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SaturdayAugust 4, 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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Reigning World Champion Swimmer Cesar Cielo Must Settle for Bronze

Reigning World Champion Swimmer Cesar Cielo Must Settle for Bronze

Photo: Cesar Cielo

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Brazil’s Cesar Cielo was unable to defend his Olympic title in the 50-meter freestyle, settling for bronze behind surprise winner Florent Manaudou of France and American Cullen Jones in Friday’s final.

The Frenchman, younger brother of Laure Manaudou, the 2004 Olympic champion in the women’s 400-meter freestyle, touched the wall first with a time of 21:34, while Jones clocked in at 21:54 and Cielo at 21:59.

Another Brazilian, Bruno Fratus, finished fourth with a time of 21:61.

Cielo, who also is the reigning world champion in that same event and still holds the world record time of 20:91, said afterward that he felt tired on his fourth consecutive day of competition and lacked explosiveness in the final.

“There are various factors in the 50 meters. Manaudou did the race of his life and his time was better than my best time this year,” the Brazilian said.

“It’s another Olympic medal for my career. I’m not going to lie. I could’ve swum better, but Manaudou deserved to win gold.”

Cielo fared better in the 50-meter final than he did in Wednesday’s 100-meter freestyle final, in which he finished sixth with a time of 47:92, four-tenths of a second behind gold medalist Nathan Adrian of the United States.

The Brazilian also holds the world record in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 46:91.

The 25-year-old from the southeastern town of Santa Barbara d’Oeste said he now plans to go on vacation following a year of non-stop training and will later start thinking about his next competition.

Cielo’s medal was Brazil’s sixth overall at the London Games and fourth bronze.

Judoka Sarah Menezes won the South American country’s lone gold medal at this year’s Olympics with her victory in the women’s 48-kilogram (extra lightweight) class.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Civil-rights Group Sues Florida County Over Redistricting

Latino Civil-rights Group Sues Florida County Over Redistricting

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A Latino civil-rights group is suing the authorities of Central Florida’s Orange County for discrimination against the Hispanic community by imposing a new electoral map on the region.

The suit was filed Thursday by LatinoJustice PRLDEF in representation of a group of Puerto Rican residents who say that the new electoral map eliminates the possibility of a Hispanic being elected to the county commission in the November elections.

The plaintiffs demand the annulment of the plan approved last November by the Orange County Commission and that the federal judge block any elections from being held and supervised using the new map.

“Latinos represent a significant portion of the growth of this county and we’re just asking for our fair share,” plaintiff Zoraida Rios-Andino said.

“We have been part of this community for many, many years and have worked very hard to make it a good place to live, work and raise our children. We’re just asking for fairness,” the veteran community activist said.

The plaintiffs point out that the proportion of Latinos in Orange County increased from 18.8 percent in 2000 to 26.9 percent in 2010, according to Census data.

“In November, the commission adopted a redistricting plan that included a district, District 3, which had a Latino population of 45 percent. Several community redistricting plans were submitted that include at least one district with over 51 percent Latinos,” Latino Justice said in a statement.

With the approval of the electoral map, the plaintiffs say, the Hispanic vote is reduced in that sector of east Orange County.

“The court has the power to stop the election if the county insists on using these lines and we have the evidence to prove that these lines do not afford the Latino community an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice,” Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, said.

“We know a plan with a Latino-majority district can be created because we worked with several community leaders and groups to produce one,” Cartagena said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Where and Who Are The Young People Eligible for the President’s “Deferred Action” Initiative

Where and Who Are The Young People Eligible for the President’s “Deferred Action” Initiative

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The Obama Administration’s “deferred action” initiative for unauthorized youth who were brought to this country as children has raised a number of crucial questions. How many people will be eligible? Who are they? And where do they live? A new analysis by the Immigration Policy Center (IPC), together with Rob Paral & Associates, provides some answers. While other analyses have produced national and state-level estimates of how many immigrants could benefit from the deferred action initiative, the IPC report provides a new level of detail, breaking down the eligible population by nationality and age at not only the national and state level, but the congressional district level as well.

According to the IPC report, there are approximately 1.4 million immigrants currently in the United States who might meet the requirements of the deferred action initiative, either now or when they are older. Roughly 936,930 are between the ages of 15 and 30 and might immediately meet the requirements. They comprise 69 percent of all potential beneficiaries. Yet approximately 426,330 immigrants between the ages of 5 and 14 might meet the requirements at some point in the future only if the initiative remains in place. They comprise 31 percent of all potential beneficiaries.

Not surprisingly, nearly half of potential beneficiaries (both immediate and future) live in California and Texas, and most are Mexican. But there are significant numbers in virtually every state, and they come from all corners of the globe. The states with the most potential beneficiaries are California (412,560), Texas (226,700), Florida (85,750), New York (70,170), and Illinois (67,460). Roughly 68 percent of potential beneficiaries are Mexican, while 13 percent are from other countries in North and Central America (including the Caribbean). Approximately 8 percent of potential beneficiaries are from Asia, 7 percent from South America, 2 percent from Europe, and 2 percent from other parts of the world.

The IPC report also reveals that potential beneficiaries from different parts of the world are distributed differently across the country. The greatest numbers of potential beneficiaries from Mexico, for instance, are found in California (326,250), Texas (196,130), Illinois (56,850), Arizona (49,860), and Georgia (25,590). The greatest numbers of potential beneficiaries from other countries in North and Central America live in California (37,210), Florida (30,590), New York (22,840), Texas (16,910), and New Jersey (9,570). And the greatest numbers of potential beneficiaries from Asian countries are in California (35,950), New York (10,850), New Jersey (6,120), Texas (6,120), and Illinois (3,900).
In the biggest immigrant-receiving states, Mexicans predominate among potential beneficiaries. However, in other states, they do not. In California, for instance, Mexicans comprise 326,250 of potential beneficiaries, followed distantly by other countries in North and Central America (37,210) and Asia (35,950). In Florida, on the other hand, the largest numbers of potential beneficiaries are from North and Central American countries other than Mexico (30,590), followed by South America (29,160) and Mexico (20,460).

Demographic details such as these are important as the federal government gears up to implement the deferred action initiative, and as community groups prepare to assist the populations they serve in taking advantage of this opportunity. Knowing how many immigrants are eligible, what countries they come from, and how old they are will be key to the success of the initiative. In particular, it is important to remember that there are hundreds of thousands of unauthorized children who are not yet eligible to apply for deferred action, but who will become eligible in the coming years. As a result, there is an urgent need for Congress to create permanent and lasting solutions to the plight of these unauthorized young people.

Read more at Immigration Impact →

Reality Star Chiquis Marin to Take On Business World

Reality Star Chiquis Marin to Take On Business World

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In “Chiquis ‘n Control,” a reality show on the mund2 network, Janney “Chiquis” Marin, daughter of regional Mexican singer Jenni Rivera, leaves home to carve out her own niche in the world of business.

The young woman first became known in “I Love Jenni,” the successful TV show in which cameras captured every detail of her life with her famous mom and the rest of the family.

But now Rivera’s first-born breaks away and viewers will see on a Spanish-language program every Saturday how she faces the challenges, triumphs and defeats of a young Latino woman in Los Angeles.

“Now I’ve left my home. I always lived a protected life in the bosom of my family. But now I’m a big girl and it was time to take responsibility,” the 27-year-old said in a telephone interview with Efe.

Which means that viewers will not only see Chiquis living alone in her own apartment but also starting her own beauty salon from the ground up while fighting to control what she calls her “weak sides,” such as the habit of going on frivolous shopping sprees.

The change has not been easy, and Chiquis is the first to admit that on more than one occasion she was ready to “throw in the towel” and run home to mama.

“The first month was the hardest. I really thought, what have I got myself into? But just when I was feeling at my worst, I stopped and said to myself: I can’t go back. I have to be a good example for the children.”

Strengthened with that attitude, Chiquis decided to keep going forward.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Left Accuses PRI of Funding Campaign Using Government Account

Mexican Left Accuses PRI of Funding Campaign Using Government Account

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Mexico’s political left accused President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto’s campaign manager of using a state government’s bank account to divert funds to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in the lead-up to the July 1 election.

“The gathered evidence shows illegal diversion of funds” involving a figure close to Peña Nieto, the campaign manager of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, standard-bearer of a leftist coalition led by his Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, said.

In a press conference in which he showed bank statements and other documents, Ricardo Monreal said the name of Luis Videgaray, Peña Nieto’s campaign manager and former Mexico state finance secretary, appeared on a Scotiabank account held by that state government.

Scotiabank, however, released a statement Thursday night saying that Videgaray was the not holder of the account mentioned by Monreal.

The PRI’s Peña Nieto, who won the election with 38.21 percent of the vote compared with 31.59 percent for Lopez Obrador, based on the final official results released by the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, served as governor of the central state of Mexico from 2005 to 2011.

“There’s no justification for a citizen, even less so a campaign manager, to be handling a state government’s public finances,” Monreal said, adding that transactions involving the deposited funds show the money was “diverted.”

He said the Scotiabank account showed an average balance of around 153,000 pesos ($11,420) between February and July, but that elevated sums of money of as much as 250 million pesos (some $18.7 million) were deposited during that same timeframe and then sent out the same day to other accounts.

On Thursday night, however, Scotiabank said in a statement that “regarding the information reported at midday in some media outlets, this banking institution states that Mr. Luis Videgaray is not the holder of the account 03800806935 and is not registered as administrator in the period from January to June 2012, as was reported.”

Monreal said the money deposited into the Scotiabank account came from another account at Bancomer bank, but added that he did not know the name of the account holder and that it was the job of Mexico’s CNBV banking regulator or the Federal Electoral Institute’s auditing unit to determine that information.

The evidence also will be presented to the federal Attorney General’s Office due to “probable crimes of organized crime or money laundering” and to the TEPJF electoral court, which has until Aug. 31 to issue a ruling on the challenge filed by the Progressive Movement coalition, either certifying Peña Nieto the winner or calling for a new vote.

In the press conference, Lopez Obrador said the latest evidence was “just more of the same, because it’s been demonstrated that the PRI and Peña Nieto used billions of pesos, rivers of money ... to try to buy the presidency.”

Progressive Movement alleged on July 18 that the PRI used several front companies to purchase debit cards from Monex bank and handed them out to voters in a bid to secure support for Peña Nieto.

Lopez Obrador’s team said that through that chicanery the PRI exceeded campaign spending limits by a factor of 12.

The PRI also has accused Lopez Obrador’s campaign of wrongdoing, alleging his coalition used grassroots organizations as “parallel structures” to evade campaign finance rules.

Meanwhile, the governing National Action Party, or PAN, whose candidate, Josefina Vazquez Mota, finished a distant third in the presidential election, also has joined with Lopez Obrador in demanding an investigation of the PRI’s finances.

The ruling party approached electoral authorities on June 14 with a request to freeze the PRI’s accounts with Monex bank on suspicion that PRI operatives handed out prepaid debit cards issued by that financial institution in an apparent attempt to buy votes.

The PRI has acknowledged using debit cards to pay party workers, but says it did not enter into any contract with Monex.

National Action, however, has said it is not contesting the election results.

The PRI, which governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000, lost the 2000 presidential election to the PAN and finished third in 2006.

During its 71-year reign - described by Peruvian Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa as the “perfect dictatorship” - the PRI relied mainly on patronage and control of organized labor and the mass media, though it was not above resorting to outright vote-rigging and even violence.

Lopez Obrador also said his narrow loss to the PAN’s Felipe Calderon in the 2006 president balloting was marred by fraud.

He declared himself to be Mexico’s “legitimate president” and organized a series of marches over several weeks in Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma, one of the capital’s main thoroughfares.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Top 10 Things You May Not Know About Selena Gomez

Top 10 Things You May Not Know About Selena Gomez

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Selena Gomez has taken the world by storm. Starting out on Disney, she furthered her career by breaking into singing and films. She is well known by all of her fans, but here are the top 10 things you may not know.

10. Selena was given a purity ring at the age of 12. This was partly because Selena’s mom had her at the young age of 16. Selena never took it off, but when she started to date Justin Bieber, the ring slowly phased out.

9. She enjoys eating lemons with salt, and has an obsession with pickles.

8. Her first kiss was with Dylan Sprouse when she guest starred on the Suite Life of Zack and Cody. She revealed that she closed her eyes too soon and missed half of his lip, which made the kiss very weird and awkward.

7. Selena has six rescue dogs: Wallace, Fina, Willie, Chip, Chazz and Baylor. She adopted the last one with Justin Bieber.

6. She was appointed a UNICEF Ambassador in September 2009. She is the youngest ambassador in the United States.

5. Selena was offered a role in High School Musical 3, but turned it down because she wanted to pursue more serious roles.

4. She started her own production company in 2008 called July Moon Productions.

3. She drinks olive oil in order to protect her voice. This is a trick that she learned from Kelly Clarkson.

2. Selena voiced 90 characters in Disney’s Horton Hears a Who. The 90 characters were the daughters of the Mayor of Whoville voiced by Steve Carell. In the credits however, she is only credited for Helga.

1. Selena was attached to a spin-off of Lizzie McGuire called What’s Stevie Thinking. She was set to play Miranda Sanchez’s sister. Before she guest starred, she was also meant to be on a spin-off of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody playing Arwin’s niece, Chloe. Neither show was picked up.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Colombian Radio Stations Most Affected by Threats, Attacks

Colombian Radio Stations Most Affected by Threats, Attacks

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Community radio stations were the media outlets most affected by attacks and threats targeting journalists in Colombia in the first half of 2012, according to a report released Friday in this capital.

The three reporters slain during that six-month period all worked in community radio and three of the four radio stations attacked during the period were community broadcasters, the study by the Colombian Federation of Journalists, or Fecolper, said.

“The community radio stations are bearing the brunt” of the violence, Fecolper President Adriana Hurtado told Efe.

She recalled that the three reporters killed between March and May - Argemiro Cardenas Agudelo, Jesus Martinez and Yamit Bailarin Suescun - were affiliated with community media outlets in three different parts of Colombia.

The three “conducted their work outside the commercial media, strengthening the communities’ communication processes via community radio stations or cultural initiatives,” Fecolper said.

The community radio stations targeted in the attacks are based in Cali, Colombia’s third-largest city, and the indigenous communities of Jambalo and Toribio, according to Fecolper, which released the report to coincide with the Aug. 4 commemoration of the Day of the Journalist in the Andean nation.

Hurtado said one of the two journalists kidnapped this year in Colombia also worked for a community radio station.

In the first half of 2012, Fecolper also documented 64 instances of aggression against reporters, down 44 percent from the same period of 2011.

Of those, 17.6 percent were attributed to leftist guerrilla groups, 14.7 percent to members of the Colombian security forces and 11.8 percent to new paramilitary groups that have emerged since the 2003-2006 demobilization of the 31,000-strong AUC militia federation.

Responsibility for another 35.6 percent of the attacks has not been determined, while in the remaining 20 percent of the cases the aggression was deemed unrelated to the victims’ profession.

Fecolper also documented during that six-month period 14 cases of threats against journalists “directly related to the internal armed conflict.”

“The situation is really quite challenging,” Hurtado said, noting that in her country every form of pressure on journalists by illegal armed groups, the security forces or unknown perpetrators serves to “muzzle” the media.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Creditor of Mexicana Airline Seeks New Bankruptcy Judge

Creditor of Mexicana Airline Seeks New Bankruptcy Judge

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Mexican state-owned bank Bancomext, one of the main creditors of bankrupt airline Mexicana de Aviacion, said it is seeking the removal of the judge handling the company’s debt-restructuring process.

Bancomext said in a statement that it made the request “due to the harm the delay in the airline’s bankruptcy proceedings represents for Mexicana de Aviacion’s creditors and workers.”

The bank said it filed a complaint with the Federal Judiciary Council, which oversees Mexico’s courts, due to “delays and lack of fulfillment of certain procedures in Mexicana de Aviacion’s bankruptcy proceedings,”

The complaint also was signed by three other Mexicana creditors: Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliaries, the state-owned corporation that manages Mexico’s airports; Mexico City’s international airport; and Mexico’s Federal Consumer Protection Agency.

Bancomext lamented that “the company’s assets continue to deteriorate to the detriment of its creditors and workers” due to uncertainties stemming from the delays.

The bank also termed “unacceptable” the lack of results in terms of “serious and viable financial alternatives to prevent the liquidation of Mexicana de Aviacion and make possible the resumption of operations.”

Bancomext called for a rapid solution to this problem, which “has gone on too long” and adversely affected the value of the airline’s assets.

It also described as “timely” the Mexican government’s proposal to replace Mexicana’s administrator and conciliator, noting “the lack of progress in reaching a creditors’ agreement.”

Mexico’s Communications and Transportation Secretariat proposed Wednesday replacing the administrator and conciliator in Mexicana’s bankruptcy proceedings, Gerardo Badin, due to the lack of agreements with creditors in a process dating back two years.

In May, the Med Atlantica group acquired 95 percent of Mexicana, which suspended operations in August 2010 due to its financial woes and filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

Med Atlantica is led by Spanish businessman Christian Cadenas, although 80 percent of the group’s capital comes from Mexican investors.

The Mexicana group of airlines, also including sister budget carriers Click and Link, grounded its operations in August 2010 after nearly nine decades in business and filed for bankruptcy protection to restructure a debt load of more than $800 million.

The process has dragged on for two years and, although progress has been made in 2012, no concrete date has been set for the airline to resume operations.

In February, Med Atlantica deposited $300 million and showed proof of its ability to recapitalize the airline.

The airline is expected to return to the skies this year with a staff of just 2,500 workers, meaning that severance packages still must be negotiated with the remaining 5,500 employees.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Academy Adds “Estadounidismo” to Dictionary

Spanish Academy Adds “Estadounidismo” to Dictionary

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The dictionary of the Royal Academy of of the Spanish Language (DRAE), has accepted the term “estadounidismo” (United Statesism), defined as: 1. M. A word or usage common in Spanish as spoken in the United States.”

The North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE per its Spanish language acronym) proposed this term as a first step toward recognition of the use of Spanish by Hispanics in the United States (hispanounidenses), comparable to the modalities of use of the language by diverse nationalities. Among the new terms that will appear in the next edition of the dictionary in 2014 is “espanglish,” defined as a “Modality of speech among some Hispanics by which Spanish and English lexical and grammatical forms are mixed, thereby weakening both.”

The inclusion of “estadounidismos” recognizes the importance of Spanish in the United States. The 2010 census counted more than 50 million Hispanics. That number puts the United States in second place, after Mexico, among Spanish-speaking nations. Furthermore, because of immigrants from all Spanish-speaking lands, the United States is the “test tube” where many variants of the common tongue are created. 

Gerardo Piña-Rosales, president of ANLE, noted that the fact that for the first time “estadounidismo” appears in the dictionary is due in great measure to the commitment of the North American academy. “At this point, I think that one can now speak of a Spanish of the United States,” he says. “This variant (which has nothing to do with so-called espanglish) is one more, neither better nor worse – although surely more complex – that the Spanish-speaking nations offer.”

Since 2001, when the latest edition – the 22nd – of the DRAE was published, some 22,000 new terms have been accepted, modified and deleted.  All of them, and still others, will be added to the 2014 edition.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Zuleyka Rivera Returns to Acting After the Birth of Her Son

Puerto Rican Zuleyka Rivera Returns to Acting After the Birth of Her Son

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Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera has resumed her career as an actress in the Univision telenovela “Rosario” after a year off following the birth of the baby boy she had with NBA star JJ Barea.

Rivera, 24, told Efe in an interview Friday from Miami, where the telenovela will be in production over the next eight months, that she is very happy to be acting again.

“I feel super-happy and I thank God for the chance He is giving me. What I want is to keep growing as an actress and make more television series,” the winner of the 2006 Miss Universe contest said.

The Puerto Rican actress plays Sandra Diaz, a secretary who finds herself immersed in a love triangle when she begins an affair with attorney Esteban, played by Mexican actor Aaron Diaz.

Rivera said that she will be some time without Barea, since the basketball player is now in New York on business and must then go to Minnesota to join the Timberwolves.

“We’ll always try to find time for the three of us to be together. We respect each other’s careers and the mission we have,” Rivera said.

Before going to Miami to shoot “Rosario” she took part as an extra in the Hollywood movie “Runner, Runner,” filmed in her native Puerto Rico and starring U.S. actors Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The 2012 Elections and Latino Civic Involvement

The 2012 Elections and Latino Civic Involvement

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The following article is an OpEd piece by Yvette Donado, the Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Educational Testing Service, the world’s largest nonprofit educational research and testing organization.

When Latino organizations open their conference plenaries with the Pledge of Allegiance and “The Star Spangled Banner,” I feel a tug in my heart, and tears well in my eyes.

Does that emotion spring from my own sense of patriotism as a New York-born Puerto Rican? Or is it driven by a fear that some of my compatriots view Latinos as “other” —somehow alien and not fully American? Whenever his colleagues refer to Hispanics as “those people,” my senator, Robert Menéndez (D-NJ), respectfully reminds them that he is one of “those people.”

Educational Testing Service (ETS) recently published a report, Fault Lines in Our Democracy: Civic Knowledge, Voting Behavior and Civic Engagement in the United States.  When I read it, my eyes zeroed in like lasers on the data on Latinos. I was deeply disappointed.

The report notes that Hispanic voter participation in 2008 was 49.9 percent, far lower than the figures for non-Hispanic Whites (66.1 percent) and Blacks (64.7 percent) and slightly higher than the figures for Asian Americans. Although the Latino numbers increased significantly compared to the 2004 figures, the fact that only half of the eligible Latinos voted troubles me. We have so much at stake, so much to give.

The ETS report notes that higher levels of education and income correlate with higher levels of voter participation. It is possible, therefore, that Latinos with less education and income would vote less. As the product of a working class family myself, I understand the importance of putting food on the table over fully participating in civic life.

In spite of the report’s results, analysts and groups such as the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials forecast that more than 12.2 million Latinos, up 26 percent from 2008, will vote in the 2012 elections. Clearly, with encouragement and facilitation, millions more Latinos could go to the polls.

Civic engagement, however, is not just about voting. A Latino colleague recently recounted a story about attending a National League of Cities workshop where a councilman from Georgia asked: “We are a city of 32,000 and 8,000 are Hispanic. What can we do before it is too late?” His question centered on why the largely new Latino community worked hard and obeyed laws, yet remained on the sidelines — not engaging in civic affairs.

Numerous local and national Hispanic organizations understand the civic engagement imperative. The United States Hispanic Leadership Institute has developed an interactive website to teach civics to young people. The National Council of La Raza, the League of United Latin American Citizens, ASPIRA and many other groups promote civic involvement. And Voto Latino encourages voter registration, along with actually going to the polls to vote!

Each of us can — and must — play a personal role in encouraging all American citizens, including Latinos, to vote and get involved in civic affairs. We should support voter registration drives, identify and assist individuals in our own communities, join local Latino and non-Latino organizations, volunteer and support charities.

As the ETS report concludes, our nation’s success does not merely hinge on our Gross Domestic Product. Studies show that our well-being also depends on the proper teaching of civics in our schools, the awareness of the vital role civics plays in our lives and our active participation in civic life. As a nation, we have much work to do — as the saying goes, “Democracy is not a spectator sport.”

I encourage all of us to add our “granito de arena” (our grain of sand) as we proudly sing the National Anthem and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. All of our contributions to civic life matter and all of our voices should be heard.

Read more at Yvette Donado

This is How You Fight Voter Suppression (VIDEO)

This is How You Fight Voter Suppression (VIDEO)

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Watch this video to ensure you know how to register to vote and what to bring with you to the voting booth!

In 2011, Florida made some important changes to its voting laws. Ever Floridian needs to understand these changes particularly African Americans, Latinos, young voters, and women.

These changes address how civic groups register people to vote, who is eligible to vote and when people can vote.

Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

USCIS Clarifies Process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals-Filing Fee $465..No DWI’s Allowed

USCIS Clarifies Process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals-Filing Fee $465..No DWI’s Allowed

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  USCIS has just posted all of the information that was covered on the press call regarding re: Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals.  Go to: www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals to find the most detained information about the program to date.

Some highlights of the call include:

1) There will be two forms – the I-765 and a new form specifically to request DA for Childhood Arrivals; the new form and instructions are still being reviewed and pending final approval will be up on the USCIS by August 15.

2) USCIS has defined “significant misdemeanor” - and it includes a DWI conviction.

3) There is no appeal process; USCIS’s initial decision on the application for DA for Childhood Arrivals is final.

4) The only individuals who will continue to submit their request for DA for Childhood Arrivals to ICE are individuals in detention; everyone else – including those with final orders and current court proceedings, will apply to USCIS.

5) The filing fee is $465.  There is no fee waiver; but there are fee exceptions.  These exceptions include children under the age of 18 who are homeless or living in foster care or otherwise without parental support and are earning less than 150% of the poverty guidelines.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Wins Another Judo Medal, Bronze for Rafael Silva

Brazil Wins Another Judo Medal, Bronze for Rafael Silva

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Brazilian judoka Rafael Silva lived up to predictions and won the bronze medal in the men’s over-100kg. class by beating South Korea’s Kim Sung-min in the final match here on Friday.

Silva lost in the quarterfinals to Russia’s Alexader Mikhaylin but came back to win his next two fights against the Hungarian Barna Bor and Kim to make it onto the podium, the fourth Brazilian to win a medal in Olympic judo.

The Brazilian dominated the entire match against the passive South Korean, who did no more than defend himself until the judges handed him a penalty - his second - which meant a yuko score for Silva and his consequent victory.

In his only loss at the London Games, the 25-year-old Silva started out in command of the fight against the Russian, but as the minutes passed a certain physical exhaustion began to show and he lost control of the match to his rival.

After both the regulation five minutes and the three overtime minutes ended in a tie, the judges unanimously decided that Mikhaylin was the judoka who merited a place in the semi-finals.

For her part, the Brazilian judoka Maria Suelen Altheman had a chance to win bronze in the over-78kg. class but lost to China’s Wen Tong.

Brazil finishes its participation in Olympic judo with four medals - gold for Sarah Menezes and bronze for Felipe Kitadai, Mayra Aguiar and Rafael Silva - but with some of its top medal contenders like Leandro Guilheiro, Rafaela Silva and Tiago Camilo bowing out before even getting a chance to fight for a spot on the podium.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanics Have Potential to Have Great Influence on Elections, Says Marc Anthony

Hispanics Have Potential to Have Great Influence on Elections, Says Marc Anthony

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Puerto Rican singer Marc Anthony said in Miami that Hispanics could have a great influence on November’s presidential election and told them it is “very important” that they get out and vote.

Anthony spoke of the role Latinos will play in the next election in a brief speech at the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama’s electoral campaign office in Little Havana, a Miami district with a large Hispanic population.

“As Latinos we have the opportunity to make a big difference in this election,” he said Thursday in a brief speech to Obama campaign volunteers and a crowd of his fans, adding that this has to be one of the most important elections ever.

The singer is working with the network of U.S. Hispanics for Obama, whom he also supported in the 2008 electoral campaign.

The visit by Anthony, who at the end of the ceremony received a portrait of renowned Cuban salsa queen Celia Cruz, coincided with Obama’s trip to Orlando in Central Florida, where the head of state took part in a series of fund-raisers.

In June, President Obama attended a concert that Anthony gave in Miami to raise funds for the chief executive’s reelection campaign that drew an audience of some 1,500 people, mostly Hispanics living in South Florida.

The campaign office in Little Havana will serve as headquarters for the president’s volunteers and others affiliated with the Democratic Party, who will inform voters about “the president’s achievements on behalf of Floridians and how he has kept his promises since he took office.”

Calculations are that 12.2 million Hispanics will go to the polls on Nov. 6, and both Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are actively courting their votes.

In 2008, Obama received 67 percent of the Hispanic vote compared with 31 percent that went to the Republican candidate, John McCain.

Although Hispanics are disappointed by the lack of immigration reform during Obama’s presidency, he leads Romney among Hispanics by 67 percent to 23 percent, according to the NBC-Wall Street Journal-Telemundo poll published last week.

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Petrobras Discovers New Oil Deposit in Brazil

Petrobras Discovers New Oil Deposit in Brazil

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Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras has announced the discovery of a new oil accumulation at a deep-water well off the country’s northeast coast.

Petrobras said in a statement Thursday that the deposit was found at the Pecem well - located 76 kilometers (47 miles) off the coast of Paracuru, in Ceara state - at a water depth of 2,129 meters (6,980 feet).

The well is being drilled by a consortium made up of Petrobras, which holds a 60 percent stake in the BM-CE-2 concession in the Ceara basin, and BP Energia Brasil, a unit of Britain’s BP.

“The consortium will continue to drill the well to the planned depth, verify the extension of the new discovery and characterize the conditions of the discovered reserves,” Petrobras said.

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Cuban Shooter Leuris Pupo Takes the Gold in London

Cuban Shooter Leuris Pupo Takes the Gold in London

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Cuban shooter Leuris Pupo came from behind to take the gold medal in the 25-meter rapid fire pistol final at the London Olympics.

Russia’s Alexei Klimov, the current world champ, did best in the qualifying round and reached the final favored to take the title in his first Olympic appearance.

But when the chips were down the Russian faltered, as did China’s Ding Feng, while Pupo remained steady to win his first Olympic title after coming in ninth at Sydney in 2000, eighth at Athens in 2004 and seventh at Beijing in 2008.

In the end, Klimov did not even make it onto the podium as he came in fourth. The silver medal went to India’s Vijay Kumar, who was fourth in the qualifying round, while Ding took the bronze.

The Olympic gold is the first major championship of Pupo’s career.

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Consumer Confidence in Spain Continues to Drop, Reaches All-time Low

Consumer Confidence in Spain Continues to Drop, Reaches All-time Low

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Spain’s ICC consumer confidence index dipped in July to its lowest level since the monthly survey was launched, the official Center for Sociological Research said Friday.

The ICC, which is based on a scale of 0 to 200, came in last month at 37.6 points, down 13 points from June and 36 points from July 2011.

The sub-index measuring consumers’ view of the current economic situation fell last month to 24.3, while the expectations sub-index plunged by more than 20 points to 50.8.

Any reading below 100 points is considered negative.

More than 60 percent of those surveyed said their families’ finances had deteriorated over the previous six months, and 48.4 percent expect things to get worse in the next six months.

Two-thirds said they struggle to make it to the end of the month without running out of money.

Almost 89 percent of respondents characterized Spain’s present economic situation as bad and 71.5 percent foresee a further decline.

A majority said they expect both inflation and interest rates to rise in 2013.

Spain’s jobless rate stands at 24.6 percent overall and more than 53 percent among people under 25.

The conservative government projects that the economy, already officially in recession for the second time in three years, will contract by 1.5 percent in 2012.

Spain’s gross domestic product will shrink by an estimated 0.5 percent next year before a recovery gets underway in 2014, according to projections announced two weeks ago by Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro,

In a report released last Friday, the International Monetary Fund took a more pessimistic view, forecasting that Spanish GDP will decrease by 1.2 percent next year and continue contracting in 2014.

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SaturdayAugust 4, 2012