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SaturdayJanuary 26, 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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Chavez in His “Best Moment” Since Operation, Venezuelan V.P. Says

Chavez in His “Best Moment” Since Operation, Venezuelan V.P. Says

Photo: Hugo Chavez

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Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Saturday that President Hugo Chavez is in “the best moment” of the complex postoperatory process he has faced since undergoing his latest round of cancer-related surgery in Cuba on Dec. 11.

In a statement made on his return from Cuba and before going to Santiago for the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union (EU), Maduro said that Chavez, who suffered from complications after the operation, “has entered a phase of complementary treatments” to deal with the cancer he is suffering.

“The comandante is in the best moment we have seen in all these days of fighting and doing battle,” he said.

Maduro said the government group that visited Chavez in Cuba found him smiling, optimistic, with a great deal of faith in the treatment and “clinging” to life and to Christ.

According to the vice president, whom Chavez designated as his political successor before traveling to Cuba for the operation on Dec. 11, the president sent several messages, one of them addressed to the CELAC-EU summit.

The 58-year-old Chavez, who took office in 1999, was re-elected last Oct. 7 by a comfortable margin and is supposed to serve until 2019.

He has undergone four operations and courses of chemotherapy and radiation since he was first diagnosed with cancer in June 2011.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Medellin Up Against New York, Tel Aviv for City of the Year Award

Medellin Up Against New York, Tel Aviv for City of the Year Award

Photo: Medellin (Colombia Tourism)

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The Colombian city of Medellin is competing against New York and Tel Aviv for the title of world’s most innovative, a candidacy based on a public-transport system that aims to bolster social cohesion and chip away at longstanding problems of socioeconomic inequality, violence and drug trafficking.

Medellin has gone from being the world’s most violent city in the 1990s to a finalist for the City of the Year prize awarded by the Washington-based non-profit research group Urban Land Institute, having already beaten out cities such as Chicago, Singapore, Sao Paulo and London.

In selecting Medellin, the ULI considered the construction there of an integrated public-transport infrastructure that, in addition to reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, has contributed to the social development of marginalized areas of the city and a reduction in crime.

Medellin, the capital of the northwestern province of Antioquia, is home to roughly 2.5 million inhabitants and located in a valley surrounded by mountains.

The city’s population has grown rapidly in recent decades due to the arrival of large numbers of people who have taken up residence in make-shift homes on its hillsides after being displaced by the country’s long-running armed conflict.

These neighborhoods were cut off from access to facilities and public services and, therefore, an integrated public-transport system - consisting of two metro lines, two cable cars, 20 articulated buses and several escalators that allow people to get up and down the steep hillsides - was built to incorporate them into the city’s economy.

“Cable cars and escalators already existed. We didn’t invent them here in Medellin, but using them as urban public transport, that was something new, a developmental focal point in a depressed sector wracked by violence,” Mayor Anibal Gaviria told Efe in an interview.

In making Medellin a finalist for its award, the ULI also took into account a project to build tram lines, a public bike-sharing system and the so-called Medellin Intelligent Mobility System, or SIMM, which uses cameras, radar and other equipment to improve mobility and public safety.

These developments have helped steadily bring the homicide rate down to 52.5 murders annually per 100,000 inhabitants, a rate that remains high due to turf battles among rival drug gangs and paramilitary successor groups.

This city has undergone and is undergoing a metamorphosis that we’re proud to show the world,” Gaviria said.

“Medellin’s strength as an innovative city is that, despite the difficulties, despite not having the budgets that other cities do, it has transformed innovation into wellbeing for its people,” the mayor said.

The winner of the City of the Year award, sponsored by Citigroup, will be announced in early February.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Real Madrid’s New Goalkeeper Diego Lopez to Begin Sunday

Real Madrid’s New Goalkeeper Diego Lopez to Begin Sunday

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Newly signed Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez, who still has not trained with his new teammates, has been inserted in the starting line-up by manager Jose Mourinho for Sunday’s Spanish-league match against Getafe.

Real Madrid moved quickly on Friday to secure an extra goalkeeper in light of the hand injury that will sideline veteran Blancos netminder and captain Iker Casillas for up to 12 weeks.

Lopez traveled Saturday from Seville and then proceeded to pass his physical, sign his new contract and train by himself ahead of Sunday’s game at the Bernabeu.

The club agreed to pay Sevilla 3.5 million euros ($4.7 million) for Lopez, who was part of Real Madrid from 2000-2007.

News of the deal came as Casillas underwent surgery to repair damage to his left hand suffered when one of his teammates accidentally clipped him during Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey quarterfinal match with Valencia.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Shakira Rests in Hospital, Anxious to Bring Baby Milan Home

Shakira Rests in Hospital, Anxious to Bring Baby Milan Home

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Colombian singer Shakira will spend at least one more night in the Barcelona clinic where she is recovering from the birth of her first child, Milan, while waiting to take her baby home, according to the medical center.

Reporters and fans with cameras plus curiosity-seekers in general crowded the entrance to the Teknon clinic throughout Saturday, waiting to see Shakira and her boyfriend, FC Barcelona defenseman Gerard Pique, with the baby in her arms.

At the end of the day, however, hospital officials said that Shakira would probably stay at the hospital Saturday night and could be released either Sunday or Monday.

All day Saturday, family members of the couple visited the singer, who gave birth on Tuesday.

After spending the night with Shakira, Pique temporarily left the private clinic, located in a hillside district of Barcelona, at dawn Saturday, driving off in his own car to take part in a training session his team had scheduled.

When the training was over for Barcelona’s Spanish league match Sunday against Osasuna, Pique returned to the medical center.

Milan Pique Mebarak, first son of the Catalan soccer star and the Colombian singer, weighed almost 3 kilos (6 1/2 pounds) at its birth by Cesarean section.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Head of Anti-Doping Agency Says Lance Armstrong Lied During Oprah Sit Down

Head of Anti-Doping Agency Says Lance Armstrong Lied During Oprah Sit Down

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The head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency accused Lance Armstrong of lying during an interview earlier this month with Oprah Winfrey, in which the former cyclist acknowledged using performance-enhancing drugs for most of his career.

In an interview with CBS that will be aired Sunday on the show “60 Minutes,” extracts of which were released Saturday, Travis Tygart said the former cyclist - despite finally coming clean about his PED use for the first time - lied about several key points during the Jan. 14 interview with the TV talk show host.

The USADA director also said he has sent a letter to Armstrong giving him until Feb. 6 to fully cooperate in the investigation into his doping in exchange for a possible reduction in his lifetime suspension from all sports that adhere to the World Anti-Doping Agency code.

Tygart said Armstrong lied when he told Winfrey that the last time he used PEDs was in 2005 and that he was not a heavy user of the blood-booster EPO.

Those statement are not true and his blood tests in 2009 and 2010 - when Armstrong made a comeback - prove that, Tygart, who has been investigating Armstrong for years, said.

“His blood tests in 2009, 2010 - expert reports based on the variation of his blood values - from those tests, one to a million chance that it was due to something other than doping,” the USADA chief said.

“He used a lot of EPO. You look at the ‘99 Tour de France samples and they were flaming positive, the highest that we’ve ever seen,” Tygart added.

The USADA chief also contradicted the former cyclist’s assertion that he did not pressure the fellow members of his U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team to dope.

“He was the boss. One of the ringleaders of a conspiracy that has deceived millions of fans and competitors,” Tygart said.

Armstrong, a cancer survivor, was stripped last year of all seven of the Tour de France titles he won consecutively from 1999 to 2005 after refusing to defend himself from doping allegations compiled by USADA.

The International Cycling Union, or UCI, decided in October not to award the titles to the second-place finishers of those races, a move that lends credence to Armstrong’s contention that he used PEDs as part of a larger doping culture in cycling.

The former cyclist, in fact, told Winfrey that he does not think any cyclist could have captured the Tour de France in the years he won the race and that he believes he was competing on a “level playing field.”

Armstrong has lost lucrative endorsement contracts as a result of the scandal and in October he stepped down from the board of directors of the cancer-fighting Livestrong Foundation he founded in 1997.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Party Wants to Bar Raising the U.S. Flag Without PR Flag

Puerto Rican Party Wants to Bar Raising the U.S. Flag Without PR Flag

Photo: Puerto Rican and U.S. Flags

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A legislator of the ruling Popular Democratic Party, or PPD, has introduced a bill in the Caribbean island’s House of Representatives that would bar raising the U.S. flag unless the Puerto Rican flag is raised at the same time.

The bill introduced Friday by Carlos Hernandez Lopez includes a first article that would “prohibit the raising of the United States flag in the absence of the flag of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico by an agency of any of the three branches of government.”

The second article states that any agency or government employee that violates said prohibition “will be guilty of administrative misdemeanor and will be fined no less that $100 and no more than $500.”

The lawmaker, majority speaker of the House of Representatives, justified the bill because of the symbolic value of the Puerto Rican flag for the people of that U.S. territory.

The PPD, which won the Nov. 7 general elections, wants to preserve the Caribbean island’s commonwealth status, which allows a certain degree of autonomy, though the U.S. remains in charge of such areas as defense, borders and diplomatic relations.

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States and its citizens cannot vote in the North American country’s elections, though they do carry the U.S. passport.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Prison Riot in Venezuela Leaves 54 Dead, 80 Wounded

Prison Riot in Venezuela Leaves 54 Dead, 80 Wounded

Photo: Responding to the prison riot injuries

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At least 54 people died and another 80 were wounded in a prison riot in northwestern Venezuela after authorities carried out an inspection, officials told Efe.

“The information we have is that there were 54 fatalities,” the director of Central Hospital in Barquisimento, Ruy Medina, in charge of handling the emergency, said.

He added that 12 of the fatalities died in hospital.

Medina said that at 11:00 a.m. Friday, officials of the Bolivarian National Guard, or GNB, began taking around 90 convicts suffering “multiple bullet wounds” to the medical center from Uribana prison in Lara state.

He said thirty of them remain hospitalized “with wounds of a certain gravity.”

Medina also said the GNB told him that there had been a clash Friday between police agents and inmates when the authorities set about making an inspection of the prison.

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Saturday that he was sorry about the killings during the riot and announced that the Attorney General’s Office and Congress will investigate these “sad” occurrences.

“There was a tragic situation of confusion that we regret, that we regret very much,” Maduro said upon his arrival before dawn Saturday in the country from Cuba, where he had visited President Hugo Chavez, and without giving precise numbers spoke of a “regrettable death toll.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Social Network Aims to Make Others’ Dreams Come True

Argentine Social Network Aims to Make Others’ Dreams Come True

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The Argentine Martin Parlato has created a Web site so that cybernauts can help make other people’s dreams come true, a project he began in honor of his father who died when he was a child.

The U.S.-registered site Posibl.com, which went online last November and has already helped several youngsters fulfill their dreams, began out of “personal necessity,” Parlato told Efe.

“I believe social networks have an immense potential to be truly social and perhaps the way they are used is not focused on that. That’s why I felt the need to create a tool that was different,” he said.

Parlato recalled that his father - the son of an Italian immigrant who died when he was seven - “gave me some very clear ideas about finding people who have needs, getting involved in their lives and changing them completely - and being generous with whatever success one might have.”

He said that on Posibl.com, people tell what dreams they have that are in need of help, and can then receive that help in numerous ways over this platform - one of them being with cash donations, as occurred, he said, with a child in the Argentine city of Cordoba needing a transplant of mother cells, to whom a company donated $60,000 to have the procedure done in China.

Another way is to put the person with the dream in contact with someone who can help it come true, maybe by giving a gift like a wheelchair or just by providing moral support.

The Argentine, who wants to move his company headquarters to New York, is holding meetings these days in the Big Apple with possible investors and with foundations that want to affiliate with Posibl.com.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NBC Orders Pilot from Oscar Nominated Filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, Director J.J. Abrams

NBC Orders Pilot from Oscar Nominated Filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, Director J.J. Abrams

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Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron and U.S. producer and director J.J. Abrams have received a pilot order from NBC for their supernatural drama series, the entertainment Web site Deadline reported.

Titled “Believe,” the project was written by Cuaron and Mark Friedman and tells the story of the relationship between a girl with exceptional powers and a man who is “sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down,” Deadline said Friday.

Cuaron, best known for his hit 2001 Mexican drama film “Y Tu Mama Tambien” (And Your Mother Too), for which he received a best original screenplay Oscar nomination, will direct the pilot episode and also executive produce along with Friedman, Abrams and Bryan Burk for Warner Bros TV and Abrams’ Bad Robot.

The Mexican filmmaker also received Oscar nominations for best adapted screenplay and best editing for the 2006 film “Children of Men.”

The search for the actress who will play the lead role began in December.

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BRAZIL: Six Fatally Shot in Rio de Janeiro Suburb

BRAZIL: Six Fatally Shot in Rio de Janeiro Suburb

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Six men were found fatally shot Friday in the Rio de Janeiro suburb of Duque de Caxias, Brazilian police said.

The bodies were discovered on a street in the Vai Quem Quer “favela,” or shantytown.

Police said they are investigating the possibility that some of the victims were members of drug-dealing outfits.

Witnesses told media outlets the men died in a drive-by shooting, but authorities declined to confirm that account or to offer any further details.

Most favelas in metropolitan Rio are dangerous areas effectively controlled by heavily armed drug gangs, though a “pacification” program has reduced levels of violence in some neighborhoods of the city proper.

The Rio de Janeiro state government plans to expand the program to other municipalities.

The “pacification” typically begins with a massive operation to expel armed gangs, followed by the establishment of permanent police garrisons and efforts to address long-standing social problems.

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Latinos Part of High Level Post Inaugural Rumor Mill

Latinos Part of High Level Post Inaugural Rumor Mill

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By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

One of the interesting things about being in Washington DC for a few days after a presidential inaugural is the sifting through the residual rumors. It’s a lot like walking a shoreline after a storm, all sorts of things catch your eye.

The city was flooded with partisans and political types for a weekend, so rumor and speculation were the mainstays of small talk and cocktail fodder. They get traded and passed along, edited and embellished, and when coupled with actual events they take on a life of their own.

Take for instance a meeting held in the Oval office the day after the inaugural. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro had a reported 20 minute face-to-face with the President. That in itself is not entirely remarkable. Castro has been a bright light on the White House radar for a while; he delivered the DNC keynote; etc… It’s what happened about one hour later that started the hearsay mill spinning: Soon after Castro ended his meeting news was leaked that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is being considered to replace Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on President Obama’s cabinet.Image

Never mind that LaHood hasn’t announced leaving his post. Never mind that California Senator Barbara Boxer told a California public radio reporter that same day that Villaragisa ”would be terrific” in that job.

This is what’s interesting about the mill and how it pumps new fodder: the speculation is that the Transportation post was offered to Castro at his Oval office meeting with the President, and that he graciously declined; that Villaraigosa was immediately considered next; that because Villaraigosa would be moving to a Federal post, the path would be clear for soon to be former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to make her move for the California Governorship.

And it was barely lunch time.

It’s not unlike a fantasy chess board. But all the speculation does point to the fact that Latinos have become part of the highest level political shuffle. Whether the shuffle is substantial or mere show has yet to be seen. After all, all we have is a basic set of facts with a mound of speculation plopped on top. 

And these are the facts: Castro is a White House favorite and he had a meeting in the Oval office; Hilda Solis is leaving her post at the Labor Department and going back to California;  Barbara boxer has said, on the record, that Villaraigosa would make a good Secretary of Transportation; and at last report when Ray LaHood was asked about his future on the President’s cabinet, he told the Daily Beast “There’ll be more to say about that later.”

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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Real Madrid Signs Goalkeeper Diego Lopez Following Casillas Injury

Real Madrid Signs Goalkeeper Diego Lopez Following Casillas Injury

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Real Madrid moved quickly on Friday to secure an extra goalkeeper in light of the hand injury that will sideline veteran Blancos netminder and captain Iker Casillas for up to 12 weeks.

The club agreed to pay Sevilla 3.5 million euros ($4.7 million) for Diego Lopez, who was part of Real Madrid from 2000-2007.

News of the deal came as Casillas underwent surgery to repair damage to his left hand suffered when one of his teammates accidentally clipped him during Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey quarterfinal match with Valencia.

The operation went “very well,” surgeon Miguel del Cerro said, while urging that the acclaimed Spanish international approach his recovery at a measured pace.

Casillas will be out of action for eight to 12 weeks, the doctor said.

“We will follow the rehabilitation steps set out by Dr. Del Cerro,” Real Madrid’s director of medical services, Carlos Diez, said.

The 31-year-old Lopez is expected to serve as backup to Antonio Adan, who had begun to move into the role of starting goalkeeper before a two-match suspension that opened the door for Casillas to return.

While out of contention for the 2012-2013 La Liga title, Real Madrid has a berth in the Copa del Rey semis and qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Volkswagen to Begin Manufacturing Golf in Mexico in 2014

Volkswagen to Begin Manufacturing Golf in Mexico in 2014

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German automaker Volkswagen said it will begin manufacturing its redesigned Golf model in Mexico in the first quarter of 2014.

“With its existing infrastructure, competitive cost structures and free trade agreements, Mexico is the ideal location to produce the Golf” for markets in North and South America, Hubert Waltl, a member of the board of management of the Volkswagen passenger cars brand, was quoted as saying in a statement Friday.

“The decision to produce the Golf in Mexico builds on Volkswagen’s strategy for the North American market,” where it plans to invest more than $5 billion over the next three years, the statement said.

“Localization has become increasingly important in automotive manufacturing” as a safeguard against currency fluctuations and a means of being closer to the market where the vehicles will ultimately be sold, it added.

Volkswagen said it plans to invest around $700 million to adapt the production lines at its plant in the central Mexican city of Puebla to manufacture the all-new VW Golf hatchback.

Earlier this month, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker inaugurated a $550 million engine plant in the central Mexico state of Guanajuato.

Last September, it also announced plans to invest $1.3 billion to build a new Audi plant in Puebla; construction is scheduled to begin this year.

Volkswagen produced a record 600,000 vehicles in Mexico last year, 88 percent of which were destined for export around the world.

The German automaker - whose Mexican subsidiary, Volkswagen de Mexico, was founded in 1964 - owns the Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda and Porsche brands, among others.

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PM Rajoy Expresses Optimism About Spanish Economy During Trip to Chile

PM Rajoy Expresses Optimism About Spanish Economy During Trip to Chile

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was warmly praised here Friday by Chilean President Sebastian Piñera in a visit that gave the Spaniard the chance to offer a message of optimism about his nation’s economy.

“We will soon enter a stage of growth in jobs and the economy during which the improvements will reach the people,” Rajoy said in a joint press conference with Piñera at Chile’s presidential palace.

Both leaders hailed the excellent state of bilateral relations, which on Friday were strengthened with the signing of an update of the Strategic Plan originally signed in 2006.

An update that will spur increased collaboration in the fields of science, culture, education, tourism and clean energy.

The Chilean president praised Rajoy’s work as head of the Spanish government after taking office “in difficult times.”

“But good captains are not judged when the waters are calm, but in stormy seas,” Piñera said, referring not only to the structural reforms implemented in Spain, but also to the Iberian nation’s dynamism and capacity for growth.

“The night is always darkest before the dawn,” Piñera reminded Rajoy. “And I’m sure that Spain is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Rajoy said he had to take decisions in Spain that were difficult but necessary.

They’re decisions, he said, that will allow 2013 to be better than last year and that will create jobs in 2014, while continuing to reduce the deficit.

Rajoy’s conservative government announced earlier Friday an extension of a financial aid program for unemployed people whose eligibility for standard jobless benefits has expired.

The news came a day after new data showed Spain ended last year with an unemployment rate of 26.02 percent, equivalent to more than 5.9 million people out of work.

The Spanish economy remains hampered by the fallout from the collapse of a long-building housing bubble, which left many of its banks saddled with toxic assets.

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Venezuelan President Chavez Continues to Fight Cancer, Says Aid

Venezuelan President Chavez Continues to Fight Cancer, Says Aid

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is recovering from his Dec. 11 operation to remove a tumor, but is still fighting “the more difficult battle” against cancer, one of his top aides said.

“We can say of the post-operative situation, the president is well into the process of recovery,” Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said from Havana, where he and other senior officials have been conferring with Chavez.

“However, well, now comes the more difficult and deeper battle against the illness,” Jaua said via telephone link during a press conference in Caracas called by Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas.

The foreign minister was joined in Havana on Wednesday by Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro and the energy minister of the oil-rich Andean nation, Rafael Ramirez.

Those officials have made multiple trips to Cuba since the socialist president’s Dec. 11 surgery, as have Attorney General Cilia Flores and the head of state’s brother, state Gov. Adan Chavez.

The 58-year-old Chavez, who took office in 1999, was re-elected last Oct. 7 by a comfortable margin and is supposed to serve until 2019.

He has undergone four operations and courses of chemotherapy and radiation since he was first diagnosed with cancer in June 2011.

Venezuela’s Supreme Court said earlier this month that Chavez could delay his inauguration - set for Jan. 10 - without creating a constitutional power vacuum.

Responding to opposition complaints about a lack of direct communication from the normally garrulous Chavez, Communication Minister Villegas said the president has delegated that task to his administration while he concentrates on his recovery.

Villegas said that though he hopes the president will return to Venezuela in a matter of weeks, the government doesn’t want to “plant expectations.”

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Police Impound Mexican Soccer Club’s Bus Over Tax Dispute

Police Impound Mexican Soccer Club’s Bus Over Tax Dispute

Photo: Impounded bus (Club Atlas FC)

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Mexican authorities impounded a bus and some office furniture belonging to Atlas soccer club in connection with a tax dispute, the team’s management said Friday.

The tax service says Atlas owes the treasury 4.6 million pesos ($365,000), a claim the club disputes.

Atlas took the matter to court and won a favorable judgment, but the government appealed and implemented the asset embargo pending a final ruling in the case.

The club said it expects to recover the bus and office furniture once it offers the government “supplementary” sureties for the ostensible tax debt.

Atlas, which is 1-1-1 going into the fourth week of the Clausura 2013 season, will host America on Saturday at Jalisco stadium in Guadalajara.

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20 Citizens, 2 Police Die During Riots Over Court Ruling in Egypt

At least 22 people - 20 civilians and two police - were killed Saturday in clashes in Egypt between police and supporters of a group of defendants who were sentenced to death for their role in soccer riots last year.

Medical officials told Efe that 200 people also were wounded in the disturbances near the prison in the Mediterranean city of Port Said.

The director of Port Said’s hospitals department, Abderrahman Farah, said most of those killed in the clashes died of gunshots, though two deaths were attributed to internal hemorrhaging.

Army troops were deployed to restore order and stability in the Mediterranean city, just hours after the military was sent to the nearby seaport city of Suez.

The clashes in Port Said erupted after a Cairo court on Saturday sentenced 21 people to death for a soccer massacre that followed a February 2012 Egyptian league game between local team Al-Masry and Cairo club Al-Ahly at Port Said stadium.

A total of 74 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured in the Feb. 1, 2012, soccer riots, when Al-Masry fans stormed the field after their team’s 3-1 win and attacked the rival club’s fans with knives and clubs.

After the sentencing, family members of the defendants and radical Al-Masry supporters tried to force their way into the prison and battled the security forces with firearms and Molotov cocktails.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry said automatic weapons and even heavy weaponry were used, without offering further details.

This new outbreak of violence comes a day after nine people died and 584 were wounded, according to Health Ministry figures, in nationwide disturbances Friday to mark the second anniversary of the uprising that ultimately toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Eight people were killed in Suez and one other fatality occurred in the nearby city of Ismailia, while the largest numbers of wounded were registered in the governorate of Cairo (172), followed by Alexandria (102), Suez (89) and Ismailia (77).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Denis McDonough Named As Obama’s New Chief of Staff

Denis McDonough Named As Obama’s New Chief of Staff

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday named Denis McDonough, who had been serving as deputy national security advisor, as his new chief of staff.

“Denis has played a key role in every major national security decision during my presidency,” Obama said at a ceremony in the White House’s East Room, adding that he is one of his closest friends and advisors.

In the famous May 2011 photograph in the White House’s Situation Room that shows Obama monitoring the mission that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, McDonough, 43, is seated just two chairs away from the president.

Obama said he has been “counting on Denis for nearly a decade, since I first came to Washington, when he helped set up my Senate office,” joking that he was among a group of advisors who helped show him everything from “where the restrooms were” to “how you passed a bill.”

McDonough is considered well versed in the ins and outs of Congress, having worked for the then-leader of the Democrats in the Senate, South Dakota’s Tom Daschle, before joining the staff of then-Sen. Obama in 2007.

“He’s the consummate public servant. He plays it straight, and that’s the kind of teamwork that I want in the White House,” Obama said.

McDonough replaces Jack Lew, whom Obama has nominated to succeed Tim Geithner as treasury secretary.

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SaturdayJanuary 26, 2013