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FridayDecember 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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Brazil Honors Architect Oscar Niemeyer With Tribute at Presidential Palace

Brazil Honors Architect Oscar Niemeyer With Tribute at Presidential Palace

Photo: Oscar Niemeyer

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff received with honors at the Planalto Palace on Thursday the mortal remains of architect Oscar Niemeyer, one of Brasilia’s great creative geniuses, who died this week at the age of 104.

Rousseff, accompanied by Niemeyer’s widow, Vera Lucia Cabreira, waited on the upper part of the palace access ramp for the casket, covered with the Brazilian flag, to be brought up on the shoulders of police officers, flanked by the palace honor guard.

In Brazilian protocol, moving up the presidential ramp is reserved for heads of state.

The decision to have Niemeyer lie in state at the presidential palace came from Rousseff, who on Wednesday evening was in touch with the architect’s relatives to express her condolences and make the offer to them.

After the official tribute, the viewing will be open to the public for about four hours.

Niemeyer’s burial is scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Sao Joao Batista cemetery in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Botafogo, very near where he was born on Dec. 15, 1907, and the hospital where he died a month after being admitted with kidney problems.

Despite his advanced age, Niemeyer, winner of Spain’s prestigious Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts in 1989, remained professionally active up until what turned out to be his final illness.

The acclaimed architect and avowed communist, who a half century ago designed the main buildings of Brasilia, the nation’s futuristic capital city, became known for the flowing curves of his reinforced concrete structures.

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Timberwolves Deny Rumors of Rubio Playing Friday, Any Trade Plans for Pau Gasol

Timberwolves Deny Rumors of Rubio Playing Friday, Any Trade Plans for Pau Gasol

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The president of basketball operations at the Minnesota Timberwolves denied Friday that the club is trying to engineer a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers for Pau Gasol.

David Kahn was responding to media reports that the Lakers turned down the Wolves’ offer of Nikola Pekovic and Derrick Williams for the Spaniard.

“I can assure you there have been absolutely no discussions with that team since last June,” Kahn told reporters after the Wolves’ practice.

“There’s absolutely nothing imminent that we’re working on,” he said.

The Wolves president said that what most bothers him about such rumors was the impact they have on the team, the players and their families.

Kahn also dismissed talk that Wolves guard Ricky Rubio would return to the lineup for Friday night’s game with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The 22-year-old Rubio underwent knee surgery in March and his first full practice with the Wolves in eight months was earlier this week.

Andrei Kirilenko, who missed three games due to muscle spasms in his back, will be in the lineup against the Cavaliers, Kahn said.

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Spain Gets Rid of International Treasure Hunters

Spain Gets Rid of International Treasure Hunters

Photo: Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Popular Mechanics)

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A patrol of the Spanish navy expelled from the Alboran Sea a U.S.-owned, Panamanian-flagged vessel that was allegedly carrying out soundings to find sunken ships, authorities said Friday.

The ship that was made to leave had done most of its work Thursday at some 25 miles from the Malaga coast, an area of international waters but part of the Spanish continental platform.

The navy’s Infanta Cristina patrol boat performed an inspection of the commercial ship, with the agreement of its captain, to determine whether it was engaged in illicit activities.

During the search, Spanish naval personnel found that the ship contained technical equipment specialized in finding sunken vessels, such as a sidescan sonar that can create images of large areas of the sea floor.

After the search and interrogation, the Spanish patrol ordered the treasure hunters to cease their activities in compliance with the United Nations Agreement on the Law of the Sea and the United Nations World Heritage Convention, after which the commercial ship left the area.

Two planes carrying $500 million in treasure salvaged from the 19th-century Spanish frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes arrived in Madrid in February after Spain won a nearly five-year-long legal battle against a U.S. treasure-hunting firm.

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LATINO BLOTTER: Bus Driver Diana Almanza Caught Having Sex with 14-Yr-Old

LATINO BLOTTER: Bus Driver Diana Almanza Caught Having Sex with 14-Yr-Old

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A Texas bus driver has been charged with sexually assaulting a child after investigators discovered she had inappropriate contact with a teenage boy on the bus.

Diana Leigh Almanza, 47, was booked on $60,000 bond after investigators with the Pearland Police Department were alerted by another school employee noticed suspicious activity occurring on Almanza’s bus.

The investigation revealed Almanza, who has children of her own, was engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy and covered a bus camera to hide such acitivity.

Detectives said video on the school bus show Almanza and the student covering up the lens. However, they apparently did not realize the audio was being recorded.

It is believed the two had been engaging in sexual activity together since September, with the first incident occurring in her living room, and escalating to about 3 times a week.

Almanza had been with the Pearland Independent School District since 2003. Her employment has been terminated.

The student has been placed in the custody of Children’s Protective Services, as his family had been living with Almanza due to financial troubles.

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Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta Developing “Bastards” Series for ABC

Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta Developing “Bastards” Series for ABC

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Mexican actress Salma Hayek, executive producer of the 2006-2010 ABC hit “Ugly Betty,” is developing a new show for the network, the Web site Deadline reported.

The team behind “Bastards” also includes Silvio Horta, the creator of “Ugly Betty.”

The plot of the new program centers on the revelation that the patriarch of a Cuban-American family fathered a child by the maid 25 years earlier.

His wife reacts by trying to protect her children’s inheritance and seeking to keep knowledge of her husband’s indiscretion a family secret.

“Ugly Betty,” an adaptation of a Colombian telenovela, garnered two Golden Globes, an Emmy and other honors during its four years on the air.

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Busy Guillermo: ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ the Musical, Directing ‘Crimson Peak’, Premiering ‘Pacific Rim’

Busy Guillermo: ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ the Musical, Directing ‘Crimson Peak’, Premiering ‘Pacific Rim’

Photo: Busy Guillermo: 'Pan's Labyrinth' the Musical, Directing 'Crimson Peak', Premiering 'Pacific Rim'

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Guillermo del Toro is a busy, busy man.

The horror king has a number of projects flying around including the upcoming under-siege flick Pacific Rim, the stage adaptation of his award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth, and his plans to take the reigns on the film Crimson Peak.

First out with be Pacific Rim which is set to open on July 12, 2013. It tells the story of San Francisco being attacked by aliens using fictional television news reports. The Warner Bros film stars Idris Alba, Ron Perlman, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Charlie Hunnam.

Deadline recently revealed del Toro’s plans to take Pan’s Labyrinth, the 2006 film that won 3 Oscars and saw del Toro nominated for Best Writing of an Original Screenplay, to the stage as a musical.

Pan’s Labyrinth tells the story of a young girl in fascist Spain in 1994 who is fascinated with fairy-tales. She and her pregnant mother are sent to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she’s a princess, but must prove her she is a royal by surviving three tasks. Should she fail to prove she is the true princess she will never see the king, her real father, again.

Del Toro has reportedly wanted to bring the film to the stage for quite some time and with the help of Jeremy Unger, Paul Williams, and Gustavo Santaolalla is finally able to do so.

Crimson Peak is also on the agenda, and del Toro will be director the film for Legendary Pictures, which also backed Pacific Rim.

Del Toro has decribed the fright-flick as “a very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern take on the ghost story.” The film is set to begin shooting in early 2014.

We guess we should also mention del Toro also worked on a screenplay with some guy named Peter Jackson, on some little movie called The Hobbit, which opens next week on December 14. We hear it’s part of a trilogy of indie films known as the Lord of the Rings. But meh, no big deal. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Archaeologists Uncover Mayan Objects Over 2,000 Years Old

Mexican archaeologists have found handicrafts from the Mayan culture in the southeastern states of Yucatan and Campeche, notable among which are ceramics some 2,300 years old.

The National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said in a communique that some of the most outstanding objects were discovered in the Cenote San Manuel, Yucatan, an underground body of water that is reached by rappelling down a well.

Two vessels probably made between the years 300 B.C. and 200 A.D. were recovered there. One of the vessels is of a globular shape with a plaited handle, has a human face and a plant-like body. The other shows a face with a headdress with remains of blue and red pigments.

“Up to now this kind of stylized pottery has not been found in the natural underground wells of the (Yucatan) Peninsula, nor in anywhere near this state of preservation,” INAH’s Helena Barba Meinecke said.

The explorations continue in the semi-dry cave of Huachabi in Campeche.

This cave lies within the still-unexplored Miramar archaeological site. In its interior, which is reached by rappelling some 20 meters (66 feet) down, are distributed close to 50 spaces adorned with various handicrafts.

In the Aktun Aam cave, also in Campeche, INAH said that rituals including initiation and purification ceremonies were held there, as evidenced by the arrangement of the objects discovered.

Barba said that in each branch of the 200-meter (660-foot) deep cavern are deposited, generally in groups, black ceramic pots with carved decorations, as well as flat stones for grinding corn made of limestone from the same cave.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Shakira Shares First Image of Baby, Posts Ultrasound

Shakira Shares First Image of Baby, Posts Ultrasound

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On Thursday, Shakira’s boyfriend, Piqué tweeted the ultrasound of their growing baby.

Shakira retweeted the image and the pair are clearly #excited about being parents. Recently, the Colombian singer shared a photo of her and her footballer beau. Though the couple has not revealed an estimated due date, some reports have the baby due sometime in January.

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Gov. Walker Says He’ll Fight Against AZ-Style Immigration Bill for Wisconsin

Gov. Walker Says He’ll Fight Against AZ-Style Immigration Bill for Wisconsin

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Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker recently clarified his stance on an Arizona-style immigration bill for him state.

Wednesday, Walker spoke with reporters and said he would “push to make sure” immigration legislation similar to Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 “wouldn’t come up.”

In 2010, Gov. Walker expressed his concerns about an immigration law like SB 1070, but just two days later he said he would sign such legislation for the state, with his campaign manager – Walker was a gubernatorial candidate at the time – said Walker had changed his opinion after “doing more research”.

However, two years later, following fellow Republican Mitt Romney’s failed run for the White House, Gov. Walker is seeing his need for Hispanic voter support and has once again changed his tune.

This week Gov. Walker called the proposal of such legislation a “huge distraction” that does not fit with his job creation priorities.

It would seem that many Republicans now better understand their need to support immigration reform, as the Latino vote is absolutely necessary.

He is now also encouraging fellow state lawmakers to leave the issue alone.

‘There’s our niche and our priorities, “Gov. Walker told the Huffington Post. ‘I don’t think that falls into one of those priorities, so I would certainly hope that the legislature didn’t spend time focusing on that, instead focused on the economy.’

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Brazilian Supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Tomy Brady Welcome Baby Girl

Brazilian Supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Tomy Brady Welcome Baby Girl

Photo: Brazilian Supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Tomy Brady Welcome Baby Girl

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On Friday, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen announced via Facebook that she and husband Tom Brady welcomed their second child together.

The new baby, Vivian Lake, makes two children for the couple, but the third for Brady, who has a 5-year-old from a previous relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.

Baby Vivian was born on Wednesday at home and the happy couple say they “feel so lucky to have been able to experience the miracle of birth once again and are forever grateful for the opportunity to be the parents of another little angle.”

Bundchen and Brady’s son Benjamin turns 3 on Saturday.

The photo below was posted on Bundchen’s Facebook page.

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Congrats to the happy couple!

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440-Foot Long ‘Narco’ Tunnel Found in Mexico Near Border

440-Foot Long ‘Narco’ Tunnel Found in Mexico Near Border

Photo: Narco Tunnel Found in Mexico

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Mexican army soldiers found a suspected “narcotunnel” under construction in a northwestern border city, military officials said.

Gen. Gilberto Landeros Briseño, commander of the 2nd Military Zone, said the tunnel runs for 135 meters (440 feet) under the small Mexican city of Tecate, Baja California state, but had not yet been dug to the U.S. side of the border.

The entrance to the underground passage is located inside a bottling plant in the city center, a two-story building without the name of a business entity.

The alleged drug tunnel was discovered after an anonymous tip concerning the presence of people going in and out of the building in a “suspicious” manner, a Defense Secretariat statement said Thursday, citing Landeros.

When soldiers arrived at the scene, an individual removing tools from a vehicle tried to flee but was caught and found with a substance that appeared to be marijuana.

During an inspection of the building, the troops found the entrance to the tunnel, equipped with a concrete floor, lighting and ventilation.

Seven suspects doing construction work on the tunnel also were arrested and turned over to the relevant authorities, the statement said.

Since the mid-1990s, authorities have discovered numerous clandestine tunnels along the U.S.-Mexico border, particularly over the past five years.

People traffickers and drug cartels often use clandestine tunnels to cross the vast U.S.-Mexican border, which runs 3,200 kilometers (1,988 miles).

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Software Entrepreneur John McAfee Hospitalized after Arrest in Guatemala

Software Entrepreneur John McAfee Hospitalized after Arrest in Guatemala

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U.S. software guru John McAfee was hospitalized here Thursday after complaining of chest pains as Guatemalan authorities prepared to deport him to neighboring Belize, where police want to question him in connection with a murder.

The millionaire was taken to the police hospital after he collapsed at the immigration detention center where he was being held pending deportation, McAfee attorney Carla Paz said.

While doctors think it was only an anxiety attack, they plan to keep him under observation, a source at the police hospital told Efe.

“He can’t move. He says his chest and his heart hurt, but he’s conscious,” Paz said. Another member of McAfee’s legal team, Telesforo Guerra, told reporters his client suffers from heart problems.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina announced earlier Thursday that his government turned down McAfee’s request for asylum.

McAfee, 67, creator of the anti-virus software program that bears his name, said he sought refuge in Guatemala because he was being persecuted by the “very corrupt” Belize government.

The mogul, who has lived in Belize since 2008, said soldiers had been sent to harass him after he stopped making donations to Belizean politicians.

Perez Molina did not offer any explanation for the rejection of McAfee’s asylum bid, but Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros said that Guatemala “cannot cooperate with impunity.”

The eccentric millionaire had remained in hiding for several weeks and had put out false clues about his whereabouts on his blog to elude Belize authorities, who want to question him about the Nov. 10 murder of fellow American expat Gregory Faull, his neighbor on the island of Ambergris Caye.

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Bolivian Shipwreck Death Toll Now at 13, 27 Were Aboard

Bolivian Shipwreck Death Toll Now at 13, 27 Were Aboard

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Two more bodies were found Thursday near the site where a boat capsized in Lake Titicaca, bringing the confirmed death toll from the accident to 13, Bolivian authorities said.

Area residents discovered the two bodies floating offshore, regional naval commander Pablo Cardona said by telephone from the scene.

Five other people remain unaccounted for after the shipwreck, he said.

The vessel went down about 1 mile from Suriqui island due to excess weight.

At least 27 people were aboard the boat, most of them teachers returning to the mainland after taking part in a school event on Suriqui, Cardona said.

Nine people were rescued safe and sound and the search continues for the missing passengers.

Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable body of water, is shared by Bolivia and Peru.

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North Carolina Lawmakers Urge State to Not Target Undocumented Immigrants

North Carolina Lawmakers Urge State to Not Target Undocumented Immigrants

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A panel of lawmakers set up to analyze the immigration issue in North Carolina recommended on Thursday not approving laws to combat undocumented foreigners.

The seven Republicans and five Democrats of the House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy urged the incoming General Assembly to approve a resolution demanding that Washington better control the borders.

They also asked North Carolina’s congressional delegation to adopt a position of leadership that promote reviewing federal immigration laws as well as measures giving states greater powers to enforce existing legislation.

At the same time, the panel acknowledged that “North Carolina has derived strength and prosperity from legal immigration, and ... legal immigrants continue to make vital contributions to the state.

While North Carolina lawmakers have not passed harsh anti-immigration measures like those enacted in Arizona and South Carolina, Hispanic leaders in the Tar Heel state said they will not let down their guard.

“This committee was a waste of time and of the money of North Carolina taxpayers to ratify that the power in immigration matters rests with the federal government,” John Herrera, a former councilor for the city of Carrboro, in the northern part of the state, told Efe on Thursday.

According to Herrera, the committee was only formed to placate conservative groups that were seeking concrete resolutions to make life impossible for undocumented people.

However, pro-immigrant organizations like We Are NC and NC Dream Team formed a common front to counteract possible political maneuvers against immigrants.

Mauricio Castro, the leader of the North Carolina Latino Coalition, said that pressure exerted “under the table” by industries that depend on Hispanic labor was essential to stop the committee from recommending anti-immigrant measures.

“For now, they’ve left us calm, and they took note that they depend a lot on the immigrants for the work they do,” he said.

Latino groups are anxious about possible legislation since the General Assembly is going to be controlled again by the Republicans and also a new GOP governor, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCroy, was elected and his views on immigration remain a question mark.

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Brazil Earmarks Nearly $26 Billion for Port Modernization

Brazil Earmarks Nearly $26 Billion for Port Modernization

Photo: Brazilian port system

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Brazil’s government on Thursday unveiled plans to invest 54.2 billion reais ($25.8 billion) over the next four years to modernize the country’s ports.

The goal is to establish “an era of efficiency for Brazilian ports,” President Dilma Rousseff said here during a ceremony in which a minute of silence was observed for famed architect Oscar Niemeyer, who died Wednesday.

The plan includes the creation of a new regulatory framework to eliminate barriers to projects and speed up leasing and environmental licensing processes, as well as the logistical integration of transportation modes.

Under the program, 2.6 billion reais ($1.23 billion) will be allocated to investment in access routes to Brazil’s 18 leading public ports.

Ports Secretary Leonidas Cristino said the program is focused on “promoting the Brazilian economy’s competitiveness and development.”

He said the plan will involve awarding new port concessions to public and private enterprises.

At present, Brazil’s only privately run port is Imbituba in the southern state of Santa Catarina and that concession contract expires this year, according to the G1 news portal.

Brazilian ports are essential transportation infrastructure, handling 95 percent of the country’s exports.

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FridayDecember 7, 2012