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FridayAugust 24, 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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Police Arrest 140 at Student Protests in Chile

Police Arrest 140 at Student Protests in Chile

Photo: Student protests in Chile

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Protests by thousands of striking high school students demanding better public education resulted in at least 140 arrests, left 18 riot police injured and caused damage to public and private property, the government of the Santiago metropolitan region and Chile’s Carabineros militarized police force said.

The national student strike followed three weeks of protests that included school occupations punctuated by police operations to evict the occupiers.

In a statement to the media, the authorities said 39 of the detainees were adults who were accused of disorderly conduct and assaulting police officers during Thursday’s protests.

“The (student) leaders did not keep their word not to block traffic and forced detours to be set up on more than 40 roads, as well as causing damage and destruction to public and private property,” the head of security for the Santiago metropolitan region, Gonzalo Diaz del Rio, said.

He said three riot police had been hospitalized with serious injuries and that students from the prestigious, downtown Instituto Nacional, located two blocks from the presidential palace, set materials on fire at the establishment.

According to estimates by the Carabineros, nearly 8,000 students took part in 14 unauthorized marches, in which the protesters fanned out to Santiago’s communes to present their demands to several mayors in greater Santiago.

Clashes with police erupted at the end of marches in the capital’s downtown and near the mayor’s office in the Santiago commune of Providencia.

In downtown Santiago, confrontations broke out after 3,000 youths who had assembled at the Plaza de Armas sought to march along Bernardo O’Higgins avenue and some nearby streets.

Police warned the protesters not to interfere with traffic and eventually used water jets and tear gas to disperse the youth, who responded by throwing rocks and other projectiles.

Similar violence occurred in Providencia, although in that case police rushed at some 5,000 youths congregated outside the local government offices in the commune, preventing them from delivering their demands to the mayor.

“What’s clear is that it’s a minority - headed by leaders who do not represent millions of students and (student) representatives - who are trying to impose their demands. That attitude isn’t democratic nor does is further the goal of improving Chilean education,” Diaz del Rio said.

Student leader Eloisa Gonzalez, however, justified Thursday’s protests, noting that the multiple simultaneous marches marked a new strategy by the high school student movement.”

“We’re extending it out to the communes and other sectors that hadn’t participated in these types of demonstrations,” she said.

Chilean students took to the streets in large numbers more than 40 times in 2011 to denounce a highly stratified education system that funnels state subsidies to private institutions even as public schools in poor areas struggle.

The protests have continued this year and another nationwide mobilization is planned for next Tuesday.

Chile’s public schools and universities were neglected by the 1973-1990 dictatorship of the late Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who embraced doctrinaire free market policies.

Private schools mushroomed under the military regime and the trend continued after democracy was restored, even during the 1990-2010 tenure of the center-left Concertacion coalition.

The students want public primary and secondary schools to be administered centrally, not at the level of individual municipalities, as is currently the case, as well as the elimination of school fees.

The movement also demands an end to for-profit universities and a reduction in the high cost of college, which forces many students to take on large debt.

Piñera, a right-wing billionaire, has taken some steps to make college more affordable for low-income students and is now asking Congress to pass a tax reform bill that would generate as much as $1 billion in additional education funding.

Critics dismiss that figure as woefully inadequate.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Republican Immigration Platform is Blasted by Activists

Republican Immigration Platform is Blasted by Activists

Photo: Republican party

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Rep. Luis Gutierrez, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta and other activists on Thursday criticized the “extremist positions” of the Romney-Ryan Republican presidential ticket against immigration reform and the DREAM Act, which would grant permanent residence to qualified undocumented youth.

The immigrant community should view “with great sadness, repudiation and even fear” the content of the Republican platform regarding immigrants, said Gutierrez in a conference call with Hispanic reporters.

Huerta called the efforts of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, as an advisor to Mitt Romney, to include measures against immigrants in the platform that will be presented at the GOP convention next week a “war on immigrants.”

“We were hoping for a change in tone” on Romney’s part, but the Republicans “have demonstrated that they have no room for us,” said Cesar Vargas, an undocumented immigrant and cofounder of the “DREAMers” organization DRM Capitol Group.

The participants in the conference call said it was at the urging of Kobach, widely seen as the architect of anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and Alabama, that the Republican platform committee decided to include a call to complete the wall along the border with Mexico as well as to express opposition to letting undocumented immigrants pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.

Gutierrez said that states like Illinois, Texas and California had agreed to charge the same tuition to students who are state residents without regard for their immigration status.

For the Republicans to say they are going to eliminate that study possibility is “inhumane,” he said.

“Those young people stopped being immigrants a long time ago. They are Americans, but (the Republicans) want to treat them as if they were from another planet,” he added.

The Democratic Party, meanwhile, is experiencing “a time of hope” with President Barack Obama’s executive order to defer deportation of the kind of young undocumented immigrants who would benefit from the DREAM Act, Gutierrez said.

He emphasized the workshop held Wednesday at Chicago’s Benito Juarez High School, where 400 undocumented young people filled out Deferred Action request forms.

Vargas, who arrived in the United States at the age of 5 and just graduated from law school, said that he and the other DREAMers are not looking for handouts but rather opportunities.

“My story is the one of many young people who participated in this process. I want to keep studying to become a lawyer and represent my community,” he said.

Huerta said that she is sad about the move backward that the Republican proposals would mean, in particular because the contribution of immigrants would be ignored.

“They want to move us backwards, forgetting that they were also immigrants. With their discriminatory actions they’re showing that they don’t know history,” she said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Gov’t, Environmental Organization Team Up to Protect Whale Sanctuary

Mexican Gov’t, Environmental Organization Team Up to Protect Whale Sanctuary

Photo: Mexican Gov't, Environmental Organization Team Up to Protect Whale Sanctuary

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The Mexican government and the Pronatura Noroeste organization signed an accord to improve protection of a Pacific coastal lagoon that serves as a refuge for gray whales.

At a press conference in the capital, representatives of the Semarnat environmental agency and Pronatura presented the Wildlife Conservation Management Unit, or UMA, with a plan of collaboration in which ecologists and government officials will work together.

The San Ignacio Lagoon forms part of the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, an expanse of 2 million hectares (almost 8 square miles) in the state of Baja California Sur.

The agreement includes working up a plan for protecting, monitoring and tracking the species that inhabit the lagoon and establishing a system for attending to any eventual environmental contingencies.

The initiative plans to take a long-term view of dealing with threats related to coastal development, illegal fishing and the excessive exploitation of natural resources.

The director general of Pronatura Noroeste, Martin Gutierrez Lacayo, said that the plan is an example “of how private initiative, the government and civil society” can work together to save “priority ecosystems” in this country.

“This is a pioneering effort without precedent that replaces unsustainable development with cooperation between the government and society, which will actively take joint responsibility for the protection of the environment,” law of the sea expert Alberto Szekely told the press conference.

San Ignacio Lagoon has 400 kilometers (250 miles) of coastline, of which 320 kilometers (200 miles) are mango groves and wetlands inhabited by a great many species like sea turtles, Arctic geese and, in its waters, gray whales.

Read more by HS News Staff →

4 Year Old Dies After Being Bitten by Pitbull in Tijuana

A 4-year-old girl died after being bitten by a pitbull at the home of several aunts in Tijuana, police told Efe on Thursday.

The pitbull attacked when the child approached it, biting the girl in the face and throat.

Red Cross personnel rushed to the scene, a home in the poor Tijuana neighborhood of Camino Verde, but the girl’s injuries were too severe, police said.

Two of the three aunts who were in the home at the time of the incident were arrested on charges of child neglect, while the pitbull was taken to the municipal pound.

Tijuana authorities have issued several warnings about the dangers of keeping a pitbull in the home.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Double Tragedy: Women Trying to Help After Car Accident Die of Electrocution

Double Tragedy: Women Trying to Help After Car Accident Die of Electrocution

Photo: Irma Zamora's husband (R) and sister (L) grieve after she was electrocuted trying to help an accident victim

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A car accident in Los Angeles’ Valley Village neighborhood saw a surprisingly tragic end when two women attempting to help at the scene were killed when they stepped into electrified water on Wednesday.

Irma Zamora, 40, of Burbank, and her husband were driving in the Los Angeles neighborhood when they came upon a wrecked SUV at Magnolia Boulevard and Ben Avenue.

Though her husband asked her to stay in their vehicle, Zamora wanted to make sure the driver and anyone else involved in the accident was okay, something her sister said was typical of Zamora.

The SUV, which was driven by an unnamed 19-year-old, had reportedly been speeding when it attempted to make a right turn from the left lane. As a result, the vehicle hit a fire hydrant, knocking it over, and a concrete light standard.

While water surrounded the wrecked SUV, Zamora went to check on the driver. What she hadn’t realized was that due to the downed power lines, the water from the hydrant had become electrified. The moment her foot stepped into the water, Zamora was electrocuted. Witnesses say they watched in horror as she stood there and shook with an estimated 48,000 volts coursing through her body.

As her husband ran to help her, he was restrained by others at the scene who didn’t not want him to be electrocuted.

With emergency crews still on the way and more people arriving every minute, witnesses described the scene as “chaotic,” with many not realizing why no one had rushed to help Zamora.

Twin brothers Skyler and Beau Maxon, 23, from a nearby apartment building soon arrived. Skyler attempted to help Zamora and was shocked. He was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive his injuries. However, while the Beau helped his brother he saw a woman running to help Zamora. Unable to warn her in time, witnesses once again watched as a woman, 39-year-old Stacey Schreiber, was electrocuted.

When the Los Angeles Fire Department arrived, they retrieved the women’s bodies using a special glass pole. They were unable to resuscitate either.

On Thursday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other city officials visited the site. He acknowledged Schreiber and Zamora’s heroic instinct to helped, but warned that in emergency situations such as Wednesday’s, it is important to assess the situation and wait for emergency responders.

The speed limit in that area is 35 mph and police believe the driver was traveling at a speed well above the limit - witnesses estimating about 70 mph. A witness told the Los Angeles Times the SUV “was flying” as it passed her and a friend standing on the sidewalk. It is likely the driver of the SUV was racing with another car scene just prior to the crash. It is not uncommon for drivers to race each other on that stretch of road.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Female Politicians Gaining More Positions in Cuba

The number of women serving in government posts increased in the past two years in Cuba, where females now hold around 45 percent of the seats in parliament, Communist Party daily Granma said Thursday.

“As a result of the government strategies for promoting women” seven government bodies, including the supreme court and the central bank, have filled between 50 percent and 70 percent of their top and essential positions with women.

The ministers of Food Industry, Finances and Prices, Internal Commerce, Education, Labor, Science, Justice and Light Industry are all women, as are the heads of the Water Resources Institute and the Controller-General’s Office.

Granma emphasizes that the Cuban Parliament is the national legislative body with the third highest percentage of women in the world with 45.2 percent females among its members, according to figures from last December.

The paper says that between 2010 and 2011 the number of women heading the Provincial Administration Councils increased from 21.4 percent to 53 percent, and there was also a 1 percent increase in the number of women on municipal councils.

“In Cuba, women objectively have the same chances to get into political posts as men, as long as they have ... the aptitudes and talents,” the paper said.

Granma added, however, that experience suggests that to achieve this “a push is necessary, ... an explicit intention to overcome the sexist patterns that govern our reasoning and make a commitment to them.”

Last year, President Raul Castro publicly criticized the “inadequate systematization and political will to ensure the promotion of women, blacks or people of mixed race and young people to decision-making posts” on the island.

Read more by HS News Staff →

High School Puts an End to Tradition, Calling it “Hurtful and Demeaning” to Latinos

High School Puts an End to Tradition, Calling it “Hurtful and Demeaning” to Latinos

Photo: High School Puts an End to Tradition, Calling it "Hurtful and Demeaning" to Latinos

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A tradition at an Anaheim high school has been nixed after officials deemed in offensive to the Latino community, calling it “hurtful and demeaning”.

For years, Canyon High School senior activity week has included a dress-up day in which seniors (those in their fourth year of high school, not the elderly) dress up as “Seniores” and “Senioritas” for school-held events.

In a letter summarizing her investigation into the complaints filed regarding the event, Aileen M. Sterling, executive director of secondary education for the Orange Unified School District, wrote:

I conclude there was a lack of oversight/supervision and that the school administration should not have allowed this activity.

Even if strict guidelines were provided, he result would still lead to hurtful and demeaning messages about the Mexican culture and to the students of the Mexican, Hispanic and Latino descent.

The event had students dress up in stereotypical Latino garb, with many choosing the “cholo” or gang member look for their costumes. Others have dressed as landscapers/gardeners, with some of the girls even showing up pushing strollers as if they were teen moms. Photos of the event have even appeared in the school’s yearbooks.

Students had reportedly gone to teachers and other school officials before one ultimately filed a formal complaint when he learned the event was to occur again this year.

Canyon High School’s student body is about 16 percent Latino/Hispanic, and 8 percent of the faculty is Latino/Hispanic.

The high school’s administrators are now to undergo diversity/sensitivity training. Ethnic studies will be offered and an ‘International Week’ is planned for sometime in the 2012-2013 school year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

San Diego County Sheriff Being Pushed to Allow ICE Agents in Sheriffs’ Offices

San Diego County Sheriff Being Pushed to Allow ICE Agents in Sheriffs’ Offices

Photo: San Diego County Sheriff Being Pushed to Allow ICE Agents in Sheriffs' Offices

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Earlier this week, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore revealed federal immigration officers had been given desks in a number of several of the county’s sheriffs’ offices.

Though immigrant rights activists criticized the cooperation, Sheriff Gore said as recently as March 2012, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were “stationed” at county offices. ICE agents had reportedly been in the offices for more than a year.

The agents, however, were ‘working with various task forces targeting such crime as gang and drug activity. They did not, or were not supposed to be, there for patrol deputies to call when they came across someone they thought might be in the country illegally.’

Gore has now found himself in the middle of controversy over a program he says never existed and will never exist as long as he is in office.

In fact, when Gore found out about the ICE agents in the county offices, he asked them to leave, telling UT San Diego News, ‘…The message went out that they were working immigration enforcement with our patrol deputies. That’s not the message I want to send, and for that reason I said no, they aren’t going to be in our stations.”

Now the Patriot Coalition of San Diego County, a group made up of various Tea Party organizations, is pushing for Gore to allow the agents back in, saying, “The partnership had been very successful in arresting and deporting 306 foreign illegal immigrant criminals from those communities.”

Gore’s attention was brought to the ICE agents in the county offices when he received an e-mail from a coalition of Latino and civil rights groups, El Grupo, in February.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Blackhawk Helicopter Intercepts Mexican Nationals Off Catalina Island with One Ton of Marijuana

Blackhawk Helicopter Intercepts Mexican Nationals Off Catalina Island with One Ton of Marijuana

Photo: Catalina - Mexico Drug Drop

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Agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection stopped a marijuana smuggling attempt early Tuesday morning off the coast of Catalina Island, seizing more than one ton of marijuana and catching seven people aboard a sailboat and a panga.

At about 3 a.m., the border authorities spotted a sailboat in the area and proceeded to board the sailboat. On board the sailboat, the agents discovered three persons, as well as a loaded shotgun, a .40 caliber pistol, and night vision equipment.

Shortly after the encounter with the sailboat, a Blackhawk helicopter launched from San Diego to patrol the area, suspecting that the sailboat may have been involved with another vessel attempting to swap illegal contraband from boat to boat.

At about 5:45 a.m., agents in the Blackhawk spotted a panga with two engines, occupied by four persons and loaded with bales of possible contraband heading northeast, and located about five nautical miles from the location where the sailboat had been stopped.

Soon after the Blackhawk spotted the panga, the individuals on board changed course and began dumping bales overboard.

Approximately 45 minutes later, other agents intercepted the panga, and after a brief chase, stopped the vessel.

Agents recovered 130 packages of marijuana, weighing about 2,357 pounds, with an estimated street value of more than $1 million. 

The four individuals on the panga were identified as Mexican nationals and the three individuals on the sail boat were identified as U.S. citizens – all were arrested according to the Los Angeles Times.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Second in Command of Colombia’s Morfi Drug Operation Arrested

Second in Command of Colombia’s Morfi Drug Operation Arrested

Photo: Second in Command of Colombia's Morfi Drug Operation Arrested

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A federal jury found a Colombian man guilty Wednesday of three drug conspiracy charges. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison for two of the conspiracy charges and a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison for the third charge. This case was investigated by the Panama Express South Strike Force, which consists of officers and analysts from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Interagency Task Force South.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Laureano Angulo Riascos, 54, of Colombia, was second-in-command of the Morfi drug trafficking organization. Starting in 2000, he worked with others to smuggle hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to Panama, using speed boats or go-fast vessels. By 2002, Riascos and others began making shipments containing thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico. The cocaine was ultimately destined for the United States.

The Morfi drug trafficking organization pioneered the design and construction of self-propelled, semi-submersible vessels and used them to smuggle cocaine. The drug traffickers built and dispatched these vessels from Mayorquin, Colombia, an area on the country’s pacific coast controlled by the 30th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The State Department has designated the 30th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia as a foreign terrorist organization. The drug traffickers paid the Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia a fee to conduct drug trafficking operations on its territory. Between 2004 and 2009, Riascos worked with others to dispatch more than 15 self-propelled, semi-submersible vessels from Mayorquin, each carrying between 2,000 and 5,000 kilograms of cocaine. The total amount of cocaine trafficked by Riascos is valued at more than $1 billion.

Riascos is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 9. He was indicted Dec. 2, 2010, and extradited to the United States from Colombia April 17.

The current suspected head of the Morfi drug trafficking organization, Jose Samir Renteria-Cuero, aka “Jose Morfi,” is in custody in Colombia. He has been indicted and is pending extradition to the Middle District of Florida for prosecution. An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

The Panama Express South Strike Force is an organized crime drug enforcement task force. These task forces identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  2 U.S. Government Employees Shot in Mexico City

JUST IN:  2 U.S. Government Employees Shot in Mexico City

Photo: U.S. Embassy Mexico City - 2 Employees Shot

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Two U.S. government employees riding in a U.S. embassy vehicle were shot near Mexico City earlier today.

The unidentified employees were on a highway leading to the city of Cuernavaca when they were fired upon, both were wounded.  The U.S. Embassy has yet to confirm or deny the report from AP – Mexico City.

Unconfirmed reports say the two employees were wounded but not killed.  The individuals were riding in an armored vehicle.

Mexico’s Excelsior is reporting that the government personnel might of been shot by Mexican federal police that were conducting road blocks on the highway from Mexico City to Cuernavaca, this report is unconfirmed. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Work of Cuban-American Artist Rocio Rodriguez Now on Display in Georgia Museum

Work of Cuban-American Artist Rocio Rodriguez Now on Display in Georgia Museum

Photo: Work of Cuban-American Artist Rocio Rodriguez Now on Display in Georgia Museum

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Cuban-American artist Rocio Rodriguez’s work is currently on display at the Columbus Museum in Georgia.

Divergent Fictions: A Selection of Works from 1988-2012 will be on display from August 19 – November 4, 2012.

Rodriguez’s works reflect on universal themes referencing the opposing forces of nature, beauty, war, conflict, and pain. She transforms these forces suggesting a world where nothing is fixed and everything is in the process of becoming. This new “reality” is at once organic and mechanical, graphic, and painterly, creating a whole that is based on all fictions and possibilities. The monumental images surround the viewer; sometimes caressing, sometimes hammering the message home.

[Rodriguez] came to the United States from Cuba, in 1961, when she was nine years old. As exiles, her family maintained strong emotional attachment to their language and memories. In America, Rodriguez learned to navigate between two cultures and through this experience began to view the world with a unique perspective. This duality serves as the philosophical framework from which much of her work has grown.

Image

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Ecuadorian Embassy Receives Letter from UK Asking to Resume Talks About Julian Assange

Ecuadorian Embassy Receives Letter from UK Asking to Resume Talks About Julian Assange

Photo: Ecuador Embassy in UK

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Yesterday the Ecuadorian Embassy in London received a letter from the British Foreign Ministry asking to resume talks about the asylum of Julian Assange.

Assange, 40, was out on bail and fighting extradition to Sweden after being arrested in London in December 2010 at Sweden’s request, as they wished to speak with him regarding the alleged sexual assaults of two women.  He sought political asylum from Ecuador in June.

Ecuador said it is open to dialogue with Britain if it first withdraws the “threat” of storming the Andean nation’s embassy in London to arrest the founder of WikiLeaks, to whom Quito granted political asylum two weeks ago.

The content of the letter has not been disclosed and both countries continue to have opposing views on Assange and his asylum.  The UK government has vowed to arrest the internet hacker as soon as he steps outside the embassy grounds.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  Deadly Shooting at Empire State Building, Early Reports Say 10 Shot

UPDATE:  Reports are now coming in that the shooter was a fired employee seeking revenge on his employer.  The shooter identified as Jeffery Johnson, 53, was fired from Shanghai Henson Import and Export that operates out of the Empire State Building.  The death toll currently stands at two which includes the shooter and a co-worker he shot.  The eight others that were injured are not believed to have sustained life-threatening injuries.  It is believed they were injured in the crossfire when NYC police engaged the shooter.

ORIGINAL:  There has been a deadly shooting at one of the country’s most iconic buildings, the Empire State Building, leaving a reported 10 individuals shot.

Early reports indicate that the incident started at 9:00am EST outside the Empire State Building that is located in the heart of Manhattan in New York City at 34th and Fifth Avenue. 

Early witness reports indicate the unidentified shooter was shooting ‘indiscriminately’ at people standing nearby with a shotgun.  The shooter is being described by some as a middle-aged white male. 

New York City police who responded quickly to calls of ‘shots fired’, shot the shooter.  CNN is reporting an innocent bystander was shot and killed in the cross-fire.

The body of the shooter remains on the street as the FBI and New York City police investigate the nature of the shooting and determine if this was a random act of violence or an act of terrorism.  No reports yet on the condition of the other people shot.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Guatemala’s First Olympic Medalist Honored by Government

Guatemala’s First Olympic Medalist Honored by Government

Photo: Erick Barrondo

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The Guatemalan congress on Thursday bestowed the Order of the Sovereign Congress in the grade of Gran Caballero upon athlete Erick Barrondo, who won the silver medal in the 20-kilometer walk at the 2012 London Olympics.

Congressional speaker Gudy Rivera, after presenting the award to the racewalker, expressed his gratitude for the efforts Guatemala’s other athletes who participated in London made to enhance the name of the Central American country.

Barrondo’s Olympic medal is the first a Guatemalan athlete has won in the international Games. The Central American country first participated in the Olympics in the 1952 Games in Helsinki.

The 21-year-old racewalker said he felt honored by the recognition and emphasized that “our entire delegation of Olympic athletes marched in London with the pride of being Guatemalans.”

“We put on the blue and white jersey to join together with pride and to show what Guatemala can do,” he said in an emotional speech.

Barrondo also received a cash award of $62,500 from the Congress, an amount similar to that which on Wednesday was given to him by Guatemala’s Autonomous Sports Confederation.

On Aug. 13, the athlete was welcomed as a hero by thousands of his fellow countrymen who turned out on the streets to greet him on his return from London.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Top Latino Pizza Chain, Pizza Patron, Coming to Chicago

Top Latino Pizza Chain, Pizza Patron, Coming to Chicago

Photo: Pizza Patron Coming to Chicago

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Pizza Patron, also known as Pizza Boss for the Hispanic community has announced its first Chicago-area location according to Crain’s

Pizza Patron was launched in 1986 with the intent of becoming ‘the’ pizza place for the Hispanic community. ‘We basically took a product that was widely consumed and brought it to the Hispanic markets,’ says founder and CEO Antonio Swad.

Pizza Patron will open up shop in the southwest suburb of Cicero that enjoys a large Latino community. 

Sales ploys from accepting pesos to free giveaways if you order in Spanish have made Pizza Patron the nation’s leading Latino pizza brand.  It currently operates franchises in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Texas – all states that have large Latino populations. 

The company unabashedly markets to and for the Latino consumer and scouts locations where there are large concentration of Latinos.  Its ‘Mas Pizza’ menu features pizzas with Spanish titles such as ‘La Patrona’, ‘La Mexicana’ or ‘La de Carnes’.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Gov’t Suspends Egg Import Tariffs in the Face of a Bird-Flu Outbreak

Mexican Gov’t Suspends Egg Import Tariffs in the Face of a Bird-Flu Outbreak

Photo: Mexican Gov't Suspends Egg Import Tariffs in the Face of a Bird-Flu Outbreak

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The Mexican government suspended tariffs on egg imports in the face of a bird-flu outbreak that has caused the domestic price of eggs to double in the last two months, the economy secretary said.

“This measure has the aim of stabilizing the market, complementing current supply, reducing the price and guaranteeing the supply of this product,” Bruno Ferrari told a press conference.

Roughly 400 tons of eggs were imported this week from the United States, he said.

Authorities have detected “speculative movements” in wholesale egg prices in Mexico, he said, citing an increase from 13.80 pesos ($1) to 27.80 pesos (almost $2) in the price of a kilo (2.2 pounds) of eggs.

Mexico has slaughtered nearly 11 million birds to prevent the spread of the AH7N3 avian flu virus, which emerged in June on poultry farms in the western state of Jalisco.

More than 88 million birds have been vaccinated against the virus and another 90 million doses of vaccine are to be administered in the second phase of the campaign, officials said.

A program to monitor the sale of eggs and chicken has already led to the opening of investigations into 1,299 retailers for possible price gouging, Ferrari said.

Offending retailers could face jail time, he said.

Mexico, according to National Poultry Producers Association figures, produces nearly 2.5 million tons of eggs and 1.2 million tons of meat annually.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Ex-Senator to Repay $234 M in Stolen Public Funds

Brazilian Ex-Senator to Repay $234 M in Stolen Public Funds

Photo: Brazilian Reais

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Luiz Estevao, booted from Brazil’s Senate 12 years ago for corruption, has pledged to return 468 million reais ($234 million) he diverted from the public coffers, authorities said Thursday.

Touting what she described as “the largest recovery of public money ... in the history of the country or, perhaps, the world,” chief prosecutor Helia Beterro said the achievement puts Brazil “at the head of the battle against corruption.”

The agreement, which follows a court ruling against the disgraced former senator, calls for Estevao to make an immediate payment of 80 million reais ($40 million) and to hand over the rest of the money in 96 monthly installments.

The 62-year-old banker and construction magnate is one of Brazil’s richest people.

Estevao entered in politics in 1994 as a member of the municipal assembly in Brasilia and was elected to the federal Senate four years later.

In 2000, he was accused of taking part in a scheme to embezzle 169 million reais ($85 million) in funds meant for the construction of a new courthouse in Sao Paulo.

The accusation led in June of that year to Estevao’s becoming the first Brazilian senator to be removed from office since 1826.

Estevao’s agreement to return looted public money comes amid what Brazilian media have dubbed the “trial of the century,” with three former Cabinet ministers among the 37 defendants facing charges for a congressional vote-buying scandal that came to light in 2005.

Read more by HS News Staff →



FridayAugust 24, 2012