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SaturdayOctober 20, 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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Sculpture Marking 50th Anniversary of Cuba’s Child Exodus Unveiled in Miami

Sculpture Marking 50th Anniversary of Cuba’s Child Exodus Unveiled in Miami

Photo: "The Tower of Snow" (MDC)

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Miami-Dade College unveiled a large-scale sculpture to mark the 50th anniversary of Operation Peter Pan, which resulted in 14,048 unaccompanied kids leaving Cuba in what is considered the largest child exodus in the West during the 20th century.

The sculpture titled “The Tower of Snow” was inaugurated Friday in a small park facing MDC’s Freedom Tower, which was modeled on the Giralda in Seville, Spain, and designated in 2008 as a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

Between 1960 and 1974, the building was the first stop for refugees who fled the Caribbean island after the triumph of Fidel Castro’s revolution in 1959.

The 3.3-meter-tall (11-foot-tall) bronze sculpture by Miami-based artist Enrique Martinez Celaya depicts a boy on crutches carrying a bundle in the shape of a house on his back.

It commemorates the plight of the thousands of Cuban minors who arrived unaccompanied in the United States between 1960 and 1962. The Pola brothers and Ramon Grau coordinated the program from Cuba, leading to their arrest.

“For years, feelings of displacement and foreignness had seemed specific to my experience. Then I began to read about ‘Operation Peter Pan’ and I found my story in many of their accounts,” Martinez said ahead of the inauguration of the sculpture.

“This recognition brought along a new sense of belonging to a group larger than myself, a group whose longing did not fit in any one heart.”

The artist, who was born just a few years after the operation concluded, also left Cuba as a young boy.

The architect of Operation Peter Pan was Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh, who was in charge of receiving Cuban children who traveled to the United States without parents, sending them on to camps and orphanages or to live with relatives or adoptive families.

Walsh came up with the idea for the operation, which officially concluded on Oct. 23, 1962, with the suspension of all commercial flights between the United States and Cuba, after being entrusted by a man to find refuge for a boy while his parents were trying to arrange their own exit from the island.

The monsignor, who died in 2001, realized there were many cases of unaccompanied Cuban minors who were arriving in the United States in search of a safe haven and contacted members of then-President Dwight Eisenhower’s administration, who provided resources to support the program.

Among those who came to the United States thanks to Operation Peter Pan was Mel Martinez, a former U.S. senator from Florida who was Republican Party chairman from November 2006 to October 2007.

After Walsh’s death, Martinez - the first Latino to serve as a chairman of a major party - remembered him as the man who gave him a life of freedom.

“In recent years, when we were in meetings in Miami, I thanked him for having given me the opportunity to be a free man in the United States,” Martinez, who arrived as an adolescent at Camp Matecumbe during the church-sponsored operation, said in December 2001.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Specialist Sees Link Between Obesity, Diabetes and Breast Cancer in Mexico

Specialist Sees Link Between Obesity, Diabetes and Breast Cancer in Mexico

Photo: Obesity, Diabetes and Breast Cancer in Mexico

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The obesity suffered by 30 percent of Mexico’s adult population, and diabetes, considered the principal cause of death, increase the risk of breast cancer in this country, specialist Enrique Gimenez Jimeno told Efe.

“Glucose stimulates an insulin receptor that influences the propagation of new cells, regulates their growth and, under degenerate conditions, causes tumors,” Gimenez, head of gynecology at Angeles del Pedregal Hospital, said Friday.

This Friday, which was International Breast Cancer Day, the specialist joined numerous authorities in calling attention to the urgency of preventing breast cancer, which every year in this country leads to the deaths of more than 5,000 women over the age of 25.

Mexico, like many other countries, has launched campaigns to raise women’s awareness of the critical importance of preventing cancer by means of self-exams, plus massive campaigns urging them to have mammograms for the early detection of the ailment.

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common form of the disease among women worldwide, and represents 16 percent of all female cancers.

Gimenez, who has documented cases of breast cancer for 40 years, said the problem begins in women with a propensity for diabetes, who in puberty have painful menstruations, in adolescence suffer ovarian cysts and as adults encounter difficulties in becoming pregnant and during pregnancy.

He added that a large proportion of women who fail to limit their consumption of flour, despite their medical history, develop breast cancer and diabetes mellitus.

Gimenez agreed with the conclusions of a study conducted by Dr. Alan R. Gaby of Yale University in the United States and published in the medical gazette Medaus, which indicates that a diet high in flour and sugar increases the risk of breast cancer.

The Mexican specialist noted the close link between the appearance of this cancer and a diet high in carbohydrates.

He added that in postmenopausal patients, the consumption of sugar was significantly associated with the increase of tumor-inducing estrogens.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Decisions: Immigration Issue Matter to New Mexico Voters

Latino Decisions: Immigration Issue Matter to New Mexico Voters

Photo: New Mexico

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Hispanic voters comprise nearly 40% of the electorate in the state of New Mexico, making New Mexico the state where Latino voters have the greatest influence on the election outcomes. Consequently, many have suggested that New Mexico may provide a glimpse into the future of Latino politics nationally. This context makes New Mexico important even in an election year when the state is not included in the list of must watch battleground races.

At a live streamed panel at the University of New Mexico’s main campus, national political analysts, advocates, and community leaders from New Mexico discussed how Latino voters and the immigration issue will shape the presidential and Senate races in this state and beyond.  Gabriel Sanchez, Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico and Director of Research for Latino Decisions, analyzed fresh polling of Latino voters in New Mexico from a poll conducted by Latino Decisions for America’s Voice.

In New Mexico and at the national level, Latino and new citizen voters are changing politics.  With immigration high on the list of issues these voters want addressed, it’s no surprise that Republican candidates who have embraced hardline positions – including Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Senate nominee Heather Wilson — are faring poorly with New Mexico Latinos. By contrast, the embrace of common sense immigration reform by both President Barack Obama and Senate candidate Martin Heinrich have played a key role in Latino support for Democrats in presidential, Senate and House races.

Said Gabriel Sanchez, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of New Mexico and Director of Research for Latino Decisions: “One of the key findings in this poll was the importance Hispanic voters in New Mexico placed on immigration, with this policy coming in only second to the economy as the most important issue that Latino voters want addressed.  We also found that nearly 60% of Latinos in the state of New Mexico know someone who is undocumented, and nearly half know someone who is eligible for the DREAM Act if passed. This to me implies that immigration has become personal to Latinos, which might explain the salience of the policy area among Latino voters.”

Christine Sierra, Professor of Political Science, University of New Mexico and Director, Southwest Hispanic Research Institute, said: “Today’s polling is crystal clear: immigration matters to Latino voters here in New Mexico.  New Mexico Latinos support a reformed driver’s license bill, favor the President’s deferred action policy and enthusiasm is growing.  Policymakers at both the state and national level should take note– when it comes to immigration policy, Latino voters are watching.”

Read more at Latino Decisions →

INFOGRAPHIC: The Impact of Stop and Frisk

INFOGRAPHIC: The Impact of Stop and Frisk

Photo: Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)

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The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is conducting stops and frisks in record numbers, 2011 saw roughly 685,000 and even more are expected to be performed in 2012.  Often targeting Blacks and Latinos, it is obvious that racial profiling is occurring on New York streets.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), who has long been active in the movement to address discriminatory policing practices, has created the following infographic covering NYPD’s stop and frisks.

Click to enlarge.

Read more by HS News Staff →

AP Memo Clarifies How to Use the Phrase ‘Illegal Immigrant’

AP Memo Clarifies How to Use the Phrase ‘Illegal Immigrant’

Photo: Nobody is Illegal

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In a memo to staffers today, the Associated Press clarified its stance on the term “illegal immigrant.” Tom Kent, deputy managing editor for standards and production, stressed that the AP doesn’t insist on using the term and said, in some cases, it’s not accurate.

The memo, AP Spokesman Paul Colford said by email, is in response to recent concerns about the AP’s use of the term, which many consider to be dehumanizing and inaccurate. At the Online News Association conference last month, activist Jose Antonio Vargas challenged news organizations to stop using the term, and said his first targets would be The New York Times and the AP.

“We’ve heard from many who echoed Jose Antonio Vargas’ concerns, as Tom indicates. So he’s using this forum — this standards-focused memo that he writes from time to time — to address the matter in greater detail to staff, just as we responded to outside media after Vargas’ ONA address,” Colford said via email, noting that the AP has gotten “periodic inquiries on ‘illegal immigrant’ for years.”

In the memo, Kent explains the AP’s reasoning for not using terms like “undocumented immigrants” or “unauthorized immigrants.”

Terms like “undocumented” and “unauthorized” can make a person’s illegal presence in the country appear to be a matter of minor paperwork. Many illegal immigrants aren’t “undocumented” at all; they may have a birth certificate and passport from their home country, plus a U.S. driver’s license, Social Security card or school ID. What they lack is the fundamental right to be in the United States.

Without that right, their presence is illegal. Some say the word is inaccurate, because depending on the situation, they may be violating only civil, not criminal law. But both are laws, and violating any law is an illegal act (we do not say “criminal immigrant”). Finally, there’s the concern that “illegal immigrant” offends a person’s dignity by suggesting his very existence is illegal. We don’t read the term this way. We refer routinely to illegal loggers, illegal miners, illegal vendors and so forth. Our language simply means that a person is logging, mining, selling, etc., in violation of the law — just as illegal immigrants have immigrated in violation of the law.

There are certain instances, Kent said, when the term “illegal immigrant” isn’t accurate — such as when referring to a child who was brought to the U.S. by parents who came here illegally. Kent doesn’t offer specific examples of when staffers should use “illegal immigrant,” but he does offer some best practices, including this one: “Be specific about nationalities. Don’t let terms like ‘illegal immigrants’ be used synonymously with one nationality or ethnic group.”

The AP Stylebook updated its entry on “illegal immigrant” last year to address the nuances of the term. Prior to the update, the Stylebook advised journalists to use the term “illegal immigrant” “to describe someone who has entered the country illegally.” The Stylebook now says the term can also be used to describe a person who “resides in a country in criminal or civil violation of immigration law.” Additionally, it advises against using terms like “illegals” and “illegal alien.”

“Illegal immigrant” is a complicated term that news organizations nationwide have debated. Following Vargas’ talk last month, The New York Times’ Phil Corbett told Poynter its reasoning for using the term:

In referring in general terms to the issue of people living in the United States without legal papers, we do think the phrases ”illegal immigrants” and “illegal immigration” are accurate, factual and as neutral as we can manage under the circumstances. It is, in fact, illegal to enter, live or work in this country without valid documents. Some people worry that we are labeling immigrants as “criminals” — but we’re not. ”Illegal” is not a synonym for “criminal.” (One can even park “illegally,” though it’s not a criminal offense.)

Some news organizations, including the San Antonio Express-News, have stopped using the term. (The Express-News has run several recent AP stories, however, that use the term.)

Rick Hirsch, managing editor of The Miami Herald, told me the paper stopped using the term at least a decade ago. Here’s what the paper’s style guide says about it:

Illegal immigrant: Do not use this term to assign to an individual or group, because in all likelihood we do not know the specific legal status of that person. The preferred term is undocumented immigrant. However, illegal immigration or illegal immigrant (not assigning legal status to an identifiable person) are acceptable in some uses. Examples: As an undocumented immigrant, she has run into trouble opening a bank account. The senator vowed to sponsor legislation to stem the influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico

The debate over whether or not to use “illegal immigrant” will continue. The best thing news organizations can do is have conversations amongst themselves — and perhaps with their audiences as well — about whether they should use it, when and why.

Read more at Poynter →

IDB Finances Program to Improve Labor Force Productivity in El Salvador

IDB Finances Program to Improve Labor Force Productivity in El Salvador

Photo: El Salvador

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The Inter American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan for $20 million to El Salvador to fund a training project that will improve the labor force productivity, particularly for young people between 16 and 29 years and workers in micro- and small-scale enterprises.

The project will train 6,000 youths for jobs for which they would not otherwise be qualified. One innovative project component will finance training some 1,600 young entrepreneurs in the development of business ideas. The youths with the best business plans will receive project backing to establish their own microenterprises. The project will also provide assistance to participating mothers for the care of their young children.

In addition, the project will finance training for workers in more than 1,300 micro- and small-scale enterprises. In addition, the project will benefit more than 15,500 businesses across the country through the promotion of good practices to prevent accidents in the workplace.

Of El Salvador’s 6.2 million inhabitants, 63 percent of whom live in urban areas, 25 percent are young, have little education, no work experience, and no opportunities for the future. While the country’s unemployment rate of 6.7 percent is below the regional urban rate of 7.3 percent in Latin America, many workers have precarious and informal employment.

The program will be implemented by El Salvador’s Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and the National Micro and Small Enterprise Commission.

The IDB loan will have a 25-year amortization and an interest rate based on LIBOR.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Javier Bardem Discuses Behind The Scenes Relationships on “Skyfall”

Javier Bardem Discuses Behind The Scenes Relationships on “Skyfall”

Photo: "Skyfall"

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Spanish actor Javier Bardem, who plays the villain in the latest installment of the James Bond saga, said the chemistry he developed with co-star Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes made it a joy to “get up and go to work.”

“Nothing surprised me about Daniel. I didn’t know him at all, but as an actor I knew he was really solid, very good and with an exceptional intensity. I imagined we’d get along well and that was the case,” Bardem, who plays a cyberterrorist named Raoul Silva in “Skyfall,” scheduled to premiere next week, told Efe.

“Both he and Sam have an incredible sense of humor that had me laughing non-stop, from the I time I arrived for shooting until I left,” he said.

Bardem, who died his hair blonde to give his character a distinctive look, said the working relationship he developed with Craig and Mendes created “that wonderful thing where you want to get up and go to work.”

In “Skyfall,” the loyalty of Bond (Daniel Craig) to British Secret Service chief M (once again played by Judi Dench) is tested as her past mistakes come back to haunt her. When the Secret Service itself comes under attack, Bond must do away with the threat no matter how personal the cost.

The Spanish actor, who won an Oscar for his role as a sociopathic hit man in the Coen brothers’ 2007 film “No Country for Old Men,” said he was first approached about the project “a few years ago” by Craig during an event in Los Angeles.

“I told him ‘yeah, sure,’ that it sounded great, but you always have to read the material,” Bardem said.

The actor added that the screenplay was very well crafted and that he worked with Sam to create a villain who was “broken on the inside, someone with a very clear objective.”

“He’s not a megalomaniac. He doesn’t want to destroy the world just because. That brings him closer to the viewer,” Bardem said.

“He has elements of the classic Bond villains, as a homage on the 50th anniversary of the saga, but I wanted to make him someone down-to-earth, even though he flies a little high too, which is what people expect of a character like that,” the actor said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Discovery en Español’s Programs Explore Hate Crimes, the Reality of Homeless Families

Discovery en Español’s Programs Explore Hate Crimes, the Reality of Homeless Families

Photo: "Desamparados" (Discovery en Español)

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Discovery en Español presents “Caras del odio” and “Desamparados”, two new original productions that expose two realities that have a devastating effect in the Hispanic community: hate crimes and the high incidence of homeless families. “Caras del odio” premieres Sunday, October 28 at 9 PM E/P, and “Desamparados” will air on Sunday, November 4 at 9 PM E/P.

For many, the immigration debate going on in the country has aggravated the divide and the intolerance level in some sectors and communities in the United States. The documentary “Caras del odio” investigates this controversial topic, its causes, effects and its long-term ramifications, through two emblematic cases: the death of Mexican immigrant Luis Ramirez after a fight with a group of high school teenagers from Shenandoah, Pennsylvania in 2008; and the case of Juan Varela, a United States citizen and fifth-generation Hispanic, murdered in 2010 by his neighbor Gary Kelley after an argument over Arizona Law SB1070 against illegal immigration.

The production describes the circumstances surrounding both incidents as well as the legal aspects of the trials determining the guilty verdict of the perpetrators. “Caras del odio” includes never-before-seen interviews and statements from family members, eyewitnesses and law officials, who all contribute their different points of views and opinions to both sides of the conflict; among them: Crystal Dillman, Luis Ramirez’s girlfriend; Frederick Fanelli, defense attorney for Brandon Piekarsky (one of the accused); and Eileen Burke, witness to the fight that ended the life of Luis Ramirez.

The case of Juan Varela includes testimonials by his widow Maria Varela; Darren Udd, the detective in charge of the investigation and ex County Attorney for Maricopa County, Rick Romley.

The original production “Desamparados”, that will air November 4 at 9 PM E/P, follows the daily lives and the state of several Hispanic families that have seen how their lives have changed drastically after they lost their homes and jobs, and today live in shelters, parks and even their cars.

In the past decades, statistics have shown that the majority of homeless people were single men, with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Nevertheless, today the majority of this vulnerable population is made up of families.

One of these is Jennifer Marrero’s, from Orlando, Florida, who has been unemployed for almost a year, and found herself living in her car with her three children after she lost her home. Jennifer managed to stay at a modest hotel with the help of the program, “Families in Transition”, but her money is running out.

Another case included in the documentary is that of the family of Elizabeth Morales Cardenas, made up of three children, two grandparents, Elizabeth and her husband. They live in Modesto, California and have been living in a rented home after suffering from a long and painful repossession of their home by the bank. Elizabeth’s husband is about to cash in his last unemployment check and that will only be enough for a month of living expenses.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Judge Grants Zimmerman the Right to Trayvon Martin’s School, Social Media Records

Judge Grants Zimmerman the Right to Trayvon Martin’s School, Social Media Records

Photo: Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

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On Friday, attorneys for George Zimmerman were granted rights to the school records of Trayvon Martin, whom Zimmerman is on trial for murdering.

Zimmerman is being charged for shooting and killing Martin Feb. 26 near their gated Florida community.

Zimmerman claimed he fired in self-defense, although Martin, who was 17, was not armed. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is set to begin June 10. He is currently out on bail and in a secluded location.

NBC reported that Circuit Judge Debra Nelson ruled that Zimmerman’s attorneys must keep all data they obtain from Martin’s records private.

She also granted the request for Zimmerman to subpoena Trayvon’s social media records, which were removed from the Internet following his death. This includes a phone conversation Martin had with a girl which occurred before the shooting.

“We think it’s a terrible precedent to set,” said attorney Ben Crump, who represents Martin’s parents. “Why is it relevant about his school records or his Facebook page? George Zimmerman knew none of that on Feb. 26 when he claimed Trayvon’s life.”

According to the Christian Science Monitor, Friday marked the first time Nelson was the judge in the case. She replaced Kenneth Lester after he began forming personal opinions about Zimmerman.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Lard, Cheese and the Rewards of an Unhealthy Childhood

Lard, Cheese and the Rewards of an Unhealthy Childhood

Photo: NewsTaco

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By Oscar Barajas, NewsTaco

I was a fat kid. I mean, fat. I was so fat; I would start to sweat if I stood still long enough. I would like to blame it on the scourge of places like Burger King or Kentucky Fried Chicken, but my parents rarely relied on fast food as a means for a nutritional strategy. In fact, I was almost a teenager when I first went to Burger King.

However, my mom fried everything in lard. Her arms were scarred from burns she had suffered battling breakfast. My mother used lard like some people use cinnamon. I suspect that she would put tapioca pudding on lard and simply called it flan.

My parents would pacify my sister and me with hamburgers whenever we pulled off A’s in B’s in report cards or if we sat through Sunday service without incident. Needless to say, I performed for the promise of a Big Mac rather than academic achievement. I would ask my teacher for extra credit assignments, when I sensed that report cards were right around the corner. As far as church was concerned, I think my parents were setting my sister and me up for failure.
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There is no way you can hope for two kids to sit still in church without air conditioning. I would start off well enough. I would sing my hardest. I would shake hands with everyone two rows ahead and behind me. However, just as thoughts of those burgers began to cement in my head, my sister and I would start messing around with each other like making fart sounds during the hymns. This would cause my mother to take the law into her own hands and start pinching us and whispering the kind of threats where even God disassociates from you.

However, there was even a burger hierarchy. If I reached my potential, we would go celebrate it at McDonald’s, but if I merely tapped into my potential, we would go to the local burger shop. I was putting away Big Macs since I was four years old, but my heart and gut would always belong to those little holes in the wall where everyone knew your name but would still refer to you by the color of your shirt.

Things like pizza were always out of the question. My father had some sort of mistrust of pizza. He always saw it as an overglorified quesadilla with salty boloney on top. There was no way he was going to spend ten dollars on that. Besides, we lived in what the pizza place considered a neighborhood of ill repute. Their solution was that my family waited for them at the gas station located on the corner of my house. The only problem was that if you waited inside the gas station without buying anything, the man behind the counter would kick you out for loitering. However, if you were outside, there was a good chance one of the local neighborhood gang members would roll up on you and take your ten dollars or the freshly delivered pizza.

It was a no win situation because my father would demand that I go back into the street and wrestle the gang member for either the pizza or the safe return of his money.

I never got any of the pizzas back that we lost, and it goes without mentioning that the money was lost, and in the end my mom would end up covering it all up with the consolation prize – beans. They always tasted like second place. They tasted like ashes in my mouth, but that could have just been the lard they were basted in.

This article was first published in NewsTaco.

NewsTaco provides you with innovative and insightful news, critique, analysis and opinion from a Latino perspective in a 24-hour world.

Read more at NewsTaco →

Alex Rodriguez Says He’ll be Back With Yankees Next Season

Alex Rodriguez Says He’ll be Back With Yankees Next Season

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Following his team’s elimination from the Major League Baseball playoffs on Thursday, Alex Rodriguez said that he will be back with the New York Yankees next season.

The Yankees were swept in four games by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series. The Tigers will now play in the World Series.

“I’ve never thought about going to another team,” Rodriguez said Thursday, according to Fox News Latino. “My focus is to stay here. Let’s make that very, very clear. I will be back and I have a lot to prove and I will come back on a mission.”

After being benched for the third time in the playoffs on Thursday, there was speculation that Rodriguez was open to a trade, reported USA Today.

Rodriguez has five years remaining on his contract, worth $114 million. He has a clause in his contract that says he cannot be traded without his approval.

Rodriguez was benched due to his struggles during the postseason. He went 3 for 25, striking out 12 times during the playoffs. He batted just .111 in the ALCS.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Top Scorer Competition Heats Up With Return of Atlante’s Esteban Paredes

Top Scorer Competition Heats Up With Return of Atlante’s Esteban Paredes

Photo: Esteban Paredes

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The competition to be the top scorer in Mexican first division soccer will heat up with the return to action of Chilean striker Esteban Paredes, who missed four matches due to injury.

Paredes, who plays for Atlante, is one of four players with six goals, just one fewer than America’s Ecuadorian star, Christian Benitez.

The other contenders for the scoring crown are also foreigners: Colombians Carlos Darwin Quintero and Luis Gabriel Rey, of Santos Laguna and Chiapas, respectively; and Tigres’ Argentine gunner, Lucas Lobos.

With only four games left in the Liga Mx Apertura season, the top homegrown scorer is Rafael Marquez Lugo, now sidelined by injury.

“In the four matches I missed, our performance declined a lot,” Paredes said. “Now there’s no more margin for error.”

The Chilean is expected to be in the starting lineup for Atlante’s match Sunday against Chivas.

While Lobos last scored weeks ago and Quintero and Benitez are also suffering through a dry spell, Rey has three markers in his last two games.

Read more by HS News Staff →

“Citizens for a Better Arizona” Call To Stop Reelection of Sheriff Arpaio

“Citizens for a Better Arizona” Call To Stop Reelection of Sheriff Arpaio

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A number of organizations in Arizona are working to get out the Hispanic vote here in Maricopa County to stop controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio from winning another term in next month’s elections.

“Now is a time when Hispanics are uniting their voices and their votes and will make their presence felt in the next elections,” Randy Parraz, representative of Citizens for a Better Arizona, told Efe.

Parraz said there are many people in Phoenix and Maricopa County, not just Hispanics, who are not happy with the job Arpaio has done as sheriff.

“We’re making a really big effort with dozens of volunteers in the streets every day going door to door in the neighborhoods, helping people with their ballots,” Parraz said.

Arpaio is known for his iron-fisted offensive against illegal immigration and his department is the only Arizona law enforcement agency that arrests the undocumented under state legislation that punishes immigrants who admit having paid a human trafficker to bring them into the country.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is also the only one in the state to constantly carry out workplace raids in order to detain undocumented immigrants under Arizona’s employer-sanctions law.

According to MCSO statistics, since this statute took effect in 2007 more than 600 undocumented migrants have been detained in those raids.

Arpaio, who boasts of being “America’s toughest sheriff,” currently faces a Justice Department lawsuit for racial profiling practices against Hispanic drivers.

At the same time he is awaiting the verdict in a similar suit brought in U.S. District Court in Phoenix by a coalition of civil organizations.

Arpaio, 70, was elected sheriff for the first time in 1992.

This movement is similar to that which Citizens for a Better Arizona carried out in 2011, which ended with the successful recall of then-state Senate president Russell Pearce.

The Republican lawmaker was the principal architect of Arizona’s harsh immigration law, SB 1070.

The Adios Arpaio group and allied organizations announced that they have registered more than 34,000 new Hispanic voters in Maricopa County.

Adios Arpaio is a movement chiefly made up of young volunteers whose families or friends have suffered the effects of the sheriff’s raids.

One of these volunteers is Sarai Rubio, a high school student in Phoenix, who told Efe that the main reason she takes part in this movement is because she knows many families who have suffered the effects of the deportations.

“I have friends who could not continue their studies because they have no papers,” Rubio said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

15 Undocumented Found Stuffed into Yacht in Southern California

Authorities discovered 15 undocumented immigrants hiding in the hull of a pleasure craft in Southern California’s Newport Harbor.

The migrants were detected after an Orange County Harbor Patrol deputy noticed something unusual about the boat.

“We saw the boat adrift in the channel and it was very, very low in the bow of the boat,” Deputy William Nelson said. Boarding the craft to investigate, he soon found the migrants.

“They told us they’d been on the water for two days, coming up from Ensenada and Rosarita (Mexico, both near the U.S. border),” the deputy said. “No food, very little water and they were stuffed in the front of the boat like sardines.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel were interviewing the immigrants on Friday at the Border Patrol Station in San Clemente.

Migrant-smugglers are adapting their strategies and have begun to use pleasure boats to transport their human cargo, ICE said.

This is the first time undocumented migrants have been found aboard a craft in the affluent enclave of Newport Beach.

Read more by HS News Staff →

French Military to Purchase Spanish Refueling Planes

French Military to Purchase Spanish Refueling Planes

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France’s defense minister announced here Friday that his country will purchase 14 MRTT aerial refueling tanker aircraft from Spain.

Jean-Yves Le Drian shared the news with reporters after touring the Airbus Military Conversion Center in the Madrid industrial suburb of Getafe and meeting with Spanish counterpart Pedro Morenes.

Airbus A-330 jetliners made in the southern French city of Toulouse are sent to the facility in Getafe for the modifications needed to convert them into Multi Role Tanker Transports.

The French defense chief observed the conversion process, climbed into the cockpit of one MRTT and explored the plane’s capabilities in a 3-D simulation.

Morenes and Le Drian discussed details of the European Union’s support for a prospective military intervention by West African nations to reclaim control of northern Mali from Islamist militants.

The French official expressed appreciation for Madrid’s “political solidarity” on Mali, while also pointing out that strife in the Sahel region of Africa is a question of “security for Spain.”

“(W)e’re going to restore the sovereignty of Mali and the sovereignty of Mali is the security of Europe,” Le Drian said.

He declined to speculate about the nature of Madrid’s participation in the French-led EU mission, but the government of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has indicated a willingness to provide logistics and intelligence support.

Le Drian and Morenes also reviewed their countries’ military collaboration in Afghanistan and Lebanon and the intensification of bilateral relations represented by the impending creation of a Franco-Spanish Council of Security and Defense.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pipeline Fire in Jalisco Forces Hundreds to Evacuate

Pipeline Fire in Jalisco Forces Hundreds to Evacuate

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Roughly 400 people were evacuated early Friday from their homes in the western Mexican state of Jalisco after a gas leak at a pipeline operated by state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos triggered a fire, authorities told Efe.

The accident occurred late Thursday near the town of Corralillos when a backhoe struck the liquefied petroleum gas pipeline and caused the leak.

Pemex said on its Twitter account that the blaze was under control and that two people were injured in the accident: a firefighter and a construction worker.

The company added that the fire will die down once it consumes the remaining leaked gas and technicians will then proceed to repair the pipeline.

The accident will not affect LPG supplies in the region, Pemex said.

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New Oil Blocks to be Actioned in Ecuador’s Amazon Region

Ecuador will auction contracts for new Amazon oil blocks believed to contain as much as 1.6 billion barrels, Non-Renewable Natural Resources Minister Wilson Pastor said Friday.

Three of the 16 blocks will be directly awarded to foreign state oil companies that will partner with Ecuadorian state oil firm Petroamazonas.

The minister said the winning bidders are expected to invest around $1.2 billion in the blocks.

The interested companies include Spain’s Repsol. Italy’s Eni and China’s Andes Petroleum and Sinopec, as well as Peruvian, Colombian, Mexican, Turkish, Vietnamese and Indonesian oil firms.

Contracts for a total of 21 blocks were initially to be awarded, but that number was reduced to 16 and the start of the bidding process was pushed back from October to November to allow time to work out agreements with communities that live in those areas.

Once the bidding process is launched, interested companies will have until May 30, 2013, to prepare their bids. Ecuador’s government will then evaluate them with a view to signing new contracts next September.

Petroamazonas will be the majority partner and operator of blocks 57 and 86 on the border with Peru and its priority is to partner with state oil firm Petroperu, although Colombia’s Ecopetrol also has expressed interest, Pastor said.

Ecuador will sign service agreements with the winning bidders, which will be paid a fee per barrel of oil produced.

Since these operations entail greater risk, the service fees are up to 25 percent higher than those offered in contracts for blocks in other regions, Pastor said.

He also noted that the fee will not be fixed, but instead could be reduced if production at a given block rises or if more reserves are discovered.

Among the blocks not included in the bidding is one located on lands occupied by the Kichwa Indian community, which successfully sued Ecuador before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

That San Jose, Costa Rica-based court ruled this year that Quito illegally granted an oil concession on the Indians’ lands in the early 1990s without consulting them and ordered the government to consult with indigenous communities prior to projects that affect their lands.

Pastor said consultations with communities to be affected by the oil projects were begun in August and will end in the “coming weeks.”

The minister said the government has signed agreements with some of those communities establishing the social investments to be carried out by companies that will develop the blocks, but he acknowledged that “there is resistance in other cases.”

Ecuador, the smallest member of OPEC, produces some 500,000 barrels of crude per day, with state oil firms accounting for 60 percent of the total and the rest corresponding to private operators who accepted the fee-based service contracts in a 2010 sector reorganization.

Ecuador’s oil mainly comes from the northern part of its Amazon region and it is transported to the Pacific coast via the SOTE and OCP pipelines.

Oil is Ecuador’s main export product and also a key source of government revenue.

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Brazil, Ukraine to Launch Satellite in 2014

Brazil, Ukraine to Launch Satellite in 2014

Photo: Victor Yanukovich and Dilma Rousseff

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Ukrainian counterpart Victor Yanukovich agreed Friday on a plan to launch a jointly developed satellite from the South American nation in 2014.

The two leaders spoke by telephone for 20 minutes about their countries’ “strategic” partnership in the aerospace sector, spokespeople in Rousseff’s office told Efe.

That partnership dates from 2003, when Brazil and Ukraine embarked on the Cyclone 4 Alcantara project, which involves developing a launch vehicle to put satellites into orbit from the Alcantara base in the northeastern Brazilian state of Maranhao.

The $588 million venture is part of Brazil’s drive to join the club of countries capable of launching satellites, now limited to the United States, Russia, China, France, India, Israel, Japan and Ukraine.

The first launch from Alcantara was initially scheduled for next year, but financial problems forced a postponement.

Yanukovich took the opportunity of Friday’s call to invite Rousseff to visit Ukraine sometime next year and the Brazilian president accepted the invitation, her office said.

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SaturdayOctober 20, 2012