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SaturdayFebruary 9, 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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650,000 U.S. Homes Without Electricity After Snowstorm

650,000 U.S. Homes Without Electricity After Snowstorm

Photo: Workers fighting the storm in Boston (@nationalgridus)

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The huge snowstorm battering the northeast United States cause blackouts in some 650,000 homes and piled up more than 60 centimeters (2 feet) of snow in some states.

One of the hardest-hit states was Massachusetts, with winds over 90 kph (56 mph) and 300,000 homes without electricity, though emergency management crews worked through the night to restore power.

In Rhode Island more than 180,000 users also suffered power outages.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, the Maine coast and Massachusetts, where a state-wide ban on driving vehicles was ordered.

The storm began Friday morning in parts of New York and moved into the neighboring states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine.

According to the National Weather Service, more than 60 centimeters (2 feet) of snow fell on some New England and Long Island towns, and hurricane-force winds of around 110 kph (70 mph) were forecast from New Jersey to Maine.

Temperatures dropped during the night to 21 F (-6 C) and the freezing weather was expected to continue through Saturday.

According to the FlightAware Web site, 1,896 flights have been canceled and 324 have been delayed, mostly in the New York and Boston metropolitan areas.

Up to now, one death in a Poughkeepsie, New York, traffic accident has been attributed to the storm. An 18-year-old girl lost control of her vehicle in the snow and ran over a man age 74, who subsequently died of his injuries.

The giant storm also caused at least three deaths in Ontario, Canada, two of them as a result of traffic accidents.

Read more by HS News Staff →

6.9 Quake in Southern Colombia Injures 8, Damages 143 Homes

6.9 Quake in Southern Colombia Injures 8, Damages 143 Homes

Photo: 6.9 earthquake in Colombia (AccuWeather)

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A total of eight people were injured and 143 homes were damaged by a magnitude-6.9 earthquake that rocked southwest Colombia, according to the latest report by the National Risk Assessment Unit, or UNGRD, on its Twitter account.

At the same time, Nariño, Cauca and Valle were confirmed as the three provinces with the most emergencies, according to UNGRD director Carlos Ivan Marquez.

“Some of the injured were at El Charco in Nariño province, with five adults plus a little boy who fell from a second story and broke his right leg. Another two had fractures of the fingers and knees, one in Valle del Cauca and the other in Cauca,” Marquez told the local press.

The official also said that among the damaged buildings were a medical center and three schools.

“I wish to confirm there have been no fatalities nor missing persons, and there have been no reports of anyone seriously affected,” Marquez told reporters.

He also confirmed that he had spoken directly with President Juan Manuel Santos.

“I spoke with him (Santos) and he told me we must activate the whole preventive system of attention and recovery, and consolidate the different plans for taking the necessary action to assure a rapid, opportune recovery through the provincial emergency management offices,” he told the UNGRD director.

The quake, whose epicenter was located 2.38 kilometers (1.5 miles) northwest of the town of Ospina, Nariño province, at a depth of 186 kilometers (115 miles), struck at 9:16 a.m., the Colombian Geological Service said.

The temblor was also felt in Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Huila, Risaralda, Quindio, Cauca, Antioquia and Caldas provinces, it added.

Some minor damage was reported in Quindio, Cauca and Nariño provinces but “nothing serious,” Marquez said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hundreds of Thousands Attempt to Break World Record at Rio Carnival

Hundreds of Thousands Attempt to Break World Record at Rio Carnival

Photo: Scene from the Cordão da Bola Preta concert

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A crowd of revelers hundreds of thousands strong poured into downtown Rio de Janeiro on Saturday to celebrate Carnival to the rhythm of the Cordão da Bola Preta street band while trying to win a place in the Guinness World Records for the world’s largest Carnival troupe.

The samba-dancing throng set out at dawn from the downtown area near La Candelaria Church and headed up Rio Branco Avenue to Cinelandia Plaza, following five large trucks with orchestras on top that drove slowly ahead of the multitude.

Leading the parade was the principal truck, which, besides the musicians, carried the festival queen and muses dressed in black and white, the colors of the Cordão da Bola Preta band, a century-old festival institution that in recent years has led crowds of merrymakers on the Saturday of Carnival.

“The Rio Carnival only begins when the Bola Preta goes up the avenue. The Bola is an institution in Rio and that makes us feel very honored,” the president of the music group, Pedro Ernesto, told reporters before setting off at the head of the massive parade.

To set a Guinness record, the Cordão da Bola Preta must surpass the crowd following the Galo de Madrugada, another Carnival band, but in the northeastern city of Recife, which also parades on the Saturday of Carnival, and which, according to its organizers, would attract 2.5 million people.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Youth Olympic Gold Medal Winner Takes Boxing Career to Next Level

Former Youth Olympic Gold Medal Winner Takes Boxing Career to Next Level

Photo: Emmanuel "Manny" Rodriguez

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Emmanuel “Manny” Rodriguez, the first Puerto Rican to win a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games, is going strong as a professional just over two years after sustaining burns over half his body in a near-fatal accident.

“I feel well, thank God. I’m well prepared and recovered from the accident. The burns are now 95 percent healed and we’re prepared to get in the ring and fight,” Rodriguez told Efe Friday during a training session in this northern city.

Rodriguez, now 20, entered the history books when on Aug. 25, 2010, he won a gold medal in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, becoming the first athlete from the U.S. commonwealth to win gold at that sporting event.

He captured top honors in the 51-kilogram weight class by defeating Nauru’s Dj Maaki when the referee stopped the bout in the third round.

Nearly three months later, Rodriguez was trying to repair his car when the engine combusted in an accident triggered by the lighting of a cigarette.

Rodriguez sustained burns over roughly 50 percent of his body and was operated on by burn specialists, who transplanted the skin of his left thigh to his side.

A year later, Rodriguez returned to the ring and won the Puerto Rican boxing championships in the 52-kilogram weight class.

Then, after coming up short in his bid to compete in the 2012 London Olympics, he decided to turn professional.

“My career as an amateur ended with a defeat that led me into the professional ranks and now I want to keep racking up victories,” Rodriguez, who has won his first three bouts as a professional, said.

“After what happened, I never thought I was going to box again, but thank God we recovered well and I decided to become a professional. There’s no turning back,” he added.

Rodriguez’s next bout is scheduled for Feb. 23 in the southern Puerto Rican city of Ponce.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ACLU Urges Ohio School to Remove Jesus Portrait

ACLU Urges Ohio School to Remove Jesus Portrait

Photo: Jesus portrait displayed at OH school

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio has filed a federal lawsuit against Jackson Middle School, stating that their display of a portrait of Jesus Christ is unconstitutional.

ACLU members argue that the portrait, which was donated to the school in 1947, inappropriately promotes one religion over others. They and the Madison Wisconsin Freedom from Religion Foundation require that the school remove the portrait and forbid its re-hanging in the future, reported the Associated Press.

“The maintenance and display of the portrait had the effect of advancing and endorsing one religion, improperly entangling the State and religious affairs, and violating the personal consciences of plaintiffs,” the lawsuit states.

On Tuesday night, the middle school conducted a school board meeting that drew 300 people. The crowd was generally supportive of the school’s position. Superintendent Phil Howard stated that the portrait holds historical significance to the school, revealed WLWT.com.

“We want to ensure that Jackson City School District follows the Constitution, which includes not engaging in religious hostility by immediately removing part of the ‘Hall of Honor’ display that has been in place for at least 65 years without complaint,” Howard said.

The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of three plaintiffs, identified as “Sam Doe.” Two are parents of children that attend Jackson Middle School, and the third is a student at the school.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Nicaragua’s Largest Solar Plant to Open Soon, Says First Lady

Nicaragua’s Largest Solar Plant to Open Soon, Says First Lady

Photo: Solar power plant

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Nicaragua will soon bring online the country’s largest solar plant, a facility with the capacity to power 1,100 homes, first lady Rosario Murillo said.

“In the coming days, Enatrel (Empresa Nacional de Transmision Electrica) will celebrate the entry into service of the photovoltaic plant (equipped with) 5,880 solar panels,” Murillo, who is coordinator of the Communication and Citizenship Council, told state-run media Friday.

The first lady did not specify when the plant would be inaugurated.

The 1.38 MW solar facility covers a 2.1-hectare (5.1-acre) area of Nicaragua’s Pacific province of Carazo and is located 59 kilometers (36 miles) south of Managua.

Murillo said the plant is a “pioneer of its type” in Central America and will prevent the annual emission of 1,100 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

It was built at a cost of $11.9 million, most of which was donated by Japan.

Renewable energy sources accounted for 40.5 percent of Nicaragua’s electricity consumption in 2012 and allowed the impoverished country to save $228 million on oil imports.

The country’s goal is to boost renewable energy’s share of electricity output to 80 percent in 2017 and 90 percent in 2026.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spike Lee Films Carnival for Brazilian Documentary

Spike Lee Films Carnival for Brazilian Documentary

Photo: Carnival 2013 (rio.com)

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U.S. filmmaker Spike Lee is shooting interviews and other footage for his upcoming documentary “Go, Brazil, Go!” during carnival in the northeastern Brazilian city of Salvador, where millions of people have gathered for the festivities, local media reported Saturday.

Lee has been working since last year on the project, which is being produced by Sao Paulo-based ParanoidBr and will focus on the country’s emergence as a political and economic powerhouse.

In April, the director traveled to Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff; her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva; and other prominent figures.

Soccer star Neymar, singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso, singer Marisa Monte, rapper Criolo and songwriter and composer Tom Ze also were among those interviewed by Lee in the first stage of the project.

According to the local press, the director of “Malcolm X,” “Do the Right Thing” and numerous other fiction films and documentaries, spoke with Salvador Mayor Antonio Carlos Magalhaes Neto and pop singer Ivete Sangalo on Friday.

The filmmaker also is planning four other interview sessions this year in Brazil.

“Go, Brazil Go!” is scheduled to premiere at the 2014 edition of the Cannes Film Festival, shortly before Brazil hosts the soccer World Cup.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Corruption Allegations Force Rajoy to Release Income Statements

Corruption Allegations Force Rajoy to Release Income Statements

Photo: Mariano Rajoy

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who faces allegations he received under-the-table payments from a purported Popular Party slush fund, on Saturday released income statements that show he received net income for his work of 74,912 euros (roughly $100,100) last year.

That figure is roughly half of the net income of 147,620 euros ($197,272 at the current exchange rate) he received in 2004 as a lawmaker and the PP’s chairman.

Rajoy’s final after-tax income in 2012 amounted to 49,893 euros (roughly $66,674), according to one of the documents posted to the Spanish government’s Web site.

The release of the returns comes amid a major scandal caused by the publication late last month by leading Spanish daily El Pais of extracts from a purported secret ledger that appears to show two decades of off-the-books cash payments to party leaders, including Rajoy.

The premier has categorically denied that he or other PP leaders received any under-the-table payments, but he has ordered an internal review of PP finances and commissioned an examination by independent external auditors.

Spain’s attorney general, Eduardo Torres-Dulce, told reporters Thursday there are grounds for further investigating the allegations.

Former PP treasurer Luis Barcenas, who is at the center of the scandal, denied the existence of secret accounts in statements to prosecutors this week and said he was not responsible for the handwritten ledger that has been attributed to him.

He also provided a handwriting sample that is to be compared and contrasted with the documents published by El Pais.

So far, prosecutors have not linked the probe of the ruling party’s finances to recent revelations that Barcenas had deposited some 22 million euros (roughly $29.5 million) in Swiss bank accounts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colbert Satirizes GOP’s “Hispanic Outreach” - MUST WATCH!

Colbert Satirizes GOP’s “Hispanic Outreach” - MUST WATCH!

Photo: NewsTaco

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By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

In case you missed it, Steven Colbert took a satirical swipe at the GOP’s recently announced “Hispanic Outreach” during his nightly program on Comedy Central.Image

We usually publish all the serious stuff about issues and politics and such, but it’s good to let off some steam…especially when the satire is spot-on the news of the day.

Enjoy!


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.

Read more at NewsTaco →

5 Dead After Costa Rica Motel Fire

5 Dead After Costa Rica Motel Fire

Photo: 5 Dead After Costa Rica Motel Fire

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Five people died and another two were injured Friday when a small motel burned down in the rural community of Puriscal, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the Costa Rican capital.

The Health Ministry said that on Dec. 19 he declared the Las Aguilas Motel uninhabitable due to the disrepair of its wooden construction and electrical system, and set Jan. 30 as the latest date for shutting it down, but the owner, who is wanted by police, refused to close it.

The fire began at 1:24 a.m. local time (0724 GMT), apparently from a short circuit, and spread rapidly, fire chief Hector Chaves said.

The motel guests had little time to escape, Chaves said, adding that one of the bodies was found just a few meters (feet) from the exit.

The injured were taken in grave condition to hospitals in San Jose.

Las Aguiles Motel was surrounded by a number of tents that were also damaged by the fire, which took two hours to put out.

Residents told the media that the motel owner escaped across the roofs of neighboring establishments.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Left Calls on Obama to Stop Deportations

Mexican Left Calls on Obama to Stop Deportations

Photo: President Barack Obama

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Mexico’s left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, called on U.S. President Barack Obama‘s administration to halt raids and deportations while an immigration overhaul plan that would provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented migrants “is debated and approved.”

PRD Chairman Jesus Zambrano said Friday that as president Obama has the authority to stop the expulsions of illegal immigrants.

He recalled that since Obama was first inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, “more than a million immigrants” have been deported, mostly Mexicans.

The chairman of the leftist opposition party lent his support for a bipartisan immigration law overhaul plan unveiled last month by a group of eight U.S. senators and hailed Obama’s backing for the initiative, saying he hoped “immigration reform becomes a reality in the near future.”

That plan, which if passed would be the first major revision of U.S. immigration law since 1986, calls for bolstering border security as well as regularizing the status of undocumented migrants.

Although Zambrano backs the initiative, he called for an end to the “militarization of the border” and said an immigration overhaul should not simultaneously apply the logic of “the carrot and the stick.”

He added that of the “11 million officially recognized as undocumented, at least 7 million are of Mexican origin.”

The PRD chairman said an overhaul should promote the basic principal of family unity, while strengthening the U.S. workforce and helping integrate immigrants into U.S. society.

Read more by HS News Staff →

It’s Raining Spiders in Brazil! (VIDEO)

It’s Raining Spiders in Brazil! (VIDEO)

Photo: It's Raining Spiders in Brazil!

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As a young man in Brazil left a friend’s engagement party he spotted something rather odd and perhaps frightening. It appeared to be raining spiders.

In the southern Brazilian town of Santo Antônio da Platina, web designer Erick Reis, 20, said he was leaving the party on Sunday when he realized it was not rain or even snow falling from the sky, but spiders.

According to a local biologist who spoke with Brazil’s G1, the spiders, Anelosimus eximius, are a member of the so-called “social spider” species group. The arachnids are known for making “sheet webs,” and the biologist called their behavior, which was captured on video, “normal.”

It may be normal for them, but I’m sure many would rather stick to snow and rain.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chavez Signs Decree to Devalue Venezuelan Currency by 31 Percent

Chavez Signs Decree to Devalue Venezuelan Currency by 31 Percent

Photo: Venezuela Bolivares

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Venezuela is devaluing its currency by 31.7 percent, though the old exchange rate will be honored for businesses and individuals with pending applications for dollars, Planning Minister Jorge Giordani said Friday.

One dollar will buy 6.30 bolivares under the new rate, up from 4.30 bolivares previously.

Venezuela’s food, retail, media, telecoms and health sectors will be able to obtain dollars from the government at the old rate for some time, Giordani said, holding up the devaluation decree signed by ailing President Hugo Chavez.

Other industries may also be eligible for dollars at the more favorable rate, the minister said.

Chavez’s leftist government imposed currency controls in 2003 following an opposition-led general strike that caused economic output to plummet.

The devaluation will be accompanied by greater flexibility in the requirements faced by Venezuelan exporters who need dollars for their operations, central bank chief Nelson Merentes said Friday.

Instead of having to repay the central bank 70 percent of the dollars they receive, exporters will be required to return 60 percent of the amount, he said.

Merentes also announced a liberalization of regulations for foreign-currency-denominated bank accounts in Venezuela, which are used mainly by people receiving pensions, remittances or other remuneration from abroad.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Anarchists Claim Responsibility for Attempted Cathedral Bombing in Spain

Anarchists Claim Responsibility for Attempted Cathedral Bombing in Spain

Photo: La Almudena Cathedral

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An anarchist group has claimed responsibility for a thwarted attempt to set off a bomb at Madrid’s La Almudena Cathedral, Spanish police sources told Efe Friday.

The aim of Thursday’s foiled strike was “to damage the Borbon monarchy in one of its sacred places,” the self-proclaimed Mateo Morral Insurrectionist Commando said in a statement posted on the Internet.

La Almudena lies near the spot where anarchist Mateo Morral tried to kill King Alfonso XIII - grandfather of the current Spanish monarch, Juan Carlos - and Queen Victoria Eugenia on the occasion of their May 31, 2006, wedding.

Though the royal couple escaped unhurt, Morral’s homemade bomb killed 30 people. Trying to flee, he was eventually recognized and surrendered to police, but later killed the officer guarding him before turning the gun on himself.

Thursday’s bomb was spotted by a priest as he exited the confessional. He quickly cleared the cathedral of worshippers and tourists and contacted authorities.

Members of the police bomb unit, Tedax, defused the device without incident.

The rudimentary bomb contained 1,200 grams of gunpowder, a small cylinder of butane, a kilo (2.2 pounds) of metal screws and a alarm-equipped watch, police said.

“We demonstrate that your sanctified lairs are vulnerable,” the Morral commando said.

Authorities have been concerned about a resurgence of anarchist movements as Spain suffers with recession and an unemployment rate above 26 percent, police sources acknowledged to Efe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Woman Defaces Famous Painting in French Museum

Woman Defaces Famous Painting in French Museum

Photo: "Liberty Leading the People" (Eugene Delacroix)

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A young and apparently “unstable” woman used an indelible marker to deface the renowned painting “Liberty Leading the People” by Eugene Delacroix, which was being exhibited at a branch of the Louvre in the northern French city of Lens.

The scrawl was cleaned off in a couple of hours without leaving a trace, the museum said in a communique, adding that the painting will be back on show Saturday, though security measures will be stepped up.

The incident occurred just before the museum was to close Thursday evening, when the young woman jabbed a marker at the lower right-hand part of the painting that represents liberty as a woman leading a popular uprising.

The 28-year-old vandal was subdued by a museum employee with the help of a visitor and taken to a police station in Lens.

The motive for the vandalism is as yet unknown, though some media said the woman wrote “AE911” on the painting, which could have some relation to an American group that asks for the investigation of the 9/11 attacks in New York to be reopened.

The Louvre in Paris sent a restorer to Lens and it took him only two hours to repair the damage.

The famous work, painted by Delacroix in 1830 and inspired by the popular uprisings in Paris in July of that year against Charles X, has been in the Louvre at Lens since Nov. 21, shortly after French President Francois Hollande inaugurated that branch of the renowned Parisian museum.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Set of Rare King Cheetahs Born at Japanese Zoo

Set of Rare King Cheetahs Born at Japanese Zoo

Photo: Baby cheetahs born in Japan, two are King Cheetahs (NTD.TV)

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Two king cheetahs, of which only a few dozen are believed to exist in captivity, were born on Jan. 6 at Tama Zoo in the Japanese capital, a park spokesperson told Efe on Friday.

The two cubs, which due to a genetic mutation are characterized by the spots on their fur flowing together in lengthwise lines along their backs, are part of a litter of 5 cubs, three of which were born with normal spots.

The zoo plans to begin showing the pair of king cheetahs and their three siblings to the public next month when the weather is warmer, given that these animals are very sensitive to the cold.

The mother, a 9-year-old import from South Africa called Sumire, gave birth two years ago to a female king cheetah, for which she is believed to carry a recessive gene that produces this odd skin pattern, even though her own coat is normal.

Tama Zoo, where two other king cheetahs were born in October 2011 called Ibuki and Woshren, is the only zoo in Japan that possesses these unusual felines.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NASA Reaffirms Asteroid Will Not Make Contact With Earth

NASA Reaffirms Asteroid Will Not Make Contact With Earth

Photo: Asteroid 2012 DA14 (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Asteroid 2012 DA14 will come closer to Earth than any previous object of its size during a Feb. 15 fly-by, but the space rock poses no danger to the planet, NASA said.

“No Earth impact is possible,” Donald Yeomans, an asteroid expert at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, California, told the media.

At its closest approach, DA14 will be 27,300 kilometers (17,100 miles) from Earth, about a tenth of the distance between here and the Moon.

The asteroid will be traveling 27,700 kph (17,450 mph) when it careens past the Earth at around 19:40 GMT next Friday, according to NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office, which has been tracking DA14 since it was discovered a year ago by scientists at La Sagra Observatory in Spain.

Though the asteroid is about 13 stories tall, it will not be visible to the naked eye.

DA14 will pass inside the orbits of geosynchronous communications satellites, but far above the altitude of the International Space Station, NASA said.

An asteroid the size of DA14 approaches the Earth roughly every four decades, while impacts occur at intervals of roughly 1,200 years, Yeomans said.

The most recent significant asteroid impact was in 1908, when a space rock crashed in Tunguska, Siberia. The explosion flattened trees for hundreds of square kilometers.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SaturdayFebruary 9, 2013