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ThursdayNovember 29, 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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Fifth Woman Dies As A Result of Halloween Stampede in Spain

Fifth Woman Dies As A Result of Halloween Stampede in Spain

Photo: Maria Teresa Alonso

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A 20-year-old woman injured in the human stampede at a giant Halloween party in the Spanish capital, died Thursday, medical sources told Efe.

Maria Teresa Alonso, who died as a result of “severe brain damage,” becomes the fifth fatality from the incident at the Madrid Arena.

The other four victims were also young women.

Alonso had been in a coma since the incident.

Court sources said on Wednesday that the crowd of some 20,000 at the Madrid Arena during the Halloween party exceeded by 58 percent the venue’s legal capacity.

Meanwhile, chief municipal building inspector Norberto Rodriguez said Thursday that in the face of the “inappropriate or reckless” use of the Madrid Arena due to an overly large crowd, “neither the technical code nor any other regulation can avoid accidents.”

Rodriguez made his remarks before an investigatory commission created by the Madrid city government to determine responsibility in the tragedy.

The Madrid Arena had all necessary permits and the building’s construction complied with the rules prevailing at the time it was built, the inspector said.

The tragedy, which caused a public outcry, resulted in the firing of a top municipal official, but the families of the victims are demanding justice.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Ricky Martin to Join “The Voice Australia” in 2013

Ricky Martin to Join “The Voice Australia” in 2013

Photo: Ricky Martin

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Singer Ricky Martin in January will wrap up his participation in the Broadway musical “Evita,” but he already has a packed agenda for 2013 that includes being a judge on the second season of “The Voice Australia,” his publicist said Thursday.

Martin, who for the past year has portrayed “Che” in the musical that also stars Elena Roger and Michael Cerceris, will be the fourth judge on the popular Australian television program.

The Puerto Rican next year will join judges Seal, Joel Madden and Delta Goodrem in the search for Australia’s best voice.

“Sending lots of love to everyone in Australia. Thrilled to return! Peace!” Martin said on Twitter.

His participation on “The Voice Australia” is just one of the projects that Martin will have going next year. He also has a project in the works with NBC/Universal to develop a television series.

In addition, the artist is writing his second book, which this time will be for children and which is scheduled to be released in mid-2013.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Study Confirms Faults With 287(g) Immigration Program

Study Confirms Faults With 287(g) Immigration Program

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The Immigration Policy Center on Thursday published a study confirming faults with the 287(g) immigration program at a time when the government is subjecting it to review.

Since its creation in 1996, Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act has permitted federal authorities to train state and local law enforcement agents to perform certain functions related to immigration.

These include accessing federal databases, questioning and arresting immigrants that are suspected of being in the country illegally and, above all, beginning the deportation process from the 57 detention centers where the 287(g) program is being implemented.

Due to the planned expansion of all the country’s prisons in 2013 according to the similar Secure Communities initiative, critics of 287(g) question the need to continue enforcing it.

The U.S. Justice Department investigation of Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office concluded that the department engaged in a pattern of violations of people’s constitutional rights and racial profiling against Hispanics in carrying out 287(g).

It found that Sheriff Joe Arpaio conducted immigration raids in Hispanic neighborhoods and that Latino drivers in greater Phoenix were stopped nine times more frequently than other motorists.

North Carolina has been one of the states most affected by the implementation of 287(g), given that more than 14,000 Hispanics have been deported from the city of Charlotte alone over the last six years, the majority for minor traffic infractions.

“We’ve always complained that 287(g) is a way to get rid of Hispanics simply for being immigrants,” Hector Vaca, community leader and representative of Action NC, told Efe on Thursday.

“The only positive thing I see about Secure Communities is that it returns control to the federal government for enforcing the immigration laws,” he said.

A January 2009 report by the Government Accountability Office complained that 287(g) did not fulfill its objectives of detaining and expelling criminals. On the contrary, undocumented immigrants were being deported for minor crimes and infractions.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Costa Rican Authorities Seize More a Kilo of Cocaine

Costa Rican Authorities Seize More a Kilo of Cocaine

Photo: Costa Rican Authorities Seize More a Kilo of Cocaine

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Costa Rican authorities announced Thursday the seizure of 1,068 kilos (2,352 pounds) of cocaine aboard a fishing boat off the country’s Pacific coast.

The Costa Rican-flagged vessel was intercepted Wednesday by U.S. Coast Guard units about 500 kilometers (310 miles) from shore under an accord between Washington and San Jose, the Security Ministry said.

Once aboard the boat, Coast Guard personnel found the cocaine and took the four crew members, all of them Costa Rican citizens, into custody.

The Coast Guard units will rendezvous with a Costa Rican government vessel to turn over the drugs and the suspects, the Security Ministry said.

In a separate operation, inspectors at the Peñas Blancas border crossing found 138 kilos of cocaine hidden inside a cargo truck with Honduran plates that entered Costa Rica from Nicaragua.

The truck driver, a 33-year-old Honduran national, was arrested.

Authorities at the Peñas Blancas post have seized 2.8 tons of cocaine this year, more than 20 percent of the total amount of the drug confiscated nationwide, the Security Ministry said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

“Macho” Camacho’s Case Raises Debate of Brain-Death Guidelines in Puerto Rico

“Macho” Camacho’s Case Raises Debate of Brain-Death Guidelines in Puerto Rico

Photo: Hector Camacho

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Puerto Rico’s health ombudsman announced the creation of a commission to examine the creation of guidelines on the procedure to follow in cases of patients diagnosed as brain dead.

Carlos Mellado Lopez said at a press conference that the commission will present the necessary recommendations so that new legislation may be drafted, this after the death here last week of retired boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho.

The former world champ was shot in the head on the night of Nov. 20 and was declared brain dead.

Camacho remained connected to a mechanical ventilator until finally last Saturday the machines that were keeping him alive were turned off.

Mellado Lopez said after Camacho’s death that several deficiencies and violations in the handling of information about his case had occurred.

“It is evident that both the hospitals’ guidelines and ... Puerto Rico’s Donations and Transplants Law have gaps or areas that are not very clear in terms of the procedure to follow with regard to the length of time that a brain-dead patient will be able to remain connected to an artificial ventilator,” he said.

He said that the current situation raises a large number of concerns regarding the preservation of organs that can be donated.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Starbucks Sells $7 Costa Rican Coffee - Its Most Expensive Yet

Starbucks Sells $7 Costa Rican Coffee - Its Most Expensive Yet

Photo: Starbucks Sells $7 Costa Rican Coffee - Its Most Expensive Yet

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Coffee giant Starbucks recently began selling a Costa Rican cup ‘o’ joe for up to $7 per cup.

Starbucks is now offering Costa Rica Finca Palmilera, which is made from Geisha, a difficult-to-grow, rare coffee.

One 8 ounce bag of the whole bean coffee will set you back $40, with a tall cup of coffee, their smallest size, selling for $6 – without milk.

The coffee chain may have more than 11,000 stores, but Finca Palmilera is only being offered in 46 or them, and most of those being in or around Starbuck’s hometown of Seattle.

The beans of the Finca Palmilera are so expensive because Geisha heirloom plants such as this don’t produce many cherries, leaving fewer beans with more concentrated flavor, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to spokeswoman Alisa Martinez, Starbucks is now “working through 3,800 pounds” of the rare beans.

Geisha heirloom varietals were originally discovered in Ethiopia, but have been in Central America since the 1950s.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican President Calderon Signs Labor Law Overhaul

Mexican President Calderon Signs Labor Law Overhaul

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Mexican President Felipe Calderon, set to leave office in less than 48 hours, on Thursday signed a labor law overhaul he said will foster competitiveness and productivity while strengthening workers’ rights.

In a ceremony at the Los Pinos presidential residence, the conservative Calderon said the measure introduces more than 300 changes to the 1970 Federal Labor Law.

The legislation introduces new hiring modalities, such as hourly pay, seasonal work and probationary periods for new hires; regulates outsourcing; and stiffens fines for companies who fail to meet their obligations.

It also includes measures to speed up labor dispute resolutions and open unions to greater public scrutiny, one of the legislation’s most controversial aspects.

“From now on, labor leaders must be elected by free and secret ballot and no worker can be refused information about how their union dues are being spent,” he said.

These changes were rejected by Mexico’s most powerful unions, some of them closely tied to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which will return to power on Saturday with the inauguration of Enrique Peña Nieto as president.

Most of Mexico’s largest unions were created during the 1929-2000 hegemony of the PRI and functioned as appendages of the then-ruling party.

The bill was submitted in September by the lame-duck Calderon and approved by Congress under a fast-track procedure.

Mexico’s left says the new law strips workers of their rights, makes employment more precarious and undermines collective bargaining.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gomez Surprises Fan in Collaboration with Make-A-Wish (VIDEO)

Selena Gomez Surprises Fan in Collaboration with Make-A-Wish (VIDEO)

Photo: Selena Gomez Surprises Fan in Collaboration with Make-A-Wish

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Former Disney sweetheart Selena Gomez teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation once again to make a little girl’s wish come true.

Frehley Gilmore, 10, was a normal, happy little girl until she started getting alarmingly frequent head and stomach aches. A trip to the doctor in February revealed she had a tumor in her brain. Upon finding the tumor, doctors diagnosed her with stage 3-4 cancer.

Two days after the diagnosis she underwent surgery. Miraculously, nearly 9 months later, Frehley is cancer free.

The amazing little girl’s family had contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and because she is such a big fan of Selena Gomez, her wish was to meet the pop star.

Under the guise of an interview with Good Morning America’s Josh Elliott, Frehley believed she and her mother were flown to New York from Wisconsin to speak with GMA about the Make-A-Wish program.

As she spoke with Elliott at the famous Serendipity restaurant, she was surprised by Gomez.

Watch her reaction below.

Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta in Running For FIFA’s Ballon d’Or

Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta in Running For FIFA’s Ballon d’Or

Photo: Ballon d'Or (FIFA)

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Argentine striker Lionel Messi, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Spaniard Andres Iniesta are the finalists for the 2012 Ballon d’Or as the world’s best soccer player, FIFA and France Football announced in Sao Paulo on Thursday.

Messi has won the award three years running and Ronaldo took the prize in 2008. First-time finalist Iniesta was the MVP of the 2012 European Championship.

Iniesta and Messi are teammates at FC Barcelona, while Ronaldo plays for Real Madrid.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter unveiled the nominations for the Ballon d’Or and other awards in Sao Paulo, site of Saturday’s draw for the Confederations Cup.

“We’re not at the level of the Oscars, but we’re not very far from that ceremony either,” Blatter said.

Nominated for Coach of the Year are Vicente Del Bosque of the Spanish national squad, Pep Guardiola - late of Barcelona - and Jose Mourinho, manager of Real Madrid.

Brazil’s Marta and two members of the U.S. team, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, will compete for the title of Women’s Player of the Year. The contenders for Coach of the Year in women’s soccer are Bruno Bini of France, Norio Sasaki of Japan and Sweden’s Pia Sundhage.

The Puskas trophy for goal of the year will go to Colombian Radamel Falcao Garcia, Brazil’s Neymar or Slovak Miroslav Stoch.

The names of all the winners will be revealed at a Jan. 7 gala in Switzerland.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Olympian Lochte, Alleged Murderer Zimmerman on GQ’s “Least Influential People of 2012” List

Olympian Lochte, Alleged Murderer Zimmerman on GQ’s “Least Influential People of 2012” List

Photo: Olympian Lochte, Shooter Zimmerman on GQ's "Least Influential People of 2012" List

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GQ has made some interesting choices for the 2012 list of “Least Influential People”.

The half-Cuban Olympian Ryan Lochte made the list, with GQ claiming he shattered “the individual-medley-of-douchiness world record” and “managed to increase the Asthon Kutcher-ness of the London Games by 80 percent.”  Ouch.

George Zimmerman, the man on trial for shooting teenager Trayvon Martin, also made the list. GQ had this to say:

There’s nothing funny about the tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin. However, there is something morbidly comedic about a man deluding himself into thinking that his life is in danger because a black teenager walking by might assault him with a bag of Skittles. In George Zimmerman’s world, he’s a hero. Thankfully, very, very few other human beings live in George Zimmerman’s world.

Other notable appearances on the list:

- Former Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney
- First Lady Michelle Obama
- Madonna
- Keith Olbermann
- Tucker Carlson
- Lance Armstrong
- Hulk Hogan
- Adam Sandler

While some of the jabs at those on the list were funny, we could not help but notice the writer(s) seemed more angry than amused.

See the full list of 26 here. Who do you think deserved/deserves to be on the list?

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Angry Woman Attacks Boyfriend After Bad Sex

LATINO BLOTTER: Angry Woman Attacks Boyfriend After Bad Sex

Photo: Raquel Gonzalez attacked Esric Davis for climaxing before her

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Florida authorities say they arrested a woman who allegedly attacked to lover after a bout of bad sex.

Raquel Gonzalez, 24, and Esric Davis, 30, were engaging in sexual activity at their Bradenton home Monday afternoon when, according to a police report obtained by The Smoking Gun, “[he] climaxed and Raquel did not.”

Gonzalez was so angry she reportedly “began hitting and scratching him, causing scratches near his eye and nose.”

Davis also told police this was not the first time his girlfriend had been physical with him, and added “she has many issues from her past and that she ‘goes off’ frequently.”

When police spoke to Gonzalez, she told them she had scratches on her too from “where he tried to restrain me when I lost it.”

She became “belligerent and uncooperative” with police after that and stopped speaking to them. Gonzalez has arrested and charged with felony domestic battery.

Police believe alcohol may have been a factor in the attack.

As of Wednesday, Gonzalez remains in Manatee County jail.

Read more by HS News Staff →

“Get Ready” for the Holidays with a Gingerbread Brazilian Wax

“Get Ready” for the Holidays with a Gingerbread Brazilian Wax

Photo: "Get Ready" for the Holidays with a Gingerbread Brazilian Wax

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Strip: Ministry of Waxing – New York, London, and Singapore – is currently offering a festive holding Brazilian wax, because nothing says, “Happy Holidays” like ripping the hair from your hoo-ha.

At Strip, one can now experience the gingerbread Brazilian bikini wax. The wax is scented like British gingerbread and cost about $65.

The NYC location was recently reviewed by Cheryl Wischhover over at Fashionista, so be sure to check that out.

Strip’s philosophy revolves around three letters: HSQ – Hygiene, Speed, and Quality. Their locations boast their “’Global Waxperts’ have been boot-camped to do a Brazilian in 15 minutes flat.”

So not only will you smell like Christmas cheer, Strip’s quick and easy Brazilian waxes will have you back to holiday shopping in no time.

Read more by HS News Staff →

“Brown in the Windy City” Tells of How Mexicans, Puerto Ricans Came to be in Chicago

“Brown in the Windy City” Tells of How Mexicans, Puerto Ricans Came to be in Chicago

Photo: "Brown In The Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago" - by Lilia Fernandez

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A new book published by the University of Chicago deals with the issue of immigration and integration of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans after World War II in this city.

“Brown In The Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago” is the work of Lilia Fernandez, a history professor at Ohio State University.

Fernandez tells the story of the growth of these important communities and their difficult integration into the political dynamic of the Midwestern metropolis.

With figures and anecdotes, the author, who is of Mexican descent, details the problems that both communities have had to work through to be able to forge their own identities and carve out political space for themselves.

Both Mexicans and Puerto Ricans encountered racism and the hostility of other ethnic groups when they arrived in the city, and they had to put up with poorly-paid manual jobs, a lack of social services and schools that did not recognize their culture.

Although prior to the 1940s there was a small Mexican community in the city, this group began to arrive in large numbers during the war as guestworkers.

The Puerto Ricans began arriving almost at the same time seeking opportunities that were not available on their native island.

Chicago’s Mexican and Puerto Rican communities had to face displacement in the 1950s and ‘60s under programs of “urban renewal.”

The Puerto Ricans were the first, pushed out of the now-exclusive residential zone of Lincoln Park and into poor neighborhoods like Humboldt Park and West Town.

Then, the city also displaced about 4,800 Mexican-Americans who were living in the Near West Side to make room for the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Fernandez discusses how the community struggles began to orient Hispanics to seek their own path and forge their own identity.

“As a result of these experiences, already by 1980 the majority of the Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans in the central neighborhoods like Humboldt Park, West Town, Pilsen and La Villita consciously and intentionally were identifying themselves as ‘another’ race in the political landscape,” she told Efe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Democratic Leaders Present 9 Principles For Immigration Reform

Democratic Leaders Present 9 Principles For Immigration Reform

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Democratic leaders of both houses of Congress on Wednesday presented the nine principles that should guide comprehensive immigration reform they say will contribute to the economic recovery.

During a press conference in the Capitol, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus insisted that immigration reform cannot be postponed any longer, adding that during the 113th Congress is the perfect time to bring undocumented foreign residents out of the shadows.

An overhaul of immigration law would increase the U.S. gross domestic product by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez said.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a long-time leader on the issue, said the next Congress offers “an historic opportunity to help immigrants.”

“We can - and should - make history in this session of Congress by passing comprehensive immigration reform,” he said.

The nine principles put forward Wednesday include the registration of the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants; protection of immigrant families to prevent their separation; legalization of undocumented students and visas for agricultural guestworkers.

To register, undocumented people would have to provide their fingerprints, pay taxes and learn English, although those who have criminal records will be subject to deportation.

When asked by Efe about why instead of principles they did not present a bill on the matter, Menendez said that they preferred to begin in “good faith” with a bipartisan process to start the debate with “an extended hand” rather than a clenched fist.

Republicans, who have opposed anything that smacks of an amnesty, now are promoting their own plan, which does not include a path to legalization.

The defeat of Mitt Romney at the polls has forced the Republican Party to redesign its immigration stance, well aware that it lost the Hispanic vote in part because it opposed immigration reform.

On Tuesday, GOP Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona presented a bill that will permit certain undocumented students to legally remain in the United States if they enroll in a university or enlist in the Armed Forces.

That bill is a watered-down version of the DREAM Act, which was buried in the Senate in 2010.

Read more by HS News Staff →

STEM Bill Still Plagued by Politics

STEM Bill Still Plagued by Politics

Photo: STEM Jobs

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By Ben Winograd, Immigration Impact

In 2010, the lame duck session of Congress was dominated by debate over the DREAM Act, which passed the House of Representatives before succumbing to a conservative-led filibuster in the Senate.

Congress will again tackle a significant immigration measure during the current lame duck session, with the House expected to vote on Friday on a bill that would create additional visas for advanced degree holders and shorten the time that many permanent residents are separated from members of their immediate family. Yet despite these laudable provisions, the bill in question contains numerous flaws.

Known as the “STEM Jobs Act,” the bill’s primary provisions would do something that virtually all members of Congress support: create 55,000 immigrant visas (i.e. “green cards”) for holders of advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math from U.S. institutions.

The bill would also create a special temporary visa for foreign students planning to study STEM fields at U.S. universities, which would make it easier for them to become permanent residents upon graduation. With more than 75% of Americans supporting such proposals, the creation of STEM visas is a political and economic no-brainer that could go a long way to creating an immigration system that helps U.S. competitiveness.

Yet while creating visas for STEM graduates is widely popular, the bill—which was introduced by Lamar Smith (R-Texas)—contains numerous troubling provisions. To begin with, the bill conditions the creation of STEM visas on the elimination of an equal number of “diversity visas,” which the government awards by lottery each year to residents of countries that send relatively few immigrants to the United States.

Another troubling provision relates to the immediate family members of permanent residents, who currently face extensive waiting periods to obtain green cards of their own. Under current law, spouses and children whose applications have been pending for more than three years can obtain temporary “V” visas allowing them to enter and stay in the country while their green cards are processed. To shorten the period of separation, the bill would allow these immediate relatives of permanent residents to obtain “V” visas after one year.

Unfortunately, this otherwise commendable provision of the bill is spoiled by needlessly punitive elements. For example, immigrants with V visas would no longer be permitted to work in the United States while their green card applications are pending—a change that would impose unnecessary hardships on the very families about which the sponsors purport to be concerned .

Read more at Immigration Impact →

Majority of Brazilians Working in Formal Employment

Majority of Brazilians Working in Formal Employment

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The proportion of working Brazilians with employment contracts increased from 45.3 percent in 2001 to 56 percent last year, the IBGE statistics agency said Wednesday.

Even so, Latin America’s largest economy still has 44.2 million informal workers, the IBGE said in its Synthesis of Social Indicators report.

The agency said the shift toward formal employment can be attributed to periods of strong economic growth that boosted incomes and job creation.

Informal work is now mainly the preserve of people over 60 and under 24, according to the report

Nearly 72 percent of working people 60 and up are in the informal sector, the IBGE said, many of them pensioners who want to remain active or supplement their incomes.

Workers’ inflation-adjusted earnings increased 16.5 percent in the last decade, the report said, while working women enjoyed gains of 22.3 percent.

At the same time, women’s pay remained only 73.3 percent of men’s and Afro-Brazilians earned 40 percent less than their white compatriots.

Income disparity, long one of Brazil’s most glaring social problems, eased somewhat, but remains pronounced, the IBGE found.

The richest 20 percent’s share of national income fell from 63.7 percent in 2001 to 57.7 percent last year. The portion of the poorest 20 percent of Brazilians climbed from 2.6 percent to 3.5 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ThursdayNovember 29, 2012