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FridayJuly 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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Mexican Race Car Driver German Quiroga Joins NASCAR

Mexican Race Car Driver German Quiroga Joins NASCAR

Photo: German Quiroga

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The American Dream of Mexican race car driver German Quiroga began to coalesce on Thursday when he signed with a NASCAR team to participate in four races in 2012 and show that Latinos do have a future in this sport.

Kyle Busch Motorsports announced that Quiroga will return to drive the Tundra 51 in the Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR’s third national division.

Quiroga, a three-time NASCAR champion in Mexico, told Efe that although it had been difficult to break into U.S. auto racing he had been working “very hard” to play his best role so far in the sport this year.

“I’m used to winning races and competing in championships and that is what I’m going to continue doing. I’m ready for the new challenge and for my efforts to enable me to complete the whole season in 2013,” he told Efe on Thursday.

The 32-year-old came in 16th in his debut in the pickup division in 2011, demonstrating his abilities in the two races he participated in and his commitment to the sport.

At the beginning of the year, he moved to Charlotte to take part in the workshops with the experts, understand what they are doing, visit the country’s racetracks and speak with the fans.

“I left everything in Mexico and here I started from zero. I’m continuing to learn, but I’m committed to making myself into a successful driver in the pickup series and with the hope of getting to the top divisions,” he said.

Among the challenges that Quiroga has had to face is getting the sponsorship of companies that are betting on Hispanic talent in the United States to reach a market that for several years NASCAR has been considering crucial to its growth.

On that subject, NASCAR announced Thursday that it selected a new marketing firm with the aim of expanding the youth and multicultural segments of its fan base, with special emphasis on Hispanics.

A 2008 study by Knowledge Networks and sports marketing consultancy rEvolution found that just 7 percent of U.S. Latinos are fervent NASCAR fans, while another 38 percent “occasionally” follow the sport.

Quiroga feels that to make NASCAR a major sport for Latinos it must have a “Mexican figure” at the racetracks, a driver that Mexicans - the country’s largest Hispanic community - can get behind.

“It’s all a process,” the Mexico City native said, adding that he hopes that the effort he is making “in the future will open the doors to other Mexican drivers.”

Although Thursday marked an important milestone in his pursuit of his American Dream, Quiroga intends to work hard to compete in the main NASCAR series such as Nationwide and Sprint and hopes one day soon to be named Rookie of the Year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

With Nadal Out, Spain Calls on Pau Gasol to Carry Flag at Opening Ceremony

With Nadal Out, Spain Calls on Pau Gasol to Carry Flag at Opening Ceremony

Photo: Pau Gasol - NBA

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Pau Gasol of the NBA Los Angeles Lakers will substitute tennis player Rafael Nadal as standard-bearer of the Spanish delegation at the inaugural ceremony of the London Olympic Games, the president of Spain’s Olympic committee said Friday.

Nadal withdrew from the Games because of a knee injury, which meant the Spanish Olympic Committee had to name a new standard-bearer for the July 27 ceremony in London.

The withdrawal of Nadal and the inability of Olympic-team sailors Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez to interrupt their training left Gasol as top favorite to lead the parade, so there was little surprise at a press conference Friday when committee head Alejandro Blanco confirmed the hoopster as standard-bearer.

“Pau represents the best virtues of sport and of competitiveness - he has set an example in sports and in the Olympics,” Blanco said, adding that his virtues as a person and his unquestionable skills make the Los Angeles Lakers’ power forward “a model to follow for all society and particularly for young people.”

“The designation of Pau Gasol as Spain’s standard-bearer will undoubtedly add stature to the image of the Spanish Olympic team at the 2012 London Games,” he said.

Blanco said that the designation of Gasol, a member of Spain’s silver-medal-winning squad at the 2008 games in Beijing, was the unanimous choice of the 25-member executive commission of the Olympic committee.

As for Gasol’s reaction when told he had been chosen, Blanco said: “I found him perfectly ready for the task and he told me it made him very proud.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY:  Blacks Most Likely to Be Obese, White and Latinos On Par with Similar Obesity Rates

STUDY:  Blacks Most Likely to Be Obese, White and Latinos On Par with Similar Obesity Rates

Photo: Latino Obesity Rates

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According to a Gallup Wellbeing study, Blacks are among the most likely in the United States to be very obese, with about 9% falling into obese class II and 6% obese class III—the highest Body Mass Index (BMI) categories. Asians are by far the least likely to fall into these two classes of obesity.

Hispanics are on par with whites for each obesity class.

Relationships by race and the others presented in this article hold true even when controlling for age, ethnicity, race, marital status, gender, employment, income, education, and region.

The findings are based on data collected as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index from Jan. 1, 2010 through May 31, 2012, and include interviews with more than 800,000 American adults aged 18 and older. Gallup calculates respondents’ BMIs using the standard formula based on their self-reported height and weight.

An average of 26.3% of all respondents surveyed reported a height and weight that led to a BMI calculation high enough to be categorized as obese. Gallup and Healthways have been tracking Americans’ BMI levels daily since January 2008 and find obesity is slightly higher now than it was in 2008.

Read more at Gallup Wellbeing →

Cuba’s Aging Water Treatment System has Authorities Worried

Cuba’s Aging Water Treatment System has Authorities Worried

Photo: Cuba's Aging Water Treatment System has Authorities Worried

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The status of Cuba’s aging, inadequate water treatment system greatly concerns the National Hydraulic Resources Institute, or INRH, state television reported.

INRH President Ines Maria Chapman referred to the matter in a report to the National Assembly.

“A lot of problems have piled up that need fixing,” including the deterioration from years of exploiting the water system without adequate maintenance and a culture of “wastefulness” in the use of water, she told lawmakers.

She also said that every year Cuba loses more than 1 billion cubic meters (35 billion cubic feet) of water through leaks in the aging mains and connections inside the home, and compared that volume with the capacity of Zaza Reservoir, the biggest on the island.

With regard to the water system’s infrastructure, Chapman said that the nation currently has 240 reservoirs and 805 micro-dams, 16 large pumping stations, 2,416 aqueducts and more than 22,500 kilometers (14,000 miles) of pipelines.

Water supply covers 94.5 percent of the population of 11.2 million inhabitants on the island, she said.

She also said that the greatest water-supply problems exist in rural areas, where only 38.6 percent of the inhabitants are connected to the system.

Chapman said that 6 percent of Cubans must get their water from cistern trucks, mainly due to the effects of drought and damage to pumps.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Arrested for Smuggling Immigrants Via Chartered Planes

Mexican Arrested for Smuggling Immigrants Via Chartered Planes

Photo: Jorge Luis Gallegos Avila ran a sophisticated operation

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A Mexican citizen was accused of being part of a sophisticated operation that hid undocumented immigrants and sent them into the country’s interior on board chartered airplanes.

Federal prosecutor Kenneth Magidson said that authorities arrested Jorge Luis Gallegos Avila, 39, for transporting immigrants who were detained as they were about to board a charter flight at McAllen-Miller International Airport in the Texas border city of McAllen.

The plane was headed to San Antonio.

A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Adelina Pruneda, said that it is common to discover “coyotes” transporting immigrants by land, but this operation is more sophisticated since it involves air transport.

According to the indictment, Gallegos, who is being held without bond, was arrested on June 20 after he was seen leaving several immigrants at the airport.

The undocumented status of the five immigrants was discovered during a review by Border Patrol and Department of Homeland Security agents.

The indictment says that Gallegos, along with other individuals, had collected a group of immigrants on the bank of the Rio Grande River and took them to several safe houses in the McAllen area, where they remained until they were taken to the airport.

Gallegos’ trial is set for September he could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Less Mexicans Migrating to U.S. Due to Poor Economy, “Arizona Effect”

Less Mexicans Migrating to U.S. Due to Poor Economy, “Arizona Effect”

Photo: The "Arizona effect" played a major role

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The recession that began in late 2007 and tough immigration laws pushed by Arizona and other U.S. states have slowed the growth of immigration from Mexico to its northern neighbor, according to a study released in Mexico City by the BBVA Bancomer Foundation.

The weak U.S. economy was the principal factor in discouraging Mexican immigrants in 2008-2009, but starting in 2010, the “Arizona effect” played a larger role, the document asserts.

It was in 2010 that Arizona enacted SB 1070, a harsh anti-immigrant measure which inspired similar legislation in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

The foundation noted that with the economic crisis about 500,000 Mexican immigrants lost their jobs.

“However, after the so-called ‘Arizona Law,’ a phase of about a year began of reductions in jobs for Mexican immigrants during which they lost about 350,000 employment positions,” the report said.

It adds that the states that implemented anti-immigration laws reduced the number of Mexican migrants in the United States by 133,000.

The study says that other factors such as reinforcing the southern U.S. border do not seem to have had as much weight as the economic slowdown and the Arizona effect.

Despite the stagnation in immigration from Mexico to the United States, starting in the second half of 2010 remittances to Mexico began to recover, signaling a positive trend.

For 2012, estimates are that remittances could grow at a rate of between 7.3 percent and 8.1 percent, whereby they would exceed the amount in dollars taken in between 2009 and 2011 and would achieve an annual growth above that registered in each of the years during the period 2007-2011, the report adds.

The study says that Mexican migrants “contribute in a significant way” to U.S. gross domestic product.

In 2003, Mexican immigrants contributed about 3.8 percent of the U.S. GDP, a percentage that grew year by year to the historic maximum of 4.1 percent in 2007. In 2009, after the effects of the recession, the participation of Mexican migrants in the U.S. economy once again declined to 3.8 percent of GDP.

California is the state where Mexican immigrants make the largest contribution, with about 12 percent of the state GDP in 2011. It is followed by Arizona and Nevada, both with almost 10 percent, and Texas with around 9 percent.

Finally, the study says that in 2013, Mexico and the United States will have new (or newly reconfirmed) administrations, which presents “an opportunity in immigration matters that could start a consideration of the benefits of immigration for both countries, as well as the complementary elements of both economies.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mother Accused of Kidnapping Daughter in 2001 Captured Arriving on Plane from Madrid

Mother Accused of Kidnapping Daughter in 2001 Captured Arriving on Plane from Madrid

Photo: Mother Accused of Kidnapping Daughter in 2001 Captured Arriving on Plane from Madrid

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Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport arrested a woman Saturday who has been wanted since 2001 by Los Angeles Police and the FBI for parental kidnapping.

Robin Katherine Resovich, 53, of Penn Valley, Calif. arrived on a flight from Madrid, Spain with a connecting flight to San Francisco, Ca. Travelling with Resovich was her daughter, Katiana Rose Resovich, 18. CBP officers determined Resovich to be the subject of the Los Angeles and FBI arrest warrants for parental kidnapping. The officers verified the validity of the warrant and confirmed extradition. Resovich was arrested by CBP and turned over to Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority Police for extradition.

ImageResovich allegedly had permission to take her then seven-year-old daughter Katiana out of the U.S. for the summer of 2001; however, they never returned. Their whereabouts were unknown until they arrived at Dulles on July 14.

“Parental kidnapping is a serious offense that deprives a person of their parental rights. Regardless of the circumstances in this arrest warrant, Mrs. Resovich is a wanted person and Customs and Border Protection officers are duty bound to return fugitives to justice when we encounter them at our nation’s ports of entry,” said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington.

No word on what will happen to the daughter since she is now legally an adult.

Read more by HS News Staff →

12 Charged for Embezzling $12.1 Million From Mexican Lottery

12 Charged for Embezzling $12.1 Million From Mexican Lottery

Photo: Mexico's national lottery

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Twelve people, including four public employees, are accused of attempting to embezzle 160 million pesos ($12.1 million) from Mexico’s national lottery, authorities said.

Around $8 million of the money has been recovered, the Attorney General’s Office and several other federal agencies said in a joint statement.

The announcement followed a front-page story in capital daily Reforma that revealed some details of the scheme to rig the Jan. 22 drawing.

Four directors of state-owned lottery administrator PAP, two employees of Just Marketing, the private firm that films and broadcasts the drawings, and six other people conspired to hold and videotape the drawing ahead of the deadline for purchasing tickets, Reforma said.

The conspirators then deceived an interior ministry official into certifying the drawing as valid.

The scam was detected by a PAP manager who noticed that the prize was claimed by relatives of Just Marketing executives and employees, according to the newspaper’s account.

Sources in the federal inspector general’s office told Efe the investigation is still in progress and that the official government statement was prompted by the Reforma story.

The four PAP directors implicated in the case have been removed from their posts, the Mexican government said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

2 Mexican Nationals Convicted of Attempting to Smuggle Rifle Magazines into Mexico

2 Mexican Nationals Convicted of Attempting to Smuggle Rifle Magazines into Mexico

Photo: Men plead guilty to, convicted of rattempted rifle magazines smuggling

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Two Mexican nationals pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to illegally smuggle 652 assault rifle magazines into Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. The investigation for this case is being led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Julio Cesar Flores-Martinez, 46, and Francisco Padilla-Perez, 41, both Mexican nationals, pleaded guilty July 19 before U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana.

According to court documents, on April 19, HSI obtained information that a person, believed to be a Mexican firearms buyer, was trying to obtain high-capacity AK-47 rifle magazines from the United States. Undercover special agents posed as firearm magazine suppliers and contacted the buyer, later identified as Padilla-Perez, who requested 650 high-capacity AK-47 rifle magazines. Padilla-Perez told the special agents he would pay $19,500 cash for the rifle magazines. He then instructed special agents to deliver the magazines to a Mexican truck driver from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, who would attempt to smuggle them into Mexico via one of the international bridges in Laredo, Texas. Flores-Martinez was the truck driver.

Padilla-Perez and the undercover special agents met with Flores-Martinez. Flores-Martinez received nine black suitcases containing 652 high capacity AK-47 rifle magazines and hid them in the cab of his truck while Padilla-Perez observed from nearby. After Flores-Martinez finished loading, Padilla-Perez then handed the special agents a white plastic bag containing $19,500 in cash.

Flores-Martinez drove to the World Trade Bridge where U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recovered the 652 high-capacity rifle magazines. The magazines are made for 7.62x39mm ammunition and designed for use with AK-47-type assault rifles. Each magazine is designed to hold 30 rounds of the rifle ammunition.

Flores-Martinez and Padilla-Perez have been in custody since their arrest, where they will remain pending sentencing at a date to be determined in the near future. They each face sentences up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Demi Lovato Reunited With Nick Jonas for Duet at L.A. Show (VIDEO)

Demi Lovato Reunited With Nick Jonas for Duet at L.A. Show (VIDEO)

Photo: Demi Lovato Reunited With Nick Jonas for Duet at L.A. Show

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During a show at Los Angeles’ famed Greek Theater, Demi Lovato announced she had a special guest.

Introducing him as one of her “greatest friends”, the new X Factor judge invited Nick Jonas out on stage for a few songs.

In 2010, Lovato was on tour with the Jonas Brothers when she abruptly left to check into rehab for drug, self-injury, and other psychological issues.

Still, she and Nick have remained friends, even after she breaking up with his brother Joe just before she entered rehab.

Wednesay, the two friends sang “Catch Me” and “Don’t Forget”.

It looks like these former Disney kids are growing up.

Check out there duet in the video below.

Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Brawl Breaks Out After Man Bites Roommate’s Dog

LATINO BLOTTER: Brawl Breaks Out After Man Bites Roommate’s Dog

Photo: Men arrested for beating roommate for biting their dog - Anthony Rivera and Brandon Baker

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Alcohol is believed to be the cause of a bizarre act that led to a brawl between three roommates.

The roommates, three men in their 20s, were hanging out and drinking at their New Mexico home when one of them, Joshua Cabrera, went after one the roommate’s dog.

Cabrera then allegedly bit the dog, angering the other two roommates, identified as Brandon Baker and Anthony Rivera.

Rio Rancho police say Rivera, 21 and Baker, 27, began fighting with Cabrera and are said to have beat him badly he lost consciousness. The alleged dog-biter was beaten and left bloodied at the end of the driveway.

When police spoke with him later, the beaten man said he did not remember anything about the incident because of the beating and had no recollection of biting him roommate’s dog.

Police say he was also heavily intoxicated when the brawl occurred.

Rivera and Baker were taken to Sandoval County Detention Center after being arrested on charges of aggravated battery, obstruction, and resisting arrest.

Officers who examined the dog said the alleged biting did not amount to animal cruelty or abuse.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mr. Worldwide, Rapper Pitbull,  to be ‘Exiled’ to Alaska Thanks to Internet Prank

What started as a joke by Boston reporter David Thorpe calling for the “exile” of Cuban-American rapper Pitbull to Alaska, has gone all the way and actually done it. Well, kind of.

Recently, Pitbull agreed to perform at any Walmart in the country and the chain asked Facebook users to choose (“Like”) where to send him. That is where Thorpe came in.

Thorpe, not really a fan of Pitbull, took to Facebook, Twitter, and various other media outlets to encourage people to exile the rapper to the remote Walmart of Kodiak, Alaska.

When the contest finally ended, Thorpe and his followers had done it. With 71,000 votes sending the Miami-based rapper to Kodiak. Tuesday, the official results were announced and Pitbull even made a TouTube video while at the Madrid, Spain stop of his current tour.

Pitbull, aware that the contest had been highjacked, said he knew Alaska was chosen as a result of “someone who thinks he was playing a prank.”

Attempting to be diplomatic about the results however, Pitbull, born Armando Perez, confusingly said, “You gotta understand that I would go anywhere in the world of my fans.”

While a nice sentiment, it seemed to forget the fact that it was not fans asking him to go to Alaska, but rather those wanting to exile him to a cold and unfamiliar climate of the coast of Alaska’s mainland.

Still, area officials are excited to have such a big star in their city of just 6,000.

Conventions and Visitors Bureau boss Janet Buckingham told the Miami Herald, “It’s going to be gigantic. We had [folk singer] Suzanne Vega in concert once. She did it in the high school gym, which has 600 seats.

“And Gary Sinise and his band played at the Coast Guard station. But we never had anyone here of the fame of Pitbull!”

Since Pitbull is being a good sport,  we have just one thing to say to him.

Watch out for bears.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Voto Latino Teams Up with Latino Fraternities to Register New Voters

Voto Latino Teams Up with Latino Fraternities to Register New Voters

Photo: Voto Latino Working with Latino Frats

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Voto Latino is unveiling RepUrLetters.org to launch a contest to engage Latino Greek life in Voto Latino’s civic engagement efforts across the country. Rep Ur Letters is a multimedia campaign that will focus on leveraging the passion, dedication, and philanthropic efforts of Greek organizations nationwide. Voto Latino will team up with sororities and fraternities to tie voter registration into their community service projects and engage their college communities across the nation to increase participation in the political process. RepUrLetters.org will serve as a resource for participating organizations and provide an opportunity to sign up for updates, events, webinars, downloadable materials, and more.

Confirmed national organizations include:

- Alpha Rho Lambda Sorority, Inc.

- Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc.

- Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.

- La Unidad Latina Lambda Upsilon Lambda,

-  Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc.,

- Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.,

- Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity

These and other fraternities and sororities will compete by integrating voter registration drives into their existing events as well as participating in Voto Latino field efforts across the country. The organization that registers the highest number of eligible voters will win the chance to have a Voto Latino celebrity appear at an upcoming national event.

Voto Latino is a next-generation, constituency based organization that empowers American Latinos to claim a better future by participating at the political process.

Read more by HS News Staff →

12 Dead in Colorado Movie Theater Shooting at the Midnight Opening of the “The Dark Knight Rises”

12 Dead in Colorado Movie Theater Shooting at the Midnight Opening of the  “The Dark Knight Rises”

Photo: Colorado Shooting

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A gunman, now identified as James Holmes, opened fire at a movie theater in Colorado early Friday, killing 12 people and injuring at least38 others, authorities said.

The shooting occurred in the Denver suburb of Aurora at the 16-theater Century complex, which was packed with hundreds of people, including many children, for the midnight opening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates told local television that officers apprehended the 24-year-old suspect shortly after the shooting spree in a parking lot behind the cinema complex.

Holmes, who had a shotgun, a rifle, a pistol and a bullet-proof vest in his possession, told the officers he had explosives at his apartment.

Cellphones images captured scenes of panic and people injured at the movie complex in Aurora, 15 kilometers (nine miles) northeast of Denver, where the shooting occurred at around 12:30 a.m.

Local authorities said the injured were taken to three Aurora hospitals for medical care.

Police described the rifle used in the attack as an automatic weapon.

FBI special agent Jim Yacone said that agency had dispatched personnel to cooperate in the investigation, adding that dozens of people were being interviewed at a local high school.

One witness said she saw a 9-year-old girl with bullet wounds in the back, while 30-year-old Benjamin Fernandez told the Denver Post that he was watching the movie when he heard a series of explosions, adding that people ran out of the theater while police were shouting “get down!”

Salina Jordan, 19, who was in another theater, told the same daily that she saw several people injured, including a girl who had been shot in the cheek and others with bullet wounds in the stomach.

Oates had earlier said 14 people were killed - 10 at the movie complex and four others at local hospitals - but that figure was later revised downward.

The Batman film has numerous high-volume sound effects and a witness told CNN that the movie-going public did not initially notice that the shots in the front of the complex came from real firearms.

President Barack Obama, on a campaign trip in Florida, described the killings as “horrific and tragic.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Juanes Breaks Down Language Barriers in Duet With Brazil’s Paula Fernandes

Juanes Breaks Down Language Barriers in Duet With Brazil’s Paula Fernandes

Photo: Juanes - MTV Unplugged

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Colombian singer-songwriter Juanes said that “Hoy me voy,” recorded in Spanish and Portuguese along with Brazil’s Paula Fernandes, is a bridge to overcoming the language barriers between the two cultures.

“The idea of doing a song with someone from Brazil was to build a bridge between two different cultures,” said Juanes in remarks to the daily Folha de Sao Paulo promoting the release in Brazil of his album “MTV Unplugged.”

Joining with Fernandes was for Juanes “a plan to try and do something different and open up a little door.”

With sales exceeding 12 million albums and the winner of 17 Latino Grammys, Juanes is now starting to break into the Brazilian music market.

As part of the release of Juanes’s new album, Universal records in late June staged a private concert in Sao Paulo at which Fernandes - Brazil’s best-selling female singer and an artist who performs in both English and Spanish - also participated.

“It’s not easy to hear songs in Portuguese on the radio stations in Mexico or Argentina. Everything is always in Spanish or English and I understand the same thing happens in Brazil,” said Juanes.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Anti-Racial Profiling Law in New Mexico has Done Little to Stop It

Anti-Racial Profiling Law in New Mexico has Done Little to Stop It

Photo: Anti-Racial Profiling Law in New Mexico has Done Little to Stop It

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Only 22 percent of law enforcement agencies in New Mexico are complying with the regulations established by a state law to prevent racial profiling, according to a study released Thursday.

The report, published by the NAACP of New Mexico and immigrant advocacy group Somos Un Pueblo Unido, revealed that the majority of those departments are not complying with the basic requirements established by the law approved in 2009.

The regulation says that police departments must update their rules, publish them and make them available to the public.

Also, they must keep forms available so that people can file complaints if they think they have been the victims of racial discrimination.

The head of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, Marcela Diaz, told Efe that her organization is currently working on several racial profiling complaints made against police departments in New Mexico, one of 23 states that has a law prohibiting discrimination on ethnic grounds.

“This doesn’t mean that the agencies are discriminating, but how are we going to know that it’s happening if we don’t have lists or policies so that the community may make complaints?” Diaz asked.

She said that it is very important to support this type of regulation on the local level to establish procedures whereby the community can complain, something that she says creates a bond of confidence between the minority communities and the police departments.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chevron Loans $2 Billion to Venezuela For Joint Venture

Chevron has extended a $2 billion line of credit to its joint venture with state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the Venezuelan company said.

PDVSA and Chevron on Wednesday signed off on the terms and conditions of that loan to Petroboscan, a 20-year venture formed in 2006.

The $2 billion credit line will need to be fully repaid by 2025 at 4.5 percentage points over Libor, with no additional costs, PDVSA said in a statement.

This money will help finance “works to maintain and increase current average crude production of 115,000 barrels of crude per day at the Boscan field” in the Orinoco Oil Belt, the company added.

The agreement includes “the payment of Petroboscan’s pending liabilities,” whose amount was not revealed, and the channeling of revenues from hydrocarbon sales to ensure funding for the joint venture.

President Hugo Chavez’s leftist government in 2007 restored state control over heavy-oil projects in the Orinoco Belt of eastern Venezuela as part of a larger socialist drive, giving PDVSA a minimum 60 percent stake in joint ventures with foreign multinational firms.

Chevron is the only U.S. oil company that accepted the new arrangements, with Conoco-Phillips and Exxon refusing and opting to withdraw from Venezuela.

Other companies that stayed on, enticed by the massive Orinoco reserves, include Britain’s BP Plc, France’s Total, Italy’s ENI, Norway’s Statoil and China’s CNPC.

Chevron’s president for Latin America and Africa, Ali Moshiri, said last September in Venezuela that the South American country is unique in terms of its natural resources and a “logical” investment destination.

He added then that the company was willing to invest in more projects in Venezuela.

Venezuela’s certified oil reserves amount to nearly 300 billion barrels, equivalent to 25 percent of the world’s total.

That volume of recoverable crude is mostly located in the Orinoco Belt and exceeds the 265 billion barrels of proven reserves in Saudi Arabia, previously considered the world’s largest oil nation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

FridayJuly 20, 2012