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SaturdayJuly 28, 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 Inmates Compete in Their Own Olympic Games

Mexican Inmates Compete in Their Own Olympic Games

Photo: The "Olympic" Games in Mexico

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A prison in the Mexican city of Merida is holding its own version of the Olympic Games, giving 800 inmates the chance to compete in 13 different sports, including the ceremonial pre-Columbian ballgame.

The goal of the sporting event is to facilitate the prisoners’ eventual reinsertion into society, authorities at the Yucatan Rehabilitation Center said.

While the opening ceremony of the London Olympics was being held Friday night, a modest version of that extravaganza was celebrated inside the penitentiary and was notable for “high spirits, cheering fans, positive energy and music,” the government of the southeastern state of Yucatan said in a statement.

Gov. Ivonne Ortega signaled the start of the ceremony and the athletes then paraded around the premises.

“I really admire people who are willing to learn and atone for their mistakes, and who are always looking to stay occupied, active and productive under any circumstance and in any setting,” Ortega said.

A replica of Chichen Itza’s El Castillo pyramid was mounted on the prison’s soccer field where the ceremony was held, and a young inmate dressed as a Mayan warrior, Carlos, was tasked with lighting the “Olympic cauldron” as 2,300 inmates looked on.

The sporting event, dubbed “New Era, 2012,” marks the Year of Mayan Culture in Yucatan state and will last until Aug. 12, when the London Games also conclude.

The inmates will compete in a series of sports including soccer, track and field, weightlifting, basketball and volleyball.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Sarah Menezes Takes Home Gold in Judo

Brazilian Sarah Menezes Takes Home Gold in Judo

Photo: Sarah Menezes

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Brazilian judo athlete Sarah Menezes captured the 48-kilogram judo gold medal here Saturday, defeating defending Olympic champion Alina Alexandra Dumitru in the final.

The 22-year-old, second-ranked Menezes, who was making her Olympic debut, fought her best bout of the extra-lightweight tournament in the final, throwing her opponent for a waza-ari to claim the victory and Brazil’s first gold medal of the London Games.

Earlier Saturday, her countryman Felipe Kitadai - also making his first Olympic appearance - won a judo bronze medal in the men’s 60-kilogram (extra-lightweight) class by scoring a yuko late in his evenly-matched contest against Italy’s Elio Verde.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Amazonian Awá Tribe Threatened by Plans of Railway Expansion

Amazonian Awá Tribe Threatened by Plans of Railway Expansion

Photo: Survival

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Plans by a giant mining company to expand a controversial railway line that has already opened up parts of Brazil’s Amazon to invaders, are now putting Earth’s most threatened tribe in direct danger.

Brazilian company Vale owns the world’s largest iron ore mine, transporting its lucrative resources from the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean in 2 km-long trains.

Now it wants to expand this stretch of railway line to allow some of the longest trains in the world to run simultaneously in both directions, to increase capacity.

But the forest homes of Earth’s most threatened tribe, Brazil’s Awá, border the railway tracks, putting the tribe, especially those uncontacted , in immediate danger.

The Awá are against the project. They say it will increase the amount of noise from the railway, scare away the game they need to survive, and increase the number of invaders in their forest.

Vale’s notorious Carajás mine and railway devastated the Awá tribe in the early 1980s by opening their land up to settlers, ranchers and loggers.

However, despite this legacy and recent objections to Vale’s expansion plans, the Awá have not been consulted properly. Vale has instead assumed the railway’s inevitability and offered the tribe compensation.

This decision breaks Brazilian and international law, which require companies to consult indigenous communities before beginning such works.

Last December Vale workers set up a camp outside the Awá territory, despite not being granted an installation license to work in the area.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘World Bank and European Union funding for the Carajás project led to the massive destruction of the Awá’s forest. Now only 30 years on, despite a functioning railway line already existing, this senseless expansion is putting yet more pressure on the tribe and their dwindling forest.’

Vale expects work to be complete by the end of 2016. If approved, it will allow 230 million tons of iron ore to be transported each year; 100 million more than is currently possible.

Nearly 30,000 people have supported Survival’s campaign to save Earth’s most threatened tribe since it launched in April.

More information about the Awá tribe can be found at Survival International

Read more by HS News Staff →

Giuliani Claims Romney Will Push For Immigration Reform if Elected

Giuliani Claims Romney Will Push For Immigration Reform if Elected

Photo: Mitt Romney

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Immigration reform would be possible if Republican Mitt Romney wins the presidency, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Efe in an interview.

“I believe that if Romney is elected president with a Republican Congress, immigration reform can be passed,” Giuliani, who was mayor of New York between 1994-2001, said during a telephone interview from Florida, where he is campaigning for Romney.

“He will be sensible and humane with the undocumented who are living here and who comply with the laws and are working,” said Giuliani, recalling the “compassionate conservatism” of ex-President George W. Bush.

The key to moving forward with reform is “stopping illegal immigration” plus the “sensible” solution that a president like Romney would promote, Giuliani said.

During the primaries, however, Romney stuck to an iron-fisted policy against the undocumented and rejected any form of legalizing their immigration status, though he has softened his position since effectively securing the GOP nomination.

Both Obama and Romney are actively courting the Hispanic vote, which this year looks to be decisive in key states like Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Nevada.

An estimated 12.2 million Latinos will go to the polls this year and winning the presidency will require at least 40 percent of the Hispanic vote.

Obama garnered more than 60 percent of the Latino vote in 2008 and leads Romney among Hispanics by 67 percent to 23 percent, according to results of a NBC-Wall Street Journal-Telemundo poll released this week.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Carelessness, Speeding Responsible for Prominent Dissident’s Death

Carelessness, Speeding Responsible for Prominent Dissident’s Death

Photo: Oswaldo Paya

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The Cuban government says that speeding on a highway where roadwork was being done caused the accident that killed prominent dissident Oswaldo Paya and his colleague Harold Cepero.

“The investigative team calculates that (driver) Angel Francisco Carromero Barrios must have been driving at an average speed of faster than 120 kilometers per hour (74.5 mph) and that it was his carelessness in controlling the vehicle, the high speed” and braking suddenly on a slippery surface that caused the accident, the Interior Ministry said in a note released Friday.

The note did not mention the political affiliation of Carromero, director of a youth group of Spain’s governing conservative Popular Party, nor of Jens Aron Modig, leader of the Christian Democrat Youth of Sweden.

According to the official investigation, the rental car that Carromero was driving, and in which Paya, Cepero and Modig were passengers, left Havana at 6:00 a.m. last Sunday on a journey of 860 kilometers (534 miles) to the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba.

The two Cuban men were in the back seat and had not fastened their seat belts.

The accident occurred at 1:50 p.m. Sunday near Bayamo, almost 800 kilometers (500 miles) from Havana on a stretch of highway “under repair.”

According to expert analysis, the scene of the accident was a straight road with good visibility and with a sign warning that men were doing roadwork there.

Cuban law says that in such situations, vehicles may not exceed 60 kph (37 mph).

After coming onto that stretch of road going too fast and braking suddenly, the driver lost control of the vehicle which spun on its left side for 63 meters (207 feet) until it hit a tree on the right-hand side of the highway.

Paya died instantly from a severe head wound, while Cepero passed away in Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Hospital in Bayamo from a pulmonary blood clot.

Carromero, who is being held in Bayamo, said, according to the official note, that he did not remember seeing the sign about the roadwork being done and could not say how fast he was going.

Modig, meanwhile, said he was asleep when the accident happened.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Military Families to be Honored at Stars, Stripes, & Hearts Benefit Concert

Latino Military Families to be Honored at Stars, Stripes, & Hearts Benefit Concert

Photo: Stars, Stripes, & Hearts Inc.,

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Lynette Spano, founder of Stars, Stripes, & Hearts Inc., announced Friday that her organization is producing a national benefit concert in Washington, D.C. at the historic Warner Theater on October 15, 2012, in recognition and support of Latino/Hispanic American military service members and their families.

Spano, a Puerto Rican American, is among the most successful Latina businesswomen in America. As a way of giving back, she created the first ever online wall of honor, www.awarriorswall.org, where anyone can tweet a photo of a loved one serving in the military.

Her latest and most ambitious effort is the creation of Stars, Stripes, & Hearts Inc., dedicated to raising funds through national benefit concerts in support of exceptional health and education-related charities that provide comprehensive and culturally competent support services to Latino/Hispanic military families impacted by the invisible wounds of war.

Her first concert will be held during National Hispanic Heritage Month. All proceeds from the Bandera y Corazones concert series will be donated to charitable organizations that provide relief to Latino/Hispanic service members and families impacted by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), depression and other invisible wounds of war. Latinos/Hispanics have higher rates of PTSD than any other ethnicity or race in America.

Although all proceeds from the concerts will be donated to charities that provide assistance to military veterans and families facing challenging circumstances, the concerts themselves will be a celebration – a celebration highlighting the strength, honor and commitment of our men and women in uniform and the vast contributions of Latinos and Hispanics serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Invitations to perform at this year’s concert have been extended to leading Latin recording artists, such as Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.

Read more by HS News Staff →

No Need to Replace Ailing Colombian V.P., Says President Santos

No Need to Replace Ailing Colombian V.P., Says President Santos

Photo: President Juan Manuel Santos and Vice President Angelino Garzon

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday hailed the lucidity of Vice President Angelino Garzon, who is recovering from a stroke, and rejected calls for his No. 2 to resign.

“I found the vice president feeling well. I found him in good spirits, lucid, very well informed. The truth is I see no reason why anyone should think he ought to resign,” Santos told reporters when he left the Garzon residence.

This was the head of state’s first personal meeting with his vice president since the latter suffered a stroke in mid-June, from which he recovered in hospital and later at home, being allowed only a limited number of visits during the process.

The president said that Garzon “has recovered much quicker” than he ever imagined, adding that the vice president continues with his therapy even as he resumes the duties of his office.

“I talked about a lot of issues,” Santos said, adding that despite what ruling party Sen. Juan Carlos Velez said this week, the vice president affirmed “that he is not backing any constituent assembly.”

Velez is the author of a bill promoting the calling of a National Constituent Assembly to reform the administration of justice, a measure that Santos rejected in his inaugural speech for the current sessions of Congress last Friday.

According to Velez, an ally of former president Alvaro Uribe, Garzon called him last Monday to offer his backing for the bill, which some lawmakers have criticized to the point of asking for the vice president’s resignation.

Sen. Juan Manuel Galan of the Liberal Party considered it “unprecedented” that a vice president could be in opposition to his own administration.

Santos said at the beginning of June that the executive branch is studying the elimination of the post of vice president because it was “badly designed” in the 1991 Constitution, while that of “presidential delegate” could be “more useful and less expensive.”

Garzon, a former union leader, became vice president on the ticket with Santos after serving as Labor Minister in the 1998-2002 government of Andres Pastrana, and as ambassador to the United Nations in Geneval during Uribe’s 2002-2010 tenure.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Make-A-Wish Charity Recipient Asks to Volunteer at Mexican Orphanage

Make-A-Wish Charity Recipient Asks to Volunteer at Mexican Orphanage

Photo: Make-A-Wish Charity Recipient Asks to Volunteer at Mexican Orphanage

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At just 10 years old, Isabella Tonn of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, made a tear-jerking request when approached by the Make-A-Wish foundation. She asked that the foundation help her help others.

Isabella is recovering from NLP Hodgkins lymphoma, a rare blood cancer affecting the lymph nodes, and was told by the Make-A-Wish foundation she could pick anything that would bring her happiness. While some have asked for trips to walt Disney World or meetings with their favorite celebrities to bring them a smile after their hardships, Isabella was different.

Isabella and her family are currently collecting and packing clothes, toys, and other supplies to prepare for their trip to an orphanage in Vicente Guerrero in a couple weeks.

ImageWhen asked why she chose this as her wish, Isabella told the Canadian Press she just wants to help people and make them feel loved.

Make-A-Wish spokesperson Amber benders said, “The whole point of a wish is for the child to pick what would give them ultimate happiness, hope, strength and joy. For Isabella, that’s volunteering at an orphanage and we think that’s amazing.”

Isabella’s grandparents and an uncle were reportedly so moved by her wish that they have decided to pay their own way and join Isabella, her little sister, and her parents in Mexico.

When their daughter got sick, Ryan and Sheila Tonn put their plans to adopt an orphan from a foreign country on hold. However, they say the adoption process has been restarted.

Read more by HS News Staff →

INFOGRAPHIC: Where is Innovation Happening in Latin America?

INFOGRAPHIC: Where is Innovation Happening in Latin America?

Photo: Hispanically Speaking News

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The Global Innovation Index (GII), a composite indicator that ranks countries/economies in terms of their enabling environment to innovation and their innovation outputs.  Globally, Latin America ranked between 39 and 118 (out of 141).


Read more by HS News Staff →

US Singer Rodriguez Emerges as Anti-Apartheid Anthem in Award Winning Film( VIDEO)

US Singer Rodriguez Emerges as Anti-Apartheid Anthem in Award Winning Film( VIDEO)

Photo: Rodriguez, a folk-rock troubadour from Detroit, cut a couple of albums in the 1970s which flopped in the US.

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Forty years ago, an American singer-songwriter whose music never found an audience at home became a star in South Africa, but he didn’t know it until decades later.

A new documentary by a Swedish filmmaker tells the remarkable story of “Searching For Sugar Man.”

“It’s still a bit of a mystery how the first copy of ‘Cold Fact’ actually came to South Africa, but it spread very quickly,” says Capetown record store owner Stephen Segerman. “To many of us South Africans, he was the soundtrack to our lives.”

Segerman is talking about Rodriguez, a folk-rock troubadour from the American midwest city of Detroit who cut a couple of albums in the 1970s. But they flopped and he went on with his life.
Searching for Sugar Man

As Stockholm-based filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul discovered, the music took on a life of its own on the other side of the world.

“In 2006, I was traveling around Africa and South America for six months looking for stories, and in Cape Town I met Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, the detective in the story, and he told me how this all came about and I thought ‘this is the best story I ever heard in my life,’” says Bendjelloul. “It’s about a man who didn’t know he was famous.”


In the film, Segerman explains how Rodriguez’s songs, including “Sugar Man” and “I Wonder” became anthems for the country’s white youth who began to stand up against Apartheid.

Malik Bendjelloul’s documentary, “Searching for Sugar Man,” about the quest to find Rodriguez, won a special grand jury prize at the 2012 Sundance Festival. (Photo by Sven-Ake Visen, Courtesy Malik BendjelloulSony Pictures Classics
“In the 1970s, if you walked into a random white, liberal, middle class household that had a turntable and a pile of pop records…you would always see ‘Abbey Road’ by the Beatles, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ by Simon and Garfunkel and ‘Cold Fact’ by Rodriguez,” he says. “To us it was one of the most famous records of all time. The message it had was ‘be anti-establishment.’ One song is called ‘The Anti-Establishment Blues.’ We didn’t know what the word was until it cropped up on a Rodriguez song, and then we found it’s OK to protest against your society, to be angry with your society.”
But Rodriguez remained a mystery, and rumors even spread that he had committed suicide during a performance.

Segerman and a South African journalist friend set out to discover the true story.

That quest led them to a run-down Detroit neighborhood where they found their hero, very much alive, but totally unaware of his fame and the impact of his music.

Record store owner Stephen “Sugar” Segerman led the search to find Rodriguez. (Photo by Camilla Skagerström, Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)
Rodriguez is grateful his message found an audience.

“In the film it points out how it was banned from certain radio play and if they don’t want you to listen to it and don’t want you to talk about it, they really don’t want you to think about it either,” he says. “I think people need to express themselves.”

“Searching For Sugar Man” includes scenes from the 1998 Cape Town concert which marked Rodriguez’s first visit to South Africa.

Since then, he’s been back several times. He’s recording new music and is still commenting on social issues. The documentary won a special grand jury prize at the 2012 Sundance Festival.

Read more at VOA →

Chicago Alderman Moreno Blocks Chick-Fil-A From Building in His Ward

Chicago Alderman Moreno Blocks Chick-Fil-A From Building in His Ward

Photo: Chick-Fil-A

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A Chicago politician announced his intention to keep Chick-Fil-A from opening a restaurant in his neighborhood, in protest over the anti-gay marriage stance of the chain’s president.

Alderman Joe Moreno represents the city’s Logan Square neighborhood and, with the backing of City Council members, plans to block the fast food chain’s permit. Chick-Fil-A already has one restaurant in Chicago.

“It’s a very diverse ward—economically, racially, and diverse in sexual orientation,” Moreno said. “We’ve got thriving businesses and we want more but at the very least don’t discriminate against our LGBTQ folks.”

Dan Cathy, the chain’s president, recently stated that he believes that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

Moreno also has the support of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who wrote to Cathy:

“There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.”

He also has the support of Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.

“Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values. They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty,” Emmanuel said.

Cathy’s words have also led to the Jim Henson Company severing ties with the chain, and donating earnings from toys inside Chick-Fil-A meals to support GLAAD.

For more information regarding the Chick-Fil-A debate, check out Celebrity Cafe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

¡Felicidades! Peru on Your 191st Year of Independence

Peru is celebrating today to commemorate its 191st-year of independence from Spain. The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for over 350 years as they decimated the Inca Empire, introduced smallpox and raided the country’s gold reserves.  The fight for independence started in 1818 with Jose de San Martin seizing partial control of Lima and declaring partial independent in 1821.  Then Simon Bolivar came to Peru to assist San Martin and liberated the entire country from Spanish rule.

Peru is home to 29 million people representing the 42nd largest economy in the world and they have all been celebrating for days with festivals, parties and the Te Deum, a traditional religious ceremony. 

Peru and its people received congratulations from President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that read as follows: 

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Peru as you celebrate the 191st anniversary of your independence this July 28.

The friendship between our two countries is based on our mutual commitment to freedom and democracy. These ties between our nations grow stronger every day as we work together promoting freedom, universal rights, and human dignity in our hemisphere and throughout the world. Over the past year we have continued to strengthen these bonds. We are expanding our trade relationship, promoting social inclusion and gender equality, and engaging with regional and global partners to keep our citizens safe.

With its rich history and promising future, Peru has the chance to continue advancing the ideals of freedom and democracy for its people and people throughout the world. Congratulations and best wishes for peace and prosperity in the year to come.

Read more by HS News Staff →

OLYMPICS: Spain, Argentina, Brazil Looking to Outshine U.S. on Basketball Court

OLYMPICS: Spain, Argentina, Brazil Looking to Outshine U.S. on Basketball Court

Photo: U.S.A. - Nike, Inc.

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The Spanish, Argentine and Brazilian Olympic men’s basketball squads will all be battling for podium spots and looking to pull off a huge upset over a powerful U.S. team, which is filled with NBA stars and is the clear gold medal favorite at the London Games.

The United States boasts arguably the best lineup of perimeter players in basketball history with Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, but questions have been raised about its inside play, teamwork and tendency to gamble and commit blunders on defense.

The team considered best equipped to capitalize on those weaknesses is Spain, which features a big front line of brothers Pau and Marc Gasol - both seven-footers - and 6-foot-10 Serge Ibaka, all of them key players for playoff-caliber NBA teams, as well as Felipe Reyes and Victor Claver, who are both 6-foot-9.

The Iberian nation also complements its inside power with solid play on the perimeter, particularly from sharpshooter Juan Carlos “La Bomba” (The Bomb) Navarro, shooting guard Rudy Fernandez and point guard Jose Calderon.

Depth is lacking, however, with the team especially hurt by the loss of one of the NBA’s brightest young talents, Ricky Rubio, who tore his ACL during a game between his Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers in March.

In its favor, Spain has a very experienced and cohesive unit that has played together in international competitions for years with few lineup changes.

Argentina is another team filled with experience and savvy and its best players can hold their own with any other side, but depth on the bench is a major concern for head coach Julio Lamas.

The South Americans’ starting five of Pablo Prigioni, Manu Ginobili, Carlos Delfino, Andres Nocioni and Luis Scola does not have the size the Spaniards possess but they are superior in terms of slashing to the basket and getting to the free-throw line.

The team, however, is especially vulnerable to fatigue and injuries in a competition with a compressed schedule featuring games every couple of days.

Brazil is more of a long-shot for a medal but, despite its lack of Olympic experience, it has enough quality to make an impact on the international basketball scene.

Brazil’s starting line-up of Marcelinho Huertas, Leandro Barbosa, Anderson Varejao, Nene Hilario and Tiago Splitter gives the squad a fighting chance, but its limited options off the bench will be difficult to overcome.

Other countries in the men’s basketball medal hunt include France, Australia and Russia.

The men’s basketball tournament gets underway on Sunday, although the battle for medal position will begin in earnest in the quarterfinals, which tip off on Aug. 8.

The gold medal match will be played on Sunday, Aug. 12.

Read more by HS News Staff →

2012 London Olympics Open With a Bang

2012 London Olympics Open With a Bang

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The 2012 Olympics officially got under way here Friday with a celebration of Britain’s culture and heritage, followed by the procession of most of the roughly 10,500 athletes competing on behalf of 204 nations.

The show was created by filmmaker Danny Boyle, director of the Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire,” at a cost of more than 33 million euros ($40.6 million).

One highlight was a cinematic simulation of Queen Elizabeth II and actor Daniel Craig, the current incarnation of James Bond, parachuting into London’s new Olympic Stadium, packed with 62,000 people.

Spain’s Queen Sofia was among the 100 or so world leaders in the audience.

Because Boyle’s spectacular ran a little long, the Olympic athletes had to make their entrance almost at a trot.

As is customary in the modern Olympics, the Greek delegation was first, with the others following in alphabetical order.

The Argentine squad was led by field-hockey player Luciana Aymar, while the always-colorful Brazilians came in with equestrian athlete Rodrigo Pessoa at the head.

Spain, No. 172 in the procession, entered behind basketball star Pau Gasol, who replaced injured tennis icon Rafael Nadal as the standard-bearer.

The Spaniards sported their traditional sombreros, dispelling some of the doubts voiced back home about the elegance of this year’s uniform.

With the rushed procession complete, 86-year-old Queen Elizabeth II formally declared the 2012 Games open.

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Highly Ranked Puerto Rican Hurdler Prepares to Face British Rival

Highly Ranked Puerto Rican Hurdler Prepares to Face British Rival

Photo: Javier Culson

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Puerto Rican hurdler Javier Culson, last year’s world No. 2 and unbeaten this year in the 400 meters, says that while he chief rival David Greene of Britain, he is focusing on his own performance as he vies for Olympic gold at the 2012 Games here in London.

“He is last year’s world champion and he is very strong,” Culson said of Greene. “I’m just thinking about my own race. That’s the important thing. My own race.”

As he prepares for his first race on Aug. 3, Culson said that besides training, he spends time listening to music and watching tape of his 2012 victories.

“I’m feeling very healthy and ready, physically and mentally,” he said in a mixture of English and Spanish.

Culson has beaten Greene three times this year and has an 8-7 advantage over the Welshman going back to their first head-to-head competition in 2009.

“I feel a little bit of pressure because right now I’m the first in the world, I have the best time and my country is watching me. But it’s going to be OK,” said Culson, who hopes to win Puerto Rico’s first-ever Olympic gold.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latina Businesswoman Understands the Importance of Social Media in the Workplace

Latina Businesswoman Understands the Importance of Social Media in the Workplace

Photo: Lucia Tovar-Matthews

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Mexican-born entrepreneur Lucia Tovar-Matthews seeks to use the growing importance of social networks to create new connections for the Hispanic community.

Since 27 percent of Hispanics currently spend six or more hours a day on social networks compared with 8.5 percent of all users, Tovar-Matthews told Efe that Web sites like this are increasingly important for the new demographic of the Latino market.

She and husband Richie Matthews founded the public relations firm Dialogo in 2006, based in San Diego, which now has offices in Mexico City and New York as well.

One reason the company has grown, the businesswoman said, was understanding that social media are not just a new “marketing tool and a way to create brands but are a growing force for large-scale social transformation that by connecting Hispanic voices can influence the way their purchases shape business strategies.”

In 2011 Tovar-Matthews was honored with San Diego Metro Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Award that hails young leaders, especially those capable of maintaining connections among different sectors of the community.

“I’ve taken advantage of my experience working in Mexico City to create a non-hierarchical environment,” Tovar-Matthews said about her company, which has grown from three to 41 employees.

While founding the company wasn’t easy, its growth shows that the risks were justified, she said.

“I could pay my debts. The company has allowed me to take part in the growth of the Latino market and not just in San Diego - I couldn’t be happier,” she said.

Tovar-Matthews also said that thanks to the firm she can cultivate her interest in mentoring young Hispanic professionals in the communications field by creating a program for interns that gives them a hands-on experience of mounting public relations campaigns.

After first opening the office in Mexico City in 2010 and the one in New York in 2011, Dialogo recently launched a syndication service for Hispanic bloggers.

The young entrepreneur’s experience growing up in Mexico City and her husband’s profession as a public relations executive allowed them to found the company and provide a service for marketing, financial and political media, they said.

Among its clients, this Hispanic woman’s company numbers the San Diego Latino Film Festival and Mexican telecommunications firms eager to penetrate the U.S. market.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuelan Diplomat Stationed in Kenya Found Murdered in Home

Venezuelan Diplomat Stationed in Kenya Found Murdered in Home

Photo: Fonseca's home

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The charge d’affaires at the Venezuelan Embassy in Kenya, Olga Fonseca, was found strangled to death Friday inside her Nairobi residence.

“The diplomat was strangled to death this morning and her body still lies in the house while the circumstances surrounding her death are being investigated,” capital police chief Anthony Kibuchi told the media.

Four domestic servants have been taken to the police station in the Gigiri neighborhood on Nairobi’s north side where the Venezuelan Embassy is located to help with the criminal investigation, Kibuchi said.

The administrative assistant of the Venezuelan diplomatic mission, Jose Miguel Reyes, told Efe that “they’re investigating and it appears (Fonseca) was murdered - they tied wires around her feet and neck.”

Asked about a possible motive for the crime, he said that police “don’t wish to say anything as yet because they’re still reviewing the evidence.”

“They’re also trying to check her telephone record, because this morning we got a messge from her saying she was resting and that we would see each other this afternoon,” Reyes said.

Fonseca, a 57-year-old career diplomat, arrived in Nairobi on July 15 to take charge of the embassy, Reyes said.

Her death occurred soon after Kenyan personnel at the Venezuelan Embassy filed a complaint because Fonseca had supposedly fired them, the Daily Nation newspaper said.

Those employees, according to the daily, were supposedly dismissed for refusing to retract their accusations of sexual harassment against Fonseca’s predecessor, Gerardo Carrillo Silva.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayJuly 28, 2012