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ThursdayDecember 27, 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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Lionel Messi Best Goal Scorer Amongst 60 Main Soccer Leagues - 2012

Lionel Messi Best Goal Scorer Amongst 60 Main Soccer Leagues - 2012

Photo: Lionel Messi Best Goal Scorer - 2o12

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Argentine forward Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona was the best goal scorer of the 60 main leagues in the world in 2012, managing 50 goals in 37 games, and was also the most effective, with 1.35 goals per match, the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, or IFFHS, says.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, of Portugal, took the No. 2 spot in both categories, scoring 46 goals in 38 games, giving him 1.21 goals per match.

In 2012, 83 players from the 60 leagues analyzed scored 20 or more goals, while only 64 achieved the feat in 2001 and just 60 did it in 2010.

The 83 top goal scorers are of 48 different nationalities, with nine Brazilians, six Argentines, four Dutchmen, four Uruguayans, four Frenchmen, four Belgians and three Colombians making the list, the IFFHS says.

The list includes 40 Europeans, 27 South Americans, seven Asians, five Africans and four players from the CONCACAF zone - Central America and North America - but no players from Oceania.

Read more by HS News Staff →

2012 Was Another Bloody Year For Puerto Rico

2012 Was Another Bloody Year For Puerto Rico

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Though the number of homicides won’t match last year’s record total of 1,122, violent crime remains the most pressing issue as Puerto Rico prepares to bid farewell to 2012.

With four days left in the year, reported murders stand at 967, though the revelation in May that some police commanders were under investigation for ordering subordinates not to include certain offenses in crime statistics has cast doubt on the reliability of official figures.

Puerto Ricans were horrified this week by the death of a 2-year-old boy in a shooting on Christmas Eve.

Jonattan Yamil Albarran was killed along with his stepfather, Ursulino Ayala, thought to have been the actual target of the attack.

Media accounts described Ayala as a suspect in several homicides and suggested he was slain to prevent him from making good on a threat to avenge the recent murder of his brother.

Police, meanwhile, said the crime was almost certainly related to the drug trade.

Another youngster, 11-year-old Christian Nieves, was fatally shot earlier this month in San Juan by four assailants out to kill his uncle, who had a record of drug arrests.

The killings of Jonattan and Christian brought to 34 the number of minors who died violently in Puerto Rico this year.

The enactment in July of a new penal code that classifies any death resulting from a drive-by shooting as first-degree murder seems to have had little impact on the level of violence.

Puerto Rico’s incoming governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, speaks of an epidemic of violence, while U.N. researchers found the island suffers 30 homicides per every 100,000 residents.

Authorities blame some of the mayhem on drug traffickers’ increasing use of Puerto Rico as a transit point for shipments to the continental United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Woman Gunned Down In Mexican Hospital

Woman Gunned Down In Mexican Hospital

Photo: Shooting in Ciudad Victoria Hospital, Mexico

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A woman was gunned down in the general hospital in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, prosecutors said.

Three gunmen went into the hospital and murdered the woman, who was in her early 30s, around 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office said.

The woman tried to run when she spotted the gunmen, but she was shot in the head and left arm, investigators said.

The victim was treated by doctors but died a few hours later due to the “seriousness of her wounds,” the AG’s office said in a statement.

The gunmen escaped and their whereabouts is unknown, the AG’s office said.

Army troops cordoned off the hospital so AG’s office investigators could gather evidence, officials said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

2012 Renews Public Focus on Climate Change

2012 Renews Public Focus on Climate Change

Photo: Hurricane Sandy damage in New Jersey (spleeness)

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The year 2012 was one of extreme weather: massive floods in Australia stranded entire towns; a day of torrential rains submerged half the Philippines capital; a super-typhoon ravaged the western Pacific; and a record drought seared more than half the continental United States. 

These and other extreme weather events in 2012 were consistent with what most scientists predict will be the “new normal” as the world’s climate continues to warm. 

Disaster strikes

In early December, disaster struck in the Philippines. Typhoon Bopha triggered flash floods and landslides,displacing millions of people. Julius Julian Ribukas survived but much of his family did not.

“My mother and older brother were swept away by flood water,” Ribukas said. “That was the last time I saw them.”

That disaster echoed a similar calamity a month earlier on the other side of the world, when the largest Atlantic hurricane on record swept up the US East Coast, from Florida to Maine. 

Hurricane Sandy’s rains and storm surge ravaged New Jersey coastal communities and inundated New York City’s subways, tunnels and streets, causing more than $40 billion in damage. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters that the weather woes are a sign of the times.

“Climate change is a reality,” Cuomo said. “It’s undeniable that the frequency of extreme weather conditions is up and we’re gong to have to learn from that.”

Read more at Voice of America →

Blog del Narco: Four Executed in Guerrero- Found in Mass Grave

Blog del Narco: Four Executed in Guerrero- Found in Mass Grave

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The bodies of four people, three men and a woman, in various stages of decomposition, were found in three graves located in the suburbs adjoining the city of Iguala on Tuesday. One of the bodies belonged to a person kidnapped last December 5 in Colonia Francisco Villa in the same city.


According to the police report, they received an anonymous call alerting the C-4 in the place known as “La Joya”, that a person’s hand was partially buried.

Police located more bodies about 80 inches deep in the ground. Two corpses were found mummified, and had their hands tied behind them. Authorities believed they were dead about 6 months.

Read more in spanish at Blog del Narco

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Blotter:  Nouel Alba Arrested in Fundraising Scheme for Newtown Shooting Victims

Latino Blotter:  Nouel Alba Arrested in Fundraising Scheme for Newtown Shooting Victims

Photo: Nouel Alba Charged with Fraud for Newtown

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David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that NOUEL ALBA, 37, of the Bronx, New York, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging her with lying to FBI agents in connection with their investigation into a fraudulent fundraising scheme related to the Newtown school shooting tragedy.

The complaint alleges that ALBA used her Facebook account, telephone calls, and text messages to falsely claim to be a relative of a shooting victim and solicited money from donor-victims who wanted to donate, claiming the money was for the child’s “funeral fund.” At ALBA’s instruction, donor-victims sent money to a PayPal account controlled and accessed by ALBA. When contacted by FBI special agents investigating fundraising and charity scams related to the Newtown tragedy, ALBA falsely stated that she did not post information related to Newtown.

ALBA also falsely claimed to have immediately refunded any donations that she received.

“It is unconscionable to think that the families of the victims in Newtown and a sympathetic community looking to provide them some sort of financial support and comfort have become the targets of criminals,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz. “Today’s arrest is a stern message that the FBI will investigate and bring to justice those who perpetrate Internet fundraising scams, especially those scams that exploit the most vulnerable in their time of shared sorrow.”

Following her arrest, ALBA appeared before United States Magistrate Thomas P. Smith in Hartford and was released on a $50,000 bond.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Actress Alexandra Barreto Engaged to ‘Boy Meets World’ Star Rider Strong

Actress Alexandra Barreto Engaged to ‘Boy Meets World’ Star Rider Strong

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Puerto Rican-Italian actress Alexandra Barreto is reportedly engaged to the pouty-faced former star of “Boy Meets World,” Rider Strong.

Strong, 33, and Barreto met on the set of “Pepper Dennis”, which starred Rebecca Romijn, in 2006.

The New York actress and the former teen idol also worked together on President Obama’s campaign, collaborating on a video for MoveOn.org. The video went on to become the first political commercial to ever appear on Comedy Central.

The couple’s engagement announcement is the latest in “Boy Meets World” news. On December 19th, fellow BMW alum Danielle Fishel announced that she is now a proud college graduate and is also engaged.

It was also recently announced that “Boy” would have a spin-off titled “Girl Meets World” in which Fishel and on-screen love Ben Savage are now the parents of the “girl.”

As former cast members were being rounded up for the new show, Strong stated he would not be returned for the spin-off.

Read more by HS News Staff →

El Centro Sector Border Patrol Successfully Prosecutes and Convicts 14 People

El Centro Sector Border Patrol Successfully Prosecutes and Convicts 14 People

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El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents’ recent arrests have led to the successful conviction and sentencing of 13 illegal aliens with prior convictions for other crime(s), and one individual for alien smuggling.

The apprehensions took place earlier this year near the border cities of Calexico, El Centro, and Indio. The illegal aliens, many of whom have extensive criminal histories, were presented for prosecution on federal criminal charges.

The following individuals, all Mexican nationals, have been successfully convicted and sentenced for illegal re-entry into the United States after being previously removed

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentina’s Rainy Season Could Affect Global Grain Prices

Argentina’s Rainy Season Could Affect Global Grain Prices

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Christmas rainstorms in Argentina further delayed soy and corn planting, keeping markets guessing about whether the grains powerhouse can produce enough this season to help bring high-flying global food prices down to earth.

The South American country is the world’s No. 2 corn exporter after the United States and its No. 1 soyoil and soymeal supplier. But sowing in the central Pampas farm belt lags last season’s tempo by about 20 percentage points, said Tomas Parenti, an agronomist with the Rosario grains exchange.

Up to 100 millimeters (3.9 inches) of rain fell late on Monday and early Tuesday, forcing some growers once again to park their seeding machines lest they sink in the mud.

Any more harsh rains at this point — following an unusual August-October wet spell that turned prime Argentine farmland into unplantable mush — will add to the problem, Parenti said.
 
Argentina’s main grains port of Rosario, situated along the Parana River and offering access to the shipping lanes of the South Atlantic, has received almost twice its normal rainfall this year.

Soggy conditions on the Pampas are bad news for consumer nations looking to Argentina for the supply jolt needed to soften food prices squeezed higher this year by dry crop weather in breadbaskets Russia, the United States and Australia.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Check Out Don Omar’s Song in Zumba Fitness Core Game

Check Out Don Omar’s Song in Zumba Fitness Core Game

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Don Omar has teamed up with the Zumba fitness franchise to help promote its new Zumba Core Fitness game using his song appropriately titled “Zumba.”

The reggaeton song it also Don Omar’s second track off his album MTO²: New Generation.

Zumba Fitness Core is now available for XBOX 360 with Kinect and Wii consoles.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Guatemalan in ICE Custody Passes Away

A Guatemalan man in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) passed away early Sunday at St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment for diabetes complications.

Manuel Cota-Domingo, 34, a detainee at the Eloy Detention Center, was rushed to Florence Anthem Hospital in Florence Dec. 20 after complaining of chest pains and labored breathing.

Physicians at the hospital determined Cota-Domingo was suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis, an emergency condition caused by untreated hyperglycemia. On Dec. 22, Cota-Domingo was transferred by air ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, where he was placed in the intensive care unit.

Hospital staff notified ICE officials that Cota-Domingo passed away Dec. 23 just before 1 a.m.

Cota-Domingo, who had recently crossed the border unlawfully, originally came into ICE custody after he was encountered Dec. 8 by U.S. Border Patrol near Sasabe. He had been detained at the Eloy Detention Center since Dec. 12, pending his removal to Guatemala, which was scheduled for Dec. 26. While at Eloy, Cota-Domingo received two routine medical screenings, but he did not disclose his health condition to medical staff until he became ill.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Stranger’s Kindness Reunites Little Girl with Stolen Dog on Christmas Day

Stranger’s Kindness Reunites Little Girl with Stolen Dog on Christmas Day

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When Angie Estrada’s daughter’s dog was stolen she watched in sadness as the heartbroken little girl continued to wish for the dog’s return for Christmas. In the end, a random act of kindness would reunite this New York girl with her best friend.

Earlier this week, 7-year-old Mia Bendrat had her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Marley, stolen outside a Washington Heights grocery store. Quickly, posters with photos of he dog were created and posted all over town. As Mia waited anxiously for news about her friend, she had no idea a reunion was just around the corner.

At around 1:30 p.m Monday, Tena Cohen, a Spanish teacher in Brooklyn, was heading to Union Square when she heard a man yelling, “Do for Sale!” Catching her attention, Tena went over to the man and saw he was holding an older, and clearly “nervous and sad” dog.

Figuring the frightened dog was stolen, Cohen offered the man $100. The man said the owner wanted more money, claiming he had paid $3,200 for it. When she looked at the other man, Cohen said it was obvious he was on drugs. Not having any additional cash on her, but determined to get the dog away from these men, Cohen ran into a nearby Staples store and made three debit card purchases and returned them for cash.

With more cash in hand, Cohen said she went back to negotiate, telling the New York Post she told him, “‘Look, this is all the money I have.’” The man gave Cohen the dog and she immediately took him to a veterinarian and called the police as well as the group Cavalier Rescue USA .

The vet examined the dog free of charge and held him overnight. With help from the rescue group’s president, who had read about Marley’s disappearance in the Post, Mia and her family awaited the dog’s arrival. When it was confirmed the “Cohen’s dog” was indeed Marley, the family was overjoyed to learn they would have him home in time for Christmas.

Though Marley was chipped, the vet had a hard time located the family, because they had not registered it.

As Marley was being reunited with his family on Christmas night, one of the men allegedly involved in the dognapping was being arrested. Brad Bacon, 29, was arrested on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. He was seen taking the dog on the store’s surveillance camera.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NHMC:  State of Minority Owned Media

NHMC:  State of Minority Owned Media

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The National Hispanic Media Coalition (“NHMC”) yesterday filed comments concerning the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) recently released data on ownership of broadcast stations by women and people of color. While the report revealed pitifully low levels of ownership by these groups, the restrictive comment period provided by the FCC did not allow NHMC to offer a complete analysis of the data. This comment deadline comes as the FCC appears poised to relax many of its current media ownership rules.

In its comments, NHMC reminds the FCC that it has an obligation to fully consider the impact of any rule changes on media ownership by women and people of color. NHMC points out that this obligation comes from both statute and from a series of decisions by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which has twice remanded FCC action related to this issue. NHMC concludes that the FCC has not yet met its obligation - either through the release of data or through the unusually short opportunity for public review of that data. NHMC urges the FCC to maintain its current media ownership limits until it is able to fully consider the impacts of any rule changes on ownership diversity.

“If the FCC believes that its actions to this point have sufficiently met the significant obligations it faces, it is sorely mistaken. At best, the FCC has completed the first step of a five-step process to full compliance with statute and court mandate. While the release of this data was a step forward, there is still a lot of work that must be done prior to any relaxation of these longstanding rules. Without investing in completing this work, ownership of media outlets by women and people of color could get even worse,” said Jessica Gonzalez, Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs of NHMC.

NHMC also joined comments by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which were submitted to the FCC yesterday.
 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gallup Poll: Latin Americans Most Positive in the World

Gallup Poll: Latin Americans Most Positive in the World

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Latin Americans are the most positive people in the world, with their region being home to eight of the top 10 countries for positive emotions worldwide. Residents in Panama and Paraguay are the most likely to report experiencing positive emotions. Singaporeans, Armenians, and Iraqis are least likely worldwide to report feeling positive emotions.

Gallup measured positive emotions in 148 countries and areas in 2011 using five questions. These questions ask people whether they experienced a lot of enjoyment the day before the survey and whether they felt respected, well-rested, laughed and smiled a lot, and did or learned something interesting.

The average percentage of respondents worldwide who said “yes” to these five questions reflects a relatively upbeat world. Gallup found that 85% of adults worldwide felt treated with respect all day, 72% smiled and laughed a lot, 73% felt enjoyment a lot of the day, and 72% felt well-rested. The only emotion that less than half of people worldwide reported experiencing was getting to learn or do something interesting the previous day, at 43%. Despite many global challenges, people worldwide are experiencing many positive emotions.

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Read more at Gallup Polls

Read more by HS News Staff →

Only Polar Bear at Buenos Aires Zoo Dies Due to “Excessive Heat”

Only Polar Bear at Buenos Aires Zoo Dies Due to “Excessive Heat”

Photo: Only Polar Bear at Buenos Aires Zoo Dies Due to "Excessive Heat"

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The Buenos Aires zoo’s only polar bear died earlier this week due to the high temperatures that have been affecting the Argentine capital, the zoological park’s animal welfare director, Miguel Rivolta, said.

“Winner died from excessive heat. The high temperatures were the determining (factor),” the veterinarian said.

Buenos Aires registered a high of 36.7 C (98 F) on Monday, with the heat index hitting 45.5 C (nearly 114 F), the weather service said.

Zoo officials have not ruled out the possibility that the Christmas Eve fireworks in the capital may have caused “a spell of nervousness” for the bear, Rivolta said.

The 16-year-old Winner, who was healthy, was known for being extremely nervous and the high temperatures combined with the noise from the fireworks may have affected his normal body temperature and killed him, Rivolta said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Health Tip: Think Before You Eat

Health Tip: Think Before You Eat

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Mindless eating can cause the calories to add up quickly, and before you know it your pants are more snug than usual.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers this advice to consider before you start eating:

    Ask yourself whether you truly are hungry or if you are eating to fulfill another need, such as stress or boredom?
    Don’t look at some foods as off limits. Instead look at what you eat as part of a healthy diet that includes balance and moderation.
    Discuss with your doctor a healthy eating plan and the issues of food and weight loss.
    Use a food and activity journal to monitor your eating habits—including what you eat and when.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin America News:  Regions Economy Performed Strongly in 2012 but Face Challenges

Latin America News:  Regions Economy Performed Strongly in 2012 but Face Challenges

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The economies of Latin America and the Caribbean have performed strongly in the face of a challenging external environment, Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno said, but the region needs to continue to pursue key reforms to ensure growth in the future.

In year-end remarks to the IDB´s Board of Executive Directors, Moreno summarized the region’s challenges, the institution’s performance over the past year and its priorities going forward.

He noted that Latin America´s unemployment rate is at a historic low and over the past decade 58 million citizens of the region have risen above the poverty line. One in three Latin Americans is now part of the middle class.

“The main indicators paint a tranquil picture that is welcome and shows we are doing things right,” he said.

The region, boosted by high commodity prices, continued to grow its trade with the world. Trade with Asia has been especially noteworthy, growing at a 20 percent annual rate since 2000 to total an estimated $442 billion in 2012.

However, many challenges remain. Sixty-six million Latin Americans earn too little money to meet their daily needs. And trade among Latin American and Caribbean countries is still too low, at 19 percent of overall trade, presenting a strong growth opportunity looking ahead.

“We must focus our vision of the future on those areas that will enable us to maintain a diversified productive base, build our capacity for innovation, and successfully compete on a rapidly evolving planet,” Moreno said. “Nothing produces greater returns than investments in building social capital.”

He urged countries to lower their country costs by investing in infrastructure. “We must also work to break down financial, bureaucratic, and information-related barriers,” he said. “We should pave the way for private initiative to flourish, so that we can take advantage of better international positioning that is not only desirable, but inevitable.”

Moreno said the IDB continued on its path to build best practices into its operational and administrative management, bolstering transparency, accountability and financial mechanisms. He said it was now standard practice at the IDB to assess whether projects can measure their expected results using rigorous evaluation methods during their preparation phase.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lawsuit Against Jennifer Lopez’s Former Driver Thrown Out

Lawsuit Against Jennifer Lopez’s Former Driver Thrown Out

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Jennifer Lopez’s former chauffeur began a legal war in August when he sued the singer for wrongful termination, but it seems the driver has won at least one battle in court.

Hakob Manoukan, began working for Lopez and her manager Benny Medina in 2005, saying he left his own transportation company to become the head of Lopez’s security and transportation team. Though Lopez would later claim he was trying to take over control of her security when it was not his job.

Manoukan claims Medina berated him for how he dressed and even the way he spoke English. In April, Manoukan filed a lawsuit against Lopez claiming wrongful termination and breach of contract after he claims he was forced to resign from his $200,000/year job. Prior to the termination, Manoukan was also demoted, a move he claims was unwarranted.

In August, Lopez filed a $20 million lawsuit against Manoukan, saying he was demanding $2.8 million or else he would release allegedly secret information he had about her.

Manoukan’s legal team filed a motion to dismiss Lopez’s countersuit, saying she was just trying to punish him for suing her.

A judge appears to have sided with Manoukan and this week dismissed Lopez countersuit against him.

Manoukan’s lawsuit is still pending.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Survey: Latin Americans Are Most Positive People in the World

Survey: Latin Americans Are Most Positive People in the World

Photo: Latin Americans Are Most Positive People in the World

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Latin Americans are the most positive people in the world, with their region being home to eight of the top 10 countries for positive emotions worldwide. Residents in Panama and Paraguay are the most likely to report experiencing positive emotions.

Singaporeans, Armenians, and Iraqis are least likely worldwide to report feeling positive emotions.ImageImage

Gallup measured positive emotions in 148 countries and areas in 2011 using five questions. These questions ask people whether they experienced a lot of enjoyment the day before the survey and whether they felt respected, well-rested, laughed and smiled a lot, and did or learned something interesting.

The average percentage of respondents worldwide who said “yes” to these five questions reflects a relatively upbeat world. Gallup found that 85% of adults worldwide felt treated with respect all day, 72% smiled and laughed a lot, 73% felt enjoyment a lot of the day, and 72% felt well-rested.

The only emotion that less than half of people worldwide reported experiencing was getting to learn or do something interesting the previous day, at 43%. Despite many global challenges, people worldwide are experiencing many positive emotions.

Read more at Gallup →

Health Tip: Think Before You Eat ...Are You Really Hungry?

Health Tip: Think Before You Eat ...Are You Really Hungry?

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Mindless eating can cause the calories to add up quickly, and before you know it your pants are more snug than usual.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers this advice to consider before you start eating:

Ask yourself whether you truly are hungry or if you are eating to fulfill another need, such as stress or boredom?

Don’t look at some foods as off limits. Instead look at what you eat as part of a healthy diet that includes balance and moderation.

Discuss with your doctor a healthy eating plan and the issues of food and weight loss.

Use a food and activity journal to monitor your eating habits—including what you eat and when.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Archaelogists Find 4,000 Year-Old Spearheads in Sinaloa, Mexico

Archaelogists Find 4,000 Year-Old Spearheads in Sinaloa, Mexico

Photo: Antique Spearheads Found Mexico

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Researchers discovered 4,000-year-old spearheads and other artifacts at a site in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said.

The find “will change the chronologies of the antiquity of human settlement in the northwest of the country,” archaeologist Joel Santos Ramirez said.

The items reflect a rudimentary technology also seen in artifacts from the U.S. Southwest, from what is now the central Mexican state of Puebla and in some desert regions of northern Mexico.

Archaeologists found the spearheads at a site they dubbed La Flor del Oceano, 50 kilometers north of the Pacific resort city of Mazatlan and near a set of rock engravings known as Las Labradas.

The spearheads turned up in the course of search for where the makers of the rock engravings lived, said Santos, the director of the Las Labradas project.

Along with the spear-points, researchers discovered knives and tool fragments, he said.

The distribution of the artifacts would indicate the presence of temporary encampments and a workshop, Santos said, while acknowledging that the team still doesn’t know if the items belonged to the creators of Las Labradas.

Read more by HS News Staff →

American Convicted of Alien Smuggling by Border Patrol

American Convicted of Alien Smuggling by Border Patrol

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El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents’ recent arrests have led to the successful conviction and sentencing of 13 illegal aliens with prior convictions for other crime(s), and one individual for alien smuggling.

The apprehensions took place earlier this year near the border cities of Calexico, El Centro, and Indio. The illegal aliens, many of whom have extensive criminal histories, were presented for prosecution on federal criminal charges.

The 13 individuals, all Mexican nationals, have been successfully convicted and sentenced for illegal re-entry into the United States after being previously removed.

Also, a United States Citizen, has been successfully convicted and sentenced for alien smuggling.

The illegal aliens will be deported to their country of origin after serving their prison sentences.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tips for Year-of-End Charitable Giving

Tips for Year-of-End Charitable Giving

Photo: 2012 End of Year Taxes

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As 2012 comes to a close, individuals and businesses need to remember some key tax provisions for making contributions to charity. The IRS offers these reminders for year-end giving:

  To deduct monetary donations you must have a bank record or written document from the charity stating the name of the charity, the contribution amount and the date.

  Contributions are deductible in the year made, even if the credit card bill isn’t paid or the check isn’t cashed until 2013.

  Only donations made to qualified organizations are tax deductible. Make sure the organization you want to donate to is qualified before making any contribution.

  Individuals must itemize their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A or use a short form (Form 1040A and 1040EZ) to claim the standard deduction.

Click here to find more year-end giving tips from the IRS.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Organizations Sue Peru Over broken Promise to Isolated Indians

Organizations Sue Peru Over broken Promise to Isolated Indians

Photo: Peruvian indians (Survival International)

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Peru’s top indigenous organizations are taking on the government and powerful gas companies in an attempt to stop gas exploration that seriously threatens uncontacted Indians’ lives.

Amazon Indian organizations AIDESEP, FENAMAD, ORAU and COMARU plan to sue both the government and oil companies over proposals to expand the huge Camisea gas project into land inhabited by several uncontacted and isolated tribes.

A consortium of companies in charge of the block – which includes the US’s Hunt Oil, Spain’s Repsol and Argentine oil giant Pluspetrol – plans to cut hundreds of testing tracks through the forest, detonate thousands of explosive charges and drill exploratory wells in search of yet more gas.

75% of Camisea’s Block 88 lies inside the Nahua-Nanti Reserve, created to protect uncontacted and isolated Indians who are extremely vulnerable to disease and development projects on their land.

Survival has urged the Peruvian government to halt any extractive work taking place on land inhabited by uncontacted tribes, and abide by its previous promise not to carry out new exploration in the area.

In a statement released last week, the indigenous organizations said that any further exploratory work would lead to the ‘extinction’ of the tribes living there.

Read more at Survival International →

Evictions in Spain Rise by 15.9 Percent

Evictions in Spain Rise by 15.9 Percent

Photo: Spain Evictio Rate Rises

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Eviction proceedings in Spanish courts rose to a record 49,702 as of Sept. 30, up 15.9 percent from the same period in 2011, the Judicial Branch General Council said Thursday.

Total evictions so far in 2012 have topped the 47,809 registered in all of 2010, council figures show.

Evictions rose 15.9 percent in the third quarter, compared to the same period in 2011, but they fell from 18,668 in the second quarter to 12,610.

The economic crisis that hit Spain in 2007 has resulted in a severe recession and an unemployment rate of more than 25 percent, forcing many families and businesses into foreclosure.

Borrowers unable to make their mortgage payments often end up losing their homes.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government approved a measure that halts foreclosures affecting those deemed vulnerable for two years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  Unemployment Rate Hits a 4-Year Low, Falls to 350,000

JUST IN:  Unemployment Rate Hits a 4-Year Low, Falls to 350,000

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In the week ending December 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 350,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 362,000. The 4-week moving average was 356,750, a decrease of 11,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 368,000.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending December 8 was 5,475,708, an increase of 73,279 from the previous week. There were 7,231,771 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2011.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending December 8 were in Alaska (6.2), New Jersey (3.9), Pennsylvania (3.8), Puerto Rico (3.7), California (3.5), Montana (3.5), Oregon (3.5), Connecticut (3.3), Nevada (3.3), Illinois (3.2), and Wisconsin (3.2).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending December 15 were in Florida (+5,080), Kentucky (+1,009), Mississippi (+651), Iowa (+646), and Indiana (+549), while the largest decreases were in California (-6,867), New Jersey (-5,101), Pennsylvania (-3,412), New York (-2,938) and Michigan (-2,889

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U.S. Winter Storm Death Roll Stands at 6

U.S. Winter Storm Death Roll Stands at 6

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The winter storm besetting much of the United States so far has resulted in at least six deaths and has caused the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights, authorities announced Wednesday.

The first death occurred on Tuesday in Houston, when strong winds blew over a tree that fell on a man.

The other five fatalities occurred in road accidents in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

The storm, which on Tuesday clobbered many of the southern states, is moving toward New England.

Snow and ice on Wednesday morning covered highways in southern Illinois and southern Indiana, and the nation’s capital woke to a light snowfall.

But the biggest accumulations of snow will occur in Indiana and Ohio, where there is already more than 30 centimeters (1 foot) on the ground, and it has started to snow in Pennsylvania and Virginia, as well as in western New York state.

Also slated to be affected will be Georgia and the Carolinas.

Thirty-four tornados were reported in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Christmas Day, according to the National Weather Service.

Strong winds also left some 71,000 customers without electricity on the evening of Christmas Day.

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Rafa Benitez Hopes to Lure Barcelona’s David Villa to Chelsea

Rafa Benitez Hopes to Lure Barcelona’s David Villa to Chelsea

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Chelsea coach Rafa Benitez plans to make an offer to FC Barcelona next month for forward David Villa in an effort to bolster the London club’s roster, The Daily Mirror reported Wednesday.

Benitez could offer Barça 12 million pounds (about $19.3 million) for the player, who is getting less playing time than he wants in the wake of a leg injury last season.

Chelsea, which is looking for a player to complement Fernando Torres, is willing to make an offer that Barcelona cannot turn down after the Spanish club said it would not do any deals in January, the newspaper said.

Liverpool and Arsenal are also interested in the 31-year-old Villa, for whom Barça paid about 40 million euros ($52.8 million) in 2010, The Daily Mirror said.

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Soft Drink Truck Runs Over 5 Women in Guatemala

Soft Drink Truck Runs Over 5 Women in Guatemala

Photo: Scene of the Accident (Prensa Libre)

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Five people died Wednesday when they were run over by a soft drink delivery truck on a highway in eastern Guatemala, emergency personnel said.

A spokesman for the Voluntary Firefighters told reporters that the victims - two women and three girls - were walking along the side of the highway in the town of Jalapa, some 150 kilometers (93 miles) east of the capital, when the truck hit them.

“Apparently, the truck driver ... lost control of his brakes and could not avoid the women who were walking along the shoulder of the road,” the spokesman said.

A 12-year-old girl who was also in the group survived the accident and was taken to a nearby medical center.

According to the National Civil Police report on the accident, the truck driver and his assistant fled the scene of the accident.

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ThursdayDecember 27, 2012