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SundayJanuary 27, 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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Presidents Discuss Pemex, Petrobras Oil Alliance

Presidents Discuss Pemex, Petrobras Oil Alliance

Photo: Enrique Peña Nieto and Dilma Rousseff

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Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff discussed forging strategic alliances between oil giants Pemex and Petrobras during a meeting at the CELAC-EU summit in Chile.

“The two national companies (Pemex and Petrobras) seem to me to have an opportunity to explore possible alliances on different projects, (such as) technology exchanges (and) the development of shared projects,” Peña Nieto said.

Mexico and Brazil signed an agreement creating “a working group of businessmen from both countries to explore available alternatives for greater exchanges among different sectors,” the Mexican president said.

Rousseff agreed to visit Mexico soon for a bilateral meeting, while Peña Nieto plans to visit Brazil.

Mexico also plans to review the free trade agreement with the European Union that took effect in 2000 in an effort to update it, Peña Nieto said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Businessman Files Complaint Against Brother Who Allegedly Shot Him

Mexican Businessman Files Complaint Against Brother Who Allegedly Shot Him

Photo: Javier Garza Lagüera

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A prominent businessman filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon in which he alleges that he was shot by his brother, officials said.

Javier Garza Lagüera alleges that he was shot by his brother, Ricardo, on Thursday night, a Nuevo Leon Attorney General’s Office spokesman said.

Ricardo Garza Lagüera is under investigation and will be asked to give prosecutors a statement, the AG’s office spokesman said.

The 52-year-old Ricardo shot and wounded the 53-year-old Javier during an argument in the exclusive Valle de San Angel district of the upscale city of San Pedro, the AG’s office spokesman said, citing the criminal complaint.

Javier Garza Lagüera told investigators that he had a drainage ditch dug in the residential area where he and other family members live, a decision that was opposed by his brother, the AG’s office spokesman said.

The brothers got into an argument and Ricardo shot Javier in the ankle with a .380-caliber pistol.

Police are looking for Ricardo Garza Lagüera, the AG’s office spokesman said.

Ricardo has not taken any legal action in the case, state security spokesman Jorge Domene said in a press conference on Friday.

“He has not made any filings. The case is open. He is not yet a fugitive,” Domene said.

Javier and Ricardo Garza Lagüera are members of one of Mexico’s most powerful business families and the sons of late businessman Marcelo Garza Lagüera, who ran Industrias Orion, a leading flooring and ceramics company.

The Garza family is the biggest shareholder in FEMSA, one of the most powerful corporations in Mexico and the largest beverage producer in Latin America.

FEMSA is the second-largest bottler in the Coca-Cola system.

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Green Bay Packers Player Jeff Saturday to Retire

Green Bay Packers Player Jeff Saturday to Retire

Photo: Jeff Saturday (Matt Becker)

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Green Bay Packers center Jeff Saturday announced that he planned to retire from the National Football League following Sunday’s Pro Bowl.

Saturday spent most of his 14 NFL seasons snapping the ball to superstar quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.

Sunday’s Pro Bowl, which is being played in Honolulu, Hawaii, by American Football Conference and National Football Conference squads, will be the sixth for the offensive lineman.

“We’ll finish it with sunsets in Hawaii and call it a much better career than I would have anticipated,” the 37-year-old Saturday said in an interview with an Indianapolis radio station on Friday.

Saturday, who played his college ball at the University of North Carolina, helped the Colts win Super Bowl XLI in 2007.

He signed a two-year contract with the Packers on March 23, 2012.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Illinois Governor Quinn Signs Into Law Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented

Illinois Governor Quinn Signs Into Law Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented

Photo: Illinois Grants Driver's Licenses to Undocumented

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Today at 2:30m CST Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law three-year driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.

The signing ceremony was held at the Instituto del Progreso Latino in the city’s southwest side.  Illinois now becomes the fourth state in the country to allow the undocumented driving privileges.  Illinois promoted the initiative as a public safety measure.  Unlicensed immigrant drivers were estimated to cost $64 million in damage claims in the state, the new law ensures that all drivers pass necessary driver’s training, testing and obtain insurance thereby making the state’s roads safer.

On January 8, 2013 the legislation passed the State House by a 65-46 margin. 

Undocumented immigrants will receive temporary visitors’ driver’s licenses, a document that has been provided since 2005 by the Secretary of State to foreigners who live temporarily in Illinois and do not have Social Security numbers.

This license is a different color from the regular licenses and cannot be used as identification to board airplanes, buy weapons or to vote.

Applicants will have to have lived in Illinois for at least three years, must present an identity document from their country of origin and pass the tests certifying their ability to drive.  The temporary licenses are expected to be offered starting in October of this year. 

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El Pais Has Not Apologized to Venezuela for False Photo of Hugo Chavez

El Pais Has Not Apologized to Venezuela for False Photo of Hugo Chavez

Photo: Man identified as Hugo Chavez (El Pais)

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The incident involving the posting by the Spanish daily El Pais on its Web site of a photo of a man with breathing tubes wrongly identified as ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez “has not been overcome” because the newspaper has not apologized to the head of state or people of the South American country, Venezuelan Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas said.

Spain’s highest-circulation daily has not apologized to “President Chavez, his family, the Venezuelan people ... not even to the unidentified patient whose photo was put on page one,” Villegas said Saturday in Santiago, where he attended the CELAC-EU summit.

The Spanish newspaper apologized to its readers but not to Venezuela’s government and people, the minister said.

El Pais said it removed the image from its Web site and the front page of its Thursday, Jan. 24, print edition after wrongly identifying the intubated man as Chavez.

The 58-year-old Chavez has been hospitalized in Cuba since Dec. 11 after undergoing his fourth cancer surgery since June 2011.

Early morning print editions of El Pais contained a grainy photo said to have been taken “a few days ago” and showing a bald man identified as Chavez lying in the foreground with breathing tubes in his mouth.

As soon as officials in Caracas became aware of the purported photo of Chavez, Villegas said the man was not the president.

Chavez, a leftist who took office in 1999, was re-elected on Oct. 7 by a comfortable margin and is to serve until 2019.

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Spanish Authorities Discover Argentine’s Body Off of Ibiza

The body of a 27-year-old Argentine man was recovered off the Spanish Mediterranean island of Ibiza after a boater called authorities, the Civil Guard said Sunday.

The body did not show signs of violence and identification documents were recovered.

The body was found off Arenal beach in Sant Antoni de Portmany, a town on the western side of Ibiza.

The man probably ended up in the water in the past 24 hours, Civil Guard and local police investigators said.

The young man had not been reported missing and an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death, officials said.

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Shakira and Baby Milan Released from Hospital

Shakira and Baby Milan Released from Hospital

Photo: Shakira and Gerard Pique

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Colombian singer Shakira was released Sunday from the clinic in the northeastern Spanish city of Barcelona where she gave birth last week to her first child, Milan Pique Mebarak, clinic spokesmen told Efe.

The singer, boyfriend and F.C. Barcelona player Gerard Pique, and the child left the clinic in the early afternoon in an SUV with tinted windows driven by one of Shakira’s brothers.

The singer did not stop to take questions from reporters, heading straight for Pique’s residence in Cabrils, a town some 25 kilometers (about 15 miles) from Barcelona, where the couple will be living until construction is completed on their new house in Ciudad Condal.

No photos of the baby’s face have been released, with the only image made public being a photograph posted by Pique on Twitter of the child’s legs.

Milan Pique Mebarak weighed almost 3 kilos (6 1/2 pounds) at his birth by Caesarean section last Tuesday.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New York Latin Culture Honors Local Leaders

New York Latin Culture Honors Local Leaders

Photo: New York Latin Culture award winners (New York Latin Culture)

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New York Latin Culture, the guide to Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American New York, announced the New York Latin Culture Award honorees in a ceremony at Tous, the Spanish jewelry boutique in SoHo. 

The Awards recognize New York government, education and culture leaders for their contributions to Latin culture in New York City in the previous year.
 
The New York Latin Culture Award honorees selected by the New York Latin Culture editors are:

    World Government: Consulate General of Spain for producing Spain Culture New York, a leading resource for culture from Spain and all the Spanish-speaking countries.
    Education: King Juan Carlos Center at New York University for hosting outstanding cultural events of Spain and all Spanish-speaking countries.
    Dance: Ballet Hispanico for producing outstanding dance theater that draws on the entire Hispanic-Luso world for inspiration.
    Music: Carnegie Hall for bringing “Voices of Latin America” to all of New York’s diverse communities.

    Film: Film Society of Lincoln Center for presenting outstanding Hispanic-Luso film at its Latinbeat, Spanish Cinema Now, and New York Film Festivals, and throughout the year.
    Health & Beauty: Concept Salon for putting art into their work and their work into art.
    Art: Pinta for bringing outstanding Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American art to the City through its highly-respected annual art show.
    Literature: Americas Society for amplifying the voice of great writers of the Americas over the decades.
    Food: GustOrganics for creating New York’s first 100% USDA certified organic restaurant and bar with a sustainable operating model that sets the standard for an entire industry.
    Drink: Mezcal Pierde Almas for turning a poor man’s drink into a sophisticated beverage and thereby creating an artisanal industry in rural Mexico.
    Sports: Smithfield NYC for bringing Hispanic-Luso sports from around the world to New York City in a family-friendly environment.

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U.S. Friar Accused of Sexually Abuse Commits Suicide

U.S. Friar Accused of Sexually Abuse Commits Suicide

Photo: Brother Stephen P. Baker

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A Franciscan friar accused of sexually abusing male high school students in Pennsylvania committed suicide in the monastery where he had been kept under strict surveillance since 2000, police said Saturday.

According to the autopsy, Brother Stephen P. Baker, 62, died from a self-inflicted knife wound, the Blair Township chief of police, Roger White, said in a written statement.

Baker, who was confined to St. Bernardine Monastery in the city of Hollidaysburg, had been accused of sexually abusing male students between the ages of 14 and 18 when he worked as a religion teacher and sports coach at two Catholic high schools in the Pennsylvania cities of Warren and Johnstown.

The friar’s name appeared in separate legal agreements reached last week with 11 men who alleged that Baker abused them sexually some 30 years ago.

Television channel WKBN reported that around 60 people said they had been victims of Brother Baker when he was working at the two Catholic high schools, according to attorneys on the case.

Read more by HS News Staff →

GOP: Latinos We Are Just Not That Into You

GOP: Latinos We Are Just Not That Into You

Photo: NewsTaco

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By: Victor Escalante, NewsTaco

Last week I got a call from a Hispanic Republican activist asking what it would take to increase the Latino vote. I told her, “It’s simple, Republicans need to fund outreach grassroots initiatives, invite Latino influencers to the discussion table, create a Latino friendly policy and sell it.”

One week later after hearing what my sources claim is the future RNC Latino voter blueprint. I want to add one more. “Get rid of all the failed Latino pundits, spin meisters, and self proclaimed Latino political experts.”Image

Today our nation suspends its bitter divisive differences and focuses on the swearing in and festivities of President Obama. For Latinos, it’s a historic occasion because, as a voting bloc, we cast the winning vote. We delivered what billions of dollars could not. Our 10% vote is expected to double by 2030, which is just 18 years away. As Latino alpha voices have been saying for years, the time is now to take Latinos seriously.

Political Republican consultant Alex Castellanos says, “We have hit rock bottom. We need to change! Or the party will disappear.” This alarm is being echoed by other GOP Latino voices now jockeying for the vacuum that has existed at the top.

Latinos are not looking for handouts or payouts we just want to be given the opportunity. When the late Senator John Tower wanted to attract the Latino vote he hired legendary advertising executive Lionel Sosa. The rest is history. Mr. Sosa rose in prominence. He secured the Latino vote for different campaigns including both Bushes.

Winning the Latino vote will require using Latino experts that promote corporate America to Latinos every day.

No amount of advertising though, will win the Latino vote without substance. We need Latino friendly policy such as health care, education opportunities, immigration reform, senior level appointments and hiring.

The GOP needs some brown as seen in the Democratic Convention. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, George P. Bush and the other high profile Latinos cannot change or save the party. It will require comprehensive systemic re-branding from the top down.

The racial rhetoric launched against Justice Sotomayor needs to be taken as a history lesson. Radioactive publicity hounds like Joe Arpaio, Jan Brewer, Debbie Riddle, and all others that strike at Latinos need to be reined in. Those kinds of divisive harmful attacks can eradicate years of reliable grassroots outreach and recruitment efforts.  The polarizing voter suppression Southern Strategy is over.

Ronald Reagan is dead it’s a new day in America.

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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Cuban President Raul Castro, Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy Meet in Chile

Cuban President Raul Castro, Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy Meet in Chile

Photo: Raul Castro

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Cuban President Raul Castro met for the first time at the CELAC-EU summit in Chile, Spanish officials said.

The summit provided Castro with his first opportunity to meet a Spanish prime minister since officially becoming head of state on Feb. 24, 2008, after initially serving as Cuba’s interim president following his brother Fidel’s illness.

Fidel Castro stepped down from the presidency after being stricken by a serious illness in July 2006.

Rajoy and Castro greeted each other on Saturday and had a brief conversation, Spanish officials said.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo is scheduled to meet with his Cuban countepart, Bruno Rodriguez, on Sunday.

Garcia-Margallo is expected to thank Rodriguez for the Cuban government’s decision to send Angel Carromero, a leader of the youth wing of Spain’s governing Popular Party, home to serve the rest of a four-year sentence for vehicular manslaughter on the island.

Carromero was convicted and sentenced in Cuba for a July 2012 car accident in which prominent Cuban dissident Osvaldo Paya and another government opponent were killed.

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JUST IN:  245 Dead Thus Far in Deadly Brazil Nightclub Fire

JUST IN:  245 Dead Thus Far in Deadly Brazil Nightclub Fire

Photo: Deadly Fire, Santa Maria, Brazil

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Brazilian authorities are reporting that at least 245 people have died in a 2:00 a.m. nightclub fire and that death toll could rise throughout the day.

A fire swept through the Kiss Club in Santa Maria, Brazil with some reports saying it started from a fireworks display inside the club while a band was performing.  Other reports indicate that the lead singer of the band set fire to a flag that ignited low hanging roof material. 

It is believed that the club only had one exit.  At least 245 bodies have been brought to the local gym for identification but the search for more victims inside the club continues. Another 200 individuals are reported as injured. 

Santa Maria is located in the southern portion of the country, near the border of Argentina and Uruguay.  The nightclub is reported to have a capacity for 1,000 to 2,000 people. 

Early reports indicate that most of the victims died from smoke inhalation and others were trampled to death in the panic to leave the burning club. 

Santa Maria is a well known college town that is home to the Federal University of Santa Maria, and other private colleges. 

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Death Toll of Riots Over Soccer Verdict Rises to 31 in Egypt

Death Toll of Riots Over Soccer Verdict Rises to 31 in Egypt

Photo: Riots in Egypt

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At least 31 people have died, most of them gunned down, in clashes between protesters and security forces around the prison in the Mediterranean city of Port Said, medical authorities told Efe on Saturday.

The director of Port Said’s hospitals department, Abderrahman Farah, said that more than 300 people have been wounded and have been received by all the hospitals in the city.

The fatalities include soccer player Mohamed al Dadui of the local Al Marrij club in the Egyptian second division, and the former goalkeeper of the Al Masry Tamer al Fahla squad, who helped his club win the 1998 Egypt Cup, according to the official news agency Mena.

Many of the wounded were already dead by the time they reached the hospitals, Farah said, adding that the victims had, “besides bullet and shotgun wounds, fractures and cuts on their bodies.”

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.

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 army has deployed troops and armored vehicles around the city to try to pacify and stabilize it, and to protect public buildings.

This is the second Egyptian city that has deployed units of the armed forces over the past few hours, after the arrival of troops in the nearby town of Suez.

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).

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Shootout Between Rivaling Gangs Kills 6 in Mexico

Shootout Between Rivaling Gangs Kills 6 in Mexico

Photo: Violence in Mexico (Manoso)

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At least six suspected criminals were killed and one other was wounded in a shootout in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, officials said.

The Jalisco Attorney General’s Office and state police said the clash occurred Friday afternoon on the Guadalajara-Tequila highway, where an armed commando attacked a group of men riding in several vehicles.

After the shootout involving automatic rifles and grenades, the aggressors fled in the direction of the neighboring state of Nayarit.

Several vehicles, including a motorcycle and a charred van with three bodies inside, were found at the scene.

Authorities said they suspect the shootout pitted organized crime gangs because a grenade launcher and several rifles and handguns were found inside the vehicles.

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Belarus’s Victoria Azarenka Holds On to Australia Open Title

Belarus’s Victoria Azarenka Holds On to Australia Open Title

Photo: Victoria Azarenka

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World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka has successfully defended her Australian Open title, rallying from a set down in Saturday night’s final to defeat China’s Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Li dropped her serve in the opening game of the match but settled down and controlled the first set, which ended with a double fault by the Belarusian.

Azarenka then responded by jumping out to an early lead in the second set and seemed to have complete control of the match when Li slipped and twisted her ankle when trailing 3-1.

The sixth-seeded Li, however, battled back after a medical timeout and tied the score at 4-4, although unforced errors proved her undoing as she dropped serve in the ninth game.

In the third set, after a 10-minute delay for Australian Day fireworks, Li had another spill and ended up banging her head on the hard-court surface.

Another medical timeout ensued to check if the Chinese player had suffered a concussion, but she was eventually cleared to resume the match.

In the end, however, Azarenka’s superior consistency was the difference in a contest of players with similar playing styles, with the Belarusian committing just 28 errors to Li’s 57 for the match.

Li came up short despite being the aggressor throughout most of the final and ending up with 36 winners, twice as many as Azarenka.

“I feel really happy right now. It’s been a long match. It’s been a tough match. Li Na was absolutely playing great tennis. Unfortunate things that happened to her, you know, but that’s sport,” Azarenka said in the post-match interview.

“I’m just happy that everything I went through, you know, I still could manage to give my best and really come out there and try to focus on my game and play tennis that I can produce,” she said, alluding to the criticism she endured for a questionable, lengthy injury time-out she took near the end of her semifinal match.

Azarenka initially said she took the time-out right before American Sloane Stephens was to serve to stay in Thursday’s match because she was “choking,” a common tennis term for extreme nervousness.

She later clarified and said she needed medical attention because she was having trouble breathing, although the Australian crowd was evidently skeptical and cheered for Li and against Azarenka throughout Saturday’s final.

With the win, Azarenka keeps her number one ranking, which would have been claimed by American Serena Williams if she had lost the final, while Li moves up one spot to No. 5.

In the final match of Saturday’s night session at Rod Laver Arena, American identical twins Bob and Mike Bryan won a record 13th Grand Slam doubles title by defeating the unseeded Dutch duo of Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling in the final.

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Milos Zeman Wins First Direct Presidential Election in Czech Republic

Milos Zeman Wins First Direct Presidential Election in Czech Republic

Photo: Milos Zeman

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Milos Zeman, a leftist former prime minister, has won the Czech Republic’s first direct presidential election.

The 68-year-old Zeman, head of the Czech government from 1998 to 2002, garnered 54 percent of the vote for a comfortable victory over Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, who received 45 percent of the ballots.

“I promise that as a president elected in a direct vote by citizens, I will do my best to be the voice of all citizens,” Zeman said in his victory speech.

Schwarzenberg, for his part, accepted his defeat and acknowledged that the 10 percent margin was a clear difference.

Zeman’s victory in the runoff balloting comes after a hard-fought campaign marked in the final days by Schwarzenberg’s remarks that Czechs should not be proud of the expulsion of 3 million ethnic Germans from the country after World War II.

Zeman, a former Communist, harshly criticized Schwarzenberg’s comments and argued that the decision to resettle German minority groups was an Allied-approved move to avoid social conflicts in post-war Europe.

Although the presidency is a largely ceremonial post in the Czech Republic, Zeman is expected to use it as a platform to improve relations with the European Union.

The current president, Vaclav Klaus, whom Zeman will succeed on March 8, is known for his Eurosceptic views.

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Fire Kills 10 Construction Workers Battling Freezing Temperatures in Moscow

Fire Kills 10 Construction Workers Battling Freezing Temperatures in Moscow

Photo: Firefights responding to the accident

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A fire that broke out in a building under construction Saturday took the lives of 10 workers on Moscow’s south side, according to medical services in the Russian capital.

As a result of the blaze, “10 people died and another seven had to be hospitalized,” local news agencies cited doctors as saying.

According to emergency management teams, only two people died in the burning building, while eight passed away while being attended by medical personnel.

Local authorities suspect that the workers who were suffocated by the smoke had illegally lived and slept in the same building.

The fire started in the building’s underground parking lot where leftover pieces of construction material and trash were piled up.

The emergency management office blamed the workers for the conflagration because they transgressed anti-fire security regulations.

The workers apparently decided to make a bonfire of the accumulated trash to get a little warmth amid the freezing temperatures, which in Moscow on Saturday were down around -15 C (5 F).

Police are trying to identify the fatalities, though newspapers suggest they could have been foreign immigrants from Central Asia, where most of Russia’s cheap labor comes from.

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SundayJanuary 27, 2013