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MondayDecember 17, 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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LATINO BLOTTER: Man Wearing Captain America Mask Arrested After Multiple Robberies

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Wearing Captain America Mask Arrested After Multiple Robberies

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Man Wearing Captain America Mask Arrested After Multiple Robberies

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Police in California have arrested the man believed to be behind a series of robberies. What made this robbery so different however, was the fact that the robber was wearing a Captain America.

So who is this masked man? Modesto Police have arrested 22-year-old Aaron Gonzales.

Gonzales was wanted for a number of robberies, during which he wore the superhero mask.

He was arrested on Friday after allegedly attempting to rob Roger’s Jewelry on Wednesday, while carrying a baseball bat. He was thwarted though, as a police officer in the store saw him coming and locked the door. When Gonzales, wearing a ski mask this time instead of the Marvel comic book character’s, saw the door was locked he reportedly fled in a Ford Focus. He was pulled over soon after.

After his arrest, police searched his home and found a Captain America mask and additional evidence to link him to the prior robberies.

Police say Gonzales had robbed that same jewelry store on August 13, smashing a display counter with a baseball bat.

He is currently being held at Stanislaus County Jail on robbery charges.

Somehow we doubt he’ll be asked to join The Avengers anytime soon.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nearly 500k Watched Alejandro Sanz Concert Live Online

Nearly 500k Watched Alejandro Sanz Concert Live Online

Photo: Nearly 500k Watched Alejandro Sanz Concert Live Online

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Nearly half a million people viewed the live online broadcast of Alejandro Sanz’s Dec. 6 concert in Miami, the Web site Terra reported Monday.

The Terra Live Music special with Alejandro Sanz obtained 375,000 broadcast requests during the live performance and about 100,000 more via video on demand, said Terra in a communique.

Concert promoters expect the number of people who view the approximately one-hour concert Sanz gave to rise in the coming weeks.

“We’re very satisfied with the incredible results of this initiative available via multiple platforms and happy to share this concert with the world via Video on Demand,” said Fernando Rodriguez, the executive director of Terra in the United States.

The broadcast, which can be viewed free from laptop computers, cell phones and other mobile devices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the United States (including Puerto Rico), El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela, also made a big splash on social networks.

Sanz, who on Tuesday will celebrate his 44th birthday, has sold more than 22 million albums during his career and is the Spanish artist with the largest number of Grammy awards - 19 - including 16 Latin Grammys.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lionel Messi Working with UN Children’s Fund to Help End Infant Mortality

Lionel Messi Working with UN Children’s Fund to Help End Infant Mortality

Photo: Lionel Messi Working with UN Children's Fund to Help End Infant Mortality

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Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi, holder of the new record for most goals in a calendar year, called on Monday for action to end infant mortality.

The FC Barcelona striker made the appeal in a video for the U.N. Children’s Fund.

Messi, who this year became a father for the first time, said in the Unicef video that while the number of infant deaths fell from nearly 12 million in 1990 to around 6.9 million last year, “those boys and girls did not have to die, but they died.”

Despite advances, some 19,000 children worldwide under 5 die every day from preventable causes such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition, Unicef pointed out.

Widely expected to receive his fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or as the world’s top soccer player, Messi became a goodwill ambassador for Unicef in March 2010 and has become an outspoken advocate for the most vulnerable children.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Blog del Narco: Cartels Forcing Migrants to Smuggle Drugs After Families Threatened

Blog del Narco: Cartels Forcing Migrants to Smuggle Drugs After Families Threatened

Photo: Migrants Used to Smuggle Drugs

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Defenders of immigrant rights are concerned about the increasing number of cases in which people are forced to smuggle drugs into the United States from Mexico by drug traffickers threatening their families.

The activists say this phenomenon is becoming widespread and cite cases of two prominent members of the Tijuana art community who were jailed recently after being arrested in San Diego.

Famous architect Eugenio Velazquez was sentenced last week to six months in jail followed by six months of house arrest after being arrested at the entry port of San Ysidro in March.

He could have been handed a 10-year sentence but the judge accepted the argument that he was forced to smuggle drugs because of threats to his family.

In the case of promising opera star Maximo Melchor Vazquez, the tenor was sentenced last month to nine years in prison.

His attorney, John R. Rodriguez, said his client trafficked methamphetamines under threat and presented no defense in the case, fearing for the safety of his family.

Victor Clark Alfaro, director of the Tijuana-based Binational Human Rights Center, told Efe that Mexican cartels are increasingly resorting to threats to recruit couriers, or “mules.”

“It’s not a new tactic. It’s been going on for years. But the number of cases has increased in which cartels not only use ‘blind mules,’ frequent travelers who have no idea they’re carrying drugs hidden in their cars, but now they more often identify people who travel constantly to the United States and threaten them,” he said.

David Shirk, director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of California, San Diego, told Efe that many people arrested at the border carrying drugs are U.S. citizens who came into contact with crime gangs through drug use or illegal gambling and are pressured into trafficking people or drugs.

“One of the problems is that people in Mexico don’t trust the authorities, so they feel obliged to give in to strong-arm tactics from criminal gangs,” Clark Alfaro said.

For Enrique Morones of the Border Angels group, it’s important that authorities of both countries make confidential telephone lines available to threat victims so they can report these situations anonymously.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentina’s Eduardo Relero Creates Amazing Optical Illusions

Argentina’s Eduardo Relero Creates Amazing Optical Illusions

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Often spending as long as two weeks on a piece, Argentinian street artist Eduardo Relero is the artist behind some of the most amazing large-scale optical illusions.

Now living in Madrid, Spain, Relero, 48, uses the pavement we walk on everyday as his canvas, making just another street into a magnificent work of art.

Relero says he began his street art in 1990 on the streets of Rome and has since left his mark on France, Germany, the United States, Mexico, and Spain.

“I realized that by taking my art out in the public, to festivals, theaters and events, I would be free to make drawings more to my liking.”

Check out some of his work below, and click here for more.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Alex Rodriguez Plans to Play Again After Hip Surgery in January

Alex Rodriguez Plans to Play Again After Hip Surgery in January

Photo: Alex Rodriguez Plans to Play Again After Hip Surgery in January

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Injured baseball player Alex Rodriguez recently spoke with TMZ about his upcoming hip surgery.

The New York Yankee says he plans to return to the diamond after he’s all healed up after his now second hip surgery scheduled for January.

As always TMZ was able to catch A-Rod on the streets of Beverly Hills.

Though the his injury/surgery is expected to keep the 37-year-old third baseman out for most of 2013, he says he “can’t wait to be back.”

Earlier this month the Yankees announced A-Rod, who still have five years and $113 million left on his contract, had a torn labrum, bone impingement, and was in need of a correction of a cyst.

The recovery time for the surgery is said to be between 4 and 6 months.

Rodriguez’s first hip surgery was in March 2009.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin American News:  Region’s Trade Performance Weakens by 1.5% in 2012 to $1 Trillion

Latin American News:  Region’s Trade Performance Weakens by 1.5% in 2012 to $1 Trillion

Photo: Latin American Trade

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After posting double digit gains in 2010-2011, Latin America’s export growth declined just 1.5 percent in 2012 for a total value of slightly more than $1 trillion, according to figures released by the Integration and Trade Sector of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The year’s performance marked the virtual end of the region’s expansive trade growth following the 2008-2009 financial crisis, in which Latin America’s exports staged an impressive rebound averaging an annual 26 percent in 2010 and 2011.

By mid-2011, export growth had stalled, and then continued to weaken in 2012.

Despite the overall slowdown of export dynamism, results varied considerably among individual countries, according to the study. Exports from Chile and the MERCOSUR countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela) contracted an estimated 6 percent and 2 percent, respectively. But for Mexico and Central America, exports grew by an estimated 6 percent, while the Andean countries posted a 5 percent gain.

These results reflected uneven economic conditions in Latin America’s major trade partners. In Europe, economic setbacks resulted in a 5 percent drop in demand for Latin American exports, while lower growth in the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea sharply slowed the region’s export growth to Asia as a whole, from 25 percent in 2011 to only 1 percent this year. As a result, the countries more reliant on Europe and Asia, such as MERCOSUR and Chile, showed markedly poorer performance.

In one bright spot, incipient recovery in the United States fueled growth in Latin American exports to that country by an estimated 3 percent. Benefits mostly went to the countries with the closest economic ties to the North American market, such as Mexico, Central America, and to a lesser extent, the Andean countries.

Read more at Inter-American Development Bank →

Kat Von D, Deadmau5 Engaged - He Proposed Via Twtter

Kat Von D, Deadmau5 Engaged - He Proposed Via Twtter

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Tattooed Latina Kat Von D is engaged once again.

The former star of TLC’s L.A. Ink is now engaged to Joel Thomas Zimmerman, better known by his stage name Deadmau5 (pronounced “deadmouse”).

On Saturday, just one month after Von D announced they were “no longer together,” the 31-year-old musician tweeted:

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Undeterred by the unconventional proposal, the Mexican-American tattoo artist apparently said yes, as not 10 minutes later, Deadmau5 tweeted:

Later that night, Von D tweeted:

Von D was previously engaged to Jesse Jackson, but their on-off relationship came to an end for good in September 2011.

Deadmau5 and Von D began dating this September, broke up in November, and are now engaged.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin American News:  Deadly Colombia Bus Accident Leaves 26 Dead

Latin American News:  Deadly Colombia Bus Accident Leaves 26 Dead

Photo: Bus Accident near Bogota, Colombia

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Twenty-six people were killed and 15 others hurt in a bus crash in central Colombia, the National Police transit division said Monday.

The accident occurred at 11:35 p.m. Sunday not far from Bogota.

The bus was one of several chartered by the Gano Excel firm to bring employees based in the southwestern city of Cali to a weekend convention in the capital.

The convoy was en route back to Cali at the time of the wreck.

One of the organizers of the trip, Hector Fabio Pineda, told Caracol Radio that the buses were old and had experienced problems on the journey from Cali to Bogota.

Despite complaints by the travelers, the charter company refused to authorize substitute vehicles for the return trip, according to Pineda, who was aboard another bus in the convoy.

When Pineda entered the damaged vehicle after the crash, the driver told him the bus’ brakes had failed.

The 15 injured survivors were taken to hospitals in the Bogota suburbs of Fusagasuga, Soacha and Silvania.

Police shut down the stretch of road where the accident happened pending completion of search and rescue efforts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Current Events:  Latinos Applaud EPA’s Updated Air Quality Standards

Hispanic Current Events:  Latinos Applaud EPA’s Updated Air Quality Standards

Photo: Pollution in Latino Community

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“Voces Verdes” is applauding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for finalizing air quality standards for fine particulate matter, or soot.  Voces Verdes is the independent, non-partisan voice of Latino leaders for the environment.

According to Voces, the new stronger soot protections will make our air cleaner nationwide and reduce health problems across the country including preventing approximately 15,000 premature deaths every year.

“For Latino families struggling with the impacts of air pollution and the heavy burden of health care costs, these updated standards are a welcome and much needed,” said Dr. Elena Rios, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association.

The new standards are expected to save $118 billion in health costs annually.

Voces is a growing coalition of Latino leaders who are advocating for sound environmental policy that balances economic needs. 

Soot particles are released into the air by burning dirty fuels like coal. Soot is made up very small particles of dangerous metals and chemicals that can deposit deep within the lungs and enter the blood stream.

Soot is released from smokestacks, diesel trucks, wood-burning stoves and other sources and contributes to haze. “For the large Latino community that lives in areas where there is heavy diesel truck traffic and the neighborhoods that are surrounded by smokestacks, this updated standard is urgently needed,” said Mark Magana of the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin American News: Divorce Rate in Brazil Hits Record High

Latin American News: Divorce Rate in Brazil Hits Record High

Photo: Divorce Rates in Brazil Soar

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Brazil had a record-setting 351,153 divorces in 2011, 45.6 percent more than in 2010 and the most since the annual statistic began to be kept in 1984, the government said Monday.

The 2011 divorce rate - 2.6 for every 1,000 inhabitants over the age of 15 - was also the highest since 1984, when it was only 0.5 for every 1,000, according to figures released by the IBGE statistics agency.

The IBGE attributed the steep rise in the number of couples opting for divorce to a new legislation in 2010 that reduced the length of time required by law for the granting of a divorce, which has been legal in Brazil since 1977.

“With the new regulations, a person who married last week can get a divorce today. That was impossible before,” Claudio Crespo, IBGE economist and coordinator of the study, said.

The highest divorce rate in 2011 occurred in the 30-53 age group.

Of all the couples who divorced in 2011, some 37.2 percent had no children, 19.7 percent had adult offspring and 37.1 percent had children who were still minors.

Ten years previously, 51.5 percent of divorces were among couples with children who were minors, 26.8 percent of the couples had no children and 13.5 percent were couples with adult offspring.

Also on the rise is the number divorcees who wed again. The percentage of those who contract another marriage among the total number of marriages was 20.3 percent in 2011, compared with 12.3 percent in 2001.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hugo Chavez’ Political Party Dominates in Regional Elections

Hugo Chavez’ Political Party Dominates in Regional Elections

Photo: Hugo Chavez' Leftist PSUV Party is Victorious

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President Hugo Chavez’s leftist PSUV party took 20 of 23 state governorships in Venezuelan regional elections, but opposition standard-bearer Henrique Capriles retained power in the central state of Miranda.

Only around 54 percent of eligible voters turned out for Sunday’s balloting, which came two months after the cancer-stricken Chavez won another six-year term.

One of the few consolations left to the opposition is the victory of Capriles - who lost the Oct. 7 presidential election to Chavez - over former Vice President Elias Jaua in Miranda.

The PSUV snatched four governorships from the MUD opposition coalition.

PSUV campaign chief Jorge Rodriguez said the outcome was “mainly a victory for Chavez” and a “gift” for the president as he recovers in Cuba from his fourth cancer surgery in 18 months.

Capriles expressed satisfaction at his win in Miranda but not about the overall result of the elections and slammed the government for what he considered the use of Chavez’s illness for electoral purposes.

“You never heard anything like plans or proposals from government candidates. All they did was take advantage of the circumstances and ask people to go out and vote for the health of our president,” he said.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro, for example, asked at an election day press conference for everyone to go to the polls so as “not to fail” Chavez, which led a member of the National Electoral Council, Vicente Diaz, to demand an end to the press conference for what he considered “a clear violation of electoral law.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Police Arrest 18-Year-Old Planning School-Shooting Plot in Oklahoma

Police Arrest 18-Year-Old Planning School-Shooting Plot in Oklahoma

Photo: Bartlesville High School

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On Friday, police in Bartlesville, Oklahoma arrested an 18-year-old high school student who was planning a school-shooting massacre plot.

Sammie Eaglebear Chavez “tried to recruit other students to assist him with carrying out a plan to lure students into the school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut.”Image

“He also told them that if the students assisting him did not do what they were supposed to do, he would not hesitate to kill them and/or himself.” Chavez was arrested on Friday; bail is set at $1 million.

Read more at ThinkProgress →

Blog del Narco: 4 Teachers in Mexico Executed Enroute to Funeral, Narcos Are Suspected

Blog del Narco: 4 Teachers in Mexico Executed Enroute to Funeral, Narcos Are Suspected

Photo: Violence in Mexico

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Four women from the same family, all of them schoolteachers, were found tortured and slain in the mountains of northern Mexico, authorities in Chihuahua state said.

The victims, ages 32, 38, 57 and 59, were reported missing last Wednesday after they set out driving from the town of Creel to attend a funeral in Guachochi.

The women’s bodies were discovered late Saturday in a rural area of the municipality of Bocoyna, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.

Authorities said the women reported having encountered a checkpoint set up by criminals on the road between Creel and Guachochi.

The mountains of Chihuahua have been a focal point for violence in recent weeks.

Hours after the discovery of the missing teachers, another woman was found fatally shot in a nearby village, though police said they saw no evidence the crimes were connected.

In the highland city of Guadalupe y Calvo, gunmen killed 11 people over the course of Dec. 7-8. The attackers closed the roads leading into tow, entered some houses and grabbed several people, residents told Efe.

Officials said off the record that the attackers may have belonged to the Sinaloa drug cartel while the victims may have been members of the La Linea gang, Reforma newspaper reported last week.

La Linea provides enforcers for the Juarez cartel in its war against the rival Sinaloa mob for control of smuggling routes in northern Mexico.

Chihuahua has been one of the states most affected by the wave of drug-related violence in Mexico, which has claimed some 60,000 lives since late 2006, when then-President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the country’s cartels.

Read more by HS News Staff →



MondayDecember 17, 2012