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WednesdayJune 20, 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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Controversial Bills that Sparked Protests in Panama Are Withdrawn

Controversial Bills that Sparked Protests in Panama Are Withdrawn

Photo: Protests in Panama

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President Ricardo Martinelli announced Tuesday that he is withdrawing two controversial bills that spurred disturbances in Panama’s National Assembly and protests on the streets.

The supermarket magnate attributed opposition to the measures - one authorizing sale of the government’s stakes in utility companies and the other a ratification of three Supreme Court appointments - to a lack of information.

“To impel a broad discussion and a consensus on these matters, I will withdraw them today from the National Assembly and send them to the National Coordination,” Martinelli told reporters at the presidential palace.

The National Coordination is a consultative body that includes representatives of business, labor, academia and other elements of society.

Martinelli invited “all sectors” to take part in the discussion and said he will ask the Catholic Church to mediate the talks.

Minutes after the president spoke, the National Assembly leadership suspended the special session convened by Martinelli to address the two bills.

An opposition lawmaker was pepper-sprayed earlier Tuesday amid protests outside the assembly.

Union members and other government foes burned tires and tussled with the police who surrounded the legislature on the second day of debate on the bills.

Cops also roughed up opposition legislators, one of whom required first aid after nearly choking on pepper spray.

The security perimeter was imposed after Monday’s discussion inside the chamber saw scuffles among government and opposition lawmakers and visitors in the gallery.

Martinelli called the special session in a bid to push through legislation authorizing the sale of the government’s large minority stakes in the dominant telephone and electricity companies.

Once inside the capitol on Tuesday, opposition lawmakers demanded the debate be suspended until authorities disclose who ordered the massive police deployment.

The Martinelli administration says it wants to sell stakes in Cable & Wireless and electric utility Union Fenosa to raise revenue for infrastructure projects.

Critics, however, contend the government’s approach will leave Panama with unsustainable debt.

The government and opposition are also at odds over the confirmation of three new judges for the 12-member Panamanian Supreme Court, which Martinelli’s adversaries see as an attempt to pack the tribunal.

If approved, the three latest nominations would bring to seven the number of high court judges named by Martinelli.

Some in the opposition say the president wants to control the Supreme Court as part of a plan to change Panama’s constitution so he can seek a second consecutive term in 2014.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Boxer “Macho” Camacho Ordered Not to Contact Son, Ex-Wife

Former Boxer “Macho” Camacho Ordered Not to Contact Son, Ex-Wife

Photo: Hector "Macho" Camacho

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A judge in Central Florida ordered former boxing champion Hector “Macho” Camacho to have no contact with his 13-year-old son pending a verdict in the child abuse case against the retired athlete.

Camacho must also stay away from his ex-wife, Orange County Circuit Judge Marc Lubet said at Tuesday’s hearing, though he allowed the 50-year-old to remain free on bond.

Prosecutors had asked Lubet to revoke Camacho’s bail because the defendant violated the terms of his bond by trying to contact the alleged victim.

The boxer’s ex-wife, Amy Camacho, notified prosecutors after Macho called her home several times in an attempt to reach the couple’s 13-year-old son.

Amy and Camacho’s 19-year-old son, Christian, testified at Tuesday’s hearing in Orlando.

Macho called the home more than 40 times and told Christian that the child abuse allegation “was all crap,” the young man testified.

Camacho surrendered to authorities in April, pursuant to a warrant filed last November by the state attorney’s office in connection with a March 22, 2011, incident at the home of Amy Camacho and the boxer’s three children.

Prosecutors accuse Macho of having grabbed the 13-year-old by the neck and slamming him to the ground.

Macho Camacho garnered world lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight crowns in the 1980s. His last title fight was a 1997 loss by unanimous decision to then-welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya.

The Puerto Rican, who has battled problems with drugs and alcohol, retired from the ring in 2009 with a lifetime record of 79-5-3.

Camacho spent two months behind bars in Mississippi for a 2005 burglary and his wife filed several domestic abuse complaints against him before ultimately divorcing him.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Blog del Narco- 13 Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel Members Arrested in Mexico

Blog del Narco- 13 Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel Members Arrested in Mexico

Photo: 13 New generation Cartel Members Arrested

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Thirteen suspected members of Mexico’s Jalisco Nueva Generacion drug cartel were arrested in connection with the kidnapping and murder of an employee of the Jalisco state Attorney General’s Office, a military commander said Wednesday.

The cartel members were involved in “kidnappings, drug sales and murders” in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, a state in western Mexico, 15th Military Zone commander Gen. Gilberto Hernandez Abreu said in a press conference in Guadalajara.

The suspects - 11 men and two women - were arrested on the basis of an anonymous tip received after gunmen kidnapped Jalisco AG’s office employee Laura Karina Aguas Trujillo on Monday in San Miguel el Alto, a city about 140 kilometers (some 84 miles) from Guadalajara, the state capital.

One of the suspects, whose name was not released, confessed that he participated in Aguas Trujillo’s kidnapping and murder, the general said, adding that the suspect told authorities where the body had been dumped.

Army troops found Aguas Trujillo’s body in a field by the highway that leads from San Miguel to the central state of Aguascalientes.

The suspects were trying to establish themselves as the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartel’s cell in the area by taking control of the city of San Miguel el Alto, Hernandez Abreu said.

Soldiers seized seven rifles, four handguns, two fragmentation grenades, 650 rounds of ammunition, 26 ammunition clips, cash, three vehicles and 15 cell phones from the suspects.

The suspects, who range in age from 18 to 27, face organized crime, drug, arms and explosives charges.

The Jalisco Nueva Generacion organization was created following the death of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, a top Sinaloa drug cartel boss, in 2010.

Erick Valencia Salazar, considered the successor to Coronel, was arrested on March 9 in Zapopan, a city in Jalisco.

Valencia was responsible for expanding the reach of the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartel, officials said.

He was the operations chief for the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartel before Coronel’s death in a shootout with soldiers in July 2010.

The cartel split into two criminal organizations after Coronel’s death, with Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes taking over the leadership of Jalisco Nueva Generacion with Valencia’s backing, while Elpidio Mojarro Ramirez formed the La Resistencia gang.

Jalisco Nueva Generacion has been battling Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent drug cartel, for control of smuggling routes into the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jennifer Lopez oozes sensuality in Santiago Chile on “Dance Again” Tour

Jennifer Lopez oozes sensuality in Santiago Chile on “Dance Again” Tour

Photo: Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart in Chile

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To the rhythm of ballads, funk and pop, U.S. singer and actress Jennifer Lopez exuded sensuality during the third concert of her “Dance Again” tour that took her to the Chilean capital, from where she will carry on to Brazil and Argentina.

At 42, J.Lo again showed herself to be an artist of a thousand faces with all the stagecraft acquired from years in the spotlight.

Surrounded by a stageful of dancers, Lopez kicked off the night with touches of cabaret and hits like “Get Right,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” “I’m Into You” and “Waiting for Tonight.”

Fireworks shot skywards with the first notes, lighting effects and columns of smoke were accompanied by an overwhelming audiovisual display with videos that even made it entertaining waiting for each change of costume - there were at least six - for the queen of the night.

But between one lyric and the next, the popular artist also showed herself capable of interacting with fans - 11,000 came out to see her this Tuesday - much more than most singers of her fame and fortune.

With “Until It Beats No More”, her 4-year-old twins Emme and Max popped onto the screens in a video showing them with mom in a cuddly series of family takes.

For her final volley she let loose with two of her numbers most often heard on dance floors - “Let’s Get Loud” and “On the Floor,” and, after seeming to say goodbye with a “many thanks, Chile,” she returned onstage to close with “Dance Again,” the single that provided the name for the tour and which she sang in a duet with boyfriend Casper Smart.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pablo Picasso’s “Seated Woman” Painting Sells for $13.4 Milion

Pablo Picasso’s “Seated Woman” Painting Sells for $13.4 Milion

Photo: Pablo Picasso's "Seated Woman" Painting Sells for $13.4 Milion at Christie's in London

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The 1949 oil painting “Seated Woman” by Pablo Picasso was auctioned off Wednesday at Christie’s in London for 8.5 million pounds ($13.4 million), a much higher price than the experts expected.

The picture was one of the most sought-after works in the auction of impressionist and modern art, in which paintings by Renoir, Signac and Gauguin were also on offer.

“Seated Woman,” a cubist design in tones of purple, black, yellow, green and orange, far surpassed the $11.7 million the experts had estimated.

Another star of the evening was a later work by Picasso, “Woman with Dog” painted in 1962, which was knocked down for 6.9 million pounds ($10.9 million).

The canvas, which had not been shown in public since 1973 in Chicago, is a portrait of his second wife Jacqueline Roque with her dog Kaboul, which the painter created in a period of great changes in his style.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Miro’s “Peinture (Etoile Bleue)” Sells for Record $37 Million in London

Miro’s “Peinture (Etoile Bleue)” Sells for Record $37 Million in London

Photo: Peinture (Étoile Bleue)

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Joan Miro’s “Peinture (Etoile Bleue)” sold in London Tuesday at Sotheby’s auction house for 23.56 million pounds ($37 million), a record price for a work by the Spanish artist.

The 1927 piece was part of an extensive sale of impressionist and abstract art, at which works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Bonnard, Monet, Giacometti and De Chirico were also auctioned off.

The picture, described by Miro (1893-1983) as a “key” turning point in his artistic career, incorporates surrealist symbols and elements that the painter would repeat in later works.

The intense blue of the painting influenced not only the artist’s later works, but also the style of other painters like Mark Rothko (1903-1970) and Yves Klein (1928-1962).

The auction of one of Miro’s most representative works comes at a time when the greatest retrospective of his art in the last 50 years is still on view in Washington.

The exhibition brings together 150 works and was first shown at the Tate Modern in London in 2011, later traveling to the Joan Miro Foundation in Barcelona and afterwards to the United States.

“‘Peinture (Etoile Bleue)’ is one of Miró‘s most important paintings, effortlessly bridging the transition between figurative and abstract art. His works from this period are supremely modern, timeless and of great universal appeal,” Helena Newman, head of Sotheby’s impressionist and modern department, said.

Besides “Peinture,” the 1972 Picasso painting “Hombre Sentado” (Man Seated) was knocked down at the Sotheby’s auction for 6.2 million pounds ($9.7 million).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Joins Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Negotiations

Mexico Joins Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Negotiations

Photo: Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Mexico is officially joining the group of nine nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, an effort to create a free trade area spanning the Asia-Pacific region, the Malaysian government said Tuesday.

“Mexico will be able to formally participate in the negotiations after all the current participants have undertaken their domestic procedures,” the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry said.

The TPP was initially signed in 2005 by Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, with Malaysia, Peru, Australia, the United States and Vietnam joining later.

The Mexican government expressed interest at last November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, forum in Honolulu in negotiating to join the TPP, which Canada and Japan are also seeking to join.

Mexican Economy Secretary Bruno Ferrari visited Australia and New Zealand in February to win support for Mexico’s bid to join the countries negotiating the TPP.

“Considering the advanced state of negotiations, Mexico will have to abide with procedures established to ensure that there is no undue delay to the negotiations,” the Malaysian government said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanics Are Not the Fastest-Growin Racial Group in the U.S. - So Who Are?

With constant talk of immigration, the Latino vote, and the U.S.-Mexico border in the news almost constantly, when asked what the fast growing racial group in the U.S. is, one might assume it’s Latinos/Hispanics. However, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center Asians actually nab that title .

According to the report, Asians recently passed Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants to the United States. The educational credentials of these recent arrivals are striking. More than six-in-ten (61%) adults ages 25 to 64 who have come from Asia in recent years have at least a bachelor’s degree. This is double the share among recent non-Asian arrivals, and almost surely makes the recent Asian arrivals the most highly educated cohort of immigrants in U.S. history.

Recent Asian immigrants are also about three times as likely as recent immigrants from other parts of the world to receive their green cards—or permanent resident status—on the basis of employer rather than family sponsorship (though family reunification remains the most common legal gateway to the U.S. for Asian immigrants, as it is for all immigrants).

The modern immigration wave from Asia is nearly a half century old and has pushed the total population of Asian Americans—foreign born and U.S born, adults and children—to a record 18.2 million in 2011, or 5.8 percent of the total U.S. population, up from less than 1 percent in 1965. By comparison, non-Hispanic whites are 197.5 million and 63.3 percent Hispanics 52.0 million and 16.7 percent and non-Hispanic blacks 38.3 million and 12.3 percent.

While Asian immigration has increased quickly in recent years, Hispanic/Latino immigration, especially that from Mexico, has slowed dramatically. In 2010, 31 percent of U.S. immigrants were Hispanic/Latino while 36 percent were Asian.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Tennis Player David Nalbandian Forced to Forfeit After Injuring Judge (VIDEO)

Argentine Tennis Player David Nalbandian Forced to Forfeit After Injuring Judge (VIDEO)

Photo: Argentine Tennis Player David Nalbandian Forced to Forfeit After Injuring Judge

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Competitiveness can really get the best of players sometimes, causing some to release frustration in inappropriate ways. (See John McEnroe)

Argentine tennis player David Nalbandian found out just how important it is to release that energy appropriately, as his kicking landed him a forfeit during his Sunday match at Queen’s Club in London.

Though leading at the time, Nalbandian was having a tantrum and took it out on an advertising board. When he kicked the board however, he managed to injure a line judge by sending the board in to the lineman’s shin. This outburst came after he had already frustratedly banged his racket on a few times during the match, and one of the commentators initially thought it was Nalbandian’s racket that hit the judge.

For unsportsmanlike conduct, Nalbandian was disqualified.

Metropolitan police are now investigating the incident and will determine if Nalbandian will face assault charges.

Watch the video below to check out Nalbandian’s meltdown.


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University of Illinois Chicago Agrees To Kidney Transplant for Undocumented

University of Illinois Chicago Agrees To Kidney Transplant for Undocumented

Photo: University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center

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Hispanics who have been on a hunger strike for the last two weeks demanding organ transplants for the undocumented racked up a win Tuesday by getting one of the Chicago hospitals at the center of the protests to provide such a procedure.

Mexican immigrant Lorenzo Arroyo, 36, will be given the medical attention he needs, including a kidney transplant, at the University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center, the hunger strikers said.

Arroyo, who suffers from kidney failure due to a hereditary disease, took part in the fast for the first few days until his health deterioranted and he stopped under doctors’ orders.

“The agreement also says that the medical center will form a commission with other hospitals to take care of urgent cases for whom no medical attention is available because of their immigration status,” the Rev. Jose Landaverde, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission in the mainly Mexican neighborhood of Little Village, said.

Nonetheless, he said “the fight is far from over” because the campaign is looking for immediate solutions for another two Latinos who need transplants.

The hunger strike took place at the mission starting June 3 and currently involves seven people protesting the exclusion of the undocumented from transplant waiting lists.

With the support of community and religious groups, health-care unions and Occupy Chicago, the protest focused on the UIC Medical Center and the Loyola University Medical Center.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Corruption, Drug and Gun Crime, Tax Evasion Caused Mexico to Lose $872 Billion in 4 Decades

Corruption, Drug and Gun Crime, Tax Evasion Caused Mexico to Lose  $872 Billion in 4 Decades

Photo: Corruption, Drug and Gun Crime, Tax Evasion Caused Mexico to Lose $872 Billion in 4 Decades

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Between 1970 and 2010, Mexico reportedly lost $872 billion, according to a report from the Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization.

The report, Mexico: Illicit Financial Flows, Macroeconomic Imbalances, and the Underground Economy, found that due to 40 years of corruption, tax evasion, and drug, weapons, and human trafficking, Mexico has lost an exorbitant amount of money, money Raymond W. Baker, director of GFI says “could have been used to develop the Mexican economy, to invest in education, to build roads, or to fight the drug cartels.”

Baker said the negative ramifications of losing out on $872 billion are “huge for everyday Mexicans.”

Each decade the amount of money lost increased.

-Each year of the 1970s saw an outflow of $3 billion
-The 1980s: $10.4 billion per year
-The 1990s: $17.4 billion per year
-2000 through 2009: $49.6 billion per year

Thought $872 billion in lot money is high, it remains an estimate - an estimate the GFI believes may actually be on the conservative side. Since a large portion of drug cartel activity in conducted in cash the GFI is unable to detect such transactions, and as such are unable to include that addition money to the total.

Trade mispricing plays a large part in Mexico’s “lost money”. Trade mispricing is when individuals or corporations use fraudulent commercial invoices to smuggle money out of the country, usually in order to facilitate tax evasion.

“The ease with which money can be laundered across the U.S.-Mexico border via trade mispricing poses a major national security risk to both the United States and Mexico,” said Baker. “Drug traffickers, like kleptocrats, terrorists and tax dodgers, all gain from anonymous
shell companies, tax haven secrecy, and nefarious trade mispricing tactics. Taking steps to address these issues would curtail a number of societal ills.”


Read the full report, which was authored by Dr. Dev Kar, click here. (PDF)

Read more by HS News Staff →

Award Winning Short Documentary ‘Paraíso’ Showing at Los Angeles Film Festival

Award Winning Short Documentary ‘Paraíso’ Showing at Los Angeles Film Festival

Photo: 'Paraíso' Premiering at Los Angeles Film Festival

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Paraîso’ is winning its way through the film festival circuit this year while making a name for its director Nadav Kurtz and three unassuming Mexican immigrant window washers: Cruz Guzman, Jaime Polanco and Sergio Polanco.

This ten minute visual treat is riveting as it tells the story of these window washers in their own words, who risk their lives atop some of Chicago’s tallest buildings.  Kurtz beautifully crafted film tells us about their dreams, fears and thoughts on the afterlife while hanging off of a skyscraper.  The movie is presented in Spanish with English subtitles.

The film short was directed and produced by Kurtz and features employees of Corporate Cleaning Services, Chicago’s largest all-union window washing company.  Kurtz, an award-winning commercial and film editor, while living in Chicago was fascinated by the city’s rich cultural diversity as well as its socio-economic barriers. 

The concept of those “outside looking in” was what drove Kurtz to make the movie.  Kurtz, an immigrant himself, “wanted to portray the men in a dignified manner” and find out if they are in touch with their morality each time they rappel one of those skyscrapers.  Hold on to your coffee as you get a birdseye view thousands of feet above the city just like these men get everyday they go to work. 

ImageThe movie maybe on its way to Oscar buzz in light of its win at the Tribeca Film Festival 2012, winning the Best Documentary Short at the Las Americas International Film Festival and winning Best Documentary Short at the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival.

This cinematic nugget will be shown tomorrow and Saturday at the Los Angeles Film Festival and on Saturday at the Palm Springs International ShortFest.  You can also see ‘Paraíso’ at the AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival tomorrow and Friday in Silver Spring, Maryland. 

Its growing fan base has its fingers crossed that it once again wins its category at all the festivals and that we can see Cruz, Jaime and Sergio walking the red carpet on Oscar night. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: “Artist” Spray Paints “Conquista” on a Picasso at a Texas Museum (VIDEO)

LATINO BLOTTER: “Artist” Spray Paints “Conquista” on a Picasso at a Texas Museum (VIDEO)

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: "Artist" Spray Paints "Conquista" on a Picasso at a Texas Museum

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A witness at a Texas museum told police a man who identified himself as an “up-and-coming Mexican-American artist” was responsible for defacing artwork by Pablo Picasso.

Picasso’s 1929 “Woman in a Red Armchair” was hanging in Houston’s Menil Collection when a witness, who was texting a friend, looked up and saw a man getting unusually close to the painting. Thinking quickly, the witness hit the camera button on his phone and began recording the bizarre and very quick incident.

The unidentified man managed to spray paint the word “conquista” - Spanish for “conquest” - across Picasso’s work before walking off.

Quickly, museum guards discovered the vandalized work and rushed the painting to the museum’s on-site conservation lab.

The spray paint had not fully dried and Menil’s communications director told the Houston Chronicle that restoration efforts for the painting have been going well and that the spray paint has been removed.

As for the culprit, the unnamed witness says he identified himself as a Mexican-America up-and-coming artist who said he was honoring Picasso’s work by spray painting it.

Houston Police are continuing their investigation, and should he be caught, the vandal faces a charge of criminal mischief, with a maximum penalty of two years jail.

“Woman in a Red Armchair” is one of nine Picassos the museum has and was purchased by John and Dominique de Menil in 1956. Museum spokesmen say they hope to have the painting back on display by the end of this week.


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Poll: Many Voters Support Obama’s Decision to Stop Deporting Undocumented Brought to U.S. as Kids

Poll: Many Voters Support Obama’s Decision to Stop Deporting Undocumented Brought to U.S. as Kids

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According to a Bloomberg poll, “64 percent of likely voters surveyed after Obama’s June 15 announcement said they agreed” with the president’s decision to stop the deportation of a number of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

While 30 percent of likely voters disagreed with the policy, the poll, which was released Tuesday, found that 65 percent of Independents supported the president’s decision, with 86 percent of Democrats supporting it as well.

On the other hand, 56 percent of Republican voters oppose the decision, and anti-immigration Republicans are already moving to sue Obama in order to suspend the deportation suspension.

With various issues on the minds of potential voters, the Bloomberg poll found few who listed immigration as their top issue, with only 4 percent listing it as a top concern.

Though many agree with the president’s announcement, they feel he only did so to play politics and get votes. His administration, of course, denies “playing politics,” but whatever the motivation for suspending the deportations, many Latino/Hispanics under the age of 30 who were brought to the U.S. before they turned 16, many of whom know no other home, have been bought more time.

On June 17, Latino Decisions and America’s Voice released the findings of a new poll and found many registered voters in the Latino communities in five key battleground states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia, were very glad to hear about President Obama’s recent memo to immigration officials.

Sunday’s poll revealed 49 percent said that after his announcement last week, they were “more enthusiastic” about the president.


*”The Bloomberg National Poll, conducted by Des Moines, Iowa- based polling firm Selzer & Co., has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points for the 734 likely voters contacted.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Albert Pujols is Back

Albert Pujols is Back

Photo: Albert Pujols is Back!/ photo: Wikipedia

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Albet Pujols hit his 11th homerun in the Angels 12-5 win over the Giants yesterday. 

Pujols started the scoring early for the Angels when he hit a three run homerun off of Barry Zito in the first inning.  He would add another rbi in to end the game with 5 rbi’s and two runs scored. Pujols has 10 homeruns since May 16th.  During that time he is hitting above .300 to raise his batting average to .258 from a dismal .212. 

Pujols has also chipped in with his glove, making back-to-back stellar defensive plays to end a seventh-inning rally by the Giants.

Early on in the season Pujols struggled mightily at the plate but by the looks of it he has put the biggest slump of his Hall of Fame career behind him.  On December 10, 2011 Pujols signed a ten-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, worth around $254 million.

The win pushes the Angels to 5 games over .500 and five games back from the Texas Rangers for the American League West lead.

Written by HS News Sports Writer:  Tim Horodyski

 

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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Seeks Asylum in Ecuador

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Seeks Asylum in Ecuador

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has to be very careful about where he chooses to request asylum, and it would seem that after a long deliberation he has chosen Ecuador.

On Tuesday, the Australian is said to have walked into the Ecuadorian embassy in London and officially submitted a request for political asylum. If granted asylum, the move could prove not only beneficial for Assange, but also for Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, who some claim seeks to stifle free speech. Should Assange be granted asylum, Correa would be able to rebuke those claims, showing the world he supports free speech and those like Assange, who feel it is their duty to share government and other “secret” documents which share, as Wikileaks puts it, “evidence of the truth.”

Assange is in quite the predicament however, as reports are abound that should he leave the embassy, he faces arrest for not abiding by the terms of his bail. Ecuador officials have stated Assange will “remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean government” while authorities in the capital, Quito, considered his case.

Assange, 40, is currently out on bail and fighting extradition to Sweden after being arrested in London in December 2010 at Sweden’s request, as they wish to speak with him regarding the alleged sexual assaults of two women.

The Wikileaks founder and his supporters have claimed the allegations were only made to discredit and silence him, and also to ensure he is sent to the United States, where the government is certainly no fan of his. Many of the documents on the Wikileaks site have revolved around various activities by the U.S. military and government officials in the Afghan war.

Shortly after the leak of diplomatic cables, the U.S. Justice Department opened a criminal investigation and considered charges under the Espionage Act as well as charges of trafficking stolen government property and “on grounds they [Wikileaks and Assange] encouraged the theft of government property.”

The U.S. Center for Constitutional rights has issued a statement saying the arrest of Assange displays “multiple examples of legal overreach and irregularities.”

While many were surprised by Julian Assange’s decision to seek asylum in Ecuador this is not the first time he has spoken with Ecuador’s government.

In November 2010, President Correa extended an invitation to Assange to discuss documents leaked on his website as they relate to Ecuador and other Latin American countries, according to a statement from the country’s foreign ministry.

In the same statement, vice chancellor Kintto Lucas offered Assange political asylum, saying, “We are open to grant him Ecuadorian residency, without any kind of problem or any kind of conditions.” And last month, Assange interviewed Correa, with the interview being aired by Russia Today.

Ecuador my be Assange last chance to avoid being sent to the U.S., as his home country is no longer an option. According to the Wikileaks site, “Legal advisor to Julian Assange, Jennifer Robinson, met with Australian Attorney General Nicola Roxon on May 2 2012, to ask Australia for basic assistance to protect Mr. Assange. The Australian government issued an effective “declaration of abandonment”, refusing to protect Mr. Assange, or make any requests on his behalf.

Read more by HS News Staff →

POLL:  71% of Americans Favor Work Permits for Undocumented Youth

POLL:  71% of Americans Favor Work Permits for Undocumented Youth

Photo: POLL: Majority American Agree with Work Permits Undocumented Youth

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Most voters don’t think the government is aggressive enough in deporting illegal immigrants but agree with President Obama’s decision to allow young people brought here illegally who meet certain criteria to avoid deportation.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government is not making enough effort to identify and deport illegal immigrants. Only 16% feel the government is doing too much to deport illegals, while 25% say the current amount of effort is about right. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on June 17-18, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports.

Read more at Rasmussen Report →

DOJ Sues Rose Acre Farms, Major Egg Producer for Discriminating Against Work-Authorized Non-Citizens

DOJ Sues Rose Acre Farms, Major Egg Producer for Discriminating Against Work-Authorized Non-Citizens

Photo: Rose Acre Farms Sued for Discrimination against Non-Citizens

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The Justice Department announced today filing of a lawsuit against Rose Acre Farms Inc., a major U.S. egg producer based in Seymour, Ind., alleging that Rose Acre engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against work-authorized non-citizens in the employment eligibility verification process.  Rose Acre operates in more than 40 locations in six states.

The complaint alleges that Rose Acre had a standard practice of subjecting newly hired non-U.S. citizens to unauthorized demands for more, different or specific documents issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in order to verify their employment eligibility, while U.S. citizens were permitted to present their choice of documentation.  The Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from placing additional documentary burdens on work-authorized employees during the hiring and employment eligibility verification process based on their citizenship status or national origin.

According to the complaint, Rose Acre purchased an electronic employment eligibility verification software system in June 2009 that may have prompted human resource officials to demand certain documents from non-U.S. citizens.  The complaint seeks a court order prohibiting future discrimination by Rose Acre, changes in Rose Acre’s policies and procedures for verifying employment eligibility, monetary damages for those harmed by the Rose Acre’s actions, and civil penalties.

“The INA’s anti-discrimination provision requires employers to treat employees equally in the employment eligibility verification process, regardless of citizenship status or national origin,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “The department is committed to removing discriminatory hurdles to employment through the enforcement of the anti-discrimination provision.”

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Daddy Yankee to Perform at Messi’s “Match of the Stars”

Daddy Yankee to Perform at Messi’s “Match of the Stars”

Photo: Daddy Yankee

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Puerto Rican singer Daddy Yankee will perform Thursday in Bogota during the benefit Match of the Stars, which will donate part of its box office to the Leo Messi Foundation, its representative said.

“I wanted to accompany Messi and the rest of the players who are getting behind this cause,” the reggaeton star said about the project of the Argentine national team captain, considered the world’s best soccer player over the past few years.

Daddy Yankee, the composer of songs like “Gasolina” and “Impacto,” will sing during the halftime show at the exhibition game to be contested at Bogota’s iconic El Campin stadium.

Part of the take of this friendly match will go to the Messi Foundation, which helps needy youngsters in Colombia.

“Colombia has given me a lot and we have to support every initiative that helps make sure that the different foundations sheltering poor boys and girls in Colombia can to keep caring for them,” the artist said.

As part of his show, the Puerto Rican singer will premiere for the Colombian audience his new single “Pasarela” (Fashion Runway), as well as the hit “Lovumba,” both included on his latest disc “Prestige,” which goes on sale in late summer.

Basically the same lineup from the Match of the Stars, including the Argentines Messi and Javier Mascherano, Uruguayans Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez and the Colombian Radamel Falcao, will next face off in the World Soccer Masters Tour at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, June 23.

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NIcaraguan Singer Luis Enrique Robbed at Gunpoint in Venezuela

NIcaraguan Singer Luis Enrique Robbed at Gunpoint in Venezuela

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Nicaraguan singer Luis Enrique was robbed at gunpoint when he was about to enter his hotel in Caracas together with his agent, but neither man was hurt.

Enrique and his representative suffered “an assault at the door of their hotel” at around 5:00 p.m. by two motorists who aimed their guns at them, an employee of the luxury hotel, located on the southwest side of the Venezuelan capital, told Efe.

According to the witness, the robbers took the salsa star’s watch and an identity bracelet from his associate.

Because of the incident, Luis Enrique requested, according to the daily El Universal, that his security be doubled for the rest of his tour of the country, where he has concerts lined up in Valencia, Caracas and Barquisimeto.

The robbery was yet another assault on an artist in Venezuela, one of the most violent countries in the region.

In May, Spanish singer Julio Iglesias was robbed of his passport, cash and other belongings at a hotel in Valencia.

Last Dec. 15, Puerto Rican singer Olga Tañon was also a robbery victim when thieves broke into her entourage’s bus and robbed them of billfolds and suitcases.

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Disaster Declared in Areas Affected by Hurricane Carlotta

Disaster Declared in Areas Affected by Hurricane Carlotta

Photo: André Portugal

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A disaster declaration has been issued for 68 cities in the southern state of Oaxaca and five cities in the southwestern state of Guerrero affected by Hurricane Carlotta, the Mexican federal government said.

The disaster declaration will allow areas hit by the storm to receive assistance, the national emergency management office said.

Affected cities will be eligible to receive money from the Natural Disasters Fund to provide food, clothing and medical assistance to hurricane victims, the government said in a statement.

Carlotta became a Category 1 hurricane on Friday and strengthened to Category 2.

The storm later weakened and made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane before being downgraded Saturday morning to a tropical storm and later to a tropical depression.

Oaxaca was the state most affected by Hurricane Carlotta, which killed at least three people in the region.

Cities across Oaxaca reported damage to roads, bridges, telephone lines, the power grid and crops.

The storm dumped heavy rains on western, central and southern Mexico.

The Pacific Ocean hurricane season began on May 15 and ends on Nov. 30.

The first hurricane of the season was Bud, which formed on May 24 and reached Category 3 but caused little damage.

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WednesdayJune 20, 2012