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SundayJanuary 20, 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 Police Kill 11 Gunmen in Multiple Shootouts

Police killed 11 suspected gunmen in two shootouts this weekend in Mexico, officials said.

Five gunmen died in a shootout that lasted more than an hour in Los Mochis, a city in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, the state Attorney General’s Office said.

The shootout started Saturday when police received an anonymous tip that several armed men were at a house.

The gunmen opened fire when officers arrived at the property, the AG’s office said.

Officers called for reinforcements and engaged the gunmen, with more than 500 shots being fired in the incident, the AG’s office said.

Police seized drugs, firearms and tactical gear at the house, officials said.

The other shootout occurred Friday afternoon, when Federal Police officers engaged gunmen on a road in Puente Nacional, a city in the Gulf state of Veracruz, killing six suspected criminals, state officials said.

Puente Nacional is near Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz.

The shootout started when police ordered a vehicle to stop and the occupants opened fire on officers, state officials said.

Six grenades, four rifles, ammunition clips and a vehicle were seized at the crime scene and turned over to prosecutors.

The war on drugs launched by former President Felipe Calderon, who was in office from 2006 to 2012, left about 70,000 people dead in Mexico, the government said.

About 20,000 people are listed as disappeared in the country, the non-governmental Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity said.

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Orioles Manager Earl Weaver Dies, Age 82

Orioles Manager Earl Weaver Dies, Age 82

Photo: Earl Weaver (Jed Kirschbaum)

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Baseball Hall of Fame member Earl Weaver, who managed the Baltimore Orioles, died from an apparent heart attack while on a Caribbean cruise. He was 82.

Weaver was in his cabin with his wife, Maryanne, when he collapsed around 2:00 a.m. on Saturday.

The former Major League manager never regained consciousness, the New York Daily News said.

The Baltimore Sun said Orioles spokeswoman Monica Barlow confirmed Weaver’s death.

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Recent Weather Conditions Affect Airports, Kill 3 in Spain

The wind-, rain- and snowstorm affecting a large part of Spain on the weekend, along with other European countries, has taken the lives of three people and affected rail, air and road traffic.

The victims, all of whom died on Saturday, were two men between 45 and 50 years old, who were killed when a strong gust of wind caused a wall to collapse on top of them in the southeastern town of Cartagena, and a 54-year-old woman who was crushed by a gate in the southwestern province of Badajoz.

The storm has caused flight delays and cancellations at several airports in Spain, and is also affecting airports in several other European countries, including Heathrow and Gatwick in London, and Charles de Gaulle and Orly in Paris, as well as those in the cities of Frankfurt and Brussels, the Spanish airport management company AENA told Efe.

So far, 14 flights to France and Britain have been cancelled at the Madrid-Barajas airport and 18 flights to the same destinations have been cancelled at the Barcelona airport, the AENA source said.

Also, the heavy rain forced authorities to suspend operations on the rail line between Madrid and Cantabria after landslides damaged the tracks, the railway management firm Adif told Efe.

Moreover, the high-velocity Madrid-Seville and Madrid-Valencia rail lines suffered temporary shutdowns and the subsequent delay of trains.

The overflowing of Spain’s largest river, the Ebro, in the southern part of the region of Navarre, destroyed crops and forced traffic to be halted on the highway linking Pamplona, in the northern part of the country, with Madrid.

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Spanish University Brings Sustainable Energy to Colombian Town

Spanish University Brings Sustainable Energy to Colombian Town

Photo: University of Santiago de Compostela

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Northwestern Spain’s University of Santiago de Compostela is leading a project to create “sustainable energy communities” in Colombia, providing free electricity to residents of La Primavera, a town in the so-called “FARC zone,” officials said.

The region, in which the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group operates, does not have an electric grid and residents use diesel to run generators.

Residents of La Primavera, a town of 1,200, and some 2,500 Sikuanis Indians, who live around the town and keep out loggers and coca growers, now have free electricity for a senior center, a community center, dwellings and workshops.

The project, which is also being implemented in other places in Latin America and Africa with the assistance of local universities, is run by professor Angeles Lopez Aguera.

The project is a two-way learning experience, with scientists picking up knowledge from communities, Lopez Aguera told Efe.

Women in the Colombian town were producing magnificent traditional textiles, but they also wanted to make other types of garments.

Solar panels were installed in La Primavera to provide power for the workshops and residents were trained to maintain the equipment.

Residents now know how to maintain the batteries and panels, an essential step in making the project truly sustainable, Lopez Aguera said.

The team from the University of Santiago de Compostela is working with a cluster of universities in Africa and Latin America on similar projects.

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Colombians Clean 23 Botero Sculptures in Medellin

Colombians Clean 23 Botero Sculptures in Medellin

Photo: Cleaning Botero's sculpture

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The 23 sculptures by Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero and the plaza where they are displayed in the Colombian city of Medellin underwent a thorough cleaning on the weekend, a task participated in by both public and private institutions.

The head of the Antioquia Museum, Ana Piedad Jaramillo - who told Efe by telephone that the cleaning day will be repeated during the year - said the task was intended to raise awareness among the public that the works and Botero Plaza, located in the heart of Medellin, the capital of Antioquia province, belong to everyone.

She said that maintaining the site and the security duties performed by the police are important for those who work there and for the tourists who come to admire the work of the artist, who was born in that city on April 19, 1932.

Plaza Botero, she said, is the site housing the most works by the artist, who has been donating them in recent years.

She also said that this coming Tuesday the museum will present two books dealing with Botero’s life and work.

Botero: 80 años, by Colombian historian and researcher Santiago Londoño Velez, is a chronology of the life and work of the artist from his birth to date, and the second book is entitled “Fernando Botero - La busqueda del estilo: 1949-1963,” by Christian Padilla, a sculptor who holds a Masters in Advanced Studies in History from the University of Barcelona.

The commemoration of the artist’s 80th birthday began last March with a retrospective exhibit of 177 of his works at Mexico City’s Museum of Fine Arts, followed by his exhibition entitled “Viacrucis, la passion de Cristo” at the Antioquia Museum, along with other shows in the Spanish city of Bilbao and in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Hugo Chavez Enters into New Treatment Phase, Says Venezuelan V.P.

Hugo Chavez Enters into New Treatment Phase, Says Venezuelan V.P.

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Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Sunday that President Hugo Chavez, who is recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba, is coming out of the postoperative period and “is going to enter a new phase of treatment that is in the process of evaluation” after going through a “difficult” period.

Maduro said that Chavez is conscious and “continues stabilizing in every way, the functioning of his organs, in all his fundamental qualities.”

“Sooner than later we’re going to have the president here with us,” said Maduro during the interview he gave to journalist and former Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel on the private Televen network.

He said that the first postoperative phase was “complicated” and “difficult,” and that the public was informed about it at the proper time.

Maduro said that Chavez is “focused on his treatment, (and) following (his doctors’ advice) in a disciplined manner.”

He said the last time he had seen Chavez was on Jan. 14 when he went to Havana along with Petroleum and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez, Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza, Barinas state Gov. Adan Chavez (who is the president?s brother), National Assembly chief Diosdado Cabello and Attorney General Cilia Flores.

At the time, Chavez “who he said displayed his customary good spirits and energy - asked him to “Relay my thanks to the entire people, to the armed forces” for their support, Maduro added.

Chavez has been hospitalized in Cuba since he underwent another operation on Dec. 11 to deal with his recurring cancer, which was diagnosed in mid-2011.

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Argentine Lionel Messi Donates $200,000 to Sports Facility in his Hometown

Argentine Lionel Messi Donates $200,000 to Sports Facility in his Hometown

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Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi donated nearly 1 million pesos (about $202,000) to a sports facility used by children from low-income families in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina, his foundation said.

The money donated by the FC Barcelona striker will be used to improve the Deliot sports complex in Rosario, located about 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Buenos Aires, allowing children to “have a special place for sports, education, training and culture,” the Leo Messi Foundation said.

The foundation, which is run by the soccer player and his family, seeks to improve “the well-being of young people and the community,” the foundation said on its Facebook page.

This is not the first time the 25-year-old Messi, who just won a fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d’Or as the world’s best soccer player, has provided funds for community projects in his hometown.

The Leo Messi Foundation, the FC Barcelona Foundation and Organizacion Social Team recently renovated another sports facility in Rosario used by about 10,000 young people.

Messi was born in a lower-middle-class section of Rosario and began his soccer career with a neighborhood team.

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Harvard, Sao Paulo Students Finish Course on Energy Challenges

Harvard, Sao Paulo Students Finish Course on Energy Challenges

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A group of 30 students from Harvard University and the University of Sao Paulo completed a two-week course Saturday in Brazil focused on future energy-generation challenges.

Part of a cooperation program linking the two institutions, the course has been offered once a year since 2010 in both Brazil and the United States and has covered different subject matter in each edition.

This year, the group attended lectures and classroom sessions and made visits to a nuclear power plant in the southeastern Brazilian town of Angra dos Reis and the offices of the Operator of the National Electric System, the G1 news portal said.

Last year’s edition, held in the United States, centered on disaster management and prevention.

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Latinos in the President’s Cabinet? It’s Not Just About “Optics”

Latinos in the President’s Cabinet? It’s Not Just About “Optics”

Photo: NewsTaco

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By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

I have a problem with pundits and commentators calling President Obama’s lack of diversity in his cabinet a matter of “optics.” As if the President were an optometrist and his cabinet were a set of lenses. As if the president’s cabinet were not so much a working kitchen cabinet but a china cabinet, where things are placed to be seen and seldom used.

In the past couple of weeks the two Latinos on President Obama’s cabinet – Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar – have announced their departure from the White House. Image

The announcements coincide with the increasing drumbeat call for more women and minorities to fill Obama’s second-term cabinet posts. And that drumbeat has been prompted by the fact that Obama’s cabinet picks, so far, have all been white, middle-aged men.

The take-away, if one is to swallow the opinions of the media pundits, is that things just don’t look right. And they have a certain point. It was, after all, the Obama campaign that mercilessly pelted presidential candidate Romney for the male-whiteness and lack of diversity of just about everything that the Romney campaign did or said.

Already some commentators are asking for a “binder full of women” to be sent to the Oval office for the President’s perusal. So, yes, the President brought some of this on himself. But that distracts from the more vital issue.

The problem is not how things may or may not look. A president picks his or her (one must accommodate the possibility) cabinet according to a series of factors: comfort level and loyalty, qualification, specific agenda priorities, vetting, and optics. The problem, as many Latinos know, lies in the insidious idea of there not being “enough qualified Latinos” to chose from.

We know this isn’t true. There are plenty of qualified Latinos to fill the White House from basement to attic, East wing to West wing. It’s just that Latinos need to do a better job at developing their own bench.

Latinos need to promote Latinos:  You want binders full of qualified Latinos? Put one together from our own contact lists.

Getting more Latinos in the President’s cabinet is not going to happen because it looks good. It’s going to happen when we call attention to our qualifications, when we position ourselves in levels of comfort and loyalty with whoever may be residing in the White House, when we prove valuable to a national priority.

So, yes, Latinos will make the cabinet look better (we make everything look better…), but the point is that Latinos will make the cabinet stronger, more efficient, and better serve the nation.

And if calling attention to the lack of Latinos at the highest posts is going to make the pickers look harder, then it’s not just about “optics,” it’s about making America better.

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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Republican Bill Pushes For Restricted Birthright Citizenship to Undocumented Parents

Republican Bill Pushes For Restricted Birthright Citizenship to Undocumented Parents

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Conservative groups in the United States have launched an online drive to win support for a bill that would deny citizenship to children born on U.S. soil to undocumented parents.

The measure, known as the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2013 and introduced on Jan. 3 by Republican Rep. Steve King, establishes that citizenship may only be granted if one of the parents is a U.S. national or legal resident or if at least one of the two is undocumented but serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Birthright citizenship is enshrined in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The proposed legislation is backed by groups such as Californians for Population Stabilization, which is trying to drum up support for the measure.

“Our current policy encourages women to enter the United States illegally so that they can gain citizenship for these ‘anchor babies,’” CAPS said in an action alert on its Web site.

It added that the Department of Homeland Security is “reluctant to deport the illegal alien parents of a child born here.”

VDare.com and NumbersUSA.com are two other groups that are trying to garner support for the bill, the first on immigration in the 113th Congress.

The purpose of King’s bill is to amend “section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to clarify those classes of individuals born in the United States who are nationals and citizens of the United States at birth.”

Hispanic activists in Iowa - King’s home state - have come out strongly against the initiative, which was previously introduced in 2011 but was stalled in a House of Representatives committee.

“The future of the United States depends on our children. We have to accept them and educate them. Congressman Steve King is divorced from reality,” activist Ila R. Plascencia, of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Des Moines, Iowa, told Efe.

Plascencia noted that Hispanics are the country’s fastest-growing minority and that the country’s future depends on that community’s development.

The bill was introduced two months after President Barack Obama won re-election thanks in part to 70 percent support among Hispanic voters, a whopping margin that has led many Republicans to reassess their hard-line stance on the illegal immigration issue.

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Real Sociedad Defeats Barcelona Thanks to “Chory” Castro’s 2 Goals

Real Sociedad Defeats Barcelona Thanks to “Chory” Castro’s 2 Goals

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Two goals by the Uruguayan Gonzalo “Chory” Castro led home team Real Sociedad to a 3-2 win over league-leader Barcelona after trailing 0-2 in the first half.

Messi got Barcelona off to a 0-1 lead in the 7th minute when Iniesta crossed the ball to the Argentine who left-footed it into the net.

Barcelona seemed to have the match wrapped up with a goal by Pedro in the 24th and had no lack of chances to widen its 0-2 lead, but never manage to take advantage of them.

Now it was the home team’s turn. A rapid combination put the ball in a good position for Chory Castro to tap it in for a score, and in the 47th minute the Uruguayan got his team back in the game.

Things only got better for Real Sociedad, which tied it up at minute 63 with a shot by Chory Castro deflected by the Argentine Javier Mascherano so it got past goalkeeper Victor Valdes. The score was now 2-2, and with the Uruguayan’s goal, his team could feel victory in the air.

Coming down to the wire it looked like Barcelona’s second tie in the Spanish league, but in injury-time, Agirretxe came through in the 84th with the tie-breaking, game-winning score for Real Sociedad. San Sebastian began to celebrate and Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova’s squad had lost its first league game this season.

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Panama, Honduras Arrest Colombian Drug Kingpins

Panama, Honduras Arrest Colombian Drug Kingpins

Photo: Amaury Smith Pomare

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Two drug kingpins operating from the Colombian island of San Andres were captured in Honduras and Panama, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday.

“I wish to congratulate the police, because I’ve just been informed that they captured two drug traffickers we’ve been after for a long time,” Santos told reporters during a meeting of politicans and the people of Padilla in the southwestern province of Cauca.

“The gang of drug traffickers that has been the scourge of San Andres has been dismantled,” Santos said, adding that he learned the news from the director of the Colombian National Police, Gen. Jose Roberto Leon Riaño.

The Colombian president said that the two under arrest were known as “los niños” (the boys), but did not mention whether they would be brought back to Colombia.

In Honduras, the spokesman for the federal Attorney General’s Office, Carlos Vallecillo, told Efe briefly that security forces detained the reputed Colombian drug trafficker Amaury Smith Pomare, alias “el Mello,” on the Caribbean side of the country, during an operation in which weapons and jewels were also seized.

Pomare, who together with his twin brother Mario headed a drug-trafficking outfit that operates from the island of San Andres, Colombia, was arrested Saturday in a raid on a luxury residence in the Caribbean port city of La Ceiba.

Meanwhile, Amaury’s brother Mario Smith Pomare was nabbed in Panama, local media said.

The island of San Andres has long been used by drug traffickers as a point of departure for drug shipments to Central America and the United States.

They generally transport their goods in speedboats capable of being refueled on the high seas.

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Mexico Arrests 7 Prison Officials Who Allegedly Assisted Inmates in Escape

Mexico Arrests 7 Prison Officials Who Allegedly Assisted Inmates in Escape

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Seven officials at a prison in San Cristobal de las Casas, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, were detained as possible accomplices in the escape of two inmates last week, the Attorney General’s Office said.

The AG’s office said in a communique that it has taken criminal action against those in custody, including the prison warden and a commander of the guards, for suspected participation in the escape of two convicts from cellblock No. 5 in San Cristobal de las Casas.

According to the document, the two inmates escaped over the wall on Jan. 16, for which the guards on duty at the time were summoned to give a deposition.

As a result of their statements, the seven officials are suspected of being involved in the jailbreak and now face penal charges.

The prisoners who escaped are Pedro Perez, tried for the crimes of kidnapping and robbery with violence, and Lucio Bautista, sentenced for homicide.

The AG’s office said that, together with the Safety and Citizens’ Protection Secretariat, it has launched an operation to find the two criminals at large.

Jailbreaks are frequent at Mexican prisons and are often carried out with the complicity of penitentiary authorities.

Last September, 131 inmates escaped from Piedras Negras Prison, one of the biggest jailbreaks ever at a Mexican jail.

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Flood in Jakarta, Indonesia Kills 15

Flood in Jakarta, Indonesia Kills 15

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Indonesian autorities raised to 15 Saturday the number of deaths caused this week by flooding across extensive areas of Jakarta, the nation’s capital.

The spokesman for the metropolitan police, Rikwanto, told a press conference that over the past 24 hours emergency management teams found another four bodies in different parts of the city.

The floods, which grew worse on Tuesday, also forced 18,000 people to evacuate their homes, according to Indonesia’s emergency management agency.

Authorities have readied several mosques, hospitals and public buildings around the city to provide temporary shelter for those driven from their homes by the floods, which according Civil Protection have subsided in most neighborhoods.

Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo decreed a state of emergency in the city until next Jan. 27, though the international airport is functioning normally.

Every year floods and mudslides strike Indonesia during the rainy season, at its most intense between December and February.

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Boeing Stops Dreamliner Deliveries Until FAA Investigation is Finished

Boeing Stops Dreamliner Deliveries Until FAA Investigation is Finished

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Boeing said it will not deliver any more units of its 787 Dreamliner until U.S. aviation authorities certify that the company has solved the battery problems that forced these aircraft to suspend operations worldwide.

Production of the 787 continues, a company spokesperson said Friday, while giving assurances that no 787 will be delivered until the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, acknowledges that its recent directive about the batteries has been complied with and that the approved solution has been implemented.

At the same time the U.S. aircraft manufacturer confirmed that it will continue producing the airliner but will not make any further deliveries until the FAA certifies that its problems have been resolved.

The 49 units of the 787 Dreamliner that Boeing has already delivered to airlines of the United States, Japan and Europe are grounded until the cause of the six technical problems found over the past two weeks is discovered.

The latest incident occurred Wednesday, when a 787 of the Japanese airline ANA had to make an emergency landing due to a lithium-ion battery fire.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Boeing Stops Dreamliner Deliveries Until FAA Investigation is Finished

Boeing Stops Dreamliner Deliveries Until FAA Investigation is Finished

Photo: 787 Dreamliner

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Boeing said it will not deliver any more units of its 787 Dreamliner until U.S. aviation authorities certify that the company has solved the battery problems that forced these aircraft to suspend operations worldwide.

Production of the 787 continues, a company spokesperson said Friday, while giving assurances that no 787 will be delivered until the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, acknowledges that its recent directive about the batteries has been complied with and that the approved solution has been implemented.

At the same time the U.S. aircraft manufacturer confirmed that it will continue producing the airliner but will not make any further deliveries until the FAA certifies that its problems have been resolved.

The 49 units of the 787 Dreamliner that Boeing has already delivered to airlines of the United States, Japan and Europe are grounded until the cause of the six technical problems found over the past two weeks is discovered.

The latest incident occurred Wednesday, when a 787 of the Japanese airline ANA had to make an emergency landing due to a lithium-ion battery fire.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SundayJanuary 20, 2013