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SundayNovember 18, 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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Cuban Detainee Alan Gross Sues U.S. & Former Employer

Cuban Detainee Alan Gross Sues U.S. & Former Employer

Photo: Alan Gross in Cuba

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Alan Gross, a U.S. contractor serving a 15-year sentence in Cuba for subversion, and his wife, Judy, have sued the United States and the company that hired him for not warning him about the risks of traveling to the Communist-ruled island nor providing him with adequate protection.

In a statement, the two said the lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Washington against the U.S. government and Development Alternatives Inc. due to their “role in Mr. Gross’ detention and imprisonment, including their abject failure to advise, train and protect him.”

DAI - a Maryland-based company contracted by the U.S. Agency for International Development - and the government ignored “Mr. Gross’s repeated security concerns so that DAI could continue to generate significant revenue and the government could continue to use Mr. Gross as a pawn in its overall Cuba policy initiatives,” the statement added.

Now 63, Gross was arrested in Havana on Dec. 3, 2009, in possession of satellite communications equipment he said he was planning to distribute among Cuba’s Jewish community.

Havana says he was illegally aiding dissidents and inciting subversion on the island. Last August, Cuba’s highest court upheld the 15-year prison sentence imposed on Gross five months earlier.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Train Derailment in Peru Kills 2

Train Derailment in Peru Kills 2

Photo: Peruvian train

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Two people died Sunday when a cargo train derailed in the central Peruvian province of Huarochiri, near Lima, local media reported.

The two fatalities in the derailment, the cause for which has not yet been determined, were the engineer and the brakeman of the cargo train owned by Ferrovias Central Andina, RPP radio reported.

The train was transporting minerals and cement from the central Peruvian sierra to Lima’s port of Callao.

Police took the bodies of the victims to the morgue at San Juan Hospital in Matucana, the capital of Huarochiri province, where autopsies will be performed, as required by law in cases such as this.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NHCLC Partners with Food For The Hungry to Alleviate Poverty

NHCLC Partners with Food For The Hungry to Alleviate Poverty

Photo: Food for the Hungry

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It was announced this week that the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference has formed a strategic partnership with Food for the Hungry (FH).  The NHCLC, known as the Hispanic Evangelical Association, the nation’s largest Christian Hispanic organization, underscores its Justice directive through its partnership with FH by working through the Church to alleviate poverty.

Food for the Hungry (FH) is a Christian organization serving the poor globally since 1971. They reflect the love of Christ in short-term emergency relief and long-term work to end world hunger.

Through the Food for the Hungry child sponsorship program, which includes consistent monthly support, letters, and prayers, a relationship is built that ministers to both the child and the sponsor and develops life-changing relationships. The sponsored child’s community is impacted at the same time and also experiences lasting change.

Food for the Hungry offers sponsorships for $32 a month that help to prevent children from suffering diseases, dehydration, hunger, abuse and even death—and works to alleviate poverty and lower statistics that reveal 1.4 billion people living in poverty.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Congressman Rubén Hinojosa Elected New CHC Chairman

Congressman Rubén Hinojosa Elected New CHC Chairman

Photo: Congressman Rubén Hinojosa

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Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX-15) was elected as the new Chairman of the U.S. Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).  Congressman Hinojosa will serve the next two years as the Chairman.  He was previously the 1st Vice Chairman of the CHC.

Congressman Hinojosa was named as one of the most influential Hispanics in Hispanic Business Magazine for his work in changing legislation in Higher Education. Hispanic Business noted some of Congressman Hinojosa’s accomplishments in their magazine. 

He serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the House Committee on Financial Services, and advocates for education, housing and economic development.Recognized as a champion for investing in human capital through education, he joined President Obama for the signing of the Health Care and Education Reform Act, which invests $2.55 billion in historically black colleges and universities and in Hispanic-serving institutions HSIs and other minority serving institutions.

His successful initiatives include a landmark $510 million investment in minority institutions and a program to support graduate degree attainment at HSIs. He also co-founded the House Financial Literacy and Economic Education Caucus in 2004, which currently numbers 87 members from both sides of the aisle.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico To Fight Deforestation With $15 Million Loan

Mexico To Fight Deforestation With $15 Million Loan

Photo: Deforestation in Mexico

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Mexico will receive $15 million in financial and technical assistance to support climate change mitigation efforts. The program will create a dedicated financing line, accessible by communities and ejidos or their members, for identified low carbon projects in forest landscapes in five of the states with the highest levels of net forest loss: Oaxaca, Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Jalisco and Campeche.

The program is sponsored by the Forest Investment Program (FIP) under the Strategic Climate Fund, which supports governments in their efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation, promote sustainable forest management and enhance forest carbon stocks. Mexico’s Investment Plan under the FIP was approved in October, 2011.

The program includes a $10 million loan for financing projects that must reconcile economic profit for the communities and generate environmental benefits through reducing the pressure on forests and promoting enhancement of carbon stocks. Through the dedicated financing line, the program will attend one of the underlying economic causes of deforestation and forest degradation by removing the obstacles that limit access to credit by offering the financial terms and conditions required for these projects.

A $5 million grant will provide additional financial and technical assistance to support the viability of the individual projects. The grant will strengthen the technical, financial and management skills at the ejido and community level for conducting low carbon strategies.

The program is a pilot project that will permit obtaining lessons for its replication in other key geographic areas in Mexico, demonstrating a viable business models that promotes reduction of deforestation and degradation while increasing economic returns, and the corresponding financial structures that are required.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico City Bans Celebratory Gunfire After Stray Bullet Kills Child

Mexico City Bans Celebratory Gunfire After Stray Bullet Kills Child

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Municipal authorities in the Mexico City district of Iztapalapa announced on the weekend that they will prohibit residents from engaging in celebratory gunfire into the air during street, religious or civil festivals after a child in a movie theater was killed by a spent bullet.

Iztapalapa public safety coordinator Carlos Candelaria Lopez told local media that authorities will meet with the representatives of various neighborhood groups to explain that the use of firearms will not be permitted at the festivals held in the district, which has some 2 million residents.

“The (municipal authorities are) not against their practices and customs and traditions as such, but firing bullets is not a tradition,” the official said.

Candelaria Lopez said that authorities were pursuing a “no tolerance” policy and seeking to eliminate the use of firearms at street festivals.

In different parts of the neighborhood there are assorted religious festivals and at many of them people are accustomed to bringing firearms and celebrating by firing into the air.

On Nov. 2, a child watching a movie with his family in a local theater was hit in the head by a bullet that came straight down through the ceiling, dying two days later.

During the investigation of the incident, experts found various spent bullets and cartridges on the theater’s roof, and others that had landed throughout the district after celebratory gunfire were brought in by local residents.

Read more by HS News Staff →

FCC Report Shows Latino Media Ownership Remains Extremely Low

FCC Report Shows Latino Media Ownership Remains Extremely Low

Photo: Hispanic media

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Earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a report detailing ownership of broadcast media outlets by women and people of color. The report shows that broadcast ownership by women and people of color continues to remain excruciatingly low.

At the same time, multiple press outlets revealed that FCC Chairman Genachowski has circulated a draft order to other FCC commissioners that would relax key media ownership rules, further reducing opportunities for diverse ownership.

According to this data, the number of Latino-owned media outlets is dismal, especially in light of the fact that Latinos make up over 16% of the U.S. population. In 2011, Latinos only owned 39 out of 1,348 full power commercial television stations, a mere 2.9 percent. Latinos owned only 2.7 percent of FM radio outlets.

Latinos didn’t fare much better in AM radio, once thought to be a key entry point for people of color, owning only 172 AM radio stations out of 3,830, or 4.5 percent. Ownership by women, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Indians was similarly bleak.

The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) has long contended that elimination or relaxation of media ownership rules would make it even more difficult for diverse voices to participate in media. Further, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has twice ordered the FCC to collect and analyze data on the impact of any rule changes on ownership by women and people of color prior to changing the media ownership rules.

In March of this year, NHMC filed comments with the Center for Media Justice and the Center for Rural Strategies, advocating for the FCC to tighten media ownership rules to create more opportunities for diverse ownership.

Earlier this year NHMC released an exposé into the hate speech that pervades many Clear Channel stations, and how the company has leveraged its vast media empire to silence intense public outcry against some of its more infamous pundits.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Insights Into Fastest-growing Population Segment in the U.S.

Insights Into Fastest-growing Population Segment in the U.S.

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A new study examines what influences the views of America’s fastest growing population group—Hispanics. The study, Hispanic America: Faith, Values & Priorities, reveals Hispanic Americans’ attitudes about faith, family and societal issues and gives insights into how their views will impact the political, social and economic climate in the U.S.

By 2050, it is predicted there will be no ethnic or racial majority in the U.S. and Hispanics are projected to make up 25 to 30 percent of the population. Thus, the impact of beliefs and behaviors of Hispanic Americans is becoming increasingly significant.

The study, conducted by Barna Group in partnership with American Bible Society, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and OneHope, found that:

    Seven out of 10 Hispanic Americans (69%) think public schools should teach the values found in the Bible
    54% identify themselves first as Hispanic or Latino before American, Catholic or Christian
    Hispanic Americans are very concerned about school dropout rates (58%), immigration (53%), unemployment (57%), healthcare (54%) and housing (52%)
    42% say the Bible influences their views of political and social issues; however, four out of ten Hispanics (43%) read the Good Book less than once a year
    Hispanics believe the No. 1 way they contribute to American society is through their commitment to family
    78% say the traditional family is the main building block of a healthy community
    When faced with a moral or ethical choice, approximately one-fourth (22%) of those surveyed make choices based on principles or standards they believe in say they should do; those standards were most commonly defined by their parents or the Bible
    97% of those surveyed indicated they are proud of their Hispanic heritage

Highlights and full findings are available at Hispanics.Barna.org.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Carlos Slim Invests $2.5 Million in Spanish Soccer Club

Carlos Slim Invests $2.5 Million in Spanish Soccer Club

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Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim has become the largest shareholder in struggling Spanish soccer club Real Oviedo, providing much-needed funds just ahead of a deadline for raising capital.

Inmobiliaria Carso S.A., a unit of Slim’s global conglomerate Grupo Carso, said it invested 2 million euros ($2.5 million) in the lower-tier club - founded in 1926 - to keep it afloat.

The club needed to raise 1.9 million euros ($2.4 million) by a midnight Saturday deadline.

Minority shareholders - mostly fans from around the world - had already covered the shortfall by raising nearly 2 million euros and Slim’s contribution was the finishing touch on rescuing the team from bankruptcy.

“This group, which appreciates the unique and difficult circumstances which Real Oviedo is experiencing, its history within Spanish football, and especially the extraordinary fans who support it, has decided to make a significant and decisive commitment towards this undertaking,” Inmobiliaria Carso S.A. said in a statement Saturday.

Forbes magazine said in March that Slim remained the richest person in the world for a third consecutive year in 2011, followed again by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett.

Real Oviedo - based in the likenamed northern Spanish city - has played 38 seasons in the Spanish soccer league’s first division but, due to its financial woes, has been relegated to lower tiers since 2001.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Money: The Missed Political Story of 2012

Latino Money: The Missed Political Story of 2012

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By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

Here’s something interesting that bubbled up in the wake of last week’s election: 4% of all itemized political contributions this year came from mostly Latino neighborhoods. That’s according to a study done by the Associated Press and reported in a story published on November 3rd.

There is so much to unpack here, the best plan is to take things one step at a time.Image

First, this falls in the context of a basic political premise: a group, any group, doesn’t own it’s politics unless it can fund it. So for all that’s been ballyhooed about the rise of the Latino political clout one fact remains painfully obvious – Latinos don’t, as yet, fund their own politics. That is, Latinos don’t fuel the machines that run the candidates of their choosing. Or at least that’s what it seems.

The published AP study would seem to back that reality. Four percent of a total of $1.3 billion in itemized contributions spent on the election (roughly $52,ooo,ooo.oo) is not pocket change. But in comparison, when 16% of the U.S. population is Latino, it falls short on optics. But the flip side is just as telling: 90% of the itemized contributions came from predominantly white neighborhoods. And that says as much about the distribution of affluence as it does about political funding.

Then there’s the idea that the only way that the AP could do it’s research was to compile lists of persons who had given more than $200.00 because political parties and campaigns are not required to disclose the names of persons who donate less than that amount. Also, the data don’t include demographic information, so the study was done by matching addresses to neighborhoods. You can start to see the holes at the bottom of the raft.

There are too many assumptions here to list, so I’ll make note of the biggest one: Latinos don’t contribute to political campaigns because they don’t give $200.00 or more. What was the word Joe Biden used? Malarkey.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nicaragua Using Nearly $40 Million Loan to Improve Transportation System

Nicaragua Using Nearly $40 Million Loan to Improve Transportation System

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Nicaragua will improve the efficiency and safety of its transportation system and advance regional integration with a $39.2 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The project will help reduce vehicle operating costs, increase travel speeds, reduce accident rates and will conduct studies on the impact of climate change on infrastructure. Other components include institution building, road maintenance and road safety.

Some 437,000 vehicles travel over the national road system, carrying more than 13 million tons of freight annually, of which more than 38 percent is foreign trade cargo. 

A major component of this project includes the improvement of 44.6 kilometers of roads from La Paz Centro-Malpaisillo (37.2 km), of the primary trunk network, in the departments of León and Chinandega; and the Miralagos-Cuyalí (7.47 km) highway, of the primary feeder network, located in the Department of Jinotega.

The country’s road network system is characterized by poor conditions of both paved and unpaved roads. This translates into high transport costs, posing an obstacle to national efforts to boost economic growth and reduce poverty.

According to data from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MTI) published in the Red Vial Nicaragua report of 2011, the road network has a total length of 23,647.1 km, of which only 3,150.8 km (13.3 percent) is paved.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombia Must Finish Peace Talks with FARC Before Extending to Other Guerrilla Group

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told Efe that for now his country’s No. 2 guerrilla group, the ELN, will not be joining the peace process Bogota has opened with the larger FARC.

“What I’m telling you is that we’re not opening the door to let the ELN into these negotiations, I don’t think that was the plan,” Santos said at an interview in Bogota before flying off to Spain to attend the Ibero-American Summit.

Even so, he said there are “possibilities,” but “everything at the right time.”

“We want to establish the dynamic of the second phase with the FARC, and then we’ll study the possibilities of bringing the ELN into the conversation,” he said.

By the second phase Santos meant the formal dialogue to be initiated Monday in Havana with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which follows the secret exploratory talks also held in Cuba between February and August, the first phase of the process.

This was the president’s response to various messages published by the ELN expressing its readiness to enter into peace negotiations and join the dialogue that the Santos government and the FARC formally inaugurated Oct. 17 in Norway.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuba Considers Send Spaniard Responsible for Cuban Dissident’s Death Back Home

Cuba Considers Send Spaniard Responsible for Cuban Dissident’s Death Back Home

Photo: Angel Carromero

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Spain’s request that Cuba send home a Spaniard jailed on the island in connection with a deadly road accident “will be duly considered” on the basis of existing bilateral accords, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told Efe here Friday.

He noted that the Spanish government acknowledged the “impeccable” procedures in Cuba’s trial of Angel Carromero, a member of the youth wing of Spain’s governing Popular Party.

Rodriguez discussed the matter Thursday in Cadiz with Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo on the eve of the Ibero-American Summit.

Carromero was sentenced in Cuba to four years in prison last month for involuntary manslaughter following a traffic accident in which Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepera died.

Rodriguez has said, however, that Carromero “was not a mere tourist” like the tens of thousands of Spaniards who visit Cuba, but that his trip “was a political operation” organized by sectors out to strain relations between Madrid and Havana.

“Spurious political interests create situations that mar the bilateral atmosphere,” he said.

“It is in the best interest of both governments to continue a calm, respectful bilateral relationship that is not influenced by sectors seeking to torpedo it,” he said.

The foreign minister is in Cadiz representing Cuba at the 22nd Ibero-American Summit.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian President Questions EU’s Austerity Plan

Brazilian President Questions EU’s Austerity Plan

Photo: President Dilma Rousseff

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Confidence in a country’s economy “is not built solely on the sacrifices” of its citizens, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Saturday, adding that austerity “has its limits.”

In her speech to the plenary session of the 22nd Ibero-American Summit in this southern city, Rousseff weighed the European policies of austerity and fiscal discipline as a way to get out of the current economic crisis.

In addressing the crisis, the president said that to overcome it “the strategy adopted has to show concrete results for the people, offer a hopeful outlook and not just the perspective of more years of suffering.”

“The financial crisis affecting Europe today is hitting the Iberian Peninsula particularly hard,” she said, noting the complex task that Spain and Portugal have ahead of them, fortunately offset by the creativity of their societies and their capacity to overcome present problems.

The Spanish economy remains hampered by the fallout from the collapse of a long-building housing bubble, which left many of its banks saddled with toxic assets and created an overhang of unsold homes.

Spain is in recession for the second time in four years and unemployment currently stands at more than 25 percent, but the government has opted for austerity measures as it seeks to comply with European Union mandates to reduce its large budget deficit.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Mayor Who Survived Multiple Assassination Attempts Found Dead

Mexican Mayor Who Survived Multiple Assassination Attempts Found Dead

Photo: Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar

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A former mayor of a western Mexican town who had survived two earlier attempts on her life since 2009 has been killed by unknown assailants, prosecutors said Saturday.

The Michoacan state Attorney General’s Office confirmed the death of the former mayor of Tiquicheo, Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar, noting that she had been reported missing by a family member on Wednesday.

The relative said in the missing-persons report that the former mayor had been seen for the last time on Monday.

Gorrostieta, 36, had served from 2008 until early this year as the mayor of the small town, where several drug gangs, including La Familia Michoacana, are active.

An earlier attack on the politician in October 2009 left her wounded and killed her husband - another former Tiquicheo mayor, Jose Sanchez.

Her body was found near a small road in the town of San Juan Tararameo - in the southern part of Michoacan state - and was identified Friday by her relatives, the AG’s office said.

According to local media, Gorrostieta had suffered wounds on her knees and two apparently fatal blows to the back of the neck. She also bore marks indicating she had been handcuffed.

Authorities did not indicate any possible suspects in the homicide, but said it was likely the work of organized crime.

Michoacan’s forests and mountains are used by drug traffickers to grow marijuana and produce synthetic drugs.

Read more by HS News Staff →

8 Killed, Buses Set On Fire in Sao Paulo This Week

At least eight people were killed in shootouts Friday night at different points around Sao Paulo in the latest episode in the wave of violence that has shaken Brazil’s largest city since early October, officials said Saturday.

In the deadliest incident, five young people were shot and killed by an unidentified group of armed men Friday night in Sao Paulo’s southern district of Cidade Ademar, a spokesperson with Sao Paulo state’s Public Safety Secretariat told Efe.

In another shooting, a pedestrian was killed Friday night by two individuals on a motorcycle in the city’s northern district of Vila Constanca.

According to the secretariat, one other person was killed in a shooting in the east-side district of Penha.

Brazilian media, meanwhile, reported that a suspected criminal was shot dead in a clash with security forces in the Sao Paulo suburb of Embu das Artes.

Meanwhile, eight buses were set on fire in the Campinas metropolitan area, some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Sao Paulo.

Police in Sao Paulo say more than 250 homicides have been committed in the metropolis since the start of October, with most of violence directed at citizens but also including a number of off-duty policemen.

Though authorities have offered no detailed explanation of who originated these attacks and for what reasons, federal officials suggest the recent spate of attacks on law enforcement in metropolitan Sao Paulo has been orchestrated by jailed bosses of the First Capital Command, or PCC, the region’s dominant criminal organization.

Elsewhere, in the southern state of Santa Catarina, armed men opened fire on a base and two mobile units of the militarized police without taking any victims and torched a bus.

Some 47 suspects have been arrested in that state since the violence erupted on Monday.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SundayNovember 18, 2012