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ThursdayFebruary 21, 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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Dominican Singer Martha Heredia Arrested for Drug Possession

Dominican Singer Martha Heredia Arrested for Drug Possession

Photo: Dominican Singer Martha Heredia Arrested for Drug Possession

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Popular singer Martha Heredia was detained in possession of heroin as she prepared to board a flight at Cibao International Airport in the northern city of Santiago, Dominican authorities said.

Heredia had nearly 2 kilos of the drug hidden in the heels of her shoes and her baggage, Dominican media said, citing anonymous sources.

The singer, who skyrocketed to fame after winning the 2009 season of the Argentine television talent contest Latin American Idol, recently accused her husband, hip-hop artist Vakero, of physical and psychological abuse.

Vakero is being held without bail as authorities investigate the allegations.

Heredia, known for a fine voice and bubbling personality, saw her career stall just a few months after her triumph on Latin American Idol.

In 2010, the singer was involved in a fatal traffic accident while driving from Santiago to Santo Domingo. The family of the teenager who died in the incident subsequently sued Heredia.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Educational Congress Discusses Role of NGOs in Educational Policy

Mexican Educational Congress Discusses Role of NGOs in Educational Policy

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The 6th International Educational Innovation Congress drew thousands of participants to Mexico City, where they examined new trends in the field, science education and the role of non-governmental organizations in setting educational policy, an organizer said.

“Our idea is that as a civil society we should participate in education, not be satisfied with the initiatives of authorities and unions,” Ibero-American Association for Education Partnerships president Isaac Moscatel told Efe.

The association and Mexico’s ORT Organization have been organizing the congress since 2008.

The two-day congress, which ended on Wednesday, drew more than 5,000 teachers, administrators, education professors, psychologists, officials and members of the public.

Non-governmental organizations have been trying to gain more say in how education policy is set in Mexico, whose school systems are plagued with numerous problems.

The 2009 Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, ranked Mexico last among the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, member countries and 48th out of the 65 countries evaluated.

President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed on Dec. 10 that the constitution be amended to promote educational quality and give the government control over teaching.

Congress approved the reforms on Dec. 21 and the majority of state legislatures gave their approval on Jan. 16, opening the way for implementation.

The reforms call for creating a teaching profession free of union interference, with a system for evaluating educators overseen by an independent body.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Blog del Narco: 18 Year old found Dead in Pantheon in Sinaloa

Blog del Narco: 18 Year old found Dead in Pantheon in Sinaloa

Photo: Blog del Narco- Body found in Sinaloa

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A young man was found wrapped in huge black plastic tarp and with a threatening message in the pantheon March 21.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez Barraza, 18 years old, was known to reside in the colony Las Coloradas. The body was discovered around 4:20pm on Tuesday.

The victim was wrapped in huge black rubber tarp secured with red rope. The body was lying between in the southern area of the cemetery graves.

Placed on the body was a Narco message that read,” Because I wished to rob again.”

Homicide investigators have located some evidence at the scene that may help in the investigation of the alleged perpetrators of the crime.

Read more in Spanish at Blog del Narco

Read more Narco News hereImageImage

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LATINO BLOTTER: Rosildo Santos Jr. Goes Through 2 Drive-Thrus Naked

LATINO BLOTTER: Rosildo Santos Jr. Goes Through 2 Drive-Thrus Naked

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A Massachusetts man was arrested over the weekend and charged with lewdness for reportedly going through not one, but two, restaurant drive-ups naked.

Officers with the Westborough Police Department were called by Dunkin’ Donuts employees who reported what they believed to be a naked man behind the wheel of a car. He did however, have a jacket barely covering his lap.

After also going to nearby McDonald’s, 34-year-old Rosildo C. Santos Jr. was followed after an officer, who had gone to the restaurant for a cup of coffee, recognized his gray Toyota from the description given by the Dunkin’ Donuts employees. Santos was pulled over after going through the second drive-thru. The officer said Santos was completely naked when he approached the vehicle.

Police say Santos passed sobriety tests and is thought to have driven around naked simply for some kind of “self-gratification.”

He was charged with open and gross lewdness (gross indeed!) and ordered to stay away from the Dunkin’ Donuts. He is due back in court on April 3.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil and Russia Sign Deals to Increase Bilateral Trade

Brazil and Russia Sign Deals to Increase Bilateral Trade

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Brazil and Russia signed a series of agreements Wednesday aimed at increasing annual trade flows between two of the world’s largest emerging economies from $5.9 billion to at least $10 billion in the coming years.

The accords were signed during the visit of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who met here with President Dilma Rousseff and other top officials.

Some of the agreements facilitate Brazilian imports of Russian wheat and exports of Brazilian soybean meal and pork to Russia, while another covers the potential acquisition of five Russian anti-aircraft missile batteries by Brazil’s armed forces.

“We believe annual trade of $10 billion corresponds to our countries’ potential and is a goal that can be reached in the coming years,” Medvedev told the media.

He said Brazil and Russia have been closely aligned on different matters discussed in meetings of the BRICS nations - whose other members are India, China and South Africa - as well as at U.N. and G-20 gatherings.

“We’ve been in agreement on most positions with respect to the global economy, which is very important considering the current crisis,” the prime minister said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Inaugurates 34th International Book Fair Offering 1,200 Events

Mexico Inaugurates 34th International Book Fair Offering 1,200 Events

Photo: 34th International Book Fair of Palacio de Mineria

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The 34th International Book Fair of Palacio de Mineria in Mexico City is offering book lovers more than 1,200 events this year, including appearances by over 100 authors, organizers said.

The Mexican capital’s Palacio de Mineria will be the scene of 674 book presentations, 120 readings and 502 other events organized by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, and the Autonomous Metropolitan University, or UAM.

Education is essential for breaking the circle of poverty and ignorance, UNAM president Jose Narro Robles said.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera, for his part, discussed the important role that books play in people’s lives.

“Reading undoubtedly makes our lives more noble and richer because I consider books to be loyal companions in all circumstances of our existence,” Mancera said.

Mexico’s southeastern Quintana Roo state is the guest at the book fair this year.

This year’s International Book Fair of Palacio de Mineria offers events that focus on poetry, comic books, health, women’s rights, the global economic meltdown, biodiversity and astronomy.

The book fair will also honor legendary Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012) with a complete reading of “Aura,” the work for which he is best known.

The International Book Fair of Palacio de Mineria opened on Wednesday and runs until March 4.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu in On Sen. Rubio’s Thrist Issues

Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu in On Sen. Rubio’s Thrist Issues

Photo: Sen. Rubio and PM Netanyahu Water Toast

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While Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio was building his international credentials in the Middle East he apparently couldn’t escape from his ‘thirst’ issue.

Rubio was chosen to give the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, but while he was speaking, he seemed to suffer a bout of dry mouth so reached for the smallest bottle of Poland Spring water.  The incident has been spoofed on SNL and Colbert, amongst others. 

We aren’t sure all the attention is due to:  a) That he was so parched?  b) That he kept looking into the cameras as he made the cringe-worthy creep across the cameras?  Or c) Was it that as ‘Savior’ of the Republican Party he shouldn’t need water like other mere mortals.

Either way while meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the issue came up again as the two men toasted with bottles of water.  The pic has been making its way around the twiiter-verse.  Rubio has been using the water incident to his benefit, fund raising $100,000 from the incident.

This is the Cuban-America Senators second trip to Israel and comes days ahead of President Barack Obama’s first visit in early March. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Connecticut Tweens Run Away to Elope

Connecticut Tweens Run Away to Elope

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A young recently ran away from their families’ homes in New and East Haven, Connecticut over the weekend.

Jose Armando Rojas, 13, and Erica Lucera, 12, intended to elope when they ran away Saturday night. The children reportedly packed clothes and snuck out some time in the night. When their parents found the children missing and clothes missing, they called police.

However, police say they were never actively involved in a search for the children, with a police spokesman saying, ‘This was not a police investigation or a case for us. Family didn’t find them, they returned home. They were kids that packed a bag and left home.”

At around 3:30 p.m. Monday, Rojas and Lucera returned home, and police say they believed the two tried to elope.

Police have said the investigation is now closed and does not believe the children were ever in danger.

We’re guessing the intended marriage did not happen.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Neymar is “Average” Player says Soccer Star Pele

Neymar is an “average” player on Brazil’s national team, according to soccer legend Pele, who advised the highly touted striker to play for Spanish powerhouse FC Barcelona if he leaves Santos FC to compete overseas.

“That wasn’t what we were expecting from Neymar, especially those of us at Santos who have blind faith in him, but he’s an average player on the squad. He’s an excellent player but without international experience,” Pele, who scored more than 500 goals for Santos between 1956-1974, told the online edition of the O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper.

Pele said his son - former goalkeeper Edinho, who is part of Santos’ coaching staff - tells him that the 21-year-old striker gets “really upset” during practice when fouls are committed against him and no whistle is blown.

The former soccer great said he hopes Neymar stays with the Brazilian club “but if he has to leave, then he should go to Barcelona.”

Neymar’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro, responded to Pele’s criticism, saying it stems from “jealousy” and that in today’s game the Brazilian legend would be “inferior” to his client.

“If Pele were playing today, he would be inferior to Neymar because in his era the defenders were all slow and their physical condition wasn’t the same. That’s why he was Pele, whereas today the defenders ‘fly’ and even still Neymar is one of the world’s best,” Ribeiro told Globoesporte.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Pleads Not Guilty to Assaulting Brother for Farting

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Pleads Not Guilty to Assaulting Brother for Farting

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A Minnesota Latino has pled not guilty to assaulting his own brother after he allegedly attacked him his gaseous release.

Hector Alanzo Estrada, 33, of Mower County allegedly kicked his brother in the head after he farted in the room.

Due to prior offenses, the alleged attack carried a felony charge of domestic assault against Estrada.

After the kicking, Estrada left the building through a back doorway, but when police arrived at the scene they were able to follow his footprints to a nearby McDonald’s restaurant to arrest him.

Estrada is now facing up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He maintains that he did not kick his brother and says his brother fell and hit his head.

Estrada’s criminal history includes a 2012 assault conviction.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sony Reveals PlayStation 4 in New York

Sony Reveals PlayStation 4 in New York

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Sony hosted a big media event in New York to introduce the PlayStation 4, but the Japanese electronics titan’s next-gen gaming system never actually made an appearance during the two-hour presentation.

There was also little in way of technical details and no discussion of the price of the new console, which is supposed to be available in time for the Christmas shopping season.

PlayStation 4 will connect with smart phones and tablets and provide the option of remote play via the PlayStation Vita device.

The console, which follows the now-7-year-old PlayStation 3, is to have streaming capability for connections to services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

“What we’re creating is the fastest, most powerful network for gaming in the world,” said David Perry, co-founder of the Internet game company Gaikai, bought by Sony last year.

With 8GB of GDDR5 system memory, the PlayStation 4 has the architecture of a “supercharged” PC, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Andrew House, said during the event at Hammerstein Ballroom.

Much of the presentation consisted of samples of new games in development for the PlayStation 4, which will also offer users the ability to create animation in 3-D.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lil Wayne Apologizes for LeBron Dig, But Not Comment About Miami Player’s Wife

Lil Wayne Apologizes for LeBron Dig, But Not Comment About Miami Player’s Wife

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The spectacle that is rapper Lil Wayne continues and the short-statured performer is dragging as many Miami Heat players into the fight as he can.

After being escorted out of a Heat-Lakers game in Miami last week, Lil Wayne sounded off on Twitter, and after running his mouth and causing scenes at other NBA events, the rapper claimed he was banned from all NBA All-Star events after he said the following at a game:

“F*** NBA! F*** Lebron! F*** SheWade! F*** Chris Bosh! And I f***ed Chris Bosh wife!”

He has since said he was sorry for saying LeBron’s name, because he has no beef with the basketball star and is in fact close with the player’s mother. Lil Wayne says he is not sorry, however, for comments he made about Chris Bosh’s wife, Adrienne.

Adrienne Williams, a Venezuelan-American model once known as Short Stack, reportedly dated Lil Wayne before marrying Bosh and was a well-known “urban model” in the Atlanta area.

Rumor has it that Adrienne conned the rapper out of a lot of money and claimed she had cancer and needed financial help. While there is nothing to confirm the long-standing rumor, others in the rap community have continued the story. Rapper Gillie Da Kid once rapped about Adrienne allegedly conning Lil Wayne in “Fronting Like Ya Daddy.” Also, earlier this week Harlem rapper Cam’ron put the pint size model on blast saying she used to hook up with his friend before she was Lil Wayne.

Impressively, it seems both Bosh and his wife have remained positive, as she has stuck to positive messages and Bosh has not commented on Lil Wayne’s rants.

Chris and Adrienne were married in 2011. On May 3, 2012, Adrienne gave birth to their son, Jackson.

Lil Wayne’s issue with the Miami Heat began last week when he was in Miami and reportedly gestured to a Lakers fan he was arguing with that he had a gun.

A man named Danny Vega, who was at the game when the feud started, says the rapper was not thrown out for his allegiance to Lakers, as the rapper claimed, but rather because of the threatening encounter with a Miami fan.

On the night of the game, Vega tweeted:

Random guy yelled at Lil Wayne at #MiamiHEAT game,” tweeted Vega. “Weezy looked back, gave him a mean stare & gestured he had a gun. LOL what a douche.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rocker Bono Vacationing in Costa Rica Amidst Rumors His Wife Was Injured in Accident

Rocker Bono Vacationing in Costa Rica Amidst Rumors His Wife Was Injured in Accident

Photo: Bono and Wife Alison in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica media is reporting Bono, humanitarian and lead singer of U-2, had been vacationing there for over a week when his wife, Alison suffered an accident.

The immigration office in Costa Rica has confirmed that a Paul David Hewson (the singers legal name) and Alison Hewson arrived in the country on February 11, 2013 and have not left - that is where facts end and rumor starts.

Local media is reporting that Alison was injured while riding an ATV on a local beach.  Some reports claim it was a broken leg while others say it was more serious.  Other reports say she was taken to San Jose hospital via helicopter after sustaining the injuries near Cobano de Pentarenas.

Cobano de Pentarenas, on the south Pacific coast, is home to some of the country’s most beautiful, pristine beaches.  There are no hospitals and only one pharmacy in the town of Cobano. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino “Babies Can Join a Gang, Latino Babies Grow Up.” - CAPS (VIDEO)

Latino “Babies Can Join a Gang, Latino Babies Grow Up.” - CAPS  (VIDEO)

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Don’t let anti-immigrant rhetoric drive the immigration debate. Nativist, racist and fear-mongering hate groups are working hard to drive their narrative on immigration. For years now, anti-immigrant groups have successfully infused their message into the national immigration debate. Influencing local politicians and national figures - with the same talking points: “More punishment”, “Militarize the border”, “Massive deportations”, “More Enforcement.” This has resulted in dangerous policies that have led to flagrant violation of human rights.

It is time we put basic immigrant, human rights back in the forefront of our national values and priorities! Let Congress and the President know that to reform immigration they must prioritize “Immigrant rights before enforcement.”
Add your name and message - make sure your voice is heard!

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Gucci Presents Sophisticated Fall Collection in Milan

Gucci Presents Sophisticated Fall Collection in Milan

Photo: Gucci FW 13 (@Gucci)

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Italian fashion house Gucci unveiled a collection at Milan Fashion Week that evokes romance and feminine sensuality using silk, patterns and dark tones.

The legendary fashion house’s long dresses, combined with bare backs, will be out for the next fall-winter season.

The collection is aimed at women with refined tastes who want to make a statement wearing military-style boots with high heels that accent their femininity.

Gucci has gone back to its roots and presented garments for the independent and determined woman who seduces with her feminine charms, using dresses that emphasize her figure.

Gucci’s new collection is a bet on women who love the night, employing dark tones, especially black, olive green and brown, but without giving up some colors, such as ice blues and burgundy, and wild patterns.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Facebook, Google, Other Moguls Give 11 Scientists $3 Mil Each for Life Science Work

Facebook, Google, Other Moguls Give 11 Scientists $3 Mil Each for Life Science Work

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Eleven scientists will each pocket $3 million - almost triple the stipend accompanying the Nobel Prize - as the inaugural recipients of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, announced Wednesday by the Milner Foundation.

The winners are Cornelia I. Bargmann, David Botstein, Lewis C. Cantley, Hans Clevers, Napoleone Ferrara, Titia de Lange, Eric S. Lander, Charles L. Sawyers, Bert Vogelstein, Robert A. Weinberg and Shinya Yamanaka.

All the prizewinners agreed to be part of the foundation’s selection committee to determine the winners in the coming years.

Starting in 2014, the work of 5 scientists will be recognized.

The moving force behind these prizes is Russian Yuri Milner, who created the Mail.ru Group in 1999 and is an investor in Internet companies.

The initiative also has the economic backing of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, as well as Google’s Sergey Brin and his spouse, 23andMe creator Anne Wojcicki.

Art Levinson, who chairs the boards of Apple and Genentech, is chairman of the board of the prize foundation.

“Priscilla and I are honored to be part of this,” Zuckerberg said. “We believe the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences has the potential to provide a platform for other models of philanthropy, so people everywhere have an opportunity at a better future.”

The aim of the foundation is to reward the talent of those who achieve revolutionary advances in the life sciences and to encourage this course of study at universities.

Read more by HS News Staff →

PEW STUDY: 60% of Catholics Think New Pope Should Hail from Developing Region Like South America

PEW STUDY: 60% of Catholics Think New Pope Should Hail from Developing Region Like South America

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As the pontificate of Benedict XVI winds down, many American Catholics express a desire for change, according to a new survey report by the Pew Research Center. For example, most Catholics say it would be good if the next pope allows priests to marry. And fully six-in-ten Catholics say it would be good if the next pope hails from a developing region like South America, Asia or Africa.

At the same time, many Catholics also express appreciation for the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. While about half of U.S. Catholics (46%) say the next pope should “move the church in new directions,” the other half (51%) say the new pope should “maintain the traditional positions of the church.” And among Catholics who say they attend Mass at least once a week, nearly two-thirds (63%) want the next pope to maintain the church’s traditional positions.

These are among the key findings of a new report by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life based on two national surveys conducted Feb. 13-18 among 1,504 adults (including 304 Catholics) and Feb. 14-17 among 1,003 adults (including 212 Catholics). The report also finds that nine-in-ten U.S. Catholics have heard a lot (60%) or at least a little (30%) about Benedict’s resignation. Just one-in-ten Catholics say they have heard nothing at all about his resignation.

Additional findings include:

Favorability ratings of the pope. Three-quarters of U.S. Catholics (74%) express a favorable view of the pope. Benedict’s ratings among Catholics now stand about where they were in March 2008 (just before his U.S. visit) and are lower than they were in April 2008, when 83% of U.S. Catholics expressed favorable views of him. Benedict’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, was rated favorably by upwards of 90% of U.S. Catholics in three separate Pew Research polls in the 1980s and 1990s.

Benedict’s handling of the sex abuse scandal. U.S. Catholics voice dissatisfaction with Benedict’s handling of the sex abuse scandal in the church. Among Catholics who say they followed news of the pontiff’s resignation, nearly two-thirds (63%) think he has done a poor or “only fair” job of addressing the sex abuse scandal, while 33% give him excellent or good ratings for his handling of the issue. U.S. Catholics are more negative in their views on this question now than in 2008; immediately following the pope’s 2008 visit to the U.S., 49% gave Benedict good or excellent ratings for his handling of this issue.

Benedict’s handling of interfaith relations. Benedict gets better marks for his handling of interfaith relations; 55% of U.S. Catholics say he has done a good or excellent job promoting relations with other religions, while 37% say he has done a poor or “only fair” job in this area. Catholics are also more negative in their views on this question now than in 2008, when 70% said he was doing a good or excellent job promoting interfaith relations.

Maintain traditional positions or move in new directions? Among U.S. Catholics who say they attend Mass at least once a week, nearly two-thirds (63%) say the new pope should maintain the traditional positions of the church, while about one-third (35%) say the new pope should move the church in new directions. By contrast, among those who attend Mass less often, 54% say the next pope should move in new directions while 42% prefer to maintain the church’s traditional positions.

New directions Catholics would like to see the church go. In response to an open-ended question, about one-in-five U.S. Catholics who think the next pope should move the church in new directions say simply that the church should become more modern (19%). And 15% want the next pope to do more to end sex abuse in the church and punish the priests involved. In addition, upwards of one-in-five mention issues regarding the priesthood, including 14% who say priests should be allowed to marry and 9% who say women should be allowed to serve in the priesthood. Others mention a desire to see the church become more accepting and open in general (14%), and an additional 9% say they want to see the church become more accepting of homosexuality and gay marriage in particular. Of Catholics who want a pope who will move the church in new directions, 7% specifically mention birth control, mainly indicating a desire for a lessening of the church’s opposition to the use of contraception.

Read the report here at Pew Forum

Read more by HS News Staff →

Poll Shows Scandal Plagued Sen. Robert Menendez Not As Popular in Home State

Poll Shows Scandal Plagued Sen. Robert Menendez Not As Popular in Home State

Photo: Sen. Bob Menendez Popularity Dives in NJ

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A recent political poll from Quinnipac reflects the affect rumors of romping with under-aged prostitutes and questionable friendships can have on your approval rating as an election official.  The February 21, 2013 poll shows Senator Robert Mendendez’ approval rating in his home state of New Jersey dropped a whopping 15-points in less than a month.

The Cuban-American Senator’s rating is now at 39-42 percent versus 51 percent from January 23, 2013.  Ouch.  An overwhelming majority of New Jerseyians have heard some or all of the controversy swirling around the Senator.  They clearly are focused and not distracted by their Governor’s (Christie) donut eating excursion on TV.

ImageControversies that include taking unreported private planes to engage prostitutes privately or at sex parties, some allegedly under-aged, at his good friend Dr. Salomon Meglen’s Dominican Republic estate.  Dr. Melgen also appears not to be a friend to have your name associated with in light of his medicare fraud issues and business dealings in the Dominican Republic.  There are also reports that the Senator might of gone to bat for his friend in the halls of power where he works – maybe because Melgen is a good pal with lots of cash or because he’s the Senator’s pimp.  You decide.

The Democratic Senator who has been on the forefront of comprehensive immigration reform has not been charged with any wrongdoing and many of the rumors remain just that.

However, as the Quinnipac pollsters put it “More than two thirds of [NJ] voters have heard of his troubles and the more they know, the less they approve.”

Menendez has been a U.S. Senator since 2006 and for sometime was the sole Latino Senator; now he is one of three Hispanic Senators elected.  He was re-elected to another six-year term in 2012 with an overwhelming majority vote.

Not sure the Senator could pull that easy of a re-election if held today in New Jersey. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

PSG Coach Carlo Ancelotti Gives Verbal Agreement with Real Madrid

PSG Coach Carlo Ancelotti Gives Verbal Agreement with Real Madrid

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Spanish soccer club Real Madrid has a “verbal agreement” with Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti that could bring him to the Bernabeu next season, French newspaper Le Parisien said Wednesday.

“It’s a verbal deal that has been agreed with Real Madrid,” the daily reported, citing a source close to Ancelotti. “Both parties want to work together next season” if the Italian leaves Paris Saint-Germain and Jose Mourinho is no longer at the helm of the Spanish powerhouse.

The daily said that Ancelotti, who feels increasingly alienated from PSG’s management, also has been in contact with Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool, although the calls from Real Madrid have been “insistent.”

“Mutual distrust” between the Italian and PSG’s Qatari owners began to surface in December, when the club gave Ancelotti an ultimatum after three consecutive defeats.

According to Le Parisien, Ancelotti might have been fired if PSG - which boasts stars including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Javier Pastore and Thiago Silva - had lost a UEFA Champions League group match against Portugal’s Porto.

Ancelotti, who is under contract with PSG until 2014, guided his squad to a 2-1 victory in that contest but tensions between the manager and ownership have persisted ever since.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Thousands of CA Teachers Missing Needed Credentials – Latinos Majority in Most of those Schools

Thousands of CA Teachers Missing Needed Credentials – Latinos Majority in Most of those Schools

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The last time Charlie Parker took a social studies class, he was a teenager with an Afro and Jimmy Carter was president of the United States. Yet here he was, standing at the front of a classroom, trying to teach dozens of high schoolers subjects that never appealed to him when he learned them more than 30 years ago.

On his first day teaching U.S. history, world history and economics at McAlister High School in Los Angeles nearly four years ago, Parker struggled to keep his course materials straight and handed a student the wrong textbook. Some days, his students’ questions went unanswered or were directed to the Internet. Later, Parker said, when his students took state tests, their scores were low.

After school, Parker said, “I was doing homework, just like the kids.”

These were not the troubles of a rookie teacher. In fact, Parker had taught for more than 20 years, including 11 at McAlister.
The problem for Parker, who taught social studies at McAlister for two years and now teaches at another Los Angeles high school, was that he should not have taught history to begin with.

Every year in California, public school administrators assign thousands of teachers to classes for which they lack the credentials or legal authorization to teach. Untrained teachers have been assigned to a variety of difficult classes, including those filled with English-language learners and others with special intellectual and physical needs. Or, in Parker’s case, to teach social studies when they’re credentialed for biology.

Nearly 1 in 10 teachers or certificated personnel – more than 32,000 school employees – did not have the credentials or authorization for their positions from 2007 through 2011, according to data compiled by the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

The problem is greater at low-performing schools, where students are overwhelmingly low-income and Latino. The average rate of improperly assigned teachers at these schools was 16 percent over the same period.

“That isn’t something that should be acceptable to anybody,” said Brooks Allen, director of education advocacy at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.

In the 2010-11 school year, more than 12,000 teachers and certificated personnel at more than 1,000 low-performing schools served in positions they should not have held. On average at these schools, 82 percent of students qualified for free or reduced-price meals, and more than three-quarters were Latino, a California Watch analysis found.

Read more at California Watch →

Olympic Committe Confident Rio Will be Ready for 2016 Games

Olympic Committe Confident Rio Will be Ready for 2016 Games

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The members of a delegation from the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday expressed their satisfaction with Rio de Janeiro’s preparations to host the 2016 Games and said they were confident that Brazil will meet the relevant deadlines.

The commission on Wednesday ended a three-day visit to the city, where delegation members were able to visit some of the future facilities.

The members saw “solid advances” in the preparations and said they felt satisfied with the progress so far but added that Brazilian authorities need “to remain vigilant and continue working hard so that the timetables are respected,” delegation head Nawal El Moutawakel told a press conference.

This year will be “critical,” she said, given that the projects to build the sports installations must be speeded up so that they can be tested at events prior to the actual Games.

El Moutawakel acknowledged the work completed so far by Brazilian authorities, whom she said had made “many decisions” thanks to what they had observed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The IOC’s Gilbert Felli firmly stated that “the projects are not behind schedule” and that “what is being done (in the city) is enormous for the country’s legacy.”

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Blog del Narco: Gunmen Kill 6 Members of Family in Mexico

Blog del Narco: Gunmen Kill 6 Members of Family in Mexico

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Gunmen killed six members of a family and wounded a seventh in Monterrey, the capital of the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, state officials said.

A group of gunmen traveling in two vehicles entered a store around noon Wednesday and opened fire on everyone inside, a Nuevo Leon Security Council spokesman said.

The unidentified victims were three minors, ages 14, 15 and 16, two adult males, ages 19 and 25, and a 20-year-old woman.

A 19-year-old man, identified as Julio Cesar Campos Vasquez, was transported by paramedics to a hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds.

State police investigators coroned off the area around the store and gathered evidence.

The gunmen abandoned one of the vehicles used in the attack, the Nuevo Leon Security Council spokesman said, adding that the vehicle had been reported stolen recently.

The Gulf and Los Zetas drug cartels have been fighting for control of Monterrey.

At least 150 people have died in drug-related violence in the northern idustrial city this year.

After several years as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, originally a band of Mexican special forces deserters, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.

The war on drugs launched by former President Felipe Calderon, who was in office from 2006 to 2012, left about 70,000 people dead in Mexico, the government said.

A total of 1,104 people died in violent incidents in Mexico in January, the government said in a report earlier this month.

Of the 1,104 people who died in January in incidents linked to drug cartels and other organized crime groups, 1,068 were suspected criminals and 30 were police officers, soldiers and other public officials “who fell in the line of duty,” the report said.

Mexican press tallies estimated that about 12,000 people died in violent incidents linked to organized crime groups in 2012.

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Former Guatemalan Dictator Efrain Rios Montt’s Genocide Trial Moved to March

Former Guatemalan Dictator Efrain Rios Montt’s Genocide Trial Moved to March

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A Guatemalan court has moved up by five months the trial of former strongman Gen. Efrain Rios Montt and one of his closest collaborators for genocide and crimes against humanity, a lawyer involved in the case told Efe Wednesday.

“Today at around 11:00 in the morning the court official notified us by telephone that the start of the trial has been rescheduled for March 19,” plaintiffs’ attorney Hector Reyes said.

The court initially set a date of Aug. 14 for the trial of Rios Montt and retired Gen. Jose Mauricio Rodriguez.

Judge Miguel Angel Galvez ruled late last month that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the men for the killings of 1,771 Ixil Indians between March 1982 and August 1983.

Rios Montt, 86, is accused of masterminding the bloodbath, while the 67-year-old Rodriguez is charged with carrying out the mass killings as a part of a “scorched earth” campaign during Guatemala’s 1960-1996 civil war.

The trial will be the first of any Guatemalan ruler for the massacres and atrocities of the civil war.

Rios Montt presided over the bloodiest phase of a conflict that claimed more than 200,000 lives. Most of the dead were Indian peasants slaughtered by the army and its paramilitary allies.

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Puerto Rico Supreme Ct Denies Adoption Rights to Partner in Lesbian Relationship

Puerto Rico Supreme Ct Denies Adoption Rights to Partner in Lesbian Relationship

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The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico ruled Wednesday in a 5-4 decision that a woman may not adopt the biological daughter of her lesbian partner without the latter losing her legal ties to the minor.

The island’s high court issued its ruling in which it confirmed the decision of the Appeals Court following a huge demonstration by some 200,000 people - organizers said - on Monday in San Juan to protect the family and traditional marriage.

The Supreme Court decided upon the case of a 12-year-old girl conceived by artificial insemination and born to one of the members of a lesbian couple, raised by them both and currently living with them. Neither the girl nor the members of the couple were publicly identified.

The court ruled that when a minor is adopted he or she must break all ties with their biological parents so that the adoptive parents may acquire parental guardianship of the child.

In this case, the woman who wanted to adopt the girl is the consensual partner of the biological mother, and the pair were seeking to obtain permission for the adoption without the mother having to give up her ties to her daughter.

The majority opinion, issued by Justice Mildred Pabon Charneco, was that Article 138 of the Civil Code prevents the requested adoption.

Supreme Court president Federico Hernandez Denton, however, dissented from the majority opinion and concluded that the prohibition on the adoption is unconstitutional.

Human rights activist and spokesman for the Puerto Rico Para Tod@s organization, Pedro Julio Serrano, expressed his rejection of the ruling, which he called “disastrous and unconstitutional.”

The high court’s decision comes two days after the huge demonstration in San Juan convened by different Christian denominations in response to the initiatives of several lawmakers from the governing PPD favoring the rights of Puerto Rico’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual - or LGBTT - community.

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Human Rights Watch Reports 249 Disappearances in Mexico

Human Rights Watch Reports 249 Disappearances in Mexico

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Human Rights Watch released a report Wednesday that documents 249 disappearances in Mexico since December 2006, when then-President Felipe Calderon launched a war on organized crime that “produced disastrous results.”

The report urges new President Enrique Peña Nieto to implement a comprehensive and effective plan to combat the crisis.

“The nearly 250 cases documented in this report by no means represent all the disappearances that occurred in Mexico during the Calderon administration. Quite the opposite, there is no question that there are thousands more,” the New York-based rights group says.

It recalled that a provisional list compiled by Mexico’s interior ministry and federal Attorney General’s Office contains the names of more than 25,000 people who were disappeared or went missing during Calderon’s administration and whose fate remains unknown.

The report said that in 149 of the 249 cases researchers “found compelling evidence that state actors participated in the crime, either acting on their own or collaborating with criminal groups.”

HRW harshly criticizes Calderon, who “denied security forces had committed any abuses, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.”

“Only in his final year did he acknowledge that human rights violations had occurred, and take a handful of positive - though very limited - steps to curb some abusive practices,” the report said of Mexico’s previous president.

“However, he failed to fulfill his fundamental obligation to ensure that the egregious violations committed by members of the military and police were investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice,” HRW said.

But the rights group did highlight progress made in investigating disappearances in the northeastern state of Nuevo Leon, where local rights defenders estimate more than 1,000 people have gone missing since December 2006.

HRW said that in fact-finding visits in 2010 and 2011 to investigate enforced disappearances (cases in which state agents participated directly in the crime, or indirectly through support or acquiescence) and other abuses it observed a “climate of near-total impunity similar to what we had found in several other states of Mexico.”

But a shift subsequently occurred when families of the disappeared, “catalyzed by a grassroots victims’ movement and partnered with a local human rights group ... collectively demanded that authorities begin to take the investigations seriously,” HRW said.

It added that “under considerable pressure, state officials agreed to work with the families in investigating their cases.”

Although prosecutors have yet to obtain a conviction, more than 50 suspects have been charged in seven of the cases probed through “working meetings” with families and human rights activists, the rights group said.

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U.S. Strategizes How to Combat Industrial Cyber Attacks

U.S. Strategizes How to Combat Industrial Cyber Attacks

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The U.S. government on Wednesday presented a comprehensive strategy to fight industrial cyber-espionage and hacker attacks against the country that infringe on property rights and compromise company secrets.

Attorney General Eric Holder introduced the Trade Secret Protection Strategy at a White House press conference.

He said that there are foreign countries and entities who want to take advantage of the United States’ high level of innovation and noted that a “hacker in China can acquire source code from a software company in Virginia without leaving his or her desk.”

Washington’s new approach will reinforce diplomatic action so as to give “clear” signals to other nations that preventing the theft of secrets is the priority of the United States, Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, said during the White House event.

The strategy is aimed at hampering the entry of foreign goods or services that have been produced using information gleaned from the theft of company secrets.

The presentation of the initiative - at which Victoria Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator for the White House, and Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank were also present - was made a week after President Barack Obama signed an executive order to strengthen the fight against cyberattacks.

It also comes shortly after the occurrence of attacks on U.S. firms attributed to China.

“In some industries, a single trade secret can be worth millions - or even billions - of dollars,” Holder said. “Trade secret theft can require companies to lay off employees, to close factories, to lose sales and profits ... or even to go out of business.”

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Major Traffic Accident in Mexico City Leaves 35 Injured

Major Traffic Accident in Mexico City Leaves 35 Injured

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At least 35 people were injured in a traffic accident involving a cargo truck, a microbus and a taxi in this capital on Wednesday, authorities told Efe.

The three vehicles collided about 8:30 a.m. (1430 GMT) on Route 118 between Pantitlan and Cuatro Caminos, the press spokesman for the Federal District’s Security Secretariat, or SSP-DF, Luis Armando Ramirez.

Authorities have not yet definitively determined the cause of the accident, but the online versions of several media outlets reported that the microbus driver lost control of the vehicle and crossed into the oncoming lane where he hit the truck.

“Among the injured are the drivers of the three vehicles, who for the moment are under arrest,” Ramirez added.

The injured were taken in ambulances to several hospitals to be treated.

The SSP-DF official said he did not know if there were any seriously hurt people among the injured.

The Mexico City metropolitan zone has some 3.5 million vehicles plying its streets and collisions involving heavy vehicles and/or public transportation vehicles are a frequent occurrence.

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80 Percent of Colombian Households have Cable TV

80 Percent of Colombian Households have Cable TV

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Colombia has the highest pay television penetration rate in Latin America, with eight of every 10 households subscribing to cable service due to the variety of offerings and prices available in the market, the Latin American Multichannel Advertising Council, or LAMAC, said in a report.

Pay television grew 23 percent in the past five years in Colombia, reaching 84.4 percent of the country’s people, the report, which is based on figures from the IBOPE market research firm, said.

Argentina, the former leader, is now No. 2, with a penetration rate of 83 percent of households; followed by Chile, with 60 percent; Mexico, with 44 percent; and Brazil, with a 40 percent penetration rate, LAMAC president Gary McBride told reporters.

The pay television penetration rate in Latin America as a whole is around 50 percent, McBride said.

Cable television customers have been growing in Latin America due to competition between cable providers, opening the way for more offerings and affordable pricing, the LAMAC chief said.

Colombia has experienced its highest growth in pay television subscribers in the middle and lower socioeconomic segments of the market, with 16 percent and 36 percent growth, respectively, compared to just 9 percent growth in the high-income segment, LAMAC said.

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Bolivia Says No Need to Fear Nationalization, Only Those Who Steal from Us Should Fear

Bolivia Says No Need to Fear Nationalization, Only Those Who Steal from Us Should Fear

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Bolivian President Evo Morales said here Wednesday that Spanish energy group Repsol and other firms that invest in the Andean country need not fear nationalization because that step is only taken against companies that come to “plunder.”

“For those companies that invest, I can tell them that their investment is guaranteed” and that they have the right to recoup their investment and make a profit, Morales said in a press conference at the United Nations’ headquarters.

Morales stressed that Bolivian authorities work “jointly” with “companies that are partners” and invest, citing Repsol as a prime example.

His comments came two days after La Paz nationalized the Spanish-owned firm that runs Bolivia’s three largest airports, accusing the company of not investing enough in improvements.

Servicios de Aeropuertos Bolivianos S.A., or Sabsa, is the sixth Spanish-owned Bolivian enterprise to be nationalized in less than a year.

Sabsa obtained in 1997 a 25-year-concession to operate the airports serving La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.

The company changed hands twice since then, passing in 1999 from U.S.-based Airport Group International to Britain’s TBI, which five years later sold the firm to two Spanish concerns: state-owned aviation administrator AENA and infrastructure giant Abertis.

From 1997 to 2005, there was “no investment plan, just plundering,” Morales said Wednesday, referring to Sabsa’s stewardship of the airports.

While Sabsa later pledged to invest $26 million between 2006 and 2025, “they had only invested $5 million” by 2011, the Bolivian president said.

Morales said he was on the verge of nationalizing Sabsa three years ago, but then-Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero convinced him to wait and hold talks and pledged he would ensure that the company invested in its operations.

“Unfortunately, in that dialogue with the company all we did was waste three years,” the president added.

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Spain’s Telefonica Purchases Telecom Spectrum for $844 Million

Spain’s Telefonica Purchases Telecom Spectrum for $844 Million

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Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica spent 550 million pounds ($844.23 million) to acquire spectrum in an auction in Britain, the company said Wednesday in a regulatory filing.

Two 10 MHz blocks in the 800 MHz spectrum band were acquired through Telefonica unit O2 UK.

These frequencies are most suitable for the new Long-Term Evolution, or 4G, mobile telephone networks, which permit data transmission at speeds of up to 100 megabits per second and facilitate the development of new telecommunications services.

Telefonica and British telecommunications giant Vodafone reached an agreement in June to create a single shared grid in Britain, a deal that will allow very rapid deployment of the new 4G networks.

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ThursdayFebruary 21, 2013