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ThursdaySeptember 27, 2012

Latino Daily News: Bringing You the Latest Hispanic Current Events and News Stories 24/7

To reflect the dynamic interests of our audience, Latino Daily News is an online daily news source and virtual cultural center for and about Latinos. We offer the latest news headlines, as well as innovative and insightful Hispanic current events stories, photos, videos, and commentaries from a Latino perspective, 24/7.

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Mexican Government Neglecting Incarcerated, Prison System

Mexican Government  Neglecting Incarcerated, Prison System

Photo: Prisons in Mexico

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Inmates in Mexico’s corrections system have been effectively abandoned by the government, a crisis reflected in frequent breakouts and fights and “self-governance” by prison gangs, the independent National Human Rights Commission said.

The panel’s findings were contained in the 2011 National Penitentiary Supervision Diagnosis, a report based on inspections of the country’s 100 most populated prisons.

“The country’s penitentiaries are experiencing a very delicate crisis stemming from a lack of adequate public policy and - it most also be said - the scant interest this problem awakens in society,” precisely due to the harm that criminal activity has caused innocent people, commission chairman Raul Plascencia said.

Conflict among drug cartels and between criminals and the security forces have claimed some 60,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the drug trade.

Besides pursuing their underworld vendettas, gunmen employed by the cartels also engage in kidnapping, extortion and robbery.

In outlining the study’s findings, Plascencia stressed that “the government has spent enormous sums combating crime and detaining criminals, but practically abandons the inmate once he is in prison.”

He said the commission’s staff confirmed that authorities’ control of penitentiaries has been weakened by self-governance and co-governance, in which prison security, activities and services are being managed by groups of inmates.

Plascencia said overcrowding is a persistent problem in the prisons examined for the report, most of which lack programs to prevent and respond to violent incidents.

Between 2010 and the present, the commission documented 14 prison breaks, in which a total of 521 inmates escaped; 75 fights that left 352 dead; and two prison riots that resulted in two people killed and 32 injured.

On Sept. 17, more than 100 inmates escaped from a prison in the northern Mexican border city of Piedras Negras by walking out through the main gate.

That prison break was the biggest in Mexico since Dec. 17, 2010, when 141 inmates escaped from a penitentiary in Nuevo Laredo, a border city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

According to Plascencia, the country’s prisons also do not provide inmates with work, training, educational or sporting activities, thus impeding the goal of integrating ex-prisoners back into society.

“No public safety policy will yield (the desired) results if the situation that exists inside the prisons is not addressed and corrected,” the report said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Dissident Accuses Government of Smear Campaign

Cuban Dissident Accuses Government of Smear Campaign

Photo: Marta Beatriz Roque

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Former political prisoner Marta Beatriz Roque on Wednesday said that Cuba’s Communist government “is using low and dirty methods” to discredit the opposition and confuse public opinion.

Roque earlier this month headed a hunger strike that was joined by a score of other dissidents to demand the release from prison of a colleague and to protest the circumstances the opposition finds itself in, a protest state television described as a “media show” and an anti-Cuba campaign.

“Indisputably, the government is very bothered by the strike and the repercussions it has had internationally,” Roque told Efe in a response to Tuesday’s piece on state television.

The dissident economist said that the reproduction of images taken inside her home and the broadcasting of several of her telephone conversations in the reporting are “violations of privacy. What has been done is unconstitutional.”

“All that is manipulated,” she added, going on to say that she is not going to “justify at all what the government says because they are telling lies and we have the truth.”

The reporting on Cuban state television said that at least 13 dissidents who had declared themselves to be on hunger strike were actually eating during that time and it presented the testimony of a man said to be one of Roque’s neighbors who claimed that the dissident asked him to buy fruit and vegetables during the protest.

After pursuing the hunger strike for eight days, Roque announced that she was terminating the fast on Sept. 18 upon learning that Cuban authorities had promised to release Jorge Vazquez, though he has yet to be let out of prison.

The Cuban government views the dissidents as counterrevolutionaries and “mercenaries” funded by the U.S. government and Cuban exile groups.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Head of Google Brazil Arrested for Refusing to Remove Political Videos

Head of Google Brazil Arrested for Refusing to Remove Political Videos

Photo: Fabio Jose Silva Coelho

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The head of Google’s Brazilian operations, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, was arrested here Wednesday for failing to remove from the Internet several videos deemed slanderous by a Brazilian electoral court.

The Regional Electoral Court in the western state of Mato Grosso do Sul ordered the arrest, the Federal Police said in a communique.

The crime, the announcement said, carries a punishment of a year in jail, but since this is “a crime of minor offensive potential,” Coelho will be released after signing a pledge to present himself for court proceedings.

Judge Flavio Saad Peron on Sept. 20 ordered Coelho to be arrested for not having removed from YouTube two videos that allegedly slander a candidate for mayor of Campo Grande, Alcides Bernal.

Coelho’s attorneys filed a habeas corpus motion challenging the judge’s order, although the request was denied.

Google declared that it will appeal the court’s decision because, as a Web platform, it is not responsible for content.

Even so, Judge Peron also issued an order to the telecommunications firm Embratel to remove the YouTube Web page for 24 hours in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

This is the second case of this kind against Google in Brazil in the two weeks after on Sept. 14 the electoral court of Paraiba state decreed that another executive be jailed after being accused of disobedience for not removing a video that offended a municipal candidate in that region.

In addition, the firm was fined 1 million reais ($492,000) per day in the state of Parana for making available for viewing three videos against the mayor of the town of Cascavel, Edgar Bueno, who is running for reelection.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Singers & Joy Nominated for 5 Latin Grammy Awards

Mexican Singers & Joy Nominated for 5 Latin Grammy Awards

Photo: Mexican Singers & Joy Nominated for 5 Latin Grammy Awards

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Mexican singing duo Jesse & Joy are going through a time of “craziness” in their career after being nominated this week for five Latin Grammy awards.

The five nominations received by brother and sister Jesse and Joy Huerta were for album of the year and best contemporary pop album for “Con quien se queda el perro?” and for best recording and song of the year for “Corre!” and best short music video for “Me voy.”

“It’s crazy. We never thought there would be so many. So many nominations for Jesse & Joy never went through our heads. We’re in the middle of the craziness of the tour and the truth is that it feels nice due to the response of our fans,” Jesse said Thursday in an interview with Efe.

“It’s gratifying. We’ve worked hard for almost eight years and we’re going step by step,” said Joy, who will participate on Friday in the Fidelity Noche de Estrellas concert in San Juan.

Jesse added that if they win some of the awards for which they’ve been nominated it will be “a plus,” but if that doesn’t happen they already feel like winners because of the work they’ve done in the recording studio to put out their third album.

The five Latin Grammy nominations have brought the duo to a “very nice” place in their career where they feel “a lot of responsibility,” because from now on they will have to exceed the expectations of their past successes, Jesse said.

“Our biggest challenge is to do a better song than the previous one,” he said.

The Latin Grammy awards ceremony will take place Nov. 15 at Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Arizona Latinos Experiencing Racial Profiling With “Show Me Your Papers” in Effect

Arizona Latinos Experiencing Racial Profiling With “Show Me Your Papers” in Effect

Photo: Racial profiling

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Members of the Hispanic community in southern Arizona say they have experienced racial profiling by the police after the entry into force of the “show me your papers” provision of the state’s harsh immigration law.

Martha Angel Castillo, a volunteer with the Arizona Human Rights Coalition, said that one of the cases on which she is currently working is that of a women who identified herself only as Maria Estela and who after being subjected to 12 years of domestic violence dared to file a complaint against her husband.

“When the police officer came to her home, her husband (a U.S. citizen) told the officer that Maria Estela was an undocumented immigrant, and the officer called her outside and handcuffed her immediately,” said Angel during a community forum in Tucson.

She said the officer called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which arrested the immigrant and waited until the following day to take her to a hospital where she received medical attention for the beating she had suffered at the hands of her husband.

Angel said that this case, which occurred several days after Subsection 2(b) of law SB 1070 entered into force last week, shows that the police were more interested in questioning the woman’s immigration status than in protecting her from an abusive spouse.

Subsection 2(b) requires Arizona law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they suspect of being in the United States illegally.

Another person who told about his own experience was Carlos, a legal immigrant.

He said that he was arrested on Sept. 16 by the Arizona highway patrol for nothing more than his Hispanic appearance.

After turning over his automobile registration and insurance information to the officer, he realized that he did not have his driver’s license with him, and the officer asked him if a family member could bring it to him.

His wife, accompanied by a daughter brought the license, but the state troopers immediately began questioning the woman’s identity.

“My wife gave them her driver’s license from Mexico, they asked her for other identification and she gave them her consular I.D. card. After that she decided to keep quiet,” Carlos said.

After a long wait, while the officers filled out the ticket, the Border Patrol arrived to inquire into the immigration status of the couple.

Carlos’s wife was arrested and is now in the detention center for undocumented immigrants in Eloy, Arizona.

Tucson police chief Roberto Villaseñor, who heard the testimonies presented at the community forum, said that there are two sides to every story and that often an investigation of the cases finds that they did not occur as they were related.

“We’re still in the training process,” Villaseñor told Efe regarding the enforcement of Subsection 2(b).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain’s “Blancanieves” to be Foreign-Language Oscar Contender

Spain’s “Blancanieves” to be Foreign-Language Oscar Contender

Photo: Blancanieves

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“Blancanieves,” a silent film shot in black and white, will represent Spain in the non-English best film category at the 85th edition of the Oscars and at Mexico’s Ariel awards.

“I hope that the film has the success it deserves and that it will be the fifth Oscar in Hollywood” for Spanish moviemaking, said the president of the Film Academy, Enrique Gonzalez Macho, who added that the Mexican and U.S. academies will be informed of the entry on Thursday.

Four movies from Spain, “Mar adentro,” “Volver a empezar,” “Belle Epoque” and “Todo sobre mi madre,” have won the Oscar for best non-English-language film.

“Blancanieves,” directed by Pablo Berger, beat out “El artista y la modelo,” by Fernando Trueba and “Grupo 7,” by Alberto Rodriguez, in the voting conducted “mainly” online by the Spanish academy members, Gonzalez Macho added.

Starring Maribel Verdu, Macarena Garcia and Daniel Gimenez Cacho, the film will begin showing in Spanish theaters on Friday after being screened at the San Sebastian Film Festival, where it enjoyed great critical success.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Princeton Study: New Insights on the Effects of Migration on Child Well-Being

Princeton Study: New Insights on the Effects of Migration on Child Well-Being

Photo: Princeton Study: New Insights on the Effects of Migration on Child Well-Being

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World Leaders Are Called on to Connect These Dots

As world leaders gather in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, women and children are certainly part of the discussions. Leaders routinely fail, however, to address how changing migration patterns have a profound effect on children. New research sheds light on the connection between immigration patterns and child well-being, and should be central to many of the U.N. policy discussions.

“Migrant Youths and Children of Migrants in a Globalized World,” the focus of the September volume of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, looks at international child migration through the lens of child development. With the backdrop of changing migration patterns, the researchers seek to identify policies and institutions that can ensure that children who migrate integrate and succeed in their new homes.

The volume details how the patterns of migration have changed over the past 40 years – from the sheer increase in the number of people migrating to the directional changes in migration—while underscoring the demographic changes of migrants and the challenges facing migrant youth. Three key migration issues are highlighted: education; family, fertility, and the lifecycle timing of migration; and health.

The volume was co-edited by Alícia Adserà, research scholar and lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School and the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, and Marta Tienda, the Maurice P. During ’22 Professor in Demographic Studies and professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University.

The co-editors note, “The articles in this volume offer new insights on child migration, social integration and child well-being, drawing comparisons from traditional and ‘new’ immigrant-receiving nations and providing important recommendations for successful integration of youths with migration backgrounds.”

Published by Sage, the volume features the following articles:

  - “Comparative Perspectives on International Migration and Child Well-being” by Alícia Adserá and Marta Tienda
  - “Migrant Youths’ Educational Achievement: The Role of Institutions” by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, Mathias Sinning, and Steven Stillman
  - “Educational Achievement Gaps between Immigrant and Native Students in Two “New” Immigration Countries: Italy and Spain in Comparison” by Davide Azzolini, Philipp Schnell, and John R. B. Palmer
  - “The Educational Expectations of Children of Immigrants in Italy” by Alessandra Minello and Nicola Barban
  - “Child-Parent Separations among Senegalese Migrants to Europe: Migration Strategies or Cultural Arrangements?” by Amparo González-Ferrer, Pau Baizán, and Cris Beauchemin
  - “Age at Immigration and the Adult Attainments of Child Migrants to the United States” by Audrey Beck, Miles Corak, and Marta Tienda
  - “Fertility Patterns of Child Migrants: Age at Migration and Ancestry in Comparative Perspective” by Alícia Adserà, Ana M. Ferrer, Wendy Sigle-Rushton, and Ben Wilson
  - “Nativity Differences in Mothers’ Health Behaviors: A Cross-National and Longitudinal Lens” by Margot Jackson, Sara McLanahan, and Kathleen Kiernan
  - “Race/Ethnic and Nativity Disparities in Child Overweight in the United States and England” by Melissa L. Martinson, Sara McLanahan, and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
  - “How Do Children of Mixed Partnerships Fare in the United Kingdom? Understanding the Implications for Children of Parental Ethnic Homogamy and Heterogamy” by Lucinda Platt

“As the nations of the world gather for this year’s United Nations General Assembly, it is our hope that the delegates look at these critical issues impacting our world’s children,” say Adserà and Tienda. “The findings in this volume can help leaders shape policies that will have a profound positive effect on the world’s migrating children.”

Read more at Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs →

Top Google Brazil Exec Arrested For Not Removing Slanderous Videos

Top Google Brazil Exec Arrested For Not Removing Slanderous Videos

Photo: Fabio Jose Silva Coelho

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The head of Google’s Brazilian operations, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, was arrested here Wednesday for failing to remove from the Internet several videos deemed slanderous by a Brazilian electoral court.

The Regional Electoral Court in the western state of Mato Grosso do Sul ordered the arrest, the Federal Police said in a communique.

The crime, the announcement said, carries a punishment of a year in jail, but since this is “a crime of minor offensive potential,” Coelho will be released after signing a pledge to present himself for court proceedings.

Judge Flavio Saad Peron on Sept. 20 ordered Coelho to be arrested for not having removed from YouTube two videos that allegedly slander a candidate for mayor of Campo Grande, Alcides Bernal.

Coelho’s attorneys filed a habeas corpus motion challenging the judge’s order, although the request was denied.

Google declared that it will appeal the court’s decision because, as a Web platform, it is not responsible for content.

Even so, Judge Peron also issued an order to the telecommunications firm Embratel to remove the YouTube Web page for 24 hours in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

This is the second case of this kind against Google in Brazil in the two weeks after on Sept. 14 the electoral court of Paraiba state decreed that another executive be jailed after being accused of disobedience for not removing a video that offended a municipal candidate in that region.

In addition, the firm was fined 1 million reais ($492,000) per day in the state of Parana for making available for viewing three videos against the mayor of the town of Cascavel, Edgar Bueno, who is running for reelection.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s ‘Open Air’ Uses Lights, iApp to Fill Philadelphia’s Night Sky

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s ‘Open Air’ Uses Lights, iApp to Fill Philadelphia’s Night Sky

Photo: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's 'Open Air' Uses Lights, iApp to Fill Philadelphia's Night Sky

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Below, the Association for Public Art interviews Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, artist of Open Air, an interactive public art installation for Philadelphia.

Commissioned by the Association for Public Art, Open Air has been running nightly since September 20 and will continue until October 14.

Using a free mobile app developed by Lozano-Hemmer’s studio, participants’ voices and GPS positions will control 24 powerful robotic searchlights placed along a half-mile section of the Parkway – creating giant three-dimensional “light sculptures.”

Every night from 8-11 p.m., participants can use their voices and GPS positions to activate 24 robotic searchlights placed along a half-mile section of the Parkway, all via the customized iPhone app, which has the lights’ brightness and position react to the users’ voices and words as they speak.

The lights can be seen up to 10 miles away, and with thousands of people taking part, the Philadelphia’s night sky is filled with a unique light show each night.

Lozano-Hemmer was born in Mexico City in 1967 to nightclub owners. He emigrated to Canada and went on to earn a Bachelors of Science in Physical Chemistry from Concordia University in Montreal. His works are now featured all over the world, including:

The Millennium Celebrations in Mexico City (1999), the Cultural Capital of Europe in Rotterdam (2001), the UN World Summit of Cities in Lyon (2003), the opening of the YCAM Center in Japan (2003), the Expansion of the European Union in Dublin (2004), the memorial for the Tlatelolco Student Massacre in Mexico City (2008), the 50th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2009) and the Winter Olympics in Vancouver (2010).

Interview with “Open Air” artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer from Association for Public Art on Vimeo.

 


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“Use Your Voice For Good” - Christina Aguilera Asks You to Help End World Hunger (VIDEO)

“Use Your Voice For Good” - Christina Aguilera Asks You to Help End World Hunger (VIDEO)

Photo: "Use Your Voice For Good" - Christina Aguilera Asks You to Help End World Hunger

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Yum! Brands has announced the launch of its annual World Hunger Relief effort featuring multi-Grammy Award winner and The Voice coach Christina Aguilera in a new public service announcement.

The new PSA will air in October and depicts a mother’s emotional struggle with not having the means to provide one of life’s most basic necessities for her hungry child, food.  Aguilera urges viewers to give the millions of children who go to bed hungry a voice and “join the chorus at FromHungertoHope.com and use your voice for good.” Her soulful hit single, “The Voice Within,” plays softly throughout the :15, :30 and extended versions of the PSA.

Hunger and malnutrition are the number one risk to health worldwide - greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Among the key causes of hunger are natural disasters, conflict, poverty, poor agricultural infrastructure and exploitation of the environment.

Aguilera has served as global spokesperson for Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief effort since 2009 where her participation has helped raise millions for WFP and other hunger relief agencies. She also serves as an “Ambassador Against Hunger” for WFP where she has traveled on relief trips with the organization to Haiti and Guatemala. She recently received a special achievement award for her incredible career and work in philanthropy, including her efforts with World Hunger Relief, at the 2012 National Council of La Raza ALMA Awards.

“The concept of my new PSA for Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief effort really moves me, not just because I’m a mother, but because it speaks to anyone who has ever struggled to feed their children,” said Aguilera. “It is a devastating issue but one that we can help solve and that’s why I’m so passionate about using my voice by raising awareness.”

The annual World Hunger Relief campaign is the world’s largest private sector hunger relief effort, spanning more than 120 countries, nearly 38,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants and more than 1 million employees, to raise awareness, volunteerism and funds for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and other hunger relief agencies. Multi-Grammy Award winner and international superstar Christina Aguilera serves as the global spokesperson for World Hunger Relief.


Watch The Voice coach’s 2012 From Hunger to Hope PSA below, and watch her 2010 Haiti Relief and UN World Food Programme PSA with Muhammad Ali here.


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‘Sons of Anarchy’ Actor, Johnny Lewis, Dead at 28

‘Sons of Anarchy’ Actor, Johnny Lewis, Dead at 28

Photo: 'Sons of Anarchy' Actor, Johnny Lewis, Dead at 28

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One of the stars of Camilo Vila’s upcoming 186 Dollars to Get Out, Johnny Lewis, was found dead Wednesday and police are still attempting to unravel the mystery surrounding his death.

ImageLewis, 28, was found at the Los Angeles home of Catherine Davis, an 81-year-old woman believed to be renting a room to Lewis. Davis was also found dead at the home and police suspect Lewis may be responsible.

Los Angeles police arrived at the home after they received calls of a woman screaming. Witnesses also stated Lewis began fighting with neighbors after the alleged altercation with Davis and was soon spotted on the home’s roof. He was later found in dead in the driveway.

Investigators are still trying to determine whether Lewis fell or jumped. Early reports say police suspect Lewis was on drugs, either meth or PCP.

ImageLewis’ most recent notable role was as Kip “Half Sack” Epps on FX’s Sons of Anarchy. He also had a role on The O.C..

He also played Jorge in the upcoming movie 186 Dollars to Get Out, a movie about a young California surfer forced to grow up in a hurry when he is thrown into a Peruvian political prison in 1980.

The movie, which is based on a true story, also stars John Robinson, Michael DeLorenzo, and Alex Meraz.

Read more by HS News Staff →

CHECK OUT:  Trailer for Cameron Diaz’ New Movie ‘Gambit’

CHECK OUT:  Trailer for Cameron Diaz’ New Movie ‘Gambit’

Photo: Cameron Diaz movie 'Gambit'

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Check out the movie trailer for Cameron Diaz’ new movie ‘Gambit’ also starring Academy award winner Colin Firth.

The Coen Brothers comedic production centers on an art heist gone very wrong.  Diaz plays a rodeo queen that comes to the assistance of Firth who is trying to dupe his wacko employer with a faux Monet painting.

The movie will debut first in the U.K. on November 21st.


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Here are the 2012 Latin Grammy Nominees: Jose Guerra Leads with Six

Here are the 2012 Latin Grammy Nominees: Jose Guerra Leads with Six

Photo: Here are the 2012 Latin Grammy Nominees: Jose Guerra Leads with Six

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Nominations for the XIII Annual Latin Grammy Awards’ 47 categories and 18 fields were announced Tuesday at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The event was hosted by The Latin Recording Academy President/CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr., and Univision’s Giselle Blondet.

And the leading nominees are…

Six Nominations:
Juan Luis Guerra

Five Nominations:
Jesse & Joy Garner

Four Nominations:
Ricardo Arjona
Edgar Barrera
Juanes
Carla Morrison
Arturo Sandoval
Ivete Sangalo
Caetano Velosa (to be honored as 2012 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year)


Click here to see the full list of nominees and categories.

With another 6 nominations this year, the 55-year-old singer, songwriter, and producer from the Dominican Republic, Juan Luis Guerra has received the most nominations.

As one of the most internationally recognized Latin artists in recent history, Guerra has sold more than 30 million records, won 12 Latin Grammy Awards, two Grammys, and two Latin Billboard Music Awards,

Guerra is also a UNESCO Artist for Peace and has been awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Berklee College of Music.

The 13th Annual Latin Grammy Awards are scheduled for November 15 in Las Vegas and is set to be televised by Univision.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tony Bennett to Perform this Weekend with Vicente Fernandez on His Retirement Tour

Tony Bennett to Perform this Weekend with Vicente Fernandez on His Retirement Tour

Photo: Tony Bennett to Perform with Vicente Fernandez

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Two living music legends, Tony Bennett and Mexico’s Vicente Fernandez will meet on stage live to perform at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on Sunday, September 30.  This concert if part of Fernandez’ retirement tour

Bennett will make a special appearance during Fernandez’ scheduled concert that night to perform their duet of the song, “Return To Me (Regresa A Mi)” which the two recorded for Bennett’s forthcoming CD, TONY BENNETT: VIVA DUETS, set for worldwide release on Monday, October 22. 

Bennett flew to Guadalajara, Mexico earlier this year to record the duet of a song made famous by Dean Martin.

VIVA DUETS finds Bennett performing his greatest hits with an incredible roster of artists including Marc Anthony, Christina Aguilera, Ricardo Arjona, Miguel Bose, Ana Carolina, Chayanne, Franco De Vita, Gloria Estefan, Vicente Fernandez, Maria Gadu, Juan Luis Guerra, Dani Martín, Romeo Santos, Thalía and Vicentico. 

The CD features performances in English and Spanish, with artists representing nine countries and three continents. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

¡Basta! Enough Says Spaniards as Thousands Take to Street Protesting Austerity Program

¡Basta! Enough Says Spaniards as Thousands Take to Street Protesting Austerity Program

Photo: Madrid Protests

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In the second day of protests tens of thousands of Spaniards took to the street to protest the country’s austerity program and want Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to know ¡Basta! they have had enough of the budget cuts and cutbacks to social welfare benefits.

Rajoy is expected to meet with his financial ministers today to decide how to eliminate a $23.2 billion budget deficit and whether the country needs a European bailout.  The decision comes as thousands in Madrid took to the street asking for the Prime Minister’s resignation and threatening to strike if more cuts are made.  Since 2007 Spain has been in the midst of a prolonged and deep economic recession. 

Yesterday’s anti-government protests near parliament had Spanish police beating back the growing crowds which lead to rioting and numerous arrests.  Meanwhile the Catalonia region of Spain announced early elections for November 25 where they may include a ballot referendum to decide whether to break off from the rest of the country.

All of this adds more pressure on Rajoy and his government to act decisively and effectively to solve Spain’s financial woes.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nicaragua Building 80 Health Care Centers in Most Remote Areas of Country

Nicaragua Building 80 Health Care Centers in Most Remote Areas of Country

Photo: Nicaragua Building health centers

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved $56.2 million in financing to Nicaragua for a program to improve health care, benefitting some 2.3 million people living in vulnerable areas. The funds will finance the construction and rehabilitation of 80 health care centers.

The program is expected to help Nicaragua bring down teen birth rates in targeted areas from 28.5 percent to 22 percent and the hospitalization rate for infantile diarrhea from 7.8 per 1,000 children to 6.4 per 1,000 by the end of the five-year program.

The program will help raise health care professionals’ awareness of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples’ cultures and values and include traditional medicine into treatment protocols. Twelve thousand pregnant Nicaraguan women will be signed up for a safe motherhood plan, focusing on four areas with higher maternal mortality rates.

As a result of the program, the percentage of births at properly equipped health centers is expected to rise from 55 percent to 75 percent amongst other things.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuela Captures Drug-Smuggling Plane With Help of Drones

Venezuelan authorities captured a drug-smuggling plane after the aircraft was spotted by one of the drones the Andean nation is developing in partnership with Iran, President Hugo Chavez said Wednesday.

After the drone detected “the unusual landing of a plane” Tuesday night in the southwestern state of Apure, he authorized the dispatch of helicopters equipped with night-vision capability, the president said.

“They left from here, Caracas, almost three hours in flight, and we captured a plane there on the border with Colombia that fell into a swamp,” Chavez said.

Though Venezuela is not a source of illegal drugs, it is a transit country for shipments from neighboring Colombia, a major cocaine producer.

Chavez announced the joint drone program with Tehran in June, stressing the importance of defense cooperation with Russia, China, Iran “and other allied countries.”

Venezuela’s drones will serve “exclusively for the defense of the nation,” according to the president of state arms maker Cavim, Julio Morales Prieto.

The aircraft captured in Apure has a U.S. registration, Interior Minister Tareck el Aissami said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

MEXICO: Clash Between Troops and Outlaws Results in 11 Deaths

MEXICO: Clash Between Troops and Outlaws Results in 11 Deaths

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Eleven people, one of them a soldier, died early Wednesday in a shootout between army troops and outlaws in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, authorities said.

The battle began at around 3:00 a.m. inside a chapel at the foot of Cerro del Jumil mountain, a municipal police officer in Tepecoacuilco told Efe.

The 10 civilians - nine men and a woman - who died in the clash belonged to an organized crime faction that was using the chapel as a hideout, the officer said.

“The army was watching them and pounced on them in the middle of the night,” the policeman said, explaining that several different criminal outfits operate in the area, including La Familia Michoacana and Los Pelones.

Also killed was a soldier from the army’s 27th Infantry Battalion, the Guerrero state Attorney General’s Office said.

Two people apparently being held captive by the suspects were wounded, the AG’s office said in a statement.

Soldiers seized 10 assault rifles and two handguns after the fight, along with two vehicles and 65 bags of marijuana.

Around 7,000 army troops, federal, state and local police have been mobilized since last October for Operation Safe Guerrero, an initiative aimed at curbing gangland violence in the Pacific coast state.

Guerrero is plagued by well-armed drug cartels engaged in a vicious battle to control smuggling routes and territories.

Besides pursuing their underworld vendettas, gunmen employed by the cartels engage in kidnapping, extortion and robbery.

Conflict among drug cartels and between criminals and the security forces have claimed some 60,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the drug trade.

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Organized Crime Members Clash with Army Troops, 10 Killed

Organized Crime Members Clash with Army Troops, 10 Killed

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Ten people were killed Wednesday in a shootout between army troops and outlaws in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, authorities said.

The battle began at around 3:00 a.m. inside a chapel at the foot of Cerro del Jumil mountain, a municipal police officer in Tepecoacuilco told Efe.

The nine men and a woman who were killed in the clash belonged to an organized crime faction that was using the chapel as a hideout, the officer said.

“The army was watching them and pounced on them in the middle of the night,” the policeman said, explaining that several different criminal outfits operate in the area, including La Familia Michoacana and Los Pelones.

Soldiers seized three assault rifles and a handgun after the fight.

Around 7,000 army troops, federal, state and local police have been mobilized since last October for Operation Safe Guerrero, an initiative aimed at curbing gangland violence in the Pacific coast state.

Guerrero is plagued by well-armed drug cartels engaged in a vicious battle to control smuggling routes and territories.

Besides pursuing their underworld vendettas, gunmen employed by the cartels engage in kidnapping, extortion and robbery.

Conflict among drug cartels and between criminals and the security forces have claimed some 60,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the drug trade.

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ThursdaySeptember 27, 2012