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SundayDecember 30, 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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Tenor Placido Domingo Performs at Charity Concert in Acapulco

Tenor Placido Domingo Performs at Charity Concert in Acapulco

Photo: Placido Domingo

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Spanish tenor Placido Domingo made his last appearance of the year at a charity concert in the Mexican Pacific resort city of Acapulco, performing before nearly 20,000 people.

Funds from Saturday night’s concert will go toward a youth orchestra program in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, helping hundreds of at-risk youths.

“One of the most beautiful moments was directing them and hearing them sing,” Domingo said in a post-concert press coference, referring to the 320 young people and children from the Orquesta Renacimiento who participated in the event.

The group was created on July 30 with children recruited from the poor Ciudad Renacimiento section of Acapulco, thanks to a program for training children from low-income households.

“I believe this is marvelous,” the Spanish singer, a strong supporter of using musical training to promote integration and prevent social exclusion, said.

Domingo, who was born in Madrid in 1941, said a “great friend,” maestro Jose Antonio Abreu, organized a similar program in Venezuela 35 years ago, allowing more than 350,000 youths to receive classroom training and get off the streets.

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President Obama Voices Opinion on Assault Riffle Ban

President Obama Voices Opinion on Assault Riffle Ban

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President Barack Obama reiterated his support in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” for a ban on assault rifles and a push for legislation next year to stem firearms violence in the United States.

Obama also expressed skepticism about the proposal made by the National Rifle Association, or NRA, to station armed guards at all U.S. schools in the wake of the massacre of 20 children on Dec. 14 at a Connecticut elementary school.

“I’ve been very clear that an assault rifle ban, banning these high capacity clips, background checks, that there are a set of issues that I have historically supported and will continue to support,” Obama said.

Asked if such a ban would be possible in light of the polarized political climate in Washington, the president said he was confident that the national dialogue on gun violence would produce results.

“I’d like to get it done in the first year. I will put forward a very specific proposal based on the recommendations that Joe Biden’s task force is putting together as we speak. And so this is not something that I will be putting off,” the president said in the interview, which was recorded on Saturday at the White House.

Vice President Joe Biden’s task force is meeting with representatives of all sectors of society and has a January deadline to make recommendations to curb gun violence.

“But ultimately the way this is going to happen is because the American people say, ‘That’s right. We are willing to make different choices for the country and we support those in Congress who are willing to take those actions.’ And will there be resistance? Absolutely there will be resistance,” Obama said.

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Mexican Soccer Legend Salvador Reyes Passes Away, Age 76

Mexican Soccer Legend Salvador Reyes Passes Away, Age 76

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Salvador Reyes, a legendary player for Guadalajara’s Chivas and the Mexican national soccer team, has died from colon cancer, the team said. He was 76.

“Club Deportivo Guadalajara is saddened by the loss of one of its greatest idols. May the great Salvador ‘Chava’ Reyes rest in peace,” the team said in a Twitter posting.

Reyes was the all-time scorer for the Chivas and played in three World Cups.

“We lost a great one,” Guadalajara owner Jorge Vergara told ESPN.

Reyes played for the Chivas from 1957 to 1967, helping the team win seven of its eight titles, with four titles coming in 1958-1959 and 1961-1962.

He scored 122 goals for Guadalajara and was the team leader in goals in the 1960-1961 season.

Reyes played for Guadalajara from 1953-1967, then he suited up for the Los Angeles Toros from 1967-1968, Santos Laguna in 1968-1969 and San Luis in 1969-1972.

The forward played in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, the 1962 World Cup in Chile and the 1966 World Cup in England, playing in all the matches for Mexico.

Reyes later coached five different teams from 1969 to 1988.

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Costa Rica to Receive $100M Loan to Improve Preparedness Against Natural Disasters

Costa Rica to Receive $100M Loan to Improve Preparedness Against Natural Disasters

Photo: Costa Rican Mudslide

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $100 million contingent loan to help Costa Rica cushion the impact that severe or catastrophic natural disasters could have on its public finances.

Due to its geographic location, the country is highly exposed to meteorological and geophysical threats such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes.

The operation will provide Costa Rica with contingent financing to deal with extraordinary public expenditures brought about by a natural emergency.

Typical expenditures include medical equipment; vaccines and medications; facilities and equipment for temporary shelters; food for affected populations; costs associated with emergency personnel needed to assist victims; short-term renting of equipment and facilities for power, transportation, communications, and storage; and temporary rehabilitation of infrastructure and measures needed to restore basic services immediately after the disaster.

The loan, from the Bank’s Contingent Credit Facility for Natural Disaster Emergencies, is for a 25-year term, with a 5-1/2-year grace period, and a variable interest rate based on LIBOR

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Mexico Shaken by 5.3 Earthquake in Chiapas

A magnitude-5.3 earthquake rocked the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas on Sunday morning, but no injuries or damage have been reported, the National Seismology Service said.

The medium-intensity earthquake occurred at 6:21 a.m. and its epicenter was located 106 kilometers (65 miles) southwest of Huixtla, a city on the Pacific coast, the service, a unit of the Geophysical Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, said.

Mexico, one of the countries with the highest levels of seismic activity in the world, sits on the North American tectonic plate and is surrounded by three other plates in the Pacific: the Rivera microplate, at the mouth of the Gulf of California; the Pacific plate; and the Cocos plate.

That last tectonic plate stretches from Colima state south and has the potential to cause the most damage since it affects Mexico City, which has a population of 20 million and was constructed over what was once Lake Texcoco.

The magnitude-8.1 earthquake that hit Mexico City on Sept. 19, 1985, was the most destructive to ever hit Mexico, killing some 10,000 people, injuring more than 40,000 others and leaving 80,000 people homeless.

The most recent powerful quake to hit Mexico was a magnitude-7.6 temblor that rocked Colima on Jan. 21, 2003.

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Lionel Messi Crowned 2012’s “King of European Soccer”

Lionel Messi Crowned 2012’s “King of European Soccer”

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Argentine striker Leo Messi has been elected the “King of European Soccer” for the fourth consecutive season in the annual press poll conducted by the Uruguayan daily El Pais and whose results were released Sunday.

Messi, the top player on FC Barcelona, received 108 votes and beat out teammate Andres Iniesta, who got 93 votes.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, of Real Madrid, was third with nine votes.

Messi won the poll in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, matching the record set by France’s Zinedine Zidane, who was selected as the best European soccer player in 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Spanish national team coach Vicente del Bosque, who beat out Portugal’s Jose Mourinho by nine votes, came in first place, with Spanish coach Josep Guardiola taking third place.

Some 250 reporters from European dailies, weeklies, magazines and news agencies cast ballots for the poll.

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Chile Lowers Death Toll in Andes Car Crash

Chile Lowers Death Toll in Andes Car Crash

Photo: Scene of the accident (@FelipeOrrego1)

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The governor of the Chilean province of Los Andes, Edith Quiroz, has lowered the number of fatalities to four in the collision of a bus and a truck on the route connecting Chile and Argentina through the Los Libertadores mountain pass in the Andes.

At noon Friday reporters were told that five had died and 25 were injured, two of them “very seriously,” but later Quiroz said that one person who was presumed dead and taken to a medical center “was finally stabilized.”

The four fatalities were the bus and truck drivers, and two workers of the Chilean construction and engineering company SalfaCorp, both of whom were on the bus.

The accident took place at 7:30 a.m. at kilometer 20 (mile 12) of the highway linking Los Andes, Chile, with the Argentine city of Mendoza.

According to police, the truck with an Argentine license plate and loaded with wheat apparently had a brake failure and crashed head-on into the bus full of SalfaCorp workers.

The highway, which at this time of year has more traffic than usual as a result of the Christmas and Southern Hemisphere summer vacation seasons, is the main border gateway between Chile and Argentina.

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IDB Committed More Than $11.5 Billion in 2012 to Development Projects in LatAm

IDB Committed More Than $11.5 Billion in 2012 to Development Projects in LatAm

Photo: Healthcare initiative in LatAm (IDB)

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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.

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 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.

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.

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Chilean Court Orders Jail for Fake Doctor Whose 25 Patients Died

Chilean Court Orders Jail for Fake Doctor Whose 25 Patients Died

Photo: Tania Gonzalez Correa (El Mercurio)

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A Chilean court of law ordered imprisonment for a woman who pretended to be a doctor, who treated 25 patients who died, who was the dean of a university that was closed down several days ago, and who signed 13 death certificates.

With that decision the Santiago Court of Appeals revoked a previous sentence by which Tania Gonzalez Correa, 39, whose only professional qualification was as a teacher, had been given house arrest and was barred from leaving the country while the investigation was in progress.

The investigation began when students at the Universidad del Mar discovered that she didn’t appear in the records of the Universidad de Chile, where she had supposedly taken her degrees.

The accused was employed as dean of the Universidad del Mar nursing faculty and as head of health services at the university’s center in the Santiago municipality of Maipu.

The Attorney General’s Office also announced it is investigating the deaths of 25 people who were treated by the accused, as well as the 13 death certificates issued by her.

Since last Oct. 29 the Universidad del Mar has no longer been officially recognized by the Education Ministry, following a five-month audit of its financial and academic status, which has left some 18,000 students having to look elsewhere for a college education.

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Euro Crisis Has Not Been Resolved, Says Bank President

The president of the central bank of Germany, Jens Weidmann, warned Saturday about the negative consequences of considering the eurozone crisis settled.

In a statement to be published in Sunday’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, the head of the Bundesbank said that “the causes (of the crisis) have still not been removed.”

At the same time, he warned of the danger of people feeling that “politicians want nothing more to do with the crisis and are waiting for the central bank to pull the chestnuts out of the fire.”

All the European Central Bank, or ECB, can do is redistribute without limit the risks of solvency among countries of the eurozone, which offers a certain security but doesn’t immediately endow the system with any greater stability, he said.

“I fear risks related to stability, and see a danger of mixing fiscal and monetary policy,” Weidmann said.

The Eurosystem should not do anything resembling state financing, he warned.

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Mexican Military Kill Regional Kingpin of Los Zetas

Authorities in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz reported Saturday the deaths of nine members of organized crime during the past 48 hours, all in incidents linked to the killing of a regional kingpin of the Los Zetas drug cartel.

Official reports confirmed that on Thursday, armed criminals engaged in a shootout with army soldiers and navy troops in the mountainous Cordoba municipality of central Veracruz.

The military gunned down five suspected drug traffickers in the clash, including Angel Enrique Uscanga Marin, alias “El Pokemon,” identified as the leader of Los Zetas in the region.

On Friday night another armed group tried to recover the body of the regional kingpin, for whom a vigil was being held at a local undertaker’s, but the criminals were driven off by navy units.

According to a communique from the state Attorney General’s Office, during the unsuccessful attempt to make off with the body, four gunmen were slain by the military.

In recent years the state of Veracruz has been the scene of territorial wars among drug cartels, who at the same time have been under intense attacks by military forces, which launched a special operation dubbed Veracruz Secure in October 2011 in coordination with the state government.

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SundayDecember 30, 2012