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TuesdayJune 19, 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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Guatemalan Officer Embezzles $30 M in Public Funds

Guatemalan Officer Embezzles $30 M in Public Funds

Photo: Guatemala

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A finance chief of the Guatemalan army’s now-defunct presidential guard unit during the 2000-2004 administration of Alfonso Portillo was arrested here Monday on charges he embezzled more than $30 million in public funds.

Retired Lt. Col. Saul Mendez was detained in a residential neighborhood pursuant to a May 2005 warrant, a police spokesman said.

Prosecutors say Mendez, 50, was the ringleader of a group of officers who bilked the treasury out of 242 million quetzales ($30 million) by submitting invoices for non-existent transactions.

Four other military officers are in custody in connection with the case.

The presidential guard unit, which was responsible both for protecting the head of state and managing the finances of the president’s office, was abolished under Portillo in favor of a new Department of Administrative Affairs and Security.

Portillo himself was accused of running a criminal scheme to divert more than 2.5 billion quetzales ($312 million), but he and two of his erstwhile to aides were acquitted of corruption charges in May 2011.

The former president remains behind bars, however, as he awaits likely extradition to the United States to face money laundering charges.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colorado College Seeks Latino Support after Cutting Tuition for Undocumented

Colorado College Seeks Latino Support after Cutting Tuition for Undocumented

Photo: Metropolitan State College of Denver

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The president of Metropolitan State College of Denver is appealing to Latinos to back his decision to reduce tuition for undocumented immigrants, a move that some in the Colorado legislature want to undo.

In a letter written particularly to Hispanic leaders in Colorado, Stephen Jordan said that two weeks after the MSCD board voted in favor of cutting tuition starting this August, the state legislature’s Joint Budget Committee called a hearing Wednesday to analyze the legality of the measure.

“I ask you, if your busy schedule allows it, to attend the meeting (with the lawmakers),” Jordan said in his letter.

The MSCD initiative creates an intermediate tuition level that is above what Colorado legal residents pay, but substantially below the costs faced by out-of-state or foreign students.

The dispute came about, Jordan said, because some lawmakers consider it up to the legislature and not each individual university to decide whether to implement or not an intermediate tuition level in Colorado.

In its session this year, the Colorado legislature defeated the bill that was subsequently used as the basis for the measure recently adopted by MSCD.

That bill, SB12-15, had been passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate, but not by the lower house where Republicans have a majority.

Some lawmakers have expressed concern that MSCD is undermining their authority since SB12-15 was defeated this year. Meanwhile Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is reviewing the case to determine whether the university has the legal authority to create a special tuition category for non-residents, Jordan said in his message to the Latino community.

Jordan said that MSCD does have the authority to establish the special tuition level for non-residents who graduated from Colorado high schools since in this state, according to the law, each university decides its own tuition levels.

He also said that students who benefit from the new tuition category will not receive state or federal financial aid - they must pay all the other costs associated with taking courses at MSCD and must meet all the same academic requirements to enroll as all other students.

Under Jordan’s plan, undocumented students at MSCD would pay almost $7,200 per year, compared with the $4,300 that legal residents pay and the almost $16,000 that students from outside Colorado pay.

According to Jordan, 420 undocumented students will benefit immediately from the tuition cut at his university.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ACLU Denounces PR Police with Report - “Island of Impunity: Puerto Rico’s Outlaw Police Force”

ACLU Denounces PR Police with Report - “Island of Impunity: Puerto Rico’s Outlaw Police Force”

Photo: ACLU Denounces PR Police with Report - "Island of Impunity: Puerto Rico's Outlaw Police Force"

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The Puerto Rico Police Department “is steeped in a culture of unrestrained abuse and near-total impunity” and promised reforms have yet to materialize, the American Civil Liberties Union says in a report released Tuesday.

The 180-page report, Island of Impunity: Puerto Rico’s Outlaw Police Force, documents the brutality and shortcomings of the second largest police department in the United States with more then 17,000 police officers.

The abuses are not “isolated incidents,” but “pervasive and systemic, island-wide and ongoing,” Jennifer Turner of the ACLU human rights program said.

The analysis was released nine months after the U.S. Department of Justice published its own report on constitutional violations committed by the PRPD, which covered incidents between 2004 and 2008 along with the repression of protesters in 2009 and 2010.

But the ACLU document describes additional areas of police brutality that includes incidents from 2007 right up to last month.

According to the ACLU, the Puerto Rican police lack mechanisms to investigate complaints about abuse, even covers up such cases, and has no systems to train, supervise or sanction its agents.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero complained that the San Juan government has not yet fulfilled its promise to reform the system.

The head of the ACLU of Puerto Rico, William Ramirez, said the reforms proposed by Gov. Luis Fortuño for a public accounting of police activities have been, in the best of cases, “superficial” and almost none have been put into practice.

Among the cases documented by the ACLU is the excessive use of force against the civilian population, particularly in poor neighborhoods and toward blacks and Dominican immigrants, plus the violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations with rubber bullets, clubs and a kind of tear gas not used on the U.S. mainland since the 1970s.

Nor has the PRPD taken the necessary steps to protect victims of domestic violence or to investigate either these crimes or rapes or any other forms of aggression against women.

According to the ACLU report, between 2010 and 2011, PRPD officers killed at least 21 civilians. In fact, the per capita rate of fatal shootings by police in 2010 was almost triple the rate recorded in New York in the same year.

And the PRPD reported only about 1 percent of rape cases. In the United States, the number of rapes reported by the police is four times greater than the number of homicides, but in 2010, Puerto Rican police reported 1,000 homicides and only 39 rapes, according to the document.

This contrasts with the fact that the per capita rate of women slain by their men in Puerto Rico is the highest in the world - in 2011 it was six times higher than in Los Angeles with a virtually equal population of around 3.7 million.

Between 2005 and 2010 more than 1,700 police officers, or 10 percent of the PRPD, were arrested for criminal activities, including assault, domestic violence, drug trafficking and homicide. At least 84 police still on active duty have been arrested more than once for domestic violence, the ACLU said.

The Department of Justice “should enter into a court-enforceable and court-monitored agreement with the PRPD,” the ACLU recommends.

“The agreement should include a detailed and court-enforceable plan for comprehensive reforms that addresses all of the findings and the recommendations contained in the DOJ findings letter and this report,” the civil rights organization says.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Forbes: Brazil’s Gisele Bündchen Tops List of Highest Paid Models

Forbes: Brazil’s Gisele Bündchen Tops List of Highest Paid Models

Photo: Gisele Bündchen (center) Tops List of Highest Paid Models, Alessandra (left) and Adriana (right) follow

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Forbes is reporting Brazilian beauty Gisele Bündchen tops the list of highest-paid models.

According to stats collected for between May 2011 and May 2012, Gisele was, for the second year in a row, the highest paid model in the world, earning $45 million.

Modeling for some of the world’s post well-known brands while creating her own lines, Gisele is more than a model. She is an empire.

Though some in the U.S. may only know her as a Victoria’s Secret Model and/or quarterback Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele is a powerhouse around the world, and no where is she bigger than in her native Brazil.

As chief marketing officer of Limited Brands Ed Razek told Forbes, “There are seven billion people on the planet. That makes each of them not one in a million, not one in five million, not one in ten million. That literally makes them one in 50 million humans.” Adding, “The ones that are coming up, their model for excellence is Gisele. They’re looking at her and saying ‘that’s what I want to shoot for.”

Now ranked second to Gisele is the woman most recently earning the title of “supermodel”, Kate Moss ($9.2 million).

Fellow Latinas making the list are Adriana Lima (No. 4 with $7.3 million) and Alessandra Ambrosio (No. 6 with $6.6 million).

Earlier this year, Lima announced her and her husband, Serbian NBA player Marko Jaric, were expecting their second child. Ambrosio and her fiancé, California businessman Jamie Mazur, had their second child on May 7, 2012.

As for top model Gisele, her and Brady have a 2 1/2-year-old son named Benjamin Rein Brady and the supermodel is currently 3 or 4 months pregnant.

Read more at Forbes →

Germany Formally Returns 600-year-old Mummy to Peru

Germany Formally Returns 600-year-old Mummy to Peru

Photo: Germany Formally Returns 600-year-old Mummy to Peru

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After nearly 30 years, Germany has returned a 600-year-old mummy to Peru.

The mummy was reportedly stolen from a tomb near Peru’s Alpamayo Mountain in the Ancash region sometime in the 1980s.

Though no one involved in the return of the mummy to Peru knows how, it is believed the mummy was taken out of Peru in 1986.

The mummy had been in an ethnology lab in Munich when experts determined the mummy had come from Peru.

Thursday, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala returned from his European trip with the precious cargo after it was formally returned in Berlin.

The Peruvian government commended German authorities for their work in getting the mummified body back “home.”

The same year the mummy had been taken out of Peru, it was confiscated by German authorities, which then gave it to the Museum of Ethnology in Munich.

The museum’s deputy director says the mummy had never been put on display.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UN Delegates in Brazil for Summit Staying in Rooms More Often Used by “Hourly Renters”

UN Delegates in Brazil for Summit Staying in Rooms More Often Used by “Hourly Renters”

Photo: UN Delegates in Brazil for Summit Staying in Rooms More Often Used by "Hourly Renters"

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Delegates from the United Nations are currently in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the sustainable development summit, but due to overcrowding or overcharging some are having to stay in some interesting hotels and motels.

In rooms generally rented by the hour and equipped with discreet entrances for those not wishing to be seen, UN delegates in town for the Rio+20 Environmental Summit are attempting to “make themselves at home.”

According to WTSP, for those unable to stay in the more upscale establishments, the Sinless in Shalimar and those like it have opened their doors.

In rooms with private garages (for those usually trying to make discreet exit), poles for “dancing” and mirrors on the ceiling, rest UN delegates.

Though hotels and motels like Sinless in Shalimar could have overcharged as well, spotting the necessity of a room, they have instead given fair rates in hopes that those arriving in Rio for the upcoming Olympics and World Cup, will consider staying in their rooms as well.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Miami Teen Survives Being Accidentally Shot in the Head with Spear Gun

Miami Teen Survives Being Accidentally Shot in the Head with Spear Gun

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A Miami teen in lucky to be alive after a spear was accidentally shot into and through his head.

Yasel Lopez, 16, while spear fishing with a friend, was standing in front of the gun, loading a three-foot-long spear. The gun unexpectedly launched the spear, sending into Lopez’s skull and knocking him into the water.

Lopez’s friend quickly called 911 and he was airlifted to Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. On his way to the hospital Lopez was not only conscious, but talking to paramedics as well. At the hospital, doctors realized the spear had not come out the other end, but was out of the

On Monday, doctors shared what went into saving the teen’s life, which first involved cutting the spear down so it wasn’t so long.

“We used a high-speed drill to drill the bone at either end to create an opening through which we could remove the spear,” doctors told reporters. “We were able to position him laying with his left side down, right side up, and then we were able to open a large incision.”

Doctors are calling Lopez a “very lucky boy”, as the spear missed any important blood vessels and vital parts of the brain.

He is now in recovery, but as a result of post-traumatic amnesia may never remember the incident.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rob Dyrdek Creates Line of Burritos, Brings Together “the Great Tastes of Mexicana and Americana”

Rob Dyrdek Creates Line of Burritos, Brings Together “the Great Tastes of Mexicana and Americana”

Photo: Rob Dyrdek Creates Line of Burritos, Brings Together "the Great Tastes of Mexicana and Americana"

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As if he wasn’t already a very busy man, professional skateboarder, entrepreneur, philanthropist, world record holder, and reality show star, Rob Dyrdek has gotten in to the food business.

The 37-year-old and his cousin Chris “Drama” Pfaff have created a line of frozen burritos, which TMZ claims were made especially for pot smokers with the munchies.

Loud Mouth Burritos currently have 420 calories (a stoner’s favorite number) and are currently being sold with just two varieties: Cheeseburger and Pepperoni Pizza. However, the burritos’ website states:


Loud Mouth is a novelty food brand that is bringing together the great tastes of Mexicana and Americana. For the first time in its history the frozen burrito is going through a structural transformation. Loud Mouth is going to revolutionize this age-old eating experience by blending bold and delicious flavors under the roof of a tortilla.

The website also has a number of Dyrdek and Drama running around a ring with a bull, both dressed in all white, but with Dyrdek wearing a Mexican flag across his chest and his cousin with an American flag.

The burritos are currently being sold at a number of Kum and Go and Maverik convenient stores, with Dyrdek hoping to expand to 10,000 locations by summer’s end.

Dyrdek was/is the star of MTV’s Rob & Big, Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness, and is the holder of 21 separate Guinness World Records for skateboarding.

He also has a Tag Body Spray fragrance called Make Moves and recently performed a stunt in a Chevy Sonic to promote the laugh of the car.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Outfielder Yasel Puig Defects to Mexico, U.S. Baseball Awaits Him

Cuban Outfielder  Yasel Puig Defects to Mexico, U.S. Baseball Awaits Him

Photo: Yasiel Puig Defects to Mexico

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Cuban outfielder Yasel Puig has defected from Cuba and is in the process of establishing residency in Mexico.  The 21 –year-old made a name for himself playing for the Cuba’s Junior National team. 

Puig is a highly sought baseball commodity.  Jaime Torres , Puig’s agent told MLB.com, “As of Monday morning, I submitted information to Major League Baseball and the Players Association that he has taken up residency in Mexico and will shortly establish legal permanent residency in Mexico,” Torres said. “We should have documentation of his legal permanent residency in Mexico soon and as soon as I have that, I will submit it to Major League Baseball and I hope and expect that he will be declared a free agent immediately.”

Could Puig demand a similar contract to Jorge Soler’s nine-year, $30 million deal with the Chicago Cubs? 

Puig’s value is yet to be determined; however a showcase for major league scouts is scheduled for later this week June 19 - 7:45 am ET in Mexico City.  Stay Tuned.

Written By HS News Writer:  Tim Horodyski


Read more by HS News Staff →

HISPANIC STANDOUT:  Julian Ramirez from Foster Homes to UCLA Graduate

HISPANIC STANDOUT:  Julian Ramirez from Foster Homes to UCLA Graduate

Photo: Julian Ramirez/EFE

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Julian Ramirez has graduated from UCLA after overcoming a childhood of abandonment by his family and thanks to a program that benefits young students in difficult situations.

Deprived of any family life by his father’s violence and his mother’s drug addiction, Ramirez spent almost all his childhood in foster homes.

“For 10 years I was in more than five different temporary homes,” he told Efe.

He recalled that once during that time his parents obtained custody of him and his five siblings for about a year and “we thought everything was going to be okay.”

“Then my parents started having the usual problems and again we were sent separately to different families,” said Ramirez, who was 6 when he first understood that his family was breaking up.

For the recent political science graduate, none of the families he lived with gave him a real home.

“I was never put in a home full of love. I always felt rejected and I felt that my temporary parents were never really interested in taking care of me,” he said.

“One of the worst things that happened when I was a kid was that no one, not my social workers or my parents or my teachers, really believed in me. I was lost in the massification of the public school system and I had no one interested in helping me cultivate my abilities.”

While still a youngster he lost contact with his father, a Mexican-American who grew up in a small agricultural community south of San Francisco.

“My father is in jail and I haven’t had much contact with him since I was a teenager,” he said.

In his efforts to overcome his daunting situation, Julian found wrestling to be an ally, a light at the end of the tunnel.

“In high school I had a passion for freestyle wrestling. I was captain of the team and that was one of the few places I played a leadership role. Wrestling gave me the work ethic I needed to get good grades at school.”

After finishing high school he enrolled in De Anza Community College in Cupertino southeast of San Francisco with very little money. “I had to face extreme poverty and sometimes I had nowhere to sleep.”

Two years later he transferred to UCLA and there, thanks to the Bruin Guardian Scholars program, he obtained financial aid and scholarships that enabled him to graduate two years later.

“Bruce Barbee was my mentor in the UCLA faculty. He always pushed me to do better and give the most I could. He believed in me when no one else did and supported me when everyone else lost interest,” the young man said.

Ramirez is planning a sojourn in Japan to teach English because “I’ve always wanted to travel outside the country, but because money was scarce I never left California. Los Angeles is the farthest I have been.”

He also hopes to continue his postgrad education in preparation for helping the needy.

“My plans are to do a postgraduate course and eventually take my master’s degree in public health. I want to give back something to my community and help marginalized people achieve their goals,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Zone of Contention – U.S. / México Border Focus of New Art Exhibition

Zone of Contention – U.S. / México Border Focus of New Art Exhibition

Photo: Zone of Contention: Border Exhibit

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A new art exhibition entitled Zone of Contention: The U.S. / Mexico Border opened at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.  This new exhibit features the works of twelve artists depicting how the border conflicts not only affect the people involved but also impact North Carolina specifically the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

The artists planned the exhibit for many months while also discussing the topic with local community members and university faculty.  The end result features a variety of different pieces using photography, sculptures, works on paper, video and new media.  Together, the exhibition, which is being held in two 1st floor galleries at the museum, touches on the subjects of migrant labor, immigration law, national sovereignty, as well as border control. 

The exhibition is the first in a series focusing on the effects of global conflict and how this affects Greensboro, North Carolina.  Of the twelve artists involved in the exhibit, only one is originally from México, Pedro Reyes of México City, while Rafael Lozano Hemmer hails from Montreal, Canada.  Perry Vasquez and Victor Payan are both from San Diego, California, while Andrea Bowers comes from Los Angeles.  David Taylor is from New Mexico and Blane De St. Croix comes from New York City, New York.  Other artists include Dan S. Wang from Chicago, Illinois and Nicolas Lampert from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Susan Harbage Page and Pedro Lasch are from Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina while Todd Drake is a local artist originally from Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Read more at Art Daily Life →

First Single from Alejandro Sanz’s New Album to be Released June 25

First Single from Alejandro Sanz’s New Album to be Released June 25

Photo: First Single from Alejandro Sanz's New Album to be Released June 25

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Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz returns to the market with a new album from which he is launching the first single, “No Me Compares” (Don’t Compare Me), to be available online in the United States on June 25.

The Madrid artist made the announcement Monday on Twitter and Facebook, where he also posted the photo from the cover of his first single and said that the complete new album will go on sale in September.

“Hello to @ll, this is the cover of the first single from my new disc. The song is called ‘No Me Compares,” Alejandro Sanz wrote Monday on Facebook, and asked fans to give him their opinion about his new number.

His most recent album was “Paraiso Express” (Paradise Express) in 2009, a blockbuster in international sales that won him a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album, a Latin Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Album and an award from Billboard in the Hot Latin Song category for the single “Looking for Paradise,” a duet with Alicia Keys.

With his new album, Sanz, who has sold 22 million discs worldwide, is also changing his record label, with the new production being launched by Universal Music Group.

Sanz is also one of the most popular singers on social networks with more than 6 million followers on Twitter.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Immigrant-Owned Small Businesses Contribute More to Economy Than You’d Think

Immigrant-Owned Small Businesses Contribute More to Economy Than You’d Think

Photo: Important Immigrants in Small Business

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In the never-ending debate over the impact that immigration has on the U.S. economy, the role of immigrant small businesses usually goes unnoticed. While mention is sometimes made of the fact that two in five Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants, the little businesses—the majority that employee under 100 people—are often forgotten. In large part, this is due to the absence of basic data on the subject. However, a new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) finally quantifies the value of immigrant small businesses to the U.S. economy.

Using data from the Survey of Business Owners and the American Community Survey, the report compiles a treasure trove of entrepreneurial information that highlights the enormous role which immigrants play as small business owners:

*Immigrant small businesses employed 4.7 million people and had $776 billion in receipts in 2007, the last year for which data is available.

*18% of all small business owners in the United States are immigrants; higher than the immigrant share of the population (13%) or labor force (16%).

*The small businesses most commonly owned by immigrants are restaurants, physician’s offices, real estate firms, grocery stores, and truck transportation services.

*Immigrants comprise 65% of taxi service owners, 54% of dry cleaning and laundry service owners, 53% of gas station owners, and 49% of grocery store owners.

*Between 1990 and 2010, immigrants accounted for 30% of the total increase in the number of small business owners in the United States.

*Immigrants from Mexico account for 12% of immigrant small business owners, followed by immigrants from India, Korea, Cuba, China, and Vietnam.

*Immigrants from the Middle East, Asia, and Southern Europe have the highest rates of small business ownership.

*Immigrants who have been in the United States for more than 10 years are more than twice as likely to be small business owners as immigrants who have been in the country for 10 years or less.

*29% of immigrant small business owner are women. In comparison, 28% of U.S.-born small business owners are women.

*Among the 25 largest metropolitan areas, immigrants comprise the largest share of small business owners in Miami (45%), followed by Los Angeles (44%), New York (36%), and San Francisco (35%).

*Among the 50 states, immigrants comprise the largest share of small business owners in California (33%), followed by New York (29%), New Jersey (28%), Florida (26%), and Hawaii (23%).

Taken in sum, this data illustrates that immigrant entrepreneurs are an integral part of the U.S. economy.

As the FPI report puts it, “immigrant small business owners contribute to economic growth, to employment, and to producing the goods and services that support our standard of living.” This is a basic economic fact with broad political implications. The report observes that “understanding who the one million immigrant small business owners are…can only help as the country struggles to achieve a better set of immigration policies.” And a better set of policies would recognize that immigration fuels American entrepreneurship.

Read more at Immigration Impact →

Mitt Romney Wants Latinos to Remember Their High Unemployment Rate Under Obama

Mitt Romney Wants Latinos to Remember Their High Unemployment Rate Under Obama

Photo: MItt Romney and the Latino Vote

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Likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney launched Monday a new ad in Spanish blasting President Barack Obama’s recent assertion that “the private sector (of the economy) is doing fine.”

Romney’s new message targeting Hispanic voters comes after the president announced last week an executive order halting the deportation of undocumented students.

The Republican ad majors on economic figures like the 11 percent jobless rate among Latinos and the sagging fortunes of the middle class.

Even as the Romney campaign slammed Obama’s economic policies, the Service Employees International Union aired Monday it second series of radio and television ads criticizing the Republican candidate’s position on a number of issues.

This second set of commercials focuses on what Mitt Romney has said about the stalled DREAM Act, a plan for legalizing undocumented students, and about the broader issue of comprehensive immigration reform.

Hispanic voters reacted indignantly to Romney’s promise that if Congress approves the DREAM Act, he would immediately repeal it if elected president.

The union recalls in the new commercials, under the title “Mitt Romney: In His Own Words,” that during the recent Republican primaries, the candidate accused immigrants of entering the United States to be supported by the federal government, or get a “free deal.”

“Not only is Romney offensive, he is wrong,” SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina said.

“Let us be clear - Romney opposes the DREAM Act, devalues immigrants by not recognizing our hard work and contributions to this country, and supports Arizona-like laws that want to make life so miserable for immigrants that we would self-deport,” the union official added.

Romney will try to reverse the voting trend of the Hispanic community, which in its majority supports Obama, above all in swing states like Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.

It is estimated that at least 12.2 million Latinos will go to the polls on Nov. 6.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Leading the Way in Rio+20 Sustainable Development Negotiations

Brazil Leading the Way in Rio+20 Sustainable Development Negotiations

Photo: Brazil Leading Way in Rio+20 Conference

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Expectations to produce a strong outcome document at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) are still high, a senior UN official said today.

“Delegates are sharing feedback on the consolidated text presented by Brazil,” Rio+20’s Secretary-General, Sha Zukang, said in a statement, adding that he remains optimistic that delegations will reach an agreement before tonight’s deadline.

On Friday, the responsibility of the negotiations was handed over to the Brazilian Government, which holds the Presidency of Rio+20. The South American nation has since presented a shorter consolidated text for countries to work on.

Over the weekend, the Brazilian Government indicated that the consultation process on the outcome document is expected to conclude on 18 June. It will then be put forward for adoption by Member States when they meet from 20 to 22 June.

In a press briefing on Sunday, a Rio+20 spokesperson, Pragati Pascale, stressed that the new version of the text reflects the same agreements and disagreements on the outcome document which have engaged Member States over the past few weeks. She also emphasized that a shorter version did not mean that the text had become weaker.

Delegations working on the text are now concentrating in four key areas: building an institutional framework for sustainable development, agreeing on the means of implementation, oceans and the establishment of sustainable development goals.

Rio+20’s high-level meeting runs 20-22 June, and is expected to bring together over 100 heads of State and government, along with thousands of parliamentarians, mayors, UN officials, chief executive officers and civil society leaders to shape new policies to promote prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.

Read more by HS News Staff →

TuesdayJune 19, 2012