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SundayAugust 5, 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 Icon Chavela Vargas Dies from Respiratory Failure

Mexican Icon Chavela Vargas Dies from Respiratory Failure

Photo: Chavela Vargas Dies in Mexico

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Mexican singer Chavela Vargas died Sunday from respiratory failure after her health took a marked turn for the worse earlier in the morning, her doctor said. She was 93.

“She was quite conscious up until the last moment and expressed her best wishes for Mexico, which is in great confusion, to improve and she said that she has the best memories ... of her public,” her physician, Jose Manuel Nuñez, told Efe.

The Costa-Rican-born artist died at 12:55 p.m. local time (1755 GMT) from acute respiratory insufficiency, chronic bronchial pneumonia and kidney failure, the doctor said.

He also said that she was very serene and calm just before her passing, recalling “her Mexico” and her fans in her last moments, and in particular she expressed her thanks to the communications media and everyone for their support.

Vargas - whose real name was Isabel Vargas Lizano - had been cared for since last Sunday by a medical team led by Nuñez at the Inovamed Hospital in Cuernavaca, capital of the central Mexican state of Morelos.

Before dawn on Saturday morning a group of admirers serenaded Chavela Vargas far enough away to avoid annoying the other patients.

The head of her medical team said that Vargas had refused to allow artificial or invasive measures to be used to prolong her life.

Vargas had wished to be cremated and her relatives and friends intend to scatter her ashes on Chalchi Hill, near her house in Tepoztlan, in the state of Morelos.

The singer arrived in Mexico on July 26 after almost a month in Spain, where she went to give a recital of songs from the disc she dedicated to the poet Federico Garcia Lorca entitled “La Luna Grande” (Great Moon), and to present her memoirs.

The effort took its toll and on July 12 she was admitted to hospital in the Spanish capital, where she stayed until July 21.

From that day she rested in the Madrid Students Residence, looked after by her nurses, friends and the institution’s personnel until she returned to the Mexican town of Tepoztlan, where she has lived in recent years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Extradites 3 to U.S., Including Man Wanted for Murder in Illinois

Mexico Extradites 3 to U.S., Including Man Wanted for Murder in Illinois

Photo: George Martinez

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Three suspects - two Mexicans and a U.S. citizen - wanted on sexual abuse and murder charges were extradited to the United States, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said.

Gabino Vidal Jr. and Alejandro Madrigal, both Mexican citizens, and George Martinez, a U.S. citizen, were handed over by federal law enforcement agents to the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI, the AG’s office said.

Vidal is wanted by a Kansas court for allegedly sodomizing his 12-year-old stepdaughter on May 19, 2001, the AG’s office said.

He was arrested on Jan. 4 and was held at a Mexico City prison pending extradition to the United States.

Madrigal is wanted for sexual assault in Santa Clara County, California.

He was arrested on March 9 and was held at a Mexico City prison until being cleared for extradition.

Martinez is wanted for first degree murder in Kane County, Illinois.

He was allegedly involved in a gang fight on Oct. 31, 2008, that led to the shooting death of a member of a rival gang.

Martinez was arrested on June 22, 2011, and held at a prison in the Gulf state of Veracruz, the AG’s office said.

The three suspects exhausted their appeals in the extradition process and were ordered sent to the United States, the Attorney General’s Office said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nicaraguan Directly Connected to Colombian Cartel Arrested

Nicaraguan Directly Connected to Colombian Cartel Arrested

Photo: Bismarck Jiron Lira (Manuel Esquivel)

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A man suspected of being the “main operator” of Colombia’s Norte del Valle drug cartel in Nicaragua and who was the subject of an arrest warrant issued in June 2011 has been arrested, the National Police said.

Bismarck Jiron Lira, who had more than $500,000 in his possession, was detained Saturday morning in an upscale neighborhood in south Managua, National Police spokesman Fernando Borge told Efe.

“Mr. Bismarck is the main operator of the Colombian Norte del Valle cartel in Nicaragua and of that gang’s leader, Javier Cachiro,” Borge said.

Jiron Lira, a Nicaraguan citizen who has been involved in drug trafficking for more than 12 years, was arrested with his wife, Ana Luna Ponce, Borge said.

Police seized three luxury vehicles, cash and a house from the suspects, Borge said, adding that searches would be conducted at other properties linked to the Colombian cartel.

Investigators had been tracking Jiron Lira since last year, when an anti-drug operation was staged in the Caribbean region, the National Police spokesman said.

The Norte del Valle cartel, considered one of the world’s largest drug trafficking organizations, has been accused of smuggling some 500 tons of cocaine into the United States between 1990 and 2004.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Missing Lichtenstein Painting Recovered, May Have Been Hiding in Colombia

Missing Lichtenstein Painting Recovered, May Have Been Hiding in Colombia

Photo: "Electric Cord" by Roy Lichtenstein

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A painting that went missing in 1970 was found in a New York warehouse last week.

The painting, made in 1961 by Roy Lichtenstein, is called “Electric Cord,” and shows a coiled cord in black and white, on a canvas 28 inches by 18 inches.

It was bought in the 1960s by art collector Leo Castelli for $750. However, it vanished after his gallery sent it out for cleaning. Castelli died in 1999 (two years after Lichtenstein) and his wife, Barbara, inherited the gallery. In 2007, she listed “Electric Cord” with a registry for missing and stolen artwork.

Last week, art dealer James Goodman contacted the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation to help authenticate “Electric Cord,” which was found at a Manhattan storage facility.

Court records revealed that it came from a gallery in Bogota, Colombia.

The painting is now worth $4 million. A judge has ordered it to remain in the warehouse until rightful ownership is determined.

A hearing is set for next week.

More information about the missing Lichtenstein painting can be found at Celebrity Cafe

Read more by HS News Staff →

FARC Commander Involved in 2011 Terrorist Attack Killed

A FARC commander suspected of being involved in a 2011 bombing that killed the highway patrol chief of the northwestern Colombian province of Antioquia has been killed, the Army News Agency reported.

The rebel commander, whose name was not released, was killed in San Francisco, a hamlet in Antioquia, in fighting with army troops.

The dead guerrilla, who commanded the 9th squad of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was linked to the killing of Antioquia highway patrol chief Maj. Felix Antonio Jaimes Villamil in June 2011, the army said.

The FARC commander ran extortion rackets targeting business owners and ranchers, and he was in charge of overseeing cocaine shipments passing through his area.

The rebel commander used explosives to stage attacks on police and soldiers providing security in the region, the army said.

The guerrilla commander, who had belonged to the FARC for 25 years, was accused of toppling half a dozen electric transmission towers, attacking and burning public transit vehicles, and stealing cargo.

No casualties were reported among the soldiers taking part in the operation, the army said.

The Colombian government has made fighting the FARC a top priority and has obtained billions in U.S. aid for counterinsurgency operations.

The FARC, Colombia’s oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group, is on both the U.S. and EU lists of terrorist groups. Drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping-for-ransom are the FARC’s main means of financing its operations.

The FARC has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years at the hands of the Colombian security forces.

Alfonso Cano, the FARC’s top leader, was killed on Nov. 4 in a military and police operation that the government hailed as the biggest blow to the FARC in its nearly 50-year history.

Cano, a 63-year-old intellectual who had entered the ranks of the FARC 30 years ago, was killed in in a remote area of the southwestern province of Cauca a few hours after fleeing a bombardment.

The FARC also suffered a series of blows in 2008, with the biggest coming in July of that year, when the Colombian army rescued a group of high-profile rebel-held captives: former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, U.S. military contractors Thomas Howes, Keith Stansell and Marc Gonsalves, and 11 other Colombian police officers and soldiers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Guatemala Wins First-ever Olympic Medal, Silver in Racewalking

Guatemala Wins First-ever Olympic Medal, Silver in Racewalking

Photo: Erick Barrondo

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Racewalker Erick Barrondo won Guatemala’s first-ever Olympic medal on Saturday, taking silver in the 20-kilometer walk after finishing behind China’s Ding Chen, who set a new Olympic record with a time of 1:18:46.

Barrondo, who crossed the finish line 11 seconds later, mounted an attack in the second-to-last kilometer to separate himself from Russia’s Valery Borchin, the defending Olympic champion, and China’s Zhen Wang, who came in third.

“There was a moment when I dropped into fourth place. But I remained calm ... the first part was slow and in the second part there were a lot of world stars pushing and among them a Guatemalan dreamer who worked to make his dreams come true,” the 21-year-old said.

He said his path to victory began two months ago when he bought his parents a television so they could watch him compete in London.

“Our financial situation isn’t good, but I made an effort and bought the television so they could see me win a medal; I was confident I would win it,” Barrondo said.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina spoke with the athlete over the phone after his victory, a conversation broadcast by Emisoras Unidas radio.

“Here in Guatemala we experienced some incredibly emotional moments. We feel very proud to see the effort you put in,” the head of state told Barrondo.

“He’s going to be welcomed as a hero, as he deserves. We’re going to be waiting for him with open arms,” Perez Molina said.

A 10th-place finisher at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea, Barrondo, whose parents were both middle-distance runners, took his place among the elite in his sport with a victory that same year at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Since winning that race with a time of 1:21:51, he has made great strides in bringing his time down further and the work paid off in an unforgettable day for Guatemalan athletics.

Barrondo also will compete in the 50-kilometer race, which will be held next Saturday.

The Guatemalan got his start in track and field as a middle-distance runner, but after he suffered an injury his coach, Jorge Coy, recommended that he racewalk as part of his recovery.

Barrondo is a native of San Cristobal Alta Verapaz, a poor, highland town some 280 kilometers (175 miles) from Guatemala City, where his girlfriend, Isabel, also lives.

Although his Olympic success is sure to raise his profile, Barrondo says he considers himself an ordinary human being and he hopes his victory leads some young gang member living a life of crime to turn in his gun for a pair of running shoes and start training.

“In Guatemala, there’s violence and I’d be thrilled if after this someone stops going down the wrong path and starts practicing sports,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

A Concert in Review: Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez in Chicago

A Concert in Review: Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez in Chicago

Photo: Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez Take Over Chicago's United Center

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On Friday, August 3, two music superstars, Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez put on very different but equally as impressive shows at Chicago’s United Center.

Mexican-born singer Frankie J, a member of the Kumbia Kings before going solo in 2003, did a fantastic job of getting the crowd excited. Dressed in a dapper gray suit, the 36-year-old singer showed off the soulful voice I swooned over in high school. He ended his set with 2005’s Billboard Hot 100 hit “Obsession (No Es Amor)”.

As the stage crew reset the stage, those empty seats began to fill steadily and a large screen on stage displayed a simple “ei” which alone sent the decibel level up to near deafening levels for a few seconds.

After a few more minutes, the screen that had been at center stage began to rise and the crowd went what can only be described as “completely nuts” as Enrique appeared from behind it. As it rose above the stage, Enrique grabbed onto the bottom of the sign and lifted off the ground.

Just as he drops down the energetic music begins and the blissful abuse of my eardrums begins, as the fans will not be anything close to silent for his entire set. He is clearly a performer and honestly gave nothing short of an amazing show.

ImageThe large screens at the back of the stage blinked the words “ARE YOU READY?” over and over again and the crowd grew louder and louder in anticipation.

Opening his set with “Tonight I’m F*cking You” and shooting smoke straight up into the air, the energy is almost overwhelming. As the cameras pan around to the audience, it’s clear this is not just a crowd of women and the men are going crazy, jumping around and singing along.

Now, let me be real for a second here. Impartiality thrown out the window, I had no idea I was going to be excited the moment he took the stage, but that unexpected excitement could have sent me flying around the United Center for the next hour.

The Spanish singer’s 10+ song set was not just an accompaniment to a huge production, though the tower of screens behind the band, used for both he and JLo, were displaying nifty graphics throughout. His performance was all about singing to his fans and making new ones like yours truly. He often climbed off the stage, to not only take photos with fans with their own phones and cameras, but even pulling out his own to capture the moments as well.

Probably the most touching moment throughout his time on stage was when he and his band pulled up stools and he pulled two fans onto stage from the crowd to sit next to him. The fans, Alex and David, were understandably nervous, but what happened next was both touching and hilarious. After doing shots with Enrique, the guys were asked if they sang. Alex then began singing “Stand By Me” alongside Enrique before being given the microphone to sing alone. At first he sang in his seat, but Alex quickly took off down the runway section of the stage, Enrique holding up a phone, capturing the performance as if he was the fan, with a big smile on his face.

Enrique’s only wardrobe change was simply changing from a black t-shirt to a white one, his signature jeans, hat and boots remaining the same.

ImageWhen he takes on Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” canons shoot massive amounts of confetti over the crowd.

He ends his set with two things, a female scream-inducing performance of “Hero”, during which he brought a female fan on stage to slow dance (and grab some Enrique read-end as he kissed her numerous times), and another version of “Tonight I’m F*cking You”.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gunmen Shoot at Honduran Journalist’s Home, Wound Son

Gunmen Shoot at Honduran Journalist’s Home, Wound Son

Photo: Jose Chinchilla

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Honduran journalist Jose Chinchilla reported Saturday that two men tried to murder him and that during the attack in the northern part of the country, a son of his suffered a bullet wound.

“Two gunmen came shooting at the house and wounded one of my kids” in what was the fourth attempt on the journalist’s life in the last few months, he said on a local radio station.

The wounded child was first taken to the public hospital in the town of El Progreso in the northern province of Yoro, but minutes later was sent to a private clinic “where he is recovering,” the journalist said.

Chinchilla, the correspondent for the Radio Cadena Voces network in El Progreso, asked Honduran President Porfirio Lobo and national ombudsman Ramon Custodio to provide protection for him and his family.

“When you call the police it takes them two hours to get here - I can imagine seeing the same criminals prowling around my house again in the wee hours and I call the police and they don’t come,” said the journalist, who has asked for political asylum in a country he preferred not to identify.

A spokesman for the ombudsman’s office, Nery Velasquez, said on Radio Cadena Voces that his agency will ask for “the appropriate protection for Chinchilla and his family” both from the National Police and the federal Attorney General’s Office.

From 2003 to date some 30 journalists have been murdered in Honduras and not one of the cases has been solved, according to the state Human Rights Commission.

Oct. 18, 2007, saw the death of Honduran journalist and humorist Carlos Salgado, director of the comedy program “Las Historietas de Frijol el Terrible” (Tales of Bean the Terrible), which aired on Radio Cadena Voces.

In November 2007 the journalist and then-director of Radio Cadena Voces, Dagoberto Rodriguez, left the country because police had warned him of death threats against him.

Paris-based press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, said in March after a radio host was hacked to death with a machete in the northeastern Honduran province of Colon that 19 journalists had been killed in the country since the June 2009 putsch that toppled leftist President Mel Zelaya.

No one has gone to jail for any of the murders.

Honduras ranked 135th out of 179 countries in RSF’s latest press freedom index.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Beloved Mexican Singer Chavela Vargas Remains in Serious Condition

Beloved Mexican Singer Chavela Vargas Remains in Serious Condition

Photo: Chavela Vargas

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The health of Mexican singer Chavela Vargas remains “unchanged,” with no favorable progress to report, though she still shows the “fighting spirit that characterizes her,” her doctor, Jose Manuel Nuñez, told Efe on Saturday.

The physician said that his medical report on the artist’s health is “without significant change in her general condition,” adding that its “evolution is sluggish and quite serious, which means there has not been the positive progress we hoped for.”

He said her condition is due to failures of her organism, “kidney failure, pulmonary and cardiac failure.”

He said the bodily responses of the Costa Rican-born singer, 93, are minimal, though she remains awake and reacts to stimuli, is in good spirits and tolerates food well.

“I want to stress that she is very fatigued, but even so she maintains the fighting spirit that characterizes her,” Núñez said, adding that there had been no significant changes as of Friday, which “means that somehow, as long as she has no complications, we’re doing well.”

Vargas has been cared for since Sunday by a medical team led by the specialist Jose Manuel Nuñez at the Inovamed Hospital in Cuernavaca, capital of the central Mexican state of Morelos.

Before dawn this morning a group of admirers serenaded Chavela Vargas far enough away to avoid annoying the other patients.

The singer arrived in Mexico on July 26 after almost a month in Spain, where she went to give a recital of songs from the disc she dedicated to the poet Federico Garcia Lorca entitled “La Luna Grande” (Great Moon), and to present her memoirs.

The effort took its toll and on July 12 she was admitted to hospital in the Spanish capital, where she stayed until July 21.

From that day she rested in the Madrid Students Residence, looked after by her nurses, friends and the institution’s personnel until she returned to the Mexican town of Tepoztlan, where she has lived in recent years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Defeats China in Olympic Men’s Basketball

Brazil Defeats China in Olympic Men’s Basketball

Photo: Brazil vs China

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Brazil pummeled China 98-59 in Olympic men’s basketball Saturday and will next square off against Spain for second place in Group B.

The Brazilians learned a lesson from their tight game Tuesday against unheralded Britain - when a lack of concentration nearly cost the team dearly - and came out determined not to give the Chinese any opening, grabbing a 25-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

An inability by the Chinese to hit mid- and long-range jumpers and a poor performance by their top player, Yi Jianlian, eased the path for the Brazilians, who stretched their lead to 42-21 at the half.

China opted for a zone to start the third quarter but were unable to make a dent in the lead even though Brazil’s coach, Ruben Magnano, played his second unit for large stretches.

For the game, Yi - a member of the Dallas Mavericks and China’s only NBA player - ended up with just five points as Zhu Fangyu paced the Asian squad with 13 points.

Brazil had five players in double figures and were led by Marcus Vinicius with 14 points and Leandro Barbosa of the NBA Indiana Pacers and Guilherme Giovannoni with 13 points each.

Russia won Group B after edging Brazil 75-74 on Thursday and Spain earlier Saturday 77-74.

The winner of Monday’s game between Spain and Brazil, therefore, will claim second place and a likely position on the same side of the draw as the United States - the heavy tournament favorite - in the knockout phase.

Even so, Magnano vowed that his team will go all out against Spain.

“We fought hard to get to the Olympic Games. Now we’re going out to win. It’ll be a very good game (against Spain) and we’re not thinking about avoiding being second. We’ll play to win,” the coach said.

Brazilian center Tiago Splitter noted that whichever team finishes second in Group B will have to win a quarterfinal game before a hypothetical showdown with the Americans and therefore it “would be stupid” to look ahead to the knockout phase.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NPR Awarded $1.5 Million Grant to Increase Coverage of Race, Ethnicity, Culture

At the UNITY 2012 Convention, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) announced it will award NPR a $1.5 million grant to launch a major journalism initiative to deepen coverage of race, ethnicity and culture, and to capture the issues that define an increasingly diverse America. With this expansive effort, NPR will produce compelling stories and present new voices and conversations online and on-air, staffed by a six-person team.

Once assembled, this team of six journalists will deliver a steady flow of distinctive coverage on every platform. Reporting will magnify the range of existing efforts across NPR and its Member Stations to cover and discuss race, ethnicity and culture. NPR will also create a new, branded space within NPR.org. The first platform is expected to launch this fall.

With this work, NPR hopes to grow on-going efforts to expand its audience with coverage that is welcoming and relevant to more people – reaching those who are more racially, geographically and ideologically diverse. The team’s coverage will provide a portal for new listeners and readers, while enriching the content that NPR provides today to an audience of 26 million on radio and nearly 23 million online. The editorial team will also work across NPR to infuse more story ideas and diverse sources that reflect the world we live in – spanning beats and platforms to touch more of NPR. This initiative will serve as a model for future topic-focused channels.

CPB intends to provide initial support for the project with a two-year, $1.5 million grant, as part of its mission to strengthen and advance public media’s service, particularly to those who are un-served or underserved by commercial media.

This initiative is part of a multi-year strategic imperative: to ensure that NPR “looks and sounds like America on air and online.” Over the past two years, NPR has improved its staff profile, which is one of the most diverse in American media, infused its journalism with more diverse sources, experts and story ideas, and stoked the conversation about these important issues with staff-run workshops.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Center Files Legal Brief in Case of Military Abuses in Mexico

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Center Files Legal Brief in Case of Military Abuses in Mexico

Photo: Mexican Army Human Rights Abuses Investigated

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The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights (RFK Center) today delivered a “friend of the court” brief to Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice regarding international standards for limiting military jurisdiction.  In the next days , Mexico’s Supreme Court will discuss several cases dealing with the military’s authority to investigate and prosecute its members for human rights violations.

The amicus brief, available on the RFK Center website, outlines the Inter-American Human Rights system’s jurisprudence on military jurisdiction. It also details the reasoning provided by the Inter-American Court and Commission for prohibiting military jurisdiction in cases of human rights violations committed by members of the military against civilians.

In December 2012 a federal judge ruled that military jurisdiction could be not applied in the case of Bonfilio Rubio Villegas, a young indigenous man who was shot and killed at a military checkpoint as he ride on a commercial bus to Mexico City. Mexico’s Department of National Defense (SEDENA) appealed the decision, arguing that it was not bound by recent decisions by the Supreme Court or the Inter-American Court.  In May 2012, Mexico’s Supreme Court requested that all federal courts withdraw themselves from hearing cases of human rights violations committed by the military against civilians, including Bonfilio Rubio’s case, so that the high tribunal could discuss the cases this month.

“This is a historic opportunity for Mexico to put an end to the impunity for human rights violations,” said RFK Director for Partners for Human Rights, Santiago A. Canton. “Given the widespread reporting of violations committed by military and police forces, the decision of the Supreme Court could send a strong message to society that violations by the military and police are no longer tolerated.”

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Marc Anthony, Chayanne, Marco Antonio Solis Kick Off “Gigant3s” Tour

Marc Anthony, Chayanne, Marco Antonio Solis Kick Off “Gigant3s” Tour

Photo: Gigant3s Tour

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Marc Anthony, Chayanne and Marco Antonio Solis performed to a packed American Airlines Arena in Miami to kick off their “Gigant3s” tour that will take them to 14 cities across the United States.

Puerto Rican salsa star Marc Anthony is doing an encore of a formula that drew crowds last summer when he toured the country with Mexicans Ana Gabriel and Marco Antonio Solis.

On other occasions Marc Anthony has shared billing with Puerto Rico’s Chayanne and with Marco Antonio Solis, but the three have never before taken the stage together.

The vocalists put on a show combining the contrasting styles of three of Latin music’s most popular artists.

“What a pleasure to be where life has brought us all together. It’s a pleasure to be here. Tonight you’re going to sing, laugh and cry,” Marco Antonio Solis told the audience as he opened Friday night’s show intoning “Si Te Pudiera Olvidar” (If I Could Forget You).

The public sang along with numbers like “Morenita” (Dark-Haired Girl), “El Milagrito” (Little Miracle), “Mas que Tu Amigo” (More Than Your Friend) and others among his all-time hits.

Coming on after Solis was salsa star Marc Anthony, who sang some of his repertoire’s best-loved songs like “Valio la Pena” (It Was Worth It), “Contra la Corriente” (Against the Tide), “Mi Gente” (My Folks) and more. Clad in black and wearing dark glasses, Anthony paced from one side of the stage to the other calling on fans in every corner of the stadium to get up and dance with him.

To keep the excitement rolling, Marc Anthony invited Marco Antonio Solis to sing “Y Como Es El” (And What’s He Like).

Chayanne also went through his hits, accompanied by a dance chorus moving to his rhythms that included “Boom Boom,” “Torero,” “Salome” and “Provocame” (Lead Me On).

“What was once just talk among three friends has today become a reality. I’m just one piece in this jigsaw puzzle,” Chayanne said.

The evening ended with the three artists hugging and applauding each other after singing a brief potpourri of their best-known numbers.

Next stop on the tour will be in Orlando, Florida, on Aug. 5, followed by concerts in New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, California, Texas, and finally their farewell performance in Las Vegas.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bodies of Mexican Miners Recovered After Collapse

Bodies of Mexican Miners Recovered After Collapse

Photo: Mexican miners

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A rescue team found and recovered the bodies of six workers trapped inside a coal mine in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, officials told Efe.

State Public Safety Secretary Jorge Luis Moran Delgado said initial reports indicated five miners were trapped but that that number later rose to six, while another worker, Armando Robles Piña, was rescued alive.

Coahuila’s deputy emergency management chief, Francisco Martinez, also confirmed to Efe Friday afternoon that a rescue crew had recovered the bodies of the six miners who perished in the accident.

“The most recent report is that we now have the bodies of the six people and all that’s left is to officially identify them,” the official said.

Martinez said some 75 rescue workers using special equipment took part in the search operation at the mine, which is located in the town of San Juan Sabinas and operated by the Mimosa unit of Minera del Norte, a subsidiary of steelmaker Altos Hornos de Mexico.

Moran said an investigation will now be launched “to determine the causes of this fatal accident.”

He said the accident occurred at a large coal mine being “professionally” developed by a company “that normally has all the permits and (complies with all) safety standards.”

“Unfortunately, accidents happen in all situations,” Moran said, adding that Mimosa “has been fully cooperating with authorities” and contributed to the search-and-rescue effort.

In a statement, Mimosa said the one worker rescued alive had “only bruises” and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

It added that a pocket of methane gas caused a giant landslide of “approximately 100 tons of coal” and that “proper functioning of the ventilation system prevented the gas from igniting and exploding, while the automatic control systems inside the unit instantly suspended the operation.”

The mine’s equipment allowed “the immediate and risk-free exit of 285 workers who were on the first shift,” Mimosa said.

The Labor Ministry, for its part, said that once the rescue efforts have concluded it will conduct a “special inspection of safety and hygiene conditions to identify possible violations of (mining) regulations.”

The ministry said it has instructed the federal prosecutor for the defense of labor, “who is already in the region,” to provide free legal counseling and representation to the workers and their families.

Seven men were killed last week in an explosion at a coal mine in the nearby town of Muzquiz, Coahuila.

Coahuila is home to numerous coal mines, many of which fall short of official safety standards.

A February 2006 gas explosion at the Pasta de Conchos coal mine in San Juan de Sabinas, Coahuila, killed 65 men. Only two of the bodies were ever recovered.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Sprinter, Brazilian Rower Out of Olympics After Failing Drug Tests

Colombian Sprinter, Brazilian Rower Out of Olympics After Failing Drug Tests

Photo: Kissya Cataldo da Costa

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Brazilian rower Kissya Cataldo da Costa and Colombian 400-meter sprinter Diego Palomeque are both out of the Olympics after failing drug tests.

The Brazilian Olympic Committee, or COB, announced Saturday that it bumped Cataldo from the rowing competition because the results of a drug test she underwent before the Olympic Games came back positive.

Cataldo failed a drug test made in Brazil on July 12 by the International Rowing Federation, which told the Brazilian delegation Saturday of the results.

Upon hearing the news, the COB decided to suspend Cataldo “preventively” and barred her from taking part in the final of the women’s single sculls, in which she was scheduled to compete on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Brazilian athlete had classified for the final with the second best time in her semifinal group.

Palomeque, meanwhile, tested positive for testosterone dosage in the urinalysis of a sample taken on July 26 in London.

The Colombian could not take part this morning in the 400-meter first-round heats and now awaits the results of a test on his backup sample.

Read more by HS News Staff →

FARC Rebels Attack Police Checkpoint 1 Killed, 2 Wounded

FARC Rebels Attack Police Checkpoint 1 Killed, 2 Wounded

Photo: Police patrol

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Suspected FARC guerrillas killed one police officer and wounded two others in an ambush in the southwestern Colombian province of Cauca, officials said Saturday.

The Padilla town mayor, Armando Mina, told reporters that the incident took place Friday night when suspected members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, ambushed a police patrol.

He said the rebels fired on officers who had set up a police checkpoint on a road in the area.

Mina condemned the bloodshed and its disturbance of the town’s traditional peacefulness, generally in stark contrast to the violence in other places around Cauca province.

The injured were sent to Cali, capital of the neighboring province of Valle del Cauca.

The FARC has battled a succession of governments since the mid-1960s.

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OLYMPICS: Spain’s Men’s Basketball Team Loses to Russia

OLYMPICS: Spain’s Men’s Basketball Team Loses to Russia

Photo: Russia vs Spain

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Spain’s men’s basketball team lost a Group B game here Saturday to Russia 77-74 despite holding an 18-point early lead and now could be forced to meet the powerful U.S. squad in the semifinals of the Olympic tournament.

The Spaniards raced off to a 20-2 lead after the first five minutes, playing fluidly and with exceptional ball movement on offense and capitalizing on sloppy play by the Russians to create steals and fast-break opportunities.

The teams then played evenly over the final five minutes of the first quarter, which ended with the Iberian nation on top 28-11.

Russia opted for a zone at the start of the second quarter to halt Spain’s attack and then look for chances to score. The strategy worked as the Spanish side started missing easy looks and the Russians unleashed their varied offensive arsenal.

With Vitaly Fridzon leading the way and Spain becoming anemic on offense, the Russian squad began chipping away at the lead and got the score down to 40-32 at the half.

After the break, the Spaniards continued to be flustered by their opponent’s zone, ceding the lead and then falling behind 56-53 at the end of the third quarter due mainly to poor shooting.

The Spanish team came out strong at the start of the fourth quarter, employing a zone of their own to give the Russians a different look and getting an offensive spark and emotional lift from captain Juan Carlos Navarro, who nailed a three-pointer to give his side the lead 58-56.

Spain’s offense then started clicking, with Rudy Fernandez, Felipe Reyes and Sergio Rodriguez all hitting buckets to stretch the lead to 65-57.

But Russia responded quickly, tying the score at 73-73 with just a minute to go with a three pointer by Viktor Khryapa and then taking the lead with a basket by NBA Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov at the 18-second mark.

Spain had a chance to tie when Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol was fouled and went to the line, but he missed a critical free throw and Russia eked out the victory.

Leading the way for the Russians were Fridzon and Anton Ponkrashov with 24 points and 14 points, respectively, while Gasol was the high scorer for Spain with 20.

“The lead we had in the first quarter wasn’t normal, but in the end they began to get into the game. We slowed down, they gradually got back into it and took it,” Gasol said afterward.

“You have to get some rhythm and form during the tournament, and if you don’t it can cost you dearly later. It’ll be important to win the game against Brazil (on Monday) and get the second spot, but no doubt we have to try to improve, especially mentally.”

With one round-robin game remaining, Russia now leads Group B with a perfect 4-0 record, while Spain is in second place with a 3-1 mark.

Although the top four teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals, the second-place team in Group B would likely be paired in the same section of the draw as the dominant U.S. squad in the knockout phase.

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SundayAugust 5, 2012