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MondayOctober 15, 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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Web Editor Kidnapped and Murdered in Mexico

Web Editor Kidnapped and Murdered in Mexico

Photo: Journalist Ramon Abel Lopez Murdered in Mexico

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A journalist was abducted and murdered Monday in this Mexican border metropolis, the Baja California state Attorney General’s Office said.

Ramon Abel Lopez Aguilar, 53, was a photographer and editor of the news Web site Tijuana Informativo.

His body was found on a street in Tijuana just hours after he was snatched from his home in the city’s Guaycura neighborhood, the state AG’s office said.

Lopez Aguilar died of a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the official statement.

The body was positively identified by the victim’s family, who had called police earlier to report the pre-dawn kidnapping.

Around 80 news professionals have been murdered in Mexico since 2000, earning the country the dubious distinction of being one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists.

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STUDY:  Language Disparities Among Latino Women in Labor Impacts Use of Epidurals

STUDY:  Language Disparities Among Latino Women in Labor Impacts Use of Epidurals

Photo: Latinas and Use of Epidurals

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A study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2012 annual meeting found the role of women’s primary language impacts whether or not they receive an epidural for pain relief during labor. The birth of an infant is the leading cause of hospital admissions in the United States. Births to minorities account for more than half the births in the country, according to the most recent census.

While epidurals are the most effective method for pain management during labor, evidence suggests there are racial and ethnic disparities in the use of them. Past studies have shown Hispanic women have the lowest rates of epidural use. However, these studies have not looked at the difference among these women based on the primary language spoken at home.

“Our study was the first to evaluate disparities among English and Spanish-speaking Hispanic women admitted for delivery of their first infant,” said study author Paloma Toledo, M.D., M.P.H., Department of Anesthesiology and Program for Health Equity, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. “We wanted to confirm if language disparities impact whether or not Hispanic women receive an epidural.”

The Northwestern University study, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, evaluated electronic medical record data for 1,424 Hispanic women who delivered at a large urban maternity hospital. Statistical methods were adjusted for factors that could influence epidural use including age, insurance status, income and marital status.

Findings showed the use of epidurals was lower for Spanish-speaking Hispanic women than for English-speaking Hispanic women (66 percent vs. 81 percent). Spanish-speaking Hispanic women had as much as a 40 percent lower odds of using an epidural than English-speaking Hispanic women. In addition, 96 percent of all women who requested an epidural received one, suggesting system level issues were not responsible for the lower epidural rate.

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Acclaimed Writer Mario Vargas Llosa Wins Carlos Fuentes International Prize for Spanish Literature

Acclaimed Writer Mario Vargas Llosa Wins Carlos Fuentes International Prize for Spanish Literature

Photo: Mario Vargas Llosa

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Acclaimed writer Mario Vargas Llosa was named Monday as the winner of the inaugural Carlos Fuentes International Prize for Literary Creation in the Spanish Language.

The $250,000 cash award went to the Peruvian-born Llosa “for the contribution he has made in the Spanish language to enrich the heritage of mankind’ according to the jury’s decision read by Jose Manuel Blecua, director of the Spanish Royal Academy.

During a conference call, the 2010 Nobel literature laureate said he was “very grateful, very moved by the award,” and hailed the presence alongside the jury of Silvia Lemus, wife of the late Mexican literary icon Fuentes.

About his relationship with Fuentes, who died May 15 at the age of 83, Vargas Llosa said that he learned of the author when he was very young and that “reading works like ‘La Region Mas Transparente’ (Where the Air is Clear) truly impressed him.”

That book was the “beginning of a narrative that in the following years would achieve widespread readership,” Vargas Llosa said of Fuentes’ classic work.

The prize, which includes a sculpture by artist Vicente Rojo, will be presented in Mexico City on Nov. 11, Fuentes’ birthday, in a ceremony scheduled to be presided over by Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Mexico’s National Culture and Arts Council created the prize in July.

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In Argentina? You May be Able to Dine with Luis Miguel

In Argentina? You May be Able to Dine with Luis Miguel

Photo: In Argentina? You May be Able to Dine with Luis Miguel

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Mexican singer Luis Miguel on Monday will share a gala dinner with some of his fans in Buenos Aires to kick off his five concerts in the Argentine capital, his management said.

After performing Saturday night in Corrientes, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) north of Buenos Aires, Miguel will offer five consecutive concerts this week here in the capital, concluding with one in Rosario and two shows in Cordoba.

Before any of his performances in Buenos Aires, the artist will get together with hundreds of fans and will sing some of his best-known numbers at a sold-out gala dinner.

The experience, which will be repeated on Oct. 22 if attendance is good, is not the first that Miguel has offered in the Argentine capital, given that in 2010 some 2,000 people attended a similar event.

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National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

Photo: National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

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October 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). This year’s theme is “Hispanics United to End AIDS.” Latinos are encouraged to support HIV testing and HIV prevention education, which can save lives.

The HIV epidemic continues to seriously affect Hispanic/Latino communities. Consider this:

• Hispanics/Latinos represent approximately 16% of the U.S. population, but accounted for 20% of new HIV infections in 2009, the most recent year these data were available.
• Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 19% of people living with HIV infection in 2009.
• Since the epidemic began, almost 18,000 Hispanics/Latinos with AIDS have died in the United States and its dependent areas. In 2009, nearly 3,300 Hispanic/Latino individuals with AIDS died.

Among Hispanics/Latinos, gay and bisexual men are most affected by HIV, accounting for 64% of the 9,400 new HIV infections among Latinos in 2009.

The impact of HIV on Hispanics/Latinos is not directly related to race or ethnicity, but rather to harsh realities and challenges faced by some communities, including lower awareness of HIV status, poverty, access to care, stigma, migration, acculturation (the process of adopting the cultural traits or social patterns of another group) and homophobia.

The Latino Commission on AIDS and the Hispanic Federation, in partnership with faith and community organizations, initiated NLAAD in 2003 to raise awareness of issues concerning HIV and AIDS within the Hispanic/Latino population living in the United States and abroad.

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Florida Public Schools Looking to Set Proficiency Goals Based on Race

Florida Public Schools Looking to Set Proficiency Goals Based on Race

Photo: Florida Public Schools Looking to Set Proficiency Goals Based on Race

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A Florida school plan which takes students’ race into account when setting proficiency goals is receiving a lot of criticism from both educators and civil rights groups.

The plan, which looks to close the state’s immense achievement gap by the 2022-2023 school year, would take into account students’ race and socioeconomic status when setting goals regarding this like reading and math proficiency goals.

Opponents of the new education benchmarks say setting higher goals for white and Asian students while lower goals for Hispanic and African America students is insulting

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Education has stated that the goal was not lower the expectations of certain students, but to “take into account their starting point” in order to set “realistic and attainable” goals.

On Tuesday, the plan in question was approved by the State Board of Education. With it, the board hopes to bring 90 percent of Asian, 88 percent of white, 81 percent of Hispanic, and 74 percent of black students to be at or above their grade’s reading level by 2018. By that same school year, the state is looking to bring 92 percent of Asian, 86 percent of white, 80 percent of Hispanic, and 74 percent of black students to be at or above their grade’s math level.

This plan comes after years of frightening statistics. In Broward County alone, in 2011, 86.8 percent of white students graduated, while only 75.2 percent of Latinos graduated.

Currently, only 53 percent of Florida’s Hispanic students are at their correct reading level, with only 38 percent of black students and 69 percent of white students at the correct level.

Virginia recently came under fire for similar standards after the state joined 31 other states to waiver from the “No Child Left Behind” stance.

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Brazil Wants Education for All by Country 200th Birthday in 2022

Brazil Wants Education for All by Country 200th Birthday in 2022

Photo: Brazil Wants Universal Access to Education

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will support the efforts of Movimento Todos Pela Educação (All for Education Movement), a broad-based Brazilian civil society organization to ensure universal access to quality education for all Brazilian youth by the country’s 200th birthday.

Through its National Educational Plan, Brazil aims to achieve increased literacy rates, test scores, and access to early childhood education, among other educational indicators, before the bicentenary of Brazil’s independence in 2022.

Although school access has expanded significantly in recent years with 97 percent of children ages 6 to 14 in attendance, quality remains the country’s greatest educational challenge.

All for Education Movement has an important role on raising awareness with civil society on educational challenges, establishing a set of concrete goals for monitoring progress, and engaging in a fruitful dialogue with public officials.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Men Rip Off Head of Exotic Bird at Las Vegas Hotel, Laugh About It

LATINO BLOTTER: Men Rip Off Head of Exotic Bird at Las Vegas Hotel, Laugh About It

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Men Rip Off Head of Exotic Bird at Las Vegas Hotel, Laugh About It

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Two men have been arrested after allegedly decapitated an exotic bird that was part of a resort attraction in Las Vegas.

Justin Texeira and Eric Cueller, both 24, were arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of conspiracy and willful malicious torture or killing of wildlife after witnesses say they were throwing around the dead body of a bird at the Flamingo resort and casino.

ImageThe 14-year-old helmeted guinea fowl was part of the resorts Wildlife Habitat, which is a garden area that houses many birds. Both witness accounts and surveillance footage make it clear the two men chased the bird into some trees just after 9:30 a.m. before emerging carrying its body and severed head. Witnesses also say the two were playing around the with the body, throwing it back and forth at each other as they laughed about what they had done.

As of 2011, animal abuse in Nevada is treated as a felony rather than a misdemeanor, meaning the man face more harsh punishment.

Both Cueller and Texeira told police they are law students at the University of Berkeley and each had s student ID.

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Mexico Healh Dept. Begins Vaccinating All 5th Grade Girls Against HPV

Mexico Healh Dept. Begins Vaccinating All 5th Grade Girls Against HPV

Photo: Mexico Healh Dept. Begins Vaccinating All 5th Grade Girls Against HPV

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In 2008, in a campaign to significantly reduce the most common cancer affecting Mexican women, the Mexican Public Health Agency (Secretaria de Salud or SSA) announced it was launching the first phase of a program that would offer testing for human papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer, to low-income women age 35-65. The cost of the testing was covered by the agency. In the first phase of the screening program, which began in November 2008,, more than 200,000 women in the lowest-income 125 counties were offered the papillomavirus test along with the traditional Pap smear. In 2009, the pilot program expanded to include another 600,000 women in the 20 states with the highest death rate from cervical cancer.

When he took office, President Felipe Calderon made reducing health inequalities in Mexico a top priority for his administration. Cervical cancer was a major focus of this campaign, since so many Mexican women are affected - more than 12,000 a year. One of the national initiatives to date has been coordination among the social, private and public sectors to increase the efficiency and efficacy of cervical cancer prevention by modifying the Official Mexican Norm (NOM-014-SSA2-1994) for the disease. The changes are designed to better facilitate the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer among the most vulnerable women through public education and use of the most advanced, effective technologies for screening - including the HPV test.

Infection with the papillomavirus is very common. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 11 percent of Mexican women carry cervical HPV at any given time. It is estimated that 4,000 Mexican woman die of cervical cancer each year.

Now, as Mexico prepares to put a new man in office, President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto, the next phase has begun and includes ordering HPV vaccinations for all 5th-grade girls, in hopes of ending the threat of cervical cancer.

Roughly one million schoolgirls ages 10-12 received the vaccinations earlier this month along with another 200,000 girls not in school. The girls will be given another shot in six months after their first, and will receive a third and final injection in 9th grade.

In 2007, Greece made similar public health mandates when they made it mandatory for all girls entering seventh grade to begin the HPV vaccination process.

It should be noted that not all HPV subtypes are affected by the vaccine, as it only targets subtypes 16 and 18, which are responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancers in Mexico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Bus Driver Leaves Sleeping Boy on Bus, Boy Later Attacked by Dog

LATINO BLOTTER: Bus Driver Leaves Sleeping Boy on Bus, Boy Later Attacked by Dog

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Bus Driver Leaves Sleeping Boy on Bus, Boy Later Attacked by Dog

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Texas private school bus driver Simona Charez Alcaide is in serious trouble after she failed to make sure all the students on her bus had gotten off.

At the end of her day, Charez Alcaide, 52, is said to have parked her bus in a lot in northwest Houston. What she failed to realize however, was that 9-year-old Theo Jones had fallen asleep and did not get off at his stop.

When Jones awoke, he exited the bus by prying open the door and found himself face to face with the lot’s guard dog. Witnesses say they saw the dog lunge at the boy and grab him by his backpack, even pull him off the ground as he swing him around.

Luckily, workers at a nearby shop heard the boy’s cries for help and were able to help the boy over a fence to safety, while a neighbor distracted the dog with food.

Jones was said to be terrified but otherwise did not appear to be badly injured. When paramedics arrived, the boy was taken to Northwest Memorial Herman Hospital where he was treated for cuts and scratches, but now major injuries. According to police, the boy did not suffer any dog bites.

Charez Alcaide now faces a felony charge of child endangerment. The charge carries a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison. She was released on $5,000 bail.

The bus and others parked on the lot belong to Alcaide Bus Service, which is owned by Charez Alcaide. This particular bus service is paid for by parents whose children attend Katherine Smith Elementary and live within two miles of the school, which means they are not eligible for regular bus service.

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Diego Boneta: From Rocking the Stage to Stripping for Money - Check Out ‘Underemployed’

Diego Boneta: From Rocking the Stage to Stripping for Money - Check Out ‘Underemployed’

Photo: Diego Boneta: From Rocking the Stage to Stripping for Money - Check Out 'Underemployed'

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Whether it’s the small screen or the silver screen, Diego Boreta is already a star.

Born Diego Andres Gonzalez Boneta, the Mexico City-born actor is just about to turn 22, but already has a body of work of which many would be jealous.

ImageBoneta recently gained widespread attention in the U.S. for his role as Drew Boley for Adam Shankman’s film adaption of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages alongside, Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, and Paul Giamatti.

Though born in Mexico, Boneta retains triple citizenship for the U.S., Mexico, and Spain. His father was born in Mexico, while his mother was born in the U.S. to Spanish and Puerto Rican parents.

Though Boneta may still be gaining speed here in the U.S., he has been busy over the last decade, with his singing career, television roles, and movies. In 2005, while working on the Mexican telenovelas for teens Rebelde, Boneta released his debut album title Diego. It was released in Mexico, Chile, and Brazil at later in the U.S. His song “Reponde” reached No. 13 on the Mexican charts. Boneta’s second album was released in 2008. He is currently working on his first English album with Maroon 5 frontman and The Voice coach, Adam Levine.

As an actor, Boneta has had roles in two children’s telenovelas, and one for teens. In 2010, he nabbed roles on Pretty Little Liars and 90210. His first movie role came the following year when he played Tyler Adams in Mean Girls 2.

Easily his biggest role yet was this years Rock of Ages, in which he played dreamer and wannabe rock star working on the Sunset Strip in the late 1980s.

Boneta’s raciest role yet will debut this week on MTV, when he will play Miles, one of the show’s recent college graduates who find themselves with degrees but seriously Underemployed.

Serving as the group’s good-looking and optimistic influence, Miles never has a plan but always seems to land on his feet. After barely graduating from college, Miles decides to put that degree to work and commit full time to pursuing his dream of being an actor/model/spokesman/something. A free spirit and true champion for all of his friends, he must face the difficult task of making ends meet before he can make the elusive giant leap of being discovered. He’s never had a problem getting girls, but when he falls in love for the first time, he finds that life may be a little more complicated than he had hoped.

Underemployed premieres Tuesday on MTV at 10/9c.

Check out a sneak peek below.

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Prostitute at Center of Secret Service Scandal in Colombia to Write Book

Prostitute at Center of Secret Service Scandal in Colombia to Write Book

Photo: Dania Londoño Writes Book on Secret Service Scandal

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Dania Londoño, the Colombian prostitute at the center of a sex scandal involving U.S. Secret Service agents, is putting the finishing touches on a book about the incident that is soon to be published in Colombia, Semana magazine reported.

“Room Service,” the working title of the book, recounts the young woman’s life up to the time she became a prostitute, and then gained notoriety for the scandal involving an advance team of agents preparing the way for U.S. President Barack Obama’s arrival at the 6th Summit of the Americas in Cartagena last April.

Londoño’s story is that of a little girl given the last name of a boyfriend of her mother’s because her biological father wanted nothing to do with them. Her life was thereafter marked by that paternal figure, who was mixed up in the drug-trafficking world of San Andres Island and who disappeared one day without a trace, Semana said.

After that traumatic experience, the girl moved to the Caribbean city of Cartagena and began working as a salesperson, only to quit when her boss sexually abused her

The 25-year-old Londoño, the mother of a little boy, was unable to find another job and “saw no other choice but prostitution,” the magazine said.

After the scandal, the Colombian admitted she accepted having sex with one of the agents, whose name she said she doesn’t remember, for $800, though she said that “the man slept all night.”

The next day the scandal broke when Londoño complained out loud in the exclusive Cartagena hotel that her client didn’t pay her the amount agreed on.

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Shoutouts in Mexico Leave 16 Dead

Shoutouts in Mexico Leave 16 Dead

Photo: Shoutouts in Mexico Leave 16 Dead

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Army troops killed 16 suspected criminals in three shootouts in the Mexican states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas over the weekend, the Defense Secretariat said.

The first shootout occurred Saturday night in Panuco, a city in the eastern state of Veracruz, where soldiers taking part in “Operation Safe Veracruz” clashed with suspected criminals.

The soldiers, who were on patrol, spotted a group of armed individuals and engaged them in a gunfight, killing 10 of the suspects, the secretariat said in a statement.

The army seized 15 rifles, 10 handguns, 67 ammunition clips, 2,413 rounds of ammunition, a grenade launcher, a hand grenade, a gas grenade, four vehicles, drugs and fake army uniforms.

The bodies and the items seized in the operation were turned over to prosecutors, who will investigate the incident, the secretariat said.

The federal government launched “Operation Safe Veracruz” in October 2011 in an effort to stem the wave of drug-related violence in the region.

The Gulf state has been plagued by a turf war between rival drug cartels that has sent the murder rate skyrocketing over the past two years.

The Gulf, Los Zetas and Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartels, as well as breakaway members of the once-powerful La Familia Michoacana organization, are fueling the violence in the state.

Veracruz, Mexico’s third-most populous state, is coveted as a key drug-trafficking corridor to the United States, officials say.

Soldiers deployed in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, meanwhile, engaged in two shootouts that left six people dead.

Army troops patrolling the Victoria-Matamoros highway were attacked Saturday night in the city of San Fernando and returned fire, killing three assailants, the secretariat said.

Soldiers seized four firearms, a vehicle, ammunition clips and ammunition.

Three other gunmen were killed in a shootout with soldiers early Sunday in Nuevo Laredo, located across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas, the secretariat said.

The army seized several firearms, a vehicle, ammunition clips and ammunition.

The army is carrying out “Operation Northeast” in the states of Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Coahuila and San Luis Potosi against the drug cartels that operate in the region.

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 drug cartels.

Calderon has 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 to fight drug traffickers, however, has failed to stop the violence.

Mexico registered 27,199 murders in 2011, or 24 per 100,000 people, the highest number since Calderon took office, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, or INEGI, said in a report released on Aug. 20.

The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, which was founded by human rights activist and poet Javier Sicilia, puts the death toll from Mexico’s drug war at 70,000.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Travels to Peru on Diplomatic Visit

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Travels to Peru on Diplomatic Visit

Photo: President Hillary Clinton Visits Peru

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Secretary Clinton will travel to Lima, Peru, on October 15 and 16. In Peru, she will meet with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala to discuss bilateral and regional cooperation. She will also participate in an international conference on women’s financial inclusion – Power: Women as Drivers of Growth and Social Inclusion – at which she will deliver remarks to the plenary.

Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer will accompany the Secretary on the visit.

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MondayOctober 15, 2012