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WednesdaySeptember 12, 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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Mexico Continues to Kill Birds Hoping to Curtail Spread of Flu

Mexico Continues to Kill Birds Hoping to Curtail Spread of Flu

Photo: Bird flu in Mexico

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Mexico’s poultry farmers slaughtered 22.3 million birds between June and August to contain an outbreak of avian flu, and they immunized 140 million other birds, the National Food Health, Safety and Quality Service, or Senasica, said.

The final tally of birds destroyed to prevent the spread of the AH7N3 avian influenza virus has been completed, the Senasica said.

The avian flu outbreak started in June at poultry farms in the Los Altos region of the western state of Jalisco.

No new avian flu cases have been reported in the past three weeks and affected farms are being restocked with “flocks of between 4.5 (million) and 5 million birds each month,” Senasica director Enrique Sanchez said.

The restocking of farms is expected to boost egg production to an average of 2,700 tons daily, with output rising gradually as new hens are added, Sanchez said.

Bird populations should be back to the pre-emergency level by November, the Senasica director said.

A total of 22.3 million birds were destroyed between June 19 and Aug. 31, of which 10.9 million were certified for slaughter by Senasica, while the rest were killed before health officials were notified of the flu outbreak, Sanchez said.

“Some others were eliminated in a preventive manner by poultry farmers near where the outbreak started to prevent infections on their farms,” the Senasica director said.

The largest losses of birds occurred at farms in the city of Tepatitlan, with 13.6 million, and in San Juan de los Lagos, where 8.3 million birds were lost, Sanchez said.

The measures taken to control the spread of AH7N3 helped prevent larger losses and irreparable damage to Mexico’s poultry industry, the Senasica director said.

Health officials are now working to restock the poultry farms affected by the outbreak, as well as to restore supplies of poultry products on the market.

A total of 12,343 health certificates have been issued so far to help speed the flow of poultry products to consumers.

The government also authorized the importation of 2,000 tons of eggs from the United States and is working to import eggs from Costa Rica, Chile and Colombia.

The avian influenza epidemic produced total losses of some $350 million, officials said recently.

The AH7N3 avian influenza virus does not pose a danger to people consuming meat or eggs.

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 →

Sociologist’s Book Discredits Negative Stereotypes of Mexican-Americans

Sociologist’s Book Discredits Negative Stereotypes of Mexican-Americans

Photo: Jody Agius Vallejo

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Sociologist Jody Agius Vallejo’s book, “Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican-American Middle Class,” refutes the presumption among many that Mexican-Americans are mainly poor and uneducated.

“There are generalized negative stereotypes in U.S. society that all of them are poor, lacking education, work at low-level jobs and their children do not integrate into the middle class,” Vallejo, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, said in an interview with Efe.

In contrast, the book emphasizes that Mexican-Americans and other Latino groups mainly belong to the middle class.

“I want to show a different side of the Latino population: first, that the whole Latino community is not as monolithic and homogeneous as is thought,” Vallejo said.

The book also shows that middle-class Hispanics also contribute to their communities as a way to pay back what they have received: “They are often businessmen, start businesses, create professional associations, and the women are very active in that.”

Her own personal history has allowed her to be a protagonist and, at the same time, a witness as to how the middle class Latino family forms a vital part of the U.S. social fabric.

Vallejo’s parents separated when she was a young girl and her Maltese father then married a Mexican-American. Thus, from the age of 7 she grew up in an Hispanic family environment.

“The music, the food, the baptisms, the marriages, all that formed part of my life when I was younger,” the researcher, whose husband is the son of Mexican immigrants, said.

“I grew up making up part of an Hispanic family and that was very important for me,” she said.

“Although I don’t have direct Latino blood, I feel Hispanic and that has put me in a unique position to be a protagonist, but also - at the same time - to see everything from somewhat of a distance,” she said.

In researching the Latino communities, she found that most studies “focused on the poor and uneducated Hispanics,” but she knew from her experience that “there was another kind of Hispanics who were not reflected in that research,” and that motivated her to carry out her own analysis.

The book shows that 27 percent of second-generation Mexican-Americans hold white collar jobs, rising to 31 percent in the third generation.

“The Hispanic community is marvelous and surprising and is a very important part of the United States,” said Vallejo, who concluded that Latinos “have brought a new energy as actors in the current United States and in helping move the country forward.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Teen Arrested in Chile for Killing Police Officer During Protest

An adolescent male was arrested Wednesday on suspicion he fired the shot that killed a Chilean police officer during violent protests marking the 39th anniversary of Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s coup.

The 16-year-old suspect, identified only by the nickname “El Rata” (The Rat), was arrested in the Santiago suburb of Quilicura, where police Cpl. Cristian Martinez Badilla, 27, was shot while trying to prevent the looting of a supermarket, capital daily El Mercurio said on its Web site.

The suspect was arrested after a number of witnesses said El Rata was the only person to fire shots during the confrontation at the supermarket.

Police confiscated a .38-caliber handgun from the suspect, who had an outstanding arrest warrant, El Mercurio said.

Several other Internet news sites said the teen denied any involvement in the shooting of the police officer.

Tuesday’s violence left scores of people injured, police Gen. Luis Valdes told the media, adding that militants burned a bus and four cars.

Three police officers and a 16-year-old boy are in serious condition after receiving gunshot wounds, he said.

President Sebastian Piñera, a billionaire whose business interests thrived during the 1973-1990 Pinochet dictatorship, condemned the policeman’s death and vowed to do everything possible to apprehend those responsible.

“All these actions produce is pain, death and destruction,” he said in the wee hours of Wednesday after returning to Santiago from the Asia-Pacific Summit in Russia.

The deputy interior minister, Rodrigo Ubilla, said Tuesday’s violence “shows there is a group of Chileans who believe the commemorations of Sept. 11 are synonymous with violence, looting and the murder of a Carabinero who lost his life protecting the public.”

Chile’s first rightist administration since the restoration of democracy in 1990 did not officially mark the anniversary of Pinochet’s Sept. 11, 1973, toppling of the Socialist government of Salvador Allende, who took his own life as troops stormed the president palace.

Leftist parties and civic organizations offered tributes to the victims of the military regime during a ceremony at the Salvador Allende monument, opposite the presidential palace.

Relatives of some of the roughly 3,200 people killed by the Pinochet regime held candlelight vigils Tuesday night in Santiago.

All but nine of the 76 officials and agents of the dictatorship convicted of human rights violations are behind bars, though they are being held in “special” prisons that are considerably more comfortable than ordinary penitentiaries.

Besides killing more than 3,000 people, the Pinochet regime jailed 38,000 others on political grounds.

The majority of political prisoners were tortured.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Tennis Star Juan Carlos Ferrero Retires

Spanish Tennis Star Juan Carlos Ferrero Retires

Photo: Juan Carlos Ferrero

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Spanish tennis star Juan Carlos Ferrero, a former world No. 1 and winner of the 2003 French Open, announced here Wednesday at a media event promoting the upcoming Valencia Open 500 that that tournament will be the last of his career.

The 32-year-old Ferrero turned professional in 1998 and attained the No. 1 ranking on Sept. 8, 2003 on the strength of his title at Roland Garros and runner-up finish at that year’s U.S. Open.

Ferrero also reached the 2002 French Open final and was the hero of Spain’s first-ever Davis Cup triumph, winning both of his singles matches in the final to lead his country over Australia.

He was also a member of the Spanish squad that won the 2004 Davis Cup, winning three singles matches during that year’s competition but not competing in the final in Seville.

He won 16 titles throughout his career, the first coming at a clay-court event in Majorca, Spain, in 1999 and the last at a clay tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, last year.

The Spaniard was considered the world’s top player on clay in 2002 and 2003 and he reached the semifinals of the Australian Open at the start of 2004, but a bout with chicken pox and assorted injuries that spring derailed his bid to defend his French Open title and he never advanced past the quarterfinal of a Grand Slam event again.

Ferrero’s ranking stood at No. 50 on Jan. 1, 2012, but he has since dropped out of the top 100.

“What I’ll miss the most is competing. Competition is our daily bread. It will be quite a difficult void to fill in this new life I’ll be leading starting at the end of this year, but I have lots more things to do,” Ferrero said in a press conference in Valencia, where the Spaniard’s last tournament will begin on Oct. 21.

“This is obviously a very tough decision. Leaving behind a world you’ve lived very intensely since the age of six or seven is always very tough. But I’ve had a very difficult year, and when you start to notice on court that you don’t have that ambition and that motivation, these thoughts start to creep in,” he added.

Ferrero, a native of Ontinyent, just outside Valencia, said it was difficult to pin down the top highlight of his career.

“The 2000 Davis Cup was something unforgettable for all Spaniards. I was very young and gradually I realized how important it was for me and for the whole country. Winning a Grand Slam or reaching No. 1 are pinnacles that are unforgettable and it’s impossible not to choose those,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Honduran Sentenced to 28 Years for 2010 Murder of Journalist

Honduran Sentenced to 28 Years for 2010 Murder of Journalist

Photo: Jonathan Joseph Cockborn

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A Honduran court on Tuesday sentenced a man to 28 years in jail after finding him guilty of having fatally shot journalist Jorge Alberto Orellana in April 2010 during the course of a robbery.

Jonathan Joseph Cockborn was sentenced to 17 years and eight months in prison for the crime of homicide and an additional 10 years and four months for robbery, the spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, Elvin Guzman, told reporters.

Orellana, a radio journalist and university professor, was “slain to rob him of a telephone” and not for practicing his profession, Guzman said.

This is the first time a Honduran court has sentenced anyone for killing a journalist.

Since 2003 to date, 33 people associated with the media have been murdered in Honduras and all of those crimes remain unpunished, according to the state Human Rights Commission.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Apple Introduces Latest Smartphone - The iPhone 5

Thinnest, Lightest iPhone Ever Features All-New Aluminum Design, Stunning 4-Inch Retina Display, A6 Chip & Ultrafast Wireless

So here are some stats on the iPhone 5:

- Pricing: 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399
- Retina Display is now half an inch bigger than it’s predecessor, going from 3.5 in to 4in.
- Though screen in bigger, resolutions remains the same at 326 pixels per inch. (Aspect ratio now 16:9)
- Screen size allows for addition row of icons on home screen
- 30 percent thinner than iPhone 4S
- Glass back of iPhone 4 and 4S has been replaced with mostly metal (Less breakage when dropped? Perhaps, but we’re not trying to find out.)
- Brighter more crisp viewing experience *cough*like an Android screen*cough*
- Supports 4G LTE offered by Springt, Verizon, AT&T, but not T-Mobile
- Main camera remains an 8 megapixels, while the front cam can now shoot 720p HD video

iPhone 5 will be available from the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and through AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iPhone 5 will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK on Friday, September 21, and customers can pre-order their iPhone 5 beginning Friday, September 14. iPhone 4S will also be available for just $99 (US) and iPhone 4 will be available for free with a two-year contract.**

iPhone 5 will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries on September 28, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Check out CNET’s coverage (PHOTOS!) here.

**Check with your provider for more details

Get additional details here.

Read more by HS News Staff →

As Brazil’s Obese and Overweight Population Grows, Laws Call for Public Accommodation

As Brazil’s Obese and Overweight Population Grows, Laws Call for Public Accommodation

Photo: As Brazil's Obese and Overweight Population Grows, Laws Call for Public Accommodation

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As Brazil’s overweight and obese population grows, the country is making an interesting change.

With a roughly half of the Brazilian population overweight and around 15 percent obese, Brazil’s regional governments appear to be making a few changes for the growing population.

Here’s somewhat of a timeline:

2005 – Rio Grande do Sol passes law requiring adequate space on public transportation for the obese.

2006 – Sao Paolo state passes law similar to Rio Grande do Sol, but also requires bigger seating for movie theaters, cinemas, and concert venues

2007 – Rio de Janeiro state law 5038 requires medical labs, clinics, and hospitals to have adequate equipment for the obese

2009 – Sao Paolo city metro begins installation of seats twice as wide and normal seats

2009 -  Cuiabá bill introduced calls for a preferential line for the obese at banks

2010 – Rio de Janeiro state passes law 5829 requires classrooms for any and all courses to have adequate seating for the obese

2011 – Mato Grosso do Sol - state law is passed and calls for space to be set aside on intercity buses for obese passengers. However, bus companies are allowed to charge more for the larger passengers.

August 2012 – State law passed in Pernambuco allows obese to board public buses without going through turnstyle. Companies that refuse to comply fined 100,000 Brazilian Real (about US$49,360).

Two bills are currently making their way through the country’s federal government. One would reserve seats for obese passengers on public transportation throughout the nation. Another would require reserved or larger seating for various facilities, including those for sports, concerts and conferences, and would also include public transportation and classrooms.

It is estimated that by 2022, Brazil’s obesity rate could match that of the United States. In 2010, the CDC reported 35.7 percent of American adults as obese and 17% of American children.

Read more at Christian Science Monitor →

Madrid’s Radamel Falcao Continues to Score

Madrid’s Radamel Falcao Continues to Score

Photo: Madrid's Radamel Falcao's Greatness

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo get all the attention when discussing the best soccer player in the world.  They are clearly the best players who ply their trade in Spain’s La Liga, but there is fast riser who should be at least mentioned in the discussion.

Athletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao is on a tremendous goal scoring pace for club and country.  The 26 year-old from Colombia has netted eight goals in his last four matches.

Falcao scored two hat tricks in a five-day span for Athletico Madrid. He terrorized Athletico Bilbao’s defense in a La Liga match and then scored three first half goals against a strong Chelsea defense in the UEFA Super Cup.

This week he inspired Colombia to a pair of wins in World Cup qualifying. He scored a goal each against Uruguay and Chile. Colombia are now second in the South American World Cup qualifying group because of six important points in the last two matches. 

Many soccer pundits are praising Falcao as the best true striker in the world.  Messi and Ronaldo sometimes play center forward, but they are better suited attacking from the wings.

Falcao started his club career at Argentina club River Plate. He was sold for about 4 million euros to FC Porto (Portugal) in 2009.  He shined at the Portuguese club by scoring 72 goals in 87 appearances. In Falcao’s two years at Porto, the club won a Portuguese league, two Portuguese cups and the 2010-2011 Europa League.

With Falcao’s stock on the rise, Porto pulled off a great piece of business by selling their star striker for a whopping 40 million euros to Athletico Madrid.  Falcao scored 36 goals in 50 games in his first season in Spain’s capital. He led Athletico Madrid to win the 2011-2012 Europa League.

Now Falcao is off to a great start this season and even bigger clubs in Europe are interested in his services.  He will be a hot name in the January transfer window and Athletico Madrid will hope to hang on to their talented Colombian.

Written by HS News Sports Writer:  Nate Jacobson


Read more by HS News Staff →

First Day of Hunger Strike Leaves 67 Year Old Cuban Dissident “Very Weak”

First Day of Hunger Strike Leaves 67 Year Old Cuban Dissident “Very Weak”

Photo: Marta Beatriz Roque

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Cuban dissident Marta Beatriz Roque said Tuesday she feels “very weak” the day after going on a hunger strike to demand the release of an opposition prisoner.

“I’m feeling very low and I’m beginning to get the first symptoms of not having eaten, which I guess is because a diabetic has to eat every three hours,” Roque told Efe.

The 67-year-old economist, who has stopped taking medication for her diabetes, thought Monday that she could suffer a diabetic coma in a space of 48 hours, but now said it could come earlier.

“Maybe I’ll be in crisis sooner - the way I’m going I’m very near a crisis,” she said.

Another 12 dissidents in different parts of the country are also on a hunger strike, including two that have only one kidney each and a third with cardiac problems.

Roque is staying at her home in the Havana neighborhood of La Vibora, where two nurses are among the comrades providing moral support to the dissident, who warns that she will carry on with her protest “to the last consequences” as well as with her refusal to receive medical attention.

The last food she ate was a cookie with yoghurt at noon Monday, and since then has only drunk “a little water every hour.”

She slept only “three or four hours” Monday night because she stayed up talking into the wee hours with people staying with her at her home.

Roque was the only woman among the “Group of 75” dissidents who were arrested in the government’s “Black Spring” crackdown of 2003.

She was paroled in 2004 on medical grounds after suffering a heart attack and spent 20 days in an intensive care unit.

In all, she spent five years in jail.

The former University of Havana professor belongs to the Cuban Network of Community Communicators and to the Cuban Institute of Independent Economists.

Roque, single with no children, has three sisters living in Miami and several relatives in Spain’s Canary Islands, who, she said Tuesday, call her “every hour” to find out how she is.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Celebrating Mexican Independence Day in Chicago - a Guide

Celebrating Mexican Independence Day in Chicago - a Guide

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Chicago’s large Mexican community has organized a number of events this weekend in celebration of Mexican Independence Day.

Pilsen Mexican Independence Day Parade
Saturday, September 15th – Parade begins at 12 noon
W. 18th St. and S. Newberry Ave.

COST: This is a free event
AGE: All ages

Downtown Chicago Mexican Independence Parade
Saturday, September 15th – Parade begins at 12 noon
Columbus Dr. & Balbo Dr.
On Columbus Dr. from Balbo to Monroe, Chicago

COST: This is a free event
AGE: All ages

South Chicago Mexican Independence Day Parade
Sunday, September 16th – Parade begins at 2:00pm
8700 S. Commercial Ave., Chicago
Enjoy floats, mariachi bands, and flamenco dancers.

COST: This is a free event
AGE: All ages

El Grito at Millennium Park
Saturday, September 15th from 9-10pm
Millennium Park - 201 E Randolph St., Chicago
“Enjoy the Mariachi and euphoria of Mexicans outdoors celebrating the 201th anniversary of their flag’s independence.”

COST: This is a free event
AGE: All ages

Los Cuatro Vientos Jam
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E Chicago Ave., Chicago
Los Cuatro Vientos is a quartet of violins, guitar, and folk harp composed of highly trained musicians of the mariachi form. Formed in 2008, they have expanded their repertoire by integrating songs that have become standards in today’s Mexican folkóric form with original work with hip hop, blues, and other genres

COST: This is a free event
AGE: All ages

Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta
Friday, September 14th from 7:30 - 9pm
Saturday, September 15th from 7:30 - 9pm
Sunday, September 16th from 7:30 - 9pm
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E Chicago Ave., Chicago
Cultural taboos around silence, death, and dissent are presented through a multimedia performance that fuses dark, humored animation with Mexican folklore dance, Mariachi music, hip-hop, bossa nova, and blues. The work is created by San Francisco-based director, John Jota Leaños; Chicago-based choreographer Joel Valentin-Martinez; DJ/composer Cristóbal Martinez; and the Tucson Mariachi ensemble, Los Cuatro Vientos.

COST: $22-28, Students $10
AGE: All ages

Central American Parade
Sunday, September 16th at 12 noon
2800 W. Montrose Ave. and California
On Montrose Ave. from California to Kimball
The Central American Parade celebrates Central America’s independence, Central America includes Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

COST: This is a free event
AGE: All ages

Author Junot Diaz @ Printer’s Row Live
Wednesday, September 12th from 7-9pm
Chase Auditorium
10 South Dearborn St., Chicago
Chicago Tribune: The stories collected in Diaz’s new book, ‘This is How You Lose Her’ lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts.

COST: $15
AGE: All ages

El Grito Comedy Jam
Sunday, September 16th at 7:30pm
Joe’s Bar
940 W Weed St., Chicago
Celebrate the start of Mexican Independence Day with a trio of Latin joke makers including L.A. comedian Jorge “DJ Cooch” Aldama and local stand-ups Joey Villagomez and Gwen La Roka.

COST: $10, $15
AGE: 18+

Read more by HS News Staff →

First Applicants Under Obama’s ‘Deferred Action’ Granted Deportation Reprieve

First Applicants Under Obama’s ‘Deferred Action’ Granted Deportation Reprieve

Photo: Deferred Action Applicants in Chicago

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The U.S. government has issued deportation reprieves for some of the first applicants under President Obama’s ‘Deferred Action Policy’.  The program that has been in existence for little over a month saw 72,000 applicants in the first month.

Deferred Action went into effect August 15 and allows an undocumented young person to remain in the country for two years and get a work permit if they meet certain requirements and their application is approved.

“This is an historic humanitarian moment and I personally salute the president (Barack Obama) for his leadership,” said Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, co-sponsor of the stalled DREAM Act, a bill aimed at helping the same people now eligible for Deferred Action.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency, under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is managing the applicantion process and originally expected approvals to take several months, according to the New York Times.  DHS did not indicate how many applicants were granted deportation reprieves only that it was a small number. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Teachers’ Embrace of Diversity Key to Latino Immigrant Academic Success

Teachers’ Embrace of Diversity Key to Latino Immigrant Academic Success

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Teachers and schools which value diversity have a big impact on the academic experiences of Latino immigrant children living in predominantly white communities. This finding was the result of a new study by researchers at the University of Kentucky titled, “Children From Immigrant Families: Introduction to the Special Section”. The study appears in a special section of the September/October 2012 issue of Child Development on children from immigrant families.

According to the study, which looked at more than 200 third and fourth graders, primarily first- and second-generation immigrants from Mexico, in 19 U.S. elementary schools, with teachers valuing diversity, children felt more positively about their ethnicity and ultimately performed better than children whose teacher did not have the same values.

Christia Spears Brown, associate professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, who led the study, said, “This is important because feeling positively about their ethnicity was associated with children valuing school more, enjoying school more, feeling like they belonged at school more, and getting better grades.”

Teachers who value diversity are said to routinely discourage students from teasing their peers because of their ethnicity.

“Although schools can’t change their ethnic composition to make immigrant children feel less of a minority, they can show that they support multiculturalism,” Brown said. “They can help teachers see the value of diversity, and they can help their students feel positively about their ethnic group.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain’s Iconic Shoe Designer Pedro Garcia to Launch E-Commerce Site

Spain’s Iconic Shoe Designer Pedro Garcia to Launch E-Commerce Site

Photo: Pedro Garcia Launching E-Commerce Site

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The Alicante based-company was launched in the early 1920’s by Pedro Garcia as a children’s footwear workshop.  Some eighty-years later the company remains a family run business, run by third-generation family members Mila and Pedro Garcia.  The company is considered one of Spain’s top names in luxury footwear with offerings for the entire family.

Pedro Garcia shoes are sold in over twenty countries and here in the states can be found in up-scale retailers like Neiman Marcus.  Pedro Garcia shoes are carried in over 1,000 retail locations around the world and on-line at Net-A-Porter.

The company has been expanding its presence and its product line, this past June it launched a luxury leather bag line.  First Lady Michelle Obama has often been spotted wearing the flat Alexia sandal, a favorite of many.

The expansion to e-commerce, as reported by ‘Footwear News’ is a natural progression for the company that is looking to bring its designs to the world.  No date for the opening of the e-commerce site has been given, the company’s website simply states ‘Coming Soon’. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican-American Director Patricia Riggen to Head Film About the 33 Chilean Miners

Mexican-American Director Patricia Riggen to Head Film About the 33 Chilean Miners

Photo: Mexican-American Director Patricia Riggen to Head Film About the 33 Chilean Miners

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Mexican-born Patricia Riggen has now signed on to direct the film adaptation of the story of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days, currently titled, “The 33”, according to The Wrap.

Riggen, 42, directed 2007’s La Misma Luna(Under the Same Moon), the story of a young Mexican boy who travels to the U.S. to find his mother after his grandmother dies. She also stepped behind the camera for 2012’s Girl in Progress, which starred Eva Mendes and Disney’s Lemonade Mouth in 2011.

ImageThe story of the 33 Chilean minors garnered international attention. On August 5, 2010, a cave-in at a troubled copper-gold mine near Copiapó, Chile trapped the men about 2,300 ft. underground. It was 17 days after the collapse before the men were found via exploratory boreholes. A number of people from various countries worked tirelessly to create a plan to get the men out and on October 13, the men were lifted to safety one by one.

Almost all of the miners were rescued in good medical condition with no long-term physical effects anticipated. However, two miners were found to be suffering from silicosis, with one also having pneumonia. Others had dental infections and corneal problems.

Riggen is said to be in Chile with the film’s producers speaking with the miners and others involved in the incident.

‘It’s been an extraordinary experience to meet the miners in person and hear from them the detailed account of their time underground,’ Riggen said in a statement to The Wrap. ‘Since their rescue a little less than two years ago, the real story of their incredible survival has gone untold. In their darkest hour, they struggled to maintain their unity. The collapse brought out the best and the worst in them. Ultimately, the human spirit triumphed and all of them came out alive.’

Filming is expected to begin in January of 2013, with release predicted for the following fall.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Border Agents Find Nearly 5,000 Pounds of Pot Disguised as Medical Supplies

Border Agents Find Nearly 5,000 Pounds of Pot Disguised as Medical Supplies

Photo: Nearly 5,000 lbs Pot Found

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa Cargo facility on Friday discovered 4,576 pounds of marijuana in a shipment manifested as medical supplies, in a false wall compartment of a tractor trailer.

At about 1 p.m., CBP officers encountered a 26-year-old male citizen of Mexico, driving a 1997 Freightliner pulling a trailer as the man waited in line to enter the U.S. from Mexico.  A CBP officer and his canine were screening trucks when the detector dog alerted to the front wall of the trailer. The driver and truck were pulled aside for a more in-depth investigation.

A CBP officer searched by drilling into the wooden front wall and extracted marijuana. CBP officers subsequently extracted a total of 293 cellophane wrapped packages of marijuana, with a street value of $6.9 million. The trailer contained a false front wall concealing a non-factory compartment where the marijuana packages were hidden.

CBP officers seized the truck and marijuana. The driver was arrested and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Mother Chains Up Son, Stabs Him Multiple Times

LATINO BLOTTER: Mother Chains Up Son, Stabs Him Multiple Times

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Mother Chains Up Son, Stabs Him Multiple Times

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A Florida mother has been arrested after confessing to stabbing her young son as he slept early Tuesday morning.

Maisa Alvarez, 42, reportedly called Lake Wales police and confessed to repeatedly stabbed her 7-year-old son with a steak knife. After the boy went to sleep, Alvarez says she went into his room and used a 2ft-long chain to tie his hands together. The boy woke up during his mother’s attack and tried to protect himself by putting his arms up, which is what she says made her stop and realize what she was doing.

After the attack, Alvarez, whose family was described as “very nice” by neighbors, called police and confessed to the horrific act.

When police arrived, the chain and knife were sitting on a dresser.

The boy’s injuries are miraculously said to be non-life threatening. He is now recovering at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando.

Alvarez has been charged with attempted murder and remains in police custody. When asked by police why she attacked her son she was unable to give a reason, only saying she did not know.

Police say there are immediate no signs of substance abuse or mental illness.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Carnival Cruise Could be Found Liable in Shooting Death of Quinceañera During Land Excursion

Carnival Cruise Could be Found Liable in Shooting Death of Quinceañera  During Land Excursion

Photo: Shooting death of Quinceañera Liz Marie Chaparro

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The parents of Liz Marie Perez Chaparro are hoping the courts will find Carnival Cruise liable for the 2010 shooting death of their daughter during a land excursion in the Virgin Islands.

The 15-year-old teen was on the M/V Victory cruise ship celebrating her quinceañera with her family that hails from Puerto Rico. 

The family alleges the cruise recommended a day excursion to Coki Beach in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, never informing them the area was known for gang violence.  On the day of the land excursion a funeral procession for a gang member was being held as the Chaparro family rode the excursion bus, shots were fired and two people were killed, one being Liz Marie.  The teen died in her father’s arms.

A judge in Florida dismissed the family’s liability suit but last week in appeal the 11th Circuit Court approved the case so that it could go forward.  The Court acknowledged that cruise operators have a duty to warn their passengers of dangers ashore in their port of calls. 

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Immigrant Advocates in Alabama Want DHS to Stop ‘Secure Communities’ Deportation Program

Immigrant Advocates in Alabama Want DHS to Stop ‘Secure Communities’ Deportation Program

Photo: Immigrants Want Secure Communities Program Stopped

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An Alabama immigrant advocacy organization has sent a petition, with over 10,000 signatures, to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to cease the deportation of the undocumented arrested for minor offenses.

The Alabama Coalition for Immigration Justice is urging that DHS ‘Secure Communities’ program cease since it is not just targeting criminal aliens with serious criminal histories but others as well.

The coalition notes that someone with a traffic ticket can be deported or someone arrested but not convicted can also be deported.  Immigration advocates see the Secure Communities program as expensive and creating a lot of ‘insecurity’ in the state among immigrants.

The petition was presented to DHS at an informal meeting in Birmingham with DHS but it was not accepted.  The petition is now expected to be delivered directly to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Secure Communities is suppose to prioritize the removal of criminal aliens that ‘present the most significant threat to public safety’ and those with long criminal histories. 

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Hispanic Leaders Believe Immigration Reform Will Occur in Next Presidential Term

Hispanic Leaders Believe Immigration Reform Will Occur in Next Presidential Term

Photo: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama

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Civil and political leaders from the Latino community meeting Tuesday for the annual conference of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute are confident that the presidential term that begins in 2013 will see the approval of immigration reform.

“There is a new consensus that is emerging across the country and whoever wins (in November) has to defend that consensus,” the executive director of the National Immigration Forum, Ali Noorani, said at the event in Washington.

Noorani emphasized that in recent years there has been “a moment of inspiration” where lawmakers, community leaders and undocumented immigrants achieved temporary immigration relief - Deferred Action - for undocumented young people through the pressure they exerted on President Barack Obama.

“But now we need to pass a law that will be permanent,” that will be approved both by the House of Representatives and the Senate and signed by the country’s next president, he said.

The Obama administration’s Deferred Action initiative is seen as a substitute for the DREAM Act, a bill to provide a path to permanent residence for qualified undocumented youth that passed the House but was blocked in the Senate

As an undocumented immigrant and activist, Gabriela Pacheco asked for more positivism in immigration matters. “We’re forgetting to celebrate the victories,” she said.

Pacheco, the policy director for the United We DREAM group, said that the Latino community in recent years had begun a visible struggle for its rights that has concretized itself within the public debate and must be seen as a triumph.

The activist said, therefore, that she was confident that the basis for achieving comprehensive reform had been laid and Congress will have a crucial role in that.

“The differences among people of color have decreased and the reason for that is that they have taken responsibility and have demanded their power,” she said.

The Rev. Freddy Santiago, pastor of Rebaño Church, emphasized that “deportation will never be the solution on the basis of family principles,” and so the Church must defend a comprehensive law that regularizes the situation of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

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‘Caravan for Peace’ Arrives in Washington D.C., Traveling 6,000 Miles from Mexico

‘Caravan for Peace’ Arrives in Washington D.C., Traveling 6,000 Miles from Mexico

Photo: 'Caravan for Peace' Arrives in Washington D.C., Traveling 6,000 Miles from Mexico

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The Caravan for Peace arrived in Washington, the last stop on its tour of the United States, during which families of the victims of violence on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border have marked “an end and a beginning” with their condemnation of the war on drugs.

After traveling more than 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) and stopping in 26 cities, the 110 participants in the caravan led by Mexican poet Javier Sicilia arrived in the United States capital.

“This is an end and a beginning,” Sicilia said at an event organized by the AFL-CIO to welcome the caravan to Washington.

“We come from afar bringing to the heart of this country all the horror of this useless, lost war,” said Sicilia, who in March 2011 lost his son Juan Francisco to the violence of organized crime.

Conflict among rival cartels and between the traffickers and the security forces has claimed some 60,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon - whose term ends Nov. 30 - militarized the struggle against the drug trade.

Against the “absurd” policy of the war on drugs, the Caravan for Peace called for an approach based on legalizing drugs, enforcing gun control and prosecuting money laundering.

“Drugs are not a matter of national security, but of public health,” Sicilia told Efe, recalling that the violence sparked by the illegal trafficking of narcotics “has killed more innocent people than drugs could ever have killed over decades and centuries.”

One of the activists accompanying him is Teresa Vera Alvarado, whose sister Minerva went missing in 2006 in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. After years of fruitless searching, Vera joined the caravan “to help all the other people who are mourning a loss.”

“We come to raise authorities’ awareness in both countries so they do their job, because very often they make fun of us, they say they’re investigating the matter and they’re not,” Vera told Efe.

The caravanners continued to spread their message on a march from the White House to Freedom Plaza in Washington, and were to continue Tuesday with meetings in 27 offices of Congress and with Mexican ambassador Arturo Sarukhan.

Throughout their journey around the United States, their message has taken on elements of the immigration problem, since the war on drugs has led to “criminalizing immigrants,” Sicilia said.

The war on drugs “is opening the way to authoritarian states,” the poet-turned-crusader said in an interview with Efe.

With his trek from Tijuana to Washington, Sicilia believes he has started an “unprecedented process” that both citizens of Mexico and the United States share, the realization that “declaring war on drugs in absurd.”

“Every day we’re on the point of losing our democracy. We’re not only losing our children, which is the most tragic part of it, but we’re opening the way to authoritarian states with this absurd logic. This war has killed more innocent people than drugs could ever have killed over decades and centuries,” he said.

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Salvadoran Colonel Tied to 1989 Massacre Pleads Guilty to U.S. Immigration Fraud

Salvadoran Colonel Tied to 1989 Massacre Pleads Guilty to U.S. Immigration Fraud

Photo: Col. Inocente Orlando Montano

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One of 15 Salvadoran military men indicted in Spain for the 1989 murders of five Spanish Jesuits in the Central American nation pleaded guilty Tuesday to lying on U.S. immigration documents.

Retired Col. Inocente Orlando Montano, 70, faces up to 45 years in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18 in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Montano has been in the United States since at least 2001 and the following year he successfully applied for Temporary Protected Status, a benefit the U.S. government extends to migrants from countries battered by natural disasters or internal conflict.

Documents presented in court showed that Montano concealed his military service on his initial application for TPS and on subsequent applications for renewal.

U.S. authorities later learned that Montano had been part of an army unit blamed for a number of atrocities during El Salvador’s 1980-1992 civil war, including the slaughter of six Jesuit priests and two other people at the Central American University, or UCA.

On Nov. 16, 1989, Salvadoran soldiers invaded the UCA campus in San Salvador and killed then-chancellor Ignacio Ellacuria and four other Spanish priests: Segundo Montes, Ignacio Martin-Baro, Amando Lopez and Juan Ramon Moreno, along with Salvadoran Jesuit Joaquin Lopez.

Also slain were a cook and her 16-year-old daughter.

The massacre came at the height of the war between the Salvadoran military and FMLN rebels, a conflict that left some 80,000 dead.

Spain’s Cabinet agreed last December to request the extradition of 15 Salvadoran military men for the murders of the Spanish Jesuits.

The criminal prosecution in Spain stems from the nationality of the five priests and from the principle of “universal jurisdiction,” the same doctrine that led to the 1998 arrest in Britain of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet on the orders of National Court Judge Baltasar Garzon.

While 13 of the men being sought are in El Salvador, Montano and Lt. Hector Ulises Cuenca reside in the United States.

“I believe the government of the United States will begin the extradition procedure requested by Spain once he (Montano) is in prison,” Carolyn Patty Blum, senior legal adviser with the San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability, told Efe.

“There is no legal reason for the U.S. government not to carry out the process,” she said.

Of the 14 members of the Salvadoran military who stood trial in September 1991 for the murders, only two were found guilty. Though sentenced to 30 years in prison, they were released thanks to a broad post-civil-war amnesty.

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WednesdaySeptember 12, 2012