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TuesdayFebruary 19, 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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Spain’s Cervantes Institute to Help Brazilian Troops Learn Spanish

Spain’s Cervantes Institute to Help Brazilian Troops Learn Spanish

Photo: Spain's Cervantes Institute to Help Brazilian Troops Learn Spanish

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The Rio de Janeiro branch of Spain’s Cervantes Institute will help train military instructors to teach Spanish to Brazilian army troops, as per an agreement announced Tuesday.

The pact was sealed on the occasion of a visit made to the military General Staff School by Spain’s ambassador to Brazil, Manuel de la Camara.

The envoy applauded the “excellent initiative” for the course to train instructors, something that shows that “the Cervantes Institute is acquiring more and more prestige in this country.”

“Spanish is recognized as being one of the world’s main languages and it couldn’t be any other way than for the armed forces of Brazil to be determined for its officers to speak and know Spanish,” he said.

The instructors will take a 40-hour course created by the Cervantes Institute to train them in the methodology of teaching Spanish.

Teaching a foreign language to future soldiers is necessary “for the focus on integration with friendly forces and countries,” the commandant of the General Staff School, Gen. Walter Stoffel, told Efe.

The director of the Cervantes Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Antonio Martinez, noted that Brazil is surrounded by seven nations where Spanish is spoken.

Military sources calculate that 40 percent of the students at the General Staff School are asking for Spanish classes and that the figure is approaching the roughly 50 percent requesting English classes.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Was It a ‘Phantom Pregnancy’ or Did the Hospital Steal Brazilian Woman’s Child?

Was It a ‘Phantom Pregnancy’ or Did the Hospital Steal Brazilian Woman’s Child?

Photo: Was It a 'Phantom Pregnancy' or Did the Hospital Steal Brazilian Woman's Child?

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A woman in Brazil is claiming that despite what doctors are saying, she gave to birth to a child that was stolen by hospital staff.

When 19-year-old Layane Santos was in her 38th month of pregnancy, she had to be rushed to a maternity hospital in Sao Paulo after experiencing blood loss and abdominal pain. After arriving at the hospital, an obstetrician diagnosed Santos premature separation of the placenta was order that she be rushed to the operating room for an emergency c-section. Santos asked that her husband, 28-year-old Lourival Alves be brought in, but he was never called.

When Alves was finally brought into the room, doctors told him that when they opened his wife’s womb they found no baby. They told him Santos’ pregnancy has been what is called a “phantom pregnancy,” also known as a “psychological pregnancy.” Such “pregnancies” occur when a woman wants a child so badly that her body actually begins to transform as though it is preparing for, and creating a child. In these cases, however, there is no baby, only changes in hormones and body.

When Santos awoke from the anesthesia she had been given, her husband told her what the doctors had told him - there was no baby.

Santos says she was devastated and confused. She was understandably confused because throughout her pregnancy she received pre-natal treatment, with nurses even recording the size of the fetus’ body and head. In fact, in the final week of her pregnancy, she had an ultra-sound which showed the baby they had already named Sofia was about 42 cm and weighed an estimated 7 lbs.

However, on December 26, the couple was told there had never been a baby.

Now, Santos is trying to figure out what happened, and says she believes the child baby was either stolen or died while being delivered and doctors don’t want to say what really happened.

Adding to the doctors claims were staff at Santa Casa de Maua hospital saying exams performed before the delivery showed that Santos was not carrying a child. However, they claim they “reserved the right to only present these exams at the opportune moment.”

The case may now head to court, as the couple’s lawyer has asked a judge to seize al hospital records relating to Santos’ case. The doctor who provided Santos’ pre-natal treatment has also said she will be a witness for the couple, should a criminal case be brought against the hospital.

While many questions remain, one important question yet to be answered is, if the hospital knew Santos’ was experiencing a “phantom pregnancy” why would they subject her to an unnecessary c-section?

Read more by HS News Staff →

Honduras to Improve its Principal Highway CA-5 Norte

Honduras to Improve its Principal Highway CA-5 Norte

Photo: Honduras CA-5 Norte

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced the approval of a $17.2 million loan to support the widening and improvement of CA-5 Norte, the principal highway in Honduras.

CA-5 Norte, has strategic importance to the region and the country’s part of the International Network of Mesoamerican Highways (RICAM), linking the capital city, Tegucigalpa, with Honduras’ main industrial area, San Pedro Sula, and to the only deep-water port in Central America, Puerto Cortes, on the Caribbean coast.

The investments will turn 60 percent of CA-5 Norte into a four-lane highway, while 17% will have a third climbing lane, reducing traveling time by 20 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain Helps Nicaragua Close the Biggest Garbage Dump in Latin America

Spain Helps Nicaragua Close the Biggest Garbage Dump in Latin America

Photo: La Chuchera in Nicaragua

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Spain presented Tuesday to the city government of Managua the sealing off of the biggest garbage dump in Latin America, the flagship project of Spanish aid to Nicaragua.

The La Chureca project included not only sealing the previously open-air dump, but also the construction of a recycling plant where the trash collectors work, as well as homes and a school for the more than 250 families who inhabit the area.

The presentation ceremony was presided by the director of Spain’s AECID aid agency, Juan Lopez-Doriga.

“This is the largest project we have done in Nicaragua. We have invested, between the agency itself and the community of Andalusia, some 40 million euros ($53.2 million),” Lopez-Doriga told reporters.

The project consisted of ridding Nicaragua of its biggest uncovered, open-air garbage dump, and building a modern recycling plant for solid refuse, which began operating partially at the end of last year.

La Chureca is now a sanitary landfill, which means that while it continues to receive solid refuse, it no longer remains exposed to the air, and no longer do poor people seek their sustenance among the garbage.

Now the Churequeros, as the garbage collectors are known in Nicaragua, work in the modern plant for treating solid waste.

“We rejoice to have been able to contribute to transforming the situation so completely. This takes a lot of work, not just cooperation,” said Lopez-Doriga.

La Chureca was one of the main sources of the pollution in Lake Managua.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Captures 81 Central American Migrants Enroute to U.S.

Mexico Captures 81 Central American Migrants Enroute to U.S.

Photo: Undocumented in Mexico

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Federal police intercepted 81 undocumented immigrants from Central America, the Mexican government said Tuesday.

The migrants were detained in separate operations in the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas and two suspected traffickers were taken into custody.

The 48 Guatemalans, 28 Salvadorans and five Hondurans were “apparently trying to reach the United States,” according to an official statement.

The group included eight minors.

Three women and 24 men were discovered inside a cattle truck that was traveling northbound through Oaxaca at night with its headlights off.

In neighboring Chiapas, police detected a total of 54 migrants aboard two buses and a private vehicle.

Several hundred thousand Central Americans migrants cross Mexico every year trying to reach the United States. The arduous trek is made still more dangerous by criminals and corrupt Mexican officials who prey on the migrants.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Prisoner Dies After Going on Hunger Strike, Family Said He Received No Medical Attention

Cuban Prisoner Dies After Going on Hunger Strike, Family Said He Received No Medical Attention

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A Cuban exile organization and relatives of a prisoner who died after 38 days on hunger strike in a prison on the communist island on Tuesday blamed the Cuban government for his death.

Roberto Antonio Rivalta, 46, was on hunger strike to protest his arrest on charges of robbery, which he always denied committing.

“The lifeless body of my brother cries out that they murdered him, that he died alone and without medical attention,” Elienay Rivalta, who lives in South Florida, told Efe.

Rivalta died “innocent, demanding his freedom ... (and) without a trial because (the authorities) didn’t have any evidence,” she said.

Rivalta’s family members are accusing Cuban prison authorities of depriving their loved one of water and not taking him to a hospital so that he could receive medical assistance.

“Prisoners and a guard who was passing as a prisoner called my mother and told her that the doctor” had recommended his transfer to a hospital “but that they were not going to do it,” Elienay Rivalta said at a press conference in Miami.

Janisset Rivero, with the Directorio Democratico exile organization, told Efe that Rivalta was being held prisoner in a “solitary confinement cell” and that the authorities told the mother that “her son was going to be fine and that he was going to receive medical assistance,” something they did not provide for him.

“Five days later he died,” she said.

The Rivalta family, the Cuban activist said, “is not opposed to the regime” and therefore they did not file a complaint about the case or get in touch with the internal dissidence movement on the island, remaining confident that they would get a judicial resolution in the matter.

Read more by HS News Staff →

In Her Own Words: Jenni Rivera Memoir to be Released This Summer

In Her Own Words: Jenni Rivera Memoir to be Released This Summer

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Following her tragic death in December, singer-actress Jenni Rivera’s memoirs will be released later this year.

The Mexican-American performer’s memoirs, which will be available in both English and Spanish, will be released in July by Atria books.

Titled Unbreakable, the book tells the story, in her own words, of Rivera’s often troubled love life, abuse, and alleged drug use.

On December 9, 2012, the private jet carrying two pilots, Rivera, and four other passengers lost contact with air traffic control near Iturbide, Nuevo Leon, Mexico at around 3:25 a.m. Later that day, the learnt was found, having crashed and killed everyone aboard. An investigation is ongoing and a cause for the crash has yet to be determined. Rivera has been an route to Toluca for an appearance on La Voz Mexico.

Rivera was 43 and left behind five children who range in age from 12 to 26. In 2012, she had filed from divorce her third husband, baseball player Esteban Loaiza.

The upcoming memoirs were approved by Rivera’s family, which her sister saying in a statement from Atria:

I miss my sister every moment, but on days that I want to feel her close, I open her book written in her own words, and feel her right next to me.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Travelers Continue to Visit Machu Picchu in Spite of Kidnap Warnings by State Dept.

Travelers Continue to Visit Machu Picchu in Spite of Kidnap Warnings by State Dept.

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Peru’s Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister, Jose Luis Silva, has announced that travelers continue to visit the iconic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in spite of kidnapping warnings issued by the U.S. government.

Last Week the U.S. State Department issued a warning to U.S. citizens of potential kidnapping threats in Cusco and the Machu Picchu area of Peru.  The U.S. government also prohibited its U.S. Embassy personnel to travel to the area.  Officials believe the Shining Path guerilla group was behind the threat to kidnap foreigners. 

Minister Silva noted that the number of tourists that toured Machu Picchu were the same as the tourists numbers in 2012 for the same time period.  The Peruvian government is working with U.S. authorities to remove the emergency travel warning.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chilean Prisoners Perform Flashmob Dance (VIDEO)

Chilean Prisoners Perform Flashmob Dance (VIDEO)

Photo: Chilean Inmates Flashdance

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Dozens of inmates at a prison in Santiago, Chile take a break from their daily chores to perform a dance routine for the country’s prisons minister.

Thousands on prisoners jump and dance in unison to Queen’s hit “We Will Rock You” blasts over loudspeakers in the prison’s courtyard. Clad in neon tops and white trousers, the men danced for 20 minutes, performing various routines choreographed by the Chilean television star Julio Zuniga.

The prisoners had rehearsed for three hours a day for a month before the performance.

The event was part of a prison service initiative to reduce the levels of violence among inmates by encouraging them to try new activities in a bid to improve their self-esteem.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lots of Surprises at FashionWeek Madrid

Lots of Surprises at FashionWeek Madrid

Photo: Victorio Lucchino Fashions

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The creations of both young and veteran Spanish fashion designers on the second day of Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek Madrid are focusing on the female figure and classy urban garments.

With a specific and short, but intense, chromatic palette, Roberto Torretta presented a collection in which the jumpsuit, in different fabrics and colors, took center stage.

“It’s interesting, new and practical, as well as feminine and seductive,” he told Efe.

On Tuesday afternoon, Roberto Verino sent his “Luxury Connection” up onto the catwalk, a collection inspired by the radiance and joy of the 1920s and ‘70s, two periods marked by strong public optimism, which is what this Galicia native wants to transmit to Spanish society, which has been beset by economic crisis for several years.

Generally faithful to the fabrics with plain colors, veteran designer Angel Schlesser on this occasion displayed a clothing line that cedes ground to fabrics with textures, which he used to create oversize works with an oval cut and masculine hues in a collection that attempts “to make something special from a normal wardrobe.”

With more technological fabrics than on other occasions, young Rabaneda was the person tasked with kicking off the second day of the Madrid fashion show’s 57th edition with an impeccable collection in which the mixture of textures and the fusion of colors have the leading roles in a series of high class urban garments.

And without abandoning their identifying characteristics, designers Victorio and Lucchino brought to the Madrid runway a completely revamped collection in which the garments distinguish themselves, marked as they are by the avant-garde and elements of Spanish culture.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Messi Breaks More Records, Lands 300th Club Goal in Record Time (VIDEO)

Messi Breaks More Records, Lands 300th Club Goal in Record Time (VIDEO)

Photo: Messi Breaks More Records, Lands 300th Club Goal in Record Time

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Lionel Messi is once again showing us why he’s considered the best in the world.

At just 25, the Argentine striker just hit 300 club goals with Barça in their match against Granada. During the game, Messi landed goals 300 and 301 with Barcelona, which makes him one of the only to score than many goals with a single team. Messi is one of the youngest to reach 300 club goals (the youngest in La Liga history), and did so in just 365 matches with Barça. To compare, Christiano Ronaldo hit 300 club goals as well (with Real Madrid) but it took him 499 matches to do so.

Messi has scored in 14 consecutive games with Barça and continues to improve that record. He is also the first player in La Liga history to score a goal in 10 straight road games. He currently has 37 Liga goals this season, 20 of them at away games.

Over all, Messi has scored 332 goals in 442 games with club country, while Ronaldo has 344 in 604 club and country games. Ronaldo also reached his 300th club goal at the age of 28, while Messi just did it at 25.

He may be a record breaker, but Messi is all about the team, often saying the records don’t matter, because playing well is about getting team wins.

Barcelona is scheduled on take on Milan on Tuesday.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Alleged Female Killer of Mexican General Arrives from Spain After Extradition

Alleged Female Killer of Mexican General Arrives from Spain After Extradition

Photo: Luz del Carmen Extradited to Mexico

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A woman suspected of being involved in the 2011 murder of Gen. Jorge Juarez Loera arrived in Mexico after being extradited by Spain, media reports said Tuesday.

Luz del Carmen Solares de la Rosa’s extradition was approved by Spain on Feb. 1.

Solares de la Rosa arrived in Mexico City aboard an Aeromexico flight at 8:22 p.m. Monday accompanied by three Attorney General’s Office agents.

Television reports showed AG’s office vans leaving the agency’s hangar at the airport with Solares de la Rosa presumably inside.

The suspect was arrested by Spanish police in March 2012.

Solares de la Rosa allegedly hired the hitmen who killed the 65-year-old general, with whom she apparently had both a romantic and business relationship.

The woman has been linked to a company that supplies military uniforms, officials said.

Juarez Loera was gunned down on May 21, 2011, in Tlanepantla, a city in the central state of Mexico, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area.

The recently retired general was attacked by three subjects who intentionally caused a traffic accident to get him to leave his vehicle.

Juarez Loera retired from the army on May 1, 2011, after holding a number of commands and achieving the rank of major general.

Media outlets reported that Juarez Loera was in charge of “Joint Operation Chihuahua” in 2008, commanding the military zone with jurisdiction over the northern states of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila.

The operation was a key part of former President Felipe Calderon’s strategy of militarizing the war against Mexico’s drug cartels.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Deported Mexican Dad Regains Custody of Children After 2-Year Legal Battle

Deported Mexican Dad Regains Custody of Children After 2-Year Legal Battle

Photo: Felipe Bautista and Wife Regaining Children

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A North Carolina judge decided Tuesday to return custody of three children to Mexican citizen Felipe Bautista Montes after a two-year legal battle that included his deportation and subsequent return to this country, along with lengthy court proceedings.

“I feel exhausted,” Montes told Efe upon emerging from the Alleghany County courthouse in Sparta. “Now I’m going to throw myself into getting my family ahead in Mexico. It was a long process, but I did it.”

Judge Michael Duncan issued his ruling on the basis of reports from the Alleghany County Department of Social Services that Isaias, 5, 3-year-old Adrian and 2-year-old Angel are “adjusting to life” with their father.

The kids were provisionally reunited with Montes under the terms of a Nov. 27 ruling by Duncan.

Montes, 32, was deported in December 2010 after receiving a series of traffic tickets and immigration authorities found he was in the country illegally.

He was forced to leave Adrian and Isaias with his then-pregnant wife, Marie, a woman with a history of mental problems and drug abuse.

Two months after Montes was deported, the children were taken from Marie and placed with foster parents.

Back in Mexico, Montes moved in with some relatives on a farm and launched the legal battle to recover the children.

Thanks to the intervention of the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh, Montes received a humanitarian visa last August and it was extended on three occasions so that he could personally participate in the case to recover custody of the boys.

“Today’s decision can set a precedent for the immigration authorities to take into account that more immigrants may return to the country to fight for their children,” Ann Robertson, an immigration attorney hired by the consulate.

Montes has until March 23 to return with his children to Mexico and he could emigrate again - legally - to the United States if he receives a sponsor, Robertson said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Senator Jailed for Refusing Breathalyzer, Admits to Drinking Tequila

Mexican Senator Jailed for Refusing Breathalyzer, Admits to Drinking Tequila

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Mexican Sen. Jorge Emilio Gonzalez said Monday that he spent several hours in a police cell for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer after drinking four tequilas and knowing he wouldn’t pass the test.

Gonzalez even used an alias when stopped by police rather than take advantage of his congressional immunity, he told reporters on Monday.

The incident occurred in the wee hours Sunday, and ever since has been widely covered in the media while inspiring a flood of jokes on social networks.

The senator said Monday that he drank four tequilas before being stopped at the wheel of his Mercedez Benz at a drunk-driving checkpoint in a residential neighborhood of Mexico City.

“They told me that with two or more tequilas the breathalyzer zooms up,” Gonzalez said. Knowing that, he decided to comply with the administrative penalty in such cases, which orders 20 hours of confinement at a police facility.

The municipal Public Safety Office said that the senator’s escorts, who arrived at the checkpoint soon afterwards, threatened to have the cops fired if they didn’t let Gonzalez go free.

The lawmaker, however, refused to go along with those threats and praised the behavior of the police.

After spending six hours in the police lockup where drunk drivers are confined in the capital, the senator promised he would serve the remainder of his penalty next Saturday.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Another Priest Murdered in Latin America Making Fr. Jose Mendoza Death the 4th in 2013

Another Priest Murdered in Latin America Making Fr. Jose Mendoza Death the 4th in 2013

Photo: Murder of Fr. Jose Ramon - Venezuela

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Fr. José Ramón Mendoza, age 44, was shot dead in Lara, Venezuela the evening of Sunday, February 17, 2013.  Agencia Fides is reporting the priest was attacked by a criminal gang at a traffic light.  His body was found with a bullet wound to the head.  Authorities believe this was a failed car jacking but the investigation continues.

Fr José Mendoza was the parish priest at San Juan Evangelista parish, in the Brisas District of El Obelisco in Venezuela.

The Archbishop of Barquisimeto, Archbishop Antonio José López Castillo, who went to the morgue to identify the body, said, “Fr. Mendoza was a man of prayer. Violence is never a way forward. They have taken the life of a minister of God. They have taken the life of an innocent man”.

Since the beginning of this year 2013, a total number of 4 priests have been killed in Latin America.

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Lucha Libre: “Tales of Masked Men” on DVD: Not to Be Missed

Lucha Libre: “Tales of Masked Men” on DVD: Not to Be Missed

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If you missed Tales of Masked Men on PBS, where it led off the season for the excellent series Voces on PBS, you’re in luck: TOMM is now available on DVD.

The film, which goes deep behind the scenes of the fascinating world of lucha libre, has gotten superlative reviews not only from fans of the phenomenon, but from newbies as well.  In fact anyone who appreciates a well-made documentary is likely to get hooked on Tales. Let us regale you not just with words and these key links…This segment on the Lucha Libre audience is featured in “Tales of Masked Men,” a new PBS documentary about Lucha Libre. (talesofmaskedmen.com)

Order Here

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Celebrating Rio de Janeiro’s Street Food

Celebrating Rio de Janeiro’s Street Food

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Those seeking good food in Rio de Janeiro can explore the numerous street stands that offer some of Brazilian cuisine’s most traditional dishes.

From the traditional “feijoada” (rice and beans with pork) to “salgadinhos” (salty aperitifs) and cod fritters, the streets of Rio offer delicious and very economical meals that have the added plus of coming with the friendliness and good humor of the vendors.

The delicacies have been collected in the “Guia carioca da gastronomia de rua” (Rio Guide to Street Cuisine) and on a Web site, both the work of documentary filmmaker Sergio Bloch.

He told Efe that the idea for the project arose while he was directing the short film “Na boca do povo” devoted to the food prepared, sold and enjoyed in public locations.

Out of that three-minute documentary in early 2012 came the idea for the guide, which due to its immediate popularity has been reissued in a second edition with new dishes and a Web page.

To that has also been added an application for smart phones which will be launched soon and will help users locate the food stands that interest them most.

Bloch’s project so far has gathered together 36 cooks selected for the food they offer but also for their personalities.

“We place a lot of value on the person who makes the food. Each cook is an artisan. They make the food in their own way, with their taste, their seasonings and their personality,” Bloch said.

He described these particular cooks as “people with a story, with charisma and ... who have the pleasure of doing what they do.”

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STUDY: Hispanic and Black Women Remain Less Aware of Heart Disease Risks

STUDY: Hispanic and Black Women Remain Less Aware of Heart Disease Risks

Photo: Latinas and Heart Disease

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A new survey suggests that while public health campaigns have prompted a growing number of American women to recognize that heart disease is the biggest risk to their well-being, a racial gap in awareness remains as wide as ever.

A steep climb in overall awareness was also observed among both black women and Hispanic women during the 15-year period. But the respective rise from 15 percent and 20 percent awareness in 1997 to 36 percent and 34 percent awareness in 2012, means that a notable gap in awareness has remained doggedly persistent.

Study author Dr. Lori Mosca, director of preventive cardiology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and her colleagues reported their observations in the Feb. 19 online edition of Circulation.

Information strides made among black and Hispanic women have only lifted both groups to awareness levels already seen among white women back in 1997. The result: a racial spread in heart disease awareness that remains the same as it was 15 years ago.

“Sustained efforts are critical, because African-American women have the highest risk of heart disease and Hispanic women have the highest risk of diabetes, a powerful risk factor that is increasing in epidemic proportions,” Mosca said.

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2013: Porto Defeats Malago 1-0

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2013: Porto Defeats Malago 1-0

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A goal in the 56th minute by midfielder Joao Moutinho was enough to give Porto a 1-0 win over visiting Malaga in the first leg of their confrontation in the Champions League knockout stage.

It was the Spanish club’s first defeat in the 2012-2013 Champions League tourney.

Porto dominated in every phase of the game against a timid Malaga side.

Led by Portuguese international Moutinho and Brazil’s Fernando Reges, the home team kept the visitors bottled up in their own end for minutes at a time.

Even after Porto scored, Malaga continued to sputter on offense, failing to establish the control of the ball that has been their trademark.

Bayern Munich inflicted a 3-1 home loss on Arsenal in Tuesday’s other Champions League match.

Toni Kroos’ goal at the 7-minute mark stunned the Gunners, who went into the match confident that their individual virtuosity could trump Bayern’s system.

The visitors made it 2-0 with a strike by Thomas Müller in the 21st minute, but former Bayern Munich forward and German international Lukas Podolski cut the lead in half with his tally 10 minutes into the second half.

While the goal invigorated Arsenal, a strike by Mandzukic in the 77th minute crushed any hopes of a comeback.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Watch Boyce Avenue Perform at the 2013 Streamy Awards (VIDEO)

Watch Boyce Avenue Perform at the 2013 Streamy Awards (VIDEO)

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The Streamy Awards honor excellence in original online video programming and those who create it.

The 3rd Annual Streamy Awards presented by Coca-Cola were streamed live to audiences worldwide from the historic Hollywood Palladium on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the heart of Hollywood’s awards season.

On Sunday, the Manzano brothers of Boyce Avenue took the stage to perform one of their original songs. Alejandro, Daniel, and Fabian began uploading videos of original music and covers of popular songs on YouTube in 2007, and since, many of the videos have been viewed over 10,000,000 times.

Like those honored at the Streamy Awards, Boyce Avenue owe much of their success to the internet. Watch them perform at the Streamys below.

 

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Blog del Narco: Police Chief Missing in Nuevo Loredo- Brother Found Executed

Blog del Narco: Police Chief Missing in Nuevo Loredo- Brother Found Executed

Photo: Blog del Narco: Missing Police Chief

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The Government of Tamaulipas reported investigating the disappearance of Roberto Alejandro Garza Balmori, who is charged with overseeing the Police Chief of Nuevo Laredo.

The Police Chiefs brother was found executed yesterday in Cienega de Flores in Laredo Highway.

The attorney general of Tamaulipas said of the investigation is searching for the missing Police chief with all personnel.

Yesterday, on the highway to Laredo, in Cienega de Flores, the Police chief sibling was found executed inside a White Passat along with the body of a federal prosecutor.

Authorities identified the bodies as Balmori Manuel Garza, Federal prosecutor, and Jose Alberto.

Balmori Manuel also served as a federal prosecutor in Nuevo Laredo and was head of the Joint Service Narco Unit of Tamaulipas.

Read more in Spanish at Blog del Narco
Read more Narco News here

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One of Pope Benedict Final Actions: Naming New Archbishop in Mexico

One of Pope Benedict Final Actions: Naming New Archbishop in Mexico

Photo: Catholic Church - Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico

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Pope Benedict XVI has named Fabio Martinez Castilla to be the next archbishop of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico, the Vatican said Tuesday.

The 63-year-old Martinez Castilla had been serving as bishop of Ciudad Lazaro Cardenas.

Martinez Castilla was born on July 20, 1950, in Islas Mujeres, then part of the Archdiocese of Yucatan and now part of the Prelature of Cancun-Chetumal.

He studied at the seminary in Yucatan state and was ordained in 1977.

Martinez Castilla has held numerous posts in the church and served as a missionary in Uije, Angola, from 1986 to 1994.

He was named bishop of Ciudad Lazaro Cardenas on March 13, 2007, and is in charge of missionary work for the Mexican Bishops Conference.

Martinez Castilla is a member of the Mexican Bishops Conference’s permanent council.

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REPORT: PEMEX Made $39 Million Interest-Free Loan to “Corrupt” Workers Union

REPORT: PEMEX Made $39 Million Interest-Free Loan to “Corrupt” Workers Union

Photo: Pemex's Questionable Interest-Free Loans

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An interest-free loan of 500 million pesos (about $39.3 million) was made to the STPRM oil workers union to help meet demand for workers’ housing, state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said.

The Mexico City daily Reforma first reported the interest-free loan last Thursday.

The union presented a proposal for improving workers’ housing during collective bargaining negotiations, Pemex said.

Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the company “would lag by approximately 15 years in satisfying demand for housing, as well as generating additional rights for newly hired workers,” Pemex said in a statement.

“It made sense to grant a loan to the union with the goal of covering the housing needs of workers, especially those in areas where there is no supply or infrastructure, in the shortest time possible,” Pemex said.

Management and the union signed the collective bargaining agreement on July 27, 2011, granting the STPRM a five-year interest-free loan, with repayment scheduled from January 2016 to November 2020, Pemex said.

The STPRM is led by Carlos Romero Deschamps, who was elected president in 1996 and has managed to stay at the union’s helm despite being involved in a number of corruption scandals, such as the so-called “Pemexgate.”

The “Pemexgate” scandal involved the diversion of more than $100 million in union funds to the campaign of Francisco Labastida, who was the presidential candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in the 2000 election and lost to Vicente Fox, of the National Action Party, or PAN.

The PRI was fined 1 billion pesos (about $78 million) in 2003 for irregularities in financing the 2000 campaign.

Juan Jose Suarez Coppel, who served as Pemex’s CEO under former President Felipe Calderon, of the PAN, was replaced last December by Emilio Lozoya.

President Enrique Peña Nieto, a member of the PRI, appointed Lozoya to run the state-owned oil giant.

Peña Nieto has made Pemex’s modernization one of his administration’s priorities.

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ARGENTINA: Gov’t Claims Union Boss is Interfering with Food Distribution

ARGENTINA: Gov’t Claims Union Boss is Interfering with Food Distribution

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The Argentine government on Monday accused truckers union leader Hugo Moyano of wanting to complicate the nationwide distribution of food.

“With this act, Moyano is only (trying) to affect the normal distribution of food. No other explanation can be found,” Labor Minister Carlos Tomada told a press conference, reacting to the blockade that the teamsters established Monday at supermarkets and distribution centers owned and/or operated by the Maxiconsumo chain.

Moyano is demanding that all but 600 of Maxiconsumo’s 1,600 workers move from the retail employees union to the truckers union.

Tomada said that among the workers Moyano is demanding switch unions are sales personnel and cashiers, who work far from the shipping side of the business.

The minister said that it is “noteworthy” that the protest measure launched by Moyano “is the first act” after the union leader announced days ago that he will create a political party to compete in the October legislative elections.

Tomada said that the blockades are also seeking to “affect the accord” that the government reached days ago with the supermarket chains to freeze food prices until April 1.

In addition to leading the truckers, Moyano heads the opposition wing of the CGT, Argentina’s largest union, which over the past few months has called strikes and protest mobilizations against the government of Cristina Fernandez.

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EXTREME TRAFFICKING: $850,000 Worth of Pot Found Near Border in Military Duffel Bags

EXTREME TRAFFICKING: $850,000 Worth of Pot Found Near Border in Military Duffel Bags

Photo: Large Pot Seizure at Del Rio, Texas

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U.S. Border Patrol agents throughout Del Rio sector seized more than 1,050 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated value of $850,025.

Thursday, Feb. 7, agents assigned to the Eagle Pass South station encountered foot sign heading north from the Rio Grande River. While following the sign, agents encountered an abandoned military-style duffel bag. The duffel bag contained 70 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $56,008.

Friday, Feb. 8, agents assigned to the Eagle Pass South station, working near a local ranch, encountered three abandoned military-style duffel bags. The duffel bags contained 201 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $161,360.

Also on Friday, agents assigned to the Uvalde station initiated a vehicle stop on Highway 57 near La Pryor. While talking to the driver, the agent observed several large plastic bags in the back seat of the vehicle. A thorough investigation revealed 118 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $96,640. The driver was arrested.

Monday, Feb. 11, agents assigned to the Eagle Pass North station received information that a vehicle had been observed possibly loading illegal narcotics. Agents working in the area located the vehicle and conducted a vehicle stop. As the agents approached, they observed four large military-style duffel bags in the back seat, which contained 225 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $180,161. One subject, the driver, was arrested.

Tuesday, Feb. 12, Eagle Pass South agents encountered six abandoned military-style duffel bags on a local ranch. The duffel bags contained 272 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $218,280.

Thursday, Feb. 14, Eagle Pass South agents encountered a group of suspected illegal aliens walking north from the Rio Grande River. When agents approached the group, the subjects attempted to abscond to Mexico. After a thorough search of the area two subjects were found hiding in the brush along with three military-style duffel bags. The duffel bags contained 171 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $137,576. Both subjects were arrested.

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College Board Offering Free Online Forums for Latinos to Prepare for College

College Board Offering Free Online Forums for Latinos to Prepare for College

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The College Board, a nonprofit leader in education in collaboration with CollegeWeekLive , a leading provider of virtual events for admission to college, launched Destino University , a series of five free forums on the Internet, designed to help Hispanic students and their families pay, prepare and successfully complete college. The program will be presented in English and Spanish.

These online bilingual events will take place on Tuesday, February 26, Thursday March 14, Tuesday April 16, Thursday, May 2 and Wednesday June 12 and will provide access to guidance on the admissions process to college through presentations video and live chat.

They will discuss issues related to higher education, and particularly important for Hispanic families who may not have experience in the application process to college or who may not be knowledgeable about the financing options.

Click here to register for free to the presentations.

The College Board was founded in 1900 with the purpose of expanding access to higher education.  Its membership is made up of more than 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions.  The organization also administers the SAT college entrance exam and college level AP Program.

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Owner of L.A. Lakers, Jerry Buss, Dies at 80

Owner of L.A. Lakers, Jerry Buss, Dies at 80

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The legendary owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry Buss, died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times said. He was 80.

Buss, who was suffering from cancer, passed responsibility for the NBA team’s operations to his son Jim in 2011, while his daughter Jeanie took charge of all the Lakers’ business activities.

He became the Lakers’ owner in 1979, when he bought the team along with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the Forum, where both teams played, from real estate businessman Jack Kent Cooke for the then-record sum of $67.5 million.

Under Buss’s ownership, the Lakers won 10 NBA titles and the value of the franchise - according to Forbes magazine - is now $643 million, second in the league only to the New York Knicks.

Buss was at the helm of the Lakers during the 1980s “Showtime” era of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy.

The team once again began winning NBA championship rings early in the last decade, led by stars such as Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Spaniard Pau Gasol.

“One of the first things I tried to do when I bought the team was to make it an identification for this city, like Motown in Detroit,” Buss said in a 2008 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I want us to be part of the community.”

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U.S. Cinemark Mexican Movie Theaters to be Sold to Grupo Mexico

U.S. Cinemark Mexican Movie Theaters to be Sold to Grupo Mexico

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U.S.-based Cinemark Holdings, which operates 5,207 screens at 461 movie theaters in the United States and across Latin America, said it planned to sell its Mexican unit to Cinemex.

Cinemark’s Mexican subsidiary operates 290 screens at 31 movie theaters.

“Cinemark will sell all of the issued and outstanding shares of capital stock of Cinemark de Mexico S.A. de C.V. and its subsidiaries to Grupo Cinemex, S.A. de C.V. and Cadena Mexicana de Exhibicion, S.A. de C.V. (“Cinemex”),” the Plano, Texas-based company said in a statement.

The giant movie theater chain, however, did not reveal the value of the deal.

The acquisition will strengthen Cinemex, which has been battling Cinepolis, the operator of about 3,000 screens in Mexico, the United States and Latin America, in the Mexican market.

“This transaction allows us the opportunity to provide greater focus on the growth of our remaining Latin American operations located throughout Central and South America,” Cinemark CEO Tim Warner said.

Cinemex, a unit of Grupo Mexico, said it was “eager to complete the transaction and begin integrating Cinemark’s high quality theatres and employees into the Cinemex circuit.”

The deal is subject to approval by the Federal Competition Commission, or CFC.

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More Coaching Changes in Mexico’s Soccer League

More Coaching Changes in Mexico’s Soccer League

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San Luis and Morelia became the third and fourth clubs to make coaching changes just seven weeks into the Mexican first division season.

San Luis named Uruguay’s Carlos Maria Morales to replace Eduardo Fentanes, who leaves the squad in the Liga MX basement with 2 ties and 5 losses.

Carlos Bustos, an Argentine who had been coaching Mexican second division club Neza, was tapped by Morelia to step in for compatriot Ruben Omar Romano, fired Monday.

Morales played for Toluca in Liga MX and spent time in Argentina as coach of River Plate’s development squads.

Bustos has history with Morelia, where he played in the late 1990s and later served as assistant to coach Tomas Boy, who is now with Atlas.

Atlante dumped coach Ricardo La Volpe early in the season and Queretaro dismissed Sergio Bueno.

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Alleged Child Smuggler Arrested at Hidalgo Bridge at Mexico Border

Alleged Child Smuggler Arrested at Hidalgo Bridge at Mexico Border

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge arrested a woman from Pasadena for allegedly attempting to smuggle a Mexican-born infant into the United States.

The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when a female United States citizen, age 30, from Pasadena arrived at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge pedestrian lanes. The woman claimed to be a United States citizen and presented a State of Texas identification card for herself and a U.S. birth certificate for a four-month old male infant, who she claimed was her son. A CBP officer referred them for further inspection and document review. Officers discovered that the infant was not related to the woman but was in fact a citizen and national of Mexico without any valid documents to legally enter or reside in the United States.

CBP-OFO officers arrested the woman and she will be incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. federal magistrate on criminal charges for allegedly violating U.S. immigration law. The infant was released to the biological mother who arrived at the international bridge and both returned back to Mexico.

“Our officers have thwarted yet another failed child/infant smuggling attempt and the innocent infant has been reunited with his mother, thus staying out of possible harm’s way,” said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “We will arrest all smugglers who are involved in these illicit activities and by working in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, prosecution will be sought to the fullest extent of the law.”

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Mexican Government Seeks to Create State Police Forces

Mexican Government Seeks to Create State Police Forces

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Officials will begin working on the legal framework for creating a unified police command in each of Mexico’s states, an initiative that has the support of state governors, President Enrique Peña Nieto said.

Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong is going to review the legal requirements for forming unified police agencies with the state governments, Peña Nieto told a gathering of governors and Cabinet members in the northern city of Chihuahua.

The creation of unified law enforcement agencies “will allow the strengthening” of police departments, “committing them with greater efficiency to the challenge of giving security to the people and peace to the country,” Peña Nieto said.

Mexico has more than 2,000 police departments, the majority of them run by municipalities, with many law enforcement agencies infiltrated by drug cartels and other organized crime groups.

Former President Felipe Calderon, who was in office from 2006 to 2012, submitted legislation to Congress in 2010 that would have created 32 state police forces.

These state police agencies would have absorbed Mexico’s municipal departments and had a unified command.

The legislation was approved by the lower house of Congress, but the Senate did not take action on it.

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Toluca’s Luis Carlos Tejada Fined for Obscene Gestures at Clausura 2013

Toluca’s Luis Carlos Tejada Fined for Obscene Gestures at Clausura 2013

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Toluca’s Luis Carlos Tejada was fined $10,206 for making obscene gestures while celebrating a goal scored by his team during the seventh week of play in the Clausura 2013 tournament, the Mexican Soccer League’s disciplinary committee said.

“While celebrating a goal scored by Carlos Gerardo Rodriguez, Tejada moved toward the stands and, in a gesture of celebration, grabbed his genitals with repetitive motions, screaming different things,” the committee said in its report on the incident.

The Pumas’ Efrain Velarde, who scored the game-winning goal, was also fined because “he celebrated the goal he scored, heading toward the stands and grabbing his genitals with repetitive motions,” the disciplinary committee said.

The players’ actions “do not reflect the deserved satisfaction of scoring a goal and violate the standards of respect that must be maintained, especially for Mexican children and families,” the disciplinary committee said.

Tejada and Velarde were fined 2,000 days of the minimum salary in Mexico, or a total of 129,520 pesos ($10,206) each.

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Foreign Tourist Come in Record Numbers to FL as It Prepares for 500th Anniv. of Spanish Discovery

Foreign Tourist Come in Record Numbers to FL as It Prepares for 500th Anniv. of Spanish Discovery

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Florida welcomed 89.3 million tourists in 2012, 2.3 percent more than the previous year and the second consecutive yearly record by the state known worldwide for its fabulous weather, beaches and amusements parks.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott made the announcement on Monday, saying that the figures are preliminary but adding that they are indicative of the state’s economic recovery, given that the tourism figures for 2011 and 2012 exceeded those registered for 2007, before Florida’s economy suffered the harsh double blow dealt by the financial crisis and the bursting of the real estate bubble.

The state also set a record in 2012 for 1.03 million new jobs directly created by the tourism and travel sector.

Scott went on to say that the state welcomed a record 10.2 million foreign tourists last year, including 3.6 million Canadians, a 9 percent and 7.3 percent increase over the previous year, respectively.

This is the first time that Florida has been visited by more than 10 million foreigners, a landmark that authorities and the tourist sector hope will be maintained in 2013, when the state celebrates the 500th anniversary of its discovery by Spanish explorers.

To celebrate Florida’s fifth centennial, local authorities have devoted extensive efforts to organizing all sorts of festivals and the Spanish Royal Palace has not ruled out having a member of the royal family on hand for some of those events.

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Bird Flu Outbreak in Guanajuanto, Mexico - More than 1 Million Chickens Exposed

Bird Flu Outbreak in Guanajuanto, Mexico - More than 1 Million Chickens Exposed

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The outbreak of bird flu detected in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato is confined to 12 farms on which there are more than 1 million chickens, the Senasica national agricultural health service reported on Monday.

The agency said in a communique that 10 of the poultry farms are chicken-fattening operations and two produce eggs for human consumption.

Senasica, which is an agency under the control of the Agriculture Secretariat, said that all the affected farms are owned by the Bachoco company.

Last Friday, authorities decreed a health emergency due to an outbreak of avian flu on seven Bachoco farms in Guanajuato, where some 582,000 domestic fowl exposed to the virus could be slaughtered to eradicate it, officials said.

Health authorities confirmed the presence of “high-pathology” AH7N bird flu, “as was the case in the (Mexican) states of Jalisco and Aguascalientes” in 2012.

Last June, an outbreak of the virus led authorities and producers to sacrifice more than 22 million infected birds, causing a huge scarcity of eggs and chicken in stores and a concomitant escalation in prices.

When the new outbreak, was detected, Senasica established a quarantine “as established by international health protocols” around the affected farms and conducted preventive vaccinations at neighboring poultry operations to prevent the disease from spreading.

The agency also said that activities to “wash, clean and disinfect the facilities and equipment of each of the affected farms” were being carried out.

Senasica also noted that this virus is “exclusive to birds ... (and poses) no risk” to humans.

On the weekend, the Guanajuato governor said that more than 400,000 chickens will be slaughtered to attempt to contain the virus.

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TuesdayFebruary 19, 2013