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WednesdayNovember 7, 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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Violence in Sao Paulo Continues, 5 More Gunned Down

Violence in Sao Paulo Continues, 5 More Gunned Down

Photo: Violence in Sao Paulo

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Five people were killed and three others wounded overnight in separate shootings in Brazil’s largest city and its suburbs, authorities said Wednesday.

The incidents came just hours after the Sao Paulo state government and Brazilian federal officials announced the implementation of a joint plan to confront a recent upsurge in violence here.

Two young men were fatally shot late Tuesday in the crime-ridden Sao Paulo city neighborhood of Itaquera, a source in the municipal Public Safety Office told Efe, while shootings in nearby areas left a youth dead and a police officer wounded.

The other two fatalities were reported on Sao Paulo’s north side and in suburban Guarulhos, respectively.

Nearly 1,100 homicides were reported in Sao Paulo state during the first nine months of the year. The victims included 90 police officers, most of them killed while off-duty.

The initiative presented Tuesday by the state and federal governments calls for creation of an integrated police intelligence center, among other steps.

The individual police agencies will continue to work within their existing jurisdictions, but intelligence-sharing will be key in the effort to “financially suffocate” organized crime, federal Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said.

Federal officials suggest the recent spate of attacks on law enforcement in metropolitan Sao Paulo was orchestrated by jailed bosses of the First Capital Command, the region’s most powerful criminal outfit.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Scientists Discover Humans Made Sophisticated Tools 71,000 Years Ago

Scientists Discover Humans Made Sophisticated Tools 71,000 Years Ago

Photo: Ancient tools (Simen Oestmo / Nature)

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Modern humans were making sophisticated stone tools at least 71,000 years ago, according to an article in the November issue of Nature based on excavations in South Africa.

The long, thin blades were found at Pinnacle Point, which lies near Mossel Bay on the country’s southern coast.

Thought to have been used for weapons, the pieces were produced using an advanced process described as “heat treatment.”

The team suggests the blades were employed in spear-throwers, or “atlatls,” a weapon enabling human hunters to kill large prey, such as buffalo, from a greater distance.

The discovery indicates the humans who inhabited the area more than 70 millennia ago already possessed significant cognitive abilities, the authors say.

Study co-author Kyle Brown, a skilled stone tool replicator and an honorary research associate with the University of Cape Town, said the advanced weapons technology would have been “essential” to the spread of modern humans beyond Africa.

Until now, archaeologists have seen few examples of implements of this kind dating from more than 40,000 years ago.

The authors of the article say they found evidence the humans living at Pinnacle Point continued making sophisticated tools for a span of 11,000 years.

The enduring nature of the technology points to a capability for complex thought and for passing knowledge on to the next generation, probably through the use of language, the scientists say.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Arizona’s Maricopa County Elects Sheriff Arpaio to 6th Consecutive Term

Arizona’s Maricopa County Elects Sheriff Arpaio to 6th Consecutive Term

Photo: Arizona's Maricopa County Elects Sheriff Arpaio to 6th Consecutive Term

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The immigrant community in the Phoenix area is preparing to live another four years with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who over the past few years has intensified his fight against undocumented migrants.

Arpaio, 80, was reelected Tuesday to a sixth consecutive term with 53 percent of the votes.

The controversial Republican sheriff received another mandate despite several pending federal lawsuits accusing his office of engaging in racial profiling against Hispanics.

“Unfortunately, we still have part of (state immigration law) SB 1070 in force in Arizona, which is the ‘show me your papers’ provision, and now we’re going to continue having Sheriff Arpaio,” Petra Falcon, the director of the Promise Arizona group, told Efe on Wednesday.

“Show me your papers,” which entered into force in September, requires state and local law enforcement officers to verify the immigration status of anyone encountered in the course of their duties who they suspect of being in the country illegally.

Arpaio regularly has his deputies carry out workplace raids seeking undocumented workers.

“It’s worrying that Arpaio has been newly reelected. The harassment against our community will continue,” Martha Ramirez, a Phoenix resident and mother of three, told Efe.

She said many Latinos came out to the polls on Tuesday with the aim of unseating Arpaio.

In a defiant tone, Arpaio announced Tuesday that he will seek reelection once again in 2016 and he emphasized that he will continue enforcing state laws against undocumented immigration.

Falcon called the response of the Hispanic community to the 2012 election massive and one sign of that were the lines at some polling places, some of them up to four hours long.

“Our people are transforming themselves. They are learning the value that their votes can have in an election and I think that that was the biggest gain from these elections,” she said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sister of Brazilian Soccer Star Hulk Home Safe After Kidnapping

Sister of Brazilian Soccer Star Hulk Home Safe After Kidnapping

Photo: Angelica Aparecida Vieira, 22, sister of Hulk

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The younger sister of Brazilian soccer star Hulk returned Tuesday to her home in the northeastern city of Campina Grande after being the victim of a kidnapping, police officials said.

Angelica Aparecida Vieira, 22, who according to police was forced out of her car by armed men while parked in front of a restaurant the day before, was seen entering her home around noon Tuesday by reporters seeking the latest developments in her case.

The family confirmed that Angelica is home, but did not explain the circumstances surrounding her release.

Media outlets said she had escaped from captivity on the outskirts of Campina Grande and was driven home by a passing motorist.

Police said they had not been informed about how Vieira got away from her captors.

Givanildo Vieira de Souza Hulk, a Brazilian international who was the top offensive threat for Portuguese club Porto, was transferred to Russia’s Zenit St. Petersburg in September for a whopping 60 million euros ($76.8 million).

Other Brazilian players that have achieved international success like Robinho, Romario, Luis Fabiano and Grafite have also had members of their families kidnapped in Brazil.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera Plays Down Separation Rumors

Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera Plays Down Separation Rumors

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Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera told Efe on Wednesday that she is happy on the personal level despite the rumors of her separation from basketball pro Juan Jose “JJ” Barea.

“I’m happy. The important thing is that my son is healthy and that Jose Juan is healthy,” the 25-year-old Rivera said after being presented as the new media image of the Hotel San Juan.

Regarding her relationship with Barea, who plays for the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves, she said they are “working on it.”

Rumors of a split between Rivera and Barea have been increasing for several weeks after the pair neglected to mention one another or publish photos of themselves together with their son on the social networks.

Rivera and Barea are the parents of Sebastian Jose, who was born on Feb. 17.

The official notification of Rivera’s pregnancy was made public on July 20, 2011, almost a month after Barea helped the Dallas Mavericks win their first NBA title.

A year after her pregnancy, Rivera resumed her career as an actress in the soap opera “Rosario,” which is filmed in Miami. She plays the character of Sandra Diaz, a secretary who finds herself involved in a relationship triangle when she becomes an attorney’s lover.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Texas Father Burglarizes Home, Brings 3-Year-old Along

LATINO BLOTTER: Texas Father Burglarizes Home, Brings 3-Year-old Along

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Father of the year, he is not. Bad dad, he is.

A Texas father drove to burglaries with his 3-year-old son in the car, according to police.

Bernard Cardenas is charged with five counts of burglary of a habitation and felony possession of a weapon, but he possibly faced a child endangerment charge after police discovered he committed at least one of the crimes while he left his toddler in his car.

The 34-year-old father is being called a “prolific burglar” by the Houston Police Department who suspect Cardenas has burglarized 14 homes in the area since July of 2011.

Cardenas was arrested on October 18 after patrol officers witnessed him kicking in a door. That was also when they discovered his son in the car. The boy was not harmed.

Police had been keeping an eye out for a black Acura with paper tags believed to be involved in burglaries from Oct. 9 and Oct. 12. Patrol officers spotted the vehicle and followed it into a residential driveway. As they watched, Cardenas knocked on the home’s door, looked through the window, and ultimately kicked in the door and entered the home.

After additional police units arrived, Cardenas was arrested as he exited the home.

When he was arrested, police also found he was in possession of a gun that had been reported stolen just days prior. Stolen property was also found in the vehicle with the children.

Cardenas is being held without bond at Harris County Jail.

Police say the son is very bright and told them his father had a gun with a laser light on. He also told them Cardenas stole laptops, televisions and “would kick in doors.”

The boy is now being cared for by grandmother and CPS is investigating.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican President-elect Congratulates Obama

Mexican President-elect Congratulates Obama

Photo: U.S. and Mexico

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Mexican President Felipe Calderon and the man who will succeed him in a few weeks, Enrique Peña Nieto, on Wednesday congratulated Barack Obama on winning a second term as U.S. head of state and expressed confidence that the links between the two countries will continue to broaden and deepen.

Calderon’s office said he sent a letter to Obama offering congratulations and emphasizing “the importance for the Mexican and U.S. societies of consolidating shared responsibility as a basis for bilateral cooperation.”

Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto, on the other hand, congratulated Obama via Twitter.

“It will give me great pleasure to personally congratulate him on my next visit to the United States and to work together for the benefit of our nations,” said the winner of Mexico’s July election.

Calderon, who will hand over power to Peña Nieto on Dec. 1, said he was confident that the two governments “will continue broadening and deepening cooperation” and their efforts in favor of “the prosperity, security and competitiveness” of the two countries.

Read more by HS News Staff →

President Calderon Says $1.7 Billion Train Line “Was Worth It”

President Calderon Says $1.7 Billion Train Line “Was Worth It”

Photo: President Calderon Says $1.7 Billion Train Line "Was Worth It"

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The Mexican capital is operating a new 25.1-kilometer (15.5-mile) Metro line that cost nearly $1.7 billion and uses Spanish-made trains.

The line, which was inaugurated at the end of October, is expected to carry between 400,000 and 500,000 people each day.

Mexico City’s Metro system now covers 226 kilometers (140 miles) with 12 lines and 195 stations, serving about 4.5 million people per day.

The Gold Line was built by Mexico’s ICA and Grupo Carso, and was even built while keeping in mind possible earthquakes

Engineers enforced a raised section using “special steel pillars” placed through nine different types of soil.

Spain’s Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A., or CAF, will be responsible for managing the line and overseeing maintenance for the 38 trains plying the route, the longest and first totally automated one on the Mexico City Metro.

The new rail line “competes with the best in the world” and will “revolutionize transportation and mobility” in southern Mexico City, President Felipe Calderon said at the inauguration ceremony.

For many, their travel time is being drastically reduced, some seeing a 150-minute trip drop to 78 minutes.

Travel times are not all that have been reduced.

President Calderon told the Los Angeles Times, “It was worth it. This … is a sustainable solution to the problems of mobility and transport in Mexico City. Moreover, it minimizes the impact of pollution on the city, and that’s fundamental.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latinas Played Powerful Role in 2012 Elections

Latinas Played Powerful Role in 2012 Elections

Photo: President Barack Obama

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Latinas and other women of color played an historic role in last night’s election, helping President Obama secure key wins in swing states like Ohio, Virginia, Nevada and Colorado. While media analysts are noting the significant women’s vote, in fact Latina and women of color voters provided the winning margin: Seventy-six percent of Latinas and 96 percent of black women voted for Obama. Interestingly, only 65 percent of male Latinos voted for Obama, reflecting the national gender gap.

A significant victory for Latina health happened in Florida, where voters soundly rejected Amendment 6, a ballot measure that would have further restricted insurance coverage for abortion and interfered with personal decision-making. In the weeks and months before the election, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) in partnership with the Miami-based Mi Lola, worked to educate and mobilize Latino/a voters in Florida to oppose this measure, and on election day those efforts were rewarded.

Breaking with popular stereotypes about Latino/a views on social issues, the majority of Latino/as supported marriage equality, and helped propel pro-LGBTQ policies forward with key ballot initiatives in Maryland, Maine and Minnesota. Immigrants’ rights also saw gains: the work of young Latinas rallying support for Maryland’s DREAM Act was pivotal in its passage.

Throughout the country, Latino/a voters came out in record force for Latina health, favoring candidates who support polices that protect women’s reproductive decision-making and supporting President Obama and his historic health care gains by more than 70 percent. That’s the largest margin among Latino/as in history, and concern about the Ryan budget. Proposed cuts to health care helped motivate Latino/as to vote, according to Latino Decisions.

Victories

    Florida Ballot Initiative Defeated: Florida’s Amendment 6, which would have further restricted insurance coverage for abortion, including banning public insurance from covering a woman who needs to end a pregnancy, was soundly defeated by 55% of voters. Latino/a voters played a critical role and sent a strong message that they don’t want politicians interfering with a woman’s right to make her own personal, private decisions about abortion.
    More Latinos/as in Congress: Though two members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) retired and one member was defeated, the caucus is expected to expand by several members thanks to victories in New Mexico, Florida, Texas and California. The CHC also held on to seats in key districts. Joaquin Castro, brother of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and state representative for Texas’ 125th District, easily secured Texas’ 20th district to replace the retiring CHC chair.  This is a clear sign that Latino/as are continuing to increase both their civic participation and political influence.
    Maryland DREAM Act passes: Fueled by advocacy by young Latinas across the country, like Angy Rivera and Benita Veliz, voters in Maryland passed the DREAM Act. This victory paves the way for a national movement that will support young Latinas, regardless of their immigration status.
    Latinos “won” the swing states: Latino/as and women of color are credited with tipping the key states in the presidential race, solidifying their growing importance in the U.S. electorate and ensuring that future candidates will ignore Latina issues at their peril.
    Women in the Senate: This year’s Senate class includes 19 women, the largest number in history, including Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the Senate’s first openly gay member.
    Akin, Mourdock, and Walsh lose: Voters showed that legislators who don’t respect women’s rights to make to personal, private decisions about abortion don’t belong in Congress.
    LGBTQ equality prevails: Voters in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and likely Washington all supported the fundamental right of LGTBQ people, including Latinas, to marry who they love.
    The new majority carried the night: A new American majority of people of color, single women, young people (a high percentage of whom are Latino/a) and LGBTQ Americans turned out to vote and fueled election-night victories.

Losses

    Joe Arpaio wins: Despite an important grass-roots movement led by Latino/as in Arizona, anti-immigration candidate Sheriff Joe Arpaio will remain in his post. NLIRH will continue to work with Latinas on the ground in Arizona to hold Arpaio accountable for his misguided policies and indefensible rhetoric.
    Anti-immigrant candidates win: Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Steve King (R-Iowa) will unfortunately return to Congress. Both candidates have used harmful, negative rhetoric about immigrants. Earlier this year King compared immigrants to dogs and Flake voted against the DREAM Act in 2010 and has been reluctant to support a pathway to citizenship.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Man Shoots Four and Self at California Meat Plant, Three Dead

Man Shoots Four and Self at California Meat Plant, Three Dead

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A man opened fire at a California meat processing plant on Tuesday, shooting four co-workers and himself before the incident was over.

Police had identified the gunman as 42-year-old Lawrence Jones, and said each of his victims was Hispanic, though did not give their names.

Jones, who had worked at Valley Protein (formerly Apple Valley Farms) in Fresno for 14 months, reportedly seemed “not himself” when he arrived at work on Tuesday. Just 3 ½ hours later, he began shooting.

According to the

Los Angeles Times, Manuel Verdin, 34, and Salvador Diaz, 32, died after being shot in the head. Arnulfo Conrriquez, 28, was in critical condition after he was shot in the throat. Fatima Lopez, 32, was the victim shot in the lower back. A fifth worker, Esteban Catano, narrowly escaped death, as Jones put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Luckily, Jones was out of bullets.

Police say Jones had an “extensive criminal history” but did not give a motive for the attack. In June 2011, Jones was released from prison after serving time for stealing a car, driving under the influence and causing bodily injury. Just six months ago, he was discharged form parole. Prior to his most recent prison stint, Jones had been in and out of prison since 1991.

After shooting his co-workers, Jones exited the plant, reloaded his gun, and apparently shot himself. He later died of his wounds.

At the time of the shooting, 62 people were in the plant and about 30 witnessed the shootings, which police say were carried out “execution-style.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

UPDATE:  7.4 magnitude Earthquake in Guatemala Reportedly Kills 8

UPDATE:  7.4 magnitude Earthquake in Guatemala Reportedly Kills 8

Photo: Earthquake Guatemala and Chiapas Mexico

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UPDATE:  The 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the Pacific shore of Guatemala has reportedly left 8 dead and Guatemala under the highest level of disaster alert.  The earthquake measured 20 miles deep and was near the city of Champerico.  The government of President Otto Perez Molina is assessing damages and may revise the death toll later.

There are reports of a school collapsing in the town of San Marcos which rests 80 miles north of the epicenter. 


JUST IN:  The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting a 7.4 magnitude earthquake off the Pacific shore of Guatemala, near Chiapas Mexico.  The quake was reported some twenty minutes ago at 10:35 a.m. 35 miles southwest from Retalhuleu, Guatemala and some 38 miles southeast of Chiapas, Mexico.

This is a developing story with aftershocks being reported by both countries.  Strong tremors have been felt in Guatemala City, San Salvador, El Salvador and Mexico City, Mexico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Operation Universal Money Fast: More in Florida Wanted For Health Care Fraud

Operation Universal Money Fast: More in Florida Wanted For Health Care Fraud

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In January 2010, Michel De Jesus Huarte, Alyd Dazza, Ricco Dazza, Monika Blacio, Dayron Porrata, and Wally Proenza, all residents of Miami-Dade County, were sentenced by the Honorable Patricia Seitz for various offenses including conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and aggravated identity theft. One remaining defendant, Vicente Gonzalez, was sentenced the following month.

Now, Ramon Fonseca, Orlin M. Tamayo Quinonez, and Juan Carralero are wanted by the FBI for allegedly conspiring in a scheme to defraud the Medicare program out of tens of millions of dollars.

With its aging, affluent population, South Florida is ground zero for the multi-billion-dollar criminal industry of health care fraud. Few cases illustrate the depth of the problem—and the FBI’s efforts to fight it—more than Operation Universal Money Fast.

The case involved a massive, sophisticated fraud against Medicare and private insurance companies by scammers who set up more than a dozen fake clinics across five states and submitted tens of millions of dollars in bogus claims related primarily to HIV infusion therapy.

Using stolen identities and bribing physicians to lend an air of legitimacy to the fraud, the thieves bilked the system for an estimated $70 million before the FBI dismantled the enterprise.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Alejandro Garcia Padilla is Puerto Rico’s New Governor

Alejandro Garcia Padilla is Puerto Rico’s New Governor

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Puerto Ricans decided to shift course by electing Alejandro Garcia Padilla of the pro-commonwealth Popular Democratic Party, or PPD, as their new governor.

Delays by the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico in announcing the results of the voting meant that Garcia Padilla did not celebrate his victory until the wee hours of Wednesday, while Gov. Luis Fortuño of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, or PNP, did not concede until late Wednesday morning.

With 96.35 percent of the votes counted, 47.85 percent of the ballots were cast for the PPD standard-bearer, compared to 47.04 percent for Fortuño.

Garcia Padilla told his supporters at his party’s headquarters in San Juan that he would govern for all Puerto Ricans and praised the efforts of all the candidates.

Fortuño, meanwhile, congratulated Garcia Padilla and said it is time for residents of the U.S. territory to unite behind a new governor.

Spiraling drug-related crime that left 1,100 dead in 2011, an unemployment rate of nearly 15 percent and a long-struggling economy tipped the balance in favor of Garcia Padilla.

Tuesday’s ballot also included a non-binding referendum on the future of Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States. A slim majority voted in favor of ending the island’s current commonwealth status and becoming the 51st U.S. state, although such a change would require the approval of the U.S. Congress.

But despite the results of the plebiscite, Garcia Padilla’s victory served to stymie the aspirations of statehood advocates for another four years.

The PNP favors U.S. statehood for Puerto Rico, while the PPD advocates an enhanced commonwealth status.

More than 2.4 million people were eligible to cast ballots on Tuesday.

In the other major race, for the post of non-voting representative to the U.S. Congress, PNP incumbent Pedro Pierluisi appeared headed for a narrow victory over the PPD’s Rafael Cox Alomar.

Voters also chose the 78 members of the Puerto Rican legislature and the mayors of the island’s 79 municipalities.

Read more by HS News Staff →

¡Si, Se Puede! – Obama Wins Re-election and Says Gracias to Latino Voters

¡Si, Se Puede! – Obama Wins Re-election and Says Gracias to Latino Voters

Photo: Obama Receives Record Latino Vote

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Estelle Gonzales Walgreen
Editor-in-Chief
Hispanically Speaking News

¡Si, Se Puede! – President Barrack Obama won re-election last night winning the electoral vote at 303 and the popular vote by 50%, thanks in great part to near-record levels of Latino support.

Obama received a very large portion of the Latino vote  - 75 percent- ensuring him a victory in key states like Colorado, Ohio, and Virginia.  Obama received 87 percent of the Latino vote in Colorado alone.  Lesson here for Republicans:  stop with the negative rhetoric and portrayal of immigrants as takers.  Enough with the chatter about electrified border fences and self-deportation, sit down and figure out a comprehensive immigration plan in a bipartisan manner. 

Extremists in the Republican party must realize Latinos exist and not just in the form of illegal border crossers and are just like everyone else when it comes to their view on the economy and jobs, which means they support a combination of spending cuts and higher taxes. 

President Obama must deliver on immigration reform with some form of economic and political inclusion for the undocumented.  Latinos are energized and won’t forgot and forgive any candidate that will run for President in 2016 without an outreach for their vote and respect for their culture.

Mitt Romney gave a graciously lackluster speech and self-deported himself and family back to home.  Unfortunately Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and California where he has homes did not give him a win so he is a man without a country so to speak.  He might have to buy another home in the Southern belt where he had decisive victories.

The slew of women winning Senate seats was a referendum on Republican men to stay out of the pants of the female voters.  Hopefully they have learned their lesson to keep talk of vaginal probes, “legitimate rape” and reproductive rights to the locker room.  A real gentleman, at least those that want to get elected, knows you only go inside a ladies pants if you are invited.

Lessons learn:  Sheldon Adelson better stick to betting on casinos and get better facial moisturizers, Donald Trump a.k.a Orangina needs to be committed to a mental health care facility funded by Obamacare, and Karl Rove needs to disappear and I don’t mean lose weight I mean become white vapor. Image

However, the most important lesson that should be learned in this election cycle:  Latinos react when marginalized, suppressed and vote for those who speak to them with respect. 

Meanwhile I am going to celebrate by going to Colorado to enjoy some medicinal marijuana, attend a gay wedding in 3M country (Maine, Maryland and Minnesota) and vacation in Maryland as a thank you for passing the Maryland DREAM Act.  I will top off my celebration with a Mojito Diego rum drink to toast the next 51st state of the Union, Puerto Rico.

The reality is President Obama faces a deeply divided Congress and a first of the year deadline to avert a dive from our ‘fiscal cliff’ and of course he has to face Congress’ own weeping willow Rep. John Boehner. 

But as Latinos say: “That’s mañana today we celebrate with a fiesta.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

¡Si, Se Puede!  Obama Wins Electoral and Popular Vote for Second Term

¡Si, Se Puede!  Obama Wins Electoral and Popular Vote for Second Term

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Democrat Barack Obama pledged after winning a second term as president that the “best is yet to come” for the United States.

Accompanied on stage at the massive McCormick Place convention center in Chicago by his wife and their two daughters, Obama said after defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney that the “task of perfecting our union moves forward.”

“Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you and you have made me a better president,” Obama said in the wee hours of Wednesday, pledging to return to the White House “more determined and more inspired than ever.”

Obama, who fulfilled a campaign promise to end the combat mission in Iraq during his first term, said the challenges that still await him include reducing the deficit, overhauling the tax code and finding a comprehensive solution to the nation’s troubled immigration system.

He also congratulated Romney on his campaign and said he hoped to sit down with the former Massachusetts governor to discuss how the two parties can work together to “move this country forward.”

“I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I’ve never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope,” Obama said.

Obama won nearly all the key battleground states in Tuesday’s balloting, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia and all-important Ohio.

Pending final results in Florida, Obama was expected to finish with 332 electoral votes, compared with 206 for Romney.

A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win.

The nation’s first black president will again face a divided Congress when he begins his second term in January, as media projections showed the GOP retaining control of the House of Representatives and Democrats maintaining a majority in the Senate.

Obama won re-election despite an unemployment rate of nearly 8 percent, the highest for a sitting president since Franklin Roosevelt.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Champions League: Real Madrid Ties Borussia Dortmund 2-2

Champions League: Real Madrid Ties Borussia Dortmund 2-2

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Real Madrid had to come from behind here Tuesday to gain a 2-2 tie with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, even as Malaga and Porto secured their spots in the round of 16.

In the other Group D match, reigning Premier League champ Manchester City was lucky to salvage a 2-2 draw against Ajax at Etihad stadium.

Borussia, current holders of the Bundesliga crown, took a 1-0 lead at the Bernabeu on a goal by Marco Reus in the 28th minute, but Pepe answered 6 minutes later.

An own goal by Alvaro Arbeloa in the waning moments of the first half left Real Madrid down 2-1.

The tide turned in favor of the home side in the second half, though it was not until the 89th minute that Mesut Ozil brought Madrid even.

Tuesday’s clashes left the German squad in first place with 8 points, 1 ahead of Real Madrid, followed by pre-tournament underdog Ajax with 4 and Manchester City with a paltry 2 points.

A newcomer to the Champions League, Malaga has made the most of its turn on the international stage.

Though the team had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw with AC Milan in Tuesday’s battle at the legendary San Siro, the Spanish side’s 10 points in Group C are enough to guarantee a berth in the next round.

AC Milan trails Malaga by 5 points, while Anderlecht stands at 4 points after Tuesday’s 1-0 home win over fourth-place Zenit St. Petersburg.

In Group A, Porto fought Dynamo Kiev to a scoreless tie, leaving the Portuguese side with 10 points and a ticket to the round of 16.

Paris St. Germain solidified its hold on second place by inflicting a 4-0 rout on Dinamo Zagreb.

The race in Group B grew tighter on Tuesday, as Arsenal and Schalke 04 played to a 2-2 deadlock in Gelsenkirchen and Olympiakos Piraeus topped Montpellier HSC by a score of 3-1.

Schalke now leads the group with 8 points, 1 ahead of Arsenal and 2 in front of Olympiakos.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuela, Ecuador Send Aid to Cuba After Hurricane Sandy

Venezuela, Ecuador Send Aid to Cuba After Hurricane Sandy

Photo: Hurricane Sandy in Cuba (UN)

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Aircraft carrying humanitarian aid from Venezuela and Ecuador landed in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba to ease the damage and suffering left by Hurricane Sandy, Cuban state television said Tuesday.

More than 45 tons of food products were brought by the fifth Venezuelan plane to fly into Santiago, devastated by the hurricane that caused immense damage to homes, agriculture, production facilities and social services.

This donation included pastas, refined white sugar, peas and lentils, according to the official news agency AIN.

Another aircraft sent by the Ecuadorian government landed in Santiago de Cuba with nine tons of food rations, hygiene and cleanup units, purifiers for drinking water, shovels, medicines, and blankets plus sacks of polypropylene for makeshift beds.

The ambassador of Ecuador in Cuba, Edgar Ponce, told the press that this is a modest contribution from his country for the tasks of recovery, because “it’s our duty to be present in such a bad situation.”

Other countries including Bolivia, Russia and Brazil have also sent donations.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Promotes Quintana Roo at London Travel Expo

Mexico Promotes Quintana Roo at London Travel Expo

Photo: Mexico's Tourism board in London

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Mexico’s Quintana Roo state is trying to get more Europeans to visit the islands of Mujeres, Holbox, Cozumel and Contoy, destinations that are not as well known as the Riviera Maya or Cancun but offer more natural attractions, the Caribbean state’s governor, Roberto Borge Angulo, said Tuesday.

Borge Angulo said during a visit to the World Travel Market in London that his state offered a variety of accommodations and natural attractions ideal for diving and hiking.

“We want to complement the state’s tourism offerings with new products, such as tours to see the whale sharks on Holbox Island, and to expand the promotional packages with European tourism operators,” the governor told Efe.

Quintana Roo, which accounts for about half of Mexico’s tourism revenues, “does not just have sun and sand hotels, many of them also have thematic offerings - boutique hotels, resort hotels, (hotels) for adults and others dedicated to wine,” Borge Angulo said.

The number of hotel rooms in the state is expected to rise by 3,200 by the end of 2013, with 1,400 rooms coming online in Puerto Morelos, the governor said.

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WednesdayNovember 7, 2012