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WednesdayJuly 18, 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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Survey Shows 71 Percent of Mexicans Do Not Trust Local Police

Survey Shows 71 Percent of Mexicans Do Not Trust Local Police

Photo: Police in Mexico

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Seventy-one percent of Mexicans do not trust their local police, which gives Mexico the worst showing of any nation among the five Latin American countries where the international GfK company conducts quarterly surveys.

“Distrust in Mexico has grown more than in any other Latin American country due to the increase in violence, the corruption of public servants, drug trafficking and a cultural trend among Mexicans,” the German company said in a communique.

Conflict among rival drug cartels and between criminals and security forces has claimed more than 50,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006.

The Mexican people’s lack of trust in such institutions as local and federal police forces, the army, governors and public servants in general showed a hike of around 10 percent.

Distrust in local police surged from 63 percent in the first quarter to 71 percent in the second, while the same negative perception of lawmakers climbed from 58 percent to 66 percent.

Lack of faith in the president went from 52 percent to 61 percent while in the justice system it rose from 58 percent to 65 percent.

Distrust in Federal Police and the army went from 58 percent to 64 percent and in public servants from 52 percent to 60 percent.

“In the media these days we’re seeing politicians, governors and even the army implicated in acts of corruption - obviously all this has given society in general a different view of things and breeds distrust,” Walkiria Calva, regional director of marketing and corporate communications for GfK, said.

Compared with the other countries studied - Panama, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela - the Mexican people show higher levels of distrust in authorities across the board.

GfK took its surveys in a number of cities in these five Latin American nations, polling an average of 3,100 people per country in order to obtain comparative levels of distrust in the institutions of the region.

In the coming months the company plans to add studies of other relevant countries in the area such as Argentina and Brazil.

Read more by HS News Staff →

“Espanglish” Officially Added to Spanish Dictionary

“Espanglish” Officially Added to Spanish Dictionary

Photo: Dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language

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The word “espanglish” will appear in the next edition of the Dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, or DRAE, as an example of the contributions of Spanish-speakers in the United States to the Spanish language, the North American Academy of the Spanish Language said Tuesday.

The academy said that the DRAE has also agreed to incorporate for the first time the term “United-Statesism” to refer to words originated by Spanish-speakers in this country.

The 2014 edition of the DRAE will define espanglish as “a form of speech used by some Hispanic groups in the United States, in which they mix deformed elements of vocabulary and grammar from both Spanish and English.”

Academy director Gerardo Piña-Rosales said the fact that United-Statesisms appear in the DRAE for the first time represents a victory for his institution.

“By now I think we can refer to a Spanish of the United States,” academy director Gerardo Piña-Rosales said.

“This form of speech - which has nothing to do with so-called espanglish - is just one more dialect, neither better nor worse though without a doubt more complex than those used in Spanish-speaking countries,” he said.

According to the academy, the inclusion of U-Sisms in the DRAE “is an acknowledgment of the importance of the Spanish language in the United States, which according to the latest census is home to more than 50 million Hispanics.”

The North American organization is one of the 22 academies of the Spanish language that together publish the dictionary, rules of grammar and spelling, along with several other reference works.

Having determined that more than 90 percent of Spanish-speakers live in the Americas, the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language gathers contributions from all the academies to include in the dictionary.

Read more by HS News Staff →

HS-News Is Proud to Introduce “iOn the Americas”

HS-News Is Proud to Introduce “iOn the Americas”

Photo: Visit our iOn the Americas page

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Hispanically Speaking News is proud to introduce “iOn the Americas,” a new section where you’ll find all the news of Latin America at a glance. 

Visit iOn The Americas, and stay current with the news back home and the rest of Latin America.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Family of 20 Flees Mexico for U.S. Seeking Political Asylum After Father and Brother Killed

Family of 20 Flees Mexico for U.S. Seeking Political Asylum After Father and Brother Killed

Photo: Porras family

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All 20 surviving members of a Mexican family who saw two of their kin murdered have fled to the United States and are requesting asylum.

The clan, including five children, left the town of Villa Ahumada on June 19 with nothing but the clothes on their backs, Cesar Porras told Efe here Tuesday.

Four days later, personnel from the Mexican Attorney General’s Office escorted the Porras family to the U.S. Port of Entry in El Paso, Texas, where they were admitted pending a decision on their asylum request.

“We are certain that the principal reason for our persecution is our political affiliation with the National Action Party in a town completely controlled by Priistas (members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI) and organized crime,” Cesar says.

El Paso immigration lawyer Carlos Spector is trying to obtain authorization for the Porras family to travel throughout the United States and seek work while they wait for authorities to decide on their asylum bid.

“This is an emblematic case,” the attorney told Efe. “I don’t know of any instance since the (1910-1917) Mexican Revolution in which an entire family, of 20 members, leaves.”

While it used to be that only individuals in very specific situations would apply for asylum, “now it’s entire families,” Spector said, adding that he is currently representing around 70 families who have fled drug-war violence south of the border.

“Although we already presented the asylum request, we will have to wait up to four years for them to grant us the first hearing for the Porrases,” the attorney said.

At the moment, Cesar Porras says, the family is finding it “very hard” to accept that their lives as they knew them are over.

Back in Villa Ahumada, a town in the border state of Chihuahua, members of the Porras clan were influential merchants and business-owners.

“We feel our lives changed overnight. On Father’s Day, they murdered my dad, Rodolfo Porras Gonzales, and on June 19 while my brother Jaime visited his grave, a day after having buried him, they shot him (Jaime) in the head,” Cesar recounted.

“We couldn’t bury my brother. The town priest and some neighbors buried him. We had to flee out of fear that someone else in our family would end up murdered,” the 30-year-old said.

Hector Armando Porras Gonzalez, brother of the slain Rodolfo, said the family learned that within hours of their leaving Villa Ahumada, criminal gangs looted and burned their homes.

“We didn’t have problems with anyone. We’re good, hardworking people, but the situation in Villa Ahumada began to break down about three years ago. Now, the criminals run everything, the police are bought,” Hector Porras said.

Chihuahua has accounted for about 30 percent of the more than 50,000 homicides committed in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon, who will leave office at year’s end, militarized the struggle against drug cartels within days of taking office in December 2006.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican-American Track Star Hopes “Ferrari Engine” Heart Provides Advantage in 2012 Olympics

Mexican-American Track Star Hopes “Ferrari Engine” Heart Provides Advantage in 2012 Olympics

Photo: Mexican-American Track Star Hopes "Ferrari Engine" Heart Provides Advantage in 2012 Olympics

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Mexican-born U.S. track athlete Leonel “Leo” Manzano is making his final preparations for the London Games, confident that his Olympic-sized heart will lead him to his best-ever time in the 1,500 meters.

Manzano stands just 5 feet 5 inches and is typically the shortest competitor in his event but he also packs a secret weapon: a heart equivalent to a person more than 6 feet tall.

In tests carried out in 2008 at the University of Texas’ Human Performance Laboratory, scientists found that Manzano’s heart can consume 82.2 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute, a capacity that few athletes worldwide can match.

“That was when I realized I have a Ferrari engine in the body of a Ford Pinto,” the 27-year-old middle-distance athlete joked.

He maintains, however, that his over-sized heart is not the product of a “genetic advantage” but rather the result of hard work and dedication to the sport his whole life.

“I really wasn’t born with a big heart ... I had to work for a long time and with a lot of sacrifice to get this heart, which has helped me achieve a lot of my victories,” Manzano said.

A professional runner since 2008, Manzano will compete in his second Olympics starting Aug. 3 after winning the U.S. Olympic Trials in his event with a time of 3:35:75. He will be looking to improve on his first appearance at the world’s biggest athletic showcase, having failed to reach the 1,500-meter final four years ago in Beijing.

Born in Dolores Hidalgo, a city in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, Manzano emigrated to the United States with his parents at the age of four and says he feels “very excited and very proud” to represent the Hispanic community at the London Games.

“I feel very proud to be one of the Hispanics with the opportunity to represent the United States, but also likewise many Latin American countries,” the athlete said.

Manzano said he also has a special bond with his homeland even though he moved away at a very young age.

“I feel as though I still have a connection with the people of Mexico and that I also represent them. The United States is my home and I wouldn’t change that for anything, but my roots are still in Mexico,” he said.

Although he says his running talent is innate, it was not until he began training and competing 15 years ago that he discovered his true potential.

“Like any path, getting to this moment hasn’t been easy. It’s taken a lot of work, effort and dedication.”

He pointed to his titles in the 1,500 meters at the NCAA Championships in 2005 and 2008 and more recently at the 2012 USA Indoor event in Albuquerque, New Mexico as victories that have marked his career.

But Manzano said the road back to the Olympics has not been free of obstacles, noting that a hamstring injury at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, cost him his chances at that event.

“Every day’s preparation is an effort, but we got through (that setback) with work, new routines and more training time,” he said.

Manzano’s “big heart” also has given him the opportunity to work with the Texas Heart Institute on a campaign aimed at creating awareness of the need to care for that vital organ.

“It’s something we need in the community, especially with Hispanic people with heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. We have to provide them the information they need to have a healthier heart,” he said.

The Olympic athlete also is giving back to the community with initiatives like the “Manzano Mile,” a running event he hosts in Austin, Texas, for all ages that seeks to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Artist Uses Chicago Trash to Create “Art With a Conscience”

Mexican Artist Uses Chicago Trash to Create “Art With a Conscience”

Photo: Leticia Rodarte

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For Mexican-born Leticia Rodarte, trash is a diamond in the rough from which she extracts materials to create “art with a conscience,” works that she exhibits and sells at her studio in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.

“People often talk about starving artists, and sometimes that’s true,” Leticia told Efe Tuesday, recalling that she started dumpster diving for the first time at 18, when she first lived alone and had no money to buy art materials.

She said that since “art doesn’t sell like tortillas in a store” she had to look for the most economical way to practice it, and in doing so she also found a way to “make a difference” to the conservation of the planet.

Hunting along alleyways she picks up newspapers, bits of wood, bottles, tin cans and pill bottles that she paints and decorates to turn into little jewelry cases.

She also said that people think her home is a dump and drop off their junk there, which she later uses for her artistic creations.

“I also go to second-hand stores, where I look for little jugs that I decorate with pearls from broken necklaces, wire and little bows,” she said.

Her friends give her old chairs that she restores and then people want to buy them. “At first I did it for myself, but people started liking my stuff and the orders started coming in. That’s how my business of making art out of trash began,” the artist said.

Leticia, who was born in Monterrey 36 years ago but came to Chicago with her family when she was 14, said that art has been a part of her life since childhood.

After graduating from high school she studied fashion design, always intent on creating art with a social conscience.

She sees the planet as “a reflection of the abuses we all commit,” throwing rubbish in the street without thinking twice about the need to recycle or that we’re polluting the water supply.

“My art seeks to minimize the impact of trash and city dumps,” the artist said.

She also does paintings that reflect the big problems of our time, from domestic violence to cancer to the need for organ donations.

“I don’t want to just paint pretty pictures, but to send a message,” said the artist who tries to “practice what I preach.”

Rodarte goes beyond recycling found objects into art and has begun to make body creams and non-polluting laundry detergents, though these are still in the experimental stage.

“I had a lot of problems with skin allergies and began to look for alternatives. I worked in stores that sold products for the skin and learned enough to do research and create my own formulas,” she said.

“I think that if they work for me, why not for everybody. They may not be the best in the world, but they’re cheap,” she said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

HSBC Accused of Laundering Mexican Cartel Money for Seven Years

HSBC Accused of Laundering Mexican Cartel Money for Seven Years

Photo: HSBC Narco Money Laundering

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British Bank HSBC is facing reports the international bank laundered billions of narco dollars through its U.S. banking network.  The allegations surfaced after a Justice Department investigation and during a U.S. Senate hearing this week that faulted poor controls allowing Mexican drug cartels to launder their money.

The report, released on Tuesday, focused on the illicit transactions that persisted for seven years according to the Senate investigation panel.  The Department of Justice opened up an investigation on the international bank last year. 

The focus of the report was on transactions from 2002, when HSBC had acquired a Mexican division, through 2009.

Thus far the bank’s chief compliance officer has resigned amid the allegations. 

The international bank, operating in about 80 countries, has assured regulators that it has tightened up its policies to prevent this from happening again. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that HSBC and the Justice Department have been in settlement talks with fines for its violation of U.S. anti-money laundering laws.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Runner Unable to Compete at Olympics Due to Injury

Colombian Runner Unable to Compete at Olympics Due to Injury

Photo: Maria Alejandra Idrobo

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An injury forced runner Maria Alejandra Idrobo to drop out of the Colombian squad taking part in the London Olympics, the vice president of the Andean nation’s Olympic committee said Tuesday.

“She had an injury in the Grand Prix of Cali last month and, according to the doctors, she was going to recover, but in the end the medical staff ... said she was not going to be fit for the games,” Ciro Solano told Colombia’s RCN Antena 2 radio from London.

The withdrawal of Idrobo - the only athlete to drop out so far - reduces the Colombian Olympic squad to 103 competitors.

Idrobo, one of the four runners chosen to represent Colombia in the 4x100 meter relay in the London Olympics, has been competing at the international level since 2003.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Their Relationship Caused Scandal, Now Los Angeles Councilwoman Arrested for Beating Up Ex-Lover

Their Relationship Caused Scandal, Now Los Angeles Councilwoman Arrested for Beating Up Ex-Lover

Photo: Their Relationship Caused Scandal, Now Los Angeles Councilwoman Arrested for Beating Up Ex-Lover

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The scandalous love affair that sparked controversy among the Los Angeles City Council has clearly come to an end by way of a restraining orders.

Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre, 41, has been charged with misdemeanor battery and vandalism for allegedly attacking ex lover, former Councilman Mario Hernandez.

Hernandez, who is married but separated, stepped down as councilman last week and, shortly after, filed for a restraining order against De La Torre.

Two days later, it was De La Torre who was seeking the restraining order against Hernandez.

Each gave police their conflicting stories, but both agree the altercation occurred at Hernandez’s home on June 28.

Hernandez claims he and De La Torre were arguing about a trip he was going on and an iPad she had given him that she wanted back. He told police his former lover pushed her way into the house and slapped and punched him before heading into the bedroom where she threw clothes and a laptop on the floor and smashed a glass frame, allegedly screaming, “If I could kill you right now, I would. I f*cking hate you!” He told police she also strangled him and he suffered swollen, red cheeks, scratches, and a bruised thumb.

The same week Hernandez filed for a restraining order, De La Torre filed for one, saying Hernandez had slammed the door on her shoulder, pushed her down on the bed, and slammed her onto a hardwood floor when she attempted to get up. She claims she had gone into the bedroom looking for an iPad they were arguing over. De La Torre also told police she blacked out after being slammed to the floor.

This is definitely a case of Latin Lovin’ gone wrong, and it’s happening at a particularly trying time, as the council was preparing to vote to certify recall petitions submitted by the L.A. County clerk against Hernandez, De La Torre, and Mayor Brenda Esqueda.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Organization Asks Machu Picchu Visitors to Aid Peru’s Indigenous Peoples

Organization Asks Machu Picchu Visitors to Aid Peru’s Indigenous Peoples

Photo: Machu Picchu

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The Survival organization on Tuesday asked tourists visiting the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu to get involved in a new online campaign to protect the rights of Peru’s indigenous peoples from the dangers their lands face from the expansion of natural-gas projects.

In a communique issued Tuesday in London, the group that defends indigenous populations said that even though around 1 million tourists visit the sanctuary each year, very few are aware of the risks the tribes run that live only 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Machu Picchu.

The risks come from the planned expansion of the massive Camisea gas project, which, according to Survival, is a serious threat to several of the isolated tribes.

For that reason Survival has asked tourists visiting the archaeological site to have a look at an online campaign launched to protect Indians’ rights.

The ads of the new campaign, which appear in Google searches related to Machu Picchu, urge those visitors to “take action” against the impact that prospecting for gas will have on those communities.

Survival fears that going ahead with the natural-gas projects in those areas could destroy parts of Machu Picchu, one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet.

Camisea, the property of a consortium of companies including Pluspetrol, Hunt Oil and Repsol, operates in the region and has obtained the go-ahead to expand further toward Indian territory.

“Tourists visiting Machu Picchu who have an interest in Peru’s history and culture should take notice of these adverts and take action. Uncontacted tribes’ land must be protected, or they too will be wiped out, like the Incas were in the 17th century,” Survival director Stephen Corry said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Is Tom Cruise’s Scientology-Loving Rebound this Lovely Latina? Meet Yolanda Pecoraro

Is Tom Cruise’s Scientology-Loving Rebound this Lovely Latina? Meet Yolanda Pecoraro

Photo: Is Tom Cruise's Scientology-Loving Rebound this Lovely Latina? Meet Yolanda Pecoraro

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A relatively unknown actress by the name of Yolanda Pecoraro is reportedly Tom Cruise’s most recent lady friend since it was announced he and wife Katie Holmes are divorcing.

According to RadarOnline, the 27-year-old Nicaraguan-Italian actress is a devout Scientologist, something Holmes was not until hooking up with Cruise.

Pecoraro is said to be the daughter of fellow Scientologists and began taking Scientology courses at the age of 13.

Should the rumors of their relationship be true, this would not be the first time they’ve been linked. In 2004, the pair reportedly met at the opening of a new Scientology center in Spain and were also spotted with former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and the head of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, at a soccer match in Madrid a month later.

ImageThough Pecoraro has shot back at claims she is engaged or married, she has confirmed that she has known Cruise for years. And while she is said to be living with a boyfriend right now, he status in the church has so-called insiders moving to make her the next Mrs. Tom Cruise as part of damage control.

A source told the National Enquirer, “They also want to show that Tom has rebounded fast and that his new wife is beautiful and steeped in Scientology. If the church decides to make Yolanda Tom’s next wife, they’d certainly want her to have a child soon. So she could quickly be going from her modest apartment to a mansion in Beverly Hills with a baby on the way. And there’s little doubt she’d do what’s best for the church.”

So what do you think? Is Tom getting a bit of Latin fever?

Also, what do you think about the fact that all three of Tom’s marriages (Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes) ended when the ladies (all actresses) were 33?

Read more by HS News Staff →

‘Taco U.S.A’ Author Gustavo Arellano on ‘Chelsea Lately’ (VIDEO)

‘Taco U.S.A’ Author Gustavo Arellano on ‘Chelsea Lately’ (VIDEO)

Photo: Gustavo Arellano and 'Taco USA' on Chelsea Lately

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Did you get to watch Mexican food guru and best-selling author Gustavo Arellano on ‘Chelsea Lately’ last night? 

Arellano, presented himself to the funny late-night host and her Mexican side kick Chuy in front of a buffet table of iconic Mexican food.  He started his visit with a lot of Spanish whereby the hostess told him ‘English Por Favor’.

Arellano, who pens the column ‘Ask a Mexican’ and is editor of OC Weekly, told the audience of the migration and history of Mexican food from the Margarita to the Nachos to the latest Mexican food craze the bacon wrapped hot dog.

All these insights are contained in his book ‘Taco U.S.A.’, which is more of a history book than a cook book - a fact lost on the hostess.  The fact that Gustavo did not cook all the Mexican treats was a surprise to Chelsea probably thinking Arellano is a chef – clearly she needs to read the book, its a treat.

 


 

 

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Study Finds Immigrants Make Up About 23% of Undergraduates in U.S. Schools

Study Finds Immigrants Make Up About 23% of Undergraduates in U.S. Schools

Photo: Study Finds Immigrants Make Up About 23% of Undergraduates in U.S. Schools

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According to a new study from the National Center of Education Statistics, roughly 23 percent of the approximately 22.3 million undergraduates in U.S. postsecondary schools during the 2007-08 school year were immigrants or were second-generation Americans with at least one immigrant parent.

The proportion of these undergraduates varied across the six states examined in the study, ranging from nearly double the national percent­age in California (45 percent) to 14 percent in Georgia.

Other key findings:

-Asian and Hispanic students consti­ tuted the majority of immigrant and second-generation American un­ dergraduates. Asians made up the plurality (30 percent) of immigrant undergraduates, while Hispanics made up the plurality (41 percent) of second-generation American un­dergraduates.

-Hispanic and Asian immigrant and second-generation American un­dergraduates differed from each other and from all undergraduates on several background characteris­tics, including whether their parents had attended college. Among Hispanics, a majority of both immigrant (55 percent) and second-generation Americans (54 percent), respec­tively) had parents who had not attended a postsecondary institu­tion, compared with 33 percent of all undergraduates.

-Immigrant Asian and Hispanic stu­dents enrolled in community colleges at higher rates (54 percent and 51 percent, respectively) than did all undergraduates (44 percent). Among immi­grant and second-generation American undergraduates, larger percentages of Hispanic students (12 percent of each group) enrolled in for-profit institutions than did their Asian counterparts (7 percent among immigrants and 5 percent among se­ cond-generation Americans).

Read the full study here.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Accused Killer of National Guard-Mother of 4, Steals Passenger Jet, Shoots Himself

Accused Killer of National Guard-Mother of 4, Steals Passenger Jet, Shoots Himself

Photo: Guardsmen Christine Cornejo Killed

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The manhunt for murder suspect Brian Hedglin ended when he crashed an empty SkyWest passenger plane in Utah and proceeded to shoot himself in the cockpit.

The 40-year-old SkyWest pilot and Colorado National Guardsmen was miles away from the murder scene of his girlfriend, Christine Cornejo in Colorado Springs.  He was wanted in connection with the homicide of the mother of four.

The 40-year-old who is a pilot for SkyWest and is a member of Colorado’s National Guard was wanted in the homicide death of 39-year-old Cornejo.  The couple dated for four-years however, recently Hedglin was in jail for harassing Cornjeo and was out on bail.  Cornejo’s body was found last Friday in her home. 

The couple according to The Gazette, met when both were in the Colorado National Guard. 

The St. George Municipal airport was closed as authorities investigate the crime scene and try to figure out how Hedglin was able to access the CRJ200 passenger jet.  It is believed he threw a rug over the razor wire top to scale one of the security fences but it is not known yet how he gained access inside the plane.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Model Adriana Lima Makes History By Posing Pregnant in Iconic Pirelli Calendar

Model Adriana Lima Makes History By Posing Pregnant in Iconic Pirelli Calendar

Photo: Pregnant Adriana Lima to Pose in Pirelli Calendar

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Brazilian model Adriana Lima will be featured in the iconic Pirelli calendar which isn’t the big news but rather that she is posing visibly pregnant, which is a first for the annual publication.  The calendar first appeared in 1964. 

The 30-year-old Victoria Secret model is expecting her second child with Marko Jaric, a Serbian professional basketball player. 

This year’s issue’s theme is “Calendar of the Soul” featuring 11 women that are involved in charitable projects, foundations and NGOs.  A sneak preview was offered by Vanity Fair Italia and does not show any of the models nude which is customary. 

Calendar photographer Steve McCurry noted in Fashionista, “I want to portray women who are sexy without being naked.” 

Fellow Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana is also featured in the calendar. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Droughts Killing Farms in Mexico

Droughts Killing Farms in Mexico

Photo: Mexico Drought

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Although Northern Mexico is accustomed to dry conditions, the unrelenting drought that has spread from Mexico into parts of the U.S. is slowly starving cattle, farms, and farmers leaving the state of Chihuahua in a state of emergency.  According to information from El Barzon, a national association which represents small and medium sized farms, during the last twelve months 350,000 cattle have starved to death.  Without rain, there is no pasture, and without a pasture the animals have no food. 

The severe conditions are prompting many local farmers to consider selling what they have left and changing careers.  “With the capital, I could start another business,” says rancher Ismael Solorio.  The 24 year old inherited 200 cows from his grandfather in 2008 and the dry conditions left him with only 160 one year ago.  Over the past winter and spring Solorio lost 26 more cows to starvation and was forced to sell ten.  In order to improve the situation, Solorio borrowed money to buy more pasture for the animals.  Yet, as dry conditions continue, Solorio wonders if this is the end of the road for him.  “If it doesn’t rain, I will have no choice,” he states.

Yet, many wonder if Solorio is wasting his time waiting for rain.  According to Carlos Gay, an atmospheric physicist and head of the Climate Change Program at UNAM in Mexico City, “Northern Mexico has always been arid, and there have often been droughts.  But what is strange is the duration of this drought, and the fact that it has been preceded by other droughts.  Is it really a drought, or the region’s new climate?”

The lack of precipitation is forcing farmers to dig deeper into the soil and rely on the aquifers below to help irrigate the land.  However many aquifers are also beginning to dry up and wells need to be drilled deeper to find water.  The process alone can be costly for farmers and many cannot afford to further excavate their wells.

Farmers in the area are not the only ones suffering as a result of the extreme drought conditions.  During the last year 60,000 families have requested food aid from either their regional or federal governments

Read more at Global Post →

Meet Gabriel Barcia-Colombo, Installation Artist (VIDEO)

Meet Gabriel Barcia-Colombo, Installation Artist (VIDEO)

Photo: Meet Gabriel Barcia-Colombo, Video and Installation Artist

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“Hopefully, one day, I’ll have each and every one of you trapped in my jars.”

Using video mapping and projection, artist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo captures and shares his memories and friendships. At TED Fellow Talks, he shows his charming, thoughtful work—which appears to preserve the people in his life in jars, suitcases, blenders ...

Gabriel Barcia-Colombo creates living video installation pieces of “miniature people” encased inside ordinary objects.

Barcia-Colombo is an American video artist who creates installation pieces of “miniature people” encased inside ordinary objects such as suitcases, blenders and more. His work focuses on memorialization and, more specifically, the act of leaving one’s imprint for the next generation. Call it “artwork with consequences.”

He says: “While formally implemented by natural history museums and collections (which find their roots in Renaissance-era ‘cabinets of curiosity’), this process has grown more pointed and pervasive in the modern-day obsession with personal digital archiving and the corresponding growth of social media culture. My video sculptures play upon this exigency in our culture to chronicle, preserve and wax nostalgic, an idea which I renders visually by “collecting” human beings (alongside cultural archetypes) as scientific specimens. I repurpose everyday objects like blenders, suitcases and cans of Spam into venues for projecting and inserting videos of people.”

Barcia-Colombo is an alumnus and instructor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Read about his latest work on CoolHunting and in his TED Fellows profile.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Singer Pepe Aguilar to Receive Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame

Mexican Singer Pepe Aguilar to Receive Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame

Photo: Pepe Aguilar to Get Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

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Pepe Aguilar, the famous Mexican singer will receive his own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame on Thursday July 26th which will be located alongside his father, Antonio Aguilar in front of the Live Nation building at 7060 Hollywood Boulevard.

Aguilar, who may be better known as “El Charro de México”, a name he shares with his deceased father was also recently honored with an Award of Excellence at the Billboard Awards. 

He is also the winner of four American Grammys, two Latin Grammys, as well as three ‘Lo Nuestro’ awards. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Ancient Temple with Children’s Bones and Sacrificed Dog Found in Mexico City

Ancient Temple with Children’s Bones and Sacrificed Dog Found in Mexico City

Photo: Pre-Colomiban Ruins Found Mexico City

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The foresight of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology has garnered an important find recently.  The Museum requested to excavate a construction site before five buildings would go up in downtown Mexico City.

Archaeologists working at the site found a treasure trove of Pre-Colombian antiquities that included the skeletal remains of 15 children.  Also found were musical instruments, bowls and incense burners.

One of the more interesting finds were the remains of a dog apparently sacrificed by the Aztecs to join his young master in the afterlife.  The mass grave could have ceremonial significance for the Tepanec tribe since the children’s remains were surrounded by religious artifacts and they were known to roam this area hundreds of years ago.

Experts, according to the Daily Mail, believe the he human remains are those of children of traveling merchants.

Excavation continues at the site in hopes of finding an emperor’s tomb. 

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Shakira Launches New Fragrance “Elixir by Shakira” (VIDEO)

Shakira Launches New Fragrance “Elixir by Shakira” (VIDEO)

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Shakira has just launched her third fragrance “Elixir by Shakira” hoping to attractive her younger fans, calling it a ‘second skin that has an exotic feel to it.’

The scent was created by perfume designers Alexandra Kosinski and Sonia Constant and contains neroli, white pepper, white flower, freesia, peony, and sugar cane says the Business Standard.

The Colombian singing beauty was inspired by the deserts of Morocco for her latest fragrance.  Elixir is available at Kohl’s and Sears with the official launch today in Brazil. 

Shakira’s other fragrances include “Amuleto” and “S by Shakira”. 

Check out the promotional video.


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Swine Flu Kills 13 in Brazil, Health Authorities Look To Boost Measures

Swine Flu Kills 13 in Brazil, Health Authorities Look To Boost Measures

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Brazilian health authorities announced Tuesday that they will strengthen measures against the AH1N1 strain of swine flu after a week in which 13 people died of the disease.

Most of the cases occurred in the country’s southern region, where close to 1,800 people have been infected by the illness since January.

The Health Ministry confirmed that the incidence of the flu has increased over the past few weeks with the onset of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, which will continue until late September.

In the last eight days, nine people died from the AH1N1 flu virus in the state of Parana and another four in Rio Grande do Sul, regions located in the triple-border area where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay converge.

According to authorities, the nation’s southern region received over the last few days close to 2 million doses of vaccine for treating the virus, which will be distributed to groups considered “at risk”: pregnant women, patients with chronic illnesses and children up to the age of 2.

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Los Zetas Boss Killed in Shootout with Mexican Army in Ciudad Victoria

Los Zetas Boss Killed in Shootout with Mexican Army in Ciudad Victoria

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The Zetas cartel’s boss in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, died in a shootout with army troops, the Defense Secretariat said.

Carlos Alberto Fernandez Hernandez and three associates were killed last Friday, the secretariat said in a statement.

“Mexican army personnel providing public safety support in Tamaulipas were the target of an armed attack by members of an organized crime group” while on a reconnaissance mission in Ciudad Victoria, the secretariat said.

Soldiers responded to the attack “to defend themselves and citizens,” engaging in a shootout “in which four attackers died,” the secretariat said.

Fernandez had been identified as a personal assistant of Los Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, coordinating the acquisition of houses, obtaining vehicles and recruiting people for the cartel boss, the secretariat said.

Fernandez had been running the cartel’s operations in Ciudad Victoria for just four months, smuggling drugs, staging kidnappings, stealing fuel and running extortion rackets, the Defense Secretariat said.

He was also allegedly involved with Gregorio Villanueva Salas, known as “The Czar of Piracy,” in the bombings that targeted media outlets, schools and businesses in Matamoros, a border city in Tamaulipas, in May and June.

Villanueva was arrested by army troops on June 14 in Monterrey, the capital of the northern state of Nuevo Leon, along with three other members of the gang.

Soldiers seized two rifles, two handguns, 811 rounds of ammunition, 35 ammunition clips, a vehicle, 38,000 pesos (about $2,883), $29,000, tactical equipment and communications gear after the shootout.

Lazcano Lazcano deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel.

After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.

Tamaulipas and neighboring Nuevo Leon state have been rocked by a wave of violence unleashed by drug traffickers battling for control of smuggling routes into the United States.

The army is carrying out “Operation Northeast” in Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and San Luis Potosi states in an effort to weaken the drug cartels that operate in the region.

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LATINO BLOTTER: Home Invasion Suspect Says God Told Him to “Shed Some Blood”

LATINO BLOTTER: Home Invasion Suspect Says God Told Him to “Shed Some Blood”

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Any home invasion is frightening, but when the invader says a higher power called for blood, it adds to the terror.

On July 14, an Illinois family in unincorporated Addison awoke to find a an unknown man in their home.

Marcelo Arellano-Garcia, 21, was arrested and charged with trespass to residence and burglary by the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office after Trinidad Sanchez awoke to find him in her family’s home at around 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

Sanchez said she woke up when she felt someone lay her 6-year-old daughter, who had been sleeping on the sofa, on the bed beside her. Thinking it was her husband, Sanchez said she was not initially startled when she opened her eyes and saw a man.

It was not her husband, however, and Arellano-Garcia allegedly stood next to the bed barefoot and identified himself as William before telling Sanchez God told him to do this and shed some blood.

Authorities were called and Sanchez’s husband and uncle were able to restrain Arellano-Garcia while waiting for police to arrive. The mentally ill man was evaluated at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital where doctors say he displayed “signs of acute psychosis.

Arellano-Garcia did not steal anything and was not able to physically harm anyone before the police arrived.

He is being held at DuPage County Jail on a $1 million bond and is due in court on July 26.

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Reporters Without Borders Denounces Threat to Investigative Reporter in Colombia

Reporters Without Borders Denounces Threat to Investigative Reporter in Colombia

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A Colombian broadcast reporter at work on a report about the country’s murderous right-wing paramilitaries received a threatening telephone call last week, Reporters Without Borders said Monday.

The threat took the form of a three-minute call featuring the sound of automatic weapons fire over a musical background, the Paris-based group, known as RSF, said in a statement.

Paul Bacares, who works with the public television station Bogota Canal Capital, is preparing a report on paramilitary activity in the central province of Boyaca, RSF said.

“The paramilitaries, the most likely authors of this ‘warning,’ are still the biggest source of danger for Colombia’s journalists, often treating them as ‘military targets,’” the statement continued.

“Bacares must quickly be given protection that is appropriate to the nature of this threat. The authorities should also examine the security needs of his Canal Capital colleagues, who could be exposed to the same danger,” RSF insisted.

The press freedom watchdog suggested Bacares was threatened because he has been investigating paramilitary infiltration of the legal economy in Boyaca and the gunmen’s ties to politicians and other notables.

If Bacares’ report is not broadcast, RSF said it will make the piece available on a soon-to-be-created censorship circumvention Web site.

Colombia’s right-wing militias have killed more than 250,000 people since the mid-1980s, according to a U.S. State Department cable disseminated by WikiLeaks.

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WednesdayJuly 18, 2012