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TuesdayJune 12, 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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Chavez Formally Registers as Candidate For October Election

Chavez Formally Registers as Candidate For October Election

Photo: Hugo Chavez

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday went to formally register as a candidate for reelection in the Oct. 7 vote aboard a truck and cheered by thousands of followers.

Wearing a red beret and sports clothing, Chavez left Miraflores Palace en route to the National Election Council offices some 10 blocks away riding on the back of a truck painted in the national colors of yellow, red and touches of blue and bearing the slogan “Chavez, the heart of the fatherland.”

The leftist president, who is recovering from cancer, greeted the huge crowd along with daughters Rosa Virginia and Rosines and brother Adan Chavez, as well as Vice President Elias Jaua and other top officials.

A day after his rival, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles registered his candidacy surrounded by supporters and after having walked 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) on foot, on Monday it was the president’s turn.

During his trip through the streets of Caracas, Chavez’s partisans awaited him with flags, signs, animated music and balloons to greet him boisterously, while some of them tried to capture the moment with the cameras in their mobile phones.

Chavez spent April 30-May 10 in Cuba for radiation treatment that followed a Feb. 26 operation in Havana to have a second malignant tumor removed.

The first tumor was extracted in June 2011, also in Cuba, where the president’s cancer was first detected when he fell ill during an official visit.

Chavez has not released any details about the nature of the cancer, saying only that it was in his pelvic region.

In office since 1999, Chavez is seeking another six-year term in the October balloting.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Poverty in Brazil Forces Nearly 1.4 Million Children to Work

Poverty in Brazil Forces Nearly 1.4 Million Children to Work

Photo: Brazil Child Labor Laws

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Poverty forces some 1.4 million Brazilian children ranging in age from 5 to 14 to work, according to official figures released Tuesday on the World Day Against Child Labor.

The figures were made public by the National Forum for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor, prepared with the support of the International Labor Organization and based on Brazil’s 2010 census.

According to the study, the majority of those children work in rural areas, where poverty prevails and schools are few and far between.

In the urban areas, child workers are employed mainly in selling knickknacks on the street, a job where - according to the National Forum - they are exposed to drug trafficking and other types of criminal activity.

On the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labor, the ILO and the Brazilian government announced the start of a campaign to “definitively” eradicate the practice which will include a demonstration to promote the entry of children into the educational system.

According to the Social Development Ministry, the campaign will be conducted on the national level, with social workers, educational personnel and public health employees involved in it, and it will have the slogan “Doing away with child labor in defense of human rights and social justice.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Singer MonteRosa Launches 3rd Album, “Vivo en Tu Amor”

Colombian Singer MonteRosa Launches 3rd Album, “Vivo en Tu Amor”

Photo: Colombian Singer MonteRosa Launches 3rd Album, "Vivo en Tu Amor"

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Colombian singer-songwriter MonteRosa is promoting his third album, “Vivo en Tu Amor” (Living in Your Love), in which he includes cuts in English as a decisive step into the U.S. crossover market.

Eric MonteRosa told Efe in an interview at his Miami studios that the new album sums up the artistic evolution of his creations.

The Barranquilla native did say, however, that the title of the disc has no relation to the typical lyrics about “a couple falling in and out of love.”

He composed the song “Vivo en Tu Amor” after a friend died of cancer.

“When they broke the news to me I had to grab the bad news and turn it into a song that could comfort someone in a painful moment and give that person the strength to be able to help those who really need it,” he said about the rock-pop ballad.

He recalled that when he presented the disc onstage at Miami’s Performing Arts eXchange and invited his friend’s family, they thanked him for the gesture and said that with it they could “close that mournful chapter and see it from another angle.”

For the first time MonteRosa, after so many years living in Miami, wanted to compose in English and as a result included on the disc the numbers “Kitchen,” “Long Way Home” and “Hate Me,” specifically for “that Anglo audience that follows my music but has never understood a single lyric.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Ciudad Juarez’s May 2012 Murder Rate Lowest Rate Since March 2009

Ciudad Juarez’s May 2012 Murder Rate Lowest Rate Since March 2009

Photo: Ciudad Juarez's May 2012 Murder Rate Lowest Rate Since March 2009

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The border town of Juarez, Mexico reportedly saw the least amount homicides in three years this past May.

According to the El Paso Times, Juarez, which has become known for its near-constant violence, reported just 73 deaths during May 2012, which is the lowest number since March 2009.

Head of Chihuahua state’s prosecutor’s office, Jorge González Nicolás, is quick to point out that more than 70 deaths in one month is nothing to be proud of, saying, “These are not figures we should applaud or go boast anywhere. These are still very high homicide figures.” However, González Nicolás did say the lower number is somewhat a light at the end of the very dark tunnel.

“…for those of us who know how things were and we compare to what was going on in 2009 and 2010, we know we’re on the right track. Our job is to reduce it much more.”

Juarez saw its homicide rate peak at 359 deaths in October 2010 and has since struggled to keep the population safe from the ongoing drug war between rival cartels.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Krystle Reyes Falsely Claims $2.1 Million Tax Refund

LATINO BLOTTER: Krystle Reyes Falsely Claims $2.1 Million Tax Refund

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Krystle Reyes Falsely Claims $2.1 Million Tax Refund

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An Oregon woman may have gotten away with falsely claiming a $2.1 million tax refund had she not lost the debit card that gave her access to it.

Krystle Marie Reyes of Salem was arrested last week after is was discovered she used Turbo Tax to claim she made $3 million last year. She was ultimately refunded $2.1 million even after her taxes were filed and reviewed by the Oregon Revenue Department. Reyes was then sent a Visa debit card containing the $2.1 million balance.

According to the affidavit, Reyes used Turbo Tax to file a fraudulent 201 Oregon personal income tax return on January 31. She falsified both her wages and her employer information. The fraudulent return was approved, however, and Reyes was sent the Visa debit card.

In the time between when she received the card and when she was arrested, Reyes had spent more than $150,000. Interestingly, the 25-year-old bought a relatively older vehicle, a 1999 Dodge Caravan. She paid just $2,000 for it and spent another $800 on tires and wheels.

In the end, Reyes was caught when she lost the debit card and sent a request for another.

Reyes was released from Marion County jail, but has been charged with aggravated theft and computer crime. She is due in court on July 5th.

Read more by HS News Staff →

BREAKING NEWS:  George Zimmerman’s Wife has Been Arrested, Charged with Perjury

BREAKING NEWS:  George Zimmerman’s Wife has Been Arrested, Charged with Perjury

Photo: Shellie Zimmerman Arrested

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Today George Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie Zimmerman was arrested and charged with perjury in the case involving her husband in the shooting death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin on February 26th.

She was picked up at her residence in Florida and booked with a bond set at $1,000

Earlier in the month Zimmerman had his bond revoked and ordered to surrender within 48 hours because he misled the court about his finances.  Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder in the case.

Zimmerman’s wife testified during his original bond hearing that the Zimmermans had limited funds, and failed to disclose that more than $200,000 had been donated to Zimmerman through a website.  It has now also been discovered that Shellie transferred more than $74,000 from her husband’s bank account to hers.

Prosecutors argued that both Zimmermans conspired to lie about the money.  Zimmerman also failed to disclose the fact that he had a second passport, which he did not surrender to the court at his first hearing.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama Supporters Launch $4 Million Ad Campaign - Share Latinos’ Reactions to Romney Remarks

Obama Supporters Launch $4 Million Ad Campaign - Share Latinos’ Reactions to Romney Remarks

Photo: Obama Supporters Launch $4 Million Ad Campaign - Share Latinos' Reactions to Romney Remarks

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Earlier this month President Obama’s campaign launched a third series of Spanish-language television and radio ads meant highlight the President’s record on healthcare.

Now, a $4 million Spanish-language ad campaign sponsored by Priorities USA Action and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been launched seeks to express that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s policies would not benefit Hispanics and the working class and would instead only benefit the wealthiest Americans.

The new campaign is one of the largest-ever independent Spanish-language campaigns and “highlights working Latinos’ reactions to Romney’s own words on jobs and other key issues.”

Watch the video titled Mitt Romney In His Own Words: Reactions From Working Latinos ( Mitt Romney: En Sus Propias Palabras).


Related Videos

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Prostitutes in Spain Can Now Take Out Ads for Their Services

Prostitutes in Spain Can Now Take Out Ads for Their Services

Photo: Prostitutes in Spain are required to wear reflective vests when out on the street

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A ban that previously prevented prostitutes from advertising their services has been lifted by the Spanish Parliament.

Sex workers can now advertise their services in newspapers and media websites due to the recession.

Brothels, escort agencies, and individual prostitutes will now be allowed to place ads, and according to a 2007 report, such advertising brought media outlets around 40 million euros ($49,824,000 US) per year.

However, the health ministry still hopes to find a way to keep these advertisements from helping to exploit women and aid in human trafficking.

Spain’s People’s Party is expected to make plans to outlaw advertising of this kind.

It was only in June of 2010 when Spanish government officials first announced they were planning to ban the advertisements. At the time, opponents of the ban pointed out that taking away the revenue the ads bring in, would seriously hurt numerous media sources, which rely heavily on the ads to keep them running.

Prostitution brings in about 18 billion euros ($2,242,080,000 US) a year in Spain, with about 200,000 sex workers in the country.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chihuahua Named ‘Peggy Leg’ Will Become First “Bionic Dog”

Chihuahua Named ‘Peggy Leg’ Will Become First “Bionic Dog”

Photo: Chihuahua Named 'Peggy Leg' Will Become First "Bionic Dog"

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A New Mexico pup may soon be able to walk a little easier as she is about to be given a “bionic leg” thanks to North Carolina State University.

Peggy Leg the Chihuahua was born with just three paws and was facing an amputation of the leg with the paw as the weight was becoming too much for her spine to support without a paw on the ground. However, medical researchers at NCSU had been looking for a dog to fit with a titanium foot implant, just as Peggy’s rescuers were looking for a prosthesis to help her.

ImageThe researchers had been looking for the right little dog and Peggy Leg fit the bill. If successful, her “bionic leg” will help researchers determine if similar procedures can be done for men and women, particularly those in the military who have been injured.

She will begin the first phase of her implant soon, with three or four trips to North Carolina being needed for the procedure. The Enchantment Chihuahua rescue where she currently lives is trying to raise the money to send Peggy to and from North Carolina.

Peggy Leg was rescued by Enchantment Chihuahua rescue from a shelter in Roswell, NM when she was just 5 months old.

KOAT has the video here.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Over 200,000 Attend FREE Justin Bieber Concert in Mexico City

Over 200,000 Attend FREE Justin Bieber Concert in Mexico City

Photo: Justin Bieber in Mexico

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Some 210,000 people turned out for a free concert by Canadian pop star Justin Bieber in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s largest plaza, the emergency management office said.

Bieber was greeted by wild cries from his fans, the majority of them girls between the ages of 12 and 17, from the moment he took the stage just after 9:00 p.m on Monday.

The pop star opened with “Baby,” prompting the audience to sing along, then he followed up with “As Long as You Love” and “U Smile.”

Bieber’s fans went wild when he sang “Boyfriend,” filling the plaza with shrieks.

The performance set a new attendance record for a concert in the Zocalo, which has been the scene of numerous huge events over the years, officials said.

The plaza has a capacity of 111,000 people, but officials agreed to open up adjacent streets to handle the overflow crowd, Federal District Tourism Secretary Carlos Mackinlay said in a press conference last week.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney performed before about 150,000 people in the Zocalo on May 10, joining a long list of superstar acts, such as Shakira and Cafe Tacvba, who have played in the iconic plaza.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Texas Democrats Elect First Hispanic Chairman While Republicans Soften Immigration Stance

Texas Democrats Elect First Hispanic Chairman While Republicans Soften Immigration Stance

Photo: Gilberto Hinojosa First Hispanic Democratic Chair

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Although the state is known for its support of Republican candidates, Democrats on Saturday elected their first Hispanic chairman, while Republicans voted to take a softer approach to illegal immigration.  As the state faces continued Hispanic growth, delegates voted Gilberto Hinojosa, as the state’s next party chairman.  Hinojosa will follow outgoing chairman Boyd Richie.  Richie announced in April of 2011 that he would not seek another term. 

After a passionate speech by Hinojosa, the delegates selected the former Brownsville school trustee, state district judge, justice on the state’s 13th Court of Appeals and Cameron County Judge.  In Hinojosa speech, the Texas Tribune stated, “Yo no quiero que me den nada, nada más pónganme en donde hay.”  In addition to this Spanish statement asking for equal opportunities, Hinojosa also criticized Republicans critiques of Democrats as being, ‘Un-American.’

He stated, “This is a war, folks.  This is a war that the Republicans have waged on our families in Texas and all across America.  We are a compassionate people.  We don’t believe in pulling up the ladder after we reach the top…That is what America is all about.  That is what our Democratic Party is all about.  Those are our values and, damn it, don’t question my patriotism.”

On the other side, Republicans elected to take a softer approach to the polarizing debate of illegal immigration according to the Star-Telegram.  In the new party platform, a temporary worker program will be offered as well as new ways to secure the U.S. border.  Many of the provisions in the previous platform on this topic were also eliminated in the current platform. 

Although this decision is an attempt to encourage conservative Hispanics to consider the GOP, many opponents believe it could create problems for the border state in the future.  Katrina Pierson, a member of the Dallas Tea Party, states, “The way we are going about it, being a border state and taking a weaker approach, it is disappointing.  The platform we had in 2010 would have been strong enough to prevent amnesty.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Man Sheds Fat to Raise Money for Charity

Spanish Man Sheds Fat to Raise Money for Charity

Photo: Spanish Man Sheds Fat to Raise Money for Charity

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A man in Spain has set off to walk the full length of Spain, losing pounds and raising money along the way.

Oscar Rando of Barcelona is walking 1,864 miles, with sponsors paying 2.5 euros ($3.12) for each gram of fat he loses. Since the start of the charity walk, Rando has lost 63 pounds and raised 31,500 euros ($39,393).

When Rando set the goal of losing weight, he decided to not only help himself but others as well. Spain currently has an unemployment rate of about 24 percent and Rando was looking to help those affected by it.

Proceeds from the long-distance run will be given to Gats, which helps disadvantage people find jobs and provide for themselves.

Rando said he hopes to raise 75,000 euros ($93,795) by the end of the year for the El Prat-based charity.

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Legendary Lost ‘White City’ May Have Been Found in Honduras

Legendary Lost ‘White City’ May Have Been Found in Honduras

Photo: Lost White City Found in Honduras

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Experts believe that the ‘Lost White City’ in Honduras may now have been found.  Researchers from the University of Texas as well as the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping, (NCALM) believe they have found what appears to be manmade elevation changes as well as a forgotten city plaza with pyramids.  This discovery comes after flying over the Mosquitia region of Honduras shooting billions of laser pulses at the ground.  The 3D imagings from the lasers depict a topological map of the region. 

The legend of this famous lost city dates as far back as the indigenous groups, Pech and Payas in Honduras.  Hernan Cortes also referred to the city in a letter to King Charles V of Spain in 1526.  The city’s story has attracted many treasure hunters and explorers, yet no one has succeeded in solving the mystery of this city’s existence or disappearance. 

Yet, with these recent developments, the Ciudad Blanca, may just be discovered again after all.  According to Virgilio Paredes, director of IHAH, Honduran Institute of Anthropological History, it will take a month to a month and a half to process permits which will allow the exploration of the area.  “We know that there is something and we have to enter the area in order to find out more about what culture inhabited the area,” stated Paredes.  Paredes also speculates that the area is more than likely an area which sees no to very little daylight as a result of the dense jungle vegetation. 

According to authorities a complete exploration could take up to 50-100 years yet would quite possibly become the most significant discovery of the 21st century.

Read more by HS News Staff →

VIRAL: Incredible Marriage Proposal Using Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” (VIDEO)

VIRAL: Incredible Marriage Proposal Using Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” (VIDEO)

Photo: Incredible Marriage Proposal Using Bruno Mars' "Marry You"

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On Wednesday, May 23, 2012, I told my girlfriend, Amy, to meet me at my parent’s house. When she arrived I had stationed my brother to sit her on the back of a Honda CRV with some headphones on. He “wanted to play her a song”...

In just a matter of moments, Amy would be on the receiving end of one of the most impressive marriage proposals we’ve ever seen. Bruno Mars (aka Peter Hernandez), Elijah Wood, and Tom Hanks have all publicly commented on the video, with Hanks tweeting, “No wonder this went viral. It’s better than anything my business has ever produced.”

ImageWith headphones over her ears, Amy sat in the back of the SUV and watched quite a show unfold.

Dancing to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You”, Isaac Lamb proposed with the help of more than 60 friends and family members, which included some “dancing Jews” (instead of Bruno’s “dancing juice.”)

Read more by HS News Staff →

Music Icon Vicente Fernandez – ‘Not Worthy’ of a Monument Some Say

Music Icon Vicente Fernandez – ‘Not Worthy’ of a Monument Some Say

Photo: Vicente Fernandez no Statute in Cocula, Mexico

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According to the residents of Cocula, México, Vicente Fernandez ‘lacks the merits’ needed in order to receive a commemorative monument.  Many residents of Cocula, a town in the western state of Jalisco and considered by many the birth place of mariachi music, opposed the construction of a monument honoring the famous musician. 

Fernandez is considered one of the icons of Mexican music.  In February, he announced his upcoming retirement after a 45 year career singing and acting.  According to the director of Public Works in Cocula, Daniel Montelongo, the purpose of constructing this statue would be to attract more tourists to the small town of 14,000 people. 

Yet, Rubén Rivera Solís, an opponent of the proposed monument, argues, according to El Brasero, that Fernandez is not worthy of such an honor due to the fact that he, “has never sang the Cocula song at his concerts.”  Yet, Fernandez would not be the only honoree in Cocula.  The town also plans to unveil monuments depicting singer, Jorge Negrete, composer Manuel Esperón as well as musician Ernesto Cortázar who gave fame to the song “Cocula” which is a popular melody of Mexican music.  Other honorees include singers Pedro Infante, Lucha Reyes and Antonio Aguilar.

Montelongo dismissed the critics as a ‘small group of people’ and assured that the sculpture, created by the artist Salvador Andrade, is ready to be unveiled as soon as Fernandez arrives for the inauguration. 

A notice was sent to Fernandez at the beginning of the year requesting his approval of an inauguration date.  Yet Fernandez has yet to respond to the request.  He has not returned to Cocula since the beginning of his career.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Crime Reporter and Her 2-year-old Son Missing in Coahuila, Mexico

Crime Reporter and Her 2-year-old Son Missing in Coahuila, Mexico

Photo: Reporter Stephania Cardoso missing Mexico

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A police reporter for the daily El Zocalo in Saltillo, the capital of the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, and her 2-year-old son have been missing since last week, representatives of the newspaper told Efe.

Stephania Cardoso disappeared last Friday and her mother notified the Coahuila Attorney General’s Office a day later.

The journalist has not been in contact with her mother and she failed to show up for work on Friday.

Cardoso, according to her mother, was last seen Thursday night with her son as they headed to a Freedom of Expression Day event.

The journalist arrived home in the early morning hours of Friday and called co-workers to tell them she was safe.

Relatives, according to Cardoso’s mother, went to the house on Friday morning and found it ransacked, with a shattered camera on the floor and the reporter’s vehicle missing.

The Coahuila AG’s office is investigating the police reporter’s disappearance.

The Vienna-based International Press Institute, or IPI, and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, or WAN-IFRA, called on Mexican authorities “to immediately investigate last Friday’s mysterious disappearance of a Mexican crime journalist and her two-year-old son.”

“We are extremely concerned for the well-being of Stephania Cardoso and her son. While the reason for her disappearance is not yet known, Mexican journalists, particularly those who cover organized crime and police activity, are being targeted because of their work with chilling frequency,” IPI deputy director Anthony Mills said.

“Cardoso’s disappearance comes less than three weeks after a crime journalist in Sonora, Marco Antonio Avila Garcia, was kidnapped and later found tortured and killed. Five journalists have been murdered in Mexico since April 28, including well-known Proceso investigative reporter Regina Martinez,” the IPI said.

Municipal, state and federal authorities should conduct an “extensive investigation” to find Cardoso and her child, the Foundation for Freedom of Expression, or Fundalex, said in a statement.

Cardoso covered the police beat, reporting on accidents, fires, robberies and other crimes, “without covering organized crime, specifically drug trafficking,” the Fundalex said.

The police reporter is the 15th journalist to disappear in Mexico since 2000 and the second reporter to go missing in Coahuila, the Fundalex said.

Rafael Ortiz, another reporter for the Zocalo newspaper, disappeared on July 8, 2006, the Fundalex said.

Mexico, where nearly 80 journalists have been murdered since 2000, is considered the world’s second most dangerous country for members of the media.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Singer-Songwriter Estefano Relives Night he was Shot in “Resurreccion”

Colombian Singer-Songwriter Estefano Relives Night he was Shot in “Resurreccion”

Photo: Colombian Singer-Songwriter Estefano Relives Night he was Shot in "Resurreccion"

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Colombian singer-songwriter Estefano returns to the world of music with “Resurreccion,” a number on his new disc to be released in September and in which he sings about the tragic night when he was shot twice at his home in Miami.

The artist, whose real name is Fabio Alonso Salgado, told Efe in an interview in Miami that he is returning to the music industry with great joy and is “ready to go on with my life.”

“Resurreccion” tells of that night on May 25, 2007, when the Brazilian Francisco S. Oliveira allegedly shot him.

Estefano survived the two bullets, one in the head and another close to the heart, but suffers facial paralysis.

Oliveira was acquitted in 2008 after the jury found a lack of sufficient evidence against him.

“It’s something that happened in my life, but I have to go forward with who I am - I’m a musician,” the artist, who won fame in the duo Donato & Estefano in the mid-1990s, said.

In the song, Estefano comments on his life, fame and fortune, quotes the Bible, recalls his arrival in Miami and sings about his “death and resurrection.”

A multiple-Grammy winner, Estefano has also composed hits for top artists like Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Much Uncertainty About Spanish Bailout

Much Uncertainty About Spanish Bailout

Photo: Spanish Seek Bailout

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The Spanish stock market rallied Monday on news that the European Union will lend Madrid up to 100 billion euros ($125.2 billion) to shore up the Iberian nation’s troubled financial sector, but the gains evaporated during the course of the day amid continuing uncertainty about the size of bank losses.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Sunday that his government won’t decide on how big a loan to request until officials receive reports from the two independent consultants Spain commissioned to evaluate the condition of the banks.

After surging 6 percent in reaction to the EU agreement to aid Spanish banks, the Madrid stock exchange’s key IBEX-35 index was down 0.54 percent by the end of trading Monday.

Analysts attributed the reversal to concerns about the eventual size of the EU loan and its possible impact on Spain’s overall level of debt.

A similar dynamic played out in the sovereign debt markets, where Spain’s debt-risk premium, the extra return investors demand on Spanish government bonds compared with safe-haven German debt, dipped to 467 basis points before rebounding to 520 points.

Spanish banks will need about 60 billion euros, rating agency Fitch said Monday, while the International Monetary Fund said over the weekend that the figure will be in the range of 40-60 billion euros ($50-75 billion).

The European Commission issued a statement Monday insisting that the 100 billion euros available to Spain is sufficient for even the “most adverse scenarios” and includes a “safety margin.”

The funds are to be paid out of the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Stability Mechanism,

The EU loan will not only “not undermine the current conditions of the public debt, but reinforces solvency,” the Spanish Economy Ministry said Monday, adding that Madrid will continue implementing its program of fiscal consolidation and structural reform.

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 No. 4 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.

Fitch announced Monday that it lowered its ratings for Spain’s two largest banks, Grupo Santander and BBVA, by two steps to BBB+.

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 →



TuesdayJune 12, 2012