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ThursdayJune 7, 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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Bomb Detonates, Killing Rebels Before They Could Attack Police Post

Bomb Detonates, Killing Rebels Before They Could Attack Police Post

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Two members of the FARC guerrilla group were killed when a bomb they were planning to launch at a police post accidentally detonated, Colombian police said Thursday.

The incident occurred Wednesday in the northwestern village of Puerto Valdivia, the police commander in Antioquia province told reporters in Medellin, the provincial capital.

The bomb, a cooking-gas cylinder packed with explosives and shrapnel, went off before the rebels could use it in an attack on the police outpost, Col. Jose Gerardo Acevedo said.

Puerto Valdivia lies on the Cauca River and the guerrillas planned to launch the projectile from the opposite bank of the river, he said.

The fatalities belonged to the 36th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, Acevedo said.

The FARC has battled a succession of Colombian governments since the mid-1960s. Thought to number nearly 20,000 fighters a decade ago, the Andean nation’s largest insurgency has an estimated troop strength today of around 8,000.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mazda Begins Training Mexican Employees in Japan Ahead of Plant Opening

Japanese automaker Mazda Motor said it started training the initial group of workers for its new plant in Mexico at its Hiroshima headquarters on Thursday.

The Mexican plant, which is expected to open in 2013, will be Mazda’s first in Latin America.

Up to 180 Mexican workers will be trained from now through fiscal year 2013, which ends in March 2014, at the Hiroshima headquarters, Mazda said.

The plant is currrently under construction and is expected to open in March 2014, Mazda said in a statement.

About a dozen Mexican workers hired to be production supervisors at the plant in Salamanca, a city in Guanajuato state, started the training course on Thursday.

The training course started with a tour of the Mazda museum and classes on preventing workplace injuries.

The Mexican workers will begin learning about production methods, quality control and leadership skills in the next few days, Mazda said.

The trainees will meet with Japanese workers and people from nearby communities, with many of the Mexicans taking a six-week Japanese language course and classes on Japan’s business culture.

Mazda managing executive officer in charge of emerging markets Keishi Egawa welcomed the trainees.

The new plant will help “improve business opportunities in Mexico, Central (America) and South America, and it will be a key to production in the company’s future global aspirations,” Egawa said.

Mazda, which entered the Mexican market in October 2005, has gradually gained market share, selling a record 30,000 units in the last fiscal year.

The Japanese automaker broke ground on its Mexican plant in October 2011.

Mazda projects initial production of 100,000 units annually at the plant, which will manufacture the Mazda2 and Mazda3 models for sale in Mexico, Brazil and other markets in Latin America.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Illinois May Soon Combat Gangs With RICO Law

Illinois May Soon Combat Gangs With RICO Law

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A law awaiting the signature of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn would allow authorities to use RICO anti-racketeering laws against street gangs blamed for up to 80 percent of homicides in Chicago.

The Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law, known as Street Gang RICO, was passed last week by the state’s General Assembly.

If the bill becomes law, gangs will be treated as criminal businesses and both police and prosecutors will be able “to combat the disease and not just the symptoms,” Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said.

“Under our current state laws, we really are only able to prosecute gang crimes as isolated events, and essentially attack the problem one crime at a time,” said Alvarez, whose jurisdiction includes Chicago.

With the new tool, prosecutors will be able to link different crimes committed by a gang into a single case in an effort to dismantle the organization and hold its leaders accountable, she added.

According to police figures, 75-80 percent of the murders in Chicago can be attributed to the activities of some 600 gangs that periodically fall out with one another and resort to violence to settle their differences.

From Jan. 1 through May 27 of this year, 203 murders and 852 street shootouts were reported.

A recent report says that the Latin Kings, Maniac Latin Disciples, Gangster Disciples, Sureño 13 and Vice Lords are the city’s most dangerous gangs.

Greater Chicago has the largest gang population in the United States with approximately 100,000 members, according to the report.

At a Wednesday press conference, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy that the bloodbath can be contained with the application of Street Gang RICO.

One of the authors of the bill, state Sen. Tony Muñoz, said that 31 states have similar laws. In the case of Illinois, there are more than 60 offenses that can be included in the RICO law ranging from first-degree murder to robbery.

The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois used federal RICO statutes in the trial of Latin Kings boss Agustin Zambrano, who in January was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Charges under the federal RICO law were also used in 2002 to break up the gang known as The Insane Deuces that was operating in suburban Aurora, Illinois, a city that recently joined several other municipalities in the Chicago area to appeal to the civil courts in an attempt to limit the operations of the gangs.

In lawsuits presented against 35 reputed members of the Latin Kings, prosecutors asked for known gang members to be prohibited from venturing out in public, sitting in a public place, walking along the street, driving or attending parties.

Those who violate the judicial order may be declared in contempt of court and/or fined, and they must also reimburse the city for any damage caused.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Amid Crisis Luis Maria Linde Named Spain’s New Central Bank Chief

Amid Crisis Luis Maria Linde Named Spain’s New Central Bank Chief

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Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government named a new governor of Spain’s central bank on Thursday, entrusting him with overseeing the continued restructuring of the nation’s troubled financial sector.

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos announced that veteran technocrat Luis Maria Linde was chosen to replace Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordoñez, who is leaving the Banca de España one month before his term was set to expire.

The minister hailed the political independence of the new governor and his “recognized competence.”

Linde takes the reins at a time when Spain’s bad-loan saddled financial sector is mired in crisis and the central bank, accused of mishandling the clean-up of large banks and regional lenders, known as “cajas,” has suffered a sharp dip in prestige.

Working in tandem with the Economy Ministry, the new governor must decide on the future of recently nationalized banks such as BFA-Bankia, CatalunyaCaixa, NovaGalicia and Banco de Valencia.

Linde will receive a report on Spain’s financial sector from the International Monetary Fund on Monday and two other reports on the banks’ loan portfolios a week later from two independent consulting firms.

Those documents will serve as a basis for calculating the sector’s capital needs.

Rajoy on Thursday refused to speculate on the total cost of the bank clean-up, saying that he will wait for the conclusions of the two consulting firms and the IMF data.

Referring to the wide range of figures being tossed around, anywhere from 40 billion euros ($50.4 billion) to 100 billion euros, Rajoy said he understood the “pressing need for news” and that there can be “speculation” but that as prime minister he must wait for the definitive figure.

In a report released Thursday, Standard & Poor’s estimated that Spanish banks will recognize loan losses of between 80 billion euros and 112 billion euros by the end of 2013.

Fitch Ratings, for its part, said Spanish banks may need up to 100 billion euros in additional capital to cover potential losses on its domestic loan portfolio.

That latter agency has contemplated two scenarios, one in which the capital requirements will come in at around 60 billion euros, and a more extreme, Ireland-style situation in which that amount would rise to as high as 100 billion euros.

Separately, Fitch on Thursday downgraded Spain’s sovereign credit rating by three notches to BBB with a negative outlook, citing the “high fiscal cost of restructuring and recapitalizing the Spanish banking sector and the likelihood that Spain will remain in recession through 2013.”

On Thursday, Spain’s borrowing costs rose in an auction of benchmark 10-year bonds to above 6 percent, but the sale was considered a success because it dispelled doubts about Spain’s ability to tap credit markets.

The yield on Spanish debt in the secondary market fell after the auction to around 6.1 percent, after having climbed to as high as 6.7 percent on May 30, or near the level at which Greece, Portugal and Ireland required an international bailout.

Spain’s banks have been hard hit by the collapse of the country’s 1995-2007 real estate boom, which has left them saddled with toxic property assets.

Recently nationalized BFA-Bankia - the country’s fourth-largest financial institution - is seeking what would be the largest bank bailout in Spanish history after saying on May 25 it needs another 19 billion euros ($23.5 billion) to boost loss provisions.

The 2008 global financial meltdown came as Spain was struggling with the bursting of the property bubble. The ensuing slump has led to numerous business failures and pushed the country’s jobless rate above 24 percent.

Nearly half of Spaniards under 25 are jobless and tens of thousands of families have been evicted from their homes after falling behind on their mortgages.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Romney Campaign Launches “Juntos con Romney” To Attract Latino Voters

Romney Campaign Launches “Juntos con Romney” To Attract Latino Voters

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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday presented “Juntos con Romney,” which will be in charge of efforts to attract the crucial Latino vote.

The group will be headed by Bush administration Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, former Puerto Rico Attorney General Jose Fuentes and the former president of the Small Business Administration, Hector Barreto.

“The Hispanic community has been especially hard-hit by President Obama’s policies,” Gutierrez said. “Instead of spurring economic growth and creating jobs, President Obama has only expanded government and hurt job-creation.”

“We need a leader who will bring back jobs, help small businesses, and ensure that the American Dream remains for future generations,” the former commerce chief said.

The Romney campaign is making his experience in business his main argument for attracting voters, but among the Latino community, forecast to be a key voting bloc in the presidential election, the former Massachusetts governor still must make his case.

Romney “spent his life in the real world, creating jobs for middle class families and growing businesses,” another committee member, Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño said.

“As governor of Massachusetts, he turned a $3 billion deficit into a $2 billion rainy day fund. I can’t think of better qualifications than that to tackle our record unemployment and skyrocketing debt,” Fortuño said.

Juntos con Romney also includes New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Florida Sen. Florida Marco Rubio - touted as a possible vice presidential candidate - and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Jaime Herrera and Raul Labrador, among others.

According to the latest voter surveys, President Barack Obama maintains a broad lead over the Republican hopeful among the Latino community: 61 percent to 27 percent.

In addition, the Democratic incumbent has an approval rating of 61 percent for his handling of the presidency among U.S. Latinos, a good bit higher than the 48 percent approval he has among the population as a whole.

It is calculated that to win the presidency, a candidate will require at least 40 percent of the Latino vote, which is forecast to be key especially in swing states like Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.

According to projections by the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, Hispanic turnout in the November election will set a record with at least 12.2 million voters going to the polls.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Smartphones and Social Networking Revolutionizing Latin American Content Consumption

Smartphones and Social Networking Revolutionizing Latin American Content Consumption

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Latin America is experiencing a transformation in the media with new entertainment platforms and the technological revolution, several experts agreed here Wednesday.

Although television continues to be the main content consumption platform, the youngest segment of the population in the region is leaning toward new entertainment platforms via social networks and smartphones.

This is one of the conclusions emerging from the Latam Pay-TV Forum, presented by Business Bureau as part of Portada’s 2012 Latam Advertising and Media Summit in Miami.

“We’re in a time of transformation and new models of business and platforms,” and so it is vital to articulate a “broad vision of Latin America, understanding the flow of information for the making of business decisions,” said Matias Berardi, the manager of Direct TV Latin America.

One of the big challenges confronting pay television and the cable networks is having “homogenous, reliable and useful information” available from official sources and measurement companies in the sector, he said.

Laura Berga, strategy director for HBO Latin America, emphasized the “push that young consumers give to the development of technology” and the new entertainment platforms.

She referred to the most recent content launched by the HBO Plus channel directed at the 18-24 demographic. “You have to connect with young people in a new way,” she said, and to analyze “how they communicate via the social networks, what they share with their friends.”

All the experts agreed that there are many things still left to develop in Latin America, and so the growth opportunities are “enormous,” Berardi said.

Paula Guarin, strategy and planning director for Visa, touched on one of the fundamental points by saying that the essential thing is “to integrate the tools and information we already have,” adding that the data must respond to a simple criterion: “real information in real time.”

“We don’t want data on what happened in 2011. We want information about what’s happening right now in the market,” she said.

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George Clooney to Direct “Comandante” Based on American’s Role in Castro’s Overthrow of Batista

George Clooney to Direct “Comandante” Based on American’s Role in Castro’s Overthrow of Batista

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Hollywood superstar George Clooney will direct a movie based on the story of an American’s role in helping Fidel Castro Overthrow the Fulgencio Batiste regime.

According to Deadline Focus Features is working on deals to turn David Grann’s extensive article in The New Yorker, The Yankee Comandante into a feature film.

Grann’s article told the story of William Alexander Morgan, one of the only foreigners highly regarded by Castro and the Cuban rebels, Argentinean Che Guevera being the only other.

ImageIn December 1958, Che appeared at the head of a column of troops, having joined forces with Morgan’s group, Second National Front of the Escambray,  and the Revolutionary Directorate guerrillas of the Escambray mountains. Together they captured the city of Santa Clara on December 31. Just 12 hours later, Batista fled from Cuba.

During his time in Cuba, Morgan maintained that he was anti-communist and stated he did not think Castro was a Communist. He believed Cuba would return to a capitalist parliamentary democracy.

He expressed concern over Castro’s socialist and pro-Soviet leanings and was arrested in October 1960, charged with plotting to lead counter-revolutionaries against Castro.

On March 11, 1961, at just 32 years of age, Morgan was killed by a firing squad. Less than two months later, Castro would declare Cuba a socialist nation.

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Lopez Obrador is Gaining Points in Mexican Presidential Elections, Peña Nieto Falling

Lopez Obrador is Gaining Points in Mexican Presidential Elections, Peña Nieto Falling

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Leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has consolidated his hold on second place in the polls ahead of Mexico’s presidential election next month, trailing frontrunner Enrique Peña Nieto, who saw his support drop amid the rise of a national student movement that opposes his candidacy.

Lopez Obrador gained ground for the fourth week in a row, with his support among likely voters rising from 27.4 percent to 29.2 percent, but he is still trailing Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, by 14.4 points, the latest Consulta Mitofsky poll says.

Lopez Obrador, standard-bearer of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, Workers Party, or PT, and Citizens Movement coalition, has gained five points since the May 13 poll, while Peña Nieto’s support has fallen from 48 percent to 43.6 percent.

The former Mexico City mayor narrowly lost the 2006 presidential election to Felipe Calderon, of the National Action Party, or PAN.

The drop in Peña Nieto’s poll numbers coincided with the emergence and rapid growth of the Yo soy 132 movement, which is made up of university students unhappy with Mexico’s political system.

The protest movement started on May 11, when Peña Nieto visited the Universidad Iberoamericana and was jeered by students.

People in Peña Nieto’s inner circle and some members of the media downplayed the incident, accusing the students of being agitators.

The criticism led to the birth of the “Somos mas de 131” (We Are More Than 131) movement, which took its name from the number of students who appeared in a YouTube video and later evolved into the “Yo soy 132” (I Am 132) movement when students from other universities joined the protests.

The movement is non-partisan, but it has expressed opposition to Peña Nieto’s candidacy and the power wielded by Mexico’s large television networks.

Students rallied under the movement’s banner on May 18 at the headquarters of media giant Televisa, rejecting Peña Nieto’s candidacy and calling for balanced coverage in the media.

The student movement has organized other rallies and protests over the past two weeks.

Josefina Vazquez Mota, of the conservative PAN, now trails Lopez Obrador by 3.9 points.

Support for Vazquez Mota, however, fell in the past week to 25.3 percent, putting her solidly in third place after a series of campaign problems. The PAN candidate had 29 percent support on March 30.

Gabriel Quadri, of the New Alliance Party, or PANAL, drew just 1.9 percent support in the latest Consulta Mitofsky poll.

The poll of 1,000 people over the age of 18 was conducted June 1-3 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

Mexico will hold its presidential election on July 1, selecting a successor to President Calderon.

Nearly 80 million Mexicans will be eligible to vote for a new president, 628 legislators and thousands of other officials in the general elections.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Child Wakes Up at Own Funeral, Asks for Water, ‘Re-dies’

Brazilian Child Wakes Up at Own Funeral, Asks for Water, ‘Re-dies’

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Last week, 2-year-old Kelvin Santos stopped breathing at a hospital in Belem, Brazil, while being treated for pneumonia.

After the toddler’s death, his body was given to his family who then planned his funeral.

Kelvin was placed in a coffin and family and friends attended a wake at the family’s home held throughout the night with the casket remaining open so visitors could say goodbye.

The following day, just an hour before the funeral, however, the boy allegedly sat up from his coffin and asked his father if he could have some water.

The father, Antonio Santos, had told reporters everyone who was present was shocked, some even screaming.

“We thought a miracle had taken place and our boy had come back to life,” he told ORM.

Sadly, the family’s hope for a miracle was crushed when Kelvin laid back down and died…again.

When his family could not wake him up again, Kelvin was rushed to the hospital. Doctors reexamined him and confirmed he was dead. They gave no explanation for what happened or what could make a dead person sit up and speak, only to die again.

Antonio believes his son was incorrectly pronounced dead the first time and has now filed a medical malpractice claim with police.

The boy was finally laid to rest at a local cemetery and police are investigated the heartbreaking incident.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico’s PRI Presidential Candidate Enrique Pena Nieto’s Image Used for Adultery Website Billboard

Mexico’s PRI Presidential Candidate Enrique Pena Nieto’s Image Used for Adultery Website Billboard

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As the presidential race in Mexico continues to heat up, a website that promotes cheating on your significant other has purchased a billboard ad, not only promoting itself, but also attacking PRI candidate Enrique Pena Nieto.

An AshleyMadison.com billboard displays Nieto with his finger in front of his lips, red lipstick and text that reads, “Infiel con su familia. Fiel y comprometido con su país,” which translates to “Unfaithful to his family. Faithful and Committed to His Country.”

AshleyMadison.com’s Mexican representative pointed out that had Nieto not used their website, the affair, which he has now admitted to, would not have been discovered.

Nieto, the candidate for Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has acknowledged his infidelity with his first wife.

The company has stated that it may use additional politicians in their ads.

Pieto is currently the lead contended in the race for president, but with his popularity among female voters one has to wonder how this billboard will effect that demographic.

AshleyMadison.com is a website used to aid married individuals have affairs, their motto being “Life is short. Have an Affair.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

INFOGRAPHIC: Latin American Drinking Habits

INFOGRAPHIC: Latin American Drinking Habits

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Costa Rica’s Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), compiled a report regarding Alcohol Drinking Patterns in Latin America.  This study was based on nationwide surveys conducted in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

_HS-News_LatAm_Drinking_Habits title=

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Charlie Sheen Tells Staples Center Security Guard “Blow My Balls” When He’s Not Let Back In

Charlie Sheen Tells Staples Center Security Guard “Blow My Balls” When He’s Not Let Back In

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TMZ once again caught Charlie Sheen flipping out, this time after a security guard denied him re-entry after he stepped outside for a smoke break.

The Staples Center has a policy of not allowing people in once they walk out, but Charlie either did not know about that policy or thought he’d be exempt, because when he tried to get back in, a female no-nonsense security guard made it absolutely clear he was not going back in.

Outraged, Charlie yells, “You know what? F*cking blow my balls, alright, you f*cking a**hole.”

Charlie was at the Staples Center to watch the L.A. Kings take on the New Jersey Devils in game 4 of their Stanley Cup run for the finals.

As he walked away from the venue, Charlie’s “people” try to keep him away from the cameras, but he pushes back and talks with TMZ, saying, “Have common sense and common courtesy gone in society? That was what I was trying to impress upon her.”

Watch the video here.

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LATINO BLOTTER: Bronx Woman Runs Over Teen Boyfriend For Breaking her iPhone

LATINO BLOTTER: Bronx Woman Runs Over Teen Boyfriend For Breaking her iPhone

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A Bronx teen is dead after his girlfriend ran him over because he broke her iPhone.

The family of 17-year-old Frankie Hernandez are grieving after police say his girlfriend, 25-year-old Jasmine Diaz, ran him down on Wednesday, then fled in her SUV.

Diaz reportedly went into a rage when Hernandez accidentally dropped and broke her iPhone. Diaz’s brother stated his sister has a bas temper. The pair began dating about two years ago and had a volatile relationship.

After the phone was broken, at around 1:30 a.m. Hernandez was outside on the street (possibly arguing to Diaz) while he stood in front of her Lincoln Navigator. Diaz reportedly hit the gas, ran Hernandez over, and took off.

Hernandez’s brother told police he heard Diaz yelling, “You f*cked up my phone!” followed by the screeching of tires. As he ran out, Diaz drove off, leaving Hernandez in the road dying. Their mother said she ran outside and down the street where she found her son lying in blood. “His head was crushed,” she told NY Daily News. “He wasn’t moving.”

After Diaz drove off she abandoned the SUV near her mother’s house and tried to hide in the home. Hernandez’s brother said he ran the few blocks to that home and began banging on the door, but no one would answer. He said he could hear Diaz shouting, “I just hit Frankie. I just hit him. I don’t know what to do.”

Police arrived at the crime scene and emergency responders took Hernandez to Lincoln Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Officers retrieved Diaz from her mother’s home where she had been hiding and took her into custody for questioning. She has been charged with manslaughter and leaving a crime scene.

Frankie was Iris Hernandez’s youngest child.

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Colombian Prostitute At Center of Secret Service Scandal to Launch Foundation

Colombian Prostitute At Center of Secret Service Scandal to Launch Foundation

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The erstwhile call girl whose dispute with a U.S. Secret Service agent at April’s Summit of the Americas in Colombia sparked a scandal will use some of the earnings generated by her notoriety to establish a foundation serving women who want to get out of prostitution, her legal representatives said.

Dania Londoño, a 25-year-old single mother, went public early last month with her account of the incident in Cartagena, which happened before U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Cartagena for the hemispheric conference.

“The foundation will be based in Bogota, but it could operate anywhere and Dania will funnel to it part (of the money) she receives and has received” for the rights to her story, a source at the law firm De la Espriella Lawyers Enterprise Consultorias y Servicios Legales Especializados told Efe.

Londoño has signed contracts with a magazine, a publisher and a television production company that plans a series on her life, but rejected a $500,000 offer to star in a porn film, “precisely because she has initiated a new life,” the source said.

The foundation will offer training and job opportunities to women who want to get out of prostitution, which is legal in Colombia.

“They will also receive psychological and medical advice,” the source said. “It will be a complete process.”

Twelve Secret Service agents sent to Cartagena ahead of Obama’s arrival were implicated in the scandal and nine of them have been dismissed for hiring prostitutes.

Londoño said she and several companions met the men at a bar and she eventually agreed to have sex with one of them for $800.

She said he took her to the Hotel Caribe, where he was staying with other U.S. Secret Service agents, and that she was still there the following morning when a call came in from the front desk informing her she needed to leave the hotel immediately.

Londoño said she woke the man up and asked for the money but that he insulted her and only offered to pay 50,000 pesos (around $28), after which she sought help from another American - also a Secret Service agent - in a nearby room and then from a policeman.

Finally, several Secret Service agents came up with $250 to pay Londoño and she left after nearly four hours of uproar.

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Julio Iglesias, 68, Says He’ll Rest When He’s “on the Other Side”

Julio Iglesias, 68, Says He’ll Rest When He’s “on the Other Side”

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Julio Iglesias, despite his 43 years in music, said that he is still motivated to go onstage, that he would not sing if it did not move him and that he will rest “in 30 years when I’m on the other side.”

His reason for singing is none other than “feelings,” he said, adding that “if I didn’t sing what would I do, I don’t know how to do anything else,” his remarks coming in an interview with Efe in the southern resort city of Marbella before beginning a concert tour in Spain.

For an artist, he added, the public is “a commander and boss in our lives,” who decides “if it’s OK or not OK.”

He said that he wants “to continue creating and producing” because the jobs of “thousands of people” depend on him.

Regarding the music in Spain, he said he likes “the authentic, that which is born in the roots, flamenco, copla, that mixture of the electric with the ancestral, with the acoustic; to see Chick Corea with Paco de Lucia” and he lamented the fact that the economic crisis is affecting music and “the commitment the record company has to the artist.”

He also said he was concerned about “the marginal situation that Spain has within the European community,” although he said he did not want to give a sense of catastrophe and emphasized that “much money has been spent, much energy has been spent and now that money and that energy must be recovered.”

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Apocalypse is a Judeo-Christian Tradition, Mayans Foresaw the World Continuing for Millennia

Apocalypse is a Judeo-Christian Tradition, Mayans Foresaw the World Continuing for Millennia

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The ancient Mayans not only did not predict the end of the world in December 2012, but they expected the world to continue for thousands of years, Mexican epigraphist Erik Velasquez said.

The Mayans did not expect the world to end because their cosmology did not incorporate the linear vision of time that dominates the West, Velasquez said during a conference on the Mayan 2012 prophecy.

“We have an apocalyptic mentality inherited from the Judaeo-Christian tradition. But for the ancient Mayans there were cycles, new beginnings, but never endings,” the expert said during his presentation Tuesday at Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology.

The famous Mayan prophecy, which supposedly calls for the world to end between Dec. 21 and Dec. 23, originated in a Maya glyph from the Tortuguero arhaeological zone in the southern state of Tabasco.

Numerous works of fiction, including books and apocalyptic films, have come out of the Mayan prophecy.

“The idea of absolute creation did not exist in Mayan culture, (they believed) that the elements that make up nature have always been present and the only thing that happens is that after so many periods, they age and get out of order, so the gods have to return to restore order,” Velasquez said.

The last reordering of the world that we know the Mayans considered began on Aug. 13 of 3114 B.C., when the so-called “long count” started, providing “a road to infinity, which has no beginning and extends through the past and the future,” Velasquez said.

The reference to December 2012 appears on just one glyph of the thousands found at archaeological sites, providing evidence that the Mayans did not expect the world to end this year, the expert said.

“They were interested in daily survival, threatened by disease, hunger, etcetera. People did not live past the age of 35, so they wanted to know if it was going to rain or there was going to be a drought, not about meteorites or nuclear wars,” Velasquez said.

The expert admitted, however, that the Mayans perhaps reached the point where they “had an idea of how the current order of the world might degenerate,” but this occurred during the colonial era, indicating that they may have been “contaminated” by Western apocalyptic concepts.

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ThursdayJune 7, 2012