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MondayDecember 24, 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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Blog del Narco: Mexican Human Rights Commission- 82 Journalists Murdered Since ‘05

Blog del  Narco: Mexican Human Rights Commission- 82 Journalists Murdered Since ‘05

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A total of 82 journalists have been murdered and 18 others have been reported missing since 2005 in Mexico, the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, said.

Investigations of 28 attacks on media outlets in different states have been conducted in the past five years, the CNDH, Mexico’s equivalent of an ombudsman’s office, said.

Attacks on journalists violate the victims’ human rights and violate the right of the people to have access to good information, the CNDH said.

“The work done by journalists and other members of the media carries a high risk, with complaints of violations rising and the seriousness of the attacks staged against them growing,” the CNDH said.

A total of 658 complaints were received from members of the news media from Jan. 1, 2005, to Nov. 30, 2012, the rights body said in a statement.

The complaints cover violations of the right to legal security, freedom of the press and personal safety, among others, the CNDH said

Read more Narco News at Hispancally Speaking News

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Pope Benedict to Celebrate Midnight Mass for the Millions of Faithful Around the World

Pope Benedict to Celebrate Midnight Mass for the Millions of Faithful Around the World

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Pope Benedict XVI will begin the traditional celebration of Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at 10:00 p.m. (2100 GMT) Monday in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The 85-year-old pontiff is continuing the practice of the past three years by starting the celebration of Midnight Mass two hours early to avoid exhausting himself ahead of the full slate of activities he has planned for Christmas Day.

Thousands of the faithful from around the world are expected to attend Midnight Mass, with the free passes for the traditional rite all given out days ago.

Numerous cardinals, bishops and other members of the clergy will help the pope celebrate the Mass.

Since Midnight Mass takes several hours to celebrate, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who serves as the Vatican’s secretary of state, will celebrate Christmas Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Tuesday to avoid putting too much of a strain on the elderly pope.

Benedict XVI will return to the Vatican at noon on Tuesday to read the traditional papal Christmas Message and deliver the Urbi et Orbi - Latin for “To the City and to the World” - blessing, which will be carried by about 100 television networks in more than 50 countries.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Countdown of the Top Five Immigration Stories of 2012

Countdown of the Top Five Immigration Stories of 2012

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In the beginning of 2012, the landscape of the immigration world looked much different.  Pro-immigrant groups were coming off of a rough few years that saw the failure of the DREAM Act, a spike in deportations under President Obama, and the passage of several state-level restrictionist bills like Arizona’s infamous SB 1070 and Alabama’s HB 56.  However, immediately after the 2012 Presidential election, the discussion around immigration reform was reignited and led with legalization for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the country.  What changed?  Here’s our take on five of the biggest reasons 2012 has been a catalyst for change:

5. The Death of Self-Deportation
In early 2012, candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination were talking about electrified border fences, mass deportations, and self-deportation.  But as the year went on, it became clear that self-deportation was no longer en vogue.  In November, the conventional wisdom was that Mitt Romney’s loss was in part due to his adherence to the draconian restrictionist philosophy, and conservatives were quick to jump ship.

4.  Supreme Court Ruling on SB 1070
In June, ten days after the announcement of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, the Supreme Court struck down all but one of the provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070, the notorious “show me your papers” law.  While the ruling did not strike down the provision allowing police to investigate the immigration status of those they suspect of being in the country illegally – the most controversial provision because of its inherent risk of racial profiling – it was a victory for the administration, and a reaffirmation that a real immigration fix will have to come from Congress.

3. Maryland DREAM Act
More and more states passed bills granting in-state tuition rates to undocumented students in 2012, but Maryland became the only state to vote on it after restrictionists were able to garner enough votes to push the bill to a referendum.  The result was a blowout: the Maryland DREAM Act passed with a 16 point spread.

2. The 2012 Election Demographic Shift

When Barack Obama won his second term, perhaps the biggest story to emerge was the huge turnout among minorities, and how they strongly preferred the President to Mitt Romney.  71 percent of Latino voters, 73 percent of Asian-American voters, and 93 percent of black voters re-elected the President, and in a few swing states including Nevada, Colorado, and Florida, the Latino vote likely tipped the state in favor of the President. Cuban-Americans in Florida – traditionally a very conservative bloc – only preferred Romney by 4 points, and Evangelical Christian Latinos actually voted in Obama’s favor.
Subsequently, Republican pollsters and strategists have argued that the party risks losing the White House permanently if it cannot find common ground on issues such as immigration.  Conservatives such as President George W. Bush, Grover Norquist, Rupert Murdoch, Rick Santorum, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Sean Hannity, and Charles Krauthammer have urged the country to move forward on immigration reform.

1.  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

While it’s hard to beat the election as the immigration story of the year, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative made the most immediate and tangible impact.  Announced in June and launched in August, the initiative has already provided temporary relief to over 100,000 DREAMers.  Though the program has faced plenty of obstacles – from restrictionists incorrectly depicting it as an unconstitutional power grab, to state governments attempting to deny driver’s licenses to grantees – it has been successfully implemented so far and enjoys the approval of most Americans.
The program came largely as a result of the activism of courageous DREAMers around the country; its announcement and implementation likely played a role in the strong Latino turnout in favor of the President and the Democrats.  In the end, this temporary fix for potentially 1.8 million young people may be the precursor to a permanent fix for millions more.

Read more Immigration News Here

Read more at Immigration impact →

Statistics Show US-Mexico Border is Secure- NPR

Statistics Show US-Mexico Border is Secure- NPR

Photo: US Mexico Border

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At NPR today is an analogy on why people find themselves forced to come to the US without papers:

Imagine immigration, especially from Latin America, as a two-lane residential street with a 20-mile-an-hour speed limit. Over the decades, it’s grown to an eight-lane superhighway. But the speed limit is still 20 mph. That is, visas for needed workers haven’t risen along with the traffic.

That is, even though people want to move into the country and employers here need immigrant workers, there is no existing line for the vast majority of people who want to come to the US legally.  Which is why next year, activists and advocates for immigration reform will be pushing for new legislation that creates a path to citizenship for the aspiring Americans already here—and creates a better system for future generations of immigrants.

Opponents of immigration reform often stonewall by claiming that more must be done to secure the border first before legislation that confers citizenship can be discussed.  But according to the NPR report by Ted Robbins today, the question of “Is the Border Secure Enough to Tackle the Immigration System?” can already be answered with a resounding “yes”:

Since the mid-1980s, the U.S. Border Patrol has quintupled in size — growing from about 4,000 to more than 20,000 agents.

The government has constructed some 700 miles of fencing and vehicle barriers. It has placed thousands of ground sensors, lights, radar towers and cameras along the border. And Customs and Border Protection is now flying drones and helicopters to locate smuggles and rescue stranded immigrants.

So here’s the question: Is the Southwest border secure?

The statistics paint a picture that says “yes”…

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says all those facts are indicators of progress in the right direction.

“If I were a police chief of a major city and I came in and I said we had reduced crime in four years by 70 to 80 percent, people would say, ‘That’s a great job. You’re a great police chief,’ ” she says. “If you took that and you applied it to what’s been going on along the Southwest border, you’d have to say objectively the same thing”…

Napolitano says people who demand complete border security before immigration reform are not being realistic.

“There’s no border in the world that doesn’t have some form of migration, legal and illegal,” she says. “So saying it has to be zero is like saying we have to put the United States under some sort of Tupperware container and seal it off. That’s not how our country operates.”

Read more at Americas Voice Online →

STUDY:  Healthy for Kids to Believe in Santa as Long as They Want

STUDY:  Healthy for Kids to Believe in Santa as Long as They Want

Photo: Healthy to Believe in Santa Claus

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Children should be allowed to believe in Santa Claus as long as they want, an expert says.

There is no particular age at which a child should stop believing in Santa and children will often arrive at the truth themselves as they grow older, according to Jared Durtschi, an assistant professor in the marriage and family therapy program at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

“I don’t think it’s necessary for parents to decide upon a time to tell their children there is no Santa,” Durtschi said in a university news release. “As children develop, the magical thinking that is so common in kids, which allows them to so readily accept all the details of Santa Claus, will give way and they will soon figure it out on their own.”

By telling children the truth about Santa Claus before they work it out for themselves, parents might put a damper on their children’s excitement about Christmas.

“Christmas tends to be more fun for those kids who believe in Santa compared to those who do not,” Durtschi said. “It may be unnecessary to spoil the excitement for the child until they outgrow the belief.”

Many children go through a transition period where they still have some belief in Santa or want to believe in him, even as they begin to realize that the idea is impossible. During this period, children’s ideas about Santa can fluctuate.

“They may believe one day, not believe the next day and then decide they believe in Santa again next week after watching a Christmas movie,” Durtschi said. “Just because a child is showing signs of doubt does not mean he or she has completely made the transition to disbelief in Santa.”

During this transition period, Durtschi said, parents should ask their children a neutral, open-ended question (“What do you think about Santa Claus?” for example) rather than a more leading question, such as, “Do you still believe in Santa?”

Read more at USA Healthfinder →

Thousands Welcome Latin Patriarch, Fouad Twal to Bethlehem

Thousands Welcome Latin Patriarch, Fouad Twal to Bethlehem

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Thousands of Christians native to Palestine and from around the world greeted the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, on Monday in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, hours before he would officiate the Mass of the Rooster in the Church of the Nativity as Christmas Day began.

Twal arrived in the city from Jerusalem on a traditional pilgrimage, with the first part under Israeli police escort and subsequently, after passing through a gate in the wall separating the two territories, guarded by the Palestinian National Authority.

From the earliest hour of the morning a feeling of celebration was in the air in this Palestinian town located just 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Jerusalem where the entire population, Christians and Muslims alike, find Christmas a time for rejoicing.

The famous Manger Square was decorated Monday with a large globe in colors of the Palestinian flag and bordered with a “keffiyeh” - a scarf typical of the region - on which the words “Merry Christmas” were printed.

At the entrance to the Church of the Nativity a tree with colorful ornaments stood over a creche recalling the reason why Bethlehem is the center of the Christian world during these holidays.

Twal blessed those present before entering the Door of Humility, a small rectangular opening to the basilica that makes anyone going through it bow down.

Read more by HS News Staff →

WATCH:  Demi Lovato’s Rendition of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’

Check out Demi Lovato’s version of Mariah Carey’s holiday classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You”.  The 20-year-old X-Factor judge recorded her version of the holiday classic earlier this month for a Christmas in Washington special.

Who do you think does a better job, Demi or Mariah???

Related Videos

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Tracking Santa on Christmas (VIDEO)

Tracking Santa on Christmas (VIDEO)

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Every year on Christmas Eve, Santa leaves the North Pole and travels across the world to deliver gifts to homes where there are children who believe in him. Here’s information to help you find out where Santa and his sleigh are throughout the night:

Santa is tracked by satellites, just like a rocket in space is. The satellites pick up the heat from Rudolph’s nose to find out where Santa and his sleigh are throughout Christmas Eve.

Santa Cameras are placed all over the world so you can see pictures and videos of Santa in different countries at any time at www.noradsanta.org

United States jet fighters welcome Santa into North America and fly with him across the country, getting even more information about where he is as he delivers gifts.

Santa arrives at houses only when you are asleep. If you are still awake, he will come back later once you have gone to bed.

Have fun tracking Santa this Christmas, and share the fun with your siblings and friends.

Read more by HS News Staff →

East LA Boy’s Cardboard Creation Becomes Internet Sensation(VIDEO)

East LA Boy’s Cardboard Creation Becomes Internet Sensation(VIDEO)

Photo: Caines Arcade

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In a working class neighborhood of east Los Angeles, there is an auto parts store which has become famous.

“People fly in from all around the world,” says owner George Monroy. “They take taxis here.”

The visitors are not coming for the auto parts. They’re here to play in an arcade created by Monroy’s son.

In the summer of 2011, when Caine Monroy was nine, he won a miniature basketball hoop from playing an arcade game. George says Caine decided to create his own arcade game by taping the hoop to a cardboard box.

“He was trying to get all the customers to play his basketball game,” George says. “He didn’t have very much luck with that, so he started making the game better. He kept building even though he didn’t have any customers.”

It took three months for Caine to get his first customer, when Nirvan Mullick showed up on the last day of summer.

“I needed a door handle for my ‘96 [Toyota] Corolla,” he remembers, “and just rolled into this auto parts store.”

That’s how Mullick became Caine’s first official customer.

“When I scored a point, he would crawl into the box and push out tickets from inside the box,” Millick says. “That’s the point when my heart kind of stopped, and I was brought back to when I was nine and just reminded of being a kid.”

Mullick, who also happens to be a filmmaker, was inspired to make a short film on Caine’s Arcade. He posted it on the Internet and set up a scholarship fund for Caine with the goal of raising $25,000.

“The first day the film was online it raised over $60,000, got over a million views,” Mullick says. “After five days it was $152,000 raised.”

The film about Caine’s arcade also inspired the Imagination Foundation, an organization created to encourage creativity and entrepreneurship in children around the world.

As part of the Imagination Foundation’s first-annual Global Cardboard Challenge, children from Sri Lanka to Singapore, and even Dubai, have built cardboard creations inspired by Caine.

An English-speaking mothers group in Dubai invited children to build cardboard creations to share at a party. Six-year-old Maeve Butler made a castle and took it to the party.

“You can put on funny things on, like a mask or some funny mustache glasses and then you got to take a picture on the fake TV made out of cardboard,” Mauve said.

As for young Caine Monroy? He’s surprised at how interest has spread.

“It’s kind of cool I inspired people,” he says.

Caine used to speak with a stutter. He doesn’t anymore. His father says his son has also changed in other ways over the last year.

“He’s not that shy little kid he was a year ago,” George says. “He has changed 100 percent. He does a lot better in school. He has a lot more confidence.”

Caine’s Arcade is opened almost every weekend for anyone who wants to stop by and play.


Read more at Voice of America →

Feliz Navidad - Merry Christmas to You (VIDEO)

Feliz Navidad - Merry Christmas to You (VIDEO)

Photo: Jose Feliciano- Feliz Navidad

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Feliz Navidad and Merry Christmas to you and your family from the HS-News Family and the timeless Jose Felicano.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Labor Department Funds Projects to Combat Child Labor in Ecuador and Panama

Labor Department Funds Projects to Combat Child Labor in Ecuador and Panama

Photo: DOL Fighting Child Labor in Latin America

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The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of two new cooperative agreements to support efforts by the governments of Ecuador and Panama to combat child labor among vulnerable groups. Both projects include a focus on children from Afro-descendant, indigenous and migrant populations.

International Labor Organization will receive $3.5 million to fund a project that will strengthen policy and enforcement initiatives to combat child labor in vulnerable populations. Under a separate agreement, Partners of the Americas was awarded $6.5 million to provide education to children and livelihood services to their families as part of a strategy to reduce child labor. In Ecuador, both projects will include efforts to address the relationship between child labor and disability, a neglected area in global efforts against child labor. Both projects will promote the sharing of experiences in combating child labor throughout the Latin America region.

Since 1995, Bureau of International Labor Affairs’ projects have rescued approximately 1.5 million children from exploitive child labor. The Labor Department has funded 260 such projects implemented by more than 65 organizations in 91 countries. ILAB currently oversees more than $210 million of active programming to combat the worst forms of child labor.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Blog Del Narco: Violent Day in Michoacán, 8 Dead Including 7 Police Officers

Blog Del Narco: Violent Day in Michoacán, 8 Dead Including 7 Police Officers

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At least eight people, including seven police officers, were killed and eight others wounded in three shootouts involving police and drug cartel gunmen on the border of Jalisco and Michoacan states in western Mexico, officials said.

The shootouts occurred on Sunday, Michoacan Attorney General’s Office and security officials told Efe.

Four police officers in the city of Briseñas were killed in an ambush staged by gunmen when they responded to a report of a traffic accident early Sunday, the officials said.

The officers were attacked by the gunmen at kilometer 53 of the highway to Vista Hermosa.

Five other officers were wounded in the shootout on the highway, officials said.

The dead officers were identified as Fernando Guzman Garcia, Arturo Alvarez Chavez, Enrique Mendez Molina and Francisco Javier Bustos Ornelas.

The wounded officers were transported to the hospital in La Barca, a city in Jalisco.

A shootout started a few minutes later in Ayotlan, a city located a few kilometers from Briseñas, leaving three officers and a suspected gunman dead, Jalisco state security officials and city officials said.

One person was wounded in the incident, officials said.

Initial reports said a group of gunmen attacked officers from Ayotlan on a highway near the city, but Jalisco AG’s office investigators have not ruled out the possibility that there was actually an attack on city hall.

The gunmen fled to a town in Michoacan, where the suspects are apparently based, state officials said.

Two police officers, meanwhile, were wounded in a shootout in Quitupan, a city near Michoacan, with gunmen riding in three SUVs.

The gunmen ambushed the officers in an area outside the city on Sunday morning, officials said.

No arrests have been made in connection with any of the incidents.

The Jalisco Public Safety Secretariat launched a sweep after the shootouts, while the Michoacan AG’s office opened an investigation of the shootouts.

Read more in spanish at Blog del Narco

Read more Narco News at HS News

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Latin America News:  11 Die in Truck-Bus Crash in Brazil

Latin America News:  11 Die in Truck-Bus Crash in Brazil

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Eleven people died and four others were injured on Sunday in the head-on collision of a truck with a microbus in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, police said.

The accident occurred early Sunday morning near the town of Parnamirim, some 600 kilometers (372 miles) from Recife, the regional capital.

According to the Highway Police, the driver of the truck was driving under the influence of alcohol.

“We were able to do the alcohol test, which came out above the allowed limit,” said Officer Laerte Vitor da Silva, who was quoted by the Globo news Web site.

Last Friday, a more stringent traffic law entered into force in Brazil with the aim of punishing drunk drivers.

According to the new regulations, police may take away the driver’s licenses of drunk drivers and impose fines on them ranging from about 958 reais ($460) to 1,915 reais (more than $920).

Read more by HS News Staff →

MondayDecember 24, 2012