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The 194 nations meeting at the United Nations Climate Conference in Doha approved here Saturday the extension until 2020 of the Kyoto Protocol for controlling climate change, which was to expire this year, though some countries have pulled out of the deal.
After a day’s delay and a night of intense negotiations, those attending agreed on a new 8-year period of commitment to the Kyoto Protocol - except for Japan, Russia, Canada and New Zealand.
The problem is that the countries committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions during the second Kyoto period, headed by the European Union, Australia and Norway, are responsible for little more than 15 percent of the world’s contaminant gases.
The United States never ratified the first part of the Kyoto Protocol, nor will it join in the second phase.
The World Wide Fund for Nature blasted Saturday’s accord as a “weak and unreal” attempt to combat climate change.
The negotiators at Doha did not fulfill even the minimum expectations, the organization said in a highly critical communique, in which it also regretted that the summit “delivered no real cuts in emissions, it has delivered no concrete finance, and it has not delivered on equity.”
Mexican authorities are reporting they have located what they believe to be the wreckage of the LearJet 25 that Jenni Rivera was traveling in from Monterrey, Mexico to Toluca with six other passengers. There are no survivors and no large portion of the plane was found. Campesinos found the plane’s remains some 12 hours after it went missing, near the town of Iturbide by the El Tejocote ejido.
The region where the plane was found is surrounded by the Pico de Orizaba and Popcatepetl volcanos.
The private plane left Monterrey, after Rivera finished performing at The Arena around 3:30 a.m. and lost contact with air control 15 minutes later. The plane was due to arrive in Toluca, outside of Mexico City at 4:40 a.m.
The Mexican-American singer was due to appear on ‘La Voz’ or Mexico’s version of ‘The Voice’ this evening. The world of banda and norteño music is mourning one of its great female voices. Rivera had an adoring female audience due in great part to her powerful renditions of songs of betrayal and heartache much of what she endured in her short life.
The mother of five had lived through several failed marriages, her son’s arrest and the sexual abuse of her sister at the hands of her ex-husband. Trinidad Marin, Rivera’s ex, is currently serving a 31-years-to-life sentence for molesting his daughter and his sister-in-law.
Rivera was arrested in 2009, in Mexico City carrying over $50,000 in undeclared cash and from that point forward the singer was said to prefer flying private.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he was suffering from cancer once again and planned to return to Cuba on Sunday for another operation.
The president said the situation had forced him to look at the possibility that he might not be around to run the country and he had decided to name Vice President Nicolas Maduro as his successor.
Chavez delivered a surprise address to the country Saturday night on national radio and television, telling Venezuelans that he was once again battling cancer and would undergo his fourth surgical procedure in 18 months in Cuba.
“It’s absolutely necessary, it’s absolutely essential to undergo new surgery and that is going to happen in the next few days,” Chavez said.
The president signed the papers informing the National Assembly that he would be out of the country and appointing Maduro to run the government in his absence and succeed him if he were to die.
“Nicolas Maduro should not just finish the term as the constitution says, but it is my firm opinion, clear as the full moon, absolutely irrevocable, total, that in a scenario in which presidential elections would have to be held, you should elect Nicolas Maduro as president,” Chavez said.
Chavez returned to Venezuela early Friday after nine days of treatment in Cuba.
The president arrived in Cuba on Nov. 27 to undergo a new round of hyperbaric oxygenation and physical therapy, just six months after having finished radiation therapy.
The Venezuelan president has had three surgeries since June 2011, when cancer was detected in his pelvic region.
The exact location of the cancer and its seriousness have never been officially revealed.
Hundreds of people on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border joined together this weekend for the traditional “Posadas Sin Fronteras” (Posadas Without Borders), at which they recalled the thousands of families separated by strict immigration laws and those who have lost their lives in their attempt to achieve “the American Dream.”
The annual gathering has been held for 19 years at so-called Friendship Park which divides San Diego, California, from Tijuana, a border city in Mexico’s Baja California state.
The custom is for relatives and friends to gather on each side of the border to sing Christmas carols and share sweets, tamales and “champurrado” (a thick, hot drink made with ground corn and chocolate), all typical fare at this time of year, as well as to listen to the testimonials of immigrants.
Although on normal days, access to this area is limited to 10 people at a time, on this occasion that restriction was removed and about 150 people gathered on the U.S. side.
Christian Ramirez, the director of the Coalition of Communities South of the Border, hailed the fact that a tradition like Posadas Sin Fronteras has continued and allowed people on both sides of the frontier to move closer to each other.
“The fact that we’re here, celebrating the posada, and that the walls have not prevented this coming together is to be celebrated, although civil society continues demanding a public place where walls do not impede solidarity, the exchange of embraces and smiles,” Ramirez told Efe.
The Spanish word “posada” means “inn, shelter or hospitality,” and it refers to the shelter Joseph and Mary sought at Bethlehem just before the birth of Jesus.
Jenni Rivera was in Monterrey, Mexico performing at The Arena and was due to be on Mexico’s ‘The Voice’ this evening. This is the reason some believe she insisted on taking off to Toluca enroute to Mexico City immediately after her concert. The Monterrey concert promoters had urged her to stay overnight, she reportedly refused.
Reports coming out of Mexico say the weather was ideal for flying at 3:15 a.m. when Rivera’s plane took off. The Starwood Charter Learjet 25 lost contact with air control some 15 minutes later. The area where the plane is believed to have lost contact is difficult to access and contains some of the highest peaks of the Sierra Madre in the state of Nuevo Leon.
Some fear that “La Diva de la Banda” is dead along with the other six passengers now identified from the flight manifest as: Arturo Rivera, Mario Macias, Jacob Llenares Gerard and Gerard N. The pilots have been identified as Miguel Perez and Alejandro Torres.
Four helicopters continue to search for the plane.
The history and future of the Church in America will be the topic of a conference held at the Vatican next week, co-sponsored by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the Knights of Columbus, with assistance from the Institute for Guadalupan Studies in Mexico City.
The conference will run from December 9 to 12, with the Pope addressing the conference at a private audience on the 9th – the feast of St. Juan Diego.
Members of the hierarchy from Latin America, the United States and Canada will lead working groups that’s will discuss various aspects of the Church in America, including such topics as: the New Evangelization, the Church’s role in education, the Church’s role in charity and its preferential option for the poor, and the role of the Virgin Mary in leading Christians in America to Christ.
Fifteen years after Pope John Paul II held the Synod for America to discuss the future of the Church in North, Central and South America, the conference will bring together a diverse group from throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, the Vatican, Europe and beyond to discuss the history, present situation and future work of the Church on the American continent – defined as from Alaska in the North to Argentina in the South.
Mexican authorities have confirmed that the private plane that was carrying Mexican-American singer, actress Jenni Rivera and six others has gone missing after take-off in Monterrey, Mexico.
Rivera was in Monterrey performing a concert and decided to leave to Toluca around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning, after the concert. The California native was said to be accompanied by six other individuals on the Learjet. Two of the individuals are believed to be the pilots and the other four have yet to be identified.
The 43-year-old beloved artist has had her own reality-show “I Love Jenni” and her daughter launched her own show “Chiquis ‘n Control” this summer. Rivera is also a mentor on “La Voz de Mexico.” However, Rivera is most known for her music and interpretation of norteño music. She had her first number-one album in 2008 with “Jenni”.
The mother of five and daughter of Mexican immigrants has sold over 20 million album and owns a cosmetic and clothing line.
Mexico’s aviation ministry said the singer’s plane lost contact with air controllers shortly after take-off. Officials from the state of Nuevo Leon are searching for the plane.
Real Madrid toughed out a 3-2 come-from-behind road victory over Real Valladolid on Saturday thanks in large measure to the play of German midfielder Mesut Ozil, keeping its fading Spanish league hopes alive.
Valladolid opened the scoring at Jose Zorrilla stadium in the sixth minute when Angolan striker Manucho seized on the indecision of Real Madrid‘s defense in the area after a corner by Patrick Ebert and poked a loose ball into the back of the net.
Jose Mourinho’s side didn’t need much time to even the score, however. Five minutes later, Jose Callejon took advantage of a slip by defenseman Marc Valiente and set up French forward Karim Benzema for a goal.
But Valladolid snagged the lead back in the 21st minute when Ebert and Manucho hooked up once again. This time, the Angolan headed in a corner by Ebert past Iker Casillas for a 2-1 lead.
There was then a brief lag in the scoring and it appeared that Valladolid would head to the dressing room with a slight advantage. Just before halftime, though, Ozil took matters upon himself and got the equalizer with a splendid solitary effort.
After the intermission, Real Madrid took control of midfield due in part to the absence of Ebert, who had to come off the field after suffering an unspecified muscle ailment.
Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo seemed a likely candidate to finally give his side the edge on the scoreboard, but he was unable to convert on his opportunities, while an apparent go-ahead goal by defenseman Sergio Ramos was nullified due to a dubious offside call.
But Ozil saved the day in the 72nd minute with a brilliant left-footed free kick off the crossbar to give Madrid a desperately needed three points in the Spanish league standings, which FC Barcelona leads with a six-point margin over Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid is now eight points back with 32 points, but the two teams it trails still have matches to play on Sunday.
In other action in the Spanish league on Saturday, Malaga trounced Granada 4-0, Real Sociedad and Getafe tied 1-1 and Espanyol drew 2-2 with Sevilla.
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) issued the following statement congratulating former NALEO Board Member and Avondale, Ariz. Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers on her election as President of the National League of Cities:
“NALEO congratulates former NALEO Board Member and Avondale, Ariz. Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers on her election as President of the National League of Cities (NLC). Mayor Lopez Rogers becomes the first Latina in NLC history to lead the organization, and the second Latino since then-San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros in 1986.
“Mayor Lopez Rogers understands what can be accomplished through hard work. Her grandparents and parents worked in labor camps and picked cotton in the Arizona desert. As a child, she too worked alongside her migrant farmworker parents. Mayor Lopez Rogers’ story is one of inspiration and success.
“For more than 20 years Mayor Lopez Rogers has served her community as a public servant. She will bring a wealth of experience and talent to the position. She understands that success is only possible if leaders work together to be flexible, innovative, and creative. We applaud Mayor Lopez Rogers’ historic election to this position and look forward to continuing to work with her and the NLC in the coming year.”
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved two loans totaling $107.7 million to finance the construction of the El Libertador and Palmatir wind farms in Uruguay.
The IDB financing will contribute to diversifying Uruguay’s energy matrix and reducing its dependence on hydroelectric generation which, during the dry season, forces the country to boost electricity generation from fossil fuels, increasing its carbon footprint and making it vulnerable to oil price fluctuations.
The El Libertador wind farm, to be located in the department of Lavalleja, will be developed by WPE (a fully-owned subsidiary of IMPSA), a Brazilian renewable energy company and one of the largest Latin American developers of wind energy. The project will get a $66 million loan from the IDB for its construction and installation of 44 Vensys IMPSA wind turbines.
The Palmatir wind farm, to be located in the department of Tacuarembó, will be developed by Abengoa S.A, one of the leaders in the renewable energy sector. The Palmatir project will receive $41.7 million in IDB financing for the construction of the wind farm and installation of 25 Gamesa wind turbines.
The combined power generation capacity of the projects will be 115 MW. The projects are expected to avoid the emission of about 302,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year.
Uruguay has 2.578 MW of power generation capacity, of which approximately 60 percent provides from hydropower plants, 33 percent from fossil fuels and the remaining from biomass and wind energy.
It means that, overall, the U.S. economy is headed in the right direction; that we’re slowly putting the recession behind us; that more people are working, spending and churning the economy. Great.
A couple of paragraphs down from that initial statement is a breakdown of that overall number.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.2 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), teenagers (23.5 percent), whites (6.8 percent), and Hispanics (10.0 percent) showed little or no change in November.
It’s the very last segment in that sentence that i’m interested in: Latinos, no change.
The difference is in the numbers nuance. Overall, 146,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy; retail employment increased by 53,000; healthcare added 20,000 jobs; information employment went up by 12,000; hospitality increased by 23,000…
But construction, where many Latinos make their living, declined by 20,000 jobs; and manufacturing also decreased by 7,000. That mad ethe diffeence. So Latinos are finding work i this economy, but they’re losing their jobs at the same rate that they’re finding them.
And it’s worse among young Latinos between 18 and 29 years old. Their rate of unemployment is at 12.9% (13% for practical purposes).
This is important, not only for Latinos but for the economy as a whole. When the recession took it’s initial dive we were told that the recovery, when it came, would be long and jobless because the cause of the downturn was different than all other downturns. The housing market suffered the most and in turn construction was hit the hardest. So construction workers were like the canaries in the coal mine – the employment in this sector was the best indicator of the health of the economic recovery.
On the heels of Prop. 37 being denied in California, COS Productions, a Miami-based production company takes on the medical, beauty and food industries in a new documentary, “Incurable Diseases” Is It a Business?
The film challenges what many believe to be deceitful measures practiced by these industries solely for the benefit of corporate shareholders, rather than for the optimal health and wellbeing of society.
“Incurable Diseases” Is it a Business? will compare costly, FDA-approved and sometimes extreme medical procedures used to treat diseases to curative alternative treatments available for a fraction of the cost. The documentary will also shed light on the controversy surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and how genetically modified food has been shown to cause immune dysfunction, organ damage and reproductive problems, yet is used widely in food products without proper labeling.
There will also be an intense focus on the failure of California’s Prop. 37, which would have required proper labeling of genetically modified food. The link between the unregulated beauty industry and deadly diseases will also be thoroughly investigated.
One of the featured stories followed in the documentary is that of Kerri Rivera, founder of Autism02, a DAN! based non-profit autism clinic in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and mother of a recovering autistic child. Rivera caused hullabaloo when she presented at The Autism One conference in May of this year and endorsed MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution), a controversial sodium chlorite solution, as an autism cure.
Rivera claims that she recovered 69 kids suffering from autism in 24 months using MMS, while the FDA harshly warns that MMS, “a form of industrial bleach,” is a serious threat to health. Rivera will speak to her experiences with the Miracle Mineral Solution and share why she believes the backlash is only spouted by those who have a stake in the profitable medical and pharmaceutical industries.
Some of the experts featured in the documentary include Pamm Larry, initial instigator for the California Prop. 37 to Label GMOs, Jim Humble, creator of MMS Protocols and Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Additionally, Sánchez will pursue an investigation with representatives from the FDA, USDA and other organizations. A video teaser is currently available on YouTube.
“Incurable Diseases” Is it a Business? is currently in production. COS Productions has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to help cover costs needed to complete the project. Interested individuals can donate from $5 to $5,000, with rewards including stickers, t-shirts, movie tickets and associate producer credits.
Twenty-eight people have been arrested by Spanish cops as part of an international operation against the child pornography industry, largely developed in Spain and whose corporate headquarters were located in Toronto, police officials said.
The operation was the second largest of the year in the number of arrests made for kiddie porn, after the so-called “KOBEN” in February, when 57 people were taken into custody and another 24 were accused.
As police authorities told a press conference Saturday in Madrid, four of those under arrest are also charged with the sexual abuse of minors, whom they filmed in the act of being violated. A fifth person is also being investigated for that crime.
The source also said that two of those implicated are British and were arrested in the eastern Spanish city of Alicante.
According to Saturday’s announcement, some of the detainees engaged in activities that permitted them constant contact with children, such as camp organizers, religion instructors and teachers.
The porn ring, from which 19 children have now been rescued, was involved in the sale of videos featuring sexual abuse sequences, for which little boys were filmed in Ukraine, Romania and Germany.
Police said that this network has operated since 2004 from the Canadian city of Toronto, using three different Web sites to advertise and sell the DVDs with sexual abuse images.
The kiddie-porn ring took in $1.6 million in revenue annually, as purchase orders poured in from 94 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
In the operation, rolled out in 14 Spanish provinces, police seized 20 computers and a variety of online material.
Mexico’s government has submitted Congress a balanced-budget plan for 2013 based on spending cuts and gross domestic product growth of 3.5 percent.
Finance Secretary Luis Videgaray outlined the plan after presenting it to lawmakers Friday, telling reporters it fulfills newly inaugurated President Enrique Peña Nieto’s promise not to run a deficit in 2013.
“It proposes that public indebtedness not be the engine of economic growth and that (2013) not be a year in which government liabilities increase,” Videgaray said, calling the decision necessary to “guarantee competitiveness and job creation.”
The budget is based on 3.5 percent GDP growth in 2013, a figure in line with economists’ projections and the slowdown abroad, particularly “in our neighbor to the north (the United States),” he said.
The secretary said the growth forecast takes into account the “risks that the situation in Europe implies and the fiscal situation in the United States.”
The GDP forecast represents a slight drop relative to the projection of a nearly 4 percent expansion of the Mexican economy this year.
The budget also predicts an inflation rate of 3 percent, an oil price of $84.90 per barrel and oil output of 2.6 million barrels per day in 2013.
Videgaray said it includes a “cross-cutting” crime-prevention program that will align the resources and actions of different offices in health, sports, recreation and other areas “to act in high-priority zones where decisive government action is needed.”
An austerity decree will be published Monday in the Official Gazette “that implies a thorough analysis of the entire federal public administration to detect areas of overlap that can be reduced or eliminated,” he said, adding that the goal is fulfill Peña Nieto’s pledge for the government “to do more with less.”
The budget will next be analyzed in congressional committees and is expected to approved before year’s end, legislative sources said.
At least 13 people were injured in the southwestern Colombian province of Valle del Cauca when a fireworks-filled suitcase exploded on a bus which then caught fire, government officials said.
A local official in Candelaria, the town where Friday’s blast occurred, told reporters that a passenger apparently put his suitcase near the vehicle’s motor, which caused the fireworks to heat up and explode.
Eberto Riveros said that for now it is “pretty difficult” to establish which of the passengers owned the explosive material, but added that authorities are investigating the matter.
Most of the injured were hospitalized, including four who are in fairly serious condition and were later transferred to another medical center.
Though exactly how many passengers were on the bus remains unknown, estimates indicate there were at least 25.
A total of 60 scarlet macaws will be set free in an ecological park in southeastern Mexico to avoid the extinction of this colorful subspecies, several of the organizers said.
“Only between 250 and 400 specimens remain, a population shared with Guatemala and Belize,” biologist Rodolfo Raigosa said as the first 27 birds were being delivered at Aluxes Park, about 2 kilometers (1 mile) from the natural forest of Palenque in Chiapas state.
After 12 hours of being transported by road, the birds from the Xcaret Center for the breeding of macaws, located on the Yucatan Peninsula, were placed in a “preliberation” cage where they will stay for the next three months.
There, observed by veterinarians, biologists and ornithological experts, they will learn to “recognize their food in the wild, identify natural predators, spot places where they can shelter among the trees and learn to fly free.”
The program, which plans to release 60 specimens throughout 2013 and some 250 over the next five years, will be accompanied by “a significant effort to raise awareness among the local population” to avoid the capture and sale of the birds, as well as to promote the protection of their natural habitats.
In Mexico, the scarlet macaw once inhabited the entire Gulf coast from Tamaulipas to Chiapas, including Veracruz and Tabasco, but the destruction and fragmentation of their ecosystem, along with the illegal parrot trade and the stealing of newly hatched chicks, decimated the population to leave it an endangered species.
President Barack Obama on Friday asked Congress to approve $60.4 billion in additional federal funds for the recovery from Superstorm Sandy, which killed more than 130 people and caused massive damage when it slammed into the U.S. Northeast in late October.
The amount is less than the $82 billion requested by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Even so, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey’s Chris Christie welcomed the news.
“We thank President Obama for his steadfast commitment of support and look forward to continuing our partnership in the recovery effort,” the two governors said in a joint statement.
Sandy is becoming the most expensive natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Katrina left most of New Orleans underwater in 2005.
The aid request comes as the White House and Republican congressional leaders are engaged in acrimonious talks over how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff - a set of spending cuts and tax hikes due to take effect Jan. 1.