personnel chief at the hospital that OHL is building in Doha, the company spokesman said.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry only confirmed that the four children had died but provided no further details regarding their identities because relatives had asked for “maximum discretion,” ministry spokesmen told Efe.

In addition to the four Spanish children, another 15 people died in the fire, including nine children, four teachers and two firefighters, the Qatari Interior Ministry said.

The fire broke out at 11:00 a.m. (0800 GMT) at the Villagio Mall, one of Doha’s most modern shopping centers, producing a huge amount of thick smoke. Firefighters required three hours to bring the blaze under control and an equal amount of time to clear the smoke from the mall.

The parents of the children had left them at the daycare center, given that there was no school on Monday in Doha.

Spanish Embassy personnel in Doha have made themselves available to help the relatives of the victims.

The Spanish community in Qatar is made up of a little more than 500 people, of whom a good portion are businessmen or employees for multinational companies.

Read more by HS News Staff →

POLL:  Majority of Americans Fear Civil Rights Violations With Efforts to Identify the Undocumented

POLL:  Majority of Americans Fear Civil Rights Violations With Efforts to Identify the Undocumented

Photo: Civil Rights Violation and Immigration Laws

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While voters remain concerned that efforts to deport illegal immigrants will inadvertently lead to civil rights violations, a majority still disagrees with granting automatic citizenship to children of illegal immigrants born in the United States.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 58% of Likely U.S. Voters are at least somewhat concerned that efforts to identify and deport illegal immigrants will also end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens, including 24% who are Very Concerned.

The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 22-23, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports.

Read more at Rasmussen Reports →

Narco News: 10 Murdered in Acapulco Over Weekend in Cartel Violence

Narco News: 10 Murdered in Acapulco Over Weekend in Cartel Violence

Photo: 10 Acapulco Murders this Weekend

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At least 10 people were murdered over the weekend in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco, Mexican prosecutors said.

The bodies of nine men and a woman were found in different sections of the port city between Saturday night and noon on Sunday, spokesmen for the Guerrero state Attorney General’s Office told Efe.

The woman’s body was discovered around 2:00 a.m. Sunday on a highway near Acapulco, the AG’s office said, adding that the unidentified victim appeared to be in her early 20s.

Two dismembered bodies were found Sunday morning by the Acapulco municipal police department.

The mutilated bodies were discovered in Acapulco’s La Maquina district, with the heads and extremities left alongside the trunks.

Two men were gunned down at a basketball court in La Maquina on Saturday morning.

The other five bodies were found in different sections of the resort city, and all of the victims died from gunshot wounds, the AG’s office said.

The La Barredora drug gang and the Cartel Independiente de Acapulco have been fighting for control of the resort city for more than one year.

The two gangs were originally part of the criminal organization run by Edgar Valdez Villarreal, the AG’s office said.

Valdez Villarreal, known as “La Barbie,” was arrested by the Federal Police on Aug. 30, 2010.

Guerrero Gov. Angel Aguirre Rivero launched an operation involving state police and Federal Police officers to provide security in areas frequented by foreign and domestic tourists.

“Operation Safe Guerrero” was launched on Oct. 6, 2011, in an effort to reduce the soaring crime rate in the state.

People living in other areas of Acapulco have been demanding a larger police presence due to the surge in drug-related violence.

Acapulco, a favorite among Mexican and foreign tourists for decades, has lost business to other destinations due to the violence.

The war between La Barredora and the Cartel Independiente de Acapulco is behind the rising body count in the Pacific port city, officials said

Read more by HS News Staff →

Wife Accuses Zeta Cartel of Kidnapping Her Husband Out of Their Texas Home

Wife Accuses Zeta Cartel of Kidnapping Her Husband Out of Their Texas Home

Photo: Armando Morfin Kidnapped by Zetas

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Marina Morfin is pleading for the safe return of her husband Armando Morfin, who was kidnapped out of their La Blanca, Texas home on March 30th.

She believes her husband was kidnapped by the Zeta’s drug cartel operating out of Mexico.  On March 30th, Morfin was home with the couples 4-year-old daughter when three gun men smashed the front door down in the morning.  Mother and daughter were held at gunpoint until the husband returned home from dropping off the couples other two children at school.

The camouflage-wearing gunmen identified themselves as members of Los Zetas drug cartel and spoke only Spanish asking for her husband.  According to The Monitor, the gunmen wanted to “ask him some questions” and were not there to rob the house.

Once he returned he was whisked out of the home by the gunmen with a promise made by the Zetas to Mrs. Morfin – your husband will be back in a half hour.  He has not been seen since.  Last year in this area there were three drug-related kidnappings.  The Mexico border is approximately 15 miles from the Morfin home.

Morfin, 40-year-old, has a prior conviction for felony drug possession and is listed in certain police databases as a known narco.  There is a $105,000 reward for his return.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers at (956) 668-TIPS.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Narcos Suspected in Fire Bombings of Pepsi Subsidiary in Mexico

Narcos Suspected in Fire Bombings of Pepsi Subsidiary in Mexico

Photo: Sabritas PepsiCo target of Mexican Narcos

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This weekend a series of fire bombings targeted a PepsiCo subsidiary, Sabritas and for the first time in narco war history a private, large scale enterprise has been targeted.

Sabritas is a Mexican potato-chip maker with well known products like Mexican Cheetos Torciditos.  Pepsi and Sabritas joined forced in 1966 and own various manufacturing plants throughout the country.  Sabritas was created in 1943 in Mexico City, with vendors selling churros, French fries, and chips on bicycles.

This weekend Sabritas’ warehouses and delivery trucks were torched in Michoacan and Guanajuato, Mexico.  This is the first time in the narco wars 5 ½ year history that a private transnational company is the target of drug cartels.  Authorities believe members of the Knights Templar cartel are behind the torchings and several arrests have been made.

Authorities believe the Knights Templar, based out of Michoacan, suspect the Sabritas delivery trucks are being used to spy on narco operations, something PepsciCo and Sabritas has denied.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Alejandro Sanz and Raquel Perera Tie the Knot in Double Ceremony With Son’s Baptism

Alejandro Sanz and Raquel Perera Tie the Knot in Double Ceremony With Son’s Baptism

Photo: Alejandro Sanz and Raquel Perera

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Singer Alejandro Sanz and his girlfriend Raquel Perera were married over the weekend at his farm in the Jarandilla de la Vera municipality in the western Spanish province of Caceres, Hola magazine reported.

Sanz and Perera tied the knot Saturday, the same day their little boy was baptized, the magazine said in a story posted on its Web site.

The couple invited their families and closest friends to the baptism of their son Dylan, but according to Hola, “after more than five years together, the couple chose to make such a special day into a double celebration and share with their loved ones the joy of having wed.”

Among guests at the ceremony were the boy’s godfather, Paco de Lucia, and “great friends” of the couple like Paulina Rubio, Elena Tablada, Antonio Carmona and Fiona Ferrer, Hola said.

Sanz posted a message Sunday on Twitter wishing everyone a “happy Sunday…happy Sunday smile.”

Paulina Rubio said in a Twitter posting: “Yesterday I was accomplice to the greatest show of love, moments that make the story of a lifetime!!! I believe in love!!! Jarandilla!!!!”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pope Benedict Receives President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla Miranda

Pope Benedict Receives President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla Miranda

Photo: President Laura Chinchilla and the Pope

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This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Laura Chinchilla Miranda, president of Costa Rica. The president subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

President Chincilla and the Pope had a closed door meeting for about 20 minutes where they discussed sensitive issues like in vitro fertilization and Costa Rica’s treaty with the Vatican.  The Pope also took this opportunity to compliment the people of Costa Rica for their commitment to peace, democracy, development and environmental protection. 

The Vatican released the following statement regarding President Chinchilla’s visit:

“During their cordial discussions the parties highlighted the good relations that exist between the Holy See, the local Church and the State, expressing the hope that they may be strengthened by an Agreement respectful of the identity of the country and of the healthy autonomy and collaboration between civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Mention was then made of the special contribution the Church makes through her educational, social and charitable institutions. Finally attention turned to the importance of continuing to protect the fundamental dignity of human beings, from the moment of conception”.

Chincilla was on an official European tour that included France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico’s “Chicharito” Hernandez is UNICEF’s Newest Goodwill Ambassador

Mexico’s “Chicharito” Hernandez is UNICEF’s Newest Goodwill Ambassador

Photo: Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez

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Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who plays for Manchester United and the Mexican national team, has agreed to serve as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF Mexico.

“My first move as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF Mexico is to join the call for 10 for the children to move the score in favor of the children and teenagers of all our Mexico,” Hernandez said.

The soccer player, who accepted his ambassadorship at a ceremony attended by about 150 people on Saturday, said the job was special because it had to do with Mexico’s youth.

“What matters the most to me, what matters to me the most is to help lots of kids, all of the children in our Mexico, so they can help the country get ahead. I am so happy, thankful,” the player said.

“This document is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in my life and I am going to play this match with all my heart and all my life,” Hernandez said.

The player has been doing charitable work in Mexico before joining the national team, which is in the United States.

Hernandez said he agreed to be a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF Mexico because it involved “bringing messages that help improve the lives” of children and helping them achieve their goals.

Mexico has 110 million people, of whom 21 million are between the ages of 10 and 19.

Hernandez is the first Mexican athlete to be named to the honorary post of UNICEF goodwill ambassador and the third Mexican to receive the honor. Singers Cesar Costa and Julieta Venegas were named UNICEF goodwill ambassadors in 2004 and 2009, respectively.

Lionel Messi, David Beckham, Francesco Totti, Ivan Zamorano and Luis Figo are the other soccer players who serve as UNICEF goodwill ambassadors.

Read more by HS News Staff →

US: Puerto Rico: Failure of the State

US: Puerto Rico: Failure of the State

Photo: Puerto Rico and US Flags

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The Puerto Rican economy has come a long way since it started to industrialize and modernize in the mid-1900s through what was called “Operation Bootstrap” in English, or “Operación Manos a la Obra” in Spanish. The process of industrialization was, by many measures, a success, even though some economic indicators have continued to point to many economic disequilibria that have persisted over time, such as a persistently high rate of unemployment as well as a high rate of inflation compared to the U.S. mainland, even though Puerto Rico uses the U.S. dollar as its currency and monetary policy is conducted by the U.S. Federal Reserve.


Authorities on the island have not been able to integrate the whole of the economy, as a large percentage of economic activity still happens underground in the informal sector. Several authors have written about this and have concluded that too much regulation, at the business permitting levels, labor regulations and the application of the U.S. minimum-wage law have kept the rate of unemployment high. Furthermore, many high-income individuals feel that they should not have to pay taxes or that they pay a disproportionate amount of taxes. This is not uncommon of an economy that has a large underground or informal economy, as governments tend to increase the tax burden on the “legal” or “formal” sectors of the economy because it is almost impossible to broaden the tax base and collect taxes from a larger number of individuals.

By some estimates, the Puerto Rican underground economy is as large as 30 percent of all economic activity on the island. 1 The inability to eliminate this underground economy has had serious consequences for the economy at all levels and for the island’s government, with its inability to collect taxes due to the limited tax base from “legal” tax payers. At a conference on the island at the end of the 1990s, an economist indicated that only about 10,000 Puerto Ricans say they earn more than $100,000 per year, according to data from the “Departamento de Hacienda,” the Puerto Rican Treasury Department, out of a population of almost 4 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The comment was probably an exaggeration, but was not that farfetched. The truth is that, by the year 2000, a little more than 14,000 Puerto Ricans claimed to earn more than $100,000 according to official numbers released by the Puerto Rican Treasury Department. By 2009, the last official number available, that number had risen to 25,257 individuals/filers. This is an important increase in “wealthy” taxpayers and could be showing advances made in tax compliance during the last decade.

However, just by looking at Puerto Rico’s property prices (even after the severe housing downturn), the number of cars sold per year and the price of those cars (which is approximately 10 percent higher for “popular” cars and 30 percent to 40 percent higher for “luxury” cars than in the U.S. mainland), plus the number of luxury cars and yachts on the island’s piers, it is very difficult to believe that even these higher figures of individuals who earn more than $100,000 are correct. 2 Thus, while advances have been made, the road to make the Puerto Rican tax system inclusive and reduce the size of the underground economy has not ended.

Facing serious issues on its fiscal accounts and potentially more credit risk downgrades by the major rating agencies, the government of Puerto Rico embarked on a tax reform in 2010 that is still struggling to give the results it pursued. Some of the proposals included a reduction in tax rates, a change in tax scales, a “temporary” tax on multinational corporations, a reduction in tax credits and incentives and added measures to catch tax evaders. According to the government, the tax reform should “save” $1.2 billion from taxpayers’ pockets during the period of 2010-2016. However, little of those objectives have been met as reflected by labor and consumer market indicators.

In an effort to increase tax collections and refinance some “under the line” debt, the government of Puerto Rico implemented, in 2006, a consumption tax called IVU (Impuesto a la Venta y Uso, or Sales and Use Tax). The current tax rate for this consumption tax is 7 percent, 5.5 percent collected by the island government and 1.5 percent by the island municipalities. This tax has partially substituted an import tax called “arbitrios,” on which the government relied heavily. The government has not eliminated “arbitrios” completely, but now does not rely on the tax as much as it did in the past. The new IVU consumption tax started in November 2006 and part of the collection is a dedicated sales tax to pay for the “non-constitutional” debt incurred by the Puerto Rican government, or debt that was above and beyond what the island’s constitution allowed.

To read the complete Wells Fargo Economic Group Report-

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas Wins Best Director at Cannes for “Post Tenebras Lux.”

Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas Wins Best Director at Cannes for “Post Tenebras Lux.”

Photo: Carlos Reygadas

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Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas on Sunday won the prize for best director at the 65th edition of the Cannes Film Festival for “Post Tenebras Lux.”

“I would like to thank the festival, which believed in this film, which invited it to be here and which continues supporting it,” said Reygadas upon collecting the award from the hand of French singer Patrick Bruel.

Reygadas thanked the Cannes panel of judges, who - he said - honored a film made in complete freedom, calling them “a panel of free men and women,” the public who has gone to see the film and even the members of the press who over the past three or four days have not spoken very well of the film.

And he dedicated the prize to his children Rut and Eleazar, “the bosses,” who have roles in “Post Tenebras Lux” as children of the main characters.

This is the second trophy the Cannes festival has awarded to Reygadas, having bestowed upon him the Panel of Judges’ Prize in 2007 for “Luz silenciosa,” as well as giving him a special mention in the first works section with his debut in feature films - “Japon” - in 2002.

“Post Tenebras Lux” is a complicated tale, very beautiful in its formal aspect but which demands much of the viewer, since it gives no clues for understanding a very unconventional plot.

It is so unconventional that at the film’s presentation press conference Reygadas said that he felt somewhat “flattered” by the fact that the film had been received with boos.

“It flatters me that a good portion of the press don’t like it. It’s not my aim to to please the greatest number of people possible,” Reygadas said, adding that the fact that there are some people who can become very emotional over the film is enough for him.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER:  Child Sexually Assaulted in Electronics Section of Wal-Mart

LATINO BLOTTER:  Child Sexually Assaulted in Electronics Section of Wal-Mart

Photo: Mugshot Juan Francico Gonzalez

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39-year-old Juan Francisco Gonzalez of Oxnard, California has been arrested for the sexual assault of a minor inside the local Wal-Mart store this past Friday.

Police were called to the Wal-Mart Supercenter Store in Oxnard when a child complained a man has sexually assaulted him after approaching him in the electronics section of the store.  Investigators discovered the incident was captured on video surveillance cameras.

On Saturday an alert Wal-Mart employee spotted Gonzalez once again inside the story and notified the authorities. 

Gonzalez was arrested and will be also be questioned about another similar incident that occurred back in January at the same Wal-Mart.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Drama “No” About Chilean Dictator Pinochet Wins Top Award at Cannes

Drama “No” About Chilean Dictator Pinochet Wins Top Award at Cannes

Photo: Gael Garcia Bernal Movie "No" Wins at Cannes

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The drama, “No” that tells the story of Chile’s referendum vote on Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet starring Gael Garcia Bernal has won top awards at Cannes.  The movie that earlier this week was picked up by Sony Pictures, won the ‘Directors Fortnight’ and the ‘Art Cinema Award’.

The film is directed by Chilean Pablo Larrain and produced by Juan de Dio Larrain.  “No” tells the story during Pinochet’s regime in 1988 when he called for a Yes or No referendum on his presidency.  Pinochet was Chile’s President from 1974 to 1990 and head of the government junta from 1973 to 1981.

Several other Latin-centric films have won awards at Cannes 2012 including:  Antonio Mendez Esparza’s “Aqui y Alla” won Grand Prize in the Critics Week section, “Los Salvajes” also won a Critics Week prize and the Cuban student film “Los Anfitriones” won third place in the Cinefondation Award selection.

Cannes 2012 concluded with the awarding of the top prize the Palme d’Or that went to Austrian director Michael Haneke’s “Amour”. 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican-American Five-Time World Boxing Champ John Lee “Johnny” Tapia Dies at 45

Mexican-American Five-Time World Boxing Champ John Lee “Johnny” Tapia Dies at 45

Photo: Johnny Tapia

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Police say five-time world boxing champion Johnny Tapia has been found dead by a family member at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Police spokesman Robert Gibbs says authorities were called to the house at about 7:45 p.m. on Sunday.

The 45-year-old Tapia won five championships in three weight classes, winning the WBA bantamweight title, the IBF and WBO junior bantamweight titles and the IBF featherweight belt.

But his career also was marked by cocaine addiction, alcohol, depression and run-ins with the law. He was hospitalized for three days in 2007 after an apparent cocaine overdose.

Tapia last fought in June, defeating Mauricio Pastrana in an eight-round decision. He finished with a 59-5-2 record.

Mr. Gibbs says the death doesn’t appear to be suspicious. He says an autopsy will be performed in the next few days.

Tapia is a 5-time world champ.  His life was marked by tragedy.  Tapia’s dad was murdered while his mom was pregnant with him.  And when Tapia was 8, his mother was kidnapped, raped and hanged. 

Tapia was admitted to the hospital in 2007 in critical condition from a cocaine OD.  The day after he was admitted, his brother-in-law and nephew were killed in a car accident on their way to visit him.


Johnny Tapia wrote in his 2010 autobiography, Mi Vida Loca:
“My name is Johnny Lee Tapia. I was born on Friday the 13th. A Friday in February of 1967. To this day I don’t know if that makes me lucky or unlucky. When I was eight I saw my mother murdered. I never knew my father. He was murdered before I was born. I was raised as a pit bull. Raised to fight to the death. Four times I was declared dead. Four times they wanted to pull life support. And many more times I came close to dying.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nicaragua to Invest $20 Million in Early Childhood Programs for Poorest Children

Nicaragua to Invest $20 Million in Early Childhood Programs for Poorest Children

Photo: Children of Nicaragua

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Nicaragua will support cognitive, motor, and social development of children under age six in the country’s poorest communities with the help of a $20 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The program’s objective is to improve comprehensive care for some 80,000 children under age six in 37 of the country’s municipalities through awareness campaigns and training of parents. The campaigns will seek to foster nutrition, health, education, and proper care for the children.

Another program objective is to involve the general population in promotion, access to services, and respect for rights of early childhood, as well as to improve the quality of care provided by public services. The program will also finance the repair of infrastructure and provide furniture and equipment for some 200 community centers.

Staff of the Ministry of Health and Education and the Ministry of Family, Youth, and Children will have the opportunity to earn diplomas in early childhood development to strengthen their skills in this area.

According to Nicaragua’s National Institute of Information for Development, only 9.4 percent of rural children under age six attain a high score in the Index of Early Childhood Welfare.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin American Amazon Tribes Give Clue to Heart-Healthy Lifestyles

Latin American Amazon Tribes Give Clue to Heart-Healthy Lifestyles

Photo: Amazon Heart Healthy Ways

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Investigating indigenous Amazonian or African peoples who still follow a hunter-gatherer or forager-horticulturist lifestyle is giving new insights into how diet and lifestyle affect the heart as humans age.

Two new studies found that these types of hunter-gatherer or foraging peoples have lower increases in blood pressure related to their age and are less likely to have hardening of the arteries than people with more modern lifestyles.

Lifestyle factors such as high levels of physical activity and large amounts of fruits and vegetables—and low calories—in their diets may help protect these groups against those health problems, the researchers said.

The studies appeared online May 21 in the journal Hypertension.

One study looked at nearly 2,300 adults in 82 Tsimane villages in Bolivia’s Amazon basin. Tsimane people live in the lowlands and are forager-horticulturists who live on plantains, rice, corn, manioc, fish and hunted game.

The researchers found that about 3 percent of Tsimane adults have high blood pressure, compared with 33.5 percent of U.S. adults. Worldwide, 52 other societies have blood pressures two to eight times higher than the Tsimane. Blood pressures among Americans are two to four times higher.

“The Tsimane living conditions are similar to those of our ancestors, with greater exposure to pathogens, active lifestyle, high fertility and traditional diet. Studying chronic diseases in these populations can be very insightful,” study author Michael Gurven, an anthropology professor and chairman of the Integrative Anthropological Sciences Unit at the University of California-Santa Barbara, said in a journal news release.

In the second study, researchers found that the risk of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) was about 20 percent lower in traditional hunter-gatherer Pygmies in the equatorial forests of Cameroon compared to nearby semi-urbanized Pygmies and farmers known as the Bantou.

“Our study shows that the effect of aging on atherosclerosis is blunted by a traditional lifestyle,” lead author Dr. Daniel Lemogoum, a cardiologist at the Hypertension Clinic at Erasme Hospital Free University of Brussels, in Belgium, said in the release.

“By focusing our attention on people with very different lifestyles from our own, we might better be able to understand that maintaining heart health is possible even as we age,” Lemogoum added.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gunfire Between Rival Groups of Soccer Fans Kills 1, Injures 5 in Argentina

Gunfire Between Rival Groups of Soccer Fans Kills 1, Injures 5 in Argentina

Photo: The crime scene of the shooting

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A 21-year-old man was fatally shot in a fight between rival groups of fans in Argentina, officials said.

Daniel Sosa died in the hospital after being shot on Saturday.

The violence occurred as Argentina held the 16th day of the Clausura tournament, the significant play of which was the goal scored by Colombian Giovanni Moreno to secure Racing’s win over Belgrano.

Sosa was shot in an exchange of gunfire between groups of fans of the local team before the match played between Lanus and All Boys.

There were nine arrests made and five people injured, one of them listed in serious condition at Evita Hospital.

Sosa became the 263rd victim either directly or indirectly linked with the violence that occurs every weekend surrounding Argentine soccer.

So far in 2012, he is the fourth fatality, after the deaths of Agustin Rodriguez and Aldo Barralda - during a clash near the Mataderos club on Jan. 18 - and Sergio Victor Fernandez, a fan of Newell’s who was killed on May 14.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Festival To Support Mexican Indians Draws Major Crowds

Festival To Support Mexican Indians Draws Major Crowds

Photo: Wirikuta Fest partakers

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Thousands of people attended a festival this weekend in Mexico City to show their support for the efforts of the Wixarika Indians to protect their land and learn more about indigenous culture.

The Wirikuta Fest, which was held Saturday at Mexico City’s Foro Sol, drew more than 50,000 people, who enjoyed over 12 hours of music.

Festivalgoers expressed support for the Wixaricas, whose sacred land of Wirikuta is threatened by companies that have obtained mining rights.

Cafe Tacvba, Calle 13, Enrique Bunbury and Julieta Venegas were among the performers at the festival, which also featured activities designed to show the public the importance of the Indian group.

Different grassroots groups, such as the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining, offered talks on the environmental impact of mining.

Environmental and human rights groups, such as Greenpeace, Anima Naturalis and Amnesty International, were also represented at the festival.

Indians dressed in traditional clothing performed songs and dances at various locations.

The Colectivo Aho, which organized the festival, said the goal was to raise money for the defense of Wirikuta and to draw public attention to the problems being faced by the Indians.

The government released a protection plan Thursday for the area, prompting the Front for the Defense of Wirikuta to label the move part of a “strategy” to capitalize on media coverage of the festival and promote an image of “social responsibility” for the administration.

In 2009, Canadian firm First Majestic Silver was awarded nearly two dozen concessions in Wirikuta, a desert area in the central state of San Luis Potosi that is an annual pilgrimage site for the Huichol, or Wixarika, people.

Some 70 percent of the concessions are located in the 140,200 hectares (346,170 acres) that were declared a protected reserve in 2001.

Minera Golondrina, a unit of Canada’s Lake Shore Gold, also plans to operate an open-pit gold mine - one of the most highly polluting methods - in Wirikuta.

First Majestic’s Real Bonanza unit holds 22 mining concessions, while two West Timmins Mining subsidiaries, Golondrinas and Cascabel, also operate in the area.

The Huichol Indians regard Wirikuta, declared part of UNESCO’s global network of sacred sites in 1988, as a sacred, indivisible and continuous territory.

They say one area in particular, the Cerro Quemado, is where the sun was first born and is therefore an important altar within the Wirikuta territory.

Read more by HS News Staff →



MondayMay 28, 2012