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FridayJanuary 11, 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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Manchester City Willing to Sell Forward Balotelli for $40 Million

Manchester City Willing to Sell Forward Balotelli for $40 Million

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Defending Premier League champion Manchester City would be willing to sell forward Mario Balotelli for 30 million euros ($40 million) and sees AC Milan as a possible buyer, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported.

That amount would be roughly equal to the transfer fee City paid Inter Milan in 2010 to acquire the talented but temperamental player.

Though AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has labeled Balotelli a “rotten apple,” people in the City organization have the “sense” that the mogul’s views are not shared by the Italian club’s coach, Massimiliano Allegri, The Guardian said.

The Premier League transfer window closes on Jan. 31.

City manager Roberto Mancini continues to support Balotelli in public, even though the two men got into a physical altercation during practice last week.

The doings of the 22-year-old Balotelli, who has been fined by the club several times for misbehavior both on and off the field, are a staple in British media.

Balotelli’s exploits include visits to topless bars before league matches and setting his own house ablaze with fireworks.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Police Discover 5 Brutally Murdered Bodies in Guadalajara

Gangland violence has claimed five more lives in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-most-populous city, Jalisco state authorities said Friday.

The bodies of three men were found before dawn in Morelos, a neighborhood on Guadalajara’s south side, sources in the state Attorney General’s Office and the municipal police told Efe.

Two of the victims were decapitated.

The bodies and severed heads were bundled into trash bags bound with adhesive tape and dumped on a street near the office of a mutual aid association for Central American immigrants, the sources said.

A man of around 30 was found dead in the trunk of his car near a set of railroad tracks in El Salto, on the edge of the city. The victim’s eyes were taped shut and his head was covered with a plastic bag, police sources said.

Carlos Bautista Garcia, 33, was killed in a drive-by shooting in the Guadalajara suburb of Zapopan. Struck by eight bullets, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Several criminal outfits are battling each other for control of northbound drug-smuggling routes in Jalisco.

The main conflict is between the ultraviolent Los Zetas and a group calling itself Jalisco Nueva Generacion, but a gang based in the neighboring state of Michoacan, Los Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar), is also trying to gain a foothold in Jalisco.

A score of police and civilians have died in the past two weeks in violence linked to the Caballeros.

Read more by HS News Staff →

EXTREME TRAFFICKING: 310 Pounds of Pot Found Hidden Among Frozen Carrots

EXTREME TRAFFICKING: 310 Pounds of Pot Found Hidden Among Frozen Carrots

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials saw a drug smuggler was attempting to transport hundreds of pounds of marijuana into the U.S. by covering is with bags of frozen carrots.

The drug smuggler was identified as a 29-year-old citizen from Maywood, California. He attempted to smuggle 310 pounds of marijuana from Baja California into San Diego.

The man’s smuggling attempt was thwarted Wednesday night at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. When officials grew suspicious, the driver was directed to a special inspection area where they searched the bed of his 2005 Bobtail truck. At first glance the boxes only appeared to contain frozen bright orange carrots, but a closer look revealed 42 hidden packages of marijuana.

The 310 pounds recovered have an estimated street value of about $500,000.

The driver is now being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center and is facing federal charges for attempted illegal smuggling of marijuana.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Mortgage Rules Improves Protections for Minority Homebuyers

New Mortgage Rules Improves Protections for Minority Homebuyers

Photo: Latino Homeowner Protections

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Earlier this week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued guidelines for their Qualified Mortgage (QM) regulation, which requires lenders to ensure that borrowers are able to repay loans. The QM regulation will help prevent lenders from issuing mortgages to consumers that they cannot afford—a key abuse that contributed to the collapse of the housing market. While the final rule does not reflect all of NCLR’s (National Council of La Raza) recommendations, it is pleased that CFPB has crafted a broad and inclusive definition of a Qualified Mortgage, which will ensure that Hispanic homebuyers are better protected from predatory lenders.

“Greater numbers of Latinos will become first-time homeowners in the years to come, helping both the economic mobility of their families and the prosperity of our nation as a whole,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “We commend CFPB for adopting a broad definition of a Qualified Mortgage, which will foster an inclusive housing market for Hispanic families just starting out. The rule will require lenders to be sure that borrowers can afford their loans, a commonsense protection that will benefit the entire market.”

According to the CFPB, any home loan purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as any mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will be considered a QM loan. In addition, all loans issued to borrowers whose debt-to-income ratio does not exceed 43 percent will also fall under QM parameters.

“The CFPB’s stance on the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) demonstrates Director Richard Cordray’s commitment to equal access to homeownership for all qualified borrowers regardless of race, geography or economic strata. The Qualified Mortgage Rule is a critically important step in the broader movement toward rebuilding a housing finance system and promoting affordability and accessibility. In rejecting a restrictive QRM definition, the CFPB is sending a clear message that it seeks to foster a competitive marketplace with clear guidelines for industry underwriting and consumer readiness,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League.

Read more by HS News Staff →

10-Foot-Long Python Rides on the Wing of Australian Airplane

10-Foot-Long Python Rides on the Wing of Australian Airplane

Photo: The python on the plane (Townsville Bulletin)

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Passengers on a Quantas jetliner began to worry during the flight when they noticed a 3-meter-long (10-foot-long) python going along for the ride, the Australian press reported Friday.

The surprising circumstance occurred Thursday on a flight between Cairns and Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea, and was watched with astonished interest by both passengers and crew.Image

As some travelers told the Sydney Morning Herald, a passenger notified the crew that there was a snake on one of the aircraft’s wings after the plane had been in the air for half an hour.

The snake clung to the wing despite the powerful winds and cold weather, and according to one of the passengers, it managed to find a shelter of sorts by writhing up against the airliner’s fuselage. It was still moving when the plane landed, said Robert Weber, a passenger who filmed it all.

Unfortunately, a Quantas spokesperson said that when the snake was taken off the airplane wing it was no longer alive.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Blotter:  Former Chicago Cop and Latin King Members Sentenced on Racketeering Charges

Latino Blotter:  Former Chicago Cop and Latin King Members Sentenced on Racketeering Charges

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A former Chicago Police officer and two members of the Latin Kings street gang were sentenced this week in Indiana to serve prison time for their roles in a racketeering conspiracy and other related charges, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David Capp of the Northern District of Indiana.

Former Chicago Police Officer Alex Guerrero, 41, of Chicago, was sentenced today to serve 228 months in prison and five years of supervised release. Antonio Gudino, aka “Chronic,” 31, of Hammond, Indiana, was sentenced yesterday to serve 175 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Brandon Clay, aka “Cheddar,” “Cheddar Boy,” “Swiss,” and “Slick” 25, of Chicago, was sentenced Wednesday to serve 360 months in prison and five years of supervised release. Guerrero, Gudino, and Clay were each sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano in the Northern District of Indiana.

During their guilty plea proceedings, Guerrero, who was a Chicago Police Department officer, admitted to being associated with the Latin Kings, and Gudino and Clay admitted to being Latin King members from an early age. They also acknowledged they were aware that the Latin Kings distributed more than 150 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana over the course of the racketeering conspiracy. Guerrero admitted in his plea agreement that he was responsible for possession of and distribution of 150 kilograms or more of cocaine. Gudino and Clay admitted to participating in street activities to further the drug trafficking and other gang activities.

Guerrero also admitted to participating in robberies at the direction of a Latin Kings leader.  Guerrero resigned from the Chicago Police Department following his plea hearing.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Bounty Hunter Series Premiering on Mun2 Cable Network

Latino Bounty Hunter Series Premiering on Mun2 Cable Network

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Roman Morales, a long-time government agent, joins a team of bounty hunters in rounding up people wanted by the law, in the new action series “Fugitivos de la Ley: Los Angeles” (Fugitives of the Law: Los Angeles), to be aired on the Mun2 cable broadcast network.

“It’s a program about bounty hunters in English and Spanish, but I don’t speak much Spanish - we’re bounty hunters with different abilities that come to light during the show. When they work together you’re going to see a lot of good action, good fun, but with a seriousness that makes it all very realistic,” Morales told Efe.

“Fugitivos de la Ley: Los Angeles” in 24 episodes, of which six have already been shot in L.A. and the San Fernando Valley, will premiere on Jan. 13 and will air every Sunday at 8:00 p.m.

The program is a dramatization of real cases registered at bail bond companies that intercede on behalf of people arrested by the police.

“Bounty hunting goes into action when defendants skip bond, when they don’t show up at court when they’re supposed to, and we have to go find them and turn them in to the authorities,” Morales said.

“We go out to arrest individuals who sometimes go quietly, but other times we come up against those who are really tough,” he said.

“Fugitivos de la Ley: Los Angeles” is a series directed by Lou Pizarro, creator of the “Operation Repo” program about cars being repossessed because their owners fail to pay the automotive distributors what they owe them.

Read more by HS News Staff →

16-Yr-Old Attempts to Enter Country with Almost 8 Lbs of Pot in Her Backpack

16-Yr-Old Attempts to Enter Country with Almost 8 Lbs of Pot in Her Backpack

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Columbus port of entry seized 7.9 pounds of marijuana this morning. The drugs were hidden in a backpack carried by a 16-year-old female who attempted to enter the country as a pedestrian.

Last spring we saw numerous cases of juveniles involved in drug smuggling. This most recent seizure should remind parents to talk to their children about smuggling because the consequences of this illegal activity can be severe and life altering,” said Edward Sinderson, acting CBP Columbus Port Director.

The Thursday morning case occurred just after 7:00 a.m. when a 16-year-old girl from Palomas, Mexico entered the port as a pedestrian. A CBP officer at the primary inspection booth conducted an exam of the girl’s backpack and noticed several brick shaped bundles inside. A total of seven marijuana-filled bundles weighing 7.9 pounds were removed from the backpack. The teen was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents.

The seizure was the fifth marijuana bust made at the Columbus port so far in 2013.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Police Confiscate TVs, Refrigerators from Inmates

Mexican Police Confiscate TVs, Refrigerators from Inmates

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Police discovered refrigerators, television sets and electric fans during a surprise inspection of a prison in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, authorities said.

The electrical appliances were found Wednesday night in a more than 3-hour search of cells and common areas at Torreon Prison, the state Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

“The inmates were told that the penal center is run by legal authorities and there will be no self-government nor any privileges,” the statement said.

Violence in the cities of Torreon and Saltillo, Coahuila’s capital, has been on the rise for a year due to a turf war between the Sinaloa and Los Zetas drug cartels.

Civil organizations say that in recent years inmates at Mexico’s federal and state prisons have suffered grave and constant violations of their individual rights, though “privileges” do exist for some.

New President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office on Dec. 1, ordered Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong “to take steps to secure control of the penitentiary system with policies that allow the rehabilitation of convicts.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

George Clooney, Cindy Crawford Have Wild Night - Check Out Casamigos Tequila Spot (VIDEO)

George Clooney, Cindy Crawford Have Wild Night - Check Out Casamigos Tequila Spot (VIDEO)

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With help from Rande Gerber’s wife, supermodel Cindy Crawford, and George Clooney’s girlfriend, Stacey Keibler, the new commercial for the guy’s tequila shows what happens when a group of friends gets a little too intimate after enjoying Casamigos Tequila.

Longtime friends George Clooney and Rande Gerber love tequila. On the rocks, by the shot, at times, straight from the bottle. Tequila-filled nights with friends is how Casamigos was born. Their idea was to make the best-tasting, smoothest tequila whose taste didn’t have to be covered up with salt or lime. So they did.

The idea for Casamigos came after Clooney, Gerber, and Mike Meldman were “enjoying all things ‘Mexico’.”


Now remember: drink responsibly.

We can’t imagine very many people being disappointed waking up next to any of these four though.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain Lightens Prison Sentence for Angel Carromero

Spain Lightens Prison Sentence for Angel Carromero

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Angel Carromero, who was sent home to Spain from Cuba to serve the rest of a four-year sentence for vehicular manslaughter on the island, walked out of a prison here Friday after authorities agreed to grant him open-regime status.

Carromero immediately got into a car with two friends who came to take him to his residence in Madrid.

Under open-regime detention, prisoners can enjoy privileges such as daytime work release and weekend furloughs.

Carromero, an activist with Spain’s governing conservative Popular Party and an employee of the Madrid municipal government, was convicted and sentenced in Cuba for a July 2012 car accident in which prominent Cuban dissident Osvaldo Paya and another government opponent were killed.

The vehicle, with Carromero at the wheel, ran off the road and crashed near Bayamo, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of Havana.

Cuban authorities said the car was going 120 kph (nearly 75 mph) along a stretch of highway where the speed limit was 60 kph (around 37 mph).

Carromero was sent back to Spain on Dec. 29 under a bilateral accord on repatriation of prisoners.

The Madrid municipal government said earlier that Carromero would be welcome to return to work if he were granted open-regime status.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Was it Murder? - Chilean Artist Jorge Selarón Found Dead Near His Work in Brazil

Was it Murder? - Chilean Artist Jorge Selarón Found Dead Near His Work in Brazil

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The body of Chilean artist Jorge Selarón was found in Brazil near one of his most recognizable works of art, the Escadaria Selarón (Selarón’s Steps).

On Thursday, Selarón’s body was discovered near the famous steps. The 65-year-old was found with burn marks on various parts of his body.

Selarón was moved to the Instituto Médico-Legal (IML) and Rio’s homicide department says it is still unclear whether the artist’s death was murder, suicide, or something else.

Four people have been taken in for questioning, including a man Selarón told police was showing threatening behavior.

The man, Paulo Sérgio Rabello, once collaborated with Selarón, but their relationship had since become strained. Throughout a number of altercations, Selarón had told police Rabello had knocked over his easel, thrown his paintings to the ground, and even threatened to stab him on two occasions.

Neighbors say that after the threats began Selarón was not the same. He seemed saddened, a great departure from his usual jovial self.

Though Selarón may have passed, his work remains.

Selarón was mostly a painter until 1990 when he decided to make over the steps near his home in Rio de Janeiro.

The Chilean-born artist turned the 215 steps from Joaquim Silva St. and Pinto Martins St between the neighborhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa into a “tribute to the Brazilian people.”

The steps were covered in more than 2,000 tiles from more than 60 countries, using the colors of the Brazilian flag: green, blue, and yellow.

Selarón’s was 66.

Read more by HS News Staff →

REPORT:  17 Years of AMBER Alerts Has Saved 600 Children

REPORT:  17 Years of AMBER Alerts Has Saved 600 Children

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On January 13th, the Department of Justice’s Office observes the day in 1996 when nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted in Arlington, Texas, while riding her bicycle. 

Her abduction and brutal murder launched the creation of the AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert program.
Because of AMBER Alerts, 602 abducted children have been successfully recovered and brought home safely.

In the aftermath of Amber Hagerman’s abduction and murder, local broadcasters joined with law enforcement to create the AMBER Alert system.  AMBER Alerts are emergency messages issued when a law enforcement agency determines that a child has been abducted and is in imminent danger.  The broadcasts include information about the child and abductor that could lead to the child’s recovery, such as physical description and information about the abductor’s vehicle.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) manages distribution of AMBER Alerts to a network of partners including law enforcement, radio and TV broadcasters, transportation agencies, lottery and highway signs, airports and truck stops, Yahoo, Facebook and AOL.
In November 2011, Google joined the network, providing real-time AMBER Alert updates to users of Google Map and Google Search features.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Has Demi Lovato Been Living in a Sober Living Facility?

Has Demi Lovato Been Living in a Sober Living Facility?

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TMZ is now reporting X Factor judge and former Disney sweetheart Demi Lovato has been living in a sober living house since she left rehab.

Lovato, 20, first entered rehab in October 2010 for “physical and emotional issues.” On January 28, 2011, is was reported that Lovato had completed her inpatient treatment and returned to her Los Angeles home where she continued to see doctors.

Still a teen at the time, Lovato revealed she had entered treatment due to issues such as self-injury, bulimia, and anorexia.

TMZ sources, however, are reporting Lovato recognized she would be better off in a sober living facility, and has been living in one for more than a year.

Since leaving rehab, Lovato has really seen her career take off and has become the face of a number of anti-bullying campaigns and Voto Latino.

If the story of her current residence is true, it appears to have been a great decision for her.

Way to go, Demi!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Police Stop E-mail Scam Ring That Stole $1.3Million

Spanish Police Stop E-mail Scam Ring That Stole $1.3Million

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Spanish police arrested here five members of a ring that allegedly used e-mail scams to defraud unsuspecting foreigners out of more than 1 million euros ($1.3 million).

The group targeted victims in the United States, Norway, Poland, Canada, Britain, Pakistan and Italy, the Directorate-General of the Spanish National Police force said Friday.

The modus operandi consisted of hacking into e-mail accounts of citizens of those countries and using them to send requests for money to people on their contact list to resolve a personal matter.

The ring also promised large sums of money from inexistent inheritances or lucrative business opportunities once advance payment was made for supposed administrative fees, a scam commonly known as a “Nigerian letter.”

The investigation was launched after a group of individuals of Nigerian origin was discovered carrying out these illegal activities.

Those suspects used false identities to open bank accounts where payment from their victims was received.

A portion of those fraudulently obtained proceeds was sent abroad using money-transfer firms, a job entrusted to two Spanish individuals - a man and a woman - so the wire transfers would go undetected.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Oscar de la Renta to Launch Another Fragrance, This One Aimed for Brides

Oscar de la Renta to Launch Another Fragrance, This One Aimed for Brides

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Iconic fashion designer Oscar de la Renta is getting ready to launch another fragrance, this one is for brides.

The Dominican born designer wants his fragrance to become a big part of the bridal market.  De la Renta noted ‘‘What we want to do with our fragrance business - the way we want to stand out - is to tie back to our fashion. Bridal is such an important business for us; this is a natural.’‘

The fragrance called ‘Something Blue’ will retail for $85 for eau de parfum and $115 for the larger size of 3.4oz.  If you wish to gift the bride in your life further you can buy a scented candle for $65.

Currently the designer’s fragrance line includes ‘Live in Love’, ‘Oscar’, ‘Volupte’ and ‘Pour Lui’. 

The 80-year-old designer was honored last year by his peers for his long and distinguished career in fashion.  His fashion empire, launched in 1965,  also includes underclothing for both men and women, perfumes and accessories, articles for the home, collections for children, shoes and jewelry.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Christian Band Son By Four Promotes New Single

Christian Band Son By Four Promotes New Single

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The Puerto Rican Christian music group Son By Four, known internationally for the number “A Puro Dolor” (Purest of Pain), is promoting their new single, “Si Los Ves Llorar” (If You See Them Cry).

The message of the song, adapted to Spanish from the tune “When the Children Cry,” is that adults should offer faith and hope to youngsters to protect them from the evils of the world, vocalist Jorge Montes told Efe.

“The lyrics are a positive criticism about what kind of world we are going to leave our children, and about how parents, the grown-ups, should behave in front of them to set the world aright,” he said.

He noted that the group’s next album, still untitled, will have the kind of songs “society needs to hear, that will give them hope in difficult situations so they can rise up, songs that inspire and motivate them.”

Son by Four struck it rich in 2000 with the number “A Puro Dolor,” which topped Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks chart for five months and became a global hit.

Nonetheless, after the group enjoyed “the fame, the money, the red carpets and trips in private planes,” Son By Four broke up in 2003, re-forming four years later as a band devoted to Christian music.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ICE Strikes and Detains Mother of National Leader of the DREAM Act Movement

ICE Strikes and Detains Mother of National Leader of the DREAM Act Movement

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Tonight, the mother and brother of one of the leaders of the national Dream Act movement, Erika Andiola, were arrested and taken away from their home. Erika’s mother is the best example of how undocumented immigrant with no criminal records are being caught in the dragnet of an overzealous immigration enforcement machine.

While the Obama administration has maintained that its primary intent is to remove people convicted of serious crimes, “the worst of the worst,” the majority of those deported have no criminal record whatsoever. And the majority of those with criminal records deported last year were deported for traffic offenses or minor infractions.

Erika Andiola has been a prominent leader in the immigrant rights movement. She has confronted anti-immigrant figures including SB1070 architect Russell Pearce. Most recently, she received recognition for her advocacy and received Arizona’s 40 under 40 award.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Illinois Legislature Votes to License all Drivers in the State

Illinois Legislature Votes to License all Drivers in the State

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On Tuesday, the Illinois legislature passed a bill to allow state residents without legal status to obtain a three-year renewable driver’s license. The law will create tens if not hundreds of thousands of newly licensed drivers. The bill, which awaits the Governor’s promised signature, will make Illinois the third state after New Mexico and Washington to allow unauthorized immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. (Utah allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driving privilege cards.)

Although the bill could improve the lives of potentially hundreds of thousands of immigrants, debate over the measure was concerned more about public safety than immigration. As proponents of the bill noted, licensed drivers are typically insured drivers (which could bring everyone’s insurance rates down). In a state where unlicensed immigrant drivers were estimated to cost $64 million in damage claims, ensuring that all drivers pass necessary driver’s training and testing makes the state’s roads safer. Indeed, as Lake County Sheriff Mark C. Curran (R) noted:

“Having drivers who are uninsured, untrained and untested comes at a high cost to all of us. This bill will ensure that all Illinois drivers have licenses, which will make our roads safer for all drivers. It is the right move.”

Passage of the bill also demonstrates that sensible laws can be passed that place common sense approaches to public safety over emotions about immigration. It also shows that state legislators are ready to move forward on laws that could be perceived as pro-immigrant.

According to the Huffington Post:

“Rep. Dan Brady, a Republican, said he was reluctantly voting for the bill…”We have to begin in this state to take into our own hands immigration issues to make things safer in this state of Illinois…It’s a sad state of affairs, but the reality is my priority.”

Over the past two years the nation has witnessed a litany of punitive, anti-immigrant bills at the state level. This measure is hopefully evidence of a changing tide and what will be done at the state and federal level.

Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez made the connection between his home state’s measure and the upcoming national debate:

“It is a sensible response to reality and another sign that the immigration policy debate is moving forward.  I am looking forward to carrying the same spirit of problem-solving and concrete accomplishment that was demonstrated in Springfield to the immigration debate in Washington.”

And Lawrence Benito, CEO of Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights added:

“Passing the highway safety legislation is proof that both parties can put the politics of fear and scapegoating aside and work on practical solutions that keep our roads and families safe…Illinois is an example of what can happen nationally.”

Read more at Immigration Impact →

2012 Saw a 3.2 Percent Drop in PC Sales Globally

2012 Saw a 3.2 Percent Drop in PC Sales Globally

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Global sales of personal computers fell by 3.2 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year amid higher demand for smartphones and tablets, U.S.-based market research company International Data Corporation said Friday.

A total of 352.42 million PCs were sold worldwide last year, down from 363.89 million units sold in 2011.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, PC sales declined by 6.4 percent relative to the same period of the previous year, the first inter-annual decline in that quarter since 2007.

Demand for computers fell in the final three months of last year despite the release of the new Windows 8 operating system, IDC said.

Hewlett-Packard remained the global market leader in 2012 with 58.13 million PCs sold, down 6.7 percent from 2011 and representing a 16.5 percent market share.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Blog del Narco: Two Bodies Found Murdered then Burned in Sinaloa

Blog del Narco: Two Bodies Found Murdered then Burned in Sinaloa

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Two bodies remain unidentified at the medical examiner’s in Sinaloa.  The charred remains of two persons believed to be male were found completely burned in a taxi in Colonia Guadalupe.

The gruesome discovery was made within minutes of the rental vehicle being ignited with two “passengers” on board, who turned out to be shot dead and then burned in that automobile.

At the scene, and forensic experts found scattered in the bushes several 38 super caliber and 9 mm shells so presumably the two victims were shot dead first, then doused with gasoline and burned.

Read more in Spanish at Blog del Narco here

Read more Narco news at HS News in English here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Victims of Jenni Rivera Crash Sue Her Estate and Plane’s Owners

Victims of Jenni Rivera Crash Sue Her Estate and Plane’s Owners

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The families of victims of the airplane crash that took the life of Jenni Rivera are now suing the singer’s company, Jenni Rivera Enterprises, and the airplane owners for negligence.

The private plane carrying popular Mexican-American singer Rivera and several companions experienced an “abrupt descent” before crashing in northern Mexico, killing everyone aboard on December 9, 2012.  Days later the wreckage of the completely destroyed plane were found on a ranch in the remote mountainous state of Nuevo Leon.

The famed banda singer was traveling with her publicist, Arturo Rivera, her makeup artist Jorge Sanchez Vasquez and her attorney Mario Macias Pacheco.  The private plane left Monterrey, after Rivera finished performing at The Arena around 3:30 a.m. and lost contact with air control 15 minutes later. 

The victim’s families describe, in a suit filed in Los Angeles, the 53 year-old Lear25 jet as a “bucket of bolts” that was owned by Starwood Management.  A plane they felt should never of been in the air.  The families also question Rivera’s judgment in choosing that plane and that hour of departure. 

Jenni Rivera Enterprises is now owned and managed by the late singers family.  Authorities in the U.S. and Mexico continue to investigate the cause of the fatal crash. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

VENEZUELA: At Least 11 Die, 75 Injured in Highway Pile-Up

VENEZUELA: At Least 11 Die, 75 Injured in Highway Pile-Up

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At least 11 people died and 75 were injured in a pile-up on a highway in the western Venezuelan state of Zulia that included a truck and two buses, authorities said Thursday.

“We presume that the driver (of the truck) stopped because there was a thick cloud of smoke ... which impeded the visibility of the traffic, and the buses came from behind,” Henry Uzcategui, the fire chief in Santa Rita, told reporters.

This is “only a hypothesis,” he added.

The crash occurred shortly before midnight Wednesday.

The buses were heading for Caracas at the time of the pile-up, in which three other automobiles were involved.

The Nacional newspaper said the buses were carrying partisans of President Hugo Chavez to the capital for a rally to support the ailing head of state.

Alessandro Galattioto, the fire chief in the city of Cabimas, said that the injured had been taken to hospitals in his jurisdiction, which includes Maracaibo, Lagunillas and Simon Bolivar.

Most of them, Galattioto said, are in “serious” condition, according to the Maracaibo daily La Verdad.

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Latin America News:  Paraguay Unable to Defeat Dengue, Declares National Alert

Latin America News:  Paraguay Unable to Defeat Dengue, Declares National Alert

Photo: Dengue in Paraguay

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Paraguay’s Health Minister, Antonio Arbo, has declared a national epidemic alert since the country was unable to eliminate the dengue disease only control an outbreak.

The declaration was also driven by the fact there is a “high degree of larvae infestation and confirmed reports of new outbreaks of dengue to the north and east of the country,” said Dr. Celia Martinez head of the country’s Sanitary Vigilance.

Last week the country launched an education and awareness campaign in anticipation of the upcoming rainy Spring months when the disease infestation rate increases. 

Accord to Mercopress, last year 70 people died in Paraguay from the disease. 

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Colombia Renews Coal Production Contract with Brazilian Firm

Colombia Renews Coal Production Contract with Brazilian Firm

Photo: Votorantim operating in Colombia

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Colombia’s government renewed a coal production and marketing accord with Brazilian conglomerate Votorantim Group’s local unit, which has operated in the central province of Boyaca since 1989.

The Mines and Energy Ministry said Thursday in a statement that the contract was extended for at least 26 years after talks that also involved the National Mining Agency

The agreement includes a hike in the government’s royalty rate from 10 percent to 15 percent for production of 2.5 million tons of coal or less. That rate climbs to 19 percent when output climbs to roughly 8 million tons of coal.

Votorantim’s Minas Paz del Rio unit, for its part, pledged to invest in technology to increase production from 200,000 tons of coal annually to 2.5 million tons in 2020.

Under the agreement, the company also must earmark at least 1 percent of its operating profits - an amount typically no less than 720 million pesos ($407,249) - for social investments in mining areas.

The company also promised to formally hire more than 400 miners and commit to paying environmental fines that are steeper under the new accord.

As part of the negotiations, Minas Paz del Rio also agreed to contribute to construction of a 910-kilometer (565-mile) railway linking coal mines in Cundinamarca, Boyaca and Santander provinces with the main rail line to Caribbean ports, a $2.06 billion public-private project aimed at boosting exports.

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27-Year-Old Priest Remains Missing in Michoacán, Mexico

27-Year-Old Priest Remains Missing in Michoacán, Mexico

Photo: Missing Mexican Priest, Father Santiago

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The Mexican diocese of Zamora, Michoacån sent to Fides Agency an appeal to pray for Father Santiago, who has been missing since December 27, 2012. 

On that day, Father Santiago Alvarez Figueroa, went to celebrate a Mass in Jacona, near Jiquilpan. After the celebration he had phoned home to tell his parents that he would join them immediately, but he never arrived. The police patrolled the route the priest did by car, discarding the possibility of an accident.

The statement of the diocese says:

“The competent authorities have been carrying out their research since December 29, the date on which the complaint was filed to the Prosecutor of Zamora, but so far nothing is known. So many families, like father Santiago’s, have suffered similar situations, have experienced much pain and many tears have been shed without satisfactory answers! Those who are responsible for father Santiago’s disappearance we ask: for God’s sake, to return a healthy son back to his mother, a brother to his brothers, a priest of the community, a friend to the young!”

Father Santiago, was ordained a priest in December, 2011.

Zamora, Michoacán is in an area involved in the conflict between the “cartels” in Mexico. Jacona is a village on the border between Michoacán and Jalisco, where the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) contends power with Los Caballeros Templarios.

According to the Fides Agency, this conflict has caused the death of many people involved in gangs, but also of many innocent people, as well as hundreds of “disappearances” which not even the police are able to define the number.

 

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Barca Crushes Cordoba (5-0) en Route to Copa Quarterfinals

Barca Crushes Cordoba (5-0) en Route to Copa Quarterfinals

Photo: Barca Crushes Cordoba (5-0) en Route to Copa Quarterfinals

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Usually left out of the starting 11 in recent weeks, David Villa made a statement here Thursday, scoring twice to lead FC Barcelona to a 5-0 rout of Cordoba and set up a meeting with Malaga in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.

Barça came into the match with a 2-0 lead after winning the first leg and the decision to rest Messi, Iniesta and Xavi gave Villa a chance to show what he could do.

After Alexis misfired on a chance in the first 60 seconds, Thiago opened the scoring with a goal in the 17th minute.

Villa struck twice within a five-minute period to bring the score to 3-0 less than a third of the way through regulation.

Alexis, meanwhile, went on to redeem his earlier mistake by knocking in two goals in the second half.

Atletico Madrid, riding on a 3-0 cushion after the first leg, settled for a scoreless tie with Getafe and will now gear up for a quarterfinal duel with Real Betis, who beat Las Palmas 1-0 to advance on an aggregate score of 2-1.

The other quarterfinal match-ups are Zaragoza-Sevilla and Real Madrid-Valencia.

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Draco Rosa’s New Album “Vida” Will Include Songs from Ricky Martin and Shakira

Draco Rosa’s New Album “Vida” Will Include Songs from Ricky Martin and Shakira

Photo: Draco Rosa New Album "Vida"

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Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Draco Rosa will release on March 19 his new album “Vida” (Life), on which he performs his greatest hits along with friends and colleagues such as Ricky Martin, Alejandro Sanz, Juan Luis Guerra and Shakira.

“I feel very fortunate to be part of this because ... they are recording my songs. For me it’s a dream made into reality,” Rosa said Thursday in an interview with Efe.

The singer, a cancer survivor, will also be joined on the album by other great figures in Latino music including Romeo, Andres Calamaro, Mana, Marc Anthony, Jose Feliciano and Calle 13.

The recording of the album helped him greatly to get through his cancer treatment, since it encouraged him to “continue with my desires and energy of life,” he said.

“It is called ‘Vida’ because I’m very happy to be alive. After two years of the disease, on Dec. 31 they confirmed to me that I was cancer-free,” he said.

The first song to hit the market is a new version of the hit “Mas y Mas” in a duet with Ricky Martin, with whom he shared one phase of his musical career when both were part of Menudo.

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Bomb Blast Kills Spanish Soldier in Afghanistan

Bomb Blast Kills Spanish Soldier in Afghanistan

Photo: Sergeant Fernandez Ureña

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A Spanish soldier died Friday in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said.

The Spanish government’s No. 2 and spokeswoman said in a press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting that army Sgt. David Fernandez Ureña, 35, had been killed.

In her remarks, Saenz de Santamaria paid tribute to members of the Spanish army and armed forces for their work “in the service of peace and stability worldwide.”

The soldier was killed while carrying out reconnaissance work between the towns of Qala i Naw and Darra i Bun, Spain’s Defense Ministry said.

The explosion, whose cause is under investigation, occurred when his reconnaissance team was inspecting a stretch of terrain where an explosive device had been located.

Fernandez Ureña, the first fatality among Spanish troops in Afghanistan this year, was awarded the NATO-ISAF medal for his service in the South Asian country in 2009.

Spain’s military has been part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan for more than a decade and currently has some 1,400 people serving with ISAF.

A total of 100 Spanish military personnel - some of Latin American origin - have now been killed since the mission in Afghanistan started, most in air accidents.

Most of the Spanish soldiers deployed there are currently stationed in the northwestern province of Badghis.

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Rev. Samuel Rodriguez: First Latino Leader to Give Keynote at Dr. King Commemorative Service

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday observance Annual Commemorative Service, a major event during the King Week celebration, scheduled for Monday, January 21, will feature keynote speaker the Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), who King Center CEO, Elder Bernice A. King, called “an electrifying orator” and “one of the most dynamic and inspiring proponents of the social gospel in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Reverend Rodriguez’s address will mark the first time a Latino leader serves as the keynote speaker for the Commemorative Service, which is the nation’s ‘flagship’ ecumenical religious observance on the MLK holiday.  Rev. Rodriguez had been asked by the Congressional Inaugural Committee to participate in President Obama’s inaugural activities, yet his commitment to this historic keynote address precludes his participation.

Rev. Rodriguez, President of the NHCLC, the nation’s largest Christian Hispanic organization, said, “I am honored by the gracious invitation to be the first Latino Keynote speaker. I believe in the dream of Dr. King. I believe there is still work to be done. I celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King who inspired me and inspired this nation. We stand at the edge of a new civil rights movement in America—a movement committed to righteousness and justice—one that is neither blue or red but the Lamb’s Agenda—a movement where our communities will come together reconciling the vertical and horizontal planes of the Christian message via Billy Graham’s message of salvation through Christ and the dream of this great leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, and his march for justice.”

The 2013 observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., beginning a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

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Immediate Food Assistance Needed for 500,000 Haitians

Immediate Food Assistance Needed for 500,000 Haitians

Photo: World Food Programme in Haiti (WFP/ Elio Rujano)

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The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti said “immediate” food assistance must be provided to more than 500,000 people, including 81,600 children suffering from acute malnutrition.

The mission, known as Minustah, blames the situation on crop destruction stemming from drought and Tropical Storms Isaac and Sandy, which brought strong winds and flooding to the Caribbean nation last year.

Minustah said in a report that food insecurity affects 2.1 million Haitians but that 500,000 of these people require immediate attention, adding that $144 million must be invested in 2013 to meet those needs.

The document said that 81,600 children aged five years or younger suffer from acute malnutrition and that 20,000 of them suffer from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition.

It noted that some 358,000 people still living in refugee camps set up after the devastating earthquake of early 2010 face deteriorating living conditions and are more vulnerable to natural disasters.

Minustah also warned about recurrent outbreaks of cholera among the displaced population.

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FridayJanuary 11, 2013