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SaturdayJanuary 12, 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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Mexican President Establishes National Institute of the Entrepreneur

Mexican President Establishes National Institute of the Entrepreneur

Photo: Enrique Peña Nieto signing decree

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Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a decree to create a National Institute of the Entrepreneur, which seeks to aid micro, small and medium-sized businesses, or Mipymes, which he said “constitute the heart of the nation’s economic activity and are one of its greatest assets.

At the celebration of the 95th Anniversary of the Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism in Mexico City, Peña Nieto said that a state policy must be created to provide entrepreneurs with a comprehensive support system.

With its more than 4 million Mipymes, “our country has a great opportunity to boost productivity and raise the real income level of the Mexican people,” he said.

He added that Mipymes represent more than 99 percent of all businesses in the country, generate seven out of every 10 jobs and contribute more than a third of GDP.

The president said that Mexico has the potential to place itself in the coming years “among the most dynamic economies with one of the greatest growth rates.”

The president, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, has promised to promote Mexico’s economic growth to aid job creation, above all for the youngest segment of the working population, among whom there are currently some 7 million Mexicans who neither study nor work.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Reforestation Plan May Be Key to New Jobs in Haiti

Reforestation Plan May Be Key to New Jobs in Haiti

Photo: Reforestation in Haiti

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Haitian President Michel Martelly announced Saturday, three years after the devastating earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010 left 300,000 people dead, a master plan for reforestation and land management capable of creating 30,000 jobs.

The project seeks to put an end to ecosystem damage from the constant floods and erosion, the transport and accumulation of waste that is forever putting Haitian lives, assets and infrastructures at risk, according to an official communique.

A partial government estimate of how much these destructive natural forces have cost over the past 10 years says there have been more than 6,000 deaths, 1 million people left homeless, 250,000 homes destroyed, 281 million euros ($375 million) worth of direct agricultural losses, widespread ruin of infrastructures, as well as insecure food and water supplies.

This year the government foresees the creation of common woodlands to increase forest coverage by 27 percent between 2013 and 2020, a reduction of erosion in river basins, and the setting up of plant nurseries in the country’s 10 provinces to achieve a production capacity of 50 million plants.

That implies “drastic changes in administrative methods and the way we use our natural resources,” said Martelly, who has declared 2013 the Year of the Environment.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Woman Gives Birth to Sextuplets

Mexican Woman Gives Birth to Sextuplets

Photo: Sextuplets born in Mexico

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A Mexican woman gave birth to four baby girls and two baby boys, whose condition is described as “unstable,” at the Women’s Hospital in Morelia, the Health Secretariat of the southwestern state of Michoacan said.

Hospital director Yara Pineda acknowledged that the health of the babies, born on Thursday, “is delicate because they are underweight, because of their lack of pulmonary development and because of all the complications associated with artificial respiration.”

She also warned that if they survive, they could be in for some neurological, respiratory and/or cardiovascular problems.

The hospital said that the mother, Salud Romero Ruiz, a native of Morelia, capital of Michoacan, had to have her babies delivered by cesarean secton when she was 27 weeks pregnant since she was considered in a high-risk state of health.

Born in the surgical operation were four girls and two boys measuring around 30 centimenters (1 foot) long and weighing from 590 to 850 grams (1 1/4 to 2 pounds), which is why they are considered extremely premature.

The infants are hospitalized in intensive care, where they are given medication and all the treatment they need for a rapid improvement.

Pineda said that “the doctors caring for the minors are making every possible effort to keep them healthy and breathing by themselves.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Adamari Lopez Discuses Desire To Join Motherhood

Adamari Lopez Discuses Desire To Join Motherhood

Photo: Adamari Lopez

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Puerto Rican actress Adamari Lopez, on hand this week for a presentation of her first book entitled “Viviendo” (Living), told Efe that her greatest hope is to become a mom.

“Right now, one of my biggest wishes, if not the very biggest, is to have the chance to be a mother,” Lopez said Friday during an interview with Efe in San Juan, where she presented the book “Viviendo” that hit the bookstores las Dec. 31.

She also said that if she doesn’t manage to get pregnant sometime in her life, she will think of adopting, since “if it’s a good kid and it’s going to bring harmony and well-being to my home, I would love it.”

The possibility of Lopez having a baby, however, seemed lost when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but now she has been cured of the disease for seven years.

“Today I can say I’m free of the illness, in very good health and hoping that I can continue that way the rest of my life,” the actress said.

Lopez added Friday that among her other dreams is getting back to acting in telenovelas. The last she made was “Alma de Hierro” (Soul of Iron), which she shot in Mexico.

Lopez was also celebrating the news that Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Draco Rosa is now free of cancer after having battled the disease for almost two years.

“I’m so happy for Draco because he’s such a fighter - he says he’ll keep forging ahead and that he will get over the disease,” Lopez said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuelan V.P. Meets Raul Castro Before Seeing Hugo Chavez in Cuba

Venezuelan V.P. Meets Raul Castro Before Seeing Hugo Chavez in Cuba

Photo: Venezuelan V.P. Nicolas Maduro

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Cuban President Raul Castro met with Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro upon his arrival on the island to see Hugo Chavez, still convalescing in Havana following his fourth operation for cancer, local media said.

Gen. Castro assured Maduro about “the solidarity of the Cuban people with the Bolivarian Revolution and its leader (Chavez) under the present circumstances,” and said he was certain of “the capability of the Venezuelan people and its institutions to face and overcome any challenges,” the article published in the official dailies Granma and Juventud Rebelde said.

Also present at the meeting were Venezuela’s minister of science and technology and Chavez son-in-law, Jorge Arreaza, Venezuelan Attorney General Cilia Flores, members of the Venezuelan president’s family and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

The Cuban newspapers also reported Saturday on the talks Argentine President Cristina Fernandez had Friday with Raul Castro and his brother and ex-president Fidel, and published photos of their meeting.

The Venezuelan president has been a month in Cuba, where on Dec. 11 he underwent his fourth operation for the cancer that was first detected in June 2011.

Chavez, 58, in power since 1999 and reelected in last October’s polling, did not take office for his next term last Jan. 10 as established in the constitution, because he was not well enough to travel back to Venezuela from Cuba.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Government OKs Power Line Run by Spanish Firm

Brazilian Government OKs Power Line Run by Spanish Firm

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Brazil’s environmental protection agency said it has granted Spanish company Isolux Energia a license to operate a power transmission line between the southeastern states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

The 500-kilowatt transmission line will run between Taubate, in Sao Paulo state, and Nova Iguacu, on Rio de Janeiro city’s outskirts, the agency, known as Ibama, said in a statement Friday.

The contract for the transmission line was awarded to Isolux in a 2011 auction.

The line, which will stretch for approximately 257 kilometers (160 miles), will pass through 22 towns and transmit power from hydroelectric dams on the Madeira River.

The license covers the installation of the line as well as construction of the Nova Iguacu substation, the contract for which also was awarded to the Spanish firm by the National Electric Energy Agency, or Aneel, in a 2011 auction.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lakers Handed Sixth Consecutive Loss After Thunder Game

Lakers Handed Sixth Consecutive Loss After Thunder Game

Photo: Thunder's Kevin Durant (@okcthunder)

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Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 69 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder cruised to a 116-101 road win over the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers, a game far less competitive than the final score indicates.

The loss was the sixth straight for the injury-plagued Lakers, who came into the season with championship aspirations but now are six games below .500 and in disarray shortly before the midway point of the season.

Durant was completely unstoppable Friday night at Staples Center, scoring 42 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out five assists in 39 minutes of play, while Westbrook added 27 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.

The Lakers put up a fight early on, ending the first quarter with an 11-0 run to tie the game at 25-25.

But the Thunder’s array of offensive weaponry was too much in the second quarter, in which Oklahoma City scored a whopping 39 points, and the Lakers never came close to mounting a comeback in the second half.

For their third straight game, Lakers were missing power forward Pau Gasol, out with a concussion, and center Dwight Howard, who is suffering from a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles in scoring with 28 points, but he made just 8-of-23 field-goal attempts.

Metta World Peace also was way off with his shot, missing 13 of his 18 shots from the field, while point guard Steve Nash had a quiet night with seven points and seven assists.

The Thunder improved to 28-8, tied for best in the NBA, while the Lakers fell to 15-21.

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.

Following their latest loss, the Lakers are now 10-16 with D’Antoni on the sidelines.

In other action Friday night in the NBA, the Toronto Raptors routed the Charlotte Bobcats 99-78, the Boston Celtics topped the Houston Rockets 103-91, the Brooklyn Nets trounced the Phoenix Suns 99-79, the Atlanta Hawks cruised past the Utah Jazz 103-95, and the New Orleans Hornets defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-92.

The Chicago Bulls topped the New York Knicks 108-101, the Memphis Grizzlies edged the San Antonio Spurs 101-98 in overtime, the Detroit Pistons routed the Milwaukee Bucks 103-87, the Denver Nuggets topped the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-91, and the Golden State Warriors held off the Portland Trail Blazers 103-97.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Continues Bribery Investigation of Walmart

The Mexican unit of U.S.-based retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said in a statement that it has provided information regarding the corruption allegations it faces and reiterated its pledge to continue cooperating with Mexican authorities.

The statement was issued Friday, a day after U.S. congressmen Elijah Cummings and Henry Waxman divulged a letter they sent to Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke concerning allegations of systematic bribery to secure permits for a super-store on the site of Mexican ancient ruins.

That missive informed Duke that documents they obtained from a confidential source indicate he and other senior company executives, “contrary to Wal-Mart’s public statements, were repeatedly informed about bribes paid to government officials by the company’s Mexican subsidiary.

In response, Wal-Mart de Mexico y Centroamerica issued a statement indicating that the information contained in the letter from the Democratic legislators is part of an investigation that the parent company “began in the fall of 2011, through the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.”

“That investigation is being conducted by outside legal counsel and forensic accountants, who are experts in (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) compliance, and they are reporting regularly to the Audit Committee,” the company said.

According to the statement, “Walmart de Mexico y Centroamerica has provided information to Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office related to these allegations and continues to be committed to collaborate fully in the investigation” that the AG’s office is conducting.”

The allegations against Wal-Mart de Mexico first came to light in April 2012, when The New York Times published an article indicating the company’s largest foreign subsidiary paid bribes exceeding $24 million.

It said a former executive at the Mexican subsidiary blew the whistle, telling a Wal-Mart lawyer in September 2005 that “in its rush to build stores ... the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country.”

The Times story also said that Wal-Mart’s own investigators subsequently unearthed evidence of “widespread corruption,” but top executives of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company “focused more on damage control than on rooting out wrongdoing.”

The whistleblower, Sergio Cicero Zapata, who told the daily he resigned from Wal-Mart de Mexico in 2004 after organizing “years of payoffs,” identified the subsidiary’s then-chief executive, Eduardo Castro-Wright, as the “driving force” behind the bribery scheme.

But rather than being disciplined, the Times said Castro-Wright was promoted to vice chairman of Wal-Mart in 2008.

The daily said then that “bribery played a persistent and significant role in Wal-Mart’s rapid growth in Mexico, where Wal-Mart now employs 209,000 people, making it the country’s largest private employer.”

In a follow-up Dec. 17 article on the alleged corruption, the New York Times reported that Wal-Mart placed a $52,000 bribe with an official who then redrew a zoning map that had barred construction of a superstore near the archaeological zone of Teotihuacan, which includes the famed Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon.

The Times’ report, cited by Cummings and Waxman in their Jan. 10 letter to the Wal-Mart CEO, said the Teotihuacan case was part of a pattern of corrupt behavior and noted that 19 store sites across Mexico were “the target of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s bribes.”

The paper added that “Wal-Mart de Mexico was not the reluctant victim of a corrupt culture that insisted on bribes as the cost of doing business ... (but) was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Voting Rights: A Sleeper Issue for Latino Community

Voting Rights: A Sleeper Issue for Latino Community

Photo: NewsTaco

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By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

Here’s a small blip on the radar that’s sure to be getting brighter this year: Six out of the nine states covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act are supporting a challenge, in the Supreme Court, that could overturn one of the strongest tools that advocates have in their defense of voting rights.

It’s called preclearance, and it says that when any of the nine fully covered states (Texas, South Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia and Alaska), and parts of seven others (Florida, California, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota, Michigan and New Hampshire) make any changes to their voting rules, those changes must first be cleared by the federal government.Image

Shelby County, in South Carolina, has challenged the rule saying it’s out dated and no longer needed. The challenge has ended up in the Supreme Court. Five states, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas, are backing Shelby’s suit.

That’s where the issue now lies. Not a big concern compared to gun control or the series of impending fiscal cliffs – but that just may be what makes this issue all the more serious, it’s a sleeper, just because there’re more immediate things to worry about these days. But this case should have our full attention, it’s that important.

The preclearance clause provides the teeth to the voting rights advocates’ bite. Without it there’s no fight, no defense against an election authority arbitrarily changing times, locations, language on a ballot, rules, etc… The final authority on election changes and practices would be the very same authority that made the change.

We should point out that the preclearance rule is not universal. It only applies to states where voting discrimination practices were and are proven to still be a problem. So the Shelby County challenge is expected. And if Section 5 prevails this time, we should expect more of the same brought by other counties and states in the future, it’s the nature of the law. And that only means that our vigilance on the issue shouldn’t wane.

This is as important as immigration reform, health care, gun control and the rest. The difference is that this one is going to keep sneaking up on us.

This article was first published in NewsTaco.

NewsTaco provides you with innovative and insightful news, critique, analysis and opinion from a Latino perspective in a 24-hour world.

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NY Councilman Rodriguez Denounces Teacher Bashing

NY Councilman Rodriguez Denounces Teacher Bashing

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City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez said Friday that teachers in New York City public schools do everything possible to prepare their students and that Mayor Michael Bloomberg insists on discrediting them.

The commentary by Rodriguez, who chairs the council’s Higher Education Committee, came in answer to a study purporting to show that the least-qualified teachers are often assigned to schools serving minorities.

“At a time when the city is in negotiations with the teachers’ union about a new plan to evaluate them, he has been using tactics to discredit them. That began when he compared them to the National Rifle Association, and now we get this,” the former educator told Efe.

He was referring to Bloomberg’s comments this week that many teachers do not agree with the stand their union takes, just as NRA members don’t always agree with their organization, which angered educators and politicians who asked for an apology.

Bloomberg has said that he didn’t mean to liken the teachers union to the NRA and said that the controversy that has blown up is just to distract attention from the contract negotiations.

A study by the pro-charter school lobbying organization StudentsFirst says that the best teachers are never assigned to school districts with a high percentage of minority students and with low academic results.

African Americans and Latinos make up 68 percent of New York’s roughly 1 million public school students.

The city school system is controlled by Bloomberg.

“My experience is that most teachers around the city, no matter in which communities they teach, give it all they can,” Rodriguez said.

“The city’s big failure is not investing in the education system for children of ages 0-5 years, and as a result teachers are working with students who come to their classrooms without the academic development that should begin at an early age,” the councilman said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Peasants, Indians Take a Stance Against Organized Crime

Mexican Peasants, Indians Take a Stance Against Organized Crime

Photo: Makeshift checkpoint in Mexico

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Hundreds of peasants and Indians in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero have responded to the scourge of organized crime by arming themselves, detaining suspected criminals and setting up checkpoints at the entrances to their communities, Efe confirmed.

Residents of the municipalities of Ayutla de los Libres, Tecoanapa, Florencio Villarreal, Cuautepec, Copala and San Marcos have taken up arms to defend themselves from a drug-trafficking gang that a spokesman for the vigilantes said “is ordering them to pay protection money, charging extortion payments and selling drugs in their schools.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he told Efe that the decision was made Sunday after a rancher from a community in Tecoanapa was abducted and the suspected kidnappers demanded a ransom payment of 150,000 pesos (nearly $12,000) for his release.

“It was then that the people armed themselves and went looking for the rancher. They set up checkpoints and secured his release and captured five kidnappers,” he said.

A total of 37 suspected drug-gang hit men and drug dealers have been detained since the vigilante operations began and the checkpoints were first installed.

“We’re holding them near a town and we expect they’ll be tried in an assembly under the uses and customs of the communities,” a masked peasant leader with rifle in hand said.

Indigenous people and communities in Mexico enjoy a certain amount of autonomy based on customary law, known as “uses and customs,” although the latter must conform to human rights protections enshrined in Mexico’s constitution.

The peasants and Indians, most wielding shotguns and pistols, have set up checkpoints on roads and entrances to Ayutla, Tecoanapa and Florencio Villarreal.

Those towns in Guerrero’s Costa Chica region, which suffers from high rates of poverty and social exclusion, contain marijuana farms and are transshipment points for drugs being smuggled to the United States.

Authorities say the region is the turf of a gang known as Los Pelones that once worked for the cartel led by Arturo Beltran Leyva, killed in a December 2009 shootout with marines.

Conflict among rival crime outfits and between the gangs and Mexican security forces claimed some 70,000 lives during the 2006-2012 administration of President Felipe Calderon, who militarized the struggle against drug trafficking.

His successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, inaugurated on Dec. 1, has said he will continue to involve the military in law enforcement in the country’s most violence-wracked areas but also is touting a new approach to crime fighting that emphasizes citizens’ safety and intelligence work.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Troops in Mexico Find Another Drug Tunnel into U.S.

Troops in Mexico Find Another Drug Tunnel into U.S.

Photo: Troops in Mexico Find Another Drug Tunnel into U.S. (actual tunnel not shown)

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Mexican army soldiers discovered a drug-smuggling tunnel in the northern border city of Nogales, media outlets said.

The passage, which extends 56 meters (184 feet), is equipped with water and ventilation systems, El Impartial newspaper reported, citing a statement from the command of the 45th Military Zone.

Troops found the tunnel on Thursday after authorities received an anonymous tip about suspicious activity at a home in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Nogales.

The tunnel’s entrance is inside the house, where soldiers found a handgun and ammunition. At the far end of the passage, a metal hatch covered the exit to U.S. territory in Nogales, Arizona.

Last month, the army found a tunnel nearly twice as long in the Buenos Aires district. That structure had ventilation and electricity.

Mexican authorities uncovered three other “narco-tunnels” in Nogales in the course of 2012, among the dozens of passages found along the U.S. southwestern border in recent years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

EU Questions Google’s Dominance of Web Searches

European Union antitrust regulators have accused Google of diverting web traffic from its competitors.

According to Businessweek, the EU has asked that Google submit concessions to settle what it calls an ‘antitrust probe’.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia reportedly claimed that Google has used its dominance of web searching to gain even more traffic. An investigation is underway regarding the way Google presents search results.

The presentation of search results has been the only stated concern that EU competition officials have emphasized. They are not calling Google’s search algorithm into question.

Almunia told the Financial Times, “We are still investigating, but my conviction is [Google is] diverting traffic. They are monetizing this kind of business, the strong position they have in the general search market, and this is not only a dominant position, I think – I fear – there is an abuse of this dominant position.”

The talks that are underway between the EU and Google are the first example of Google being answerable to legislative regulations. In response, Google is expected to change the way results show-up on European screens. Google has been asked to label when Google-specific services like maps, airline deals, or shopping information, are posted higher than other results.

The probe comes after the US Federal Trade Commission gave the ‘all-clear’ to Google. This, Mr. Alumnia says, highlights the differing standards of ‘abuse of dominance’ that exist in America and Europe. Legal standards for abuse of dominance in the US, he says, are more lax.

There is also a separate EU investigation into Google’s Android platform for mobile phones.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Facebook Tests Charging $100 to Send Messages to Strangers

Facebook Tests Charging $100 to Send Messages to Strangers

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Yes, you read that headline right. Facebook is testing a new feature that charges users $100 to send messages to total strangers.

Mashable first discovered the feature on Thursday, testing multiple accounts in attempts to send Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a message. The option to pay $100 to make sure that Zuckerberg got the message popped up. However, if you do follow Zuckerberg’s profile, the option is not there.

Usually, if you send a message to someone you aren’t following or friends with, it will go to the person’s “Other” inbox, which is a dumping ground for messages the company thinks you aren’t interested in reading.

This test comes just after the company tested a $1 fee to message strangers, reports SlashGear.

Facebook told Mashable, “We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam.”

SlashGear notes that the feature is also not available to anyone outside the test group and it is still not clear if or when the feature would go live.

Zuckerberg currently has 16 million followers. As The LA Times notes, the company is still under pressure from Wall Street to find new ways to generate revenue and make money off the 1 billion users.

However, this new test might have been just a little too extreme.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Spanish Prince Opens 2013 Handball World Championship in Madrid

Spanish Prince Opens 2013 Handball World Championship in Madrid

Photo: 2013 Men's Handball World Championship

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Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe presided Friday over the inauguration of the 2013 Men’s Handball World Championship in Madrid.

Felipe, honorary chairman of the organizing committee, watched the first days’ events on Friday from the official box, together with Spanish Olympic Committee President Alejandro Blanco and others, as Spain debuted against Algeria.

The lead-up to the tourney consisted of a simple ceremony during which a parade of volunteers waved the flags of the 25 teams competing in the World Championship, with the colors of Spain and of the International Handball Federation closing the march.

The Spanish flag-bearer was Jose Javier Hombrados, captain of the team but unfortunately out of the World Championship with an injury.

Juan de Dios Roman, president of the organizing committee and of the Spanish Federation, and Egypt’s Hassan Moustafa, president of the IHF, officially kicked off the tourney.

In his opening speech, Roman welcomed one and all to “the grand festival” and noted that the venues in Madrid, Barcelona, Granollers, Guadalajara, Seville and Zaragoza “open their doors to the 24 best teams in the world and above all to their fans, with affection and respect for the true values of competition.”

The 23rd Men’s Handball World Championship, the first ever to be played in Spain, got started with the Spanish team coasting to a 27-14 victory over Algeria.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Firms Less Innovative than European Counterparts

Within the European Union, Spanish firms are among the least involved in innovation cooperation with institutions or companies based elsewhere in the region, the EU’s statistics agency said Friday.

That finding came from Eurostat’s Seventh Community Innovation Survey, which was released Friday and was based on information gathered in the 2008-10 period.

Innovative Spanish companies were the second least likely to have innovation cooperation with a partner in another European country during that period, 5.3 percent, ahead only of firms based in Italy.

Innovation cooperation with a European partner was highest in Cyprus, 38 percent of all product and process innovative enterprises; Slovenia, 35 percent; Austria, Estonia and Slovakia, all at 30 percent; Finland, 28 percent; and Luxembourg, 27 percent.

In the EU as a whole, 11 percent of innovative enterprises had innovation co-operation with a partner in another EU member state.

Among the companies that carried out innovative activities between 2008 and 2010, 27 percent cooperated with other companies, institutions or public research institutes, while 73 percent innovated using only internal resources.

Throughout the EU, 53 percent of enterprises from industry and services reported innovation activity between 2008 and 2010.

The countries with the highest proportion of innovative enterprises in that period were Germany, 79 percent; Luxembourg, 68 percent; Belgium, 61 percent; and Portugal, Sweden and Ireland, 60 percent.

In Spain, 41 percent of enterprises reported innovation activity.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama Reveals U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Will Switch to Support Role

Obama Reveals U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Will Switch to Support Role

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President Barack Obama said Friday that U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan will soon begin shifting from a combat role to one of supporting Afghan security forces.

“Our troops will continue to fight alongside Afghans when needed, but let me say it as plainly as I can: Starting this spring, our troops will have a different mission - training, advising, assisting Afghan forces,” he said at a joint press conference with visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Afghans are increasingly taking the lead in security, allowing the U.S. military to begin the transition to a secondary role, Obama said.

“It will be a historic moment and another step toward full Afghan sovereignty, something I know that President Karzai cares deeply about, as do the Afghan people,” he said.

“By the end of next year - 2014 - the transition will be complete,” Obama said. “Afghans will have full responsibility for their security, and this war will come to a responsible end.”

Regarding the possibility of a continuing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014, he said the only way American forces can remain is if the Afghan government agrees to grant them immunity.

The United States now has some 66,000 military personnel serving in Afghanistan.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayJanuary 12, 2013