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ThursdayDecember 13, 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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Spain May Publish List of Top Tax Dodgers

Spain May Publish List of Top Tax Dodgers

Photo: Tax dodgers

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Spain’s government is considering publishing the names of the country’s “biggest tax dodgers and delinquent taxpayers,” Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said Thursday.

Legal changes would be necessary before such a list could be made public, he said.

During debate in the Senate on a bill containing measures aimed at fiscal consolidation, Montoro said name-and-shame lists have already used in other European countries such as Britain and Ireland.

The goal in making the names public is to induce tax evaders to make good on their outstanding debt to the Treasury, he said.

“It’s so they pay up. I can’t say it more clearly. The fight against tax fraud lies in good measure on voluntary compliance with fiscal obligations and social awareness of the damage caused by tax fraud,” the minister said.

Montoro said enhanced transparency in public administration also must be extended to taxpayers, irrespective of what kind of economic activity they perform or whether they are individuals or companies.

Separately, the minister defended other measures in the bill including the creation of a new national tax on bank deposits and a new fiscal regime to penalize the exorbitant severance packages paid out to some executives.

In recession for the second time in four years, Spain has suffered a sharp drop in tax revenues stemming from numerous businesses failures and sky-high joblessness.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Violence Responsible for 45 Percent of Teen Deaths in Brazil

Violence Responsible for 45 Percent of Teen Deaths in Brazil

Photo: Murder rates in Brazil

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Homicide is the leading cause of death among adolescents in Brazil, where three of every 1,000 teens will be murdered before reaching 19, a report released here Thursday says.

On current trends, 36,735 Brazilians between the ages of 12 and 18 will be slain over the next three years.

The index of murders of adolescents rose from 2.61 per every 1,000 teenagers in 2009 to 2.98 per 1,000 the following year, according to report from the Presidential Human Rights Office, Unicef and a Brazilian NGO.

The rate was calculated by researchers at Rio de Janeiro State University based on crime statistics for Brazil’s 283 cities with populations of more than 100,000.

More than 45 percent of all deaths among Brazilian adolescents can be attributed to violence, the study concludes.

The comparable figure for the population at large is 5.1 percent.

Male teens are 11.5 times more likely to be murdered than females, while Afro-Brazilian adolescents face a nearly three times greater risk of violent death than their white contemporaries.

Poverty is also a major contributing factor.

The teen murder rate is 0.94 per 1,000 in Sao Paulo state, Brazil’s wealthiest region, compared with more than 9 homicides for every 1,000 adolescents in dirt-poor Alagoas.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Serial Killer Cesar Armando Librado Legorreta Sentenced to 240 Years

Serial Killer Cesar Armando Librado Legorreta Sentenced to 240 Years

Photo: Serial Killer Cesar Armando Librado Legorreta Sentenced to 240 Years

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A Mexican judge sentenced Cesar Armando Librado Legorreta to 240 years in jail for killing six women in the central state of Mexico.

Legorreta was sentenced to 40 years for each victim, an official at the state Attorney General’s Office told Efe.

The source said that, in response to a lawsuit filed by the victims’ families, Legorreta was also fined 254,758 pesos ($20,012) and must pay an additional 567,090 pesos ($44,547) in compensation.

Legorreta, 29, was recaptured on March 3 following his escape in late February, just hours after a previous arrest. He apparently succeeded in shedding his handcuffs and slipping out of the police station where he was in the custody of three police officers.

He committed his crimes by winning the trust of his victims while working as a city bus driver.

All were young women that he raped and then killed out of fear they would report him, he confessed after being recaptured.

Only one of the victims survived the rape, but only because the criminal went away thinking she was dead.

Legorreta still has trials pending for a homicide in Mexico City and for the rape of the young woman who survived.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuba Bans “Vulgar” Music on TV, Radio

Cuba Bans “Vulgar” Music on TV, Radio

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Broadcasting music with “vulgar, offensive” lyrics has become such a controversy in Cuba that it made its way into a parliamentary debate, during which the president of the state’s ICRT broadcasting monopoly announced that such content will be banned from the nation’s airwaves.

“On the national (radio and television) channels, it is decided once and for all: not one more number that is vulgar, not one more number that is banal, not a single number with offensive lyrics nor any videos that degrade women’s image,” Danilo Sirio Lopez told lawmakers.

“The challenge is to offer an audiovisual product that is better made and free from all vulgarity,” he said.

He also said that together with the Cuban Music Institute, the ICRT must promote the best of the national repertoire, while giving airtime to the talent to be found all around the country.

In recent times, culture officials and members of the island’s Writers and Artists Union have criticized the dissemination of “pseudo-artistic productions” and “vulgar, banal and mediocre expressions,” which are most “notorious” in the case of reggaeton music.

Indeed, Deputy Culture Minister Fernando Rojas said they have been working for months establishing legal regulations to preserve “the promotion of good taste.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

‘Landfill Harmonic’:  Young Orchestra Musicians and Their ‘Trash’ Instruments (VIDEO)

‘Landfill Harmonic’:  Young Orchestra Musicians and Their ‘Trash’ Instruments (VIDEO)

Photo: 'Landfill Harmonic' Shares Paraguay's Recycled Orchestra

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Landfill Harmonic is an upcoming feature-length documentary about a remarkable orchestra from a remote village in Paraguay, where its young musicians play with instruments made from trash.

Cateura, Paraguay is a town essentially built on top of a landfill. Garbage collectors browse the trash for sellable goods, and children are often at risk of getting involved with drugs and gangs. When orchestra director Szaran and music teacher Favio set up a music program for the kids of Cateura, they soon had more students than they had instruments.

That changed when Szaran and Favio were brought something they had never seen before: a violin made out of garbage. Today, there’s an entire orchestra of assembled instruments, now called The Recycled Orchestra.

The film shows how trash and recycled materials can be transformed into beautiful sounding musical instruments, but more importantly, it brings witness to the transformation of precious human beings.

Watch the trailer for Landfill Harmonic below.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sofia Vergara Receives Third Golden Globe Nomination

Sofia Vergara Receives Third Golden Globe Nomination

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For the third time in her career, Colombia’s Sofia Vergara has won a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television, for her acting in “Modern Family,” the Hollywood Foreign Press Association said Thursday.

Her three nominations have come in three straight years.

Her rivals in the 70th Golden Globe Awards, to be held on Jan. 13 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, will be Hayden Panettiere for her part in “Nashville,” Arji Panjabi for “The Good Wife,” Sara Paulson in “American Horror Story: Asylum,” and Maggie Smith for “Downton Abbey.”

This honor comes on top of the one the actress from Barranquilla landed Wednesday when she was nominated for a prize by the Screen Actors Guild in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series.

This is the seventh time the 40-year-old Vergara has been nominated for these prizes - four as part of a cast and three for her performances as an individual.

Vergara won a Screen Actors Guild statuette as the member of the cast in a series at the last two awards galas but has yet to be chosen best supporting actress.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil is Home to the ‘Love Motel’ for Pets

Brazil is Home to the ‘Love Motel’ for Pets

Photo: Brazil is Home to the 'Love Motel' for Pets

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‘I like to give her everything I can,’ Leonardo Felipe da Silva recently told CNN. ‘A lot of people think it’s too much, but I think she deserves it.’

If you’re thinking these are the words of a man devotedly speaking of his wife or girlfriend, you’re incorrect.

Da Silva was talking about Cherry, his French bulldog, and CNN spoke to him outside the pet love motel called the Animalle Mundo Pet.

It would seem da Silva is not alone in his over-the-top love for his pet. In fact, Brazil has created an entire complex for pampered pets.

With the country’s prospering middle class, many like da Silva are seeing fit to spend major cash on their furry friends.

Over the last decade, Brazilians have spent so much on their pets that the country is now the world’s fifth largest market for pet accessories.

The owner of Animalle Mundo Pet, Daniela Guimaraes told CNN, “Our clients don’t see animals just as pets. They talk about their pets like members of the family, ‘my son’ or ‘my brother’.”

But the pet motel is only part of a larger complex known as Belo Horizonte, and it’s more than a comfy room, it’s a place to for some doggy lovin’.

Many pets owners bring their animals to the love motel to breed them in a more luxurious way.

The Animalle Mundo Pet is eight-story converted children’s hospital and charges about $50 for each doggy love tryst.

You can learn more about the love motel at their website, here.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Census Bureau Projects U.S. Will Be a Majority-Minority Nation in 2043

Census Bureau Projects U.S. Will Be a Majority-Minority Nation in 2043

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The white population will no longer be the majority in the United States by 2043, two years after the general population is forecast to exceed 400 million, according to demographic projections published Wednesday by the Census Bureau.

That change is a result of two key trends: on the one hand, the increase in the Hispanic population, which will rise from 53.3 million at present to 128.8 million by 2060 and, on the other, the decrease in the white population both in total numbers as well as in percentage.

If the current trends remain in place, in 2060 about one in every three U.S. residents will be of Hispanic origin, compared with around one in six now.

The black population will increase from 41.2 million to 61.8 million, according to the projections, and that group’s percentage of the total population will increase from 13.1 percent to 14.7 percent by 2060.

The report released Wednesday is the first one to include demographic projections based on the 2010 Census.

“The next half century marks key points in continuing trends - the U.S. will become a plurality nation, where the non-Hispanic white population remains the largest single group, but no group is in the majority,” Acting Census Director Thomas L. Mesenbourg said.

According to the latest Census projections, the U.S. population will grow at a slower pace in the coming decades, compared with the projections made in 2008 and 2009, reflecting declines in birth rates and net immigration.

The number of people older than 65 will more than double between 2012 and 2060 from 43.1 million to 92 million, while the over-85 group will more than triple, from 5.9 million to 18.2 million.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Burrito Bomber: Drone Drops Delicious Burritos at Your Location (VIDEO)

Burrito Bomber: Drone Drops Delicious Burritos at Your Location (VIDEO)

Photo: Burrito Bomber: Drone Drops Delicious Burritos at Your Location

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Okay, so the TacoCopter was apparently never meant to be taken too seriously, but it looks like someone has stepped up to the plate to possible fill the need for airborne Mexican food delivery.

The guys over at Darwin Aerospace have developed the Burrito Bomber, created using “a handful of open source projects and some new bits” they created themselves.

How works according to the aerospace team:

- You connect to the Burrito Bomber web-app and order a burrito. Your smartphone sends your current location to our server, which generates a waypoint file compatible with the drone’s autopilot.

- We upload the waypoint file to the drone and load your burrito in to our custom made Burrito Delivery Tube.

- The drone flies to your location and releases the Burrito Delivery Tube. The burrito parachutes down to you, the drone flies itself home, and you enjoy your carne asada.

“Unfortunately, Burrito Bomber as a commercial product is not yet allowed under current FAA guidelines,” their sight reads. “However, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 requires the FAA to hammer out regulations for commercial use drones by September 2015. This means in 2015 we’ll be able to take to the skies to bring you your burrito faster than you can say ‘¡Salsa roja por favor!’.”

Could it be true?

“We believe everyone deserves carne asada when they want it and so today, we make that dream a reality. We’re proud to introduce: Burrito Bomber—truly the world’s first airborne Mexican food delivery system.”

Check out the video below.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Border Officer Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes to Allow Undocumented to Enter U.S.

LATINO BLOTTER: Border Officer Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes to Allow Undocumented to Enter U.S.

Photo: Corrupt Border Patrol Agents

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A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer, his girlfriend and two of their associates pleaded guilty today in federal court for their participation in multi-year bribery and alien smuggling activities along the U.S./Mexico border.

Former CBP Officer Juan Carlos Guerrero, 39, of Mission, Texas pleased guilty as did his girlfriend Claudia Flores, 34, of Mission; Maribel Rivera, 43, of Mission; and Rodolfo Caballero Rojas, 40, of Oklahoma City.

They each were charged back in October with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, one count of conspiracy to smuggle aliens for financial gain and various substantive counts of bribery and alien smuggling.
According to court documents, between approximately January 2009 and approximately May 2011, Guerrero and Flores organized a bribery and alien smuggling operation, whereby these individuals arranged for undocumented aliens from Mexico to be smuggled into the U.S. through Guerrero’s inspection lanes at the Hidalgo, Pharr and Anzalduas, port of entries in exchange for bribe payments ranging from $500 to $3,000 per UDA.  Guerrero knowingly permitted approximately 80 to 165 undocumented to entry the U.S.

As part of his plea agreement, Guerrero resigned today from CBP.

Read more by HS News Staff →

2012: The Year According to Google Searches

2012: The Year According to Google Searches

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Just like Bing and Yahoo!, Google has released its lists of the world’s most searched people, songs, films, shows and news of 2012. Surprisingly, three Brazilian telenovelas and their version of Big Brother made the list of trending TV Shows.

See the lists below and check out the video.

Overall Searches

1. Whitney Houston
2. Gangnam Style
3. Hurricane Sandy
4. iPad 3
5. Diablo 3
6. Kate Middleton
7. Olympics 2012
8. Amanda Todd
9. Michael Clarke Duncan
10.  BBB12


1. One Direction
2. Selena Gomez
3. iPhone 5
4. Megan Fox
5. Rihanna
6. Justin Bieber
7. Harry Styles
8. Minecraft
9. Nicki Minaj
10.  Katy Perry


1. Jeremy Lin
2. Michael Phelps
3. Peyton Manning
4. McKayla Maroney
5. Junior Seau
6. Sarah Burke
7. Tom Daley
8. Lance Armstrong
9. Mario Balotelli
10.  Ryan Lochte


1. Hurricane Sandy
2. Kate Middleton Pictures Released
3. Olympics 2012
4. SOPA Debate
5. Costa Concordia crash
6. Presidential Debate
7. Stratosphere Jump
8. Penn State Scandal
9. Trayvon Martin shooting
10.    Pussy Riots


1. Whitney Houston
2. Kate Middleton
3. Amanda Todd
4. Michael Clarke Duncan
5. One Direction
6. Felix Baumgartner
7. Jeremy Lin
8. Morgan Freeman
9. Joseph Kony
10.  Donna Summer

Feature Films

1. The Hunger Games
2. Skyfall
3. Prometheus
4. The Avengers
5. Magic Mike
6. John Carter
7. Ek Tha Tiger
8. Paranormal Activity 4
9. Taken 2
10.  Dark Shadows

TV Shows

1. BBB12
2. Avenida Brasil
3. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
4. The Voice
5. American Idol
6. Game of Thrones
7. Homeland
8. Revenge
9. Cheias de Charme
10.  Carrossel

Performing Artists

1. Whitney Houston
2. Michael Clarke Duncan
3. One Direction
4. Donna Summer
5. Lana Del Ray
6. Carolina Dieckmann
7. Dirk Bach
8. Carly Rae Jepsen
9. Michel Telo
10.  LMFAO

See additional lists here. Specific countries’ searches can also be seen.

Read more by HS News Staff →

DISGRACEFUL: Mexican Authorities Arrest Police Looting Jenni Rivera’s Plane Crash Site

DISGRACEFUL: Mexican Authorities Arrest Police Looting Jenni Rivera’s Plane Crash Site

Photo: Jenni Rivera Plane Crash Site Looted

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The government of the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon reported the arrest of two police officers found in possession of items belonging to people killed in the plane crash in which singer Jenni Rivera lost her life.

Luis Antonio Avila Moreno, 23, and Mario Alberto Garcia Pacheco, 24, were on duty guarding the mountainous area where the aircraft went down on Sunday, killing all seven people aboard.

“The arrests occurred Dec. 11 after Avila Moreno was found in possession of a BlackBerry cell phone, which presumably contained a number of photos of the area being protected following the crash,” the bulletin said.

Due to the discovery of the mobile phone, the two cops were submitted to a thorough investigation, which uncovered more of the victims’ belongings.

The Nuevo Leon government said that both officers were handed over to prosecutors for the investigation.

On Sunday before dawn, Jenni Rivera, known as “The Diva of Banda,” died together with four other passengers along with the plane’s pilot and copilot, after giving a concert at the Monterrey Arena.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Immigration Reform Advocate Sen. Robert Menendez had Undocumented, Registered Sex Offender as Intern

Immigration Reform Advocate Sen. Robert Menendez had Undocumented, Registered Sex Offender as Intern

Photo: Unpaid Senate Intern for Menendez is Undocumented

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AP is reporting an unpaid intern working for Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez was found to be undocumented and a registered sex offender.

The 18-year-old Peruvian immigrant, Luis Abraham Sanchez Zavaleta, was on a visitor visa that expired.  He worked at the Senator’s New Jersey office and it is unknown if he did any work for the Senator’s Washington D.C. office. 

It is being reported that the intern ‘violated the law’ in 2010 requiring him to register as a sex offender at age 16.  Sanchez Zavaleta did apply to stay in the country under the ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’.  He is inegible due to his criminal record. 

Sanchez Zavaleta came to the attention of New Jersey authorities back in October, as a possible undocumented alien with a criminal record for sexual offences.  Criminal aliens in the U.S. are routinely flagged for immediate deportation.  Sanchez Zavaleta was not arrested until December 6th and the Senators office was notified shortly thereafter. 

AP is reporting immigration officials in Homeland Security were urged not to process the arrest until after the Presidential elections.

The Senator’s office has confirmed that the unpaid intern was undocumented but denies charges that they were lax in conducting background checks on staff members. 

Menendez came to office in 2006 as an appointment to fill the seat vacated by Jon Corzine.  He was re-elected to a second term in November with a clear majority. 

Menendez is one of the Latino immigrant community’s great voices on immigration reform.  Until the election of Marco Rubio, he was the lone Hispanic in the Senate.  He sits on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

This news comes on the heels of unsubstantiated reports that the divorced Cuban Senator employed prostitutes while a guest of top donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.  Menendez has denied the prostitution allegations.

Read more by HS News Staff →

70th Annual Golden Globes: And the Nominees Are…

70th Annual Golden Globes: And the Nominees Are…

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Wednesday night Jessica Alba, Megan Fox, and Ed Helms announced the nominees for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards.


Best Picture, Drama:
“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy:
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
“Les Misérables”
“Moonrise Kindgom
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
“Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Director:
Ben Affleck, “Argo”
Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”

Best Actor, Drama:
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Richard Gere, “Arbitrage”
John Hawkes, “The Sessions”
Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
Denzel Washington, “Flight”

Best Actress, Drama:
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Marion Cotillard, “Rust and Bone”
Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock”
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”
Rachel Weisz, “The Deep Blue Sea”

Best Actor, Musical or Comedy:
Jack Black, “Bernie”
Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables”
Ewan McGregor, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Bill Murray, “Hyde Park on Hudson”

Best Actress, Musical or Comedy:
Emily Blunt, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Judi Dench, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Maggie Smith, “Quartet”
Meryl Streep, “Hope Springs”

Best Supporting Actor:
Alan Arkin, “Argo”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Django Unchained”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, “The Master”
Sally Field, “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
Nicole Kidman, “The Paperboy”

Best Screenplay:
Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Tony Kushner, “Lincoln”
David O’Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”
Chris Terrio, “Argo”

Foreign Language Film:
“A Royal Affair”
“The Intouchables”
“Rust and Bone”

Best Animated Feature Film:
“Hotel Transylvania”
“Rise of the Guardians”
“Wreck-It Ralph”

Best Original Song:
“For You” - “Act of Valor”
“Not Running Anymore” - “Stand Up Guys”
“Safe & Sound” - “The Hunger Games”
“Skyfall” - “Skyfall”
“Suddenly” - “Les Miserables

Best Original Score:
Mychael Danna, “Life of Pi”
Alexandre Desplat, “Argo”
Dario Marianelli, “Anna Karenina”
Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil, “Cloud Atlas”
John Williams, “Lincoln”

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Sons of Border Police Authorities Arrested, Suspected of Stealing Drugs from Narcos

LATINO BLOTTER: Sons of Border Police Authorities Arrested, Suspected of Stealing Drugs from Narcos

Photo: Mission, Texas Police Department Arrest

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A federal corruption probe prompted by stolen drugs from criminal suspects has ended in arrests of Texas border police officers.  The sons of two border police authorities were arrested; both men worked in local drug task forces.

Officers Alexis Espinoza and Jonathan Treviño were taken into federal custody late last night.  Espinoza is the son of Hidalgo Police Chief Rudy Espinoza and Treviño is the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño.  It is believed other law enforcements officers assigned to the narcotics division of the area are also in federal custody.  It is believed all officers involved work for the Mission, Texas police department in the Hidalgo county. 

The investigation was prompted when authorities suspected drug loads were being stolen from cartels and resold on the black market.

Mission and Hidalgo are situated along the Texas/Mexico border in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.  Hidalgo County is named after a seminal figure of the Mexican revolution, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.  The region is predominately Hispanic.

Federal authorities have not said if their investigation has concluded. 


Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Sentenced to Prison, Stole over 100,000 Meals from Under-Privileged Children’s Program

Colombian Sentenced to Prison, Stole over 100,000 Meals from Under-Privileged Children’s Program

Photo: Colombian Gerardo Mosquera Sentenced

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Former Portland resident Gerardo Mosquera was sentenced to 60 months in prison in the United States District Court today for his convictions for stealing from a program that provides food to under-privileged children.

Mosquera, 43, has been in custody since his extradition from Colombia in December.

According to the indictment, Mosquera made claims to the Oregon Department of Education for meals he never served to children at various program sites in the Portland area. Between 2003 and 2009, Mosquera, doing business as Diversity Initiatives, was paid more than $1.6 million by the Oregon Department of Education. ODE representatives became suspicious when they observed that the number of sites served by Mosquera had decreased, but the number of meals claimed by Mosquera had increased.

A subsequent audit revealed the theft had been ongoing for at least two years, and that approximately 100,000 meals claimed by Mosquera had never been provided.

Mosquera is also accused of using of a false Social Security number when opening Diversity Initiatives’ bank account.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a detainer on Mosquera and will likely seek his deportation at the end of his term of imprisonment.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico’s Mariel Hawley: Open Water Swimming Tougher than Ironman

Mexico’s Mariel Hawley: Open Water Swimming Tougher than Ironman

Photo: Mexico's Mariel Hawley: Open Water Swimming Tougher than Ironman

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Mariel Hawley, the first Mexican woman to achieve the so-called “triple crown” of open water swimming, told Efe Wednesday that her discipline is more demanding than long-distance triathlons because it forces athletes to push themselves to the absolute limit.

“Neither a marathon nor Ironman Triathlon can compare,” the 43-year-old Hawley, the first Mexican woman and 61st person overall to complete the triple crown, said.

“The Ironman is a walk in the park compared to open water. You can eat on your bike or on the road; you can ease off during the race, but the ocean pushes you beyond your limits, physically and mentally,” Hawley told Efe.

A lifelong swimmer, Hawley took part in her first open water event - the Maraton Guadalupano, a four-kilometer (2.5-mile) race in Acapulco’s Santa Lucia Bay - in 2001 after the birth of her daughter, Andrea.

In 2008, Hawley completed a double crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar and then on June 6, 2009, she notched the first leg of the triple crown by circumnavigating Manhattan Island - a 46-kilometer (28.5-mile) route - in eight hours and eight minutes.

Two years later, on Aug. 12, 2011, 10 years of preparation paid off when she swam the English Channel - considered the pinnacle of open water swimming due to its difficulty - in 14 hours and 33 minutes.

Although Dover and Calais are 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) apart, Hawley ended up swimming closer to 57 kilometers (35 miles) due to a strong current.

Earlier this year, she completed the triple crown by covering the 34-kilometer (21-mile) distance from Santa Catalina Island to the California coast in 11 hours and 27 minutes.

In August 2013, Hawley plans to compete in the Ederle Swim from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, New Jersey.

That event pays tribute to late American competition swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Gertrude Ederle, who in 1926 became the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Real Madrid Loses First Copa del Rey Match

Real Madrid Loses First Copa del Rey Match

Photo: Real Madrid v. Celta Vigo (Real Madrid)

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Real Madrid lost 2-1 on the road Wednesday to Celta Vigo in the first leg of their round-of-16 clash in the Copa del Rey, but the reigning cup-holders can still advance to the quarterfinals with a win here next week.

In Wednesday’s other Copa action, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla all won, all but assuring themselves of spots in the next round.

Last year’s runner-up, Athletic Bilbao, was eliminated from the tourney by third-division club Eibar.

Barcelona triumphed 2-0 on the road against Cordoba thanks to two tallies by Argentine striker Leo Messi, whose scoring total for 2012 stands at 88, three more than the 85 scored by Gerd Muller in 1972 when he set the old record for most goals in a calendar year.

Sevilla, meanwhile, demolished Real Mallorca 5-0 in Palma.

Winning 3-0 against local rival Getafe, Atletico Madrid is also on a path to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Read more by HS News Staff →

British Firm One Step Closer to Oil Exploration in Honduras

British Firm One Step Closer to Oil Exploration in Honduras

Photo: Honduras

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Honduras’ government has signed a memorandum of understanding with British multinational BG Group covering oil and gas exploration in the northeastern jungle region of La Mosquitia, which borders Nicaragua.

Honduran Natural Resources and Environment Minister Rigoberto Cuellar and Carlos Quintana, vice president and legal representative of BG Group, signed the agreement at the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa.

Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, witness of honor at Tuesday’s signing ceremony, described the accord as “historic.”

Cuellar said no serious appraisal of Honduras’ hydrocarbon potential has been made in 30 years and that “it’s time for the Honduran people to dispel their doubts” over whether the country has oil or not and in what quantities.

He added that the strategic partnership with BG Group will guarantee the project has the necessary transparency and technical and financial capacity and ensure that social responsibility requirements are met, particularly in the environmental area.

The president’s office said in a statement that BG Group has applied for an operations permit with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

The government said some special benefits had been obtained in the MOU, noting that the company agreed to pay a royalty in the exploration phase and finance social development projects in communities in that region.

It did not specify the amount of the royalty nor how much BG Group would invest in that stage.

Cuellar said the MOU with BG Group only covers 15 percent of that potentially hydrocarbon-rich area.

In the late 1990s, Russian experts found evidence of petroleum in an area of Honduras stretching from the northern province of Atlantida to the northeastern region of La Mosquitia, but they did not indicate the quantity nor quality of those reserves.

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ThursdayDecember 13, 2012