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WednesdayJanuary 9, 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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SPAIN: Deputy Mayor Resigns As a Result of 2012 Halloween Party Tragedy

SPAIN: Deputy Mayor Resigns As a Result of 2012 Halloween Party Tragedy

Photo: SPAIN: Deputy Mayor Resigns As a Result of 2012 Halloween Party Tragedy

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Madrid Deputy Mayor Miguel Angel Villanueva resigned Wednesday, two months after the Halloween party tragedy that resulted in the deaths of five young women in a human stampede, officials told Efe.

Opposition councilors had requested his resignation for having headed the municipal Madrid company charged with managing the Madrid Arena, where the huge Halloween party was held.

The opposition has accused the municipal government of giving special treatment to businessman Miguel Angel Flores, the party’s promoter, by virtue of his personal relationship with Villanueva.

Flores has been free since Dec. 28 after posting bail of 200,000 euros ($264,000).

Villanueva denied that any favorable treatment had been given and said about the businessman that one “cannot be made responsible” for the actions of an “acquaintance.”

“If he has gotten involved in an illegal act it will be his responsibility,” the deputy mayor said at the time at a press conference upon being asked about his relationship with Flores.

Villanueva is the second municipal official to resign over the case.

The deaths of the young women caused great commotion and shock in Spain.

What occurred on the night of the tragedy is being investigated by judicial authorities but certain things are already known such as that the number of partygoers was 58 percent greater than the venue’s legal capacity.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Poet to Recite Poem Following Inauguration’s “Our People, Our Future” Theme

Hispanic Poet to Recite Poem Following Inauguration’s “Our People, Our Future” Theme

Photo: Richard Blanco

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Cuban American poet Richard Blanco has been selected to recite a poem at the Jan. 21 inauguration of President Barack Obama, according to the organizing committee for the event.

Blanco, 44, will be the first Latino and the first openly gay poet to recite one of his works at a U.S. presidential inauguration.

The first poet to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration was Robert Frost, who participated in John F. Kennedy’s inaugural in 1961. Just three other poets have been chosen to do likewise since then: Maya Angelou, Miller Williams and Elizabeth Alexander.

In an interview with National Public Radio, Blanco said that he was “made in Cuba” but - given that at that time people could not travel directly to the United States from the island - his mother decided to first travel to Spain, where he was born, and then later the family emigrated to New York.

Blanco, the author of “City of a Hundred Fires” and “Looking for the Gulf Motel,” among other works, said that his poem will be on the theme of the inauguration: Our People, Our Future.

“Even though it’s been a few weeks since I found out, just thinking about my parents and my grandparents and all the struggles they’ve been through, and how, you know, here I am, first-generation Cuban American, and this great honor that has just come to me, and just feeling that sense of just incredible gratitude and love,” he said.

“I’m honored that Richard Blanco will join me and Vice President Biden at our second inaugural,” Obama said in a statement. “Richard’s writing will be wonderfully fitting for an Inaugural that will celebrate the strength of the American people and our nation’s great diversity.”

Blanco began his working career as an engineering consultant and during the course of developing abstract concepts and arguments for his clients he began to explore the engineering of language.

Read more by HS News Staff →

TV Casting: Looking for Latin-American Families Who Operate Own Business

TV Casting: Looking for Latin-American Families Who Operate Own Business

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A major television production company is looking for Latin-American families in the U.S. who own or operate their own businesses.

The company is looking to highlight these families in a new docu-series.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Top Language Websites Translated to is Spanish

Top Language Websites Translated to is Spanish

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Every year the research department of One Hour Translation conducts a comprehensive analysis of the previous year’s translation services data. The data from hundreds of thousands of projects translated throughout the year is collected and analyzed.

According to the preliminary data from the 2012 report, most of the e-commerce websites were translated to the following languages:

    Spanish Latin-America and Spanish (Spain:) 81% of the sites
    French and French-Canadian: 64% of the sites
    German: 41% of the sites
    Italian: 37% of the sites
    Portuguese and Portuguese Brazil: 26% of the sites

The complete report will be published by the end of the January 2013.

The order of the target languages remains the same as last year, although there is a clear increase in the number of websites that add multi-lingual versions.

“In 2012 we saw a substantial increase in the demand for website translation from new and existing customers” says Ofer Shoshan , Co-founder and CEO of One Hour Translation. “There was a sharp 27% increase in the demand for website translation, partly due to the ongoing world economic crisis - businesses are looking for new customers worldwide”, concluded Shoshan.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Resigns from Obama Administration

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Resigns from Obama Administration

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Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, 56, has informed President Obama and her staff that she plans to resign from the Obama administration, and will not serve as Labor Secretary for the President’s second term.

Solis is the daughter of immigrant parents her father is Mexican and her mother Nicaraguan.  The California native was the first Latina elected to the California Senate in 1994, serving there for six years.  She was elected to Congress in 2000 where she made a name for herself on labor and environmental issues.  Solis has been Labor Secretary since 2009.

The President accepted her resignation and identified Solis as a “tireless champion for working families.” 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain’s Rubén Belloso Adorna Creates Amazingly Realistic Pastel Art (PHOTOS)

Spain’s Rubén Belloso Adorna Creates Amazingly Realistic Pastel Art (PHOTOS)

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Artist Rubén Belloso Adorna, of Seville, Spain has created some of the most realistic looking faces we’ve ever seen. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that he creates them using pastels.

Belloso Adorna was born in Seville in 1986. He holds a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Seville. He has won numerous prizes and has had solo exhibitions in galleries throughout Spain, Italy and Portugal. His work has appeared in numerous media, whether in newspapers, radio and TV.

Check out some of his work below. To see more click here and like his Facebook page.

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Fewer Manatees Died in 2012 Thanks to Florida’s Warmer Weather

Fewer Manatees Died in 2012 Thanks to Florida’s Warmer Weather

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Mild winter temperatures in Florida caused manatee deaths to drop in 2012 to their lowest level of the past four years, though 392 of those marine mammals still died.

The figure was provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or FWC, which noted that a quarter of manatee deaths last year were due to human-related causes.

The number was welcome news considering that the number of deaths among that protected species hit a record high of 766 in 2010, 282 of them attributed to cold stress.

Manatees, which can live in both fresh- and salt-water habitats, are sensitive to drops in temperature. When the mercury falls, these animals will often huddle in the warm waters of canals adjacent to power-plant outflows.

In those shallow waters, manatees are often injured or killed by boat propellers.

According to FWC figures, 81 manatees were killed last year by watercraft, a figure slightly below the average for the past five years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gomez, Other Celebs Read Mean Tweets on ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ (VIDEO)

Selena Gomez, Other Celebs Read Mean Tweets on ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ (VIDEO)

Photo: Selena Gomez, Other Celebs Read Mean Tweets on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

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On comedy Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night television show, the host has somewhat regularly invited celebrities to come on and read mean tweets about themselves.

While most of the tweets are funny due to their absurdity, others are just downright mean.

What Selena Gomez, Anderson Cooper, Jessica Biel, Dr. Phil, and Breaking Bad and Malcom in the Middle’s Bryan Cranston read the mean things people on Twitter had to say about them.

“In just a few months Twitter will turn 6 years old. In 2006, tweeting was something only birds did. Now it is our number one way to insult celebrities.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain’s Repsol Begins Oil Production at “Megafield” in Brazil

Spain’s Repsol Begins Oil Production at “Megafield” in Brazil

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Spanish oil major Repsol has begun commercial production at the pre-salt Sapinhoa “megafield” after connecting a producing well to an FPSO with the capacity to extract 120,000 barrels of oil per day.

The company said in a statement Tuesday that the field, located in the BM-S-9 block, contains very high-quality crude that will contribute decisively to Repsol’s growth plans in the coming years.

The first producing well, which is known as Guara-1 and has a production potential greater than 25,000 barrels per day, has already been connected to the Cidade de Sao Paulo floating production, storage and offloading vessel.

Repsol said commercial production is beginning ahead of schedule and that over the next few months new wells will be connected to the FPSO with a view to achieving 120,000 barrels per day of crude output in the first half of 2014.

A second FPSO with a production capacity of 150,000 bpd of crude and 6 million cubic meters (211.5 million cubic feet) per day of natural gas will be installed in a second development phase at Sapinhoa. That second vessel is scheduled to begin operating in the second half of 2014.

BM-S-9 is operated by Petrobras, which has a 45 percent stake in the block. The Spanish-Chinese joint venture Repsol Sinopec Brasil and BG Group have 25 percent and 30 percent interests, respectively.

Sapinhoa is one of Brazil’s largest oil fields with total recoverable volume estimated at 2.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The start of production at the field marks an “important milestone in Repsol’s development strategy,” the company said.

The Spanish oil major’s goal is to achieve production of 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2016 with an annual reserve replacement ratio of at least 120 percent.

Sapinhoa is located in the pre-salt region, a massive oil frontier so-named because the crude reservoirs it contains are located under an extensive layer of salt up to 2,000 meters (6,550 feet) thick.

Distributed across roughly 160,000 sq. kilometers (62,000 sq. miles), the pre-salt region is projected to hold tens of billions of barrels of light oil and could potentially transform the South American country into a major exporter of crude and derivatives.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin America News: Brazilian Reporter Gunned Down Outside His House

Latin America News: Brazilian Reporter Gunned Down Outside His House

Photo: Radio Journalist Renato Machado Gunned Down, Brazil

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Brazilian journalist Renato Machado Goncalves was shot and killed outside his home in this metropolis, the radio station he partly owned reported Wednesday.

Witnesses cited by the Radio Barra FM station and other media outlets said the reporter was attacked by two men who had apparently been waiting for him outside his home in the Rio suburb of Sao Joao da Barra and fled in a motorcycle afterward.

Goncalves, who was shot four times, received emergency medical treatment but died while being rushed to a hospital.

Police said they have not yet identified a motive for the shooting but have launched an investigation.

Reporters Without Borders, for its part, urged authorities Wednesday to step up security for journalists in the wake of the attack.

The Paris-based press watchdog, known by the French initials RSF, noted that “the recent flight abroad of well-known (Brazilian) journalists such as Andre Caramante - who has since returned - and Mauri Konig underlines the urgent need for better protection.”

In its 2012 annual report, RSF ranked Brazil as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists to carry out their work, noting that five media members were killed last year for reasons related to their profession.

The group also has warned in press releases about the deterioration of press freedom in that South American nation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Woman Steals Teacher’s Identity, Convinces Gov’t She’s Her

LATINO BLOTTER: Woman Steals Teacher’s Identity, Convinces Gov’t She’s Her

Photo: Candida Gutierrez had identity stolen, fought 12 years for justice

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A Texas elementary school teacher says her life was turned upside down when someone stole her identity then claimed they were the victim.

More than a decade ago, Candida Gutierrez, now 32, was turned down for a mortgage. As she looked into why, she realized her identity had been stolen.

When she tried to clear things up and even get a new Social Security number, however, she discovered that the woman who had stolen her identity had also filed for a new SSN, claiming to be Gutierrez.

In a shocking twist, Gutierrez was determined to be the fraud and the other woman, later identified as undocumented immigrant Benita Cardona-Gonzalez, was granted the new number. The real Gutierrez was even forced to use a special identification number to file federal taxes, a number usually given to undocumented immigrants.

Now, roughly 12 years later, Gutierrez is finally seeing the woman who stole her life admit to what she did. The punishment however, does not seem to fit the crime.

On Monday, Cardona-Gonzalez pled guilty to a lesser charge of possessing fraudulent identification documents, with her lawyer saying she did not intend to harm Gutierrez and only “wanted to give her children a better life

For the deal she made with prosecutors, the Mexican national only faces a maximum of 18 months in jail, a deal Gutierrez is less than happy with.

Cardona-Gonzalez will face sentencing on March 25, and Gutierrez has already confirmed she will be there.

During the time, Cardona-Gonzalez was using Gutierrez’s identity she opened bank and credit cards accounts, to get a driver’s license, a job, and a mortgage. She also used it to go on food stamps and receive medical care during the pregnancy and birth of her two children.

When Gutierrez first tried to take back her identity, Cardona-Gonzalez claimed she was the real Gutierrez and that the elementary school teacher stole her identity.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Popular Puerto Rican TV Show Canceled Following Protests

Popular Puerto Rican TV Show Canceled Following Protests

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SuperXclusivo, the most-watched show on Puerto Rican television, will no longer be broadcast after a boycott staged in response to comments by host Kobbo Santarrosa that appeared to blame a murder victim for his own death, Primera Hora daily said Wednesday.

Santarrosa on Tuesday presented his resignation after refusing to accept the new terms established by WAPA TV management that obligated him to tape his show in advance, the newspaper said.

The station also wanted to reduce Santarrosa’s pay to reflect the loss of advertisers due to the boycott.

The boycott organizers, who have 70,000 followers on Facebook, managed to get at least 10 companies to withdraw their advertising support from SuperXclusivo as a result of Santarrosa’s comments about the murder of advertising executive Jose Enrique Gomez Saladin.

The Nov. 30 murder of Gomez Saladin in suburban San Juan stunned Puerto Rican society and popular horror over the crime grew as it emerged that his assailants beat him to death with metal pipes after forcing him to withdraw $500 from an Automatic Teller Machine.

Santarrosa, speaking through a puppet called La Comay, suggested the 32-year-old advertising executive was at least partly to blame for his death because he picked up passengers while driving through a seedy area.

“My question is what was Jose Enrique Gomez Saladin doing in Padial Street, a focal point of homosexuality and prostitution,” Santarrosa said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  Baseball Hall of Fame Says No to Sammy Sosa and Others, Low Vote Count

The Baseball Hall of Fame will not included Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa as well as other players tainted by scandal.  The Hall of Fame said no also to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens amidst a low vote count year. 

None of the 600 or so eligible players received the required 75% of the vote to be selected, the highest vote getter, Craig Biggio, received 68.2% of the vote.  As a result no players were elected to the Hall of Fame Class of 2013.  This is only the second time in four decades that a shutout has occurred for Baseball Hall of Fame voting. 

Sosa, was the on the ballot for the first time in great part due to his powerful hitting.  The Dominican born Sosa played with five professional baseball teams from 1989 through 2007, spending most of his time with the Chicago Cubs as a right fielder.  Later reports came out that Sosa was on a list of MLB players that tested positive for steroids, a claim he has denied.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Without Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard Lakers Struggle, Lose 4th Game in a Row

Without Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard Lakers Struggle, Lose 4th Game in a Row

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Point guard Steve Nash achieved a career milestone by dishing out his 10,000th assist, but the injury-riddled Los Angeles Lakers plunged deeper into crisis with a 125-112 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Playing without center Dwight Howard and power forward Pau Gasol, the Lakers’ defense was virtually non-existent Tuesday night against a younger, more athletic team.

Los Angeles took a six-point lead in the first quarter and was still up by three at the half, but the Rockets’ offense went into overdrive in the third quarter - scoring 38 points - and then cruised to victory down the stretch.

Star shooting guard James Harden led the way for the Rockets with 31 points and four of his teammates also scored in double figures at the Toyota Center in Houston.

With the win, the Rockets improved to 21-14 and are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference standings.

The Lakers were led by Metta World Peace, who scored 24 points, while Kobe Bryant added 20 points on an inefficient 8-of-22 from the field in a losing effort.

Nash, meanwhile, dished out 10 assists to become just the fifth player in NBA history with 10,000 assists for his career, joining John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson.

The Lakers, who are now in 11th place in the Western Conference with a record of 15-19, need to get healthy and come together as a team quickly to make the playoffs.

High expectations surround the Lakers this season after the offseason acquisitions of Howard, a three-time defensive player of the year who is out with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, and Nash, a two-time league MVP who also missed time earlier in the season due to a leg injury.

The team struggled out of the gates under then-head coach Mike Brown, briefly got on track under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, and has suffered from injuries and poor play again since Mike D’Antoni took the reins in late November.

In other action Tuesday night in the NBA, the Miami Heat’s rebounding woes continued in an 87-77 road loss to the Indiana Pacers.

The defending champions, who were pummeled on the boards in a loss earlier this month to the Chicago Bulls, were outrebounded by the Pacers 55-36.

Indiana also dominated the offensive glass by a margin of 22-7, which translated into a big 91-68 edge in field-goal attempts. That allowed the Pacers to win the game comfortably despite making just 36 percent of their shots from the field.

Elsewhere, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 109-89 for their fourth straight win, the Milwaukee Bucks cruised past the Phoenix Suns 108-99 in Jim Boylan’s debut as head coach, and the Minnesota Timberwolves knocked off the Atlanta Hawks 108-103.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Should Invest More in Green-Economy, Says OECD

Mexico should increase green-economy investments as it strives to promote economic growth while reducing pollution, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report published Tuesday.

“Mexico’s triple challenges are to boost its economy, improve its environment, and provide decent living standards to all its citizens,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said.

The Paris-based organization issued 29 recommendations for the Latin American country pertaining to energy consumption, energy subsidies, the promotion of low-carbon mass transit systems and biodiversity protection.

According to the OECD, which cited Mexican estimates, environmental degradation and dwindling natural resources cost Mexico 7 percent of its gross domestic product in 2010.

“But the right mix of policies can promote inclusive green growth,” Gurria said.

Mexico’s new General Law on Climate Change, which calls for a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 relative to 2000 levels, has not succeeded in checking an increase in this type of pollution, the OECD said, adding that “additional policy measures are needed, particularly in the transport sector.”

Mexico spent 1.7 percent of GDP on energy subsidies between 2005 and 2009, according to the OECD, which recommended “extending the use of environmentally related taxes and reforming environmentally harmful subsidies in order to tackle climate change and reduce inequality.”

The OECD found that the poorest 20 percent of Mexico’s population receives just a tenth of electricity subsidies and recommended that Mexico replace indirect subsidies - artificially low prices for energy and water - with cash transfers.

It said that would “encourage efficient use of energy and water, and help to promote more socially-inclusive green growth.”

The OECD added that “low taxes on vehicles and tax credits on road tolls have also contributed to drive energy use by the transport sector up by more than 40 percent from 2000-10.”

In that regard, increasing “transport-related tax could serve environmental and social goals by funding low-carbon mass transit systems.”

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Latin America News:  Mexico Adopts Crime Victims’ Rights Law

Latin America News:  Mexico Adopts Crime Victims’ Rights Law

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Mexico’s Congress promulgated on Wednesday a measure obliging the government to protect and make whole victims of the gangland violence that has claimed some 70,000 lives in the last six years.

Legislators first approved the bill last April, but then-President Felipe Calderon objected to some provisions and asked the Supreme Court to block the legislation.

Calderon’s successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, announced when he took office last month that he planned to drop the judicial challenge.

He is set to sign the measure into law later on Wednesday.

The law, which was drafted in consultation with activists, applies equally to victims of organized crime people and to people abused by authorities.

The initiative mandates creation of a national system to provide attention to victims, presided over by an executive board including representatives of victims and civic organizations.

Violence in Mexico has escalated dramatically since December 2006, when the newly inaugurated Calderon gave the armed forces the leading role in the struggle against drug cartels.

Peña Nieto says he will maintain military deployments in the most conflictive areas, while shifting the focus toward better intelligence work and efforts to improve public safety.

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Immigration Policy Center: A Decade of Rising Immigration Enforcement

Immigration Policy Center: A Decade of Rising Immigration Enforcement

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This week, the Immigration Policy Center released a new fact sheet: A Decade of Rising Immigration Enforcement. With roughly 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, some question whether the nation’s immigration laws are seriously enforced. In truth, the immigration laws are enforced more strictly now than ever before. The Department of Homeland Security has reported record numbers of removals during the Obama Administration. Meanwhile, fewer noncitizens are trying to enter the country illegally, and those caught by the Border Patrol are now regularly charged with federal crimes. Together, these trends reflect a sweeping and punitive transformation in U.S. immigration enforcement. For example: 

- The number of annual removals has more than doubled over the past decade. In total, there have been more removals during the last ten years than during the previous 110 years combined.

- The number of annual removals now exceeds the number of border apprehensions, suggesting that more noncitizens are being deported from the country than are caught trying to illegally enter in the first place.

- In fiscal 2011, nearly 70% of removals involved noncitizens who were given no opportunity to appear before an immigration judge.
The number of apprehensions along the border has fallen to levels not seen since the early 1970s, and authorities now regularly prosecute noncitizens for illegally entering and re-entering the country.

- The Secure Communities program is now resulting in more than 40,000 fingerprint matches per month.

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You can find more information at the Immigration Policy Center, here.

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Real Madrid’s Mourinho Wins Manager of the Year for 4th Time

Real Madrid’s Mourinho Wins Manager of the Year for 4th Time

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Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has been named International Federation of Football History & Statistics club coach of the year for the fourth time.

The Portuguese manager won the award after leading Real Madrid to the Spanish league and Supercopa titles in 2012, beating out Roberto di Matteo - who coached Chelsea to last year’s UEFA Champions League crown - by two points in the voting.

Mourinho, who also received the IFFHS award in 2004, 2005 and 2010, garnered top honors for 2012 despite coming up short again in his bid to bring another Champions League title to Madrid.

He won two titles in Europe’s top annual soccer competition as manager of Porto and Inter Milan, but has lost twice in the semifinal stage since taking the helm at Real Madrid, including a defeat last year to eventual runner-up Bayern Munich.

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STUDY:  Black and Hispanic Patients Less Likely to Complete Substance Abuse Treatment

STUDY:  Black and Hispanic Patients Less Likely to Complete Substance Abuse Treatment

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Roughly half of all black and Hispanic patients who enter publicly funded alcohol treatment programs do not complete treatment, compared to 62 percent of white patients, according to a new study from a team of researchers including the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Comparable disparities were also identified for drug treatment program completion rates. The study, published in the latest issue of Health Affairs, shows that completion disparities among racial groups are likely related to differences in socioeconomic status and, in particular, greater unemployment and housing instability for black and Hispanic patients. The researchers suggest that funding for integrated services and increased Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could help to improve access to treatment programs for minorities.

“Our findings show troubling racial disparities in the completion of alcohol and drug abuse programs, and they point specifically to socioeconomic barriers that make it difficult for minority groups to access and sustain treatment,” said Brendan Saloner, PhD, a health services researcher at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at Penn. “For example, in both alcohol and drug treatment groups, black and Hispanic patients were more likely than white patients to be homeless. But, disparities among the groups were found to be lower in residential treatment settings, indicating that access to residential treatment could be particularly valuable for these patients.”

After analyzing data from more than one million discharges from treatment programs across the country, researchers found significant disparities between white patients and most minority groups in completion of treatment programs.

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Telenovela Star Julian Gil Reinvents Classic Hearththrob

Telenovela Star Julian Gil Reinvents Classic Hearththrob

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Actor Julian Gil plays one of the most winning characters of his career, a classic heartthrob, in “Quien Eres Tu?” (Who Are You?), a telenovela that airs five nights a week on Univision sister network UniMas.

“My character, Felipe Esquivel, has taught me a lot of valuable things, one of them being that the most important thing in life is to fight for what you love,” Gil said in a telephone interview with Efe during a break in the filming in Bogota.

The actor said that while he has not been through the emotional ups and downs of the character he plays, in a certain way the two are similar.

“Felipe is a man who, in the 120 episodes of the novela, never stops fighting for his children, for his family, for love. He’s a fighter. But above all, he is a noble character. It’s a question of his character and mine, there are a lot of similarities,” he said.

Besides being attracted by his character, Gil also feels flattered to have been chosen for the project.

Gil began his acting career in Puerto Rico in 1995 in the stage play “Por el Medio, Si No Hay Remedio” (Through the Thick of Things, If There’s No Other Choice). From that moment he was on producers’ A-list.

He has appeared in some of the most popular telenovelas including “Sortilegio” (Sorcery), “Eva Luna” and “La que no Podia Amar” (The Woman He Couldn’t Love).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Eva Longoria to Host Latino Inauguration Event Honoring President Obama

Eva Longoria to Host Latino Inauguration Event Honoring President Obama

Photo: Eva Longoria Hosting Inauguration Event

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Co-Chair of the Friends of the American Latino Museum Honorary Board, Eva Longoria, along with her fellow National Museum of the American Latino Commissioners, Henry R. Muñoz III and Andrés W. López, are the Executive Producers of “Latino Inaugural 2013 In Performance at The Kennedy Center.”

This performance will feature special appearances by legendary Latino artists George Lopez, Rita Moreno, Jose Feliciano, Chita Rivera, and many others.  The event is slated for January 20, 2013. 

Longoria noted, ““Latinos played a critical role in this year’s elections and helped tip the scales in President Obama’s victory. But we are not waiting another four years to make an impact on our country’s future.”  “What better way to establish our presence at these inaugural celebrations than by showcasing the beauty and diversity of our culture at the nation’s premier performing arts center.”

Tickets for the event are currently on sale, starting at $300.  After the artistic performances a party will follow.  The President and First Lady have not confirmed yet if they will attend. 

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Brazilian Prostitutes Work on Language Skills in Preperation for 2014 World Cup

Brazilian Prostitutes Work on Language Skills in Preperation for 2014 World Cup

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An association of prostitutes said Tuesday that it is offering its members free language courses in preparation for the expected influx of international clients next year when Brazil hosts the soccer World Cup.

The program is an initiative of Aprosmig, a group representing sex workers in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.

Like other Brazilian industries, the sex trade wants to become more competitive ahead of the 2014 World Cup, Aprosmig president Cida Vieira told Efe.

“If all the sectors are preparing for the Cup, why not us?,” she said.

Classes are expected to begin February or March at a venue provided by another organization active in the red-light district of Belo Horizonte, the state capital and center of Brazil’s third-most-populous metropolitan area.

The program will rely initially on volunteer teachers, but Vieira said she hopes to create a more solid structure with paid staff.

A score of sex workers have signed up for the language classes and Aprosmig expects as many as 300 to take advantage of the program, she said.

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U.S. Spent $18 Billion on Immigration Enforcement in 2012, More Than FBI and DEA Combined

U.S. Spent $18 Billion on Immigration Enforcement in 2012, More Than FBI and DEA Combined

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The U.S. government in 2012 spent about $18 billion on immigration enforcement, 24 percent more than the combined budgets of all other federal law enforcement agencies, according to a report from the Migration Policy Institute.

Specifically, those funds were allocated to the offices of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement and to the collection of fingerprints and other biometric data from foreign visitors.

The government spent around $14.4 billion to fund the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the report says.

Since 1986, Washington has spent some $186.8 billion on police measures against illegal immigration, according to the MPI document.

The increase in resources for immigration enforcement has included “drastic increases” for the Border Patrol, which has doubled the number of its agents over the past seven years to 21,370.

More than four million foreigners have been deported since 1990, increasing from slightly more than 30,000 in that year to almost 400,000 in 2011, the report adds.

The study emphasized a recent decline in arrests in the border zone, reflecting the weakening of the U.S. economy, the strengthening of border monitoring and changes in the factors fostering emigration from Mexico.

Thus, in fiscal year 2011 U.S. authorities detained 340,252 people, one fifth the number intercepted in 2000 and the lowest figure since 1970, the analysis says.

The MPI report was released as the administration of Barack Obama and Congress are preparing to resume the debate on possible immigration reform that will help to regularize the status of the 11 million undocumented foreigners living in this country.

The majority of Republican lawmakers, however, continue to oppose measures that, in their judgment, “reward” those who violate the laws by illegally entering the country.

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Oscar Winning Actor Javier Bardem Gets Best-Supporting Acto Nod from BAFTA

Spain’s Javier Bardem has been nominated for a Bafta award, the British film industry’s top prize, for his role in the James Bond film “Skyfall.”

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts on Wednesday announced the list of nominees for these prestigious awards, which also included actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren, and Emmanuelle Riva.

“Lincoln,” a historical drama about U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s efforts in January 1865 to have a constitutional amendment passed to outlaw slavery, led all films with 10 nominations, followed by “Les Miserables” and “Life of Pi” with nine each.

Besides Bardem, selected for his portrayal of cyber-terrorist Raoul Silva in the latest installment of the Bond saga, the other best-supporting actor nominees are Alan Arkin (“Argo”), Christopher Waltz (“Django Unchained”), Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”) and Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”).

In addition to “Lincoln” and “Les Miserables,” the other films nominated this year for a best-picture Bafta are “Argo,” “Life of Pi” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

The best-actor nominees are Daniel Day Lewis (“Lincoln”), Hugh Jackman (“Les Miserables”), Ben Affleck (“Argo”), Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”).

Britain’s Helen Mirren picked up a best-actress nod for her role in “Hitchcock,” in which she plays famed 20th-century filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock’s wife.

Her fellow nominees for a Bafta are Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Marion Cotillard (“Rust and Bone”).

The nominees for best director are Quentin Tarantino (“Django Unchained”), Michael Haneke (“Amour”), Ben Affleck (“Argo”), Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”) and Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”).

“Lincoln” director Steven Spielberg was snubbed.

The movies in the running for best foreign language film, meanwhile, are “Amour,” an Austrian, French and German co-production; the Norwegian film “Headhunters”; the Danish film “The Hunt”; “Rust and Bone,” a French and Belgian co-production; and the French film “Untouchable.”

The Baftas are regarded as Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars.

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Baseball’s Hall of Fame Has 4 Puerto Ricans on Ballot

Baseball’s Hall of Fame Has 4 Puerto Ricans on Ballot

Photo: Edgar Martinez

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Edgar Martinez and Bernie Williams head a group of four Puerto Ricans up for consideration in this year’s Major League Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, the results of which will be announced on Wednesday.

Martinez, who played his entire career for the Seattle Mariners, will be on the Hall of Fame ballot for the fourth time, while Williams - a member of the New York Yankees throughout his time in the big leagues - is making his second bid for baseball immortality.

Two other Puerto Ricans will be making their first appearance on a Hall of Fame ballot: Sandy Alomar, Jr., a former catcher who spent his most productive years with the Cleveland Indians; and Roberto Hernandez, an ex-relief pitcher who had a seven-year stint with the Chicago White Sox and then bounced around with nine other teams in his final 10 seasons.

Martinez, who was selected to the All-Star Game on seven occasions, received 36.5 percent of the vote from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America last year, up from 32.9 percent in 2011.

A player must be approved by 75 percent of those casting ballots to be elected to Cooperstown.

The Mariners slugger’s chances are hurt by the fact he was a designated hitter in 1,412 of the 2,055 games he played, and indeed no player that played most of his career without a defensive position has ever made the Hall of Fame.

In 2004, Major League Baseball renamed the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award in Martinez’s honor. The former slugger won two American League batting titles, had a career .312 batting average and hit 309 career home runs.

Williams, for his part, garnered 9.6 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility. Hall of Fame rules state that players can remain on the ballot for up to 15 years as long as they receive at least 5 percent of the vote.

Williams patrolled center field for the Yankees for 16 seasons, won the batting title in 1998 and was a member of four World Series-winning teams between 1996 and 2000. He finished his career with a .297 batting average, 2,336 hits and 287 home runs, made five All-Star teams and won four Gold Gloves for his defense.

Alomar, meanwhile, is considered unlikely to receive the 5 percent of votes necessary to remain on the ballot despite the fact he was chosen to six All-Star Games, won the Rookie of the Year award in 1990 and the Gold Glove Award for his position that same year.

Hernandez, for his part, is 13th on the all-time saves list with 326.

Only three Puerto Ricans are in the Baseball Hall of Fame: Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda and Roberto Alomar, who was inducted into Cooperstown in 2011.

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Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Joins New Political Party

The dominant figure on the Mexican left for a decade, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, formally signed up on Tuesday with the new political party he hopes will become a mass movement.

“We begin this membership campaign with the goal of recruiting and adding millions of Mexicans ... who are convinced of the necessity of genuine change,” the two-time presidential candidate told supporters in the Zocalo, this capital’s giant main square.

Lopez Obrador ally Marti Batres delivered to the Federal Electoral Institute the documents needed to begin the process of turning the Morena organization into a registered political party eligible for public funding.

Morena must sign up at least 220,000 members and hold assemblies by the end of this year to qualify for the 2015 mid-term legislative elections.

“We have to keep fighting to transform our country,” Lopez Obrador said Tuesday. “We are convinced that if there is not a regime change, we won’t find a way out, either as a people or a nation.”

The former Mexico City mayor barely lost the 2006 presidential election and attributed his second-place finish in last year’s vote to chicanery by the victorious Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which enjoyed a defacto monopoly on power from 1929-2000.

Though he was one of PRI renegades who established the nominally leftist PRD in the late 1980s, Lopez Obrador quit that party in September to establish Morena.

“We cannot abandon the people, we have to continue insisting until we achieve a change of regime, until we defeat the power mafia that again appropriated the government,” Lopez Obrador said, referring to the return of the PRI.

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WednesdayJanuary 9, 2013