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WednesdayFebruary 6, 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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Puerto Rican Lawmaker Says Airport Lease Will be Bad for Island

Puerto Rican Lawmaker Says Airport Lease Will be Bad for Island

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The speaker of Puerto Rico’s lower house said Wednesday the contract authorizing the Aerostar Airport Holdings consortium to lease and operate San Juan’s airport for 40 years is bad for the Caribbean island.

“It’s a bad transaction for the country,” Jaime Perello of the governing PPD party said in statements to WKAQ radio about the lease deal, under which Mexican group Asur will operate the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport with financial backing from its 50-50 joint venture partner, the Highstar Capital infrastructure investment firm.

Perello said the deal, which the U.S. commonwealth’s previous government signed, was reached to raise money to make bond payments.

The lawmaker also said the contract was aimed at replenishing the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico’s reserves after hundreds of millions of dollars were withdrawn by previous Gov. Luis Fortuño’s administration.

Perello’s remarks came on the same day unions, grassroots groups and several small political factions held a demonstration against the airport concession.

The director of the state-run Puerto Rico Ports Authority, Victor Suarez, said current Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla’s administration respects the groups’ right to protest but will honor the contract.

Although opponents want the legislature to name a commission to investigate the circumstances surrounding the awarding of the concession, Garcia Padilla said last week that reneging on the deal could scare off potential foreign investors in Puerto Rico.

Suarez noted that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration still must give the green light for the deal, but said that approval could come any time this month.

Aerostar Airport Holdings is to provide some $2.6 billion to the PRPA and Puerto Rico over the life of the lease.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Guillermo del Toro Working on New “The Secret Garden” Film

Guillermo del Toro Working on New “The Secret Garden” Film

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Guillermo del Toro is a busy, busy man these days, but that hasn’t stopped him from reportedly getting involved with a revamp of The Secret Garden, based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

The new film version of the story was scripted by Oscar-nominated writer Lucy Alibar of Beasts of the Southern Wild, with whom he worked on 2011’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.

The Secret Garden tells the story of a young British girl born and raised in India, Mary Lennox, who loses her neglectful parents in an earthquake. She is returned to England to live at her uncle’s castle. Her uncle is very distant due to the loss of his wife ten years before. Neglected once again, she begins exploring the estate and discovers a garden that has been locked and neglected. Aided by one of the servants’ boys, Dikon, Mary begins restoring the garden, and eventually discovers some other secrets of the manor, including her “secret” sickly cousin Colin.

A film version of the story was released in 1993 and starred Kate Maberly, Maggie Smith, and Heydon Prowse.

Universal Pictures is said to have beat out four other studios to produce the new film version. It is believed that this time around, the story will be set in the American South at the turn of the 20th century, though few details have been confirmed.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Blotter: 8-Month Pregnant Prison Guard Accused of Having Sex with Cop Killer

Latino Blotter: 8-Month Pregnant Prison Guard Accused of Having Sex with Cop Killer

Photo: Prison Guard Nancy Gonzalez and Lover Ronell

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Nancy Gonzalez, a New York Metropolitan Detention Center prison guard, was arrested for having sex with a convicted cop killer that is believed to be the father of her child.

Gonzalez, 29, is eight months pregnant reportedly with the child of 30-year-old Ronell Wilson.

Wilson is currently serving a life sentence but was originally sentenced to death in the killing of two New York detectives in 2003 during a illegal gun transaction.  His defense is that he wanted to leave “something behind” when he leaves this world.

Gonzalez for her part said “I took a chance because I was so vulnerable, I wanted to be loved.”  She also thought she was giving Wilson a child to give him some type of hope.  Other inmates ratted out the couple to prison authorities. 

Gonzalez is currently out on bond and officially charged with unlawful sexual abuse of a prison ward facing 15-years in prison if convicted.

Read more by HS News Staff →

33-Foot Deep Narco Tunnel Found Near U.S. - Mexico Border, 17 Arrested

33-Foot Deep Narco Tunnel Found Near U.S. - Mexico Border, 17 Arrested

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Army troops found a narco tunnel under construction in Tijuana, a border city in the northwestern state of Baja California, and arrested 17 people, Mexican media reported.

The tunnel is 10 meters (33 feet) deep and 370 meters (1,213 feet) long, but it does not come out on the U.S. side of the border, the Frontera newspaper said, citing police.

Authorities arrested 17 people who were building the tunnel, the newspaper said.

Soldiers spotted several suspicious individuals outside a warehouse, detained them and searched the building, discovering the entrance to the tunnel, the El Universal newspaper reported.

The tunnel has lighting and ventilation systems, a hydraulic lift and rails for the types of small motorized cars used in mines.

Several bales of marijuana, weighing a total of 15 kilos, were found in the tunnel, officials said.

The suspects and the marijuana were turned over to federal prosecutors, El Universal said.

Since the mid-1990s, authorities have discovered many clandestine tunnels along the border.

People traffickers and drug cartels often use clandestine tunnels to cross the vast U.S.-Mexican border, which runs 3,200 kilometers (1,988 miles).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Increased Auto Output by 31.9% in January

Brazil Increased Auto Output by 31.9% in January

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A total of 279,332 automobiles were manufactured in Brazil in January, up 31.9 percent from the same month of 2012 and 7.7 percent more than in December, the Anfavea industry association said Wednesday.

That represents the highest total for a month of January since data began to be tallied, Anfavea, which represents the Brazilian subsidiaries of leading U.S., European and Asian automakers, said.

The truck sector saw the biggest jump in output, with production soaring from 3,438 units in January 2012 to 12,705 units in the first month of 2013.

The number of light commercial vehicles manufactured rose to 263,505 units, up 27.1 percent from January 2012, while a total of 3,122 buses were produced, a 190 percent increase.

A total of 311,453 vehicles were sold in Brazil in January, up 16.11 percent compared to the same month last year, though down 13.32 percent relative to December 2012.

Vehicle production in Brazil fell 1.9 percent year-on-year in 2012 to 3.34 million vehicles, while sales climbed 4.6 percent relative to 2011 to a record 3.8 million units, Anfavea said early last month.

The industry association is forecasting a 4.5 percent increase in output this year to 3.5 million units and an up to 4.5 percent rise in sales to 4 million vehicles.

Anfavea, however, said it expects a 4.6 percent decline in vehicle exports.

Read more by HS News Staff →

More Americans Supporting Obama and Immigration Reform

More Americans Supporting Obama and Immigration Reform

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A growing number of Americans support President Barack Obama’s stance on illegal immigration, and there is better support than in the past for the idea of offering citizenship to immigrants who meet certain requirements and for increasing border monitoring, according to a national survey released Wednesday.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 49 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s approach to the immigration problem.

The survey found that support for Obama’s work on immigration had risen 11 percent from where it stood 11 months ago.

Regarding the specific points of the president’s immigration plan, 83 percent approve of the establishment of stricter controls along the border with Mexico.

Also, 55 percent of those surveyed support the idea of including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who fulfill certain conditions versus 41 percent who oppose it.

Both the proposals for comprehensive immigration reform presented by Obama and by a bipartisan Senate group open the way for eventual legalization and citizenship for the 11 million undocumented foreigners living in this country.

The main difference between the two plans is the proposal by the Senate to establish more steps to legalization for undocumented immigrants and more ways to increase security along the U.S.-Mexican border.

While 67 percent of Hispanics and 71 percent of all minority respondents approve of Obama’s handling of immigration, only 38 percent of whites do.

The survey was conducted by telephone among a random group of 1,038 adults between Jan. 30-Feb. 3 and has an error margin of plus/minus 3.5 points.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Rape Victims Bought Drugs from their Attackers Say Mexican Authorities

Spanish Rape Victims Bought Drugs from their Attackers Say Mexican Authorities

Photo: Playa Bonfil, Acapulco Mexico

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According to reports Mexican authorities are alleging the six Spanish tourists that were raped knew their attackers having purchased drugs from them in the days leading up to the attack. 

The sexual assaults occurred around 3:00 a.m. Monday in Playa Bonfil, located in the eastern section of Acapulco, one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations.

The victims and several male companions were outside their bungalow when five masked gunmen armed approached them and entered their bungalow.  It is now believed the gunmen were let into the beach bungalow because the victims knew them from drug transactions from two or three days before.

After gagging the men, the attackers assaulted the six Spanish women, though they spared a Mexican woman who was with them.

Authorities from the Mexican state of Guerrero are also saying they are close to making an arrest and are assuring both Mexican and foreign tourists that this crime “will not go unpunished.” 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil and Basketball: U.S. Department of State Announces Youth Sports Visitor Program

Brazil and Basketball: U.S. Department of State Announces Youth Sports Visitor Program

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The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces that 14 teenage athletes—seven boys and seven girls—and two coaches from Brazil will travel to the United States for a basketball exchange February 6-18. The young players are a part of the São Paulo Shooting Stars, a Consulate São Paulo program that provides English language instruction, basketball training, and leadership workshops to low-income public school students in Brazil’s São Paulo metropolitan area. The delegation will participate in NBA community service activities and sports events surrounding the NBA All-Star games in Houston, TX, after their visit to Washington, D.C.

The group will learn about sports in the United States by participating in basketball clinics with American peers and engaging in educational sessions at local schools and organizations on nutrition, conflict resolution, and disability sports. With a focus on youth empowerment and respect for diversity throughout the program, the exchange aims to show participants how hard work applies in sports and academics as well as to provide them an opportunity to share their experiences and create lasting ties with their counterparts in the United States.

SportsUnited is the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ division devoted to sports diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State. Athletes and coaches from a range of sports are chosen to conduct clinics, visit schools and engage with youth overseas in a dialogue on the importance of education, positive health practices and respect for diversity. The NBA has partnered with SportsUnited since 2005, hosting Sports Visitors from 20 countries and sending nearly 60 current and former NBA and WNBA players and coaches to more than 30 countries as Sports Envoys.

Follow the group during their time in the United States using the hashtag #BasketbAllStars.

Read more by HS News Staff →

High Skilled Immigration Reform & Stem Pipeline Fund Pick up Steam as Coalition Adds 13 Members

High Skilled Immigration Reform & Stem Pipeline Fund Pick up Steam as Coalition Adds 13 Members

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The inSPIRE STEM USA Coalition announced the addition of 13 new members to the group on Wednesday, a sign of the growing support for the bi-partisan plan to reform high-skilled immigration and create a national fund to improve the STEM education pipeline.

“We are thrilled to see so many influential organizations and businesses join our effort to develop our workforce and STEM education pipeline,” said inSPIRE STEM USA Co-Chair and former senator John E. Sununu.  “Each new member strengthens our effort and brings us closer to closing the STEM jobs gap in our country.”

The new additions to the inSPIRE STEM USA coalition include: Campaign for Environmental Literacy, Computing in the Core, Excelencia in Education, Expedia,Inc., Hands on Science Partnership, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), Hispanic Heritage Foundation, National Hispanic Council on Aging, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Puerto Rican Coalition, New England Council, Sabre Holdings, and U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Last week, inSPIRE STEM USA announced the coalition’s support of the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013, which establishes the funding stream for national STEM education improvements through fees from the companies that need additional H-1B visas and green cards to fill currently vacant high-skill jobs.  The plan, dubbed I-Squared, addresses the thousands of unfilled high-skill jobs and ensures the United States remains competitive by producing more college graduates with engineering, math, and science degrees.

“The widespread support for I-Squared among a diverse group of advocacy organizations, education and business groups and corporations signals the importance of raising the cap on H-1B visas, which will enable us to keep jobs in the U.S. while we work on improving the country’s STEM education pipeline,” said inSPIRE STEM USA Co-Chair Maria Cardona.


The 13 new inSPIRE STEM USA coalition members join the nine original members announced in mid-January: American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Caterpillar, Council of Chief State School Officers, IBM, Intel, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Microsoft, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and National Science Teachers

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY:  More Brain Agility Found in Soccer Superstars like Ronaldo and Messi

STUDY:  More Brain Agility Found in Soccer Superstars like Ronaldo and Messi

Photo: Messi v Ronaldo and their Brains

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Ever wondered what makes Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi so good at intercepting the ball?

By studying brain scans, Brunel University researchers have discovered that highly-skilled footballers are able to activate more areas of their brain than novices when they see an opponent heading towards them, making them better able to anticipate their moves. The research, published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, found that experienced players seem to have developed a ‘checking’ system that suppresses the urge to react instinctively, making them less likely to fall for deceptive feints.

The research, which looks to discover the neural basis for cognitive superiority, involved 39 participants ranging from semi-professional footballers to novices. The participants lay in an MRI scanner whilst watching clips of a junior international-level player dribbling a ball toward them.

The results also showed evidence of stronger activation of the Mirror Neuron System (MNS) when predicting an opponent’s actions. The MNS is active not only when performing an action within our personal repertoire, but also when viewing that same action performed by others. Hence, there was clear evidence of ‘recognition’ of the opponents’ movements in the more skilled performers.

It is hoped that this research will lead to greater insight into how professional sports people come to develop their abilities over time and will eventually be used to help improve and speed up training techniques.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Union Calls Upon Pemex to Give Jobs to Children of Dead Victims of Blast

Union Calls Upon Pemex to Give Jobs to Children of Dead Victims of Blast

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The children of the employees killed in the explosion last week at the Mexico City headquarters of state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, should be allowed to inherit their parent’s jobs, oil workers union leader Carlos Romero Deschamps said.

Meetings will be held with the dead workers’ relatives and with employees injured in the blast so they can receive all the assistance needed, Romero Deschamps said.

“In the case of the dead workers, where the father or mother died, we are going to propose that the son or daughter be allowed to work permanently so that they can take care of the family, which was left without support,” the union leader told Mexican media.

The goal is to preserve the jobs of workers who had permanent contracts and convert the temporary positions to permanent ones, Romero Deschamps said.

“From the union and human standpoint, it is the least we can do in light of a tragedy of this magnitude,” the union leader said.

The explosion at Pemex headquarters last Thursday killed 37 people and injured more than 100 others.

The blast was caused by an accumulation of gas, Attorney General Jesus Murillo said earlier this week.

The explosion was not caused by a bomb because laboratory tests found no traces of explosives in the rubble, the AG said.

The explosion was likely caused by an accumulation of methane gas ignited by a spark, Murillo said.

Workers were doing maintenance on the structure’s support columns when the blast happened.

The main tower of the office complex, a 56-story structure, was not damaged in the blast.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Billboard Latin Music Award 2013 - And the Nominees Are…

Billboard Latin Music Award 2013 - And the Nominees Are…

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The Billboard Latin Music Award nominees were announced this week and among them are the late Jenni Rivera, who passed away in a plane crash late last year in Mexico.

The Billboard Latin Music Awards honor the most popular albums, songs, and performers in Latin music, as determined by the actual sales, radio airplay, streaming and social data that informs Billboard’s weekly charts during a one-year period from the issue dated February 4, 2012 through this year’s January 26, 2013 issue. Based on album and digital track sales data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan, monitored radio information and streaming data provided by Nielsen BDS and social media data provided by Next Big Sound, Billboard’s rankings are the world’s most authoritative music charts. Finalists, and the eventual winners, reflect performance of new recordings on Billboard’s album and track sales charts, including Top Latin Albums and Latin Digital Songs, radio charts, including Latin Airplay, and streaming and social charts such as On-Demand Songs, Streaming Songs and Social 50.

And the nominees are:

Artist of the Year:
-Don Omar
-Prince Royce
-Jenni Rivera
-Romeo Santos

Artist of the Year, New:
(New Artist could not have a charting album on Latin Albums charts prior to Nov 12, 2011.)
-3BallMTY
-Juan Magan
-Jesus Ojeda y Sus Parientes
-Michel Telo

Tour of the Year:
-Vicente Fernandez
-GIGANT3S: Marc Anthony, Chayanne & Marco Antonio Solis
-Enrique Iglesias & Jennifer Lopez
-Mana

Social Artist of the Year:
-Don Omar
-Pitbull
-Shakira
-Michel Telo

Streaming Artist of the Year:
-Don Omar
-Pitbull
-Shakira
-Wisin & Yandel

Crossover Artist of the Year:
-Chris Brown
-Flo Rida
-PSY
-Rihanna

Song of the Year:
-3BallMTY Featuring El Bebeto & America Sierra “Intentalo”
-Juan Magan Featuring Pitbull & El Cata “Bailando Por El Mundo”
-Don Omar Featuring Natty Natasha “Dutty Love”
-Michel Telo “Ai Se Eu Te Pego”

Song of the Year, Vocal Event:
-3BallMTY Featuring El Bebeto & America Sierra “Intentalo”
-Juan Magan Featuring Pitbull & El Cata “Bailando Por El Mundo”
-Don Omar Featuring Natty Natasha “Dutty Love”
-Wisin & Yandel Featuring Chris Brown & T-Pain “Algo Me Gusta De Ti”

Songs Artist of the Year, Male:
-Daddy Yankee
-Don Omar
-Pitbull
-Prince Royce

Songs Artist of the Year, Female:
-Leslie Grace
-Jennifer Lopez
-Jenni Rivera
-Shakira

Songs Artist of the Year, Duo or Group:
-Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizarraga
-Calibre 50
-La Arrolladora Banda el Limon de Rene Camacho
-Wisin & Yandel

Airplay Song of the Year
-La Arrolladora Banda el Limon de Rene Camacho “Llamada De Mi Ex”
-Juan Magan Featuring Pitbull & El Cata “Bailando Por El Mundo”
-Don Omar Featuring Natty Natasha “Dutty Love”
-Michel Telo “Ai Se Eu Te Pego”

Digital Song of the Year:
-Don Omar & Lucenzo “Danza Kuduro”
-Don Omar Featuring Natty Natasha “Dutty Love”
-Romeo Santos Featuring Usher “Promise”
-Michel Telo “Ai Se Eu Te Pego”

Streaming Song of the Year:
-3BallMTY Featuring El Bebeto & America Sierra “Intentalo”
-Don Omar & Lucenzo “Danza Kuduro”
-Romeo Santos Featuring Usher “Promise”
-Wisin & Yandel + Jennifer Lopez “Follow the Leader”

Latin Airplay Label of the Year:
-Sony Music Latin
-Top Stop
-Universal Music Latin Entertainment
-Warner Latina

Latin Airplay Imprint of the Year:
-Disa
-Fonovisa
-Machete
-Sony Music Latin

Album of the Year:
-Jenni Rivera “Joyas Prestadas: Pop”
-Jenni Rivera “La Misma Gran Señora”
-Prince Royce “Phase II”
-Romeo Santos “Formula: Vol. 1”

Albums Artist of the Year, Male:
-Don Omar
-Gerardo Ortiz
-Prince Royce
-Romeo Santos

Albums Artist of the Year, Female:
-Ednita Nazario
-Jenni Rivera
-Shakira
-Yuridia

Albums Artist of the Year, Duo or Group:
-3BallMTY (Fonovisa/UMLE)
-La Arrolladora Banda el Limon de Rene Camacho (Disa/UMLE)
-Mana (Warner Latina)
-Wisin & Yandel (Machete/UMLE)

Digital Album of the Year:
-Don Omar “Don Omar Presents MT02: New Generation”
-Prince Royce “Phase II”
-Romeo Santos “Formula: Vol. 1”
-Wisin & Yandel “Lideres”

Top Latin Albums Label of the Year:
-Atlantic Group
-Sony Music Latin
-Universal Music Latin Entertainment
-Warner Latina

Top Latin Albums Imprint of the Year:
-Disa
-Fonovisa
-Sony Music Latin
-Universal Music Latino

Latin Pop Song of the Year
-Jesse & Joy “Corre!”
-Shakira “Addicted To You”
-Michel Telo “Ai Se Eu Te Pego”
-Wisin & Yandel Featuring Chris Brown & T-Pain “Algo Me Gusta De Ti”

Latin Pop Songs Artist of the Year, Solo
-Ricardo Arjona
-Enrique Iglesias
-Michel Telo
-Shakira

Latin Pop Songs Artist of the Year, Duo or Group:
-Jesse & Joy
-Mana
-Reik
-Wisin & Yandel

Latin Pop Airplay Label of the Year
-Sony Music Latin
-Top Stop
-Universal Music Latin Entertainment
-Warner Latina

Latin Pop Airplay Imprint of the Year
-Machete
-Sony Music Latin
-Universal Music Latin Entertainment
-Warner Latina

Latin Pop Album of the Year:
-Ricardo Arjona “Independiente”
-Mana “Drama y Luz”
-Jenni Rivera “Joyas Prestadas: Pop”
-Alejandro Sanz “La Musica No Se Toca”

Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year, Solo:
-Ricardo Arjona
-Jenni Rivera
-Alejandro Sanz
-Shakira

Read more by HS News Staff →

Florida Man Shoots Himself in Genitals with Flair Gun

Florida Man Shoots Himself in Genitals with Flair Gun

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A Florida man is recovering from injuries he received after shooting himself in the groin.

On Sunday, 23-year-old Jorge Perez was playing with an unloaded flare gun. After dry firing a few times, Perez told deputies he loaded the gun and put it down. Later, forgetting he had loaded it, Perez picked up the flare gun and accidentally fired at the ground.

Pieces of the flare ricocheted off the floor and caused burns and lacerations to his genitals and surrounding area.

Perez, of Lehigh Acres, was taken to the hospital after Lee County Sheriff’s deputies responded to his 911 call.

This is not the only person have accidentally fired and shot themselves or others in recent years.

In August, a man shot himself with a gun he had made because he was a felon and not allowed to purchase a firearm.

In June, a fellow Floridian survived being shot in the head with a spear gun while he and friends were out on the water. Earlier that month a young man had been drinking with his father when he pointed a gun at his own head. Thinking removing the magazine had removed all the bullets in the gun, the young man pulled the trigger and shot himself in the head. He had forgotten the chamber holds one round.

Read more by HS News Staff →

London Museum Displays Murillo Art Collection

London Museum Displays Murillo Art Collection

Photo: "The Marriage of the Virgin" (Bartolomé-Esteban Murillo)

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A collection of the works of Spanish artist Bartolome Esteban Murillo, who fascinated Britons in the 19th century, when his work first caught the eye of collectors, is on exhibit in London.

The Wallace Collection, located in the heart of the British capital, is dedicating two galleries to Murillo (1617-1682).

The Spanish Baroque artist’s work became extremely popular in England in the early 19th century, more than 100 years after his death.

The exhibition, which opened on Wednesday and runs until May 12, features 11 religious paintings from the late phase (1665-1675) of the Seville artist’s career.

Murillo’s paintings are also currently on display at London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery in the exhibition “Murillo & Justino de Neve: The Art of Friendship.”

“This dramatic exhibition will bring together over 30 paintings documenting the relationship between Murillo and his patron as well as Dulwich’s own collection of works by the artist,” the gallery said in a statement posted on its Web site.

The exhibition opened on Wednesday and runs until May 19.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Andrea Bocelli “Pasion” -Collection of LatAm Love Songs Featuring Duets with Jlo & Nelly Furtado

Andrea Bocelli “Pasion” -Collection of LatAm Love Songs Featuring Duets with Jlo & Nelly Furtado

Photo: Andrea Bocelli's Pasion

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International superstar Andrea Bocelli debuts #1 in sales in the United States and Puerto Rico with his long awaited Spanish language album.

Filled with romance and beauty, “Pasion” is a lush collection of Mediterranean love songs featuring duets with global pop stars Jennifer Lopez, Nelly Furtado, and the late Edith Piaf. The album reunites Bocelli with 16-time Grammy Award-winning producer David Foster, who produced Bocelli’s 2006 release “Amor,” which sold more than 4.2 million copies.

“Pasion” is in essence the second volume of “Amor,” with a “fil rouge” which ideally connects the albums. As with “Amor,” which featured timeless masterworks, “Pasion” includes several beloved classics such as “Love Me Tender,” “La Chica de Ipanema,” and “September Morn”.  Jennifer Lopez is featured on the soft and sensual track “Quizás Quizás Quizás”  and Nelly Furtado joins Bocelli on “Corcovado.”  The album also features a duet with the late French chanteuse Edith Piaf on the song “La Vie En Rose.”

On the album, Bocelli sings in six languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Neapolitan) with his unmistakable voice, as Foster accompanies him on piano, along with Peruvian guitarist Ramon Stagnaro. The sensual sound is rounded out by Cuban, Brazilian, and Portuguese rhythms and a 63-piece orchestra recorded in London.

Andrea is currently in the midst of an intense promotional tour with national and international media in Miami, where he will also perform live in concert at the BB&T Center.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Explosion Outside Peruvian Soccer Celebration Kills Horse, Injures Police

Explosion Outside Peruvian Soccer Celebration Kills Horse, Injures Police

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Peruvian soccer fans at a Universitario match on Friday reportedly set off an explosion that killed a police horse and the injured the officer riding it.

During a celebration at the Universitario stadium, an officer spotted 21-year-old Renzo Javier Llerena Champén outside the stadium with 180 small packages of cocaine. Just as the officer, identified as Daniel Villareal, approached Champén, another fan nearby threw an explosive device.

The explosion severely injured the officer’s horse, Lenca Star, and injured Officer Villareal. Sadly, hours later, the horse died.

Following the explosion, police arrested the man believed to have thrown the explosive device as well as 10 soccer hooligans who blocked roadways and vandalized nearby homes.

The criminal activity happened during what was supposed to be a celebration during the presentation of the 2013 Universitario soccer team. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Iron (La Plancha) Out, Cat (El Gato) In on Your Monopoly Board

77-year-old Monopoly wants to update its image by retiring one of its iconic game token the ‘iron’ replacing it with the ‘pussy cat’. 

We aren’t sure if this was a move to stroke (forgive the pun) cat lovers around the world.  It was competing against a diamond ring, helicopter, guitar and robot to become the next Monopoly game token.  The cat garnered 31 percent of the popular vote.

Keep in mind this is no low-brow kitty, it has a bling collar and appears to be very well groomed. 

Hasbro launched several marketing efforts to have its fans vote on their least liked token and the poor Plancha lost out to the country-bumpkin wheelbarrow and smelly shoe.  Also spared was the race car, top hat (our personal favorite – you know how many Latinos own Lincoln-esque top hats don’t you?), thimble, dog and battleship.

If you want to upgrade your aging Monopoly tokens head over to Target later this month, the retailing zeitgeist of urban dwellers, to obtain a ‘gold’ plated version of all the tokens. 

This was the first time Monopoly fans had a say on which game token to kill off and which one to add.  The Parker Brothers who created the game in 1934 are surely turning over in their grave right now that is if they really existed.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Victoria’s Secret Launches Valentine’s Day Campaign

Victoria’s Secret Launches Valentine’s Day Campaign

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The terrestrial angels of Victoria’s Secret are lending a hand to Cupid for Valentine’s Day, with the lingerie giant’s models taking to the runway in red for the holiday.

The VS Angels - supermodels Candice Swanepoel, Barbara Palvin, Lily Aldridge and Behati Prinsloo - showed off the Victoria’s Secret “Love Me” collection for Valentine’s Day 2013.

The supermodels swayed down the runway to the smooth sound of Tommy Edwards’s “Love Is All We Need.”

Swanepoel, who appeared in 2012 with Adriana Lima and Miranda Kerr, was the only one of the group making a repeat appearance.

The new collection offers five different lines - “My Sexy Valentine,” “My Tempting Valentine,” “My Romantic Valentine,” “My Flirty Valentine” and “My Sweet Valentine,” all of them offering maximum sensuality.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Report Shows That Border Benchmarks Already Have Been Met

New Report Shows That Border Benchmarks Already Have Been Met

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As the components of what should be included in an immigration reform bill take shape, border security, along with enforcement, is proving to be a key part of the framework. Eight senators released a bipartisan proposal earlier this week that included a path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States. The catch is that implementation of this provision is “contingent upon our success in securing our borders and addressing visa overstays.” The day after the senators presented their framework, President Obama laid out his vision of what should be included in immigration reform legislation during a speech to labor leaders in Nevada. The president called for a clear path to citizenship that’s not contingent on securing the border, but he said the nation needs to stay focused on immigration enforcement. “That means continuing to strengthen security at our borders,” Obama said during his speech. “It means cracking down more forcefully on businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers.”

Despite the continued calls to use more resources to reach “operational control” of the border, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) released a report this week finding that the border security benchmarks of the past immigration reform bills have been met or exceeded. Immigration reform bills in 2006, 2007, and 2010 included more border agents and high-tech surveillance, as well as fences along the U.S.-Mexico border and the expanded use of detention. The 2007 measure would have required certain benchmarks that would have to be met before legalization could take place. Although none of these bills became law, they greatly influenced thinking about immigration enforcement in U.S. policy without clear measures of when border security is achieved:

[A] resource-heavy approach has been implemented and has resulted in a dramatic build-up of border security and a massive expenditure of resources focused on the following: 1) Achieving “operational control” of the border; 2) Increasing border personnel; 3) Increasing border infrastructure and surveil­lance; and 4) Increasing penalties for border crossers, including prosecution and incarceration. In FY 2012, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) alone was funded at $11.7 billion, an increase of 64% since FY 2006.2 In 2010, Congress passed a special border security bill providing an additional $600 million on top of the amount already appropriated. [...]

Missing from these proposals is a proven way to mea­sure when the border is reasonably secure. For example, lawmakers call for dramatic increases in spending on border agents without stating how many more person­nel are actually needed to ensure border security. The 2007 bill proposed raising the total number of border agents to 20,000, but never explained why that num­ber of agents is necessary. In fact, the number of agents on the border has increased steadily for the past several years. In 2011, there were 21,444 border agents, nearly double the number in 2006. Despite these increases, which exceed the number proposed in the 2007 bill, calls for more border agents persist.

The 2006 Secure Fence Act, which aims for the border to be 100 percent sealed, is unattainable, and the Senate framework mentions the apprehension of every unauthorized entrant, which is also an impossible measure. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has stopped focusing on “operational control” as an outcome, and the U.S. has surpassed other benchmarks from the previous bills. There are now 21,444 border patrol agents, which is 1,000 more than what the 2007 bill required. As of 2012, more than 600 miles of fencing has been constructed across the U.S. border, even though the 2007 bill called for 370 miles. Additionally, according to the Migration Policy Institute, the nation spent $17.9 billion on immigration enforcement – almost most $4 billion more than the budgets of all other federal law enforcement agencies combined.

For the last decade, we’ve been doing “enforcement first” immigration policy. The new AILA report is one more reason why Congress and the President need to resist the urge to throw more money and resources at the border when it is unclear that will make our country more secure. Instead, it is time to revamp our broken immigration laws.

Read more at Immigration Impact →

Mexican Authorities Have Line On Suspects Who Raped Spanish Tourists in Acapulco

Mexican Authorities Have Line On Suspects Who Raped Spanish Tourists in Acapulco

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Authorities have “firm signs to find those responsible” for the rape of six Spanish tourists on the outskirts of the Pacific resort city of Acapulco, the attorney general of the southern Mexican state of Guerrero said Tuesday.

Though unwilling to go into detail, Martha Elva Garzon told Radio Formula investigators have made “important advances” toward solving the case.

The sexual assaults occurred around 3:00 a.m. Monday in Playa Bonfil, located in the eastern section of Acapulco, one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations.

The victims and several male companions were outside their bungalow when five masked assailants armed with handguns accosted the group.

After gagging the men, the attackers forced the group inside the bungalow and assaulted the six Spanish women, though they spared a Mexican woman who was with them, the state attorney general said.

The ordeal lasted for about three hours and the assailants took PCs, cell phones, credit cards and other valuables when they left, Garzon said.

Acapulco has been plagued by drug-related violence in recent years.

The Guerrero state government launched a security operation in 2011 with the support of the federal government to step up security in areas frequented by foreign and domestic tourists.

“Operation Safe Guerrero” was launched on Oct. 6, 2011, in an effort to reduce the soaring crime rate in the state.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Narco Smugglers Nabbed with Over $2 Million in Pot and Bath Salts – All in One Day

Narco Smugglers  Nabbed with Over $2 Million in Pot and Bath Salts – All in One Day

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U.S. Border Patrol agents in two separate events seized illicit drugs valued at more than two million dollars on Monday, Feb. 4.

The first event occurred when Border Patrol agents were patrolling the Southern California coastline around midnight and observed a panga style fishing boat off the coast of El Moro Bay in Laguna Beach, Calif. The panga boat came ashore near Crystal Cove State Park. Agents observed seven men exiting the boat and unload bundles onto the beach. Two additional men exited a nearby GMC Yukon vehicle and assisted in unloading the bundles from the panga.

Agents responded to the beach and were able to detain nine men and recovered twenty-six bundles of marijuana. The twenty-six bundles weighed 1,196.8 pounds and had an estimated street value of $1,795,200.

The second event occurred at around 4:18 p.m., when Border Patrol agents at the I-8 checkpoint in Pine Valley, Calif., encountered a 21-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a 2003 Nissan Maxima.  A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 10 packages of bath salts narcotics in two aftermarket compartments under the front seats. The packages weighed 23.28 pounds and had an estimated street value of $209,520.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Government Denies U.S. Vetoed Defense Secretary Appointment

Mexican Government Denies U.S. Vetoed Defense Secretary Appointment

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The United States did not veto the appointment of Gen. Moises Garcia Ochoa as defense secretary, the Mexican government said.

A story published by the New York Times earlier this week claimed that the United States lobbied against the general’s appointment to the Cabinet post.

“The Obama administration had many concerns about the general, including the Drug Enforcement Administration’s suspicion that he had links to drug traffickers and the Pentagon’s anxiety that he had misused military supplies and skimmed money from multimillion-dollar defense contracts,” The New York Times said.

President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office on Dec. 1, “reviewed the profiles of the Mexican army’s active division generals in selecting the national defense secretary,” the Government Secretariat said in a statement.

The president decided to appoint Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos as defense secretary, “exercising the full powers that the Constitution grants him to freely name and remove the Cabinet secretaries,” the secretariat said.

“Decisions on the selection of Mexican officials belong only to the government” of Mexico, William Ostick, a U.S. State Department spokesman for Latin American affairs, told Efe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

No Saturday Mail Will Save U.S. Postal $2 Billion, While Lance Armstrong May Owe Them $32 Million

No Saturday Mail Will Save U.S. Postal $2 Billion, While Lance Armstrong May Owe Them $32 Million

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Effective August 5, 2013 the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will stop its Saturday delivery of letters and other first-class mail in a bid to save $2 billion dollars annually.

The U.S. Postal Service also known by some as the snail mail carrier has been experiencing operational losses for sometime.  In 2012 they reported a $16 billion dollar loss.  In addition it defaulted on loans to its main lender – the U.S. government – to the tune of $11 billion. 

The USPS’ package delivery service will not be impacted and will continue without disruption.  The Saturday cutback will result in a loss of some 22,000 jobs.  USPS management has been making cost cutting measures for several years, this is the most significant expense cut to date.

Under the proposed plan, mail would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays and Post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open on Saturdays.

No one is sure if USPS will politely ask Lance Armstrong to help out by returning the $32 million it spent on sponsoring his cycling team, Tailwind, from 2001-2004.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Erik Alan Garza Extradited from Mexico for Smuggling Defense Articles

Erik Alan Garza Extradited from Mexico for Smuggling Defense Articles

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An Eagle Pass, Texas, man appeared Monday in San Antonio federal court following his extradition from Mexico Friday on federal charges of smuggling prohibited defense articles.

This extradition and criminal charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman, Western District of Texas, and Deputy Special Agent in Charge Monica Mapel, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Antonio.

A federal grand jury in Del Rio returned an indictment in June 2012 against Erik Alan Garza, 25, on six counts of aiding and abetting smuggling goods from the United States. According to the indictment, on various occasions between June 19, 2010 and Feb. 17, 2012, Garza and an accomplice, Rolando Tamayo, 32, also of Eagle Pass, illegally attempted to smuggle defense articles into Mexico from the United States.

These defense items included: night-vision monocular goggles, a thermal goggle, 400 sets of AR-15 front and rear flip-up tactical sights, about 5,000 high-capacity assault rifle magazines, and about 6,000 rounds of ammunition, including 100 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition.

The indictment also charges Tamayo, who remains a fugitive, with two counts of aiding and abetting the smuggling of goods from the United States. Each charge calls for a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison upon conviction.

“Gun and drug trafficking fuels violence by criminal organizations, and threatens the security of the people along our borders and throughout the country,” said Mapel. “HSI special agents will continue to work jointly with our law enforcement partners to utilize our expertise in import and export enforcement to help keep our citizens safe and secure.”

This case was investigated by special agents with HSI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, and the U.S. Marshals Service assisted with Garza’s extradition.

An indictment is merely a charge, and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Galdo, Western District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Arkansas Couple Wins the Lottery Twice in One Weekend

Arkansas Couple Wins the Lottery Twice in One Weekend

Photo: Lottery winners (Arkansas Lottery Facebook)

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Talk about luck! An Arkansas couple that had gone fishing for the weekend came home with two winning lottery tickets.

Stephen Weaver, 54, and Terri Weaver, 55, of Stuttgart, Arkansas, stopped on Saturday evening at a convenience store near Pangburn, Arkansas where they purchased the $1 million lottery ticket, reported ABCNews.

Apparently, picking up lottery tickets is a weekly ritual for the couple who waited until they got to their cabin to uncover their prize.

“I almost had a heart attack,” stated Stephen, who owns a plumbing company.

After safeguarding their ticket for the remainder of their trip, the couple then decided to stop at the same convenience story for another lucky shot.

Terri purchased a $10 ticket and was a $50,000 winner. That’s two in one weekend.

“When she handed it to me, I fell back in my chair and almost went into cardiac arrest again,” stated Stephen, “We jumped around, hollered, and screamed. It’s just not possible that it happened twice.”

The couple plans on still working. They said they plan to pay bills and invest in their retirement with the winnings, stated Fox8.

After taxes, the couple collected approximately $714,000

Read more by HS News Staff →

Voter ID Advanced in Virginia by Republicans

Voter ID Advanced in Virginia by Republicans

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Virginia Republicans are moving forward with plans to tighten voter ID laws for the second time in two years.

The state Senate passed legislation Tuesday (February 5) that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls. Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, a Republican, cast the tie-breaking vote in the split-controlled chamber.

Also this week, both chambers passed bills that would shorten the list of acceptable identification for voters, eliminating options to show a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or a Social Security card.

In Virginia and in other states, Republicans have picked up where they left off last year on efforts to tighten voting requirements — changes critics describe as bald-faced attempts to suppress turnout and disenfranchise poor and minority voters who are more likely to vote for Democrats. As Stateline has reported, as many as 12 states are weighing such measures this year, making it likely more states will have stricter requirements in 2014 than there were in 2012. That comes as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on a pair of cases.

Republicans say the changes are necessary to ensure the integrity of elections, even though there is no proof of widespread fraud at the polls.

If passed and signed by the governor, the Virginia measures would go into effect in 2014.

Read more at Jim Malewitz for Pew Stateline →

Woman Given 30 Days for Bad Attitude and Flicking Off Judge (VIDEO)

Woman Given 30 Days for Bad Attitude and Flicking Off Judge (VIDEO)

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Thirty days in jail – that’s what a Florida teen was handed after he cursed at and flipped the bird to a Miami judge.

Penelope Soto, 18, had been arrested for illegal possession of Xanax when she appeared before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat on Monday.

Rodriguez-Chomat, who was trying to determine Soto’s bond asked her how much her jewelry was worth. When Soto laughed at him, the judge told her, “It’s not a joke. You know, we’re not in a club right now… Be Serious about it.”

When she finally answered, Soto told the judge her jewelry was worth “Rick Ross [money]. It’s worth money.”

Rick Ross is a famous and wealthy South Florida hip-hop star.

Soto then changed her tune saying no, it wasn’t worth that much.

Video shows Judge Rodriguez-Chomat setting her bond at $5,000 then wryly said, “Bye-bye,” to which Soto responds with a laugh, “Adios,” and starts to walk out.

Before she was out of his sight however, Soto was called back before the now annoyed judge, who then raised her bond to $10,000.

“Are you serious?” Soto responded.

“I am serious,” said Judge Rodriguez-Chomat. “Adios.”

Soto, clearly not caring who she was addressing then cursed at the judge and gave him the finger.

Once again, Soto’s attitude did not go unnoticed and she was again called back by the judge who sentenced her to 30 days in jail for contempt of court.

Watch the video below, and tell us, do you think she was on some kind of drug as she stood in front of the judge?

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mixing Diet Soda and Alcohol Raises Intoxication Levels, says Study

Mixing Diet Soda and Alcohol Raises Intoxication Levels, says Study

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You may lose the pounds, but you’ll lose your balance as well.

A recent study has shown that drinking alcohol with diet soda can get you intoxicated faster than if you were to mix your drink with a regular soda.

The study was fairly small as it only consisted of eight men and eight women. These social drinkers met with scientists at Northern Kentucky University twice. The first time, they were given vodka with diet soda, and the second time, they were given vodka with a sugary soft drink, as reported on FOX4.

Diet soda passes through our stomachs more quickly, putting more alcohol into the bloodstream faster. The diet soda group got 20 percent more intoxicated, and reflected a slower reaction time.

Evidently, sugar is what slows down the rate in which we get intoxicated.

“In other words, it is not that diet soda accelerates intoxication. Rather, the sugar in regular soda slows down the rate of alcohol absorption,” explained Dennis Thombs, a professor at the University of North Texas Health Center in Fort Worth, reports NPR.org.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Protest in Mexico to Keep PEMEX Private In Spite of Shoddy Safety Record

Protest in Mexico to Keep PEMEX Private In Spite of Shoddy Safety Record

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A series of peaceful protests will be held across Mexico in defense of state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, and against a supposed plan to turn the firm over to foreign oil companies, former leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.

“We are going to defend the petroleum peacefully,” Lopez Obrador said.

The leftist politician announced the protest plans during a rally staged by his National Regeneration Movement, or Morena, on Tuesday in Mexico City.

Lopez Obrador barely lost the 2006 presidential election and blamed his second-place finish in last year’s vote on corrupt practices by the victorious Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

The “El petroleo es de todos” (The Petroleum Is Everyone’s) campaign will hold its first demonstrations on Sunday, Lopez Obrador said.

Protests will take place in the plazas of cities across the country, with a rally planned for Mexico City, the leftist leader said.

President Enrique Peña Nieto said last month that Pemex would not be privatized and the public should be wary of those who sought to “mislead or confuse” the issue.

“No one, ever, has even referred to or cited the need for privatization,” the president told a gathering of PRI and Mexican Green Party leaders on Jan. 30.

Leftist parties alleged recently that the government planned to privatize Pemex, which has a monopoly over the production of crude oil and distribution of gasoline.

Pemex, the world’s No. 4 oil producer with output of about 2.5 million barrels per day, is the biggest contributor to Mexico’s Treasury.

Read more by HS News Staff →

1932 Picasso Sells for $44.9 Million at Sotheby’s

1932 Picasso Sells for $44.9 Million at Sotheby’s

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Pablo Picasso’s 1932 painting of his mistress Marie-Therese Walter sold Tuesday at Sotheby’s of London for 28.6 million pounds ($44.9 million).

The work, “Femme assise pres d’une fenetre,” was the star of a session dedicated to impressionist and modern art that opened the auction season in the British capital.

Before the bidding opened, the work had been valued at between 25 million and 35 million pounds ($39.2 million to $55 million).

The “Femme assise” sold for $7.5 million the last time it was on the market, in 1997.

This Picasso canvas fell far short of the 2010 bidding in New York for his work “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” which sold for a then-record $111.3 million.

Picasso saw Marie-Therese for the first time on the streets of Paris in 1927 when she was only 17, and they began a love affair though the Spaniard was still married to Olga Khokhlova.

Also sold in the Tuesday auction at Sotheby’s was the painting by another Spaniard, the Joan Miro work “Femme revant de l’evasion,” knocked down for 8.4 million pounds ($13.2 million).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rafael Nadal Shines in Doubles Play in Chile

Rafael Nadal Shines in Doubles Play in Chile

Photo: Rafael Nadal at Viña del Mar, Chile

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Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who is making a comeback from a serious knee injury, teamed up with Argentina’s Juan Mónaco to beat the Czech duo of Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 6-3, 6-2 in doubles at the ATP event in Viña del Mar, Chile.

“The knee is there, the doctors say it is fine, there is no fear of breaking down, but the knee keeps hurting,” Nadal, who was out of action for seven months, told reporters.

Nadal began last summer on a high note by capturing a record 7th French Open title with a victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the final, but he pulled out of several events after a shocking second-round loss at Wimbledon.

“If it hurts, it hurts and I endure it, but there may be days when I cannot compete at 100 percent,” Nadal said.

The tennis star, who has won 11 Grand Slam titles, said after the doubles match that he was playing “with pain.”

After the match, Nadal was named a “Distinguished Son of the City of Viña del Mar” by Mayor Virginia Reginato.

Nadal told Efe in August that he was suffering from a knee ailment known as Hoffa’s syndrome, which is also known as fat pad impingement and causes pain and swelling around the bottom and under the kneecap.

The Spaniard, known for his physically demanding style of play and incredible defensive skills, has struggled to stay healthy during his career, having been forced to withdraw from each of the four Grand Slam events due to various injuries.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Snowy Moscow Dealing with Most Extreme Winter in 100 Years

Snowy Moscow Dealing with Most Extreme Winter in 100 Years

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The Russian capital is experiencing its snowiest winter in a century, the municipal government’s head of community services said Tuesday.

“There hasn’t been a winter like this one for 100 years. This year, the amount of snow exceeds the norm by more than 50 percent,” said Piotr Biriukov.

The Moscow municipal official said that 216 centimeters (85 inches) of snow have fallen since the start of winter, even though the average for the coldest months is around 152 cm (60 inches).

Since the beginning of February, the Russian capital has been completely covered by a blanket of snow 36 cm (14 inches) deep.

The snow is big news for children, who are always eager to break out their sleds, but it’s a big headache for the city’s cleaning services, which have to redouble their efforts to keep the sidewalks and streets clear.

The heavy snowfall also causes traffic tie-ups, which are regularly kilometers (miles) long, but the ones that have developed recently have been unbelievable.

Many Moscow residents find themselves forced to leave their cars parked and use the metro, which often reaches its saturation point, despite its more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) of track.

Occasionally, the passengers using public transportation even need to disembark and push, as buses often get stuck in the snow.

Read more by HS News Staff →

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro Urges House of Rep to Move on Immigration Reform

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro Urges House of Rep to Move on Immigration Reform

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Julian Castro, the popular Democratic mayor of San Antonio, Texas, on Tuesday urged the House of Representatives to approve comprehensive immigration reform.

“America is watching. Let’s get this done,” the mayor said at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

This is the first session on immigration to be held by the 113th Congress and is part of the debate on immigration reform that President Barack Obama is promoting as a key element of his second term.

Castro was accompanied by university professors and civil activists who gave testimony about the problems and failures of the current immigration system.

“What Americans deserve is a system that works - a system that is efficient,” said the Texas politician, a rising Hispanic star in the Democratic Party.

It is calculated that about 11 million undocumented foreigners live in the United States.

Despite the fact that Republicans and Democrats agree on the need for reforming the immigration system to adjust it to the new economic necessities, they differ on the how to bring the reform about.

They especially disagree on the issue of whether undocumented immigrants should be guaranteed a path to full citizenship, a matter on which the Republicans appear to be sharply divided.

The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Republican Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, asked Castro if he had seen any “options to consider between the extremes of mass deportation and pathway to citizenship?”

Castro rejected the characterization of a path to citizenship as extreme and said that Obama’s proposal for “earned citizenship” represents a middle way between mass deportation and open borders.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Swiss Jewelry Exports Rose 10.9 Percent in 2012

Swiss Jewelry Exports Rose 10.9 Percent in 2012

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The value of Swiss jewelry exports climbed 10.9 percent last year to 21.4 billion francs ($23.5 billion) despite the economic crisis, the Swiss Jewelry Industry Federation said Tuesday.

The top markets for jewelry exports were Hong Kong and the United States, the federation said.

Exports to Hong Kong grew 6.8 percent, compared to 2011, to 4.37 billion francs ($4.8 billion), while exports to the United States rose 10.1 percent, compared to 2011, to 2.18 billion francs ($2.39 billion).

Watches were the top export item, with the value of exports of timepieces rising 11.5 percent, compared to 2011, to 20.2 billion francs ($22.2 billion), the jewelry federation said.

Swiss watchmakers sold a total of 29.1 million watches abroad in 2012, well above the recent annual average of 25 million units.

Watch exports, however, fell 2.2 percent, compared to the previous year.

The biggest export gains in the sector were made in the segment of watches with a price of more than 3,000 francs (about $3,302).

Exports of timepieces in this category soared 13.1 percent, the federation said.

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayFebruary 6, 2013