1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary content



SundaySeptember 23, 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.

Read More


Bill Clinton Meets with King Juan Carlos, Says He’s Confident Spanish Economy will Recover

Bill Clinton Meets with King Juan Carlos, Says He’s Confident Spanish Economy will Recover

Photo: Spain's King Juan Carlos Meets with Former Pres. Bill Clinton

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

U.S. President Bill Clinton told Spain’s King Juan Carlos Sunday that he was confident Spain will get through the economic crisis during a meeting in New York at which the pair discussed the latest outbreak of violence in Muslim countries and the upcoming U.S. election.

The meeting - which took place before the official inauguration of the Clinton Global Initiative, which kicks off Sunday in New York - lasted 45 minutes, according to sources within the Royal Palace, who added that the two men also spent 10 minutes talking in private.

The conversation revolved around three subjects, with special attention to the situation of Spain and the European Union, and the former president said that Spain, just like Italy and Portugal, has enough strength to get through the crisis, adding that he was confident that Germany will agree to act for the benefit of the EU.

The second area of discussion at the meeting was the Nov. 6 U.S. presidential election and although Clinton said he was confident that President Barack Obama would win reelection, he acknowledged that there is still a long way to go before the election, the palace sources said.

The Spanish monarch and Clinton also discussed the recent outbreak of violence in the Muslim world after the release of a video made in the United States in which Mohammed is depicted in a unfavorable and humiliating light, something that denigrates Islam’s founding prophet and which Muslims consider blasphemy, and the ex-president acknowledged that he was “very concerned” over the situation.

Throughout the remainder of Sunday, the Spanish king will hold informal and private meetings with other leaders in New York, while on Monday he is scheduled to have lunch with Jordan’s King Abdullah, a spokesman for the Royal Palace confirmed.

During his stay in New York, the king will also participate in the reception offered by Clinton, who governed from 1993-2001, for the heads of state and government who are attending the Clinton Global Initiative before departing for Spain on Monday evening.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Fires In Ecuador Kill 5, Wipe of 43,500 Acres of Land

Fires In Ecuador Kill 5, Wipe of 43,500 Acres of Land

Photo: Fires in Ecuador

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The fires devastating Ecuador have now consumed more than 17,600 hectares (43,500 acres) of woodland, upland valleys and crops, and have left five people dead and 73 injured, according to the SNGR emergency management office.

The five deaths, including one of the firefighters, occurred in the provinces of Azuay, Bolivar, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi and Tungurahua, while most of the 73 injured were in Chimborazo and Pichincha.

In all there have been 3,069 forest fires since June 1, when a period of drought set in.

The flames have wiped out 17,484 hectares (43,204 acres) of woods and scrubland high in the Andes , as well as 142 hectares (351 acres) of crops, while another 31 hectares (77 acres) of crops were affected but not completely destroyed.

SNGR figures differ from those used by the Environment Ministry, which on Wednesday said that the scorched area measured some 9,000 hectares (22,200 acres), while the emergency management office spoke of almost 14,000 hectares (35,000 acres) laid waste.

A Hercules C-130 aircraft of the Brazilian air force with a team of 29 soldiers and capable of carrying 12,000 liters (3,200 gallons) of water arrived Thursday in Quito to help extinguish the flames.

The aircraft joined two helicopters (a Super Puma and a Cougar) provided by Venezuela and another (Black Hawk) from Colombia .

Meanwhile, the Ecuadorian armed forces have deployed 21 aircraft, both helicopters and planes, as well as 5,693 soldiers, trucks and other equipment.

The province with the most blazes is Pichincha, where Quito is located, with 2,458, followed by Imbabura with 209 and Cañar with 63, all located in the Andes region.

Rain on Friday in the Ecuadorian capital, where smoke from fires on the wooded slopes of the Pichincha volcano has been visible in recent days, provided some relief to those battling the flames.

The SNGR reported Friday two new wildfires in the Andean municipality of Cuenca, in the southern part of the country.

It also said that 90 percent of a fire has been controlled in the El Moran sector of Carchi, a northern province bordering on Colombia, where 293 people are trying to extinguish a blaze, including police, firefighters, personnel from several ministries and municipalities, as well as local residents.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Architect Mijares Honored for His Contribution to Modern Architecture

Mexican Architect Mijares Honored for His Contribution to Modern Architecture

Photo: Carlos Mijares Bracho

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Mexican architect Carlos Mijares Bracho was honored at an event this weekend in Mexico City for his work on religious and public buildings using the traditional bricks known as “xamixcalli.”

Some 200 people took part in the event Saturday at Mexico City’s Christ Church, the Anglican church considered most representative of his style.

Artes de Mexico magazine editor Alberto Ruy Sanchez praised Mijares as a “great architect, thinker and teacher” who has the ability to create modern works using pre-Hispanic construction materials.

Mijares, who was born in 1930, considers bricks a “symbol of life” and uses “this baked object” in a “simple way, prefabricated with earth, water and fire,” giving the material “new uses,” reinventing it and employing it in a creative way, Ruy Sanchez said.

Mijares’s architecture has “achieved greatness with such a simple and common material, something used so commonly,” Spanish-born Mexican artist Vicente Rojo told Efe, referring to the architect’s use of bricks.

Rojo, who founded Artes de Mexico in 1953, said Mijares’s work had “very special value” because he was a creator who was not “in the dominant line.”
Image
Mijares’s best known buildings, other than Christ Church, are the Perpetuo Socorro Church in Ciudad Hidalgo and several houses around Mexico City, such as the Diaz Barreiro house.

Mijares also designed the Baleares project in Bogota, Colombia, with architect Carlos Campuzano.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Actor Satisfies His Childhood Desire to Bullfight in New Movie

Mexican Actor Satisfies His Childhood Desire to Bullfight in New Movie

Photo: Daniel Gimenez Cacho in Blancanieves

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

When he was 11 years old, Spanish-born Mexican actor Daniel Gimenez Cacho went to his first bullfight and was absolutely fascinated.

Now at 51 his dream has come true, even though it’s on film in Spanish moviemaker Pablo Berger’s “Blancanieves”(Snow White), which won thunderous applause Friday night at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

“The father of some friends of mine took me to my first bullfight when I was 11 years old and I loved it. I told my parents I wanted to do that. But they said no, I wasn’t to learn that,” the winner of four Ariel Awards, the highest honor in Mexican cinema, told Efe.

In this atypical take on the Snow White fairy tale, being silent and in black and white, Spanish and about bullfighting, Gimenez Cacho wears a “suit of lights” to play the father of the Brothers Grimm heroine, a character almost invisible in other adaptations.

“He’s a very striking character, whose drama begins when his wife dies giving birth to their daughter on the same day he is gored by a bull,” he said.

But the pain and his physical disability put him in a wheelchair from where he observes, tenderly but stoically, the changes in his daughter, the victim of manipulations by a stepmother with the features of Maribel Verdu, with whom he worked in “La Zona” (The Zone).

The son of Spanish parents and born in Madrid, Gimenez Cacho attributes his passion for bulls to “a nostalgia for being Spanish, being the son of emigrants,” for which movies have been a great compensation since “Blancanieves” marks another milestone in a career of Spanish films, having worked previously with Pedro Almodovar, Vicente Aranda, Agusti Villaronga and Joaquin Oristrell.

“What I do have for Spanish movies…I have enthusiasm. I came to live in Spain in 1999 after working with Vicente Aranda in “Celos” (Jealousy). And here there’s an affinity for a kind of movies different from Hollywood , which in Mexico I’m closer to,” he said.

Oddly enough, “Blancanieves” now has the movie Mecca in its sights, since it could represent Spain both in the Oscars and in the Mexican Academy of Film Awards, though right now a prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival, which runs through Sept. 29, seems to be within reach.

“It’s a universal language, like the classics. You take Shakespeare, it grabs you immediately. Its very direct, the world is full of stories with conflicts like this, and, in the case of Mexico, we’re very familiar with the world of bullfighting,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Groups Call Out Kennedy Center’s Neglect to Honor Latino Artists

Latino Groups Call Out Kennedy Center’s Neglect to Honor Latino Artists

Photo: Kennedy Center Dishonors Latino Artists

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

In letters to Kennedy Center executives, Caroline Kennedy, President Obama, and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) are calling for major changes in the process by which Kennedy Center Honorees are selected and asking why there is a constant pattern of exclusion of Latinos. The groups’ demands follow the recent announcement of the 2012 Honorees, none of whom are Latino artists.

NHLA Chairman Hector Sanchez stated, “This is a priority because Latinos have been locked out in 33 of the 35 years of the Kennedy Center Honors’ existence. Out of 170 people that have received the award only 2 have been Latinos. The only two Latinos to have received the award are Placido Domingo in 2000 and Chita Rivera in 2002 and no Latino has received this award in a decade. This is unacceptable.”

NHFA Chairman Felix Sanchez stated, “Among the many names that have been previously recommended for the honor are Rita Moreno, Joan Baez, Carlos Santana, Ruben Blades, Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, and Edward James Olmos. While the Kennedy Center Honors asks for nominations from its Board and other organizations, the nomination process is clearly a pro forma ruse to validate the ultimate Honorees named exclusively by Mr. Stevens. The secrecy in which the selection is cloaked has created a virtual lock-out of Latino artists.”

Until we can present Latino modernity and inclusivity to the nation, Latinos will remain at the periphery. The numbers do not lie; a pattern of constant exclusion of Latinos requires immediate attention. The NHLA and NHFA call on Members of Congress to introduce legislation to withhold future funding for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts until the issue is resolved. The organizations also request the removal of Mr. Stevens as producer of the show and to direct the presidentially appointed Kennedy Center Board to name future Honorees. Finally, the organizations respectfully ask that President Obama replace Stevens as Co-Chair of the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities in protest for his refusal to name Latino artists as Kennedy Center Honorees; and for the President and the First Lady to discontinue their participation in the Kennedy Center Honors.

Read more by HS News Staff →

TLC to Air the Story of Mayra Rosales the “Half-Ton Killer” (VIDEO)

TLC to Air the Story of Mayra Rosales the “Half-Ton Killer” (VIDEO)

Photo: Mayra Rosales

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A new documentary,“Half-Ton Killer?”, is set to air on TLC covering the life story of a Texas woman who falsely testified to murdering her nephew who was killed while she was babysitting.  Her testimony was overturned when experts revealed that her obesity would not have allowed her to commit the crime. 

In March 2008, police arrested and charged Mayra Lizbeth Rosales, then 27, with capital murder for allegedly striking her sister’s 2-year-old son Eliseo in the head and killing him.

Rosales’ defense team however claimed that due to her immense weight, she would not have had the strength to raise her arm and strike the child hard enough to kill him.

When questioned by police, Rosales said the boy died because she accidentally fell on him. After a doctor’s examination of the boy’s body it was determined that he died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and not from being crushed to death. She would later say she lied to protect her sister, who was the real killer.

In the end, Mayra was exonerated and her sister Jaime Rosales was found guilty of causing injury to the child and sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Mayra Rosales, now 31, said the stress of the trial caused some much stress that her health deteriorated even more. She is now in a hospital for the super morbidly obese, where she is again confined to a hospital bed. However, in the first 12 weeks Rosales says she has lost 280 pounds.

Watch the teaser for the TLC documentary “Half-Ton Killer?” here:

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombia Prepares Itself Against Cyber Attacks

Colombia Prepares Itself Against Cyber Attacks

Photo: Cyber attack

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The Ministry of Defense of Colombia, with the support of the Organization of American States (OAS), is conducting an exercise in cyber security crisis management at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, with the objective of strengthening the capabilities of Colombia in preventing, detecting and mitigating the effects of a large scale cyber attack on the country.

Neil Klopfenstein, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the OAS, emphasized that “this activity has been made possible thanks to the support of the Colombian National Computer Security Incident Response Team (ColCERT),” referring to the Colombian organization charged with carrying out the exercise.

The exercise is the first of its type, and afterwards similar exercises will be carried out in Argentina, Mexico and other countries of the region, for which a new laboratory will be used, which was acquired by CICTE and has been developed with the support of the Department of Information Technology Services (DOITS) of the OAS and experts from the Member States, including officials from ColCERT.

The equipment, which was donated by the U.S. State Department, allows the participants in the exercises to work in a virtual environment in which multiple cyber incidents are recreated, which require proper coordination between different institutions in order to be resolved.

Representatives of financial, energy, and telecommunications sectors are participating in the activity, among them relevant actors in the cyber security, with the objective of creating an environment that reflects the realities and the needs of Colombia.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Check Out “Juanes: Fijate Bien” Today on SiriusXM

Check Out “Juanes: Fijate Bien” Today on SiriusXM

Photo: Juanes at Sirius XM (Sirius)

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Sirius XM Radio announced that Juanes: Fijate Bien, SiriusXM’s first artist-hosted show for bilingual listeners, will officially launch today, September 23, 2012, on Caliente channel 150 and La Kueva channel 540.

On his exclusive monthly show, Fijate Bien, the GRAMMY® and seventeen-time Latin GRAMMY® winning guitarist, singer and songwriter, will feature new music and showcase spontaneous, live jam sessions with special guests and share personal stories and anecdotes from life on the road.  The launch of Juanes: Fijate Bien is part of SiriusXM’s extensive programming airing across multiple channels celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

During the first broadcast, Juanes will share stories and music from one of his earliest inspirations, Colombian singer and songwriter, Octavio Mesa.  Juanes will also welcome his first guest, Dominican singer-songwriter, Vicente Garcia, who will deliver a special performance. 

Named after the Colombian superstar’s groundbreaking first album, Juanes: Fijate Bien debuts Sunday, September 23, 2012, starting at 8:00 pm ET.  The special replays on SiriusXM’s Caliente channel 150 Wednesday, September 26, and on La Kueva channel 540 Friday, September 28 at 12:00 pm ET. 

“I am excited to launch Fijate Bien on SiriusXM this Sunday,” said Juanes.  “I look forward to hearing from listeners all over the country and sharing stories, inspiring live music and life experiences from the road.” 

The multi-platinum rock superstar has placed eight #1 singles on Billboard magazine’s “Hot Latin Songs” chart and his most recent album “JUANES MTV Unplugged” debuted at #1 on the “Top Latin Albums” chart and in 18 countries throughout Latin America. 

The superstar’s dedication as a global activist is seen in his charitable work for his own “Mi Sangre Foundation” and as a co-founder of the “Paz sin Fronteras” (Peace Without Borders) organization - which utilizes music as a unifying force regardless of political or geographic divides and advocate that all people are entitled to the basic human right of peace.  Juanes is also one of the Spanish-speaking world’s leading social media voices with an online following of over 10 million fans.

Listeners can register for a free 7-day trial to listen to SiriusXM Internet Radio on Android smartphones and other mobile devices.

Read more by HS News Staff →

2014 Diversity Visa Program Registration Period Begins In Early October

2014 Diversity Visa Program Registration Period Begins In Early October

Photo: Diversity Visa Program

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The 2014 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2014) will open at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Tuesday, October 2, 2012, and will close at noon, EDT, Saturday, November 3, 2012. Applicants must submit entries electronically during this registration period using the electronic DV entry form (E-DV) at www.dvlottery.state.gov. Paper entries will not be accepted. We strongly encourage applicants not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter. Heavy demand may result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after noon, EDT, on November 3, 2012.

The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-649) amended INA 203 and provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants.”

Section 203(c) of the INA provides a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas each fiscal year to be made available to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Fifty-five thousand immigrant visas are set aside for DV immigrants; however, since DV-1999, Congress has reserved 5,000 visas from this annual allocation to be made available for use under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA).

The annual DV program makes visas available to persons meeting the simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. A computer-generated, random drawing chooses selectees for Diversity Visas. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States over the period of the past five years. No single country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visas in any one year.

For DV-2014, natives of Guatemala are now eligible to enter the program.

For DV-2014, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years:

Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

A “native” ordinarily means someone born within a particular country, regardless of the individual’s current country of residence or nationality. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.

The Department of State implemented the electronic registration system beginning with DV-2005 in order to make the Diversity Visa process more efficient and secure. We utilize special technology and other means to identify those who commit fraud for the purposes of illegal immigration or those who submit multiple entries.

For DV-2014, the Department of State will once again implement an online process to notify entrants of their selection, and to provide information about the immigrant visa application and interview. Beginning May 1, 2013, DV-2014 entrants will be able to use their unique confirmation number provided at registration to check online through Entry Status Check to see if their entry was selected. Successful entrants will receive instructions for how to apply for immigrant visas for themselves and their eligible family members. Confirmation of visa interview appointments will also be made through Entry Status Check.

For detailed information about entry requirements, along with frequently asked questions about the DV program, please see the instructions for the DV-2014 Diversity Visa program available here.

Read more by HS News Staff →

INFOGRAPHIC: Pollution in Latin America

INFOGRAPHIC: Pollution in Latin America

Photo: Hispanically Speaking News

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Globally, outdoor urban air pollution kills 2 million people annually and indoor air pollution causes 2 million premature deaths.  In Latin America, 100 million people are exposed to levels of air pollution that exceed the recommended standards.  With these rates it is important to look at the health and environmental issues connected to pollution.  HS-News takes a look at which countries are culprits and which are taking strides towards environmental protection.

Check out our infographic to learn more about “Pollution in Latin America.”

Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

Peña Nieto Appoints Colombian General to Direct LatAm Citizenship Institute

Peña Nieto Appoints Colombian General to Direct LatAm Citizenship Institute

Photo: Oscar Naranjo

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Retired Colombian Gen. Oscar Naranjo will combine his function as security adviser to Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto with that of director of the Latin American Citizenship Institute, which seeks to “wipe out the culture of illegality.”

While taking part in the inaugural ceremony of the institute at Monterrey Tech’s Santa Fe campus in Mexico City, the former chief of Colombia’s National Police said Friday that the new institution will be dedicated to “breaking with the old stereotypes that seek a better democracy simply by making demands on political leaders.”

“The truth is that the quality of a democracy is won by the strength of its citizenry, the enthusiasm of each citizen and the full awareness that we are all equal,” he said.

The general, who is also part of the team designated by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to negotiate with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC guerrilla group, said that the institute, founded by Monterrey Tech, responds to an “obsession to work in a clean, crystal clear, transparent way to wipe out the culture of illegality.”

He said that his work as adviser to Peña Nieto is “external, non-operational and outside the lines of hierarchy,” while in the institute he will discharge an “internal” function to promote “processes that give citizens a new role in society from an integrating, humanistic and uniting vision of knowledge and best practices.”

In June, Enrique Peña Nieto announced that he had invited Naranjo to advise him on security matters if he won the July 1 election.

He said that Naranjo’s assistance in laying out his security strategy would come into play throughout the transition period and after he takes office next Dec. 1.

Peña Nieto finally won the July election and was declared president-elect by the TEPJF electoral tribunal in late August.

In July, Naranjo argued in Washington for Mexico’s “reinvention” of its response to drug trafficking and for giving citizens a greater voice.

The war on crime “is no longer a matter for police and judges alone,” but implies “democratic values” and “more working together by all levels of society,” Naranjo told a press conference at the headquarters of the Inter-American Development Bank.

More than 50,000 people, according to official figures, have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since late 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took office and declared war on the country’s powerful cartels.

Calderon deployed tens of thousands of soldiers and Federal Police officers across the country to combat drug cartels and other criminal organizations.

The use of the armed forces, however, failed to stem the violence.

Monterrey Tech rector Salvador Alva Gomez said during the inauguration ceremony that one of the institute’s first actions will be to bring together, at the end of this month, 16 mayor-elects from the Monterrey metropolitan area to a weeklong workshop in Medellin, Colombia, “to learn the highly successful model of transformation that this city has applied.”

Monterrey Tech is a private institution of higher learning founded in 1943 in Monterrey in the northern state of Nuevo Leon and that today has a presence in every state of Mexico and in the nation’s capital.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuela, China Working Together to Develop Gold Mine

Venezuela, China Working Together to Develop Gold Mine

Photo: Gold nugget

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Venezuela and China have signed an agreement to develop one of the South American country’s largest gold mines, one of a series of bilateral accords reached in different areas.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said during a brief address broadcast by state-run VTV television that an agreement was signed Friday to develop the Las Cristinas gold and copper mine, which he touted as one of the largest “gold reservoirs” in Venezuela and the world.

Las Cristinas, located in the southeastern state of Bolivar, is one of the planet’s largest untapped gold mines with reserves of more than 16 million ounces, equivalent to 500 tons.

An agreement also was signed to draw up Venezuela’s “mineral deposits map,” a project of great importance for the country’s economic and social development, Chavez added at the Miraflores palace after meeting with representatives of Chinese state-owned conglomerate CITIC Group.

Oil and Mines Minister Rafael Ramirez later said the project will involve the exploration, quantification and certification of mineral reserves throughout Venezuela.

“It’s a five-year project that, in addition to quantification and certification, will involve creating a database that currently doesn’t exist in our country,” Ramirez said.

He added that the CITIC Group currently is fulfilling its contract to build 33,000 homes in Venezuela and has completed 24,000 thus far, including industrial condominiums in the vast Orinoco Oil Belt.

“It’s a very important, very large complex. We’re just now in the basic engineering stage, and CITIC also is going to help us develop non-oil infrastructure (in the Orinoco region),” Ramirez, who is also CEO of state-owned oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, said.

For his part, the president of the CITIC consortium, Chang Zhen Ming, said he represents “China’s largest conglomerate” and that the accords signed Friday will help “Venezuela’s economic development.”

Venezuela, one of the world’s largest oil producers, has rapidly expanded its trade ties with China in recent years.

In the oil sector, the two nations have signed refinery construction deals and contracts for the sale of 640,000 barrels of Venezuelan crude per day to the Asian nation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Taking Small Steps Towards Greater Equality

Brazil Taking Small Steps Towards Greater Equality

Photo: Morumbi district of São Paulo

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Brazil’s traditionally high level of inequality fell slightly between 2009 and last year thanks to an 8.3 percent increase in workers’ average income and a nearly 20 percent drop in the unemployment rate, according to a government study released Friday.

While the incomes of the poorest 10 percent of the population grew by 29.2 percent between 2009 and 2011, those of the richest 10 percent only climbed 4.43 percent in the same period, according to figures from the state-run IBGE statistics agency.

Higher incomes and employment among the poorest Brazilians caused the Gini coefficient - a measure of wealth concentration in which a score of 0 expresses perfect equality and 1 expresses maximum inequality - to fall from 0.518 points in 2009 to 0.501 points in 2011.

IBGE’s statisticians attributed the reduction in inequality to policies pursued in recent years to combat poverty, especially subsidies for the poorest citizens and salary readjustments that ensure workers’ take-home pay rises faster than inflation.

Despite the slight reduction in inequality, the study showed that Brazil’s wealthiest citizens still take in nearly half of the country’s income.

The richest 10 percent of Brazilians received 41.5 percent of all income in 2011, down slightly from 42.5 percent in 2009.

Meanwhile, the poorest 10 percent of the population only took home 1.4 percent of income in 2011, virtually unchanged from 2009.

Gender inequality also fell slightly. In 2009, women earned an average of 67.1 percent of the salary of a man performing comparable work, while that percentage rose to 70.4 percent in 2011.

Average income of Brazilian men totaled 1,417 reais ($708) in 2011, while that of women came in at 997 reais ($498).

The average unemployment rate last year was 6.7 percent, the lowest in the past five years and far below the 2009 rate of 8.2 percent.

The jobless rate among women fell from 11 percent to 9.1 percent, while the unemployment rate for men declined from 6.2 percent to 4.9 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →

No Major Damage Reported from 5.4 Earthquake that Shook Southern Mexico

No Major Damage Reported from 5.4 Earthquake that Shook Southern Mexico

Photo: Epicenter of earthquake (USGS)

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A magnitude-5.4 earthquake rattled parts of southern Mexico on Saturday, although no injuries or material damage have been reported, the National Seismology Service, or SSN, said.

The quake struck at 7:30 a.m. and its epicenter was located 29 kilometers (18 miles) from Pinotepa Nacional - a town close to the Pacific coast in the southern state of Oaxaca - at a depth of two kilometers, the SSN said on its Web site.

The earthquake also was felt in Mexico City, but Mayor Marcelo Ebrard told the media that an initial assessment showed the capital was not seriously affected by the seismic event.

The municipal emergency services chief, Miguel Elias Moreno Brizuela, also confirmed that initial inspections have not revealed any damage or casualties.

Moreno added that the earthquake was felt in some neighborhoods of downtown Mexico City and that authorities will continue their inspections to rule out possible damage, while Mexico City’s metro service will continue operating normally.

For their part, Oaxaca emergency management officials said they also had not noticed any damage but that inspections were ongoing.

Authorities said Saturday’s temblor was an aftershock of the magnitude-7.4 earthquake that rocked southern Mexico on March 20.

That earlier quake, the most powerful to hit the country since 1985, left two dead and a dozen people injured and seriously damaged hundreds of homes along the country’s southern coast.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Concertgoers Clash with Police at MTV Madrid Beach Festival, 11 Arrested

Spanish Concertgoers Clash with Police at MTV Madrid Beach Festival, 11 Arrested

Photo: MTV Madrid Beach festival

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Eleven people were arrested in disturbances that occurred early Saturday during the celebration of the MTV Madrid Beach festival, police told Efe.

Those in custody, charged with attacking a police officer, were taken to provincial brigade facilities where they spent the night and where on Saturday they were to make their depositions.

A total of 60 people including 20 cops were attended by emergency medical services for slight or very slight injuries such as sprains, bruises and falls.

Meanwhile 10 people, two of them police officers, had to be admitted to medical centers.

The disturbances broke out when access was blocked to the enclosed area once the concert audience had reached capacity, the emergency management agency said.

A group of youths burned containers full of trash and threw bottles, provoking the charge by security forces.

According to the latest police report, the disturbances were brought under control by 5:30 a.m.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SundaySeptember 23, 2012