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ThursdayNovember 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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Spanish Paleontologists Discover 11.6 Million Year Old Panda Bear Fossils

Spanish Paleontologists Discover 11.6 Million Year Old Panda Bear Fossils

Photo: Sketch of first panda (SINC)

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Two fossilized mandibles and several teeth found in northeastern Spain dating from 11.6 million years ago are the oldest remains found to date of ancestors of the giant panda, a team of Spanish paleontologists said in an article appearing in the journal PLOS ONE.

The team, headed by Juan Abella of the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, includes researchers from the Catalan Institute of Paleontology and several universities.

“The new genus we describe in this paper is not only the first bear recorded in the Iberian Peninsula, but also the first of the giant panda’s lineage,” Abella said.

Kretzoiarctos is the name Abella and his colleagues have given the new genus.

The fossils have the characteristics of a bear adapted to a diet of tough vegetation such as bamboo. Currently, the giant panda, which is native to certain parts of China, is the only member of this peculiar bear family that has a diet of this kind.

The position of the giant pandas on the evolutionary tree has been one of the most intensely debated matters among biologists who study mammals and paleontologists for more than a century.

The origin of the giant panda’s genetic line has remained uncertain because of the scarcity of records from the Miocene period.

Until recently, the article explained, the genus Ailuractos from the Late Miocene in China, about 7-8 million years ago, was the oldest known member of the panda family.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Barcelona’s Sanchez Injured in Chile vs Serbia Friendly Match

Barcelona’s Sanchez Injured in Chile vs Serbia Friendly Match

Photo: Alexis Sanchez

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Chile’s Alexis Sanchez, a striker for F.C. Barcelona, will miss four weeks of action after straining a ligament in his right foot during an international friendly against Serbia.

Sanchez, 23, played just 20 minutes of Chile’s 3-1 loss Wednesday night before coming off the field with the injury.

The Spanish club said Thursday the striker underwent a series of tests upon his arrival in Barcelona that showed the existence of the strain.

F.C. Barcelona - which leads the Spanish league with 31 points, three ahead of Atletico Madrid - practiced Thursday afternoon in preparation for a match Saturday against Zaragoza.

The club is hopeful that captain and key defenseman Carles Puyol, who has missed several weeks with an elbow injury, will be medically cleared to play.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Queen Sofia of Spain Presents Ibero-American Poetry Award to Ernesto Cardenal

Queen Sofia of Spain Presents Ibero-American Poetry Award to Ernesto Cardenal

Photo: Queen Sofia of Spain Presents Ibero-American Poetry Award to Ernesto Cardenal

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“Poetry is everything, including the Creator of everything. Poetry is God,” said Ernesto Cardenal on Thursday after receiving from the hands of Spain’s queen the Queen Sofia Ibero-American Poetry Award at a ceremony held at the Royal Palace.

The 87-year-old poet, Catholic priest and theologian who served as Nicaragua’s culture minister following the ouster of the Somoza dictatorship also said: “For poetry to be promoted by a queen is something that other leaders should imitate.”

In his acceptance speech, Cardenal discussed the meaning of the word Sofia, spelled Sophia in English, which means wisdom in Greek, to evoke that “very mysterious and very attractive” biblical figure that Christian tradition interprets as “an attribute of God, like God in its creation and also like Christ, wisdom of God, and creative Word of God.”

Therefore, he said, “It’s like saying that Sophia is the Poetry of God.”

The choice of Cardenal for this year’s Queen Sofia Prize broke the institution’s unwritten rule that the award should alternate between Spanish and Latin American poets.

The 2011 prize went to Cuba’s Fina Garcia Marruz.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lorena Ochoa, 31,  Worlds Top Ranked Woman Golfer Vows Not to Come Out of Retirement

Lorena Ochoa, 31,  Worlds Top Ranked Woman Golfer Vows Not to Come Out of Retirement

Photo: Lorena Ochoa

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Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa, who retired in April 2010 as the world’s top-ranked women’s golfer, said Thursday she is convinced she will never return to the LPGA Tour.

“I’m not going to play in the LPGA. I’m sure of that,” Ochoa said at the presentation here of her book “Soñar en Grande” (Dream Big), which tells how she took up golf, her rise to the pinnacle of her profession and her retirement at age 28.

Ochoa, who turned 31 on Thursday, said she is working on several projects and has other plans in the works, including the possibility of her life being made into a movie.

A year and a half after she retired from the sport, Ochoa and her husband, Aeromexico CEO Andres Conesa Labastida, welcomed their first child.

“I feel fulfilled. I’m happy. I want to do more things in my life and I want to be remembered for the things I did outside of golf,” Ochoa said

Read more by HS News Staff →

Orphanage Funded by Marc Anthony’s Foundation To Break Ground Next Week

Orphanage Funded by Marc Anthony’s Foundation To Break Ground Next Week

Photo: Marc Anthony (Maestro Cares Foundation)

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Salsa icon Marc Anthony will inaugurate the construction of an orphanage in the Dominican Republic next week, a project being financed by the non-profit organization that he and Colombian concert promoter Henry Cardenas lead.

Anthony, who is of Puerto Rican descent, and Cardenas will be on hand Nov. 23 for the groundbreaking ceremony of the “Niños de Cristo” (Children of Christ) orphanage in the eastern Dominican province of La Romana, according to a statement issued Thursday.

The singer-songwriter and Cardenas, who is organizing a concert tour that features Anthony, Chayanne and Marco Antonio Solis and includes a show in the Dominican Republic on Nov. 24, are funding this orphanage through their U.S.-based Maestro Cares Foundation.

The orphanage will have space for 43 children and be built on land donated by the Central Romana Corporation, a Dominican-based company.

The impetus for the project was an Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean report indicating that 49 percent of Dominican children were living in poverty and 7.7 percent in extreme poverty in 2007, the statement said.

Maestro Cares’ mission is to “help Latin American children by providing them with healthy and safe environments,” Cardenas said in the statement, adding that another of its priorities is to promote education.

“Education is key because it will bring children closer to their dreams. They are our future leaders,” Cardenas said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Georgia Immigration Law Causing Headaches for Doctors, Nurses

Georgia Immigration Law Causing Headaches for Doctors, Nurses

Photo: Georgia Immigration Law Causing Headaches for Doctors, Nurses

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As part of Georgia’s new immigration law, health care workers are required to prove their citizenship or legal residency in order to renew their medical licenses. Unfortunately, this requirement comes at a time when staff at the secretary of state’s office was just cut by 40 percent.

Mixing a smaller staff with more paperwork to process has indeed caused a headache for all involved. With processing taking longer, may health care workers are seeing their licenses expire.

It used to be that license renewal for doctors, nurses, and pharmacists was straightforward and quick. Now, the renewal process is taking much longer and with health care professionals used to the formally speedy process, many are left with expired professional licenses.

Kelly Farr, Georgia’s deputy secretary of state, recently told NPR that 600 nurses alone have already hit trouble.

‘There’s nothing more frustrating than getting that call from the desperate nurse, knowing ... she’s being slowed down because we literally don’t have enough people to click the approve button,’ Farr said.

While the secretary of state’s office handles renewals for nurses, pharmacists and veterinarians, the Georgia medical board is responsible for doctors, physical assistants, and others. Still, the same problem has arisen with the medical board.

Either there are too renewals to go over and too few people to go over them, or the new law has caused confusion and health care workers are not sending in the proper paperwork.

The law was intended to protect Georgia’s jobs, though state officials say the process has not uncovered any undocumented immigrants.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain Announces 2 Year Freeze on Foreclosures

Spain Announces 2 Year Freeze on Foreclosures

Photo: Protesting the foreclosures in Spain

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Spain’s government on Thursday approved the creation of a stock of homes for rent to evicted mortgage debtors and also instituted a two-year freeze on foreclosures.

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said in a press conference that the homes in the so-called “social housing fund” will consist of properties that banks acquired through repossessions.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, for her part, said the rents will be affordable and that the government will unveil more home foreclosure relief measures in the future.

The measures approved Thursday by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s administration are an “urgent and mitigating response” to Spain’s difficult economic situation, Saenz de Santamaria said.

They also come after two Spaniards committed suicide in recent weeks when they were about to be evicted from their homes.

Single-parent families and households with children under 3, as well as those whose members have serious disabilities or are in a situation of dependence or illness that prevents them from working, will be among those covered by the foreclosure freeze.

Other potential beneficiaries include jobless debtors whose unemployment benefits have expired.

The protection applies to families with household income of less than 1,600 euros ($2,041) a month.

Organizations of people affected by foreclosures slammed the conditions approved by the government and called for the measure to be applied in all cases in which homeowners cannot make mortgage payments on their primary residence due to an unexpected bankruptcy.

The government and the main opposition Socialists have been in talks aimed at reaching a consensus on overhauling Spain’s mortgage law.

In Spain, as in some other European countries, people who lose their homes to foreclosure remain on the hook for the unpaid balance of the mortgage.

Since 2007, some 400,000 families in Spain have lost their homes to foreclosure.

In many cases, homeowners purchased properties at inflated prices during a long-building housing bubble after they were approved for a substantial mortgage loan with highly favorable conditions.

The collapse of the real-estate bubble left many Spanish banks saddled with toxic assets and sent the country’s economy into a severe tailspin.

Spain is mired in recession for the second time in four years and the unemployment rate stands at a record 25.02 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Benicio Del Toro to Play Famed Drug Lord Pablo Escobar in Upcoming ‘Paradise Lost’

Benicio Del Toro to Play Famed Drug Lord Pablo Escobar in Upcoming ‘Paradise Lost’

Photo: Benicio Del Toro to Play Famed Drug Lord Pablo Escobar in Upcoming 'Paradise Lost'

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Variety is reporting actor Benicio Del Toro is set to play famous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in the upcoming film Paradise Lost.

Inspired by actual, Paradise Lost follows a young surfer named Nick who travels to Colombia to visit his brother. While there, Nick falls in love with Maria, who he later finds out is the niece of drug lord Pablo Escobar.

The script for Paradise Lost was written by Italian actor Andrea di Stefano – check him out in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi – who will also be making his directorial debut with the film.

With a budget of $25 million, the film is set to begin its 11 weeks of filming down in Panama this coming March.

The Puerto Rican actor is not new to playing historical figures. In 2008, Del Toro played Ernesto Che Guevera in the two-part epic from Steven Soderbergh’s Che.

Del Toro recently starred in Oliver Stone’s Savages, which was released on DVD/Blu-Ray on Tuesday.

Interestingly, Stone was one of those trying to make an Escobar film happen. He and director Antoine Fuque had been working on Escobar for some time.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain Wins 5-1 Against Panama in Friendly Soccer Match

Spain Wins 5-1 Against Panama in Friendly Soccer Match

Photo: Pedro Rodríguez Ledesma

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Spain’s national soccer team concluded its 2012 campaign here on Wednesday with a 5-1 demolition of Panama in a friendly match.

The Spaniards put on a demonstration of why they are the reigning World Cup and European champions.

Led by Andres Iniesta, the visitors dominated from the first minute of play, leaving the Panamanian side struggling to get out of their own half.

The first goal came at the 15-minute mark and Spain took a 3-0 lead into the break.

Nothing changed in the second half and it was only the heroics of Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo that spared the home team an even bigger embarrassment.

Panama’s only goal came on Gabriel Gomez’s penalty kick in the 86th minute.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Jose Santiago Allegedly Hid Drugs in His Prosthetic Leg

LATINO BLOTTER: Jose Santiago Allegedly Hid Drugs in His Prosthetic Leg

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Jose Santiago Allegedly Hid Drugs in His Prosthetic Leg

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Police say a Delaware man attempted to avoid being caught with drugs by hiding them in his prosthetic leg.

On Friday, police in Wilmington responding to a report of a disorderly person when they came across 51-year-old Jose Santiago just before 1:15 p.m.

Santiago was standing in the street yelling obscenities and appeared to be intoxicated. He was taken into custody and while he was being booked officers noticed he had outstanding warrants.

A search revealed Santiago was also in possession of both marijuana and crack cocaine. He had reportedly hidden the drugs in his prosthetic leg. He had 2.8 grams of marijuana and 2.5 grams of crack.

Santiago has been charged with disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana, and possession of crack cocaine.

The outstanding arrest were issued by the New Castle County Court of Common Pleas and Justice of the Peace Court 20.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Heiress Tatiana Santo Domingo and Monaco Royal Andrea Casiraghi Expecting Child

Colombian Heiress Tatiana Santo Domingo and Monaco Royal Andrea Casiraghi Expecting Child

Photo: Colombian Heiress Tatiana Santo Domingo and Monaco Royal Andrea Casiraghi Expecting Child

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Tatiana Santo Domingo, the daughter of the late Colombian businessman Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr. and Brazilian socialite Vera Rechulski, has announced she is pregnant with her fiancé.

The 28-year-old socialite heiress is also the granddaughter of Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Sr., who Forbes named Colombia’s second richest man in 2011.

The baby’s father is Andrea Casiraghi, 28, the eldest son of Caroline, Princess of Hanover. He is second in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne (Monaco) after Prince Albert II, his uncle.

Should Prince Albert II die without legitimate children, Casiraghi would likely adopt the surname Grimaldi and someday become the Prince of Monaco, after his mother Caroline.

In 2011, Santo Domingo launched, in partnership with Dana Alikhani, the Muzungu Sisters fashion venture, which focuses on ethical business practices that allow them support local craftsmen, buy handmade garments at a fair price and then sell them.

Santo Domingo and Casiraghi announced they were expecting at the 2012 Telva de Moda Awards in Spain. Santo Domingo is in her sixth month of pregnancy.

They also plan to marry in 2013.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NY Yankee Robinson Cano Becomes a True ‘Yankee’ After Becoming U.S. Citizen

NY Yankee Robinson Cano Becomes a True ‘Yankee’ After Becoming U.S. Citizen

Photo: NY Yankee Robinson Cano Becomes a True ‘Yankee’ After Becoming U.S. Citizen

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The New York Yankees’ second baseman Robinson Canó (born Robinson José Canó Mercedes) was born in the Dominican Republic but he became a true Yankee this week as an official naturalized citizen.

Canó, 30, who was born in San Pedro de Macoris, is the son of Jose Canó who pitched for the Houston Astros in the 1980s. He was destined to become a professional baseball player, as his father even named him after the Jackie Robinson.

On Tuesday, Canó took to Twitter and shared his excitement:

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Canó made his Major League Baseball debut in 2005 with the Yankees and has remained with the team since. In was called up after being named the NY Yankees’ Minor League Player of Year in 2004.

He is currently in the running for the American League’s Most Valuable Player Award. The winner is expected to be announced Thursday.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Blog del Narco: 5 Executed in Ecatepec by Gulf Drug Cartel

Blog del Narco: 5 Executed in Ecatepec by Gulf Drug Cartel

Photo: 5 Murdered in Ecatepec

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Five people were found dead inside an abandoned car in the capital suburb of Ecatepec, Mexican authorities said Wednesday.

Police are working to identify the four men and a woman whose bodies were discovered in a parking lot, the Mexico state Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

The statement did not specify a cause of death, but state officials said off the record that the victims were shot.

Left with the bodies was a message from the Gulf drug cartel, media accounts said.

Mexico’s cartels and other criminal outfits often leave notes at crime scenes to claim responsibility for murders and threaten additional violence against rivals or authorities.

The six-year term of President Felipe Calderon - who leaves office Nov. 30 - has seen at least 60,000 killings related to conflict among competing drug cartels and between the gangs and security forces.

Within days of taking office in December 2006, Calderon gave Mexico’s military the leading role in the struggle against drug trafficking.

Read more at Blog del Narco

Read more in Spanish at Blog del Narco

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Bishops Call for Immigration Reform in 2013

U.S. Bishops Call for Immigration Reform in 2013

Photo: Jose Gomez Archbishop, Los Angeles

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The Archbishop of Los Angeles, His Exc. Mgr. Jose Gomez, who chairs the Committee on Migration of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the United States of America (USCCB), urged re-elected President Barack Obama and Congress to make an immigration reform in 2013.

“I invite the President and Congress to seize the day and begin the difficult process of creating a bipartisan agreement,” said Bishop Gomez at the annual meeting of the USCCB in Baltimore, Maryland. In the note sent to Fides Agency, we read Mgr. Gomez’s words: “Millions of people remain in the shadows, without legal protection and marginalized. As a moral question, this suffering must end.”

“I am excited about the recent public statements by leaders of the two political parties that support the examination of the immigration reform in the new Congress,” said the Archbishop of Los Angeles.

Mgr. Gomez believes that the immigration reform must uphold the rule of law, preserve the unity of the family, protection of human rights and dignity of persons, and therefore urged Catholics to make their voices heard in support of the immigration reform.

Read more at Fides Agenzia →

Puerto Rican Statehood Unlikely, Despite Governor’s Push

Puerto Rican Statehood Unlikely, Despite Governor’s Push

Photo: Puerto Rico's Statehood Referendum

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Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno is pressing President Obama and Congressional leaders to get the ball rolling on statehood for the island commonwealth, one week after Election Day, when his push for the island to become a state received a historic level of support.

“The plebiscite’s results constitute the US Citizens of Puerto Rico’s clear rejection of the continuation of the current territory status,” Fortuno wrote in a letter to Obama, according to the Caribbean Journal. The letter called on the president to “fulfill your commitment to actively seek implementation of this choice by the US citizens of Puerto Rico.”

Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s non-voting representative to Congress, echoed the governor Wednesday (November 14), telling The Hill: “The people of Puerto Rico have spoken, and I intend to make certain that their voice is heard loud and clear.”

Though the president and members of Congress have been receptive to granting statehood — if Puerto Ricans clearly want it — it probably won’t happen soon. That’s because Puerto Ricans’ choices on Election Day cleared little up.

For the first time in history, the majority of Puerto Rican voters chose statehood. But the vote came out of a messy two-part referendum, in which 54 percent of voters responded “no” when asked whether they approved of the island’s current status.  On the second question, statehood was the preferred alternative, notching 61 percent of votes. But one-third of voters left that question blank, meaning overall support for statehood may have been below 50 percent.

That has prompted several experts to suggest the vote was anything but a mandate.

Read more at Jim Malewitz for Pew Stateline →

Cuban Arrested at Border for Carrying $1.5 Million Worth of Pot in Truck

Cuban Arrested at Border for Carrying $1.5 Million Worth of Pot in Truck

Photo: Large Pot Seizure at Border

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On November 10, Laredo North agents assigned to the Border Patrol Checkpoint located on Interstate Highway 35 encountered a 2001 Blue Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by a 41- year old from Cuba at the primary inspection lane. As the driver was being questioned as to his citizenship, a service canine alerted to the tractor-trailer and was referred to secondary for further inspection.

At the secondary inspection area, BPA Agents instructed the driver to exit the vehicle in order to perform an x-ray scan of the trailer. At that moment, the driver was non-responsive to the commands given by the agents and they noticed that he was disoriented. The driver was then escorted to a controlled area away from traffic and his feet became unstable and fainted. A Laredo Sector Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) began treating the subject and after a few minutes he regained consciousness and refused further medical treatment.

After treating the subject, an x-ray scan of the trailer was conducted and several anomalies in an aftermarket compartment towards the front were noticed. A physical inspection of the trailer’s false compartment yielded a total of 155 bundles encased in cellophane wrapping that tested positive for marijuana.

The contraband weighed 1,936.4 pounds and has a street value of $1,549,120.00 USD.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Source Says Marlins Have Traded Reyes, Buehrle, Johnson to Blue Jays

Source Says Marlins Have Traded Reyes, Buehrle, Johnson to Blue Jays

Photo: Reyes among three traded to Toronto from Miami

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The Miami Marlins have traded Dominican shortstop Jose Reyes and starting pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays, according to a source close to the negotiations.

The trade will reportedly be final once the players involved have passed their required physical examinations.

The source, who requested anonymity, said the Marlins would receive several of the Blue Jays’ top prospects in return.

Johnson, who had an up-and-down season in 2012 after suffering a shoulder injury the previous year, was one of baseball’s top pitchers in 2010 and had spent his entire career with the Marlins dating back to 2005.

Reyes is still owed $96 million on the six-year contract he signed with the Marlins last winter, while Buehrle signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the club last December.

The Marlins also agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal with closer Heath Bell as part of their spending spree prior to the start of the 2012 season, but they traded him to the Arizona Diamondbacks in October.

What appeared to be a new era of big payrolls for the normally frugal franchise, formerly known as the Florida Marlins, coincided with a move to a new ballpark, the unveiling of new uniforms and the name change.

But the team has changed course once again after a disappointing first season at Marlins Park, in which the club stumbled out of the gate and then - after trading away a first batch of players in July - finished dead last in their division with a 69-93 record.

In addition to unloading their highest paid players, the Marlins last month also fired manager Ozzie Guillen after one season and replaced him with little-known Mike Redmond, whose only previous managerial experience was in the minor leagues.

According to the source, the Marlins may receive Cuban infielders Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria in the deal.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Authorities Seize a Ton of Opium Seeds in Mexico

Authorities Seize a Ton of Opium Seeds in Mexico

Photo: Opium plant

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Mexican authorities seized a ton of opium seeds they found aboard a ship in the Gulf coast port of Veracruz, the government said Wednesday.

The contraband was discovered on Monday, when navy personnel and customs agents carried out a “physical inspection of the container that had been unloaded from a boat coming from Turkey,” the navy said in a statement.

The search turned up 40 sacks containing 988.9 kilos (2,178 pounds) of opium seeds, the statement said.

The navy offered no information on the sender of the consignment or the intended recipient in Mexico.

Opium poppies - the raw material of heroin - are cultivated in at least five of Mexico’s 31 states: Guerrero, Michoacan, Durango, Chihuahua and Sinaloa.

A 2007 report by Mexico’s Superior Agrarian Tribunal found that 30 percent of the country’s arable land was in the hands of drug traffickers or their operatives.

The tribunal’s presiding judge, Ricardo Garcia Villalobos, who said the 8 million hectares (nearly 20 million acres) then planted with marijuana and opium poppies was equal to the amount of land covered by Mexico’s main food crop, maize.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil’s Economy Saw Slight Drop in September

The Brazilian economy shrank by 0.52 percent in September compared with August, the biggest one-month decline in almost a year, the central bank said Wednesday.

The central bank’s IBC-Br index of economic activity, seen as a reliable predictor of GDP movement, fell for the first time since March, from 143.34 points to 142.59.

September’s IBC-Br reading cast doubt on the government’s forecast that GDP will grow 2 percent this year despite a gain of only 0.6 percent in the first quarter.

Even with the weak performance in September, the IBC-Br expanded by 1.15 percent in the third quarter compared with the previous three months, the central bank said.

The index was also up 1.2 percent over the level reached in the first nine months of 2011.

Private economists surveyed by the central bank predict the Brazilian economy will grow 1.54 percent in 2012 and by 4 percent next year.

Latin America’s economic giant suffered a sharp but relatively brief slowdown in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis and rebounded with growth of 7.5 percent in 2010.

Last year, however, the Brazilian economy managed an expansion of only 2.7 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →



ThursdayNovember 15, 2012