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SundayJanuary 6, 2013

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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Spanish King Calls on Military to be Prepared for Security Threats

Spanish King Calls on Military to be Prepared for Security Threats

Photo: Spanish military

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The economic crisis poses “a threat to the security” of Spain and the armed forces must maintain the military capability to defend the national interests, King Juan Carlos said in an address Sunday.

The monarch made his call for defending the national interests in his first address of the year, traditionally delivered on the celebration of the Pascua Militar.

The king thanked the members of the three branches of the armed forces and the Civil Guard for their service.

“As loyal servants of the state, we should contribute, with an even greater effort, if possible, to the task of helping this great nation move forward with effort, generosity and a spirit of sacrifice,” the king said.

The address at the Royal Palace in Madrid was the king’s first public appearance outside his residence in the Zarzuela Palace since Dec. 23, when he had hip surgery.

Queen Sofia, Crown Prince Felipe and his wife, Princess Letizia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other officials attended the ceremony.

The tradition of celebrating the Pascua Militar dates to the 18th century, when King Carlos III congratulated the Spanish troops that defeated British forces on Jan. 6, 1782, and took Port Mahon, the capital of the Mediterranean island of Minorca.

Read more by HS News Staff →

National Louis University Students Use Trip to Mexico For Teaching Preparation

National Louis University Students Use Trip to Mexico For Teaching Preparation

Photo: NLU students in Mexico

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Ten National Louis University undergraduate elementary education students recently traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico to observe teachers, share ideas with their counterparts at two teacher-training universities, and immerse themselves in the country’s culture.

The trip was part of the Chicago Teacher Partnership Program (CTPP) grant, which was awarded to a group of select Chicago universities, including National Louis, to prepare teachers in high-need Chicago public elementary schools.

Many students in the high-need Chicago public schools come from Mexico or have parents who immigrated, and they face challenges of culture and language.

The ultimate goal of the trip, which also included two National Louis professors and staff members, was to help future teachers gain a better understanding of those they’ll be helping, including not only ways to better connect them to curriculum, but also to connect with them as human beings.

The students’ itinerary involved classroom observation in a wide range of schools, from those in and around Guadalajara to rural locations. Particularly moving was a night school for children from low-income households who must also work during the day to support their families.

The group collected a list of the pros and cons of what they saw, and they were given a unique opportunity to present these findings toward the end of their trip to a special panel of the Mexican Department of Education.

They found, for example, a disparity in technology and classroom decoration among the schools. Some had computers, but they were broken. Others had items like smart boards, but the teachers didn’t know how to use them. In other schools, the walls were bare, not even displaying students’ work.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Three Kings Represent the Search for God, Says Pope

Three Kings Represent the Search for God, Says Pope

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Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday that the Three Kings symbolize the search throughout history for God.

“The Magi represent the people - we can even say the civilizations, the cultures, the religions - that are, so to speak, on the path to God, in search of his reign of peace, of justice, of truth, and of liberty,” the pope said.

After celebrating the Mass of the Feast of the Epiphany, during which four new bishops were appointed, the pope appeared at the window of his quarters in the Apostolic Palace and prayed the Angelus before thousands of the faithful.

“Today we celebrate above all the Epiphany of the Lord, His manifestation to the people; while numerous Oriental Churches celebrate Christmas, in accordance with the Julian calendar,” the pope said.

Benedict XVI referred to “Mary, the daughter of Zion: a nucleus of Israel, the people that know and have faith in that God that was revealed to the Patriarchs and in the passage of history.”

The pope said this faith is embodied in Mary, “blessed because she has believed, the Word was made flesh, God has appeared in the world.”

The pontiff greeted the faithful in seven languages after the Angelus.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Death Toll of Bar Shooting in Brazil Rises to 7

The death toll from the massacre at a bar in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, has risen to seven, with the evidence pointing to the possible role of police officers in the crime, officials said.

The massacre occurred early Saturday at the bar in Campo Limpo, a neighborhood in the densely populated south side of the city, where at least 15 heavily armed men arrived and opened fire at nine people sitting at a table, killing six of them instantly.

One of the wounded died later at a hospital, while two others are still being treated.

The gunmen drove up in three vehicles, shouted “police!” and went to the table at which Paulo Batista do Nascimento, who shot a video two months ago of police killing a man on the same street as the bar is located, was sitting with some friends, officials said, citing eyewitness accounts.

Do Nascimento turned his video over to investigators and five police officers involved in the murder were arrested a few days later.

Eyewitness statements point to the possible involvement of police officers in the massacre, police spokesmen told Brazilian media.

Initial reports said the slayings may have been the work of the First Capital Command, or PCC, the region’s dominant criminal organization.

The PCC has been blamed for the surge of violence in Sao Paulo that began in mid-2012.

The attacks attributed to the PCC began in May and, according to official figures, have resulted in the deaths of some 100 police officers - many killed while off-duty - in Sao Paulo and neighboring cities.

The PCC, which controls drug and weapons trafficking in the slums of Sao Paulo and other cities, carried out a series of attacks in Brazil’s largest city in 2006.

PCC leaders reportedly run the criminal organization from the prisons of Sao Paulo state, and the gang has become one of Brazil’s largest crime groups.

The PCC, also known as the “crime party,” first attracted attention in February 2001 when it launched coordinated uprisings in 29 Sao Paulo prisons that left 30 dead and went on for three days.

The current wave of violence was launched by the PCC in retaliation for operations staged by police and death squads against criminals, analysts say.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Drug Trafficker Operating Throughout LatAm Arrested in Colombia

Drug Trafficker Operating Throughout LatAm Arrested in Colombia

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A man suspected of belonging to a drug gang that operates in Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Argentina was arrested in southwestern Colombia, the National Police said.

The unidentified suspect was captured in a neighborhood in Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca province.

The man is the subject of an extradition request filed by Peru, the National Police said in a statement.

The suspect belonged from 2010 to 2012 to a gang that smuggled cocaine from Colombia into Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina and then into Europe, the National Police said.

The suspected drug trafficker “was in charge of managing the contacts for the production and sale” of cocaine, and he also coordinated the flow of money into Colombia from the gang’s illegal activities, the National Police said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Drug Tunnel on U.S.-Mexico Border Discovered

Drug Tunnel on U.S.-Mexico Border Discovered

Photo: Drug tunnel discovered

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Police found a partially constructed tunnel near the U.S. border in Mexicali, the capital of the northern Mexican state of Baja California, officials said.

The tunnel was presumably being built by drug traffickers, Mexicali police chief Marco Antonio Carrillo said in a Twitter posting that included photographs.

The “narcotunnel” was found in a joint operation with the army, the police chief said.

The tunnel is 10 meters (nearly 33 feet) deep, 30 meters (98 feet) long and 50 centimeters (1.6 feet) wide, Carrillo said.

The illegal tunnel has cement walls, lighting and a ventilation system, Carrillo said on the social-networking site.

The tunnel was built inside a warehouse in downtown Mexicali and was found thanks to an anonymous tip, the police chief said.

The people building the tunnel were unable to complete it, Carrillo said.

Unconfirmed media reports said a suspect was arrested at the site.

Since the mid-1990s, authorities have discovered many clandestine tunnels along the border.

People traffickers and drug cartels often use clandestine tunnels to cross the vast U.S.-Mexican border, which runs 3,200 kilometers (1,988 miles).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Ron Rivera Will Remain Head Coach of the Panthers in 2013

Ron Rivera Will Remain Head Coach of the Panthers in 2013

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Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera will be back for the 2013 season, a team spokesman said.

Rivera and team owner Jerry Richardson agreed to keep working together for a third season, Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton said.

The head coach is “going about normal preparations for next season,” Dayton said.

Rivera’s fate was up in the air after the Panthers went 7-9 this season, but Richardson decided the head coach had done a good job with the team.

Richardson fired general manager Marty Hurney after the Panthers got off to a 1-5 start.

Read more by HS News Staff →

I Told You So! Latino Power Surge Decades in the Making

I Told You So! Latino Power Surge Decades in the Making

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By Dr. Henry Flores, NewsTaco

¿Sabes que?  “I Told You So!”  I told you all that the Latino vote would play a decisive role in this presidential election.

I first noticed this possibility when I was working with census data in preparation for the 2001 congressional redistricting in Texas.  What I noticed was that the Latino electorate, Latino registered voters, resided in just a few states.  In 2001, 89.9% of Latino registered voters, resided in just 15 states.

So, you say, this doesn’t look like enough of a situation to swing a presidential election!  Yeah but given the way the Electoral College is structured it turns out that Latino registered voters resided in 15 states that accounted for 295 Electoral College votes and it only takes 270 to elect the president.  Of the 295, President Obama won 251 electoral votes or 13 of the 15 states where Latinos are important voters.

Since 2001 much changed including an exploding Latino population that saw us officially becoming the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the nation and expanding beyond the 15 states we predominated.  As of the 2012 election 90% of all Latinos who are eligible to vote reside in 17 states, with Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia among that group. 

These Latino voters reside in states that account for 313 Electoral College votes.  Of these Obama won 14 states accounting for 233 electoral votes.Image

Besides the demographic changes that occurred between 2001 and 2012, the decade also found increasing animosity on the part of the extreme right wing toward Latinos nationwide. 

Driving the animosity were several occurrences and issues but fundamentally it revealed the racism deeply embedded in the nativism that historically has been at the heart of right wing jingoism throughout the history of the United States.

Jingoism, chauvinism include racism, homophobia, misogyny are based in a fear of the unknown and of losing one’s place of privilege in society.  The rapid growth of Latinos in the United States over the past thirty years which has become more and more obvious across the country has spawned increasing acts of racism both overt and hidden.

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Honduran Ambassador to Colombia Resigns Amid Scandal

Honduran Ambassador to Colombia Resigns Amid Scandal

Photo: Carlos Humberto Rodriguez

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The ambassador of Honduras to Colombia, Carlos Humberto Rodriguez, resigned his post Saturday following the scandal at his country’s embassy in Bogota last Dec. 20, the Honduran Foreign Ministry said.

Rodriguez, now in Tegucigalpa, resigned his post after Honduran Foreign Minister Arturo Corrales asked for his “immediate and irrevocable resignation,” the ministry said in a communique.

Colombian police confirmed that a party at the Honduran Embassy in Bogota was attended by at least two prostitutes, both now wanted by the nation’s security forces because they apparently robbed two computers from the diplomatic headquarters.

The Honduran daily El Heraldo reported this Friday what went on at the embassy in Bogota.

The Honduran Jorge Mendoza, the personal driver until Saturday of ambassador Rodriguez, organized an improvised party at the Honduran Embassy on Bogota’s north side, during which two prostitutes “stole two laptop computers,” the newspaper said.

The Honduran Foreign Ministry has not stated whether the ambassador was in Colombia when the scandal occurred, though, according to local media he was on vacation in the United States.

The Honduran foreign minister this Friday named an “investigative commission to receive, compile and verify the information regarding the case in question.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rico Deploys National Guard to Combat Drug Trafficking, Crime

Puerto Rico Deploys National Guard to Combat Drug Trafficking, Crime

Photo: U.S. National Guard (Desiree N. Palacios)

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U.S. federal authorities have expressed support for newly inaugurated Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla’s decision to deploy National Guard troops to help fight crime and drug trafficking on the island.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico Rosa Emilia Rodriguez said in a press conference Saturday that federal authorities are prepared to engage in dialogue and prepare a plan to reduce homicides and drug-dealing on the island.

Garcia Padilla, inaugurated Wednesday, said in issuing the executive order the following day that the National Guard will help police monitor seaports and airports with the aim of preventing drugs and illegal weapons from entering the U.S. commonwealth.

The Puerto Rico National Guard was last activated to assist the Puerto Rico Police force in February 2010.

Rodriguez said she met with Luis Sanchez Betances, who has been appointed as Puerto Rico’s justice secretary, to discuss joint efforts to ensure better wellbeing for people on the Caribbean island.

Puerto Rico, which has experienced a spike in violent crime in recent years, suffered 1,122 homicides in 2011 and a slightly lower number last year.

Garcia Padilla speaks of an epidemic of violence, while U.N. researchers found the island has an annual murder rate of 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.

A portion of those drugs remains in Puerto Rico, where local gangs fight over points of sale for narcotics.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Longest-lived Person in the U.S. Dies, Age 114

Longest-lived Person in the U.S. Dies, Age 114

Photo: Mamie J. Lewis Rearden

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Mamie J. Lewis Rearden, proud of her title as the longest-lived person in the United States since December, died this week at the age of 114, the local daily Edgefield Advertiser announced Saturday.

The South Carolina woman, very much admired in her community, passed away at a hospital in Georgia, and will be laid to rest in the same small town where she was born on Sept. 7, 1898.

In a life that spanned over a century, Mamie Rearden, educator, social worker and member of the Baptist Church of Edgefield, South Carolina, as she is described in the local newspaper, came to have 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, as well as being the mother of four daughters and six sons.

When Mamie Rearden was born, the U.S. president was William McKinley and the continental United States still lacked three of the states it has today.

Mamie Rearden became the longest-lived person in the United States last December following the death of 115-year-old Dina Manfredini in Iowa.

The title of the oldest person in the world is currently held by Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura at age 115.

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Severe Respiratory Infection Kills At Least 5 Children in Mexico

Severe Respiratory Infection Kills At Least 5 Children in Mexico

Photo: 5 Children have died of the infection

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At least five children less than a year old have died in the past few hours and 41 others are suffering severe respiratory infections in a highly marginalized area of the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, officials said Saturday.

The state government said in a communique that the deaths occurred in the Emiliano Zapata community of Yajalon municipality, and that health authorities are attending the children suffering from the illness.

Authorities said that these respiratory infections, brought on by the intense cold and heavy rains, are characterized by coughs and high fevers, and that the bacteria tend to spread during the winter in highly marginalized areas.

To take charge of the emergency, Chiapas Gov. Manuel Velasco designated the head of the Health Secretariat.

Three health-care brigades also arrived in the community to attend patients and apply preventive measures, including vaccinations to ward off a possible epidemic.

Meanwhile the state government offered all its support to the affected families and to the inhabitants of the community “to keep the disease from spreading.”

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Lance Armstrong May Admit to Using Performance Enhancement Drugs

Lance Armstrong May Admit to Using Performance Enhancement Drugs

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Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year, is considering acknowledging the use of performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career, The New York Times reported.

Armstrong, 41, may make the admission so that anti-doping officials restore his eligibility to compete in triathlons, a sport he competed in prior to taking up cycling, the daily said, citing anonymous sources.

The Times noted that “those competitions are often sanctioned by organizations that adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code, under which Armstrong received his lifetime ban.”

The sources told the paper that Armstrong, who has been banned for life from competing in sporting events sanctioned by WADA or the U.S. Anti Doping Agency, has been in touch with USADA chief Travis Tygart and was “moving toward confessing.”

But Armstrong’s long-time attorney, Tim Herman, denied Saturday that his client was mulling such a move.

In making its case against Armstrong last year, the USADA presented to the International Cycling Union, or UCI, evidence from “numerous witnesses” who said they had either personally observed Armstrong’s doping activity from before 1998 through 2005 or learned about it directly from the cyclist.

That alleged activity, according to USADA, included the use of “EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone during the period from before 1998 through 2005.”

Armstrong has categorically denied the accusations but he announced in August he would no longer fight them.

A cancer survivor who is regarded as one of the all-time greatest road cyclists, Armstrong issued a statement on his Web site after choosing not to appear before a USADA arbitration panel to respond to the doping charges.

“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999,” the Aug. 23 statement read.

“The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors,” Armstrong said.

The UCI decided not to award the 1999-2005 Tours to the second-place finishers of those races.

Armstrong has lost lucrative endorsement contracts as a result of the scandal and in October he stepped down from the board of directors of the cancer-fighting Livestrong Foundation he founded in 1997.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Assailants Attack Bar in Brazil, Killing 6

Assailants Attack Bar in Brazil, Killing 6

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A group of unknown assailants killed six people early Saturday at a bar in Sao Paulo, an incident that comes amid a recent wave of violence in Brazil’s largest metropolis.

Police said the slayings occurred in the wee hours of Saturday at the bar located in Campo Limpo, a neighborhood in the densely populated south side of the city.

The assailants - whose number was not specified by witnesses - arrived at the bar and without uttering a word fired at a table where nine people were seated, killing six of them.

The other three people suffered gunshot wounds of varying degrees and have been hospitalized.

Police have launched an investigation but it remains unclear if the slayings are related to a surge of violence in Sao Paulo that began in mid-2012 and which federal officials say has been orchestrated by jailed bosses of the First Capital Command, or PCC, the region’s dominant criminal organization.

The attacks attributed to the PCC began in May and, according to official figures, have resulted in the deaths of some 100 police officers - many killed while off-duty - in Sao Paulo and neighboring cities.

Two people also have been killed in metropolitan Sao Paulo over the past six months in roughly a score of arson attacks on public buses.

A total of 180 people, according to official figures, were murdered in Sao Paulo in October, a figure that was up 114 percent from the same month in 2011.

The PCC, which controls drug and weapons trafficking in the slums of Sao Paulo and other cities, carried out a series of attacks in Brazil’s largest city in 2006.

PCC leaders reportedly run the criminal organization from the prisons of Sao Paulo state, and the gang has become one of Brazil’s largest crime groups.

The PCC, also known as the “crime party,” first attracted attention in February 2001 when it launched coordinated uprisings in 29 Sao Paulo prisons that left 30 dead and went on for three days.

The current wave of violence was launched by the PCC in retaliation for operations staged by police and death squads against criminals, analysts say.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SundayJanuary 6, 2013