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WednesdayOctober 3, 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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Colombian President Santos Enters Hospital For Cancer Surgery

Colombian President Santos Enters Hospital For Cancer Surgery

Photo: President Juan Manuel Santos

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos checked into a Bogota university hospital Wednesday morning to undergo surgery for prostate cancer.

“Entering the clinic. I’m optimistic. With God’s intervention, everything will go well,” Santos said in a Twitter posting.

“My deepest thanks for all your support,” Santos said.

The president arrived around 6:20 a.m. (1120 GMT) at the Santa Fe Foundation hospital in Bogota, accompanied by first lady Maria Clemencia de Santos and their daughter, Maria Antonia Santos.

Santos was received outside the hospital by Dr. Felipe Gomez, his urologist and the physician who diagnosed his illness and recommended he undergo surgery to remove the prostate gland.

The two-hour operation has a 97 percent success rate, according to Gomez, who said Tuesday that Santos would only require local anesthesia and will therefore be conscious during the procedure, which began around 7:00 a.m.

Santos is to be hospitalized for two or three days.

The 61-year-old Santos said in an address broadcast Monday on radio and television that the cancer was detected by means of a biopsy.

Santos said before making a brief trip to Lima for a summit of South American and Arab countries that the tumor was small, non-aggressive and restricted to the prostate gland.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Thousands of Students Take to the Streets of Mexico City on Anniversary of 1968 Massacre

Thousands of Students Take to the Streets of Mexico City on Anniversary of 1968 Massacre

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Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Mexico’s capital to mark the passage of 44 years since the October 1968 massacre of student protesters, an anniversary that took on new significance this year with the re-emergence of young people as a force in public life.

The march began in Tlatelolco square, where a few dozen soldiers and paramilitaries opened fire on a peaceful student rally the evening of Oct. 2, 1968.

Efforts to hold anyone in authority accountable have been frustrated by the courts and by Mexican institutions’ persistent unwillingness to hand over information.

Even the death toll remains a matter of dispute. Authorities released only 44 bodies, but activists say as many as 400 were slain.

It was only a year ago that President Felipe Calderon designated Oct. 2 as an official day of mourning for those who died “in the struggle for democracy.”

Tuesday’s procession made its way to Mexico City’s giant main square, the Zocalo, amid a heavy police presence.

The proclamation of a day of mourning created a “new situation” in that the nation at least “acknowledges what happened,” one of the organizers of the march, Raul Alvarez, told Efe.

He pointed to continuity between the 1968 protesters and the YoSoy132 student movement, which arose during this year’s election campaign to oppose the candidate who ultimately won the presidential contest, Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which was in power at the time of the Tlatelolco massacre.

A similar note was struck Tuesday by two-time leftist presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who said during a ceremony to honor the Tlatelolco victims that the struggle for political freedom continues in Mexico.

Lopez Obrador, who unsuccessfully contested his losses to Calderon in 2006 and Peña Nieto this year, promised to defend young activists at a time when “an authoritarian government is about to impose itself.”

The PRI, which governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000, lost the 2000 presidential election to the conservative PAN party and finished third in 2006, behind the PAN’s Calderon and Lopez Obrador.

During its 71-year reign, the PRI relied mainly on patronage and control of organized labor and the mass media, though it was not above resorting to outright vote-rigging and even violence to stay in power.

“The demands of 44 years ago continue to be the same now,” YoSoy132’s Citlalli Hernandez told Efe.

“We are part of the same movement for democracy and against authoritarianism,” she said, noting that besides commemorating Tlatelolco, Tuesday’s demonstration was aimed at voicing anger over Calderon’s attempt to overhaul Mexican labor law before he leaves office Nov. 30.

In the Zocalo, where the giant Mexican flag that waves over the square was at half-mast, members of YoSoy132 read a statement warning of a new “offensive against the people of Mexico” with the return to power of the PRI.

Participants in the rally observed a minute of silence at 6:10 p.m., when the first shots were fired 44 years ago.

The Tlatelolco massacre was the most dramatic incident in the “dirty war” waged by successive PRI administrations against leftists from the late 1960s to around 1980.

Organizations representing families of the hundreds of activists killed or “disappeared” by the government during the dirty war took part in Tuesday’s anniversary events.

The most serious attempt to hold officials accountable for the bloodletting in Tlatelolco ended in March 2009, when an appellate court “definitively exonerated” former President Luis Echeverria of murder charges.

As interior minister in the 1964-1970 government of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, Echeverria was in charge of both the federal police and a clandestine paramilitary unit at the time of the ‘68 shootings.

In November 2001, then-President Vicente Fox of the PAN created a special prosecutor’s office to investigate dirty-war crimes.

The man named to head the office, Ignacio Carrillo Prieto, eventually indicted Echeverria - Diaz Ordaz died in 1979 - in connection with the Tlatelolco massacre and a 1971 incident involving the deaths of protesters.

But Mexico’s courts have effectively blocked all attempts to prosecute Echeverria, who some think was anointed as Diaz Ordaz’s successor as a reward for his success in suppressing the student protests.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Honda Considering Moving Fit Production to Mexico

Honda Considering Moving Fit Production to Mexico

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Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. is studying the possibility of moving production of its Fit model destined for the U.S. market from its plant in Japan to Mexico in 2014, the Nikkei business daily reported Wednesday.

Honda exported about 67,000 Fits from Japan last year, with 40,000 units of the small automobile destined for the U.S. market.

The automaker, which has two plants in Mexico, plans to manufacture the next version of the highly fuel efficient Fit, sold as the Jazz in some European markets, in that country.

Honda expects to open its third Mexican plant in 2014, a facility located in the central state of Guanajuato that will have the capacity to produce nearly 200,000 units annually.

The automaker could also shift some Fit production to Europe or other countries in Asia after ending manufacturing of its popular Civic and Accord models for the U.S. market at its Saitama plant north of Tokyo, Nikkei said.

Honda exported 250,000 vehicles, or less than 30 percent of its domestic production, in 2011. That figure was well below the 690,000 units, or 54 percent of domestic production, exported in 2007.

The automaker may be looking to cut exports down to around 200,000 units and boost manufacturing of the minivehicles that are popular in Japan and which account for about 1 million units of annual output, Nikkei said.

Rival Toyota Motor Co., Japan’s largest automaker, is planning to produce Corollas bound for foreign markets outside the country to avoid taking a hit to profits due to the strong yen, the business daily said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez Awarded Mexico’s Top Fine Arts Medal

Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez Awarded Mexico’s Top Fine Arts Medal

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The Mexican government announced Tuesday that it had awarded the country’s Fine Arts Medal to Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who has been living in Mexico since the 1970s.

“On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Fine Arts Medal will be presented to the journalist and writer,” the National Council for Culture and the Arts announced in a communique.

The Fine Arts Medal is the highest honor confered by Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts on outstanding figures in the world of theater, dance, the plastic arts, music or literature.

The award is presented to personalities who have had brilliant careers and significantly influenced the country’s artistic and cultural life.

The last person to be so honored was Argentine poet Juan Gelman, who received the award last weekend for the “talent and tenacity” he has expressed over his long career.

Also among those to have received the award are Mexican architect Teodoro Gonzalez de Leon and cellist Carlos Prieto.

The date on which Garcia Marquez will actually be presented with the Fine Arts Medal was not announced.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Ophthalmologist Overcame Personal Struggles to Become a Leading Doctor

Cuban Ophthalmologist Overcame Personal Struggles to Become a Leading Doctor

Photo: Carlos E. Martinez, M.D

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Dr. Carlos Martinez is a young surgeon specializing in correcting eyesight problems with laser surgery, and who has made several trips to Central America to donate his time, skill and technology to the poorest communities.

Exiled from Cuba with his family, Martinez lived as a child in a poor Madrid neighborhood where he dreamed of being either a priest or a doctor.

Less than 40 years later he has become one of the most respected eye surgeons in Southern California, has his own clinic and employs the most advanced laser equipment in the country.

His father, who always wanted the best for his family, decided that Puerto Rico offered better opportunities than Spain, so the Martinez family moved there.

“I finished my high school education in Puerto Rico, and thanks to my mom having established a preschool, I could pay my way through Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.”

“When I entered Tulane I could hardly speak English and the essay I wrote explaining why I wanted to go to college was full of grammatical errors, not only that but my classmates really laughed at the way I spoke,” he recalls.

Nonetheless, his good grades not only got him into university but allowed him to graduate with a degree in chemistry. Later he won a scholarship to complete his master’s in chemical physics.

“From the time I was a kid I wanted to be one of two things in life - either a priest or a doctor,” he said. “I eventually fell in love and knew I wasn’t going to be a priest, so that was when I knew that medicine was what I wanted to do.”

With that goal in mind and thanks to the hardworking example of his parents and his mother’s insistence, the young graduate entered medical school.

“It wasn’t easy at all and in those days there was a lot of racism in New Orleans.” Nonetheless, the difficult times that for others might by an excuse to drop out “were for me an incentive to show people they were wrong,” he said.

During his medical internship and in later years he did laser research and got the chance to work “with the person who used a laser for the first time on human beings.”

“The research I did enabled the laser to be used to correct imperfections of the eye different from the usual ones of astigmatism, hypermetropy and myopia, and meant the laser could be applied with fewer side effects.”

He moved to California and opened his practice.

His clinic, which was recently granted approval to implant a telescope inside the eye that helps patients with cataracts or with a macula spot on the cornea, possesses two of the most modern surgical laser devices in the country.

His faith in God and his wish to serve others has led him to provide free operations for the needy in Central America.

In 2011, through the organization See Vision, he spent a week operating on patients with cataracts in an extremely poor region of Honduras, where he performed 46 surgeries.

The team, made up of three surgeons who paid for their own air tickets and daily expenses as well as bringing their own equipment and medical supplies from the United States, went back in January 2012 to perform 96 free surgeries.

The group, in which Martinez is the only one who speaks Spanish and serves as an interpreter for the patients, hopes to be able to perform close to 150 surgeries in January 2013, “during the week of the year when the work is hardest but when I also receive the affection and appreciation of those wonderful patients.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Hours Before Man Confesses to Killing Ex he Tells ‘Dr. Phil’ he Did Not

LATINO BLOTTER: Hours Before Man Confesses to Killing Ex he Tells ‘Dr. Phil’ he Did Not

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Just days after he taped an interview for the “Dr. Phil” show, Mark Augustin Castellano of Texas confessed to killing his ex-girlfriend.

In the interview with the show’s host, Phil Mcgraw, Castellano, 37, insists he did not kill 31-year-old Michelle Warner. However, just two days after the taping, Castellano confessed to police that he had infact killed Warner in Houston and dumped her body hundreds of miles away in a ditch near an oil field in Midland County.

Castellano’s interview is scheduled to air on Thursday, and in previews for the episode McGraw specifically asks, “Did you kill her?”

To which Castellano responds, “No.”

Following his confession, Castellano was charged with murder and his bond was set at $150,000.

When he first spoke with police, Castellano said he and Warner, the mother of his 3-year-old son Cayden, got into a fight on September 22 and she left. He claimed he had no idea where she was, but when her family questioned him they grew suspicious and called police. Warner would never have left without contacting anyone, they claimed.

When he finally came clean, Castellano confessed to choking Warner, then snapping her neck while their son was in another room. He then put her in the closet with a plastic bag around her head and tied it at the neck.

He then drove to Odessa to visit his parents and leave his son in their care before driving back to Houston to dispose of Warner’s body. Castellano told police how he put her body in a plastic container and drove it back to his parents’ home in Odessa, where he left the container in a car in their driveway. Her body remained there for another day before Castellano drove out to Midland County and dumped her in a ditch. After being told where to find it, FBI agents and Odessa police were able to recover Warner’s body.

Warner and Castellano no longer had a romantic relationship at the time of the murder.

Cayden is now with Warner’s family in Houston.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Drunk Man on Bicycle Hits Patrol Car

LATINO BLOTTER: Drunk Man on Bicycle Hits Patrol Car

Photo: Drunk while cycling, Donald Juan Muñoz hits patrol car (Police Handout)

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A 32-year-old Oregon man allegedly drunk and riding a bicycle ran into some trouble last week, literally.

On Thursday, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office says Donald Juan Muñoz was caught riding his bicycle through a red light at around 1:30 a.m. in Gresham. Doing so, Muñoz reportedly hit the front of a patrol car with his bike.

When the deputy whose car he had just hit spoke with Muñoz, the cyclist confessed to being drunk on Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Upon inspection, the deputy reportedly found an open bottle of the alcoholic beverage with the bike.

Muñoz was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants. He was also not injured in the collision, the deputy saying he never even fell over after hitting the patrol car.

Well, that’s embarrassing.

Read more by HS News Staff →

INFOGRAPHIC: Hispanics and Higher Education

INFOGRAPHIC: Hispanics and Higher Education

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Today, Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in the United States. They represent 1 out of every 6 people in the country and have an estimated annual buying power that exceeds $1 trillion. It is also expected that one in four children enrolled in K-12 public schools will be Latino by 2020.

While these numbers are projected to increase substantially in the years ahead, they are expected to fall short in one critical area—the number of Latino college graduates.

In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, The National Hispanic University (NHU) created an infographic to showcase the history of Hispanics and higher education over the last 30 years—and the importance of college educated Hispanics for America’s future.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Shakira Says Baby Boy Will Go on Charity Trips to Learn he Can “Change the World”

Shakira Says Baby Boy Will Go on Charity Trips to Learn he Can “Change the World”

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“He shall learn that he is able to change the world.”

Shakira, 35, recently spoke with RTL and shared that her child with Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué, 25, will be a boy.

The “Hips Don’t Lie” singer also said that once their son is born, she plans on taking him with her when she does charity work with Barefoot Foundation, which she founded.

Piqué and Shakira met in 2010 on the set of the singer’s video for “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” which starred the soccer star. The song was written for the year’s World Cup in South Africa.

The pair went public with their relationship in March 2011. Shakira calls Piqué “the best thing that ever happened to me in my whole life.” Adding, “And now we are having a baby.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

2012 MacArthur Fellows Include Junot Diaz and Natalia Almada

2012 MacArthur Fellows Include Junot Diaz and Natalia Almada

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On Monday, the MacArthur Foundation named the 23 new MacArthur Fellows for 2012, and among them were Natalia Almada of Mexico City and Junot Diaz of Cambridge, Mass.

Each year, Fellows are called out of the blue by the MacArthur Foundation informing them they are being awarded $500,000 of no-strings-attached support over the next five years. The recipients of the money are never aware they are being reviewed, so the call really is “out of the blue.” While the money can go a long way to help recipients, it is not possible to apply.

This year, 37-year-old documentary filmmaker Natalia Almada was selected as one of the Fellows.

“Almada is a filmmaker revealing rich new perspectives on Mexican history, politics, and culture in insightful and poetic films that push the boundaries of how the documentary form addresses social issues. A dual citizen of Mexico and the United States who has lived in both countries since childhood, Almada does not use conventional structures or techniques, such as interviews with specialists or a linear timeline. Instead, she incorporates powerful visual images and the observations of ordinary people she encounters with her camera into an intimate, multilayered form of storytelling.”

Learn more about Almada here.

Another Latino on the list is Junot Diaz, a 43-year-old fiction writer born in the Dominican Republic. However, Diaz has lived in the U.S. since adolescence and now works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Diaz’s writing gives “powerful insight into the realities of the Caribbean diaspora, American assimilation, and [the] lives lived between cultures.”

Learn more about Diaz here.

“These extraordinary individuals demonstrate the power of creativity,” said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. “The MacArthur Fellowship is not only a recognition of their impressive past accomplishments but also, more importantly, an investment in their potential for the future. We believe in their creative instincts and hope the freedom the Fellowship provides will enable them to pursue unfettered their insights and ideas for the benefit of the world.”

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The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Florida Woman Facing Charges After Riding Manatee

LATINO BLOTTER: Florida Woman Facing Charges After Riding Manatee

Photo: Steve Leach, Fastball Photography

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Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez is in big trouble after she harassed a marine mammal at Fort DeSoto Park on Sunday.

Witnesses caught Gutierrez, 52, not only pestering a manatee, but actually climbing on top of one and riding it around for awhile.

Onlookers reportedly yelled for her to get off, telling her is was illegal, but she either did not hear them or did not care.

ImageWhen she did not get off the animal, also known as a seas cow, witnesses began snapping photos. She can clearly be seen wearing a black and white bikini top and red board shorts as she rides the manatee before simply climbing off and out of the water. She’s even captured walking away with a smile on her face.

Under Florida law, it is illegal to “annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any manatee.”

Though Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene of the incident, they were unable to get to Gutierrez before she left.

However, thanks to the photos, Gutierrez’s face was shown around. Gutierrez turned herself in on Monday and claimed she was new in town and had no idea had done anything wrong until she saw the media attention her ride attracted.

The Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act states, “It is unlawful for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner intentionally or negligently to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any Manatee.”

The animal is said to be fine and without injury, but Gutierrez could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor for violating the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act.

Authorities say it is currently manatee mating season so there are more of them in shallower water. The manatee typically only mate once every two years.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

“Three’s a Charm”- Bruno Mars Announced as a Performer at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

“Three’s a Charm”- Bruno Mars Announced as a Performer at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

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Tuesday, Victoria’s Secret announced on their Facebook page the performers for this year’s Angels fashion show and Bruno Mars will have the models strutting to the his beats.

Yep, three’s a charm! Rihanna, Justin Bieber & Bruno Mars are the musical guests for the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show!

The Angels fashion show will air on CBS December 4 at 10/9C.

We’re sure the Twittersphere will be buzzing with this all-star line-up.

Mars, born Peter Gene Hernandez, is a multitalented singer, songwriter, producer and musician. His first solo single “Just the Way You Are,” hit number 1 in multiple countries across the world and won the critically-acclaimed artist a Grammy Award for “Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.” Bruno’s debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans has been certified 39x Platinum worldwide and has claimed two additional hit singles “Grenade” and “The Lazy Song.” Mars is a 13-time Grammy Award nominee who has now sold over 45 million singles worldwide and has over one billion views on YouTube. Mars was also the first male vocalist in two decades to make the Top 10 with his first four singles.

Listen to Mar’s “Locked Out Of Heaven” off his upcoming album Unorthodox Jukebox, which is scheduled for release December 11, 2012.


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European Union Diplomat Victim of Rampant “Express Kidnapping” in Brazil’s Capital

European Union Diplomat Victim of Rampant “Express Kidnapping” in Brazil’s Capital

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An Italian member of the European Union’s diplomatic corps was the victim of an “express kidnapping” in Brasilia, a crime that has become commonplace in the Brazilian capital, police said Wednesday.

The diplomat was abducted by two armed men Tuesday night in city’s affluent Asa Sul district while he and a family member were getting into their car.

The assailants forced the official to take them to Ceilandia, a poor suburb where both victims were released. The assailants then sped away with the vehicle and some items belonging to the diplomat, whose name was not released.

So-called “express kidnappings,” in which the victims are temporarily abducted and typically forced to withdraw as much as possible from ATM machines, have become a prevalent crime in Brasilia.

A month ago, the daughter of Brazil’s fishing and aquaculture minister, Marcelo Crivella, also was the victim of an express kidnapping in Asa Sul.

Some 50 officers with the elite National Public Security Force have been deployed to combat express kidnappings in Brasilia, where between five and 10 such abductions occur every day, according to authorities.

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY:  U of I Study Examines Well-Being of Latino Immigrant Families in Rural Illinois

STUDY:  U of I Study Examines Well-Being of Latino Immigrant Families in Rural Illinois

Photo: Study of Rural Immigrant Families in Illinois

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The American dream is alive and well in Illinois’ rural communities among Latino immigrant families, who demonstrate considerable resilience in the face of multiple challenges, a new study indicates.

Wiley and Raffaelli’s study explored the well-being of immigrant Latino families living in six Central Illinois counties – Champaign, Douglas, Iroquois, Macon, Piatt and Vermilion – that are served by the university’s Child Care Resource Service. Wiley is the director of the service. The current study was part of a larger project that examined Latino parents’ beliefs about child care services.

The research team conducted extensive interviews with 120 immigrant Latino parents, primarily mothers. Most of the study participants had been born in Mexico, had lived in the U.S. an average of 12 years, had limited formal education and spoke little English. All families had at least one child under age 18. More than 46 percent of the families were living in poverty, with annual household incomes of less than $20,000.

Despite myriad challenges, study participants indicated that they were generally satisfied with their lives and emphasized that the better quality of life and financial opportunities available to their families in the U.S. mitigated the hardships that they endured.

“The parents are working to improve the future of their children, and this is a message they convey in so many different ways to their kids,” Raffaelli said. “That is what I’d say is their greatest strength.”


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Shakira Confirms She and Pique Will Welcome Baby Boy

Shakira Confirms She and Pique Will Welcome Baby Boy

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Colombian singer Shakira said on German television network RTL that the baby she and soccer star Gerard Pique are expecting is a boy.

“Yes, it’s a boy,” the 35-year-old said in an exclusive interview with RTL’s Wolfram Kons filmed Monday in Barcelona.

About her man, Shakira said “That guy, really, he’s the best thing that ever happened to me in my life. And now this baby!”

Pique, 25, is a standout with FC Barcelona and a member of the Spanish national team.

Shakira will be on hand this year for the second time for RTL’s benefit marathon and on this occasion will sponsor the building of a school in the Colombian city of Cartagena.

“My personal wish for the project is that we get the school built fast and that we can welcome 1,700 students,” she said.

The artist also said she intends always to take her boy with her on her travels and educate him to become a responsible person.

“So that when the baby comes out of my belly, one day he’ll know he can change things. That he can really help to make this a better world,” she said.

The singer, who is six months pregnant, was given a teddy bear by Kons for her baby and put her signature on several items of apparel that she wore during her tour and that will be auctioned off during the Nov. 22-23 benefit marathon.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Media Giant New York Times Defends Use of “Illegal Immigrant” Label

Media Giant New York Times Defends Use of “Illegal Immigrant” Label

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The New York Times’ public editor said Tuesday that she won’t urge journalists at the daily to stop using the term “illegal immigrant” to refer to undocumented people living in the United States despite requests that the phrase be discarded as inaccurate and inflammatory.

“Readers won’t benefit if Times bans the term ‘illegal immigrant,’ was the title of Tuesday’s blog post by Margaret Sullivan, whose job is to serve as an advocate for readers.

Illegal immigrant, she wrote, “is clear and accurate; it gets its job done in two words that are easily understood. The same cannot be said of the most frequently suggested alternatives - ‘unauthorized,’ ‘immigrants without legal status,’ ‘undocumented.’”

“This is not a judgment on immigration policy or on the various positions surrounding immigration reform, or those who hold those positions. Nor is it meant to be uncaring about the people to whom the words apply,” the public editor said.

“It’s simply a judgment about clarity and accuracy, which readers hold so dear,” Sullivan concluded.

With this decision, The New York Times attempted to definitively settle the debate opened by Filipino-American journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who expressly asked the paper not to use the expression “illegal immigrants,” saying that the phrase was “imprecise, inaccurate and inflammatory.”

Vargas launched the debate last year when he published in The New York Times an article entitled “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” in which he recounted his personal experience to denounce the treatment undocumented foreigners receive in the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Romney Claims He Won’t Deport Undocumented Youth With Work Permits

Romney Claims He Won’t Deport Undocumented Youth With Work Permits

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney promised not to deport undocumented youths who have benefited from the Obama administration’s Deferred Action program, and said he will enact immigration reform before their two-year reprieve expires.

“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid,” Romney said in an interview with The Denver Post.

On August 15 the White House launched a temporary reprieve that allows undocumented young people who came here as minors with their families and have lived in the country uninterruptedly since June 15, 2007, to be protected from deportation for two years and obtain a temporary work permit.

“I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased,” Romney said of the Deferred Action recipients, alluding to the application fee.

“Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed,” the former Massachusetts governor said.

During the GOP primaries, Romney defended the voluntary return of the undocumented to their countries of origin, a concept known as “self-deportation.”

“I actually will propose a piece of legislation which will reform our immigration system to improve legal immigration so people don’t have to hire lawyers to figure out how to get here legally,” the candidate said in the interview.

President Barack Obama “promised in his first year, his highest priority, that he would reform immigration and he didn’t,” Romney said.

“And I will,” he told the Post, the largest newspaper in Colorado, a swing state where Hispanics are expected to play a key role in the Nov. 6 election.

The Democratic campaign questioned Tuesday the Romney proposal, recalling that the Republican once “promised to veto” the DREAM Act, the long-stalled bill to legalize the status of undocumented youths.

At less than 36 hours before the first debate between the two presidential candidates, to be held at the University of Denver, Romney predicted that the face-off will provide “the opportunity to describe our pathway forward for America” and in his case, the chance to correct Democratic “distortions” of his views.

“I look forward to the debate so people will understand what I actually believe,” the Republican said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Peace Talks Between Colombia and FARC to Begin October 15

Representatives of Colombia’s FARC rebel group said that peace talks with the Andean nation’s government will begin Oct. 15, a week later than originally announced.

Rebel negotiator Rodrigo Granda read from Havana on the Colombian station Blu Radio a communique he said was signed by both the FARC and the Colombian government.

He referred to the “commitment signed” on Aug. 26 in Havana which led to the general accord for ending the conflict and building a stable, lasting peace, which set the stage for a roundtable of dialogue to be opened in Oslo, with negotiations to be moved later to Cuba.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, had previously said that the meeting in the Norwegian capital would be on Oct. 8, but last weekend some Colombian media broke the news that the date would be postponed.

Shortly before that, another FARC negotiator, Marco Leon Calarca, told Efe in an interview that “in the first two weeks of this month” formal talks would begin.

The Colombian government and the FARC are beginning the third peace process in almost 50 years of armed conflict, with Cuba and Norway as mediators and with Chile and Venezuela as observers.

The FARC and the Colombian government announced the agreement in late August after six months of secret negotiations in the Cuban capital.

Founded in 1964, the FARC once had as many as 20,000 men and women under arms, but today numbers around 8,500 fighters.

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WednesdayOctober 3, 2012