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MondayJanuary 21, 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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In Case You Missed It: Richard Blanco’s “One Today” from President Obama’s Inauguration

In Case You Missed It: Richard Blanco’s “One Today” from President Obama’s Inauguration

Photo: Richard Blanco's "One Today" from President Obama's Inauguration (CNN)

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On Monday, Cuban-American Richard Blanco made history when he read his poem “One Today” at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

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

Read “One Today” below.

One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper-
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives-
to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches
as mothers watch children slide into the day.

One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.

The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind-our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.

Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across café tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días
in the language my mother taught me-in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.

One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.

One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always-home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country-all of us-
facing the stars
hope-a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it-together


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

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

Read more by HS News Staff →

No Smurfin’ Way! ‘Smurfs’ Movie Sued by Man Injured While Working on Set

No Smurfin’ Way! ‘Smurfs’ Movie Sued by Man Injured While Working on Set

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A man says he was injured in 2010 while working on the set of the first Smurfs movie in mega toy store FAO Schwartz.

Ryan Rodriguez filed a lawsuit against the toy store, Columbia Pictures and Sony Entertainment after he fell from a scaffolding with working inside the toy store where the film was being shot.

Rodriguez claims that as a result of the fall, he is unable to work as he was “seriously and permanently” injured.

He is said to be suing for an major $15 million.

According to TMZ, a judge has yet to rule on the case.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Administration Confirms DACA Recipients Are “Lawfully Present”

In an updated guidance released this afternoon by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Obama Administration confirmed that recipients of deferred action are authorized to be in the United States and therefore considered to be “lawfully present” under federal immigration laws. The guidance should clarify the debate over whether beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are eligible for driver’s licenses. Acting under the belief that DACA recipients are not “lawfully present” under federal law, four states—Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, and Nebraska—have refused to issue driver’s licenses to DACA recipients.

Separately, the administration also released updated statistics on the DACA program. Through Thursday, USCIS had received 407,899 requests for deferred action (an average of 80,000 per month since the program began), of which 394,533 had been accepted and 154,404 approved. USCIS received an average of less than 1,500 requests per day in January, down from a high of more than 5,700 per day in October soon after the program began accepting applications. The majority of DACA recipients continue to hail from Mexico and reside in California.

Read more at Immigration Impact →

Colombian Authorities Arrest Kidnappers of Mining Employees

Colombian Authorities Arrest Kidnappers of Mining Employees

Photo: ELN Guerilla's Colombia

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said authorities have three people in custody in connection with last week’s kidnapping of five mining company employees in the northern province of Bolivar.

The three suspects were part of the group of up to 25 ELN rebels who stormed the mining camp before dawn last Friday and took five of the employees captive, Santos told reporters at the presidential palace after meeting with his top security officials.

The captives - two Peruvians, two Colombians and a Canadian - all work for Geo Explorer, a mining company with operations in Norosi, Bolivar.

Authorities know where the kidnappers went and are on their trail, Santos said, without offering any details.

He added, however, that the pursuers will take every precaution to protect the lives of the captives.

The Colombian government has offered 100 million pesos ($57,000) for information leading to the capture of the kidnappers, while Peru has dispatched two high-ranking police officers to Colombia to join the search.

The ELN, which is the smaller of Colombia’s two main insurgencies, targets the mining and oil sectors to signal opposition to the involvement of multinational companies in exploiting the Andean nation’s natural resources.

On Christmas Day, the ELN freed two oil engineers the rebels kidnapped in the northeastern province of Arauca. The men were employees of a firm contracted by U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Carlos Slim’s America Movil to Buy CIE Media

Carlos Slim’s America Movil to Buy CIE Media

Photo: Carlos Slim's America Movil

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Mexico City-based wireless giant America Movil has agreed to buy the media and advertising division of Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento for nearly 1.7 billion pesos ($132 million), CIE said Monday.

In a filing with the Mexican Stock Exchange, CIE - also based in this capital - said that under the deal the Carlos Slim-controlled company would acquire CIE’s advertising rights with Mexican professional soccer teams and stadiums.

CIE, a leading Latin American entertainment company whose activities include running sporting events and concerts and operating arenas and other venues, said the deal is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approval.

Proceeds from the sale will be used for working capital and to pare debt, the filing said.

If approved, the deal will give America Movil control of a division that accounted for 20 percent of CIE’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or EBITDA, for the first nine months of 2012.

In addition to the soccer-related advertising rights, the acquisition would give American Movil large-format advertising slots on pedestrian bridges, as well as space in airports and public-transportation systems and on street furniture.

The deal also includes publicity at movie theaters and on digital screens at convenience stores.

America Movil, which operates in 18 countries across the Americas, had 318.7 million access lines at the end of September, including 255.9 million mobile phone subscribers, 30 million landlines, 16.7 million broadband accesses and 15.8 million pay TV subscribers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain: Prime Minister Orders Audit of Popular Party’s Accounts

Spain: Prime Minister Orders Audit of Popular Party’s Accounts

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Monday he has commissioned an external audit of the governing Popular Party’s accounts, an inspection that will complement a forthcoming internal audit.

Party spokespersons told Efe that Rajoy made the announcement during a closed-door gathering of the PP’s National Executive Committee, which met Monday in Madrid amid a scandal sparked by revelations about Swiss bank accounts held by the party’s former treasurer, Luis Barcenas, and alleged under-the-table payments to PP officials.

Prior to the meeting, PP Secretary-General Maria Dolores de Cospedal once again denied press reports that party officials had received illegal payments, which, according to an article last Friday by Spanish daily El Mundo, had been distributed by Barcenas.

Earlier last week, Swiss authorities told a Spanish judge investigating a kickbacks-for-contracts scandal known as the “Gürtel case” that Barcenas had deposited some 22 million euros (roughly $29.3 million) in Swiss bank accounts.

The leader of the main opposition Socialist party, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, last week demanded “immediate” explanations from Rajoy regarding those accounts.

He also called for the dismissal of Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro if it is shown that a tax amnesty the government approved last year allowed Barcenas to declare 10 million euros of the 22 million euros he held in the Swiss accounts.

Barcenas resigned as the PP’s treasurer in April 2010.

The Gürtel case involving alleged bribery, influence-peddling and money laundering implicating top PP officials came to light four years ago as a result of an investigation by crusading Judge Baltasar Garzon.

Last February, Spain’s Supreme Court convicted Garzon of illegally ordering wiretaps to monitor conversations between several defendants in the Gürtel case and their attorneys and barred him from the judiciary for 11 years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Carlos Define Helps End Houston Rockets Losing Streak

Argentine Carlos Define Helps End Houston Rockets Losing Streak

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James Harden’s 29-point performance allowed the Houston Rockets to end their seven-game losing streak Monday with a 100-94 road win over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Though his shooting from the field was poor, Harden hit 19 of 21 from the free-throw line, including 10 in a row in the fourth quarter, when the visitors were trailing by seven points.

Harden, who has led the Rockets in scoring in all but one of the last 23 games, also contributed seven assists and seven rebounds.

Reserve forward Marcus Morris put up 21 points for the Rockets, followed by Argentine Carlos Defino with 16 points.

Kemba Walker scored 35 points - a personal best - for the Bobcats, who have now lost 15 consecutive games at home, only four short of the all-time record of 19, set in 1993-1994 by the Dallas Mavericks.

In other action on Monday, the Indiana Pacers beat the Grizzlies 82-81 in Memphis on a last-second free-throw by George Hill, while Ryan Anderson scored 27 points to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 114-105 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

The Atlanta Hawks beat the injury-plagued Minnesota Timberwolves 104-96 as Dominican center Al Horford scored 28 points and snagged 10 rebounds.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin America News: Unemployment in Venezuela Dips Below 6%

Latin America News: Unemployment in Venezuela Dips Below 6%

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Venezuelan Finance Minister Jorge Giordani said that unemployment stood at 5.9% in December of 2012, the country’s lowest rate since 1999. He pointed to strong economic growth last year of 5.2% and predicted more growth in 2013.

“It’s the lowest in recent years,” Giordani said in a speech at the Bank of Venezuela. “In Venezuela, we need an even more prepared workforce through increased education, strengthening health and the housing program.”

The minister projected that the Venezuelan economy is expected to grow around six percent this year, driven by social and productive investment by the government, which he said will contribute $500 billion dollars to strengthening the economy over the next six years.

“Nobody denies that Venezuela will grow in 2013, not the World Bank nor the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), or the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The discussion is about how much,” said Giordani.

He said the World Bank projects 1.8% growth, ECLAC projects 2% growth, and the IMF expects 3.2%.

Read more at Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela →

Latin America News: Guatemalan Authorities Rescue Kidnapped 8-year-old

Latin America News: Guatemalan Authorities Rescue Kidnapped 8-year-old

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Police rescued a kidnapped 8-year-old boy safe and sound on Monday, killed one of his captors during the rescue operation and arrested six others, Guatemalan authorities said.

The boy’s rescue came before dawn in Sanarate, a town in El Progreso province, some 90 kilometers (56 miles) northeast of the capital, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman told Efe.

“The officers fired at one of the kidnappers when he attempted to murder the (boy), whom they had hidden in a hole made in the yard of the residence where they were hiding,” the spokeswoman said.

The boy was abducted Sunday afternoon by assailants who invaded a home in Sanarate, where they raped a woman and stole various items of value, including a farming vehicle.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin America News: City in Brazil Sees Over 9,000 Cases of Dengue Since Beginning of Year

Latin America News: City in Brazil Sees Over 9,000 Cases of Dengue Since Beginning of Year

Photo: Dengue in Campo Grande, Brazil

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Municipal authorities in Campo Grande, the capital of the southwestern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, on Monday declared a health emergency due to a serious outbreak of dengue fever.

The decree, signed by Mayor Alcides Bernal, says that the city needs to take “urgent” measures to control the epidemic.

Of the 9,320 cases verified during the first weeks of January, 600 have come in the last three days, according to figures compiled by the municipal health department

In the state of Parana, which borders on Mato Grosso do Sul, five municipalities have declared an emergency with 1,269 confirmed dengue cases.

Bernal, in remarks to the state-run Agencia Brasil news service, said that “the numbers show that this epidemic is the largest” ever experienced in Campo Grande, a city of about 786,000 people.

The emergency decree allows the hiring of doctors without the need for bidding and it also facilitates the procedures for buying medical equipment, among other things.

Simultaneously, authorities have increased the hours of operation for mobile clinics.

The mayor added that city hall intends to increase the number of vehicles used to fumigate for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the disease.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gomez Covers Justin Timberlake’s Break-Up Song “Cry Me A River” (VIDEO)

Selena Gomez Covers Justin Timberlake’s Break-Up Song “Cry Me A River” (VIDEO)

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It seems Selena Gomez is finally done with Justin Bieber judging by her cover of another pop star’s break-up song.

Though the relationship of Gomez and Bieber always seems to be off then on again, it may finally have come to end.

During a concert in New York for UNICEF over the weekend, Gomez performed Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River”, a song he wrote following his split from fellow pop star Britney Spears in 2002.

Gomez said, “This song really speaks to me,” and said she’d “been through a lot the past few months.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Launches Ambitious Program to Fight Hunger

Mexico Launches Ambitious Program to Fight Hunger

Photo: People of Chiapas, Mexico

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The Mexican government launched Monday a national program to combat hunger, initially focused on serving the 7.4 million people living in extreme poverty and without enough food.

“One out of every four Mexicans faces some degree of food deficiency,” President Enrique Peña Nieto said in Las Margaritas, a town in the impoverished southern state of Chiapas.

The program was one that Peña Nieto promised when he took office on Dec. 1, and in its first stage will focus on the 400 municipalities with high levels of extreme poverty and lack of food.

“Food is a universally acknowledged human right and is established in Article 4 of our constitution. However, it is a right not fully within reach of all Mexicans,” the president said.

To launch the program, Peña Nieto chose a municipality in Chiapas that was a stronghold of the Zapatistas who took up arms in 1994 but have now become a leftist political group.

At the event were members of the government and governors of various states as well as thousands of people, many of them of Indian origin, representing the peasant communities that dominate the Chiapas region.

“It is unacceptable that, having an abundance of woodlands and water, one out of every three Chiapans suffers extreme poverty,” Peña Nieto said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

TRAGEDY: Teen Runs Away with Boyfriend, Both Die in Car Crash

TRAGEDY: Teen Runs Away with Boyfriend, Both Die in Car Crash

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A young Houston-area girl and her boyfriend are dead after the pair attempted to run away together in a stolen vehicle.

Last week, 14-year-olds Skyla Nuncio and Justin Henry died after the vehicle they were in crashed as they attempted to flee police.

Nuncio’s mother, Monica Vickous, said she received a call on January 10, informing her that her daughter’s boyfriend, Henry, had been suspended from school. Henry was known to be a troubled boy, but Vickous said she was unable to keep her daughter away from him.

‘She wanted him to feel loved,’ Vickous told KHOU11,  ‘And she gave every ounce of love that she had to that young boy.”

Just 15 minutes after receiving the call about Henry, Vickous received another call, this time from her mother who said Nuncio had not gotten off the bus.

Nuncio and Henry were labeled as runaways and police began the search for the missing teens.

On Monday, January 14, a car reported stolen was spotted going the wrong way on a one-way street. Officers were able to identify the driver as Henry and his passenger as Nuncio. At first, a police officer gave chase onto Highway 225, but worried for the children’s safety as the Impala they were driving began swerving while going a high rate of speed. The officer, who can be heard on a recording of the incident, backed off but continued to follow the teens.

As they exited the highway, however, they struck the barrier of an off ramp. Nuncio was ejected from the vehicle. Both she and Henry were pronounced dead at the scene – neither was wearing a seat belt.

Nuncio was 9th grader at Cy-Fair High School, while Henry was in 8th grade at Campbell Middle School

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lupe Causes Inauguration Event Fiasco with 30-Min Anti-Obama Song (VIDEO)

Lupe Causes Inauguration Event Fiasco with 30-Min Anti-Obama Song (VIDEO)

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Chicago-born rapper Lupe Fiasco chose a bold song for a his 30-minute set at an unofficial presidential inauguration event over the weekend.

Though Lupe Fiasco has previously criticized President Barack Obama, calling him “the biggest terrorist” in America, Sunday’s performance took that criticism up a notch and reportedly left the crowd less than entertained.

For his entire 30-minute set at StartUp RockOn, Fiasco performed “Words I Never Said.”

Some of the song’s lyrics:

Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist
Gaza Strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say sh*t

That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one either

After realizing Fiasco intended to perform verse after verse of this one song, StartUp RockOn had the rapper removed from the stage.

The event hosts later released a statement clarifying they did not kick Fiasco off the stage be they disagreed with the opinions in his song, but rather because his “bizarrely repetitive, jarring performance … left the crowd vocally dissatisfied.”

Fiasco’s song once caught the eye of conservative mouthpiece Bill O’Reilly, who asked him to appear on The O’Reilly Factor in 2011.

The Grammy Award winner, born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, has stated he is a Muslim and says the U.S. government and military are the real terrorists.

“My fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama and the United States of America,” he told NBC in 2011. “I’m trying to fight the terrorism that’s actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff the U.S. government allows to happen.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuela New Foreign Minister Visitor Hugo Chavez in Cuba

Venezuela New Foreign Minister Visitor Hugo Chavez in Cuba

Photo: Venezuela Foreign Minister Elias Jaua

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Venezuela’s new foreign minister is in Cuba to consult with his country’s ailing president, Hugo Chavez, on Caracas’ international stance.

Elias Jaua, who stepped down as Venezuelan vice president last year to make an ultimately unsuccessful run for a state governorship, arrived here Monday on an unannounced visit that began with a meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

The main focus of his discussions with Chavez will be preparations for the Jan. 26-27 gathering in Chile of leaders of the Latin American and Caribbean Community and the European Union, Jaua told his Cuban counterpart.

Jaua is to accompany Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro to the Santiago summit.

Chavez, a 58-year-old leftist who won another six-year term in the Oct. 7 election, continues to recover in Cuba from his fourth cancer surgery since he was first diagnosed with the illness in June 2011.

Since Chavez took office in 1999, Venezuela has become Cuba’s No. 1 trading partner and most important political ally.

The president is emerging from the post-operative phase following his Dec. 11 operation in Havana, Maduro said Sunday, adding that Chavez is fully alert and concentrating on his recovery.

Jaua is the latest Venezuelan senior official to visit Chavez in Havana during his protracted recovery. Maduro has made the trip several times, as have Attorney General Cilia Flores and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez.

Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled that Chavez could delay his swearing-in, set for Jan. 10, without creating a constitutional vacuum, and that Maduro could remain in charge during the president’s absence.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin America News: Mexican Sugar Growers Protest, Want Lower Priced Imports

Latin America News: Mexican Sugar Growers Protest, Want Lower Priced Imports

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Mexican sugar growers occupied sugar warehouses across the country Monday to demand a reduction in fructose imports, the CNC peasant confederation said.

The president of the UNPC growers union, Daniel Perez Valdes, said in a statement that the sugarcane farmers began protesting at 7:00 a.m. at mills supplying Mexico’s 53 sugar refineries.

The growers want tighter import quotas on fructose, “which has become the main sugar substitute used by several food industries,” the statement said.

Media reports indicated the protests were staged at sugar mills in the states of Campeche, Morelos, Puebla and Veracruz.

Federal agriculture department figures indicate Mexico produced 5.1 million tons of sugar in the 2010-2011 harvest.

The sugar industry is historically important in Mexico and the sector currently employs roughly 2 million people directly and indirectly.

Roughly 30 billion pesos ($2.38 billion) worth of sugar is produced annually in Mexico, with most of the output concentrated in the states of Veracruz (37 percent), Jalisco and San Luis Potosi (11 percent each) and Oaxaca and Chiapas (6 percent each).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Reverend Samuel Rodriguez Delivers Keynote Address at MLK Service (VIDEO)

Reverend Samuel Rodriguez Delivers Keynote Address at MLK Service (VIDEO)

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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. “Remember! Celebrate! Act! King’s Dream for Our World,” is the theme for the birthday commemoration program, which begins Friday, January 11, 2013 and continues through the MLK holiday on January 21.

Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Read more by HS News Staff →

President Obama Inauguration Speech:  U.S. Must Find Way to Welcome Immigrants

President Obama Inauguration Speech:  U.S. Must Find Way to Welcome Immigrants

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President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States must find a way to welcome immigrants.

“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity - until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country,” he said in his second inaugural address.

After failing to deliver comprehensive immigration reform in his first term, the president has signaled a determination to see a bill passed in Congress this year.

In the meantime, his administration has created a program under which hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people can forestall deportation.

Obama mentioned immigration among the issues pending for the present generation, along with the legalization of same-sex marriage and steps to reduce gun violence.

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” he said, “for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

The president also spoke of the small town of Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six teachers were killed on Dec. 14 in a shooting that revived the country’s controversy over arms control.

“Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm,” Obama said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

WATCH: Beyoncé Performs ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ At Obama’s Inauguration

This afternoon, pop megastar Beyoncé performed America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” to close out President Obama‘s second inaugural ceremony.

This was Beyoncé’s first inaugural performance. At Obama’s first swearing-in ceremony in 2009, the pop diva’s predecessor Aretha Franklin performed the national anthem.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Police Say Alleged Slaying of 5 Did Not Happen

Colombian Police Say Alleged Slaying of 5 Did Not Happen

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Colombian police dismissed the alleged slaying of five people at a hamlet in the northern part of the country in a turf war between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group and a gang of drug traffickers known as Los Urabeños.

The mayor of Tierra Alta has spoken and has said that the reported massacre never took place,? the director of Colombia’s National Police, Gen. Jose Roberto Leon Riaño, told reporters.

He said that action by the army and National Police? is being coordinated, but added that ?up to now people at the scene have been telling me there is no indication that such an incident occurred.

On Saturday, police sources told Efe that at least five people were killed at Santa Isabel, a remote village surrounded by dense jungle in the Tierra Alta municipality of the northern province of Cordoba.

Local media even cited local officials as saying that besides the murders, several people were kidnapped.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Massive Water Source Found Under Mexico City, Could Be 100-Year Supply

Massive Water Source Found Under Mexico City, Could Be 100-Year Supply

Photo: New Water Supply Mexico City, MX

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A team of geologists has discovered a large aquifer far beneath Mexico City that could supply potable water to the capital for many decades and serve as a reserve basin in times of drought, the municipal government said Monday.

“It’s a deep aquifer of significant proportions, but they haven’t been quantified yet and the next step is to carry out the necessary studies to see its real potential for sustainable extraction,” Mexico City’s water systems director, Ramon Aguirre, said in a radio interview.

Although news accounts have said the aquifer could supply the capital’s water needs for a century, Aguirre did not confirm that estimate.

“That would be great,” Aguirre said, adding that the water basin is an important discovery because it could provide emergency supplies during droughts.

“Even if there’s more than 100 years of extractable water ... that doesn’t mean it’s enough to supply the city for more than 100 years. That difference needs to be pointed out,” the official said.

He also noted that development of this new reserve will not affect other Mexico City aquifers or lead to sinkholes because clay layers separate one water basin from another.

Mexico City has been gradually sinking for centuries because water is drawn from underground aquifers faster than it can be replenished by rainfall and other natural sources.

Aguirre said exploration work began 18 months ago and that up to three more years of studies will be needed to determine the aquifer’s yield capacity.

The project has an estimated price tag of as much as 500 million pesos ($39.3 million).

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PEW STUDY:Roe v. Wade at 40: Most Oppose Overturning Abortion Decision – Millennials Less Aware

PEW STUDY:Roe v. Wade at 40: Most Oppose Overturning Abortion Decision – Millennials Less Aware

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As the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision approaches, the public remains opposed to completely overturning the historic ruling on abortion. A new poll by the Pew Research Center finds that more than six-in-ten (63%) say they would not like to see the court completely overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, which established a woman’s constitutional right to abortion, at least in the first three months of pregnancy. Only about three-in-ten (29%) would like to see the ruling overturned. These opinions are little changed from surveys conducted 10 and 20 years ago.

Decades after the Supreme Court rendered its decision, on Jan. 22, 1973, most Americans (62%) know that Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion rather than school desegregation or some other issue. But the rest either guess incorrectly (17%) or say they do not know what the case was about (20%). And there are substantial age differences in awareness: Among those ages 50 to 64, 74% know that Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion, the highest percentage of any age group. Among those younger than 30, just 44% know this.

The latest national survey, conducted jointly by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life from Jan. 9-13 among 1,502 adults, includes additional key findings:

Abortion Viewed as Less Important Issue. Currently, 53% say abortion “is not that important compared to other issues,” up from 48% in 2009 and 32% in 2006. The percentage viewing abortion as a “critical issue facing the country” fell from 28% in 2006 to 15% in 2009 and now stands at 18%.

Religious Differences Regarding Overturning Roe. White evangelical Protestants are the only major religious group in which a majority favors completely overturning the Roe v. Wade decision. Large percentages of white mainline Protestants, black Protestants and white Catholics say the ruling should not be overturned. Fully 82% of the religiously unaffiliated oppose overturning Roe v. Wade.

Morality of Abortion. Nearly half of Americans (47%) say they personally believe that it is morally wrong to have an abortion, compared with 27% who say it is not a moral issue, 13% who find it morally acceptable and 9% who volunteer that it depends. About one-in-five (18%) say they personally believe that abortion is morally unacceptable yet also oppose the Supreme Court overturning its Roe v. Wade ruling.

No Gender Gap. There are no significant gender differences in opinions about the Roe v. Wade decision, the importance of abortion as an issue, or the morality of abortion.

The poll is part of a larger research package released by the Pew Forum to mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It includes a slideshow that illustrates public opinion on abortion, including trends from 1995 to 2012 and views by party identification, gender and age. The package also includes a legal analysis examining the landmark case and the history of other key abortion rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court, and a fact sheet that describes many religious groups’ official positions on abortion. The full set of resources is available on the Pew Forum’s website.

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American Artist Roni Horn Wins Joan Miro International Prize

American Artist Roni Horn Wins Joan Miro International Prize

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U.S. artist Roni Horn on Monday was named the winner of the 4th Joan Miro International Prize 2013, one of the most prestigious such awards in the world and which comes with a relatively large cash stipend of 70,000 euros ($93,000).

Horn, a native New Yorker, will receive the award in a ceremony to be held Jan. 30 here in Barcelona, according to the Miro Foundation.

The panel of judges decided unanimously to present the distinction to Horn, “one of the most singular and multifaceted artists in contemporary creativity.”

Horn was selected to receive the award for her interest in “exploring new dimensions and horizons,?” an interest that, in the words of the panel, “she shared with Joan Miro.”

In addition to receiving the cash stipend and the award, Horn will be featured at an exposition to be held in the summer of 2014 at the Miro Foundation in Barcelona and, later, at the CaixaForum Madrid.

Horn’s work includes all mediums and focuses on location and position, as well as on drawing as a process and a guide.

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40,000 Bikers Pay Homage to their Patroness: Our Lady of the Favor in Mexico

40,000 Bikers Pay Homage to their Patroness: Our Lady of the Favor in Mexico

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Bikers rode hundreds of kilometers in Mexico to have their motorcycles blessed and to pay homage to the Our Lady of the Favor, whom they consider their patroness.

Coming from several places around Mexico and the United States , more than 40,000 bikers, according to authorities’ estimates, roared into the small town of Hostotipaquillo in the western state of Jalisco to celebrate their annual gathering, which began with a Mass.

The get-together has taken place the third Sunday in January for the past 14 years, promoted by the leader of one of the many motorcycle clubs.

Septuagenarian Guillermo Sandoval told Efe that he rode for six hours from his native Colima in eastern Mexico to “carry the image” of Our Lady.

“Over the past five years it has twice been my turn to carry her and I come for that, our first ride here is always for that and it brings everyone good luck,” he said minutes before carrying the image of the Virgin on his motorcycle.

The narrow highway leading to the village of around 3,500 inhabitants had resounded since Saturday night with the roaring motors of all kinds of motorcycles coming to the meeting.

The streets were festively prepared to receive the bikers and their families with food stalls, colorful paper decorations and fireworks.

The visitors’ leather jackets, dark pants, sunglasses and skull-printed do rags on their heads seemed a little too rough and out of place among the conservative little homes with religious symbols on their doors and windows.

The powerful bikes had just one purpose and that was to drive up to the parish church, pick up the image of Our Lady and carry it to a soccer field where a Mass was said.

With the arrival of the pilgrims, the field became a fair at which many took the occasion to buy motorcycle accessories, grab a bite to eat and rest after their long rides.

“I’m not much of a believer but I like to come every year to get together with my friends,” biker Javier Guerrero said.

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President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration - Watch it Live (VIDEO)

President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration - Watch it Live (VIDEO)

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Historians Robert Caro, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Douglas Brinkley, and Michael Beschloss speak on the historical significance of a Presidential Inauguration and a President’s second term.

Watch the Inauguration of a President.


Below is the schedule for today’s inauguration.

All times are Eastern Standard Time (EST).

8:45 AM: The First Family, the Vice President and Dr. Biden attend a church service at St. John’s Episcopal Church

10:35 AM: The First Family departs the White House en route Capitol Hill

11:20 AM: The President is sworn in at the United States Capitol; The First Family, the Vice President and Dr. Biden also attend WhiteHouse.gov/live

11:50 AM: The President delivers remarks; The First Family, the Vice President and Dr. Biden also attend WhiteHouse.gov/live

1:05 PM: The President, the Vice President, the First Lady and Dr. Biden attend the inaugural luncheon

2:40 PM: The President, the Vice President, the First Lady and Dr. Biden participate in the inaugural parade

3:45 PM: The First Family, the Vice President and Dr. Biden watch the inaugural parade from the presidential reviewing stand WhiteHouse.gov/live

8:45 PM: The President, the Vice President, the First Lady and Dr. Biden attend the Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball

9:10 PM: The President, the Vice President, the First Lady and Dr. Biden attend the Inaugural Ball

WhiteHouse.gov/live Indicates that the event will be live-streamed on WhiteHouse.gov/Live

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Immigrant Advocates Hold Inauguration Day March to Stop Deportations

Immigrant Advocates Hold Inauguration Day March to Stop Deportations

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On January 21st, Inauguration day and Martin Luther King Day, families of those recently targeted in immigration raids are calling for a March and rally for a moratorium on deportations in Chicago.

The immigrant community in Chicago is calling for the President to grant immediate relief from deportations by ordering a moratorium.  While Congress deliberates, they say, the President can use his executive authority to make immediate changes to reverse his record on deportations. 

President Obama’s first term saw a record 1.5 million people deported; 409,000 in 2012.  While he has announced his drive for immigration reform, the Chicago area witnessed an increase in aggressive enforcement.

“It makes no sense to be removing people from the country who you say you want to legalize,” explains Rev. Jose Landaverde of Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission. “For the past four years my church has been filled with crying children whose parents have been taken away. The President needs to stop deportations and these families’ suffering immediately.”

Eric Rodriguez, Director of the Latino Union of Chicago, adds “We want the President to be on the right side of history.  His second term will define his legacy. Will he be the President to deport more people than any other in history or the President responsible for championing inclusion and equality? The path to citizenship starts with a moratorium on deportations.”

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Colombian Children Continue to Die and Be Severely Injured by Landmines

Colombian Children Continue to Die and Be Severely Injured by Landmines

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In 2012, 13 children died in Colombia and 52 others were injured as a result of landmines.

According to a document of the Presidential Program for Integral Action against Landmines, in 2012 12 boys and one girl died, among the injured 20 girls and 32 boys. The statistics from 1990 to 2012 show that the regions where there is the greatest number of children and adolescents, victims of this scourge are those of Antioquia, Cauca and Nariño, on the border with Ecuador.

The latest victims, according to Agencia Fides, were three children who on January 13, 2013 in the municipality of Briceño. One of them died, the other two were taken to a hospital in the city of Medellín by army soldiers. Between 1990 and 2012, in Colombia, the total number of deaths was 10,160, of whom 3,877 civilians and 6,283 of the public forces.

The Latin American country is the second largest in the world, after Afghanistan, for land mines which were scattered throughout much of Colombia.

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Super Bowl 2013 Match Up:  Ravens v 49ers

Super Bowl 2013 Match Up:  Ravens v 49ers

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Outstanding play by quarterback Joe Flacco and stifling defense led the Baltimore Ravens to a surprise 28-13 road victory over the New England Patriots and a berth in the Super Bowl, where they will take on the San Francisco 49ers.

The Ravens trailed 13-7 at halftime of Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium but completely dominated the final two quarters behind the arm of Flacco, who threw three touchdown passes in the second half. By contrast, Patriots star Tom Brady struggled to find open receivers against an outstanding Ravens secondary.

Also a big key to Baltimore’s comeback win and red-zone offense was wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who made two leaping TD grabs in the fourth quarter as the Ravens avoided settling for field goals.

Earlier Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers also notched a come-from-behind road victory, overcoming a 17-0 first-half deficit to stun the Atlanta Falcons in a 28-24 win.

Matt Ryan threw three touchdowns as the Falcons dominated San Francisco’s vaunted defense in the first half. But turnovers by the quarterback - an interception and a fumbled snap - halted both of Atlanta’s drives in the third quarter.

Needing a touchdown, the Falcons methodically marched down the field late in the fourth quarter but they turned the ball over on downs at the San Francisco 10 yard line when linebacker NaVorro Bowman batted away a Ryan pass.

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick delivered another clutch performance and running back Frank Gore rushed for 90 yards on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns.

Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh will square off against his brother, Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh, in the Super Bowl, which will be played Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

San Francisco is seeking a record-tying sixth Super Bowl title, while the Ravens are eyeing their second.

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Latin America News:  Colombian FARC Guerillas Explore Bilateral Cease-Fire Option

Latin America News:  Colombian FARC Guerillas Explore Bilateral Cease-Fire Option

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The FARC rebels on Sunday asked the Colombian government to study the possibility of a bilateral cease-fire upon the ending of the unilateral truce that the guerrillas declared two months ago.

“With sadness in our hearts, we must admit that the phase of war that nobody in this country wants is returning,” Luciano Marin Arango alias “Ivan Marquez”  the head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, negotiating team in the peace talks with the Bogota government told the press.

Marquez said upon his arrival at the Havana Conventions Palace, the seat of the peace dialogue, that he wanted to take the opportunity once more to ask the Colombian government to study the possibility of a bilateral cessation of hostilities to surround these peace talks with a calm environment.

The unilateral cease-fire declared by the rebels went into effect last Nov. 20, one day after the establishment in Cuba of the peace talks with a delegation dispatched by the government of Juan Manuel Santos.

“If the government feels that providing this propitious environment is not necessary, then we propose that we seek a treaty of regularization of the war paying attention to the specifics of the internal conflict to avoid greater suffering for the public,” the guerrilla chief said, adding that the FARC wants to ?attenuate the impact? of the conflict on the civil population.

As an example, he cited the possibility of the government not setting up more military bases or barracks in the middle of the population because, he said, “that amounts to establishing (human) shields (and) this situation is not permitted or tolerated by humanitarian international law.”

He also said that “if the moment arrives, we will be discussing (the situation) with the national government in a very timely manner.”

Marquez also read a communique in which the FARC emphasized the recognition made by Santos of the compliance on the part of (the FARC) with the unilateral cessation of its offensive operations for 60 days? and he called the military offensive against the rebel encampments foolish.

Santos said on Jan. 16 that he would submit to a popular referendum the agreement reached in Havana by the FARC and his government, but he said that under no conditions would there be a constitutional assembly. “Let them erase that possibility from their minds, because it’s not going to be like that,” said the president at the time.

The government delegation is headed by former Vice President Humberto de la Calle.

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Justice Sotomayor: Urges Latinos to Pursue Dreams, Stay in School

Justice Sotomayor: Urges Latinos to Pursue Dreams, Stay in School

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Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, said on the weekend here that there’s no part of my heart that’s not from Puerto Rico and encouraged all Latinos to pursue their dreams.

“If you don’t see the value of community it’s difficult for you to win,” said the magistrate during a colloquium with journalist Maria Hinojosa at the El Barrio Museum in Harlem, where she spoke about her autobiography “My Beloved World.”

Sotomayor, 58, made history in 2009 when she was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the first Latino justice on the high court, and on Sunday she made history again by administering the oath of office to the U.S. vice president, Joe Biden.

“It’s a book full of messages,” said Sotomayor, and one of them is “You can,” a message especially directed at U.S. Hispanics, since to a certain degree she said her memoir is a tribute to her community.

“If I did it, you can do it, too,” she said energetically to the crowd that filled the auditorium and repeatedly applauded her remarks.

In the book, she discusses the difficulties she had during her childhood and professional career, being the daughter of an alcoholic father and going through a divorce, but she said that those experiences helped to forge her strengths.

Sotomayor also spoke to the audience about her diabetes, which she has suffered from since age 8, and which she must inject insulin each day to keep under control. She noted that diabetes is a disease that frequently affects Latinos and said that she has regretted the fact that often we’re ashamed to speak about it, insisting on the need to deal with such problems.

She also talked about her education at Princeton and Yale before she began her legal career, but she specifically remarked upon the value of public schools, saying that it was in those classrooms where she learned the values of hard work and determination that in the future helped her to make important decisions in her life.

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Spanish Authorities Break Up Coke Smuggling Ring from Latin America

Spanish Authorities Break Up Coke Smuggling Ring from Latin America

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Spanish police arrested seven people who were trying to smuggle 93 kilograms of cocaine into the country hidden in blocks of stone, which had been seized by Chilean customs authorities before they could be shipped to Spain.

According to police, the maritime route planned by the would-be smugglers for shipping the drug was via Bolivia, Chile and the southern Spanish port of Algeciras, from where it was to be transported by land to Almeria, also in southern Spain.

The arrests were the result of an investigation begun in September 2011 when authorities learned of the existence of a drug trafficking organization in Spain comprised mainly of Colombian and Spanish citizens.

Once the members of the organization had been identified, Spanish police learned of the plan to ship the cocaine from Bolivia to the Iberian nation hidden inside blocks of marble and other types of stone.

Police said that two of the group of arrested people had traveled to the town of Macael in southern Spain, which has many firms devoted to working with marble and granite, and rented a boat to transport the stone there, after which they were intending to remove the drug.

With the information obtained thanks to the cooperation of international police, Bolivian law enforcement asked Chilean customs authorities to inspect a container shipment of stone and in examining the stone blocks they found a compartment within which the 93 kilos of coke were found.

Once the name of the company importing the stone was determined, security forces were able to put all the pieces together and make the arrests.

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Latin America News: Gunmen Kill Honduran Mayor and Family Member

Latin America News: Gunmen Kill Honduran Mayor and Family Member

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The mayor of the central Honduran city of Esquias, his father and two other people were gunned down Sunday, police said.

Wenrris Hernandez died after being shot several times near Carlos Miranda Stadium in Comayagua, police spokesman Juan Lopez told reporters.

The mayor’s father, Edenis Hernandez, was also killed in the attack, Lopez said.

An unidentified person was wounded in the incident, the police spokesman said.

The other two people killed in the incident were identified as Humberto Oliva and Armando Oliva, but the police spokesman did not say if they were related to the mayor.

Investigators have not determined the motive for the attack, but media reports said the victims may have had an argument with the men who killed them.

The 2011 homicide rate of 92 per 100,000 people in Honduras was one of the highest in the world, a recent U.N. report said.

About 15 violent deaths occur in the Central American country daily, figures compiled by the National Police and human rights groups show.

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Latin America News: 4 Missing in Argentina Boating Accident

Latin America News: 4 Missing in Argentina Boating Accident

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The navy is searching for four people who disappeared after an accident involving a recreational vessel that was carrying nine people on the Parana River, Argentine officials said Sunday.

The La Berbena capsized Saturday, tossing its passengers into the river near Ramallo, a town in Buenos Aires province, the Security Ministry said.

Five of the boat’s occupants managed to swim ashore, but four men went missing.

The boat’s occupants were returning from a fishing trip on the Parana River in Buenos Aires and Entre Rios provinces.

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MondayJanuary 21, 2013